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RULES OF THE BOARD

These rules apply to the message board, boardmail, and any other messaging or communication function of this website. This includes board features such as Post of the Day, reactions icons, etc. Images posted by users (whether linked to from other sites or uploaded) are considered "posts" for the purposes of the rules.

Click any of the rules below for more specifics.

Stay positive and be supportive. This site is meant to promote BYU Athletics.
BE (GENERALLY) SUPPORTIVE
With respect to the team, which includes all players current, former, and future (which could be any recruit), we expect all of our posters to remain positive and supportive. This does not mean that you can't express some constructive criticism that explores the weaknesses as well as strengths of our team. There is a big difference between "Player X sucks and is as slow as molasses" and "Player X needs some improvement particularly with his speed, but his strength and agility are outstanding". And there are a hundred shades of gray in-between. An accumulation of mildly negative posts with never (or hardly) a positive word said may result in action by the moderators.

Please note that this specific rule is a guideline. You will not be penalized unless you are excessively negative.
DO NOT POST POTENTIALLY HARMFUL RUMORS
Do not post rumors about a BYU athlete, coach, or athletic program - especially regarding NCAA or honor code violations, criminal activity, or any other harmful rumor - unless the information has already been publicly discussed outside of CougarBoard. You must provide a link to the article, blog, tweet, or other source for the rumor, unless replying to a thread that already contains such a link, or if the source of the rumor is generally known.

Questions about a rumor will be treated as posting the rumor itself, and the same guidelines will apply.
DO NOT POST ACADEMIC INFORMATION OF PLAYERS/RECRUITS
Do not post academic information regarding any player/recruit (no grade or test information). The one exception to this policy is if a recruit has publicly stated such information, and then a link to that information is preferable to the actual posting of the information.
WHY SHOULD I? THE PLAYERS AND RECRUITS DON'T READ THIS STUFF...
That's completely wrong. Several players and recruits are known to frequent the site. Many of their family members also visit the site, and some are even active posters here. The rule of thumb to use is don't post anything that you wouldn't say if the player and his mother were standing right next to you, because in a very real sense, they are.
BUT THE COACHES SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO READ THE INTERNET...
You're right. And they do know better than to take anything said on the internet to heart. They are also professionals and adults, so you can be a bit harder on them. Their personal lives, whether that is our coaches or the coaches of other teams, should be left out of it though. While their professional responsibilities and performance are fair game for discussion, posting rumors that any coach on our staff will be fired, or using the board to campaign to get any coach on our staff fired is not appropriate.
LET'S PROTEST
CougarBoard is meant to promote Brigham Young University Athletics. Every individual should express themselves directly to the program in the manner they deem appropriate. CougarBoard will not be used as a rallying point for any sort of grassroots movement that is not supportive of the University and its athletic teams. Such expressions include, but are not limited to, booing at any game, withholding/redirecting of donations, petitions, email campaigns, tshirts, banners, etc. Posts regarding any such campaigns are not appropriate.
Keep it clean. Even if unofficially, what you say here reflects on BYU.
NO PROFANITY
We try to keep CougarBoard clean, so profanity of any kind (and in any language) is not allowed on CougarBoard.
THE LORD'S NAME
You may not take the Lord's name in vain on this board.
HOW ABOUT ACRONYMS?
You may not use acronyms which, if expanded, contain profanity or take the Lord's name in vain. If the average person would expand your acronym using profanity, then it's considered profanity. (When we refer to the "average person", we're not referring to the average Mormon in Utah.)
WHAT SUBSTITUTIONS ARE ALLOWED?
Using an asterisk in the middle of the word does not make it any less offensive. Neither does replacing the letter A with @, or the letter S with $. The general rule of thumb we use is this: if you say the profanity in your mind when you read the post, then it is as if you used the profanity. So, in some cases, #@%! could be considered profane.
BEAUTY
Do not post pictures in order to admire someone's beauty. Do not discuss the relative beauty of others, except your spouse / significant other. This may seem a little harsh, but this board is not intended to serve as a beauty pageant, nor as a "hot or not" contest.
SEXUAL INNUENDO
Sexual innuendo, double entendres, and other such questionable material is prohibited. Repeat violations of this rule will result in increasingly long suspensions.
DEGRADING
Posts that are degrading to women will not be tolerated. Some examples of inappropriate posts would be calling someone a "whore", insulting someone's mother/wife, or general male chauvinism.
SEX IN GENERAL
In general, sex is not an appropriate topic on this board. While there may be exceptions, they are few and far between. If you have a question about the appropriateness of a particular topic, please boardmail one of the moderators to ask about it.
RESPONDING TO INAPPROPRIATE POSTS
Some posts are against the rules because of word choice, while other posts are against the rules because of the overall topic of the post. For the purposes of this rule, "inappropriate posts" are considered to be any post that has a topic that is against the rules.

If you see a post that is against the rules, whether for word choice or choice of topic, please use the Report Abuse link on that post to let us know about it.

Any post responding to an inappropriate thread draws more attention to that thread. Responding to or promoting an innapropriate post is not allowed.
LINKS
A link to a web page about a topic is generally considered the same as posting about the topic directly.
WHY SO HARSH?
The owners of CougarBoard feel very strongly about so-called "family values". Some may feel that we are prudes. We're actually proud to be considered prudes, and think the world would be a much better place if more people were prudes. :)

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We refuse to let the possibility of being known as "prudes" keep us from standing up for what we believe is right. You can believe differently, and we'll respect your belief. Please respect our beliefs when using this board.
Don't be a jerk. Please be civil and respectful in your discussions with others.
AVOID ATTACKING OTHERS PERSONALLY
Namecalling is not allowed. You can disagree with another without calling them names. Do not start a new thread in order to "call out" a poster. (Creating a "related thread" to further a discussion in a non-attacking way is not considered calling someone out.) Do not post private communications (boardmails or emails) from another user.

One notable exception deals with fans of opposing teams. There is (of course) some mocking to be expected. However, it is expected that it will be kept tasteful.
STALKING/DOXING
Do not post personal information about anyone (or speculation about such personal information), even if that information is publicly available. This includes, but is not limited to, contact information, social media accounts, photos, and videos that they did not intend to have posted to sites such as CougarBoard.com. This is especially true when the intent behind such sleuthing is to harass the individual. Obviously, intent cannot always be determined objectively, so the moderators' best judgment will be used.
HARASSMENT
Harassment of other CougarBoard users will not be tolerated. Examples of harassment may include:
  • Repeatedly making juvenile responses to that user's posts
  • Repeatedly making off-topic replies to that user's posts
  • Encouraging others to join in mocking a user
  • Repeatedly using the reaction buttons to mock a user, without ever actually replying to their posts
This list is not exhaustive, and additional examples may be added without notification.
THE INDIVIDUAL VS. THEIR OPINION
Anytime you attack an individual as opposed to disagreeing with their opinion, you are risking a personal attack. Some definite no-nos in this area:
  • Addressing an individual by a profane or rude name
  • Addressing an individual by making a play on words on their username (especially profane)
  • Insulting a user directly
GROUP ATTACKS
Attacking a group of people is considered the same as attacking an individual. For example, mocking people who belong to a political party, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other similar group would be against the rules.
GENERAL CIVILITY
Some things are generally considered disrespectful or uncivil. We do not have specific rules for everything that might be considered disrespectful, but here are some examples:
  • Posting the same thing over and over again
  • Posting things just to be annoying
  • Posting something just to elicit negative responses (a.k.a. trolling)
  • Having more than one animated image in your signature
  • Having a signature that is extremely long -- more than a couple inches on a typical monitor
  • Snarky responses to serious questions, especially in the restricted categories
  • Using a deceptive subject line to get people to click on your post
  • Changing the text of your post to change the context of the responses
  • If you are blocked from interacting with a user, then any attempts to work around this blocked interaction (for example, by responding to one of the replies, but directing your message to this user) will result in a penalty
RECENT TRAGEDIES
It is tempting for some to attempt to score cheap political points by making snarky responses to recent tragedies. For example, after the Boston Marathon bombing, saying that "too bad it wasn't a pressure-cooker-free zone" would be a snarky response intended to score cheap political points. This is disrespectful to those close to the tragedy, and is not allowed.
RESTRICTED CATEGORY CIVILITY
Posts in the restricted (subscriber-only) categories are often more divisive, and you are expected to keep your posts civil. As mentioned above, attacks on groups of individuals are not allowed. For example, attacking a party or other political group would violate the rules. That is not to say that you cannot disagree - just don't resort to name calling and other similar juvenile behavior. Some light-hearted mocking of public figures is allowed, but that is completely at the moderators' discretion, so don't let it get out of hand. Also, advocating revolution, assassination, or other radical or extreme action will result in a penalty.
MOCKING ON OTHER PLATFORMS
Using other platforms to mock or attack CougarBoard users contributes to incivility on CougarBoard, and those found to be doing it (or contributing to it) may be moderated, especially if it is found to be egregious or persistent. If your screenshots or other copies of posts are put onto other platforms for the purpose of ridiculing one or more CougarBoard users, it may result in a loss of privileges, including (but not limited to) suspension of your ability to read posts in any or all CougarBoard categories and/or a complete ban from CougarBoard.
Don't break the law, or the terms of service of any site or product.
COPYRIGHT LAW
You may not post copyrighted articles, such as articles or other content from other sources. You may post relatively short quotes from articles if you properly source them (including giving a link when possible).
SHADY STUFF
Also, you will receive a penalty for suggesting, asking for, or providing information about how to (a) break copyright law (including unsanctioned internet rebroadcasts of games), or (b) violate the terms of service of any site or product.
Posts should be correctly categorized. Also, some categories have additional restrictions.
MID-THREAD CATEGORY CHANGES
Threads cannot change category in mid-thread, so if your response belongs in a different category, you need to start a related thread using the "Reply" dropdown menu.
RESTRICTED (SUBSCRIBER-ONLY) CATEGORIES
Some categories are limited to subscribers only. If you do not have access to a category, you may not post about that topic, even in another category.
CATEGORY PRECEDENCE
Some categories are subsets of other categories, and so they have precedence when multiple categories may apply. If there is any question which category a post belongs in, and there are multiple options, put it in the category with the highest level of precedence that applies. This allows people who want to ignore certain topics to do so more easily.

The order of precedence is:
For example, if a post is about both politics and religion, it should be in the religion category, since that is above it in the list. Any post that is about both a non-restricted category and a restricted category should be posted in the restricted category.
COVID-19 RESPONSE
Temporary exception: The COVID-19 Response category should be used for all discussion of government, corporate, or religious response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This overrides the normal requirement that political or religious posts must be posted in an appropriate restricted category.
MISCELLANEOUS NEWS
The Miscellaneous News category should only be used for posts about current events, which do not fit anywhere else. If the current event you're referring to is religious, political, or otherwise belongs in a different category, you must use that category instead of Miscellaneous News.
RELIGIOUS DISCUSSION
Users are free to discuss a wide array of religious topics, including doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All posts on such doctrine must clearly state that they are the opinion of the poster and/or the poster's personal interpretation of what others, including Church leaders, have said.

The owners of CougarBoard are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which also owns Brigham Young University. Because of our strong feelings about the Church, we do not want the resources of CougarBoard used against it. In addition, since many visitors to this site may not be familiar with the Restored Church of Jesus Christ or its doctrine, we feel that this isn't the appropriate place for some otherwise appropriate but potentially controversial discussions regarding church history, leaders, policies, or doctrine. If you have a sincere question regarding a specific doctrine or policy that may not be able to be asked on the main board, please ask the question to your friends only list.

Mocking, undermining, or questioning the leadership or doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not allowed, and will result in a board penalty. This includes asking questions or polls that moderators deem leading or rhetorical that will solicit others to mock, undermine or question the leadership or doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Discussing or quoting temple rites or other sacred ordinances, especially in a disrespectful or mocking manner, will result in a board penalty.

Experiences that are deemed by moderators to reflect badly on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or its representatives (missionaries, bishops, stake presidents, etc.) will be removed. We will try to enforce this rule consistently and in good faith, but if the story would leave a reasonable person with a bad impression of the Church or its representatives, it doesn't belong on the Board. For example, mission experiences that portray missionaries in a bad light should be avoided.

Excessive complaining, whining, or other negativity about the Church, or its members or congregations, may result in being removed from the religion category.

When a serious religious or morality question is asked, please do not respond with jokes or other snarky responses. We want people to feel comfortable asking serious questions without being mocked for their beliefs or understanding. Using reactions to mock a serious religious/morality post may also be perceived as mocking someone's beliefs or understanding, and may also be penalized.

In determining the difference between someone involved in an honest discussion and someone with their own agenda, some discretion by the moderators will be required. If you feel that you have been penalized unfairly, please just make a courteous appeal, and be patient with us.
POLITICAL DISCUSSION

Politics is a contentious subject for many people and extra care is required in order to maintain a place where people feel free to engage in civil discussion. We've found that the most important factor in ensuring political civility is not making it personal; it's fine to disagree with someone, but when you make the discussion about them instead of the argument that they're making, it tends to go downhill. It's also true that while you and that poster may enjoy such discussion, it has a stifling effect on others who do not want to be part of such discussion.

Discussing politics of any kind in your post means that it MUST be categorized in the Political Discussion category, unless it is superceded by an also-relevant restricted category (see "CATEGORY PRECEDENCE" above). The following are a list of examples of topics we consider to be political discussion.

  • Discussion of government politics, policies, regulations, laws, etc (of any country) -- this includes taxes, elections, etc
  • Legality of government actions (e.g. police brutality, etc)
  • Mocking politicians
  • Racism or sexism
  • Foreign affairs
  • Media/corporate bias
  • Sexual harassment
  • References to political ideologies (e.g. "left-leaning", "libs", "alt-right", etc)
  • Social justice, protests, and other similar topics
  • Use of politicized terms (e.g. "woke", "snowflake", etc)
RULE SUBCATEGORIES
Some categories have what we consider "subcategories". These are reflected in the category precedence listed above.

There are some additional board policies, etc. These are mostly common sense.
ADVERTISING
You are not allowed to advertise for any other site or product without permission from El Jefe. If you have any questions about whether something is considered advertising, contact El Jefe. Exception: the "Tickets For Sale" category allows private ticket sales.
MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS
You may not post from multiple accounts. If you already have an account on CougarBoard.com, you may NOT set up another account. If you are having trouble posting with your current account, please contact us. By setting up another account, you will forfeit your right to change your username in the future, and you will receive a minimum 2-week penalty.

There is a process to change your current username, if that's what you are wanting to do.
GAMBLING
Gambling-related discussions should be limited to the line, and other related items such as over/under. Betting, discussing where to bet, etc are not allowed.
MODERATORS AND APPEALS COMMITTEE
Moderators can delete and recategorize posts, and give warnings and/or penalties to those who don't follow the guidelines. They handle abuse reports, as well as messages flagged for moderator view. While they can see appeals, normal moderators do not vote on them (unless the committee is absent).

Super moderators are like normal moderators, but have the ability to change penalties that have been given. They also participate in the appeals votes.

The appeals committee can see and vote on appeals. They do not actively participate in moderating the board, and do not see abuse reports.

All moderators and appeals committee members answer to El Jefe (the board administrator). All actions taken by the moderators are logged.

Who are the moderators and appeals committee?
KEEP POSTS ABOUT THE RULES/MODERATORS CIVIL
You are free to discuss the rules/moderators, as long as you keep it civil. Mocking the rules/moderators, going off on a tirade about the rules/moderators, and other such behavior is inappropriate. If you have suggestions for rule changes, post a well reasoned argument on the board, or send a BoardMail to El Jefe about it.

Again, do not take it upon yourself to enforce the guidelines with other users. If you see something that is out of line, use the Report Abuse link near the bottom of any post and then leave it alone.
DELETED POSTS
You may not discuss deleted posts. If a post has been deleted, it was deleted for a reason. Discussing deleted posts generally leads to posting of the very thing that got the original thread deleted. If you have a question, bring it up directly with the moderators. Asking about deleted posts on the board is an automatic one-day penalty.
ENGLISH ONLY
The moderators for this board can only consistently moderate in English and will delete any posts that are in any language other than English. Exceptions may be made for words in other languages that are commonly known to English-speakers. Non-English usernames are generally allowed as long as they do not otherwise violate the rules.
COMMON SENSE
The best judgment of the moderators may be required in certain circumstances in interpreting and enforcing both the policies and the guidelines. As well, situations outside the policies and guidelines may arise from time to time, and the moderators will handle those in their best judgment.
You should also understand the Privacy Policy and agree to follow the Terms of Use of this website.

CougarBoard reserves the right to add or change these rules at any time without notice.

Recent Updates:

November 10, 2020:
Using other platforms to mock or attack CougarBoard users contributes to incivility on CougarBoard, and those found to be doing it (or contributing to it) may be moderated, especially if it is found to be egregious or persistent.
April 29th, 2020:
A temporary category called "COVID-19 Response" has been added. The COVID-19 Response category should be used for all discussion of government, corporate, or religious response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This overrides the normal requirement that political or religious posts must be posted in an appropriate restricted category.
April 20th, 2020:
The rules regarding the Political Discussion category (and its subcategories) have been updated. The following clarifications have been added:
  • Clarification of what we consider "uncivil" behavior in the political categories
  • Clarification of what types of posts MUST be categorized as political
Have a question for the moderators? Ask it here!