VMB is a Moderated Community. This means that we have a staff of volunteers that will occasionally remove content that is inappropriate for the board or otherwise violates our rules. We don't just randomly remove content based on a whim or mood. We also don't remove criticisms of properties or companies we have an affiliate relationship with. It is all done within the guidelines established in our Board Rules. I know this is not a popular concept for some people, so I thought I'd touch on some of the reasoning behind VMB being a moderated community as well as the basics of the rules. After my experiences on an unmoderated usenet board, I knew that I had no interest in a community full of insults, flame wars and trolls. It seems to me that kind of hostile environment only keeps people with legitimate questions from asking them. In addition, the clutter of all the arguing makes it hard to discern the actual beneficial information available in the discussions. I knew from the outset that I would want to have a standard of conduct and system in place to deal with those issues. You all agreed to these rules when you signed up for the board. You can view the full content of the rules in this thread: http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/forum-rules.94821/ It's a bit wordy, but it basically boils down to: - Don't spam! - Don't be a jerk! - No politics! (even in jest) New members, with fewer than 5 posts, are restricted in using some of the features of the board. We do this to protect our community from spammers and bots. Posts are generally immediately available to view on the open board, but occasionally a post will be flagged by the system and put into moderation. The moderated post will need to be manually approved by a member of our staff. Typically this happens as soon as a moderator is online, but occasionally there may be a delay. We will get them approved as soon as humanly possible. Lets touch on some of the rules: No spam! - This one seems pretty self-explanatory. If you're making a post to drive traffic to a web site, promote a product, sell something, post a fundraiser, or one that includes an affiliate code or referral link, you need to have prior approval from an admin before making your post. If you feel you have something you want to share, but aren't sure if it's allowed, feel free to start a conversation with Sonya, or send an email using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the board. We certainly want to be able to share useful information with our members. We have a few casino hosts, bloggers, other site owners and app developers who are looking for input or are here to offer you services. That's wonderful. What we want to avoid is the board being littered with lots of "look at me" or "give me money" posts. No politics! - This rule causes some people trouble. We tried, years ago, to have one forum section dedicated to a more anything goes approach. Unfortunately, the arguments in that section always seemed to trickle out to the other board discussions. Things run more smoothly when we don't have that kind of discussion here. There are lots of other sites and boards where you can discuss your political opinions. VMB has decided not to be one of those sites. In this instance, "politics" doesn't just mean "I'm voting for ***" or "All the people in the *** party are...". Any opinions on the government itself, policies, rules, or laws is political discussion. It doesn't mean "no partisan politics" - it means no comments on ANYTHING about what the government should or should not do. Likewise for discussions where people talk about "big government", "nanny state laws", tax policy, etc. Also, please don't link to articles on political discussion sites/blogs. Bottom line, if it feels like you are posting a political opinion, it's going to be a violation of the rule and removed from public view. Don't be a jerk! - Obviously this one covers "You're an idiot", "Only a moron like you would...", or posts with direct insults and inflammatory comments. But it also applies to snarky replies. If someone asks you how a hotel or restaurant is and you reply "Okay, if you want hepatitis." or "It's a dump", you are not adding anything beneficial to the discussion. You are encouraged to reply that you don't enjoy the place because you feel it's not clean, you got food poisoning there, or you were dissatisfied with the condition of the furnishings in the room, etc. My intention has always been to keep VMB a place to exchange information in a factual and friendly way. This does not mean that you automatically have to agree with another member, just that you have to find a way to disagree without being disagreeable. You are encouraged to share your opinion and your experience, but remember that other people may have a different opinion and a different experience. Sharing your opinion is fine, but attacking someone for not agreeing your view is not okay. Warnings: The current board software uses a warning system to track and manage violations of our rules. Typically when a post is removed, you will receive a Conversation or Alert with information about why the post was removed and a specific number of points (depending on the rule violation) are given to your account. Warning points will last for a specified period of time and then expire. If you accumulate enough active points over time, there will be some restrictions placed on your ability to post on the board, and possibly the use of other features. When points expire, those permissions will automatically be restored to your account. For example, a violation of the "No Politics" policy will get you one infraction point that will last for 30 days. Other, more serious infractions will result in more points, lasting for a longer duration. If you incur enough infraction points during that time period, there is a good chance that your posts will require a moderator approval before being viewable on the public board. If you continue to accrue points during this period, a temporary ban may result. A permanent ban can occur when a person proves themselves unable to get along and abide by the rules. This means that the member will have their posting/viewing privileges removed from VMB. This is a very rare occurrence here and not something we do lightly. These rules have been set up over the years as a framework to keep this board a friendly and open place. Enforcing them isn't one of my favorite jobs around here, but it works to keep the board civil and fun. I hope this helps to explain my reasoning. Please let me know if you have any questions about this. I want VMB to continue to be a fun place to hang out with like-minded people and talk about all things Las Vegas.