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Frequently Asked Questions

by Jeff Steele last modified Jan 02, 2024 01:02 PM
Frequently asked Questions about the DCUM Discussion Forums
How do I post as "Anonymous"? 
Simply do not login before creating a new message. If you have already logged in, log out and wait at least 10 minutes. The forums use cookies which must expire before you can be anonymous. 
How do I delete my message? 
Only Site Administrators can delete messages. Please use the "Report" button at the bottom of each message to request that the message be deleted. 
How can I edit my message? 
If you posted while logged in, there will be an "edit" button at the top of your message. If you posted as anonymous, it is not possible to edit your message. 
Why was my message moved or deleted? 
Because it was posted to the wrong forum or because it was not appropriate.   
I forgot my password, should I email the Site Administrator? 
No, there is a link under the login form that will allow you to reset your password.
I forgot my username, should I email the Site Administrator?
No, please register for a new account. 
When I contact the Site Administrator, should I include my password? 
No, passwords should never be disclosed to others.
I posted a message as "Anonymous". Am I really anonymous or will the Site Administrator be able to identify me? 
All connections to DCUM (and probably every Internet site) are logged. Saved information includes your Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser type and version, the date and time of the connection, and the page visited.  The IP address may reveal from where you are posting and may help identify other messages you have posted.  Only Site Administrators have access to this information. 
Related to "Anonymous" posting, is it okay for me to post derogatory information about other people? 
Obviously, its possible to post such information, but we'd rather you didn't. Your message may be removed at the discretion of a Site Administrator. Moreover, Site Administrators will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other legal representatives should the need arise. At their discretion, Site Administrators may choose to cooperate with the targets of such derogatory information either by deleting the offending post or posting a rebuttal.
I own a business and/or sell a product that DCUM members would love. Can I post a message telling them about it? 
No, that would be considered advertising. Please see http://www.dcurbanmom.com/advertising for information about advertising on DCUM. 
I noticed that someone posted spam or another inappropriate message. What should I do?
Use the "report" button that is in the bottom right corner of each message to report the post to site administrators.
I saw that someone asked a question that has been asked over and over again and I am sick of seeing it. Should I answer with a sarcastic response? 
No. If you want to be helpful, post a link to a previous thread or politely suggest the poster use the search system. If you don't want to be helpful, please move on to the next thread. 
I also saw that someone posted a really stupid question. Should I call them an idiot? 
No. Site Administrators probably had exactly the same question at some time and will take offense at the inference that they are idiots.
There is a thread that I really hate and I wish people would stop posting in it. Should I post a message saying, "Please stop posting in this thread?" 
No, your post will simply make the thread go back to the top of the list of topics and give it additional exposure. If you don't like a thread, don't read it. 
Don't all users have a right to free expression and should be able to post anything they like? Isn't it censorship when a Site Administrator interferes with that right? 
No and No.  We allow great leeway in what users are allowed to say, but Site Administrators reserve the right to delete and/or modify any message at any time for any reason. DCUM is privately owned and operated and, as such, First Amendment rights do not apply (though they are given great reverence).
There's nothing on your site that says that posts need to be constructive, non-ironic or even polite. (an actual justification used by a poster in defense of a non-constructive, ironic, and rude post)
When you respond to posts, please be constructive, non-ironic, and polite. While other posters' questions and/or viewpoints may not seem relevant to you, they may still be important to the poster. Please treat them with respect and respond in a manner in which you would like people to respond to you. Posts that appear to be aimed at "trolling" the forum rather than engaging in construction discussion may be deleted.
What is an IP address and is it private?
An Internet Protocol, or IP, address is a numerical address that shows the source of connections to a website (this is a vast over-simplification, but close enough for this discussion). Hostnames, such as "www.dcurbanmom.com", are translated to numeric IP addresses. Similarly, a numeric address can often be translated to a hostname. This "reverse translation" can reveal information concerning the source of a post, such as the poster's employer (if the poster is accessing DCUM from work), ISP, or the country in which the poster is present. DCUM Administrators reserve the right to reveal both IP addresses and details learned from them either publicly or privately in connection with abuse or misuse of the DCUM website. Abuse and misuse include, but are not limited to, trolling (posting inflammatory messages in order to elicit a response), sock puppeting (posting multiple messages as if you were a different poster in each case), spamming, and chronic rudeness.
My question is most appropriate for one of the less popular discussion forums. Should I post it in "General Parenting Discussion" so that more people will read it? 
No. Please post your message in the most appropriate forum.  Messages inappropriately posted in the "General Parenting Discussion" forum are likely to be deleted along with any responses to the message. 
I have posted my message in the most appropriate forum. However, I'm still concerned that some users won't see it. Should I cross-post my message to other forums as well? 
No. Cross-posted messages are likely to be deleted along with any responses to the messages. 
I found an article that I think people on DCUM will find interesting. Should I "copy and paste" the article into a message in the forums? 
Only if the author of the article explicitly allows distribution of his intellectual property in that manner. DCUM respects intellectual property rights and will delete articles that appear to have been posted in violation of copyright laws.  The appropriate means of bringing article to DCUM readers' attention is to post a brief summary or excerpt and a link to the original source.
Should I post a message that contains nothing but a link to an article somewhere else on the Internet?
No. The DCUM Forums are not your Facebook or Twitter Feed. With a few exceptions, our forums are meant for discussion. If you think an article on another website is worth discussing, then please post a brief summary of the article or some commentary about the article along with the link. That will allow readers to make a more informed choice whether to click on the link.
I believe that a message in the forums defames either me or my business. Should I have my attorney send you a sternly-worded letter threatening legal action if the message is not removed?
No. If you feel a message in the forums is defamatory to either you or your business, please contact the website administrators and ask that the message be reviewed. Threats of legal action are normally treated with a great deal of scorn and will generally result in less cooperation rather than more. Before wasting your time, your attorney's time, or our time, please become familiar with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 provides a great deal of protection to the website operators and clarifies that the target of your legal action should be the author of the post in question. When potentially-defamatory posts are brought to our attention, we will remove or edit them, or assist in identifying the author at our discretion.
Can my profile/account be deleted?

For years, we never received this type of request. Then, suddenly, we started getting them all the time. I found a great response to this on another website and have blatantly plagiarized the answer:

Hotel California

"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

On very, very rare occasions (okay, maybe not so rare), forum members decide to leave the forum and ask DCUM Moderators to delete their accounts and/or purge their posts. We've declined to do that, particularly for a member who has posted extensively. The nature of a thread is a post, responses to the post and quoting of the original post, responses and quotes of responses and so on. If there were technically a way to erase these posts with the push of a button, many threads would be rendered incomprehensible.

It is technically possible to delete an account, although it is rarely done. When an account is deleted, posts that have that username as their author cause errors when the message is viewed. The page templates attempt to look up the post's author in order to link to the profile and generate an error when the record is not found. Manually, we can replace the username with "anonymous" or something else, but that does not account for posts that have quoted the original message and may contain the author's username. It's also a lot of work.

There's no agreement on the front end that we'll erase the tracks of a person who decides to leave. And we do not intend to do so.

So, the Hotel California analogy is a little rough. You can check out, you can leave, but we're not going to tear up the paper trail associated with you being in the Hotel.

So. Welcome to the Hotel California.

I want to protect my privacy by using a proxy server when I connect to DCUM. Is that allowed?

We do not have a means of automatically detecting when a proxy server is being used. Moreover, many enterprises use proxy servers for outbound connections by their employees. Therefore, generally proxy servers are treated no differently than non-proxy connections to DCUM.

However, there is a high degree of consistency between the use of a proxy server and abuse of DCUM. Proxy servers are frequently used by spammers and potential hackers. In addition, posters who have had their IP addresses blocked due to misuse often use proxy servers to return to DCUM (and continue to do what got them blocked in the first place). As a result, we frequently block the IP addresses of proxy servers when we detect them.

How do I include a picture or image in my post?

If the graphic is on a website, you need to determine its URL or link. Note, this is not a link to the page on which the picture appears, but a link to the actual picture. It will normally look something like "http://www.website.com/picture.jpg".

Once you know the link that you need, click "reply" or "new topic" to start a new post. In the tool bar below the subject, there is a button that says "Img". Click that button one, paste the link to the picture, and click the "Img" button a second time. Then, click "Preview" to make sure it shows up correctly.

If the photo is not on a website, but rather something you took or have on your own computer, you will need to find a place to upload the photo. Many users here use https://imgur.com

Follow that website's instructions to upload your image, get the link, and follow the steps above.