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Forum Rules: PLEASE READ!

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  1. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 17 2012 16:32:11
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    These are the forum rules. Please read in full.

    If you have suggestions for improving these, please comment on this thread.

    [list]
    Before you begin using the forums

    Before using the forums, you need to read the Terms and Conditions of Site Use. These incorporate many terms and conditions which apply to your use of the site.

    Among other things noted in the Terms and Conditions, you need to be aware that you should be careful what you post here, that you should not post personally-identifying information, and for various reasons, we can't delete your posts when you leave the site. (Exceptions may be made within reason to edit or delete specific posts if you make a mistake, but it's better to avoid the problem in the first place.)

    Before posting a question, please read the FAQs about the Forums, which explain how the site works and how to do various things, and peruse the FAQs about bed bugs (either the original Bedbugger.com FAQs about bed bugs or the forum sticky with most common FAQs in an alternate index).

    Policy on suicide discussions, and threats to self or others

    The site's policy is that posts where users are talking about suicide will be closed and the user referred to professional help and other resources. If you encounter such a post, please refer the user (and post a link) to the Green Sticky, "If you are feeling suicidal or anxious..." and click the "Report this Post" link under the post to alert the admin and moderator so the thread can be closed. Please do not try and counsel people in this position.

    While wanting to write encouraging words to someone in these circumstances is admirable, unfortunately, it can also delay their getting professional help. Moreover, there have been incidents elsewhere on the internet where some readers posted hurtful comments in response to such a post, and this can be very hurtful to someone in a sensitive state. We aren't equipped to offer professional counseling, and anyone who is thinking of harming themselves or others needs to seek help immediately by speaking to an appropriate health professional, going to a hospital Emergency Room (Casualty) or calling emergency services.


    It's not a strict policy to inform the authorities if you post a suicide message here, but you should also be aware that if you threaten to harm yourself or others, admin, moderators, (and of course, any site user reading the post) may choose to call law enforcement at their discretion.
    Although you are posting here anonymously, your IP address is tracked (per the Privacy Policy) and we do have your email; if law enforcement asks, we would be legally obliged to share such information. If you threaten harm to self or others, you should be aware that we may share your information with law enforcement.

    Anonymity and posting personally-identifying or personal information

    Please do not post personally-identifying or personal information (yours or that of other users if they have shared it with you).

    Links to personal websites or photo accounts will identify you easily and should not be used unless you use your real name here and intend to continue doing that forever. Professionals may wish to use their own real names and tell us which business they work for if this is not clear or well-known. If someone has used their real name on the forums (e.g. Jeff White, whose username includes his name, or David Cain, who signs his messages as such, or Lou Sorkin whose handle loubugs is well known to forum users), it's fine to refer to them by name.

    Most forum users who are not entomologists or otherwise in the bed bug industry prefer to use anonymous usernames, and not to post private information, since this site is indexed by Google. If you post your information, someone searching for your name, email, etc. will be stumbling upon this website for a long time. (Note that automated bots search the internet for email addresses to use for spam, so posting your email address on the forums isn't even a great idea if you are a well-known industry figure.) Be sure and read what the Terms and Conditions say about posting personally-identifying information.

    Don't post private messages publicly.

    Policy on commercial and promotional activity

    If you're a bed bug industry professional who sells bed bug supplies, offers bed bug treatment, or runs a bed bug information website, please do not use the forums for promotional purposes. The site runs ads, and you can find out more about this here.

    If the main purpose of your post in a thread is to drive traffic to your website or advertise your business, it's a form of spam. This pattern will generally be more transparent to others than you may think, and can lead to being banned.

    Please do not link to your own website(s) in your posts. You may link to your website from your username. (Use the space in your profile for a URL.) The exception would be if you run a non-commercial bed bug-related website and are judiciously referring to and linking to specific articles on your site that are relevant to the thread.

    If you are in the bed bug industry, please do not put your phone number or address in posts. You may include your real name, and readers can find your website by clicking your username.

    Disclosure of relationships

    If you post about a product or service, you must disclose your financial connection to the firm or any freebies you've gotten (or other compensation) from the firm or their competitors. This includes professionals who have been paid to be involved in product development or testing, or who have done work for a company in the past. If you're not sure, it's probably best to err on the side of disclosing. This applies to consumers and professionals alike, according to FTC rules regarding endorsements implemented in 2009 which cover forum posts and blog posts and comments (some information on this here).

    Do not pretend to be a customer if you have a connection with a business. It is often quite apparent to us even if you think it isn't, and if we find evidence of this you may be embarrassed, and the firm that pays you will look bad.


    Policy on classifieds

    Even if you are not in the bed bug product/service business, please do not post offers to sell or donate secondhand bed bug-related merchandise. Consumers selling one item (for example, a used Packtite) may post such offers on eBay or Craigslist, and then post a link here in a new thread (once) referring us to it. Going through a site like eBay offers security to buyers and sellers, and it means the transactions take place under the aegis and rules of the relevant site. If you post to eBay or Craigslist but prefer that someone from this site get the item, you may ask them to mention they saw the post here and to give you their username for confirmation.

    Policy on requesting or offering bed bugs for free or for sale

    Please do not ask for or offer bed bugs for sale or for free on the site. [Note: this is currently spelled out in more detail in this post.] In most cases, we are unable to verify who you are and what your purposes are, or that the shipment will be done in a safe and legal manner. Ultimately, we want to be sure bed bugs aren't accidentally spread, or used for sinister purposes. If you are a legitimate researcher attached to a laboratory, please email the admin to discuss your situation -- we will likely make exceptions for legitimate research once your status has been verified somehow.

    Warning about internet safety

    Although we like to think have a pretty nice community here, this is the internet. Do not assume anyone is who they say they are (including people who claim to be professionals). Be cautious and think carefully about the possible risks before you make plans to meet someone "in real life," loan or borrow something, or exchange any personal information for any reason.

    Netiquette and the customs and culture of this community

    Civility

    Please do be civil to others. Attacking ideas is okay, attacking people is not. It should be obvious that calling others names is not permitted.

    Giving Advice

    Please do not give advice on anything you're not qualified to give advice about. This is tricky, in terms of rules, because to some degree, you have to regulate yourself.

    Most consumers -- even those who have self-treated their homes -- should not be giving advice on which pesticides to buy and how to use them, for example, telling people to buy DE or how to apply DE.

    Offering a description of what you did for yourself in a post about your bed bug story is okay but this is very distinct from suggesting others do something similar. If the thread is one where a request for treatment advice is being made by the OP, you may have already crossed the boundary between "describing how I got rid of bed bugs" and "giving advice to others on treatment".

    If we have a FAQ on it (like DE or steam), please direct people to those. If you don't agree with those FAQs or think something should be added, then please make a suggestion about that. Remember there are qualified experts here who may be willing to answer questions about pesticides and you can direct users to them.

    Most consumers should not be identifying pest photos.

    There may be exceptions. For example, I am not an expert but can ID shiny spider beetles and cockroaches from twenty paces, and can tell you if you probably have a bed bug. (Probably, because closely-related species like Swallow Bugs and Bat Bugs can't always easily be ruled out from photos.) I've even on occasion identified a bug as a closely-related species, but I deferred to our expert entomologists for the final ID. Some other long-time users are also good at identifying specific bugs, and some like spideyjg have much more encyclopedic knowledge than I do.

    So if you're a consumer and you're absolutely sure about a bug ID, it's okay to respond, but in other cases, please leave bug IDs to expert professionals or more experienced consumers.

    Remember that incorrectly suggesting something is or isn't a bed bug can put another forum user on an emotional roller coaster ride until the experts ride in and correct you, and think how you'd feel if you experienced that. Remember a consumer might not even stick around to get the conflicting ID, and then you just sent someone away wrongly thinking they had, or didn't have, bed bugs.

    Fecal stains are even more difficult for most people to ID than insects. Unless you have a vast amount of experience, you probably should not be doing fecal IDs. To put it in perspective, I can think of only two pro forum users who regularly ID suspected fecal stains.

    If you do feel confident to offer any kind of bug or stain ID, please note in the post whether you are a non-expert (i.e. you are not a pest management professional with experience or entomologist). The same applies if you are describing treatment options you're aware of. This can be done on a post-by-post basis or you can use a signature (set in your profile) which can offer such a disclaimer in your first post in any thread.

    Cross-posting

    Please do not post the same message on multiple threads. If you come across a post where readers may be interested in something else you wrote, you may link to that post (the # symbol next to your post is a permalink: copy the URL and use it to link directly to your post). Please do not do this excessively.

    Responding to old discussion threads

    When you read an old thread, consider carefully whether to reply. Doing so will "bump" the thread to current status. If you do this for a thread which is old, you are likely replying to a question asked by someone who may be long gone. (Clicking a user's profile tells you when they last logged in; looking at any post tells you when it was posted.) The other reason you might not want to reactivate old threads is that they will push "down" more recent threads in the list of current discussions.

    Hijacking Threads

    "Hijacking" is when you respond to someone's thread in such a way that it changes the topic to being about you or a topic you're introducing. It's considered rude at worst and distracting at best, and can make it harder for you to get appropriate feedback as well as being hard for the poster you're responding to.

    To talk about your own story or your own topic, please start your own NEW discussion thread. There are instructions here, under "how to I post a message?/how do I start a new thread?"

    If you think people in the original thread may wish to follow through and see your branched off discussion, you can then post a link in the original thread.

    The benefits of this to you and everyone else are:

    1. It avoids what's known as "hijacking" someone else's discussion thread. This is a courtesy to the original poster in the thread (also known as the "OP").
    2. It allows you to easily find your post and responses later. This helps you.
    3. It allows readers to know they're reading and responding to your story, in a thread started by you-- they may otherwise not read and respond, since they remember they've already read the OP's thread. This helps you and everyone else.

    Thread "hijacking" is usually not intended and is sometimes a subtle process. It can sometimes be hard to realize when the thread has left the topic behind.

    Don't be afraid to gently ask others, "Shouldn't a new thread be started at this point?" And if you want to flag the thread, nobugs can make such a determination.
    The earlier this happens, the better.

    Keeping Your Story in One Place

    While "hijacking" threads is not good, it is a good practice for you to keep your story in one place as much as possible. Try and maintain a single thread about your treatment process, rather than starting a new one every time you have an update.

    This allows people to see what advice and information has already been given, and to adjust their responses accordingly. It helps others keep track of your story. It helps you because you don't have to keep repeating the basics.

    You can even add photos to be identified to the same thread. Again, this allows people to see what has been identified. If there is more than one instance of a photo ID in a thread, nobugs will change the header to reflect the need for a new ID the next time.

    Asking questions related to your treatment or what others have said in response to your thread in the same thread makes a lot of sense.

    However, if you have a question about bed bugs generally, or want to share a news story link about bed bugs— those are times when you should leave the original thread you started behind and start a new one.

    Language

    When asked, the community seemed to agree that we did not want to ban outright the use of swear words or other colorful language, but that users should try to moderate their language use with the understanding that we come from many different cultures and life experiences with different expectations and levels of tolerance about swearing.

    The odd swearword may be entirely appropriate. However, if your use of expletives is excessive or habitual, we might delete your posts, ban you, or ask you to stop. As beloved long-time Bedbugger buggyinsocal aptly noted,

    buggyinsocal - 10 months ago  » 
    In other words, if your post reads like the drummer from Metallica sounds in most interviews, that's over the line.

    It should also go without saying that swearing at other users is not permitted (see section on Civility above).

    Finally, PLEASE DON'T SHOUT! Using all caps on internet forums is considered to be like shouting.

    See list of updates below.
    Last update 28 March 2015

    Again, if you have comments, questions, complaints or suggestions about forum rules above, please go to this thread.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  2. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 21,051

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Nov 25 2012 22:27:48
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    Added:

    Don't post private messages publicly.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 21,051

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 1 2015 17:08:57
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    Added under:

    Netiquette and the customs and culture of this community

    Hijacking Threads

    "Hijacking" is when you respond to someone's thread in such a way that it changes the topic to being about you or a topic you're introducing. It's considered rude at worst and distracting at best, and can make it harder for you to get appropriate feedback as well as being hard for the poster you're responding to.

    To talk about your own story or your own topic, please start your own NEW discussion thread. There are instructions here, under "how to I post a message?/how do I start a new thread?"

    If you think people in the original thread may wish to follow through and see your branched off discussion, you can then post a link in the original thread.

    The benefits of this to you and everyone else are:

    • It avoids what's known as "hijacking" someone else's discussion thread. This is a courtesy to the original poster in the thread (also known as the "OP").
    • It allows you to easily find your post and responses later. This helps you.
    • It allows readers to know they're reading and responding to your story, in a thread started by you-- they may otherwise not read and respond, since they remember they've already read the OP's thread. This helps you and everyone else.

    Thread "hijacking" is usually not intended and is sometimes a subtle process. It can sometimes be hard to realize when the thread has left the topic behind.

    Don't be afraid to gently ask others, "Shouldn't a new thread be started at this point?" And if you want to flag the thread, nobugs can make such a determination.
    The earlier this happens, the better.

    Keeping Your Story in One Place

    It is a good practice for you to keep your story in one place as much as possible. Try and maintain a single thread about your treatment process, rather than starting a new one every time you have an update.

    This allows people to see what advice and information has already been given, and to adjust their responses accordingly. It helps others keep track of your story. It helps you because you don't have to keep repeating the basics.

    You can even add photos to be identified to the same thread. Again, this allows people to see what has been identified. If there is more than one instance of a photo ID in a thread, nobugs will change the header to reflect the need for a new ID the next time.

    Asking questions related to your treatment or what others have said in response to your thread in the same thread makes a lot of sense.

    However, if you have a question about bed bugs generally, or want to share a news story link about bed bugs— those are times when you should leave the original thread you started behind and start a new one.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 21,051

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Mar 28 2015 14:36:18
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    Changed:

    If you post about a product or service, you must disclose your financial connection to the firm or any freebies you've gotten (or other compensation) from the firm.

    To:

    If you post about a product or service, you must disclose your financial connection to the firm or any freebies you've gotten (or other compensation) from the firm or their competitors. This includes professionals who have been paid to be involved in product development or testing, or who have done work for a company in the past. If you're not sure, it's probably best to err on the side of disclosing.

    Goal: greater clarity over what must be disclosed.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 21,051

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Jul 19 2015 19:44:29
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    Changes have been made above (see bolded material below for what is new; normally bold material is underlined below):

    Giving Advice

    Please do not give advice on anything you're not qualified to give advice about. This is tricky, in terms of rules, because to some degree, you have to regulate yourself.

    Most consumers -- even those who have self-treated their homes -- should not be giving advice on which pesticides to buy and how to use them, for example, telling people to buy DE or how to apply DE.

    Offering a description of what you did for yourself in a post about your bed bug story is okay but this is very distinct from suggesting others do something similar. If the thread is one where a request for treatment advice is being made by the OP, you may have already crossed the boundary between "describing how I got rid of bed bugs" and "giving advice to others on treatment".

    If we have a FAQ on it (like DE or steam), please direct people to those. If you don't agree with those FAQs or think something should be added, then please make a suggestion about that. Remember there are qualified experts here who may be willing to answer questions about pesticides and you can direct users to them.

    Most consumers should not be identifying pest photos.

    There may be exceptions. For example, I am not an expert but can ID shiny spider beetles and cockroaches from twenty paces, and can tell you if you probably have a bed bug. (Probably, because closely-related species like Swallow Bugs and Bat Bugs can't always easily be ruled out from photos.) I've even on occasion identified a bug as a closely-related species, but I deferred to our expert entomologists for the final ID. Some other long-time users are also good at identifying specific bugs, and some like spideyjg have much more encyclopedic knowledge than I do.

    So if you're a consumer and you're absolutely sure about a bug ID, it's okay to respond, but in other cases, please leave bug IDs to expert professionals or more experienced consumers.

    Remember that incorrectly suggesting something is or isn't a bed bug can put another forum user on an emotional roller coaster ride until the experts ride in and correct you, and think how you'd feel if you experienced that. Remember a consumer might not even stick around to get the conflicting ID, and then you just sent someone away wrongly thinking they had, or didn't have, bed bugs.

    Fecal stains are even more difficult for most people to ID than insects. Unless you have a vast amount of experience, you probably should not be doing fecal IDs. To put it in perspective, I can think of only two pro forum users who regularly ID suspected fecal stains.

    If you do feel confident to offer any kind of bug or stain ID, please note in the post whether you are a non-expert (i.e. you are not a pest management professional with experience or entomologist). The same applies if you are describing treatment options you're aware of. This can be done on a post-by-post basis or you can use a signature (set in your profile) which can offer such a disclaimer in your first post in any thread.


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