modlaurel

Moderators' Thoughts of the Week Archive

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Moderators' Thoughts of the Week

This is the archive for the Moderators' Thoughts of the Week. Thoughts will be kept here after they are replaced. The most up-to-date one can be found at

[URL]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/showthread.php/19109-Moderators-Thoughts-of-the-Week[/URL]

Welcome to Moderators' Thoughts of the Week. Once a week we'll be writing about something relevant to the Board. The subjects we talk about will range from helpful hints, to problems we need to address, to possible changes, and more.

If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for a subject, drop us a line.

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This week we are going to talk about something registered posters can do which may make their Board life happier.

Are there one or more registered posters who get on your nerves? Are you having problems responding to them respectfully? There is an easy solution to this. I am talking about the IGNORE feature.

Our software is configured so that any registered poster can put any other registered poster on their own personal ignore list. If you put someone on the list, while they are on the list, if you are logged in, you will not see any posts they made while logged in. If you can't see what they are posting, they can't annoy you. Adding or deleting someone from the Ignore List is quick and easy.

You must be logged in to add/delete someone from the Ignore List. Once you are logged in, go to the page where you send/receive PMs. Find My Settings it is a cream colored box on the left hand side of the page.

Scroll down the box. Roughly halfway down you will see Edit Ignore List. Click on that.

You are now on the page where you can add/delete names from the Ignore List.

A couple of caveats

1 This only works if you are a registered poster, and while you are logged in.
2 It only works on registered posters, and for posts they make while logged in.
3 If another poster quotes them in a response, you will see the quote.

Even with these caveats, this can be a useful tool for making your Board life run more smoothly.

See you next week.

Best Wishes for Happy Holidays!

The Mod Squad

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Comments

  1. modlaurel's Avatar
    Re: Moderators' Thoughts of the Week

    For the last thought of the year, the Mod Squad would like to thank the A Team our Alert Team. These are the helpful posters who, when seeing spam or other posting related problems, (trolls, mean girls, attacking posts, threads in the wrong forum, etc) sends us an Alert, posts a note in Contact Us, or sends us a PM or email, letting us know about the problem. Without the ongoing support of these marvelous volunteers, we'd find it a lot harder to do our jobs.

    There are too many people who are part of the A Team for us to list them; I would be afraid of leaving someone(s) out. But rest assured we appreciate the help from each and every one!

    You too can be a member of the A Team and get our undying gratitude. It is easy to do, and doesn't cost a cent. Better yet, it helps make this Board a more pleasant place for everyone. All you have to do is this:

    1 Spot a problematic post (spam, a post from a troll, a post attacking another poster, etc.).

    2 If you are a registered poster and logged in, hit the Alert Button. It is the triangle with an exclamation point on it, on the left hand side of the gray bar underneath the post. It is the same bar that has the reply buttons on the right hand side.

    3 When you get to the Alert page, fill in the message box and hit send.

    4 If you're not registered or logged in, post about the problem in the Contact Us Forum. While it will take us longer to see it there, than if you send an Alert, we will see it.

    5 Send us an email or PM, describing the problem. You can email the Mods at<modname> at motherinlawstories.com. The names of the moderators are listed after the name of the Forum on the Forum page at:[URL]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/forum.php[/URL]

    Tips for everyone - not just members or would-be members of the A Team

    Don't respond to trolls. They are looking for attention, and don't care if it is negative or positive.

    If spam is posted, try to avoid posting in the thread until we get rid of the spam. It's faster for us to find the spam if it's the most recent post in the thread.

    If a poster is being personally attacked, versus her/ his opinion, let us know. Please don't turn around and attack the attacker(s). All that does is make the situation worse.

    Best wishes to everyone for a peaceful, happy and troublesome in-law and FOO free 2013!

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
  2. modlaurel's Avatar
    This week's thought is a guest thought from the Powers That Be

    =======================================
    ==


    Why it Benefits You to Register

    Here at motherinlawstories we want everyone to be able to participate in the way that meets their needs.That is why we don't require registration now, and do not intend to ever do so. However, while you are welcome to take part even if you are not a registered poster, registration offers many benefits. In no special order, here are some of them.

    If you want to start a thread, or post to one, many more forums will be open to you. While anyone can read the forums, only registered users can start threads or post in most of the forums.

    You can edit your posts. Any post you make while you are logged in, can be edited by you any time you are logged in. This editing includes the ability to delete your entire post.

    You can set your viewing preferences the way you want them, and they will stay that way. This includes how many posts on a page, how the posts on a thread are ordered, what time zone is displayed, and more.

    You can turn on private messaging (PM). Private messaging is an internal mail system that works between registered members of this board.

    If you are registered and permit PMs and/or emails from the moderators, we can contact you. This can be very important in several situations.
    1. If you mess up, but not badly, we can send you a warning letter. Otherwise, our only option is banning.
    2. If we have to remove one of your posts, we can contact you and explain why. Often posts get removed when the poster has done nothing wrong. Instead, she is responding and/or quoting a deleted post, and her post no longer makes sense.
    3. When there is a need to reach you, that we feel should be kept private.

    You have a post count. Other posters are more likely to heed the advice of a poster who has been posting here for awhile. One of the ways they judge that is by post count. It is far from the only way, and we urge everyone to post, no matter how new they are. But, it is true that is one way people are judged. If you post from more than one location, and cannot log in at all of them, register at the location where you can log in. When you post from a location where you can't log in, use poster name nli (not logged in). While it won't change your post count, it will let people on the board know it is you who are posting.

    You will have a consistent name, and people will know who it is who is talking to them. This makes it easier for them to respond to you.

    You have the ability to block posts, emails, and PMs from other registered users.

    You can use the alert function, which is private and fast, unlike the Contact Us forum, to notify us about spam posts and problematic ones.

    You can set up email notification of replies to posts, and threads that you specify.

    You can use the New Posts link, which gives you a listing of all threads that have been created or updated since your last visit, or when you last read them.

    There are more options in the Quick Links Menu, including Subscribed Threads.

    You can have a personalized signature, which will automatically appear at the bottom of all your posts.

    There is also an urban legend about not posting that we'd like to address.

    Not registering protects me from being caught by people who know me from real life. Not really. If someone thinks you are posting here, they will track you by your background, not by your poster name. This assumes you are not using a name which you are known by in real life. We have had posters tracked down here. However, the mother-in-law in several cases, identified the wrong poster as their daughter-in-law. Remember, while your story may seem unique to you, in many cases it is a “oft told tale”.

    If you are concerned about being stalked here, your best defense is to change some of your personal details. For instance, change the number and gender of your children. Your occupation, your spouse's occupation, and where you live. Changing or blurring your personal details will do a better job of protecting you from online stalkers than not registering.

    We want to emphasize once more, that registration is NOT required, nor will it ever be. But, it does have many benefits.
  3. modlaurel's Avatar
    What is a PM


    PM refers to our Private Message system. This is an internal message system, similar to email that lets a registered logged in poster send a private message to another registered logged in member. This system is only available to registered members, and only whilst logged in.

    One advantage of the PM system versus email, is that it keeps your privacy. You can communicate as <poster name>, versus whoever you are in real life. Another is that since it is part of Board,unless someone gets into your Board account they can't read your PMs.

    PMs are used for all sorts of reasons. Some people use them exclusively for friendship based communication with other Board members. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is far from the only use for PMs.

    Another frequent use is for one poster to send information to another that they don't want shared with anyone and everyone who goes online. For instance, sending intimate details of a problem to a poster with expertise in that matter.

    Some things that break our posting rules may be sent via PM, such as real world names, phone numbers, links to your blog, etc. However, you should not have to tolerate Spam, bullying, etc. in your PM. If that should happens, or you receive a PM that in any way makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to forward it directly to any of the mods. We will treat it like any other item we receive an Alert on - and that extends all the way to the possibility of banning the sender. Our primary Rule on the message boards has always been "Respect", and it is NOT okay for that rule to be broken via PM.

    The PM system is very easy to access. If you are logged in,you will find a link on the main forum page, on the left hand side in the blue-gray bar underneath the dark green bar on the top of the page, next to the link for new posts. Or, here is the URL:[URL]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/private.php[/URL]

    You start out with a Inbox and a Sent Mail box – you can add others if you want. The system will help you download your PMs in a variety of different formats. Depending on how much you use the PM system, you may have to clean out your mailbox every now and then. The system lets you store only a set number of messages.

    Note: you are not required to use the PM system, and in fact, you can turn it off. In yourGeneral Settings you can make the following choices:
    • Private Messaging:
      • Private Messaging on
      • Private Messaging off
    • Receive Private Messaging:
      • Only from Contacts and Moderators
      • From all members
    You may limit the receipt of private messages to just moderators and your Contacts. Other members who attempt to send messages to you will be told that you have disabled private messaging.
    • Email Notification of New Private Messages:
      • Receive Email Notification of new Private Messages
      • Don't receive Email Notification of new Private Messages
    The forum can send a message to your email address to inform you when someone sends you a private message.
    • New Private Message Notification Pop-up:
      • Show New Private Message Notification Pop-up
      • Don't show New Private Message Notification Pop-up
    If you are browsing the forums when you receive a new private message, the system can pop-up a notification box informing you of the new message.
    • Sent Private Messages:
      • Save a copy of sent messages in my Sent Items folder by default
      • Don't save a copy of sent messages
    When sending private messages the forum can make a copy of the message in your Sent Items folder.

    As with many of our software features, the PM system is a useful tool for many, but not all of us. Hopefully this will give you enough information so you can make an informed choice for yourself.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
    ======================================
  4. modlaurel's Avatar
    Don't Break the Law!

    This week we are going to discuss a rule that NO ONE should be violating, yet some posters are. I am talking about posting about illegal activities. The rules are very clear that you may NOT advocate illegal activities. Here is the relevant section of the rules:

    Discussing Illegal Activities
    It is best not to discuss anything that would be illegal. We are not legal experts, but this is just common sense. If illegal activity of any kind is discussed (whether done by yourself or another party, and whether done in the past or speculated in the future), and we become aware of it, we WILL take whatever actions we believe (or we determine) we are legally obligated to take, and that can include proactively notifying the appropriate legal authorities.

    If you do wish to discuss any illegal activity, it is best to follow these simple rules:

    Never state as a fact that anyone (including yourself) has done anything illegal unless they were convicted of that crime (remember, innocent until proven guilty - no matter how sure you are). If they were not convicted, only discuss your opinion (e.g. - you cannot say, "My MIL stole those earrings," unless she was convicted of that crime - but you can say, "I believe my MIL stole those earrings").

    Please never discuss your own illegal activity under any circumstances unless you have been convicted of that crime.

    Never discuss an illegal activity in a positive light. Never suggest there is a good reason to break a law.

    Possible Moderator Actions
    The entire posting is subject to editing or removal. The thread is subject to locking. The person posting is subject to being immediately banned.

    We have recently had to pull posts for violating this rule. And, we should not have to. This is really a no-brainer. If you advise someone to break the law, and they do so, you and this Board could be blamed for the illegal acts. This rule is here to help protect you, as well as us.

    Keep in mind the rule of unforeseen consequences. Just because you didn't think things would happen that way, doesn't mean they won't. Pushing a little pebble down the mountain might not look like much. But, it could be the start of a mighty avalanche.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
    ============================================
  5. modlaurel's Avatar
    What is a TO? and What is a CO?




    These are two terms we use a lot. Here is an explanation as to what they mean, and how they are used.

    TO stands for Time Out
    CO stands for Cut Off

    TO

    A TO is when you take a break from a person or persons. While they are on a TO you have nothing to do with them. This means, but is not limited to:
    • You do not talk to them;
    • You do not visit them at their house;
    • They do not visit you at your house;
    • You do not text them or read their texts;
    • You do not read emails from them, or send them emails;
    • You do not accept gifts from them or give them gifts;
    • You do not talk to others about them.
    You are taking a break from them, and while you do, they do not exist in your universe.

    TO's can last for a set amount of time such as four weeks, three months, one year, etc., or until the person(s) does a certain thing or things, typically, until they apologize, change a behavior(s), or until you feel you can deal with them again.

    TO's are not a punishment. They are generally considered to be either of the following two things (or occasionally both.)

    A TO is a break, a mental vacation as it were, from the stress of dealing with the other person(s). They are to protect you, and your family, from having to deal with someone(s) who is toxic, and/or abusive, and/or a criminal, and/or dangerous, and/or has mental problems.

    Or, a TO is a way to “train” a toxic person. It is a way to show them the consequences of their actions. You can't change other people, but you can make them aware of cause and effect. If they do X, then Y will happen - plain and simple. WARNING: all toxic people do NOT learn or change from being part of a TO. Sometimes nothing can be done, and the TO becomes a CO. But, sometimes it can help effect change.

    In general (depending on the people involved), it is probably a good idea to let the persons(s) know they are in a TO, that they are to leave you alone until you contact them, and why you are doing so. Sometimes, if the person(s) will not cooperate at first, it is necessary to extend the TO a set length of time, such as a month, for every time they attempt to cross the TO boundaries. When the other person(s) will not leave you alone, while they are TOed, the TO can lead to a CO.

    Sometimes, despite your best intentions, TO's have to be put on hold, or ended, due to major life problems happening that involve the TOed person. For instance, you TO your MIL, but then your GMIL, for who she is a caretaker, is diagnosed with a fatal condition, and has only a short time to live. The only way to see GMIL is through MIL, who is in a TO. In such a situation, dropping or suspending the TO is not unreasonable. However, there is no reason why you cannot put the TO back in place,once the situation has changed.

    However, one thing you need to be aware of. When you TO someone, there is often what we call collateral damage. By collateral damage, we mean people who are affected by the TO, even if they are not, themselves put in a TO. Some examples of people who fall into the category of collateral damage include: minor children living at home, when one or both of their parent's is on a TO; a spouse of someone who is on a TO; and people who refuse to honor your TO of a third party. These people will wind up being in a TO/CO along with the toxic person, because there is no way to have a relationship with them, and not with the toxic person.

    For instance minor children of someone who is in a TO. It is not appropriate to go behind someone's back to spend time with their minor child. Since you aren't talking to the toxic person, you can't arrange to see the minor child. Therefore, the minor child is effectively put in the TO as well.

    Another issue that comes up, especially with long TOs, is gifts. There are two issues with gifts. Gifts to other people, and gifts from other people. In terms of gifts to someone who is in a TO, the answer is easy – no, you don't. That is usually easy to follow, until the situation arises of gifts to children of people who are in a TO. The answer may sound mean, but you don't send anything. Not to be mean, but out of respect to their parent(s). If you have put their parent(s) in a TO, it would be rude to then turn around and give a gift to their minor(s). You expect the parent(s) to respect your boundaries and not contact your children while they are in a TO. Therefore, you need to do the same.

    As for gifts sent to you and/or your children, from people who you have put in a TO, there are basically three schools of thought on what to do. All three have their drawbacks, so the bottom line is that it depends upon the circumstances and the people involved. There is no one right decision.

    The first option is to return everything you receive to the sender. The downside of this is that you are giving the person who sent it attention, which is what some people are looking for. For some people negative attention is still attention.

    The second option is Black Hole (BH), not say a word to them, and to donate whatever you get to a charity. If you do that, be sure to get a receipt from the charity, for the original giver or yourself. The downside of this is unless you send them the receipt from the donation, they can tell people how horrid you are. You won't talk to them, but you take their gifts.

    The third option is to just keep the gifts, but not say anything to them. This includes keeping them long enough to throw them away. This has the same drawback as the second. They can tell people how horrid you are. You won't talk to them, but you take their gifts.

    The bottom line is that you have to decide which solution works best in your circumstances. There is no one “right” answer for every situation. You know the people involved, and what will work best to get your message across.

    There may be times when, for assorted reasons, you have to attend a gathering of some sort where the TOed person(s) is also there. This could be a wedding, funeral, graduation, religious ceremony, etc. In situations such as that, avoid contact with them as much as possible. If they try and talk to you, phrases such as, “This is not the place.” “Let's not spoil it for NAME.” “Excuse me,” and walking off, can be very useful. Try not to let them corner you. If you have to say something, keep it cool and distant. Act as you would towards someone you met once, a long time ago. Miss Manners can give you some good advice on being polite, but dismissive.

    Sometimes the person(s) who is in a TO will try and use assorted tricks to get you to break the TO. These include:
    • Christmas Cancer. This is pretending to be ill, or exaggerating the severity of an existing condition to guilt you into breaking the TO. It happens most frequently around major holidays, which is why it is often referred to as Christmas Cancer. The point is, whatever illness is being claimed, don't believe it without proof. If you don't insist on proof, lancing a boil on the head will be called an operation for brain cancer.
    • You need to come as this will be <relative's name> last <name of holiday> and he/she wants to see his/her whole family together. You aren't breaking the TO for the sake of the TOed person, but for <relative>. This is another instance of collateral damage. This is an attempt to guilt you into doing something you don't want to do. Very often, the person whose name the TOed person is waving around is not even aware this is being said. Furthermore, if someone is truly sick, or even dying, that is sad, but not terribly relevant. NONE of us know when we are going to die, and very few know how. Anyone can be unexpectedly hit by a truck, making this Thanksgiving their last one. You can't let what may happen rule your life.
    • Another frequently used tactic to get you to break the TO is an offer of a bribe, in terms of childhood or family belongings and/or memories. For example: your baby pictures, family jewelry, items that belonged to a now deceased relative, childhood toys, etc. Very often, even if you break the TO and show up, you don't receive the items. But, the TOed person(s) now know how to manipulate you. You will have to be strong. If you don't have the items now and are dealing, you can continue to be without them. Otherwise, they will just continue to wave the items under your nose, while they make you jump through hoops.
    • Not as frequent, but still used, is an invitation to come see relative X, or old family friend Y, who are here for a visit. The TOed person(s) claim they have been asking about you, and will be very hurt if you don't come. In reality, a lot of the time they haven't said a thing, and are unaware they are being used as a tool to try and manipulate you. Worse case, they unfortunately become collateral damage.
    • The final standard ploy is the threat of being cut out of the will, of being disinherited. When there is a lot of money at stake, it can be a bit disheartening to be cut out. However, if you give in once, they will use money to control you each and every time. And, there is a word for people who sell themselves and their favors for money...
    People on a TO or CO will often try to manipulate you into dropping it, by getting others to try and influence you. These people will typically be family members or old friends of the family. These people are referred as Flying Monkeys (FMs).This name is taken from The Wizard of Oz. The Flying Monkeys are the minions of the Wicked Witch. When she needs a dirty job done, she sends out the Flying Monkeys to do it.

    These FMs will argue on behalf of the TO/CO person. They will say things such as “How can you do this to family?” “They were only trying to help.” “After all they have done for you.” “Nevertheless, they are still your <name of relationship>.” They will frequently contact you at all hours, and do anything they can to get you to change your mind.

    Bear in mind that these FMs are going after you, without even giving you the courtesy of listening to your side of the story. Therefore, they frequently will not stop without a major shut down. The following responses to FMs can be useful:

    “After they did <horrible act> I had no choice but to TO/CO.”
    “I am doing this to protect my family.”
    “I am an adult, and don't need your permission/approval to do things.”

    If, after trying the above, and the FM will not drop the subject, you may have to threaten them with a TO of their own. And, if the threat does not work, go through with it. NOTE: Do not threaten a TO/CO unless you are prepared to follow through.

    Some pointers to help you during a TO/CO.
    1. You can block their calls, either through your phone company or through an app.
    2. You can get Caller ID so you know who is calling before you pick-up your phone.
    3. You can assign specific tunes to specific numbers, to help you know who is calling. For instance “Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” for your MIL.
    4. Email from a TO/CO person can be automatically sent to a special folder.
    5. Email from a TO/CO person can be blocked.
    6. If they come to your house don't let them in. If they persist on bothering you, knocking/pounding on the door, ringing the doorbell, rapping on the windows, etc., call the police. That is a legitimate use of the police department.
    7. If they have a key to your house, change the locks.
    8. Make sure anyone who is TO/CO is not on the allowed list to pick your child(ren) up at school, daycare, sports, camp, etc., and is on the never ever let my child(ren) go with them list.
    9. Make sure you have never given any of your doctors or other medical workers permission to discuss your, or members of your family's, health with them. If in doubt, formally withdraw it in writing.
    CO

    A CO is everything a TO is, but it doesn't normally end. The best way to think of it is, that anyone CO is dead to you. And, as with all dead people, except for zombies, you have nothing to do with them. You don't talk on the phone with dead people, go out to eat with dead people, or exchange presents with dead people, etc.

    A TO or a CO is not a step to be taken lightly, or because someone is slightly irritating. It can turn into a nuclear option, with long term effects on your family and the family of the TO/CO person(s). Taking this step may mean that you will never see one or more people again. But, it is something that, unfortunately, has to be done sometimes. When used judiciously, it can be an effective tool in shielding you and your family from toxic people.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
  6. motherinlawstories's Avatar
    Congratulations! This posting has been nominated and accepted to the Mother-In-Law-Stories Hall of Fame. It has been copied there and can be found at this link:
    [url]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/showthread.php/19610-What-is-a-TO-and-What-is-a-CO[/url]

    Thank you for an outstanding posting!
  7. modlaurel's Avatar
    Please Watch Where You Start Threads

    Look around the Board. There are currently, not counting the Daily Story Archives, 40 forums. Each forum is for a different subject, and while in some cases there is a small amount of overlapping in focus, in general each forum is clearly different from the others.

    This means it is very important when you start a thread, to start your thread in the correct forum. Not doing so negates the purpose of the multiple forums. And, the multiple forums play an important role. They make it easier for posters to give and receive appropriate advise. They also help ensure that threads don't get lost or overlooked.

    Another way to look at the idea of sticking to the correct forum is "what's good for the one is not good for the many". If just one person does it, what harm can it cause? BUT ... if 10 people a day do it, each and every day, someone who just catches up on the weekends would have to weed through 70 misplaced postings trying to get to the ones she is interested in. And ... that is the problem in a nutshell.

    The forum that gets virtually all of the inappropriate threads is the MIL forum. This happens because people are being careless and not thinking, and just posting in the first available forum. Or, because the MIL Forum has the most activity, and they want their thread to get maximum exposure.

    It is true that the MIL Forum has the most activity. However, if everyone posted there, the benefits of having multiple forums would be lost. Therefore, despite the temptation, please post in the correct forum. If you do not, and we realize you have done so, we will move your thread. If you post in the wrong forum too many times, you will get banned. This may sound harsh, but to do otherwise would be unfair to the majority of the other posters who play by the rules, and start threads in the correct forums.

    There is one exception. If you think your thread is so important that it needs maximum exposure, write to us and make your case, first. There is no guarantee we will agree with you, but if we do, then we will post your thread for you, giving it legitimacy to be in the MIL Forum when it doesn't belong there. If you want to reach us, you can PM us; there are links to all of the moderators in each forum description. Or, you can email us at <moderator name>@motherinlawstories.com. Finally, you can pose a question in the Contact Us Forum. One piece of advice – under no circumstances will we give you permission if you post in the MIL Forum, and then ask permission. Only unposted threads will be considered for posting in the MIL Forum, when it doesn't belong there.

    We are aware that not all threads obviously belong in one forum rather than another. Let us say you start a thread involving your spouse, your child and your SIL. You put it in the Spouse Forum. We then evaluate the thread, and decide it belongs in the Children Forum, and move it there. In a situation such as that, where you have made a good faith effort to post in the correct forum, while we will move the thread, we will not penalize you for posting in the wrong forum. Of course, if you are unsure of which forum to post in, you are always welcome to ask us first.

    Please keep in mind that the MIL Forum is for threads that deal with, at least primarily, MIL issues. Grandparent issues do not equal MIL issues.New apps are not primarily MIL issues. Books about criminals are not the same as MIL issues. Toxic siblings-in-law are not primarily MIL issues, etc. If it doesn't deal primarily and directly with at least one MIL, it doesn't belong in the MIL forum.

    Please post in the correct forum. Doing so will make things better for everyone. It will help everyone get the help that they need.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
  8. modlaurel's Avatar
    Where Do I Find Out?

    If you want to know how to do something, or what something means, you can always contact us and ask. But, it might take a while for us to get back to you. And, you want an answer NOW. Luckily, there are places you can go where you can frequently, albeit not always, find the answer to your question or questions.

    Basically, there are two types of questions that people need answers to. Questions involving our community, such as what is a Flying Monkey. And, questions about how the Board operates, in terms of using the software.


    There are a number of different places where you can get information about how our community works and/or how the Board operates.

    Here is a link to a list of the common acronyms used on our board:
    [URL="http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mother-in-law_stories_help_page.htm#acronyms"]http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mo...e.htm#acronyms[/URL]

    This page has links to many help subjects. Some community related and some how do I related:

    [URL="http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mother-in-law_stories_help_page.htm"]http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mo..._help_page.htm[/URL]


    The rules lay out what is not acceptable in terms of our community. They can be found here:

    [URL="http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mother-in-law_stories_Message_Board_Posting_Rules.htm"]http://www.motherinlawstories.com/mo...ting_Rules.htm[/URL]

    The Moderators' Thought of the Week archives, have useful articles regarding how our community works and how our software works:

    [URL="http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/blog.php/13017-modlaurel"]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/foru...3017-modlaurel[/URL]

    Finally, there is a very useful and thorough FAQ for the site software, for the Message Board, and for Blogs. You can find it at:

    [URL]http://204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/faq.php[/URL]

    Please keep in mind that you are always welcome to ask us. You can reach the moderators by PM. There are links in each forum description. You can email us at <modname> @ motherinlawstories.com. Or, you can ask in the Contact Us Forum. However, contacting us can result in you waiting for an answer. Using the resources above will doubtlessly be quicker.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad
  9. modlaurel's Avatar
    One ID Per Customer Please

    Recently, while doing routine reviews of IP addresses used in connection to this Board, we have noticed that some posters are posting under more than one ID - some under multiple IDs. Unless you have gotten permission, in advance, to use more than one ID, this breaks our rules.

    Multiple IDs include both registered and guest names. Registration status has no impact on the one ID per person rule. Here is the applicable rule.


    Posting Under Multiple IDs
    Using multiple IDs which are obvious variants of each other (e.g."PosterName", "PosterName NLI", "PosterNameat work", etc.) is okay. Any other use of multiple IDs is strongly discouraged, and using multiple IDs for the purposes of deception is not allowed. Yes, there are legitimate reasons touse multiple IDs (for one example, the moderators must do so). But, legitimate reasons are rare, and should be cleared with us in advance (send us an email or PM).

    Using multiple IDs for deceptive purposes includes (but is not limited to):
    1) adding a supporting posting to your own thread in order to appear as if your opinion is held by others;
    2) attempting to avoid being identified as a repeat rules violator;
    3) attempting to create different "personalities".

    Possible Moderator Actions
    The entire posting is subject to editing or removal. The thread is subject to locking. The person posting is subject to being immediately banned.

    As we come across instances of multiple IDs, and have the time, we are contacting people who are using multiple IDs. If you feel you have a legitimate reason for using multiple IDs, we recommend you contact us ASAP. We will be more willing to allow you to use more than one ID if you ask us for permission, BEFORE we contact you. NOTE: we can only contact registered posters. We have no reasonable way to contact unregistered users. Therefore, in cases of unregistered users, or registered users who do not answer us, we have no other options but to ban the relevant IP addresses.

    We don't want to have to ban people or IP addresses. But, allowing indiscriminate use of multiple IDs has lead to abuse and disruption of the Board. We are protecting our posters against multiple IDs being used for deceptive/bad purposes such as: ganging up on posters, showing support for what would otherwise be an unpopular view, providing and supporting bad advice given on purpose, etc.

    It is very hard to track and/or police the use of multiple IDs each and every time someone does it. And once found, it is incredibly time consuming to try to determine if deception was attempted or not. We do not have that kind of time. Therefore, we have made it a rule that it is not allowed in ordinary situations.

    We are aware that there are legitimate reasons for needing an anonymous ID along with a registered one, and we can generally look the other way for the occasional one-off. For instance, wanting help with a specific problem that is embarrassing to you or your family. Or, if you feel that you might reveal who you are in real life if you post under your normal Board name. But, anything more regular than that HAS to be discussed with us first.

    If you are currently using multiple IDs, and have not received permission to do so, please contact us by PM or email, and request permission to do so, or stop using multiple IDs.

    See you next week!

    The Mod Squad

    ===============================
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