Low content posts. Please do not make posts containing no content (e.g., "first post," "hello, I'm new here," etc.). As a general rule, write as if you were speaking in real life to another human being. Do not use any catchphrases, memes, internet slang, or any other stuff that makes you look like a 12-year old.
Stay on topic. If your reply isn't relevant to the thread, post a new thread.
One person per account. Only one person may use a forum account.
One account per person. A person may only register one account.
Your signature and you. Please don't use overly large signatures or include videos (links to videos are OK in posts, but don't embed them). If you have images in your sig please keep the total under 30KB in size and maximum 160x160 pixels. Please do NOT post your portfolio in several lines in your signature. If your signature is relating to stocks, limit it to code letters only, no story or details of the stock, and no more than 2 lines. Signatures should not be vulgar in any way. What is amusing to one person may not be to another. Signatures should not be hyperlinked to your personal blogs, and must NOT contain advertising to take traffic away from HotCopper. We don't encourage email addresses in signature boxes, and suggest you join our Facebook site if you want to make one on one contact with another member.
Profanity/harassment. Personal abuse is not allowed since it falls under harassment. Profanity in posts is not normally tolerated. Please avoid profanity in general. Repeated or extreme profanity will most likely get you suspended. You should know some words that aren't profanities - use them instead. See below for the guidelines we use to deal with profanity.
Complaints about posts or users. If you have a problem with a user's post, use the TOU violation reporting link, rather than flaming them in the thread. In particular, if you think somebody is using multiple identities, don't tell them, tell us and we will investigate. Accusing people in error is embarrassing for everybody.
Name your source. If referring to or pasting an article in your post, please include a reference so people can check it out themselves. This is polite to the original author and your readers and saves you being accused of making it up. Note: Copyright material should not be posted on HotCopper.
Company representatives If you have a significant role (director, senior management, PR, etc.) in a company and you are posting in a discussion that is related to your company then you must disclose this. you don't have to disclose who you are, or your exact role, but we do require you to disclose that you have a role and broadly explain the kind of role. We would ask you to become an authenticated company representative, (especially if you are claiming to be authorised to speak on behalf of the company) to prevent any misunderstandings.
These may get you a temporary suspension, and repeated offences will likely get you banned:
TOU Abuse. Do NOT keep making TOU complaints about a member because you don't like what they are saying about your stock, as we will soon realise that you have an ulterior motive for using the TOU button. Mischievous, and overuse of the TOU function will likely result in you receiving a suspension that is longer than the poster you are complaining about.
Disrespect for moderators. Flaming moderators or admin also falls under harassment of another user. Also, it's more likely to be noticed by moderators and, if you think about it, isn't going to make them any better disposed towards you. Moderators try to be fair and reasonable and are trying to make the forum better. They may listen to reasonable suggestions or questions but not to aggressive rants. Multiple or serious offences will get you banned.
Don't feed the trolls. It just makes the situation worse. If a user abuses you or your friends, use the TOU Violation button and they will be moderated anyway. You don't want to join them do you? Ditto if you think the user is using multiple identities - tell us, don't accuse the user in the thread.
Derailing the thread. Don't post about how you like bunnies in a thread that is all about people who like beer, make a new thread.
Just don't make a post anywhere that is (intentionally) worded so as to disrupt the constructive discussion of the current subject.
Profanity against a user. Similar to harassment, but will probably get you suspended for longer. See below for guidelines used to deal with profanity.
Low content posts. A good measure is to ask yourself, 'Is this post funny, informative, or otherwise interesting?' if you can answer 'Yes' to any of those, then post away. If not, take your finger off the Post button.
Copyright Infringement. Upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights ("Rights") of any party. Any publication that is a paid subscription will not tolerate you posting the information here and may result in a legal issue.
Plagiarism An unpleasant thing to do is to copy other people's work and claim it as your own by not crediting the author or source.
Vandalism Deliberate attempts to vandalise pages through the inclusion of specific content or code in your submissions to the site is grounds for immediate account suspension and may result in a legal issue.
(Applied at moderators' discretion)
These offenses may get you permanently banned, and suspension pending explanation if necessary:
Saying "I'm never posting here again" or phrases along these lines. If you are never going to post on HotCopper again, we will deactivate your account so it's not hi-jacked by someone else. You will have a 14 day cooling off period prior to permanent suspension to retract statements by contacting HC support.
Multiple accounts. Don't register multiple accounts. When we find out, all of the accounts will be suspended, leaving you with one account only if deemed appropriate
Multiple users on one account. Don't let your friend use your account to post messages. It's free to register, so make them create their own account.
Defamatory comments about company directors or public figures. You, as well as HotCopper don't need to have legal action taken against them, so choose your words very carefully.
The use of profanity (abusive or vulgar language) on the HotCopper forum is not tolerated. Continued or extreme profanity will result in suspension of your account. Below are guidelines moderators and administrators use when dealing with profanity. Note that while we follow these guidelines, we apply some discretion and may treat individual cases more or less harshly depending on individual circumstances. As a guideline, please refer to Dictionary.com.
Please note that substituting symbols for letters in profanities or using abbreviations will still be considered as profanity and treated using these guidelines.
General Profanity * - other than personal attacks
Level 1 - Mild or abbreviated profanity in body of text:
1st offence: Warning
2nd offence: 1-3 days temporary suspension
3rd offence: 7 days temporary suspension
4th offence: 30 days temporary suspension
5th offence: 60 day temporary suspension
Level 2 - Strong profanity, or vulgar, profane pictures in body of text:
1st offence: 7 days temporary suspension
2nd offence: 14 day temporary suspension
3rd offence: 60 day temporary suspension
Personal Attacks - The tone of your post towards other users on HotCopper is also considered to be very important. Personal abuse or attacks that are directed at specific users are not tolerated. If profanity is used and directed at a HotCopper user or users, the following guidelines are used.
Level 1 - Mild or abbreviated profanity as personal attacks:
1st offence: 1-3 day temp suspension
2nd offence: 3 days temporary suspension
3rd offence: 7 days temporary suspension
4th offence: 60 day temporary suspension
Level 2 - Strong profanity as personal attacks:
1st offence: 14 day temporary suspension
2nd offence: 60 day temp suspension
* The offences listed above will be judged over a six-month period.