The Next Level Forum FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

1) Respect all laws of the United States of America and international law.

Allowed: Discussion of illegal acts you have committed, such as doing drugs or downloading copyrighted material without permission.

Not Allowed: Links to ROMs or other pirated software, including links to sites that make them available. Torrents for copyrighted material or links to sites that make such torrents available. Death threats.

2) Do not post or link to pornographic images or text. Do not include nudity in your avatar or signature.

Allowed: Artistic representations of the human body that do not reveal the genitals and that do not appear in a forum avatar or signature.

Not Allowed: Images of sexual penetration. Explicit gore. Links to a page with pornographic images, even if they appear only in the advertising on that page.

3) Do not use racist, sexist, or homophobic language to describe or address anyone.

Allowed: Relating what you heard someone say or what has been reported in the news.

Not Allowed: Posting such reports as a means of promoting racism, sexism, or homophobia.

4) Do not personally attack any other forum member, including belittling him in words or images.

Allowed: Calling a public figure an idiot. Posting digitally altered pictures to mock a celebrity. Ribbing people on TNL that you know and are in on the joke and are not offended by a little give and take.

Not Allowed: Hostility toward another TNL forum member. Hazing of new posters who are not being disruptive.

5) Do not post spam or non-TNL referral IDs.

Allowed: Posting a link that may be of legitimate interest to the readers of a particular board - especially official movie sites and large fan sites on the movie board, links to video game reviews from established and well-known sources on the gaming board, and links to news articles from reliable sources on any discussion board.

Not Allowed: Using TNL to promote your own site beyond a tasteful link in your signature. Repeatedly linking to or mentioning the same site or family of sites with the intent of driving traffic there. Referral IDs other than those belonging to The Next Level.

6) Avoid creating multiple threads about the same topic or creating threads frivolously.

Allowed: Starting a new thread to discuss one particular aspect of a game in depth, where such discussion would disrupt the conversation in the original thread.

Not Allowed: Starting a thread about a game or movie where a thread already exists and has been updated in the past year. Creating a thread to complain about another TNL member. Starting a new topic that is of real interest to only one or two people and could be better dealt with via e-mail or private messages.

7) Keep on topic.

Allowed: Straying off topic for two or three posts to clarify something that came up in the conversation.

Not Allowed: Attempting to turn a topic into a casual chat about anything that comes to mind. Going off on a tangent for more than a few posts.

8) You may only have one user name, active or inactive. Please ask an administrator to change your user name or to merge your accounts if you already have multiple forum identities.

Allowed: One and only one user name per person.

Not Allowed: Second user accounts, even if made in jest.


If a thread or user is violating the forum rules or is getting out of line to the point where you feel it a disruption, here are the prescribed steps to follow, some very obvious, some not:
  1. Identify the user(s) causing the problem. Post in the thread(s) in question and address each offender, then send each a warning or assess penalties via the forum's penalty system.

  2. If a thread was started with good intentions, keep it open. If it is a spam thread or created to be an annoyance, lock it.

  3. If any post contains an image or link that is spam, pornographic, or visually or aurally disruptive to the majority of users, replace the offending material with a statement that a link/image was deleted. Any link to a page that has hardcore sexual imagery or illegal content - even in external links or banner ads - should be removed. Scripts or otherwise malicious code should be removed immediately.

  4. If the problem persists despite your best efforts to take control of the situation, contact an administrator. A user may be temporarily banned by a moderator, but only admins may bring permanent bans, except where a user has obviously created an account with the purpose of spamming the boards. All bans are to be reported in the "Penalty Box" thread in the moderator board. It is acceptable for a mod to "soft delete" a thread but not to physically remove it.
A moderator may move topics to the correct forum or edit the title of a thread to remove obscenities. As noted above, he may also edit individual posts as long as he leaves a note saying he did so. Mystery moderation does not solve anything long-term.


An administrator should never conduct himself as if he is "above" the community. You are part of the community and, indeed, have the most responsibility to its members. You should adhere to the same guidelines as the moderators do when it comes to taking control of a disruptive situation. Beyond that, you have the power to permanently ban users but also the power to adjudicate disputes.

New spam accounts should be permanently banned. Bans for established users can be for one day, one week, three months, or one year. Permanent bans of established users and IP bans should be avoided as much as is reasonably possible. If a user comes back after a year ban and resumes his disruptive behavior, he may be banned permanently.

All bans, without exception, must be reported in the "Penalty Box" thread in the moderator board.

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