I'm somewhat perplexed as to why additional rules are sought as the majority are covered during signup via registration agreement?
Certainly the registration agreement is a set of rules. Are the majority covered? That depends on the forum and it's tone and subject matter. Let's take a look at just the first sentence from the default SMF Registration agreement - "You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law."
There's a lot of reading between the lines you could do with that sentence. What does "defamatory" mean with respect to a forum? How about "hateful"?
For example - "invasive of a person's privacy". What does that really refer to? Their real name? Their birthday? How many cats they own? Where they live? What they said on a completely different forum under a different membername? Anything at all you can manage to dig up about a member you can just dump it all in a post?
I've had pages of discussions about that meaning as regards what is and isn't acceptable to post about members, such as information gathered from other sources about people. That's the problem. That's what the rules are for - to explain between the lines. Yes, yes I know, it could all be jammed into the registration agreement, but if nobody reads it now, then surely nobody would read it if it was even longer.
So, the rules explain more of what is expected after you register. That's how I've always looked at them. Like a Federal Agency. They pass laws that create the agency, and top level laws it has to operate under. But no set of laws can possibly explain all the things the agency has to act on. Those other things are the regulations and guidelines the agency makes under
the law that established it.
Registration Agreement = Top level "laws"
Rules = lower lever regulations and guidelines
I think that most of the time, you just want people to understand that they should be... "not evil", and "not stupid".
The rest is up to the moderator's taste, but that's what 'warnings' are for.
Perhaps that's a way to go. I've never tried it.
I'm afraid I left 95% of the forums I registered to, and while most of these 95% are for the simplest of reasons (lost interest), so many of them were due to being uncomfortable posting there... Either because I felt the rules were too harsh, or simply because I didn't feel welcomed (or no longer welcomed).
I know exactly
what you are taking about. :-/