Author Topic: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards  (Read 17987 times)  

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Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« on: November 17, 2014, 08:23:26 AM »
Hello, KBoarders,

This post describes some changes to our Forum Decorum regarding content that may be displayed on KBoards.

We require that our site content -- which includes posts, signatures, and avatars -- be reasonably acceptable when viewed in most work and household settings. We also wish to keep our site in compliance with advertiser requirements.

Here is the new language in our Forum Decorum:

Quote
KBoards Content

Sexually explicit pornographic images are not allowed. Explicit images of violence are not allowed.

In addition, "adult content" is not allowed, which includes erotic images, erotic text, and links to erotic content. Please use your judgment, and respect that the moderator team and the board owner have final say.

We know that these changes may be controversial. They cause inconvenience for our authors and even loss of sales for those who use the free promotional tools offered by KBoards. Here is some guidance on different areas where some of you may be affected:

AVATARS and PROFILES
- Please review your avatar and profile information, and change if necessary with regard to the above KB Content rules. 

SIGNATURES
- Erotic book cover images are not allowed in forum signatures. You may display a modified version of your displayed cover image to remove erotic elements from it if you wish.
- Image or text links to erotic content (e.g. an Amazon product page for an erotic book) are not allowed in forum signatures. You may link to a site or page that does not contain erotic content.
- Remember that the easiest way to create an author signature is with our KB Author Sig tool at http://kboards.com/authorsig. Once created there, you can make any further changes to the signature if necessary to meet the above KB Content rules.
- Currently, authors can have a link to their Amazon author page in their signature. You can also have a link to your website, facebook page, blog, twitter accounts, etc. as long as the landing page for those sites would not be considered erotic. (The Author Sig tool has text link fields to make these sig links easy to set up and save.) You may also include graphics, such as banners or book covers, as long as they do not contain erotic images, text, or links. You can also include non-explicit search terms for Amazon, using the [amazonsearch] tag in your signature.

READING BARS
- Please remove erotic book content from your Reading Bars. (More info on Reading Bars: http://kboards.com/reading)

BOOK PROFILE PAGES
- Book Profile pages have been disabled for erotic content. They continue to operate as before for other content. (There are 4,952 books in our profile pages; 192 of them are erotic and have been disabled.)

KB BOOKS PAGE
- We have a list of books written by KB authors, made up of books set up on Book Profile pages. The KB Books pages do not display erotic books.

BOOK BAZAAR POSTS
- Posts in the Book Bazaar board for erotica books will need to be deleted or changed to be in compliance with the Forum Decorum rules. Please change or remove your erotica Book Bazaar threads to comply with the content guidelines. After a 2-month grace period (ending 1/31/2015), moderators will make those changes or removals if you have not already done so.

OTHER POSTS
- Outside of the Book Bazaar, few if any posts will be affected. If you see a new post that is not in line with those rules, you may bring it to our attention by clicking the "Report to moderator" button.


(If some of the above features are new to you, then you're probably not affected by the changes. If you're curious about using these features, though, take a browse through our menu bar for links to explanatory pages about them.)

Please take the above actions by the end of November. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FAQ:

What do you mean by "KBoards Content"?

"KBoards Content" (or "KB Content") is anything that appears on a KBoards.com page: text, graphics, links, etc. So on our forum pages, KB Content include threads subjects, posts, signatures, avatar images and profile text.

"KB Content" also includes our non-forum pages. Like our Book Profile pages, Authors listing, KB Books list, Yellow Pages, Reading Pages, our "Name That Book" game, our Book Banner Browser, etc.

How do you define what an "erotica" book is?

(a) if your book is categorized by Amazon in an Erotica category or subcategory, then for Forum Decorum purposes we likewise regard it as Erotica;
(b) If you regard your book as erotica, regardless of how you or Amazon has categorized it... then others likely will as well, and it'll be subject to Forum Decorum rules;
(c) if you're *really* still not sure... you can ask. PM a moderator.

Can we still have discussions about writing in the erotica genre?

Yes, those discussions may continue. Note that the discussions have to stay within the KB Content forum decorum, so avoid explicit text or graphics. But in reviewing our erotica threads, almost all of them are acceptable -- dealing with relevant topics such as keyword setting, sales strategies, publicity, and other aspects of writing and selling in that genre.

What's the easiest way to change my author signature to ensure it's in line with Forum Decorum?

Use our Author Sig tool -- it makes setting up and maintaining your author signature easy. http://kboards.com/authorsig

If you have erotic books in your signature, you'll then have to manually change your sig as described under SIGNATURES above.

I have a Reading Bar and some of the covers in it are erotica. How do I remove those?

Use the Reading Bar setup page to update your covers. http://kboards.com/reading/setup.php

I'm not sure if my signature (or post) falls within Forum Decorum. How can I find out?

Read the Forum Decorum, and if you're still not sure, you can send a PM to a moderator. We will review and reply, after discussing among the moderation team if need be. We will not respond to public requests in threads to evaluate signatures or posts.

Can't I just spoiler-block my erotica text content? And pixelate/obscure my erotica images?

Sorry... no. We have received specific guidance from Google Adsense that this is not considered an acceptable method of managing content to keep it within advertiser requirements.

This policy is unfair and should be changed because it is biased against erotica authors!

That is not our intention, and erotica authors are welcome on KBoards along with all other authors. We do recognize that erotica covers and text are more affected by our Forum Decorum rules than other genres. The change is needed to keep us in alignment with advertiser policies, and to try to keep KBoards an acceptable site to view from most people's home and work environments.

What about New Adult or steamy romance covers? Will those be treated the same as erotica covers?

If you are offended by an image or text, anywhere in the boards, you may report it to a moderator.

This policy is unfair / sexist / misogynistic because you don't allow the display of bare women's breasts on book covers, but allow the display of bare men's chests!

We recognize that there are different viewpoints about this, and that values or standards can differ between individuals and cultures. At this time, our Forum Decorum for KBoards content is primarily based on the content rules that are imposed by our advertisers.

This policy is arbitrary because you get to decide what is too sexually provocative for the site!

The policy does have some gray areas, and this is one of the difficulties that any site has in putting into place these kinds of rules. Some things come down to a judgment call. 

If you're going to have content rules for sexual material, you should have rules for violent material as well.

We do, and in the past have removed violent images and text that are deemed objectionable. The reality is, we get very few member reports of concern about violent content on KBoards, whereas we regularly get reports of concern about sexual content.

You should just drop all advertisers and not have content rules!

KBoards has always had content rules, even before we started allowing advertising on the site. And the reality is that those advertisers help us offset the costs of running a site that now supports millions of monthly page views, while providing free services to readers and authors (e.g. no membership fees or donations required).

I'm leaving KBoards because of these rules. Where else can I go for author interactions?

It's a big Internet, and there is room for many places for useful author discussions. Some people start or join private Facebook groups, and there are other forums out there that cater to specific genres. And, you're welcome back here to lurk or participate anytime.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 01:43:51 PM by Harvey »
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 08:38:29 AM »
Thank you for the very clear guidelines, Harvey.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 08:52:40 AM »

Can we still have discussions about writing in the erotica genre?

Yes, those discussions may continue. Note that the discussions have to stay within the KB Content forum decorum, so avoid explicit text or graphics. But in reviewing our erotica threads, almost all of them are acceptable -- dealing with relevant topics such as keyword setting, sales strategies, publicity, and other aspects of writing and selling in that genre.

Can you explain why? If a book cover with a picture of a tree on it in a signature can't link to a novel in Amazon's erotica category, what makes it okay to discuss erotica here?

Quote
We consider the book "erotic" if Amazon has categorized the book as erotica.

Just to clarify, the 50 Shades of Grey series would be acceptable to link to?

Quote
To help us in managing this, we will consolidate "I'm leaving KB" announcements into a single thread in the Forum Comments area.

Can you please provide a link?


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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 08:53:31 AM »
Thanks for clarifying - although I don't think it affects any of my books  :D

Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 08:57:04 AM »
Can you explain why? If a book cover with a picture of a tree on it in a signature can't link to a novel in Amazon's erotica category, what makes it okay to discuss erotica here?

Yes - as the FAQ notes, images or text with links to erotica content are not allowed.

You can, though, discuss erotica here, as described in the FAQ.

Quote
Just to clarify, the 50 Shades of Grey series would be acceptable to link to?

As the FAQ indicate, we'll deal with specific questions from authors about their books through PMs. If the above book is labeled as erotica by Amazon, then - as the FAQ indicates - it could not be linked to from KBoards.

Quote
Can you please provide a link?

Forum Comments are in the main index of the board. When and if people post departure announcements, you'll see the consolidated thread there.

Thank you for the questions.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 09:01:08 AM by Harvey »
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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 09:01:45 AM »
So in other words if I wrote an explicit book, I could ask for keywords, or other things about selling, formatting etc but I could not ask for advice on the best way to put Sam's banana in Suzy's oven.   Am I correct in this?
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

Please help our friend and fellow kboarder Craig Hansen.

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 09:06:57 AM »
So in other words if I wrote an explicit book, I could ask for keywords, or other things about selling, formatting etc but I could not ask for advice on the best way to put Sam's banana in Suzy's oven.   Am I correct in this?

Your understanding is correct. The discussion could not be sexually explicit. And in reviewing the past several pages of WC threads, we only found one that would be affected -- a post dealing with sexually explicit names for various body parts -- and that one had already been addressed through the forum rules that we've had in place for a long time.
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Offline Shelley K

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 09:07:45 AM »
Yes - as the FAQ notes, images or text with links to erotica content are not allowed.

You can, though, discuss erotica here, as described in the FAQ.

As the FAQ indicate, we'll deal with specific questions from authors about their books through PMs. If the above book is labeled as erotica by Amazon, then the FAQ is clear.

Forum Comments are in the main index of the board. When and if people post departure announcements, you'll see the consolidated thread there.

Thank you for the questions.

Thank you for the answers. It seems as if erotica authors are welcome to discuss erotica here and continue to provide free content that helps people find the board in a Google search, which will help increase the income generated by the board, but the tamest covers linking to their work are unacceptable. But it's your board and your policy, and I'll abide by it.

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 09:10:06 AM »
Thank you for the answers. It seems as if erotica authors are welcome to discuss erotica here and continue to provide free content that helps people find the board in a Google search, which will help increase the income generated by the board, but the tamest covers linking to their work are unacceptable. But it's your board and your policy, and I'll respect that.

Most authors find our free services to be advantageous for them, so hopefully it's a mutual thing and not quite as one-sided a contribution as you put it!

Google Adsense rules are specific about us not providing links to erotica content. So that is the background there, and something we discussed in our previous threads and in the chat session with our authors about KB Content.
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 09:17:44 AM »
For members who announce in the boards their intention to leave KBoards, we will honor the request to separate from our community by disabling the member account. This will stop our automated board notifications from going out. It also disables other board features like PM notifications, chat room participation, access to author pages, Yellow Pages, signature tools, book pages, KB bookmarks, keeping track of last posts read, etc. You will still be able to browse the boards as an unregistered guest. We hope this addresses your wishes to leave our community.

Can exiting members ask to have their accounts deleted?  Other boards allow that--not sure if it is a matter of software capabilities or policies--and it saves the exiting members the trouble of cleaning stuff up as deleting them as a member removes all posts, links, etc.

Google Adsense rules are specific about us not providing links to erotica content.

Good ol' Google.  "Do as we say, not as we do."

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 09:19:02 AM »
Who brought the popcorn? :)

Looks like someone who self-wrote "banned" in his signature might be trying to create a popcorn situation... :D

Let me know if you need ideas on the many ways you can have useful content in your signature while being respectful of our house rules. The Author Sig tool is a good place to start, even if you choose not to include your books there.
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 09:21:51 AM »
Can exiting members ask to have their accounts deleted?  Other boards allow that--not sure if it is a matter of software capabilities or policies--and it saves the exiting members the trouble of cleaning stuff up as deleting them as a member removes all posts, links, etc.

Good ol' Google.  "Do as we say, not as we do."

We can delete member accounts. It's not a reversible action. When we do so, the posts remain as we get many user requests to not have posts disappear and break up the continuity of past discussions.

About 50% of the time, a member comes back some period of time later and asks for the account to be reinstated... and unfortunately that's not something we're able to do because technical limitations with the forum software.
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 09:23:19 AM »
Most authors find our free services to be advantageous for them, so hopefully it's a mutual thing and not quite as one-sided a contribution as you put it!

It would be nice if that were possible, but it's not. You can't have an adult conversation about explicit keywords or link to examples, and you can't even tell newbies that you're not able to tell them the stuff they really need to know to be successful.

Did you consider just an outright ban on erotica? That would have been a clear-cut policy that I think a lot of people would have appreciated.

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 09:25:04 AM »
It would be nice if that were possible, but it's not. You can't have an adult conversation about explicit keywords or link to examples, and you can't even tell newbies that you're not able to tell them the stuff they really need to know to be successful.

Did you consider just an outright ban on erotica? That would have been a clear-cut policy that I think a lot of people would have appreciated.

+1

As it stands, this new policy has made things just about as clear as mud.

Offline Jac1106

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 09:25:22 AM »
Is linking to an erotica forum allowed?

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 09:25:53 AM »
It would be nice if that were possible, but it's not. You can't have an adult conversation about explicit keywords or link to examples, and you can't even tell newbies that you're not able to tell them the stuff they really need to know to be successful.

Did you consider just an outright ban on erotica? That would have been a clear-cut policy that I think a lot of people would have appreciated.

I'm not so sure that people *would* have appreciated that -- and I don't feel it necessary.

Take a browse through the past few pages of WC threads, and you'll see existing erotica threads that fall completely within the house rules.

I do believe that you are right, though, that there are explicit discussions that erotica authors have reasons to want to have, and those are best done in genre-specific forums or other private settings.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 09:29:10 AM by Harvey »
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 09:26:41 AM »
+1

As it stands, this new policy has made things just about as clear as mud.

We've had several threads and a chat session, as well this thread and its accompany FAQ. Please let me know your specific question.
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 09:32:51 AM »
I think this is okay but just double checking--links to erotic content (including books) is not okay. How about linking to my Amazon author page?
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 09:36:09 AM »
I think this is okay but just double checking--links to erotic content (including books) is not okay. How about linking to my Amazon author page?

Great question. This one falls in a grey area. The question to ask yourself is: "Would my Amazon author page be considered 'erotic content'..?"

We'll generally leave links to author pages alone... and reconsider that only if we receive a specific complaint about it. If that's the case, we'll let you know as such a situation arises.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 10:00:25 AM by Harvey »
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 10:02:44 AM »
A question not related to the current forum decorum status.

We can delete member accounts. It's not a reversible action. When we do so, the posts remain as we get many user requests to not have posts disappear and break up the continuity of past discussions.

This has me a little confused. I get that you don't want to delete posts by users requesting account deletion because it would affect conversation continuity.

And yet we still have members who will go back and purge all their comments, which affects conversation continuity.

So, I get that it's their right to do so and don't begrudge them that but instead of there being a hole where it shows the user deleted comments, we just get huge jumps and discontinuity in discussion, which lends to more confusion about what's missing (unless someone quotes the now deleted passage in their response).

Have you considered leaving the comment space in the flow of conversation while still allowing the user to delete their own comments so that later reading would still be able to suss out that a deletion has occurred?

...or do I need to fetch another cup of coffee? :D

Also, I understand this isn't pertaining to the current conversation, just something I've noticed that happens here on occasion.
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 10:15:53 AM »
It is a bit disruptive to the continuity of threads, although generally the gist of things can be followed. I think deleting or emptying out some posts is important to some people and perhaps serves as some sort of closure statement to the community before leaving.

Most don't bother; they just stop posting when they leave or take a break from the boards.

In an account deletion, the old posts remain there, attributed to a non-working account, so the discussion continuity is unaffected even though the member account is gone.

Given that we get 500 to 1,000 fresh new posts every day, the effect on our KB community of people removing past posts is fairly negligible.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 10:18:54 AM by Harvey »
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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 10:35:07 AM »
Oh my gosh

Well at least you have designated Amazon as the authority on erotica.
Although I'm not sure if a lawyer would cite Amazon as an authority in a censorship court suit. But, maybe Amazon could cite it's special training in "I know it when I see it."

But you said Amazon would have the final word. At least you didn't designate the ACLU or a congressman.

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 10:45:33 AM »
Just a quick question, apologies if it's already been answered and I've missed it. If you want to report concerns about an image used in a user's signature should you pick a random post of theirs and 'Report to Moderator', PM a mod directly or something else? Just dont want to use report to moderator if that only gets the content of the post looked at :) Thanks!

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 10:46:23 AM »
Harvey,

This affects me too. I have recently put out five books of erotic romance under a pen name, and was almost ready to pull the trigger and share the covers with my friends here (a fully-clothed woman). But I can't now, because even though the covers are fine, it is listed under erotica categories at Amazon.

Does that bother me? Yep. Hoped to get a few sales thru my sig... And I'm proud of the story too. But I'm more concerned with the stress this is having on you and your health. You've stuck with us and kept this board going even through your cancer treatments and life and death situations, without so much as a peep about your own struggles. Your perseverance to continually try to find ways to make this community stay strong, even while sick, tired and fighting for your life is beyond commendable; and above reproach, IMHO.

Hugs to you, and thank you for your humble management of this board. I know it must be akin to herding cats.

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Re: Forum Decorum: Rules about content displayed on KBoards
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2014, 10:50:00 AM »
Just a quick question, apologies if it's already been answered and I've missed it. If you want to report concerns about an image used in a user's signature should you pick a random post of theirs and 'Report to Moderator', PM a mod directly or something else? Just dont want to use report to moderator if that only gets the content of the post looked at :) Thanks!

Yes, you can report that way. Just note in the report text that it's the sig, not the post, that you have concerns about.
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