9 Things To Never Do On A Forum

  1. Not Googling before posting. This doesn’t apply to all forums, but where it does, you had better do it right, otherwise you’re going to get put in your place rather quickly. You’ll be probably be told to ‘search the fucking web’ or STFW.
  2. Not reading the manual before posting. Again, this doesn’t apply in all situations, but where it does, it does in a big way. You’re likely to get ‘read the fucking manual’ or RTFM as a response if you don’t.
  3. Evade a temporary ban. If you’ve been given a ban, you’ve got it for a reason. Evading the ban (by registering another username, changing email address, etc) is only likely to cause being kicked out again, this time more severely and more permanently.
  4. Start insulting other people personally. It’s fine to disagree. Disagreement causes wonderful arguments that everybody can learn from. Letting that disagreement turn into a personal flame war only causes misery for everybody. And probably a warning from the moderators too.
  5. Not use [code] tags for putting code in. It’ll make you look really, really dumb. Enough said. If you don’t know if the forum supports code tags or you can’t find them, point that out. At least then you have an excuse, and you can do it next time.
  6. Tell somebody their hard work is crap without telling them why. If you have enough of an opinion to tell somebody it’s complete crap, tell them why as well. Otherwise it’ll never get any better. This is especially important if you’re a regular and the initial poster is a newbie, because it reflects badly on the whole community. And thus…
  7. If you’re in a high position in the community, don’t conspire against it. You don’t need to be a moderator to be in a high position. You might have a high post count, or lots of people might mention your (user)name. Whatever it is that places you in that position (or appearance of a high position), don’t abuse it. It will reflect badly on the entire community to outsiders or newbie.
  8. Take over somebody else’s thread for having an argument with a third person. The only exception to this is if the argument is on the exact same topic. If a poster asks “which is better, red or blue?” and then you start discussing the merits of yellow and green, it’s rude and off-topic.
  9. Talk conclusively about something you have no clue about. It will only lead the conversation off-topic (at best) and is likely to confuse the other posters no end.

Do you have any ideas for a tenth item for the list? What is your pet peeve on forums?