Managing Aussie Stock Forums is an extremely challenging task, made even more difficult by the strong growth ASF has experienced in recent times. Although we have a Code of Conduct it is still very difficult to get some members to abide by the site rules. This, slightly tongue-in-cheek list of commandments details the areas which create the most management problems for the moderators and myself.
If everyone abided by the following five commandments, ASF would become a more effective resource and a far more pleasant place for everyone to visit. There would also be far less work for the moderators and I to do, so please do everything you can to assist us in creating a friendly and constructive atmosphere here. Don't forget that the moderators are all volunteers who give their time to help maintain this community, so please always treat them with the appropriate respect... which leads me to the first commandment:
1. Thou shalt treat other ASF members with respect.
In short that means no insults, name calling or personal attacks. It also means do not deliberately provoke others. We will no longer be allowing inflammatory threads that are intended solely to provoke and divide the ASF community. If you are starting a thread on a controversial topic please ensure that you frame the discussion in a constructive way. A little pot stirring is fine, but any post that directly insults another ASF member or encourages hatred of or vilifies a particular group of people will be removed and an infraction will be issued.
Those who continually demonstrate that they are unable to treat others respectfully or who persist in provoking others will have their ASF account permanently suspended.
2. Thou shalt not ramp.
Ramping is the single largest problem ASF faces and it is the one we continue to struggle with on a daily basis. So exactly what is a "ramp" or "downramp"?
If you make an assertion in a post in a stock thread, it must be substantiated. It can be backed up with analysis, additional information or reasonable extrapolation. For example, if you make the claim that a company is undervalued, you must support that claim by presenting reasons for your point of view. Just saying that you believe it to be undervalued is not enough.
The most common ramping related "sins" we encounter are:
- Posting price targets or assigning arbitrary valuations with no accompanying analysis.
- Posting unsourced rumours from other stock forums or blogs. Rumours from the mainstream broadcast or print media are allowed as long as the source is identified.
- Posting information sourced from elsewhere without citing (or linking to) the original source material.
- People claiming to have unnamed "contacts" who are supplying them with information not available to the market.
- Posts with no meaningful content. If you are going to post in a stock thread, please ensure you have something of value to contribute.
Ramping is such an all pervasive problem that we require the assistance of all ASF members to assist us in keeping a lid on it. If you see a post that you believe to be a ramp (or downramp), please use the "Report a Post" feature to alert the moderators and me to it.
Some more detail on our ramping policy can be found here.
3. Thou shalt not ask for, nor offer, specific financial advice.
This means you are not permitted to ask others how to invest your funds, nor can anyone advise someone else how to invest theirs. You may not refer to a stock as a "buy" or a "sell" nor can you "recommend" a stock in any way.
4. Thou shalt not spam your product, service or website.
You are not permitted to post links to, or promote, your product, service or website in posts on the forums. However, you may put a simple link to it in your signature. No affiliate links, sales pitches or large font sizes please! Any links that the moderators or I feel is inappropriate will be promptly removed.
With the market looking bullish again the spammers, scammers and snake oil salesmen will be out in force attempting to spam their dodgy wares on ASF. Please report any spam posts as soon as you see them so we can stop these parasites in their tracks.
5. Think before thou posteth!
It is amazing how many people simply do not think before they post. Here are some things to consider before you click the "Submit" button.
- If you are about to start a thread, have you done a search to see whether another active thread on the same topic already exists?
- Are you starting your thread in the correct forum?
- Is your post on topic?
- Is the content of your post potentially defamatory or in violation of any law?
- Have you proofread your post for spelling and/or grammatical errors?
Aussie Stock Forums is not Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park, it is an online community with rules that are designed to make it an enjoyable and useful place for everyone, irrespective of age, gender, investment experience, religion or political affiliation. While we encourage robust debate on almost any topic, I ask that people respect the limits I have outlined above. Please do not look for loopholes or to continually ride that fine line between what is acceptable and what isn't. Posting at ASF is not a right and we reserve the right to deny access to (or remove the posts of) those who demonstrate that they are incapable of respecting the website rules.
Any community, online or otherwise, is only as good as the sum of those who inhabit it, so please do your part to make ASF the positive and friendly place it is capable of being!
If you have any further questions or would like additional clarification of any of the commandments listed above, feel free to post any questions in this thread and I will respond to them.