Code of Conduct - lotrfanmb

In a Nutshell:
Be Nice.
Be Fair.
Be Patient.

Brief Version:

The Fellowship of Middle-earth (unofficial LOTRfanclub community)
is a G-rated and family-friendly community, intended to be comfortable and generally 'non-objectionable' for all members, of any age or moral preference as well as to as to any family members or co-workers reading over their shoulders. Please keep this in mind when posting.  The Admins and Moderators reserve the right to edit or remove postings as needed to maintain this goal.

The Details:

I.      Introduction
II.    Some quick Dos and Don'ts
III.   Acceptable Behavior
IV.  Posting Guidelines
V.   Expressing Opinion
VI.  Warnings
VII.  Grievances
VIII. Questions


A. Welcome to the Lord of the Rings Fan Messageboard, the Fellowship of Middle-earth, an online community for fans and admirers of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and the worlds he created.  We hope you enjoy your time here, and that you will become an active member of our forums.

B. In order for you to enjoy your time here, we have a set of guidelines known as the Code of Conduct (CoC) Each member of the forums including forum moderators and the site administrators, will abide by the CoC as well as general Netiquette guidelines.  It is a messageboard, and not designed for real-time chat, so please remember to have some content in your posts.

C. Each guideline in the CoC in intended to minimize the amount of friction that inevitably occurs when people who are creatively impassioned come together and wish to express the fruits of their creativity and their opinions. Its purpose is to help preserve a pleasant and friendly atmosphere on these forums. The Fellowship fo Middle-earth  is essentially a G to mild PG-13 site. Profanity and obscenity are not permitted.  The word filter exists for this reason, so please do not try to go around it.

Following is an overview of this site and what is expected:


A. Do read the forum descriptions and CoC before your initial post.
B. Do title your posts appropriately, so others can tell what they are about.
C. Do contact the moderators by e-mail or pm if you have a question, complaint or new idea.
D. Do stay on topic where a specific topic has been defined.
E. Do agree to disagree. Don't take disagreements personally or make them personal.
F. Do provide a valid e-mail address where you can be reached if needed by the administrators.
G. Do contribute! Your interests and thoughts are what make this forum alive.

H. Don't post offensive material. 
I.  Don't post spam or advertisements.
J. Don't flame-bait or troll - that is, don't leave inflammatory posts just for the purpose of stirring up and offending others.
K. Don't make personal attacks.
L. Don't double (or triple, etc.) post - please gather your responses within one post instead of stacking them up.
M. Don't complain publically if your post receives little or no commentary. 
N. Don't impersonate another member of the community or any member from other sites.
O. Don't impersonate actors, authors, musicians, artists or other celebrities or claim to be intimate with them (unless you really are!)
P. Don't plagiarize material or post someone else's work without giving proper credit and if necessary, gaining permission.
Q. Don't post anything that reveals real-life clearly criminal behavior for which you have not already made restitution.  Don't put your fellow members in the position of having to report it.
R. Don't post suicidal or excessively dark thoughts. This is not the appropriate media or place to express this, and the members here are not qualified counsellors.


A. will not tolerate material deemed to be inappropriate to the attitude and standards of this site. This includes material which we consider to be inflammatory, racist, sexist, pornographic, against a creed/faith, or elitist in nature. There are multiple faiths posting at this site, but posts of a Satanic nature will not be permitted and religious discussions in general are discouraged as they almost inevitably offend. Neither will we tolerate posts that celebrate clearly criminal violence or advocate the violent overthrow of any government or body.

B. The measure of offensiveness is directly proportionate to the perceived intent of the poster. For example: a post (poem, story, etc.) recounting past abuse may be acceptable, depending on the level of detail; whereas a post condoning such actions, or one that goes into explicit or pornographic detail, would not. The final determination of a post's appropriateness rests solely with site administrators and forum moderators.

C. Keep in mind that the Fellowship of Middle-earth is viewed by people of all ages, from different walks of life, countries and cultures. Please respect other people's feelings, opinions and cultures when making posts. 

D. Many of our members have minor children.  Some of our members are minors themselves. We want parents to feel comfortable posting with children looking over their shoulder, thus adult promiscuous flirtation, overt sexual innuendo, graphic descriptions of violence/abuse or playacting of drunken or drug-affected behavior will not be permitted at this site.  Links to images with nudity or questionable content will be removed.  Likewise links to sites whose purpose is to promote or encourage "adult" activities, including monetary gambling, alcohol or drug consumption or other activities deemed restricted by the admins or moderators.


A. All posts will conform to the Acceptable Behavior policy. Any post that does not adhere to these standards is subject to editing and/or deletion without recourse.

1. Don't post offensive material,  including spam. We value freedom of expression, but cannot guarantee total freedom of speech on this privately owned board. YOU are solely and legally responsible for what you post. 

2. Don't flame-bait or troll. Do not engage in personal attacks on or with your fellow members, including moderators and site administrators, either openly on the board or through the pm system.  Use of the pm system to harrass and intimidate may result in being banned.

B. Critiques: We recognize not all of our members will feel comfortable providing or receiving critical feedback or commentary (although we would actively encourage you not to be shy and to comment), and that such members may prefer simply to read others' work and post their own work.  However, it is our experience that if you do comment on other people's work, they will usually comment on yours in return.

C. Forum Descriptions: Read the forum descriptions, any remarks made by the forum moderators and general announcements before you begin to post. Try to post in an appropriate forum. If the moderators think your post would be suited to another forum, they will move it. (This is nothing personal; only moderators and admins have the capability to move posts and it is part of their job.) Likewise, read the threads in an ongoing discussion before you post to it.

D. 1. Concise Posts: Make your posts reasonably concise for their content. A twenty-two paragraph post which repeats: "I'm so bored in school" is not fun to read!

D. 2. Original Posts: Avoid just repeating what other posters have recently written. If you find yourself doing so, try simplifying it to: "I agree with the points made above," or "I second that!" rather than a long quote with nothing new added.

E. Stay on topic: We recognize that this is a difficult, subjective issue. Please remember this guideline has been designed for the benefit of everyone. Discussions on many diverse topics may easiy become sidetracked and end up not commenting directly on the topic in question. If you would like to continue (or even to begin a new discussion) please do so in the appropriate forum. While we actively encourage you to consider if your posts are going off topic, there will be times when your forum moderator may feel it necessary to provide a guiding hand and steer the thread back on track. If a post appears to have no relevance to the topic in question, we may ask you to edit or delete it. Please do not take this as a personal attack: it is NOT intended as such.

F. If you ignore corrective commentary or actions from a moderator or admin, you will receive a warning.  If you disagree with the action the moderator has taken, please handle this privately via pm or e-mail.  We prefer that forums remain "attack-free" and other members are not pulled into a private disagreements. Please do not attack your moderator verbally in the forums or e-mail. They are reasonable people and are simply carrying out their part in keeping the community on an even keel. If you approach them sincerely in hopes of resolving any issues, they will work with you. Please feel free to raise your query/objection in a polite manner and contact the issuing moderator accordingly.  If you continue to ignore warnings, you may face a ban.

G. Appropriate Post Titles: Don't post something entitled: "Read This NOW!", "hi, here I am", "Anyone here?" etc.. If a post has a "no content"  title like this you may be asked to edit the title, or it may be edited for you.  All Caps titles are discouraged and may be edited to lower case.  Your posts should gain attention on its own merit, and the title should reflect the content.

H. Links to Other Sites:  Don't post links to online sales (such as ebay). Don't post links to other online sites that have "adult" or otherwise obscene/objectionable content.
If you do so, you may be asked by the forum moderator to remove your link, or it may be removed for you.   If it is a minor factor (i.e. strong language in a parody you want to share), you may post a warning so others who do not want to be exposed to this will know not to "click." 

I. 1. Complaining: Please try not to feel dejected/ rejected if your post receives little or no commentary. This does not necessarily mean that no one has read your post, just that they have decided not to comment on it, or that folks are busy and haven't gotten to it yet.  Please feel free to politely cite specific questions within your post that you would like people to comment on, i.e., "Does the second stanza really work?  Do you really think Gandalf knew what would happen when he went into Moria?"

I. 2. Also, if someone has made a comment on your posting with which you disagree, do not reply to him/her straight away. Ask yourself if their comment is valid. Take a moment to consider the tone of the comments. Are you perhaps being too sensitive? Take a step back and think about how you would like to respond. If you believe the comments are unfounded, then politely say that you disagree with them, and leave it at that

I. 3. We encourage active discussion, but insulting behavior or verbal fisticuffs are not tolerated. Refer to the section Expressing Opinion and Acceptable Behavior for detailed guidelines on responding to negative commentary.

J. 1. Feedback to writers - Recognize the fact that some people may be 'new' to writing or that others have been writing for longer. Do not be a 'snob'. If you do not want to provide a detailed critique, that is perfectly acceptable. Do not feel that this kind of response is required. However, if you wish to receive critiques,  you should strive to learn how to give them in return. Good critiques take time and energy to craft and post; please do not repeatedly ask for detailed critiques on your work and post a mere "Good job!" to other's efforts. Try to find something about the work that speaks to you and relay that to the creator. Everyone, irrespective of how talented or experienced, appreciates thoughtful, genuine feedback.

J. 2. After all, this is supposed to be a positive experience and fun! If you have any questions, ask your fellow  members or contact the moderators.

K. 1. Use of Images - Due to the fact that some of our members may have slower connections or dial-up, and the board is to be equally accessible to all we ask that you keep your images reasonably sized, and only post them in the designated picture threads for each forum. These will say "images" or "pictures" in their title.  There may be some small exceptions, such as a caption game or thread designed for showcasing pictures of artwork or personal photos.  These will be labelled as such. 

K.2. Please do not place images in your signatures.  They will be removed.  The reason for this is twofold, first that it forces those with slower connections to have to upload those images repeatedly.  Secondly, that it is a nuisance for others to have to scroll past.  It looks really nice the first time, but after fifty repetitions it gets pretty old for everyone, no matter how pretty it may be. Please keep your personal expression through images to your avatar choice.

K.3. Avatars.  At this time we are not providing hosting for personal avatars. You may link to your avatar offsite or are welcome to choose from our gallery. Suggestions for additions to the gallery are welcome.  No larger than 80x80 pixels is preferred, 100 pixels in width is the maximum allowed.  Avatars wider than 100 pixels will need to be modified to fit within that boundary.  Offensive avatars, whether by content, language or excessive repetitious motion, may be removed.

L.1.  Non-posting Accounts - Accounts that are registered but unused may be deleted after a time, according to the judgment of the administrators. The normal window is 6 months.  If your inactive account has been removed, you are welcome to re-register and become an active part of the community. 

L.2.  Multiple Accounts - Please do not register multiple accounts; if you have forgotten your password, use the password retrieval function rather than re-registering.  If you would like a new user-name, notify the admin, who will modify your account for you.  If you would prefer an alter-ego, it is permitted but the admin will need to know so that both accounts remain active.


A. Members will not not be prevented from expressing their opinions, provided they can express said opinions in an acceptable, reasonable, informed and calm manner. There is a strong possibility that opinions can become colorful, especially when discussing sensitive issues such as race, sexuality or spiritual matters. If one's opinion cannot be voiced in the manner stated above, then forum moderators or site administrators will intervene to enforce the CoC. Members may also "self-regulate" another member's post, but personal attacks will not be tolerated. If agreement cannot be reached, then members will agree to disagree and post accordingly.

B. Be polite and respectful of others' feelings.
C. Don't insult, name call or resort to profanity.
D. Agree to disagree.
E. Stay focused on the issues, not the personalities involved.


A. We expect members to conduct themselves appropriately when visiting the Fellowship of Middle-earth in accordance with the guidelines. Please note that we operate a "three strikes and you're out" policy. If you fail to comply, the following actions will be taken:

B. Informal Warning: This will be issued to members as a gentle reminder that they have failed to comply. The informal warning is in place so that new members may be "cut some slack." However, you will receive only ONE informal warning from your moderator. Should you choose to disregard this warning, then the Formal Warning will be used. This is to prevent abuse of our system and the moderators.

C. First Warning: Member will be sent an e-mail or pm either by a moderator or by a site administrator. A description of the offense and why it is a problem will be provided. If necessary, we will ask that the offending post be edited or deleted.

D. Second Warning: Member will be publicly warned by the moderator in the thread in question. At this point, the moderator or  admin may edit or delete the offending post if it had not been already tended to.

E. Third & Final Warning: Member's posting rights will be suspended; all posts related to the offense will be deleted and all future posting rights may be removed, temporarily or permanently according to the moderators' judgement.

F. NOTE: This is referring to repeated offenses of the same nature, not consecutive 'errors'. Each situation is judged individually.

G. Moderators must be in agreement when deciding to issue a formal warning to a member. If agreement between the moderators cannot be reached, then it will be passed to site admins for discussion. Site administration decisions are final.


A. Should you have a grievance in regards to either the site management or another member, please direct it toward a moderator via e-mail. If you feel that the matter has not been resolved, you may request your moderator to pass it to the Administrators to deal with, or you may choose to contact the site administrator(s) directly via email. If the site administrator(s) decides no arbitration is required, your grievance will be passed back to your moderator to deal with.


A. If you have any questions, please contact via e-mail or pm any of our moderators who will be pleased to help you. Member e-mails can be found by clicking on a name  and reading a member's profile.

B. We reiterate, this site is for YOUR enjoyment: help us to help you make it a rewarding, meaningful experience. Share, converse, learn and have fun!

Images used in avatars remain the property of their respective owners. We make no claim to any rights whatsoever regarding these images, or to any aspect of the world of J.R.R. Tolkien in film, publication or other form.  This is a privately held, non-commmercial site created for the social and creative enjoyment of the fans and no product or service is advertised or sold.


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