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General Forum Information

This page provides all public information about General Forum including rules, ideas, our history, and more. This page may be updated from time to time, but should serve as an adequate representation of both the past and future of this community.

The purpose of our community is to empower individuals through common goals, ideas, discussions, and constructive debate. Our aim is to allow a multitude of perspectives while eliminating toxicity that is often found in public discourse. While we do not support censorship, we hope to maintain a safe, healthy and vibrant community that is free of sexism, racism, cyber-bullying, and other forms of hatred.

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals.”

Jean Vanier

Together we are strong. By engaging in public discussions we can gain experience with people from all different areas of the world and become exposed to unique perspectives, ideas, stories, and content.

I created General Forum because many similar communities online are defined by the site owner and their selected staff members. Unlike other online discussion software, we allow anyone to create a new topic (category/tag) to apply to their content. This allows our members to define the community by engaging in discussions they're interested in, and it is not up to me or the administration to decide what content categories are available. Topics can start trending by receiving points in the relevant discussions. To receive additional exposure, users can share content in trending topics, or maybe start a trend of their own by creating a new topic. Once a topic is created a dedicated page will always be available showing all discussions - no matter how obscure or popular they may be.

Community Guidelines

Although we do not believe in censorship, some actions may result in your account be suspended temporarily or banned permanently. However, these guidelines should help you understand your role in a healthy community to avoid that happening. It is up to the discretion of our administration to decide the consequence for violating the community guidelines, although strict protocols are in place to prevent abuse from staff members.
You can view staff actions taken on our Website Transparency page. You can see our current staff members and every action taken (and why).

Healthy Community - violating the rules below may result in a warning, an account suspension, or a permanent ban for more severe incidents.
Strictly Forbidden - violating the rules below will likely result in a permanent account ban and may force us to contact US state or federal authorities. General Forum complies with DMCA laws and legal warrants for information from US state & federal agencies.

General Forum Points

Although we do not believe in censorship, some actions may result in your account be suspended temporarily or banned permanently. However, these guidelines should help you understand your role in a healthy community to avoid that happening. It is up to the discretion of our administration to decide the consequence for violating the community guidelines, although strict protocols are in place to prevent abuse from staff members.

What are General Forum Points?
Points represent your contributions to the community. Whenever you start a discussion or reply to someone else, you have a chance to either gain or lose points. Think of it as a 'vote'. You can press the UP arrow to give a member points, or DOWN arrow to deduct points from a member. Here's how it works...


Point Nullification
The integrity of our points system is important to the community. Although it is never fun to take administrative action against a member, certain violations do require more than a suspension or account ban. Point nullification can take a few different forms, depending on the severity of the incident or violation history of the community member.


Awards

There are many awards available in the community. Many of these are rare, and even the more common awards can be completely random. Some of these are only available on specific holidays or seasons, while others are available throughout the entire year. New awards may be added at any time and it's always possible that certain awards will become unobtainable at a later date (although you will never lose an award you've already hunted for & received!)

Greyed out awards have not been won by any member yet. You can hover over the award icon to see how you can earn it.
Red awards are so rare you may never see it
Orange awards are extremely rare
Purple awards are quite rare

A+
I Love Bitcoin
Say Cheese!
Donator
Nerdgasm
Email Verified
Mark Zuckerberg
My Time to Shine!
Discussion Guru
#developer
wwwdot
Winter Wonderland
Roast Turkey
Elusive Turkey
Golden Turkey
Typical Redditor
Bronze Medal
Silver Medal
Gold Medal
Twitch!
Vimeo
Wikipedia!
YouTube is Life
Black Cat
Plump Pumpkin
Witch Hat
Our Gift to You
Christmas Tree
Santa Hat
5% Chance in December, January, and February
50% Chance on New Year's Day or Eve
5% Chance in 'Gaming' Topic
Submit a Valid Bug Report / Uknown Error to Administration
Obtain 50% or More of Available Awards
Contribute Every Hour for 24 Hours
10% Chance During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
1% Chance in 'Space' Topic
5% Chance in 'Space' Topic
Obtain Every Possible Award
Receive Over 1,000 Positive Points
Receive Over 2,000 Positive points
Receive Over 1,000 Negative Points
Receive Over 2,000 Negative Points

General Forum, the Software

General Forum is not just a website, it's 100% proprietary software. I created our community this way because I wanted to create a new experience that doesn't rely on third-party software, especially for new features. Your experience here is unique and tailored to what we all want. There is always an opportunity to build upon what we have, to keep up with trends and community desires.

History of Forums

Forums have always been hubs for information, conversation, debate, and meeting new people to gain experience and learn interesting perspectives. In Roman culture, it is said that a town of any size had two key places: a temple... and a forum. While forums are widely known as online discussion boards nowadays, there have always been meeting places throughout history to discuss societal issues, judicial concerns, business, and more. Simply put, forums have been around for a long time and they aren't going anywhere. However, how we view an online forum must change.

Time for Change

If we're honest with ourselves, we know that social media has taken over the internet and oldschool forums are a thing of the past. General Forum aims to change that by introducing social features to the forum world. With trending topics and discussions, the software acts more as a social platform than a traditional forum. The focus of the community becomes our homepage, and administration has hardly any ability to force members into discussing any specific topic. Members can create new topics (similar to forum sections or categories) and start discussions there.

Of course, it is the responsibility of our members to choose topics that best fit their new discussion. Additionally, starting a discussion in a topic nobody has ever heard of or a topic with minimal interactions may lead to the discussion going undiscovered. While we cannot force anyone to choose the most ideal topic to create a meaningful thread, our software does help new members or topics become discovered.

Trending discussions and topics represent what our community finds most valuable. This is not decided by administration manually, but instead relies on elaborate algorithms inside the General Forum software. One interesting aspect of this is that obscure topics can start trending, even if they're less active than a more popular topic. Here's how trending topics and discussions are calculated.