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C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy (CCCP)
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Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy (CCCP)

Folks, this is the great Chiff & Fipple Consolidated Concordat on Policy thread, hereafter to be known whimsically as "CCCP" for short. Collectively authored by Admin, it has developed over time on an adaptive basis, and will continue to do so should the need arise. The record was previously very scattered and had grown to the point that the Mods finally saw need to gather it all together in one place for everyone's ease of reference - including ours - and this living compendium, in no particular order, is the result.

Among policy and how-to notices found around the Board, the CCCP reigns over all and is the first thing updated, so take that into account. If you find policy in here that's at variance with another forum's written policies, please alert us, and in the meantime consider the CCCP to be your final authority. Where a policy's time of origin may be relevant, we will endeavor to include the earliest known date of a policy's inception should it predate this document. If there’s anything that you think we've missed, please contact us by PM (private message).

Links to each entry are in the numbered index below. By posting on the board, you acknowledge that you understand these principles and agree to abide by them even if you haven't read them, so you might as well read them anyway.


1. Background and overall policy principles (incorporating the "Pepsi Rule")
The basics. And yes, we have a rule about Pepsi.

2. First time posters
Important stuff. Do read this. No, really. Read it.

3. Treatment of new and inexperienced posters
Play nice!

4. Politics and religion
Not around here, bless you.

5. Lost, stolen and missing instruments
For when the unthinkable happens.

6. Buying and selling
Your survivor's guide to the C&F marketplace.

7. Commercial posts
Doing it right.

8. Price policing
All about minding your own business.

9. Hotel California
On a brighter note, your room comes with Internet.

10. Medical advice
We do radical surgery on that.

11. Copyright
Wherein we take the matter of intellectual property seriously.

12. Having multiple user accounts
One will have to do.

13. Use a valid e-mail address
A sensible proposition.

14. Chiff & Fipple on Facebook
Tomorrow: the world.

15. Principles of Moderation
A peek behind the curtain.

16. Editing and Deleting Posts
Helpful detail on a fascinating topic.

17. Text Enhancements
A thesis on why less is more.

18. Posting PM or Email Content in Public Threads
Table manners for eating that can of worms you've just opened.

19. Charity solicitation
Check with the mods first.

20. Post in English, please
Kion pli necesas diri?

21. Shared Accounts
Speak for yourself.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

1: Background and overall policy principles

These principles have been gleaned from the existing policy announcements governing the board. There is a great deal of detail out there about the origin of these things, if you are keen to go looking.

Principles over rules:

We see the CCCP more as a set of principles than merely one of rules. We expect all members to be guided by the spirit of these principles, to be aware that they are there for good reason, and to exercise Board behavior accordingly. We think this reasonable and makes perfect sense.

Reasonable Person:

The overall guiding principle should be that of being a "Reasonable Person". This idea was originally borrowed by Rich from guidelines used by Carnegie Mellon University:

"Everyone will be reasonable. Everyone expects everyone else to be reasonable. No one is special. Do not be offended if someone suggests you are not being reasonable. Reasonable people think about their use of these facilities, and the needs of others, and adjust their behavior to meet the goals of a common good for the community, i.e., expressing what you want to say, but accepting and accommodating the needs of others."

A Private Party:

The Chiffboard is privately owned. Accordingly, it is akin to a private party at which most of us are the happy guests. If, in Administration's opinion, someone is disruptive to the continuing lighthearted entertainment and constructive debate/discussion that embody C&F's originally conceived raison d'être, action may be taken which in extreme cases may include deactivation of the offender's account.

Obscenity and Crudely Salacious Material/Commentary:

C&F is conceived as a "family site". While a certain amount of adult playfulness is occasionally given a wink so long as it retains enough of a degree of good taste, usually this sort of thing will be subject to moderation - mainly deletion, or editing if we're feeling charitable, or if the word filter does it for us. If you can't resist, find another website. This ain't 4chan.

The Pepsi Rule:

Contrary to what is sometimes thought, criticism of players, instruments, makers, and anything else is for the most part allowed. However, please offer such criticism in a constructive way from your own personal standpoint, and with such explanations as are necessary. Dale’s illustration, well-used around here, should suffice:

"I do not like Pepsi. I think the bubbles are disagreeable and there is a slightly sharp sensation at the back of one's palate. I prefer the taste of Diet Coke, and this is what I encourage my friends to buy."


"Pepsi is complete crap, clearly made by drunkards and con men. Anyone who would pay 75 cents for a can of it would have to be a fool. And anyone who would try to sell the crap on eBay is either a thief or is trying to unload a vile elixir that no one in their right mind would want."

First example: OK.

Second: Not OK.

The referee’s decision is final.

The Mods always take all possible care in making any decision. Once made, such decisions are not open for debate. Prior to being made, such decisions are not open for debate.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

2: First time posters

In order to cut down on spam and other meddlings, as of January 2014 the Chiffboard has instituted a policy of screening new users. In summary: If you are a spammer you will be found, and you will be blocked. If you represent a corporate interest, you will be blocked. If we deem your username or profile to be unseemly, you will be blocked. If you have signed up only to troll, you will be blocked. As you can see, our basic standards are uncomplicated, all to the good, and easy to follow. There is, however, a bit of detail for the prospective member to know, and that continues below. It's important, so please take the time to read it:

Legitimate (that is, non-spam, etc.) accounts will normally be activated within 48 hours of registration (sadly, Moderators have lives too or this would be quicker and much easier). Please bear with them in this matter.

The new user's first three posts do not show up immediately, but enter a queue for evaluation. Here substance counts, so vague internet-typical drive-by clichés like "Very interesting!" will not be approved. Replies by emoji will not be approved. To be approved you need to be involved: If it's interesting, tell us why. Ask questions about a topic. Offer your opinion in a discussion. Post pictures of your instrument - or, simply introduce yourself. Once approved, that post becomes readable by all (and in the order it was submitted, which may occasionally cause some surprises, but there you have it). Bear in mind that evaluation and approval time must to a degree depend on mod availability, which is usually no problem. Nevertheless it's a good idea to allow for at least 24 hours just in case, so please be patient.

New users cannot have full Chiffboard permissions without going through this first-three-posts approval process, plus a possible final evaluation in around yet another 24 hours' time. Full permissions include the ability to send and receive Private Messages, the ability to use the Used Instruments Exchange, and the ability to edit your posts without approval. It is only upon completion of the approval process that that these permissions are granted.

In cases where we think prospective members may have missed or misunderstood some point of C&F policy, an email offering guidance will be sent. Disinterest in engaging the issue will be grounds for deactivation. Three disapprovals will be grounds for deactivation.

Such precautionary practices have no bearing on existing Chiffboard users except in rare cases involving members whose posts we deem to require screening due to a history of impulse control issues. However, this is very rare indeed, and done strictly to keep the peace on behalf of the general membership.

► A special note to those whose membership precedes the anti-spam measures: If you update your profile after 2014 you will be presented with a one-time-only required field wherein you are asked to tell us a little something about yourself. This is the norm now for new prospective members, and a profile change will activate the field for you as well. It is once, and done; any updates afterwards will not require anything more like that from you.

In all cases, a significant profile update (change of email, for example) will require us to reactivate your account, but that is easily done. Do stay current with your profile info.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

3: Treatment of new and inexperienced posters

The Management are absolutely committed to the Chiff & Fipple forums being welcoming to newcomers. This stands in opposition to the broader Internet tradition of ignoring or roughing up newbies. Accordingly, we ask people to be nice to newbies, and to treat their questions with patience and indulgence. It is perfectly OK to ask newbies to use searches to find answers to common questions, but please remember that newcomers may need to have the search functions called to their attention and may need some help in using them.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

4: Politics and religion

We’ve tried. It hasn’t worked here on the Board, so please don’t post on these subjects hereabouts. A hardy group - members of this board and a scattering of former members - participate in an external forum which is pretty much for Chiff & Fipple folks who want to talk politics and religion. We're grateful for it and are happy to provide a link:

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

5: Lost and stolen instruments

We have a forum specifically for these. It is the C&F Lost/Stolen/Missing Instruments Forum.

The forum was set up as a place where all Chiffers can see and read these alerts, not just those who tend to frequent only one forum. The more eyes looking out for these instruments, the better. So when you see a new post or thread appear in LSMI, please take a moment to check it out.

We'll allow one additional cross-post link in an instrument forum, flutes in Flutes, fiddles in Strings, etc., in keeping with the general desire to keep cross-posting on the Chiffboard to a minimum, and to keep the information centralized.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

6: Buying and selling

New members may post items for sale on the appropriate ordinary forums straight away, subject to Mod approval. Access to the UIE is granted only after the newcomer's first three posts have been approved.

The Used Instruments Exchange (UIE) is only for buy/sell/trade notices about used instruments and musically related material. We highly encourage its use. Since it operates solely as a classifieds section, second-party input in the UIE is not permitted (more on that in a bit); in all other forums public discussion remains the rule, so please bear that important difference in mind. Post your topic in the UIE by starting your own thread; do not piggyback onto another's topic, or your post will be deleted. You may also cross-post your topic in the appropriate forum outside the UIE. For example, if it's about a flute, then you may post in both the UIE and in the Flute Forum; if it's about a fiddle, then you may post in both the UIE and in the Traditional Strings Forum - and so on. Please limit your topic to the two forums permitted. If your topic lists items in various categories, please confine yourself to the UIE. Once an item in the UIE is sold, don't piggyback your own thread with a new item. Start a new thread instead.

Under special circumstances, 3rd-party sales in the UIE will be permissible ONLY IF 1) the poster takes on the full role of broker, fielding all matters such as communications, shipping, tax, and so on as proxy for the actual owner; 2) the poster gives full disclosure of his/her role as agent; and 3) a moderator grants approval, which should also be declared in the sale. These strictures do not apply to sales in other forums outside the UIE, although moderator approval is probably still a good thing to have on your side.

Responses to topics in the UIE should be private, by PM or email only. Public replies to topics in the UIE are not allowed as a rule; however, in rare cases we may let some public replies stand because their contribution clearly outweighs their waywardness. Note that we said "rare", so please remember to stick to PMs and email for your UIE inquiries; public replies in the UIE will normally be summarily deleted, and likely without notice. The rare case will be officially noted as such.

You may not simply bump others' topics for them, whether FS/WTB or otherwise, whether in the UIE or elsewhere. Only the topic's author may bump. Outside of the UIE you must post actual content if you wish to assist in keeping someone else's topic current.

Upon the OP's notice of transaction or withdrawal, the topic header will be marked "Sold", "Done", etc., and moved to the Sold and Old archive. Inactive topics in the UIE will be removed, unmarked, to Sold and Old after two weeks or so; in practice we're pretty relaxed about when this gets done, but whether sooner or later, done it will be. We discourage marking topics as "Pending"; such will be treated as sold.

In theory, a topic may stay in the UIE indefinitely so long as it remains active. To keep a topic active in the UIE, the OP may bump the topic by means of posts to that purpose, once a week. How you word it is up to you, but "Bump" remains the popular go-to. Updates on price and other newsworthy info are more than just regular bumps, so these are not held to the once-a-week limit (and no, cajolery does not count; that's just a tarted-up regular bump). The two-week window will then run from the latest bump. If your topic goes dead, a Mod can always revive it, or you can simply post anew.

The owner and moderators of this board cannot get involved in resolving disputes about sales and transactions that occur as a result of members' communications here. We're not responsible for the credibility of buyers or sellers and we are obviously in no position to vouch for them. This applies not only to transactions from the UIE, but also to transactions from the Board's other forums. Just as with any other venue elsewhere, if you buy and sell based on contacts made through this website you are, in the end, on your own.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

7: Commercial Posts

Understandably, many of our members object to the use of the Board solely to promote business interests. However, we have in practice allowed some commercial posts, provided they are posted by members who are otherwise contributing to the general discussions on the Board.

The guidelines are as follows:

• You may not use the Board solely to promote your business.

• If you are not in the business of making or selling whistles, flutes etc, but simply have a used instrument that you wish to sell, use the UIE and abide by its rules.

• If you are offering a new product or service related to the content of these forums AND you have a track record of contributing a fair share of social, noncommercial posts, you may announce its availability, but only once. This means no repeat announcements of that particular offer within its forum; it does not confine you to one forum only if the offer has relevance to more than one interest. You may not include any competitive or self-promotional language. We will delete commercial posts in which someone creates an account and then quickly posts a promotional message without a history of contributing as a genuine member of this on-line community.

• When socializing, it is entirely reasonable that a maker would casually mention their craft or its aspects from time to time; after all, it is what they do, and an occasional glimpse into the maker's world can be a welcome tidbit. Accordingly, we do not in principle regard that to be the same as promoting one's business. However, we reserve the right to interpret this, so do use discretion.

• It has become an established courtesy to include the device 'CP:' (for Commercial Post) as a beginning to such topics' headers. For example, "CP: A New Design in Elbonian Kazoos" clearly indicates that the topic is of commercial intent; otherwise, without the 'CP:' one might rightly assume that the topic is simply a matter for discussion. While the inclusion of 'CP:' is not a rule per se, its value has proven important enough to the membership that they have been known to object to its omission. If public opinion matters to your enterprise, courtesy can only work in your favor.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

8: Price policing

We don't allow public criticism of C&F members for the prices they set when selling an item.

If a member wants to offer to sell a slightly used Generation D for $100, and somebody wants to buy it, that's the business of the seller and the unfortunate buyer (indeed, the internet now allows a motivated person to easily do research to determine that a price is out of bounds). If someone wants to part with a high-end whistle at a price that is higher than the price of a new one, while we would certainly appreciate any irritation on the part of the maker, we don't think that that is any basis to protest here.

So, we'll be stepping in to moderate posts in which someone is objecting or implying something shady in a FS post. If you suspect something downright crooked is going on, PM a Moderator.

Discussion of nonmember pricing on other sites such as eBay is allowed.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

9: Hotel California

"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

On rare occasions, board members decide to leave the board and ask C&F Moderators to delete their accounts and/or purge their posts. We've declined to do that, particularly for a member who has posted extensively. The nature of a thread consists of posts, responses to posts, the quoting of posts, responses and quotes of responses and so on. If there were technically a way to erase these posts with the push of a button, many threads would be rendered incomprehensible.

It is technically possible to delete an account, although it is rarely done except to spam registrants. When an account is deleted, every post stays on the board, but the name shown reverts to "Guest." If a member has posted extensively, this would yield an archive which would include lots of posts by a mysterious "Guest," which we don't think is a good thing especially because if two or more people who have posted a lot ask for deletion, all of those posts would sort of be fused together under this one mysterious "Guest." For obvious reasons we think this is detrimental to the Board, so requests for this will also be declined.

There is a limited time available to members after initial posting to delete their own posts (see #16). C&F Moderators will not do this for you by request, either before or after the expiry of this initial period, although posts may occasionally be deleted or amended in any way if they breach board guidelines, or as the Moderators see fit.

So, the Hotel California analogy is a little rough. You can check out, you can leave, but we're not going to tear up the paper trail associated with you being in the Hotel.

So. Welcome to the Hotel California.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

10: Medical advice

Put simply: don’t.

However, we all like to support one another. So, support is OK, but please do not give what amounts to medical advice on the forums. People may give good advice, or they may give crappy advice, and there is no way for the Moderators to police this. Plus, the forums are not really the place to give or receive such advice, which is normally better dealt with by your doctor. This applies to advice both on mental health issues and more general medical problems.

Here are some examples illustrating what is acceptable support, and what is unacceptable medical advice:

OK: Q: My wrist sometimes hurts when I'm playing my flute. A: Try taking more rest breaks and hold the flute differently.

Not OK: Q; I have clinical depression and I'm not sure if my Prozac helps. A: Stop taking antidepressants and exercise and pray more.

Not OK: Q: My child has ADHD. A: ADHD is a made-up disorder. (Or:) My niece takes Alertease (TM) and is doing much better.

Probably OK: Q: My legs hurt and my eyelids itch and I have a lot of gas. A: Dude. Go see your doctor.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

11: Copyright

On occasion we have had to respond to authors whose works have been reproduced without permission on Chiff & Fipple. Happily, so far these cases have worked out well. But, from some light reading on Dale's part regarding fair use, copyrights, and message boards, we understand that there may be some risk to the Board when we copy the text of articles from other publications and paste them on these forums. So, if you find something copyrighted that you want to share with others, do us all a favor and please provide an external link to the piece, rather than cutting and pasting it without attribution and making C&F a legal target. If you do choose to cut and paste, then either couch it in quotemarks or a quote box, and give due attribution.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

12: Having multiple user accounts (March 2, 2003)

Due to extensive abuse in the past, you are not permitted to post from multiple active user accounts. If it's a matter of you wishing to change your username, PM a Moderator who will consider your request. Usually this isn't a problem.

Note the use of the words "post" and "active" above, which are key. While we require that members confine themselves to one account, to a degree there will be some grey area in what that means. For example, sometimes members fall away to come back later, but they have forgotten their account info and must apply anew. There have been cases where we can't find the old account for various reasons, and so are unable for the time being to either reacquaint the member with their old account, or deactivate it. Even if technically still active, so long as the old account remains unused, this doesn't pose a problem in practical terms. Deactivating old accounts will proceed according to our ability to find them.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

13: Use a valid e-mail address (March 2, 2003)

Because the forum software occasionally needs to send you mail, and in case we need to contact you, you must supply and maintain a valid email address in your profile. An anonymous or throw-away email address (e.g. Mailinator) is not valid for this purpose. If you would prefer not to show your email address to other users you can choose not to display it in your profile settings, but you may not put an invalid email address in your profile. Since the forum software must use that address, this includes addresses made invalid with anti-spam methods that a human reader would otherwise understand.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: C&F Consolidated Concordat on Policy

14: Chiff & Fipple on Facebook

In case of Board outage, a Chiff & Fipple group has been set up on Facebook.

Here is the link:

Please keep in mind that what applies here applies there. It's still C&F, just...different.

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