Last edited: 4 Dec 2017 Askaboutmoney is heavily moderated for the benefit of all users. These Guidelines are not rules for rules' sake. It helps other users if you use a meaningful title, if you don't abuse other posters and if you stay on topic. 1 Post in the right forum Please read the Forum titles and descriptions before you post. If you post in the wrong forum, the thread will be closed or deleted. In particular, note the existence of the following forums: Redundancy and Jobseekers Benefit should not be asked in Welfare and State Benefits Home Energy should not be asked in Homes & Gardens Phone, Broadband and TV Service Providers should not be asked in Phones, DVDs etc Recommend Tradesmen & Suppliers should not be asked in Homes & Gardens If you ask a financial type question in the How to Use Askaboutmoney forum, it will be deleted. 2 Absolutely no bad language or profanities We have a zero tolerance approach to bad language. If you use bad language, you will get a warning and your post will be removed. We don't allow self-censored expletives either such as f**k or sh1t. 3 Please make the heading of your question relevant Don't post a general heading such as "help !" or "Mortgage query". If you post a heading such as "Mortgage for separated couple", it will get a better response and will be much easier to find if you need to go back to look for it. 4 Please stay on topic Some threads stray off topic to such an extent that the discussion bears no relation to the original question. If you want to introduce a new question, start a new topic. Off-topic banter which distracts from the original question will be deleted. 4A Do not hijack someone else's thread. Start your own thread If someone has asked a question about the rescheduling of their Ulster Bank mortgage, it is very annoying if you then add your question to that thread. If you do, your question and any answers will be immediately deleted. 5 No advertising, no private "for sale" or "wanted" ads. Askaboutmoney has a strict "no advertising" policy. This includes"for sale" and "wanted" advertisements. Describing an item such as a car and asking where you can sell it also counts as advertising. If you want to buy or sell something then please use another site such as buyandsell.ie, adverts.ie or eBay etc. Where a poster recommends the products or services of their employer, they should state their conflict of interest. Where they do not do so, we reserve the right to point out that the poster appears to have a conflict of interest. "Subversive advertising" where you pose as a happy customer of your own company is a particularly serious offence and will lead to an immediate ban. 5A Guidelines for Professional Advisors e.g. mortgage brokers, accountants, architects, etc. Askaboutmoney welcomes professional advisors to post in their own name on topics relating to their area of expertise. You are welcome to put in your website as part of your signature. If you do not have a website, you can put in your email address instead. Many professional contributors have got useful business through askaboutmoney and, of course, many users have found good professional advisors through askaboutmoney. It is very easy for a user to assess the quality of a professional advisor from reading their posts on askaboutmoney.It is also educational for other users. For these reasons, you must post the replies publicly, rather than by Private Message. The main principle is "No advertising". Do not send Private Messages to users, except in reply to their PM to you. Do not invite the poster to contact you. Do not invite posters to send you a Private Message. Do not include your contact details on any post not relating directly to your area of professional advice. Do not use a slogan in your signature "e.g. Ireland's best advisor". It may be better to contribute to other discussions through a separate account. Send a Private Message to me and I will set up a separate user name for you. Example: Liam Ferguson 5B Guidelines for companies - e.g. banks, utility companies,etc. Product and Service Suppliers(e.g. Insurance companies or utilities) Companies are welcome to register in their own name to answer questions about their products. Respond to questions about your products only. Do not use Askaboutmoney for product announcements. ( If it's a genuinely new product, feel free to email the press release to Brendanataskaboutmoneydotcom.) Do not respond to a general question e.g. "Which is the best company for motor insurance?". In particular, do not comment on competitors' products, unless there is a material factual inaccuracy. When registering use your official corporate email address 5C We do not allow links to surveys except in very exceptional circumstances If you want to get subjects for a survey ask for permission by clicking on the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page. We will refuse permission unless you are a long-term poster and it's a pure consumer finance topic. 6 Putting a link to your own website in a post We do not object to regular users who answer questions on Askaboutmoney providing a link to their website on relevant questions. You should only provide the link and nothing else. It should not have the appearance of an ad. Do not include A slogan A phone number A business name Do not put in your contact details on a post which is not relevant to your business. Do not use bold or large text Location should be used only for your geographic location e.g. Galway. Do not put a link to your website or your business name or any other ad in this box 7 No defamation We remove all posts which are potentially defamatory. Fair criticism of an institution or a product is encouraged. Askaboutmoney is not the appropriate forum to claim that you were cheated out of money by a named institution. Please do not use words like 'ripoff', 'dodgy' or 'scam' in connection with identifiable businesses. Any such references to a company, person or institution will be deleted. For example, one contributor claimed that a named auctioneer had cheated him. This may or may not be true, but we do not want to get distracted by litigation, so we deleted the name of the auctioneer. 7A Do not discuss court cases until sentence has been passed No comments allowed on a court case until the verdict has been announced and the sentence has been passed. You may comment on the verdict or sentence after the verdict is passed but any such comment or criticism should be moderate and not over the top. 8 Use the "quote" button sparingly When replying to a post, use the "Post Reply" button or "Reply" button in preference to the “quote” button. Quoting a very long post in its entirety makes the thread very cluttered Only use the quote button to quote the bits directly relevant to your comments. Do not quote the post immediately above your one. 9 Do not bump posts unnecessarily If you do not get a response to your post, first edit the title to make it more meaningful. Do not bump the post within a few hours or days. Bumped threads will be deleted. Do not post a reply to surreptitiously bump it. If you have not received a reply after 4 working days, you may bump it once. 9A Do not post the same question in different forums If you post in, say, the Askaboutbusiness forum, and don't get a reply, don't repost the question in another forum. Read the forum titles before posting, so that you choose the correct forum. If you post to the wrong forum, report the post and ask the moderators to move it. 10 Do not abuse other posters Controversy and argument are welcome. But please keep your comments civil. Attack an opinion by all means, but please don't attack the person expressing the opinion.Posts or threads which use language designed to be deliberately offensive or just to stir up trouble will be deleted. 11 We don't discuss individual shares You won't find any messages suggesting investing in CRH or asking if AIB is a good investment. It is not the purpose of Askaboutmoney. We don't facilitate stock tipping or speculation about the future performance of individual shares. There are other forums which discuss individual shares such as The Investments and Markets Forum of boards.ie This guideline does not restrict you from discussing 1) the mechanics of buying or selling shares in a flotation 2) Rights issues - pricing and mechanics 3) Dividend Reinvestment Plans - pricing and mechanics 12 Speculation about the future of House Prices is temporarily banned We do not allow any further speculation of house prices other than in this thread: Will Irish house prices rise or fall? The reasons for this are explained in this thread: Discussion of Irish house prices is suspended on Askaboutmoney. This does not prevent people from making comments in money makeover type posts -"While you will gain if house prices rise over the coming 5 years, if house prices fall, you will be very exposed." 13 Please respect copyright If you quote from a publication or website, always acknowledge the source and provide a link. If the site is a subscription only site, do not reproduce the entire article. You may use selective quotations – but be selective. For example, the archives of The Irish Times are subscription only. Do not reproduce Irish Times or other newpapers' articles available only under subscription. The fact that it is difficult for a publisher to pursue Askaboutmoney on a copyright issue is not a basis for ignoring copyright laws. Having said that, most journals and journalists are happy to see themselves quoted, so don’t get too hung up on it. Please check the Terms & Conditions of a site before posting a link or reproducing content. If any publisher complains to Askaboutmoney about breach of copyright then the offending post will be deleted immediately. 14 Please don't address specific queries directly to individual moderators or other contributors Moderators and contributors give of their time freely and voluntarily so, in general, please post queries for general attention/discussion on the basis that somebody will respond rather than addressing them specifically to individual moderators or other contributors, particularly those who earn a living dispensing financial/tax advice on a professional basis. In any case, addressing specific queries to individual contributors rather than to the wider community in general may have the effect of limiting the number of useful responses that you receive rather than expediting things. Obviously this guideline does not prevent you from addressing individuals directly in the normal context of an ongoing discussion. Under no circumstances should you send an email or a Private Message to any of the moderators or administrators with a general question which should be posted publicly. Like other contributors they answer questions only in the public forums. You should only contact the moderators and administrators in connection with administrative or technical issues. 15 Please respect the privacy of others Some contributors post anonymously/pseudonymously because they do not want to divulge their real identity for a variety of reasons. Please respect their right to privacy and desist from speculating on Askaboutmoney about their real identities. Posts which speculate about the identity of bona-fide contributors (as opposed to suspected spammers or other nuisance posters) who choose to post anonymously/pseudonymously will be removed. Each poster has a right to take a break from posting on Askaboutmoney or to stop posting altogether. Please respect their right to do so. Do not ask "where is "x" gone?" 16 If you are not a Frequent Poster, please do not Let Off Steam of Shoot the Breeze The primary purpose of Askaboutmoney is for people to ask and answer questions on consumer issues. We do not allow new users to express their opinions on current affairs, politics and non consumer issues. Such posts will be deleted. Frequent Posters are allowed to contribute to the Letting Off Steam and Shooting the Breeze forums. A Frequent Poster is one with 51 posts and who has been registered for at least 30 days. The Letting Off Steam forum is not designed to be a platform for people who make little or no other contribution (e.g. who don't answer general questions or otherwise contribute to the more finance orientated forums) to Askaboutmoney to stir up trouble or pursue their own campaigns. These posters should find another website to pursue their objectives. The same applies to Shooting the Breeze. 17 Do not post links without commentary Posts containing only links may be deleted. Provide a summary of the content of the link. This will allow readers know whether to follow the link or to remain within Askaboutmoney. 18 Please identify any conflicts of interest You are welcome to recommend or fairly criticize a product or company. But if you have a connection with the company or any other potential conflict of interest, please state this in your reply. 19 Please write clearly and avoid using text speak or all capital letters Please take a little time to write your post carefully. Use complete sentences. Use paragraphs for longer posts. Do not use Text Speak. Internet etiquette dictates that ALL UPPERCASE TEXT is considered at best hard to read and at worst rude ("SHOUTING") so please avoid posting messages or subject lines in upper case only. If everything you type is in uppercase then make sure that your Caps Lock key is not inadvertently engaged. 20 Please keep recurring debates on a particular topic to a single thread When someone asks a question , they want an answer and not a debate. For example, if someone asks about buying a house, they don't want a debate about the pros and cons of mortgage brokers. Keep such debate to The Great Financial Debates forum. It is ok to occasionally post a particularly relevant reply with a link to that debate. In particular do not hijack a thread to let off steam on a vaguely related issue. A lot of threads have been dragged off thread to engage in public sector bashing or to say that we need a general election now. Don't waste time composing a long serious post with an off-topic aside on it. The full post will be deleted. The moderators do not have time to edit out the off-topic bits. If another poster takes a thread off-topic, ignore them or report the post. Don't respond. 21 Please don't discuss medical issues including weight loss We do not discuss medical issues other than to provide links to support groups and medical forums. We do not allow recommendations for doctors, dentists or medical practitioners generally. We do not allow discussion of weight loss issues either as they always develop into either advertising or medical topics such as anorexia. You may discuss tax relief on medical expenses and pricing of medical services or health insurance. It is ok to provide information on the availability of emergency doctors or 24 hour pharmacies. But you should not discuss effectiveness of treatment or quality of care. Below are some sites which are better equipped to deal with such issues. We got the following sites from The (English) Times NHSDirect Net Doctor BBC Health MedLine Plus MedHunt Dr Foster Mayo Clinic Bupa health info Also irishhealth.com hon: health on the net is a kind of "kite mark" for health websites 22 We do not discuss moderators' decisions The moderators are volunteers and do not have time to enter into discussions on our editorial decisions, so 1) Don't ask why a particular user was banned 2) If you genuinely don't know which guideline you broke, then maybe you should not be posting on Askaboutmoney 3) In very rare circumstances, where there was a genuine misunderstanding about your post, you may send a Private Message to the moderator. But we have no time to indulge people.