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**## Forum Guidelines for SD**
**Golden rule:** _Address the argument civilly, don’t attack the person._
### Guidelines for making threads:
**1. The thread you create should have discussion value.** This means the original post should ask questions and provoke thought, not merely present a commentary or statement. Random ramblings and posting nonsensical topics may result in your post being hidden, your thread being locked, and/or a silence.
**2. Try to contribute to your thread in your very first post.** Don’t just share links to news articles or sources, but elaborate on their significance and implications. We want to hear from you, after all!
**3. Try to back up your points with respected sources whenever possible** if you’re presenting a topic for debate,even though the bulk of your argument should be your own (see number 2).
**4. Please check if a thread of similar or identical nature has been made** prior to starting your own – within reason, of course. We understand the search function isn’t very versatile, but checking the first few pages for any recent threads (and checking the sticky of common threads) will help keep repeat discussions to a minimum. [This thread should help.](http://www.kongregate.com/forums/9-serious-discussion/topics/157901-searching-existing-topics)
**5. Try to define terms relevant to the discussion** if those terms are at all uncommon. For example, a conversation about Euler’s equation would pass over most of us unless you provide some background knowledge! ;)
**6. Don’t bump threads unless you are going to contribute productively.** Feel free to bump a thread instead of making another if you want to add something new to an old discussion, just make sure your post is relevant.
**7. Thread titles should accurately reflect the point of the thread** without resorting to sensational language. For example, “California overturning Prop 8 appeal” is a better, more objective choice than “Ex-confederate state denies gays basic rights”. Thread titles should not be misleading, either. They represent your topic, after all.
**8. Threads can be controversial, but only within reason.** For example, you may create a thread explaining why you disagree with homosexuality, but you may not start a thread proclaiming “All gays should die!” Don’t be hateful, and always be respectful. Speaking of which…
**9. Threads created specifically to attack or insult a person or groups of people will be locked** and your account may be silenced.
**10. If a thread is locked, please do not recreate the thread.** If you want to challenge the reason for a thread being locked, you may do so, but until an all clear is given to remake the thread, you may not do so.
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### Guidelines for responding to posts and threads:
**1. Excessive cursing, swearing and vulgar language may result in a hidden post and/or a silence.** It may seem harmless but in reality, it only weakens your post and makes you look cruel.
**2. Be respectful of other users’ posts** , even if you strongly disagree with them. This is a discussion forum full of mature people, so we know you can argue your point of view respectfully rather than resorting to personal attacks. Personal attacks, generic or specific, may result in a hidden post and/or silence.
**3.** Whenever possible, **quote only the parts of a post to which you want to respond** , not the entire post. Quote pyramids can become very annoying very fast. They’ll most likely be removed and may also lead to a locked thread and/or silence.
**4. Stay on topic.** Comments that are irrelevant to the topic at hand shouldn’t be the emphasis of your posts. We understand discussion topics flow, morph, and otherwise change but, for example, it’s not a good idea to bring up an awesome store for cat toys when the thread is about heart-wrenching animal abuse.
**5. Try to provide respected sources** whenever you’re asked to justify a claim. Quoting a journal by the friend of a scientist (alternatively, Ducklette) saying oranges are blue does _not_ make it true.
**6. The content of your posts should mostly be your own** , not quoted source material. They’re good tools, but no more than that – we’d much rather hear from you!
**7. Please format your posts appropriately** , as much as you know how. Irrelevant formatting marks may be edited out. ([Formatting Guide](http://www.kongregate.com/forums/1-kongregate/topics/139071-behold-the-profile-formatting-to-end-all-profile-formatting-issues))
**8. Treat each poster as if he/she is sincere**. Give serious, thoughtful responses to each post. If you don’t think they’re being sincere, you should be flagging instead of posting (see number 9).
**9. Please don’t respond to posts or threads with inappropriate content.** Instead, flag the post or thread in question and let it be handled by the moderators and administrators. Remember, moderation only works if everyone lends a hand!
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All other rules stipulated in the Kongregate Terms and conduct guidelines apply. These are a set of guidelines, and not “DO THIS OR ELSE” rules. However, if you’re at all unsure of how to handle a situation, or if you are being warned/silenced and want to brush up on good behavior, we hope these [guidelines](http://www.kongregate.com/pages/conduct) will serve you well! :)