* Re-posted from the following thread*
We’ve decided to make some changes to WF's policies for the New Year, mainly the use of strong language. We are moving away from the strict rules concerning profanity and are concentrating instead on a more respect-based atmosphere. This doesn’t mean that you can go all Wild West/free for all on the forum; in fact, just the opposite. We are asking that our members be adults and use common sense when posting on WF. We all know how to act and speak in public, and what is and isn’t considered respectful language and actions. We aren’t going to ban you if you use profanity, but if you are simply using it in an excessive and gratuitous manner, you can expect to be called on it. What that means is this: you’ll be asked to edit your post; your post may be pulled for discussion; or your post may simply be deleted if it’s a fluff comment. Rack up enough of these and your actions will be considered as ignoring staff and you will be issued an infraction. Our moderators all give their time voluntarily to this site and they don’t need to be babysitting anyone who can’t act like an adult. The onus is on you to act responsibly. Choose the words you use on the boards carefully and deliberately before you decide to curse.
Similarly, disclaimers on fiction and poetry in their respective boards will be considered optional. Use your head with regards to whether or not to include them. We're not going to slap your wrist if there are a few minor swear words, but if your piece contains sensitive content and you know it's likely to offend potential readers, include the disclaimer. The staff will continue to pull work containing overly gratuitous content.
Flaming has always been unacceptable on this site and will continue to be. However, there is a big difference in disagreeing with someone and a personal attack. We are bound to have different opinions about things, so we ask you to respect that and move on if you are unable to. Never personally attack another member. On the flip side, a thick skin is required in this profession. If you are easily offended, we suggest you refrain from engaging in heated discussions.
As in 2013, there will be no debates allowed in 2014. Keep all discussions reasonably on track and if you stray into potentially offensive and/or sensitive issues, be very careful how you tread. It will be up to the moderation team to decide what is acceptable and what is not. But, if a topic is offending you, do the adult thing and walk away.
Consider these changes to be part of a beta test. If the Administration feels that things are getting out of hand, or the new system is being exploited, they will see fit to change the rules back to their former levels. Please help us by keeping things professional, friendly, and enjoyable for everyone.
In the spirit of new beginnings and as a show of goodwill, we have decided that all infractions (except permanent bans) will be wiped clean, as so many past ones have been language-based. This means that anyone who has infractions on the books will start out with a clean slate and a fresh start. This is a one-time deal and will never be repeated. For those currently serving infractions, the amnesty will not take effect until the corresponding sentence has reached its conclusion.
Finally, on behalf of all the staff at WF, we wish you and yours a happy and prosperous 2014.
The WF Staff.