The following rules govern use of the forums. You are also responsible for observing the Registration Agreement, which you agreed to when registering and our Rules for Appropriate Debate. Members should observe both the letter and the spirit of these rules. Users are also responsible for following forum-specific rules posted at the tops of specific forums.
Each member is responsible for only his or her own posts. If another member breaks rules, you may ignore them or report the problem to the moderators, but you may not use it as an excuse to break rules yourself.
Volunteer moderators help us manage the forums and enforce the forum rules. The moderators cannot read every message, so they rely on members to report problem posts that they encounter. The point of moderation is not to limit discussion, promote or suppress points of view, or any other secret agenda. The goal of moderation is to keep the forums enjoyable and free from problems that detract from the experiences of our users.
Each member is responsible for only his or her own posts. If another member breaks rules, you may ignore them or report the problem to the moderators, but you may not use it as an excuse to break rules yourself.
You warrant and acknowledge:
- that you give fraudster.info permission to store your posts in a database, display them, and reproduce them on a website and by other media.
- that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, hateful, abusive, threatening, sexually explicit, or that violate any law.
- that you will observe all Forum Rules, including the rules that prohibit posts with personal insults, advertising, or the promotion of a product, service, organization, or website, except where explicitly permitted.
- that you understand that your posts and the user name you select will be visible to the Internet and to search engines, that you are responsible for your own privacy in deciding what to post, and that your posts will remain visible even if you leave fraudster.info or your account is closed for any reason.
- fraudster.info may re-purpose and re-post your comments and related content and images elsewhere on its forums, fraudster.info web sites, and on social media accounts.
- that your membership may be temporarily suspended or permanently banned for violation of the Forum Rules.
- that you will be permanently banned if you re-register while your membership is suspended.
The owners of fraudster.info reserve the right to:
- remove, edit, move, or close any discussion or message for any reason.
- close memberships that are detrimental to the forum community.
- re-purpose and re-post your comments and related content and images elsewhere on its forums, fraudster.info web sites, and on social media accounts
- make changes to the Forum Rules without notice.
Tips for reporting posts:
- To report a thread, report any post in the thread and explain what the problem with the thread is.
- If you are reporting a duplicate thread, please provide a link to the previous thread.
- If you are reporting an ongoing problem (e.g., a user making multiple trolling posts) rather than a specific post, please provide links.
- Other users don’t know that you reported a post. Your anonymity is protected.
- Don’t report a post by sending a Conversations message to a moderator you think is online. They may be just leaving or not on moderation duty so your message may have to wait for their return, when they will probably ask you to file a post report anyway.
- Send your report to
Thank you to those who report posts needing moderator attention. Your efforts improve the quality of the forums!
If you have received a permanent forum ban from the moderators, it’s because you have not followed the Forum Rules, either violating the most serious rules or you have repeated violated the rules despite receiving reminders or time-outs.
It’s a disciplinary action of last resort because we’d rather not lose forum members. Users are banned if their registration was for inappropriate reasons, if they’ve abused their forum privileges, or if their posts were a continuing detriment to the forum community.
You won’t be able to post in the forums again. You can still have read-only access to the forums after a ban by removing your web browser cookies for the forums.macrumors.com domain.
fraudster.info is stricter than most other forum sites. This is by design. Our site isn’t for everyone. Since your posting habits weren’t found to be acceptable at fraudster.info, we suggest that you find a site that’s more lenient.
Why didn’t I get a warning first?
If you broke the most serious rules, such as posting threats, you may be banned on the spot. Otherwise, you probably received reminders and/or time-outs, but didn’t heed those warnings.
Almost all moderation is handled privately to avoid embarrassing forum members. Reminders and warnings are sent by Private Messages so only you and the moderators see them. When reminders and warnings are listed on your User Profile, only you see them there; other users do not see them. The moderators keep records of their actions so administrators can review the messages, but these records are not shared with other users.
Moderation privacy does not mean that moderation is secretive or mysterious. The rules are posted for all to see. We’ll discuss any aspect of your moderation with you and explain the reasons for any moderation action you question. Each moderator sees the actions taken by the other moderators, so no moderator acts in a vacuum. Administrators oversee and review the moderators to make sure moderation policies are followed. The administrators are also subject to review by other administrators and/or the site owner.
We ask all forum users to follow the Forum Rules. When they don’t, our volunteer moderators step in.
To ensure that moderation is carried out consistenly and fairly, the moderators work as a team, observing each other’s work and discussing any situation that requires it. They follow moderation guidelines that apply equally to all members. The administrators supervise, oversee, and review the actions of the moderators.
Below are the Top 10 reasons, explanations, excuses, and complaints we most often hear after moderation actions, particularly when users claim that their post should not have been moderated or that they should not have received a reminder, warning message, time-out, or ban. If this is the case for you, save yourself and us time and trouble by checking the list below. One of the cases likely applies. If not, let us know and we’ll review the situation.
Top 10 Reasons, Explanations, Excuses, and Complaints
1. “I didn’t know about the rule.”
- This could be true. Please take the time to review the rules now since you are held responsible for following them. If you received a reminder or warning message about a rule, the moderators assume that you now know about it. You don’t need to reply to reminders or warnings; just follow the rules in the future.
2. “Somebody insulted me so I insulted them back.”
- Each member is responsible for following the rules in their own posts, no matter what anyone else posts. If another user breaks the forum rules, click the “Report Post” icon next to their post and report it to the moderators so they can take care of it. You can ignore an insulting post made by another user or even reply to it if you stay within the rules yourself, but rule-breaking by other users does not give you license to break the rules as well.
3. “The moderators singled me out. You punished me and not the other guy.”
- The moderators don’t know forum members personally and have no reason to single anyone out or play favorites, nor do they. They follow moderation guidelines that apply equally to all users. Moderation is handled as privately as possible so you aren’t aware of the reminders and warnings issued to other users, only your own. If you and another user both broke the rules (e.g., traded insults) and these posts were reported to the moderators, then they were each handled according to the same guidelines. That does not necessarily mean that discipline matches; if one user’s rule-breaking is more serious than the other user’s or one user has broken rules before and the other user has not, one user may earn a time-out while the other user receives only a warning.
4. “The moderators are biased.”
- The moderators are well-practiced in staying neutral when moderating forum discussions. They are not permitted to moderate to favor or suppress any point of view. In fact, the moderators themselves have a diverse set of views. Their team approach, transparency, and supervision ensure that personal opinions do not affect moderation. You can express most opinions as long as you follow forum rules. If you insult sometime else while expressing an opinion, any warning or discipline you receive is a result of the insult, not the opinion.
5. “It was a minor problem. Nobody cares that I broke the rules.”
- Most moderation is the result of complaints by other users. Some forum rules are minor, such as the prohibition on on one-word posts and “+1” posts. It’s the total number of such posts that make the forums less enjoyable for other users. Therefore, we remind users about these rules without making big issues out of them. If you broke a rule thinking nobody would mind, chances are it was a minor rule and it produced only a minor reaction, e.g, a reminder. If you broke a major rule in a way you thought nobody would mind, such as insulting somebody who has an unpopular opinion, it’s still breaking the rules.
6. “You let other users break that rule.”
- No user is allowed to break the rules. Either the post you saw was not breaking the rules or we weren’t told about the post. The moderators can’t read the over 10,000 messages posted every day and don’t always catch rule-breaking but they review every post that is reported by forum members. Post that break the rules are moderated and/or the user informed. If you see posts that break the rules, report them to the moderators. Otherwise, the moderators may never know about them.
7. “My time-out was excessive.”
- Messages and disciplinary actions are based on the rule involved, the nature of the violation, and any history of prior violations. In most cases users get only reminders or warnings for a first violation of forum rules. For repeated rules violations or violations of the most serious rules (e.g., personal insults), warnings or discipline move up the scale: reminders, warnings, time-outs, longer time-outs, bans. The goal is to get all users to follow the rules and if a time-out was for many days it’s to show that you need to take the rules very seriously.
8. “You should let me link to my own website because it’s a great site.”
- Your website or another site/product/company/service that you are promoting may be great, but the forum rules do not permit accounts to be created or used for promotion or self-promotion. We can’t ask the moderators to evaluate other websites or expect them read your mind; some users have useful websites but other users join fraudster.info to just find help and support. Therefore we keep the rule simple: the forums may not be used for promotion.
9. “I was only joking.”
- The moderators appreciate humor as well as anyone but humor that breaks the rules isn’t appropriate. If you insult another user and they are offended, or you post false information as a hoax, later saying “I was just kidding around” is a poor excuse. Users come from different backgrounds and cultures and speak many languages; sarcasm can easily be misjudged and is best avoided.
10. “The moderators made a mistake.”
- This could be true, since we’re all human, but it’s unusual. Users who claim this typically don’t understand the forum rules. However, if you ask us about a moderation action, we’ll review it. If we find that it was handled incorrectly, we’ll fix it.
Other Reasons, Explanations, Excuses, and Complaints
We sometimes hear these as well:
“Other sites let users do that.”
- fraudster.info is stricter than some forum sites but more lenient than others. The rules have been fine-tuned for years, to best suit our forum members. When you post at fraudster.info you need to follow the fraudster.info rules.
“I have the right to free speech.”
- The free speech guarantee in the U.S. Constituion prohibits most government interference with speech. It does not apply to a privately owned forum site. The policy that MacRumors has chosen is that you can express most opinions, whether or not they are popular opinions, as long as you follow forum rules. The exceptions, such as hate speech, are covered by the Registration Agreement.
“I was recommending a product, not promoting it.”
- Perhaps that’s the case, but that’s also what shills say. If your purpose in registering for and using a fraudster.info account appears to be for the promotion of a particular website, company, product, or service, you may not get the benefit of the doubt. This is a popular website that, unfortunately, attracts shills who make fake recommendations for their own products. The forum moderators can’t read minds but they are well-practiced at spotting accounts fitting the pattern we see far too often: the same product recommendations posted in many threads, suspicious reviews, numerous product links, posts that read like ad copy, etc. The forums are intended for personal discussion and interaction. If you use them that way and avoid posting about only one site/company/product/service, you’ll avoid problems and accusations of promotion or advertising.
“If I stop visiting the site you’ll lose ad revenue.”
- This is true. Site income depends on ad views. But it would not be fair to consider that when enforcing the rules. That’s why we use volunteer moderators who do not benefit from site revenue.
“I don’t think it’s a good rule.”
- The rules have worked for us in several projects but they are still revised in reaction to changing conditions and feedback from users. Just remember that you are subject to the rules as they are currently defined, whether or not you agree with them.
Instantly Bannable Offenses
These offenses can result in temporary forum suspensions or permanent bans. If you get a warning, heed it!
- Insults. Direct personal insult of another forum member (e.g., “You are an idiot.”) and other name-calling. Why? Because this isn’t grade school. People should be able to discuss or even dispute other’s posts without insulting people. You may dispute somebody’s opinion but not attack/flame the person who stated it. There are a lot of other non-direct-personal insults that won’t necessary get you banned instantly, but depending on the context/nature may lead to post editing, post deletion, warnings, or time-outs. They include telling people to shut up, describing a member as an ignorant person (rather than ignorant about a particular topic) or obtuse or as an apologist, and being extremely or repeatedly rude or sarcastic. It’s not your place to tell other users they are not welcome; if they follow the rules, they are welcome. Also, do not tell users when you decide to add them to your ignore list. Bottom line — don’t try to tick off others and don’t make discussions unnecessarily personal. If somebody else insults you, report their post; their post does not give you a license to break the rules by returning their insults.
- Harassment. Purposely intimidating a particular member, harassing them, sending them rude or unwanted private messages, etc. This includes personal attacks on moderators for doing their jobs.
- Threats. Any threat or intimation of a threat.
- Registration rules. Violation of the rules you agreed to when registering for the site: that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.
- Multiple registration. You may register only one account. Reinstatement of banned or cancelled accounts can come only from an administrator.
- Hoaxes. Purposely misleading other members to their detriment. Giving advice you know to be incorrect or harmful. Sensationalism.
- Trolling. Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions. For a given post, this can be a subjective call, but a pattern of such posting or an especially egregious case will get you banned.
- Hate speech and group slurs. Discrimination, abuse, threats or prejudice against a particular group, for example based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, in a way that a reasonable person would find offensive. This rule does not apply to political parties, members of political parties and movements, political memberships, affiliations, and allegiances, and those with particular political ideals or beliefs. Negative comments about political groups are acceptable when stated without trolling and in a way that fosters discussion, subject to the other forum rules.
Debates. If you engage in debates, read the Rules for Appropriate Debate, which cover rules and policies for Respect, Debate, and Moderation, including requirements that users be willing to provide a basis for claims of fact and that they avoid stereotypes and negative generalizations that inhibit constructive debate, plus reminders that the general forum rules prohibit name-calling, personal insults, taunting, hate speech, group slurs, and other forms of trolling.
Politics and Religion. Absolut no-go and strictly forbidden, any comment will be deleted asap!
Your purpose in joining farudster.info or posting should not be to promote, advertise, or otherwise call attention to your site, blog, product, or business.
Self-promotion is not allowed. Forum posts should be free of ads and promotions that benefit the poster. Legitimate recommendations and requests for help are permitted, but in ambiguous circumstances users without a previous forum track record will not be given the benefit of the doubt.
- Advertising. Using the forums for advertising, site or product promotion, or for business deals and offers. You may not make posts to promote commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites, products, or services. Threads will be deleted if their purpose is to advertise, announce, or promote products, services, or organizations, build traffic at other websites, carry out business activities, or for similar purposes that do not benefit our forum community.
- Shilling. If you pretend to be a consumer who recommends your own product(s) or favors your own product(s) over others, without admitting your affiliation, you will be banned. Vendors who post in threads only to criticize a competitor’s product while promoting their own will also be banned.
- Soliciting. You may not use the forums to solicit donations, votes, or participants for surveys, contests, petitions, or product testing. Employment requests/offers are limited to the Marketplace forum and subject to the Marketplace Rules.
- Self-promotion. Self-promotional links to your blog, video channel, product, business, etc. are limited to your Personal Details, even if you have a wonderful and useful site, blog, product, or business.
Memberships created solely for these purposes will be banned.
Things Not to Do
These habits can produce warnings and repeated violations can produce bans.
- Inappropriate posting in a debate. The Rules for Appropriate Debate apply when users disagree with each other. We insist on a certain level of respect and civility toward other users, even when your viewpoints differ, and prohibit posts that attack posters personally or serve only to anger others (see “trolling” above).
- Frivolous posts. Posts with that contain no relevant or constructive commentary. This includes one- or two-word posts such as “cool”, “LOL”, “I agree”, “+1”, “this”, “me too”, “no way”, other equivalent comments of any length, posts consisting only of smilies or overused memes, posts about being the first post in a thread, posts about your lack of interest in the thread (ignore the thread instead), and posts with irrelevant images or videos, especially those without text. If your post will add nothing to a discussion, don’t post it.
- Overposting. Making the same post many times, making multiple pointless posts in the same thread, making numerous posts with no real content, or posting for the purpose of gaining a higher post count.
- Reposting. Please don’t repost entire articles from other sites. To initiate a discussion about an article, post a link to the article, quote a bit of it if you like, and include your own comments or questions so people know why you think it’s worthy of discussion.
- Referral links and pyramid schemes or reverse scams. fraudster.info does not condone multi-level marketing and reverse scam schemes . Members who post referral links to these or other sites will have their posts/signatures edited and may be warned or even be banned immediately. New members who post solely for this purpose will be subject to bans.
- Off-topic posts. Off-topic posts will be deleted/edited. If you keep doing it see “Repeated problems” below. Posts on political, religious, and social issues are NOT allowed at any time.
- Instructing other members to search. Instructing members to search themselves for an answer or responses such as LMGTFY (“Let me google that for you”) are experienced as rude and condescending. We don’t have an issue with people linking to Google search results, although we prefer that members also link to a specific page that addresses the question being posed. A few words explaining how you got your search results makes your response even more helpful.
- Warez/Serials/Keys. Do not post software serial numbers or keys or refer people to specific websites, software, or techniques whose purpose is to break or bypass software licensing methods, distribute cracks, or obtain or use commercial software or media in violation of its license and/or for copyright violation. Do not ask for or give such help.
- Shared accounts. Accounts are to be used by only one person, and not shared between family members, friends or any other people. Registration is free, so there is no reason not to create a unique account for each person. You are responsible for any posts made with your account, and any resulting disciplinary actions.
- Profanity. The profanity filter is there for a reason. Do not circumvent it by using the language we intend to exclude or disguising those words. If a word is replaced by asterisks when you Preview or Submit a post, you know it’s on the list.
- Don’t discuss blocking other users on the site.
- Repeated problems. Any ongoing actions that make more work for the moderators and administrators or regularly annoy other members and require moderator action. We can’t spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with problems caused by any one member. If your membership is an ongoing detriment to our community then your membership may be terminated.
- Chattiness. Use the forums to discuss the topic of the thread, not as a substitute for Instant Messaging.
- One thread. Do not post a thread more than once. Post a new thread in the proper forum. If the topic is relevant to more than one forum, pick the best fit or most specific forum and post it only once.
- One post. Do not post multiple messages with the same content. One post in the most appropriate thread is sufficient.
- Signature size. Signatures may not be over 4 lines in height.
- Avatar and signature content. Avatars and signatures, as well as other profile fields, must comply with all forum rules, including those against profanity, explicit sexual content, insults against groups or individuals, referral links, and cannot be in other ways offensive. Although messages about social issues are permitted in signatures, members will be required to change avatars or signatures that are deemed too controversial or that are particularly annoying or distracting to other members. Signatures may include links to your own site or business as long as you do not make posts whose purpose is to call attention to your signature.
- Simulated signatures. Signatures must be set on your Forum Signature page and not simulated within posts, so that other members can choose whether or not to display them. You may not use automated software such as FoxyTunes Signatunes to insert content into your posts. You may use a salutation, i.e., put your name or user name at the bottom of your post.
- Bumps. Posts that bring a thread to the top of the New Posts list but add no content to the thread (bumps) are not permitted. This applies not only to posts that say “bump” but to those with the intent to bump, e.g. posts saying “anyone?” or the equivalent. See why and how to avoid bumping.
- Corrections. There is no need to point out another poster’s spelling or grammatical errors unless you think it is causing confusion. Remember that not all members are native English or German speakers. Communication, not correctness, is our goal. Examples: Don’t correct members who spell anything common in all caps or who call public domain word in wrong way. When other people (especially new members) fail to search and start new threads on old topics, don’t scold them or make them feel unwelcome. The best way to be helpful is by posting a link to a relevant thread or specific instructions for problem solving. Set a good example yourself by searching first before starting a thread if you have a question that may already have been answered in the forums or you want to discuss a topic that may already have been discussed. The exception is articles appearing on our Front Page. These entries are created by our professional staff. If you notice a spelling or grammar error in these articles, please send an e-mail to
- Sequential posts. We ask that you try to avoid making multiple posts in a row within a few minutes of each other, if you can avoid it, as a courtesy to other users. You can use the Multi-Quote feature ( to reply to multiple posts at once or you can edit your previous post to add new information.
- fraudster.info is a multi-language site, so we ask that posts in the forums be written in English or Deutsch.
- Common sense. In the end, use common sense. When you are about to post messages just to increase your post count, or post something you think is funny at someone else’s expense, think to yourself “Is this annoying?” If the answer is yes, don’t do it.
- User names must begin with alphanumeric characters so that the forum’s mention (tagging) feature will work. (To mention a user in a post, put @ before their user name.)