Forum introduction

Is there a set of rules for the forums?

Yes… our house rules are called the 10 commandments. Please follow the link to remind yourself what they say. Everyone posting on the forums agreed to keep these rules when they registered.

Who are the Ship’s crew?

A team of trusted individuals work together to keep this place tidy upfront and well-oiled behind the scenes. They’ve all been around a while, know the ropes and are committed to this place as a unrestful Christian community. All give their time and enthusiasm voluntarily. They don’t even get free grog! The crew are divided up into:


Each forum has dedicated hosts. They do the day-to-day work of clearing up mouldy threads, fixing blown code, moving misplaced threads and checking we’re not about to be sued for libel. But, more importantly, they’re there to take part in the flow of discussion and shape the unique character of each forum. If a poster breaches the 10 commandments they’ll flag up a warning and/or request an apology. They can edit and delete posts on their own forum. If there is a problem on a thread, hosts for that forum are your first post of call.


The admins have overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the forums. Their work includes supporting the hosts, keeping an eye on how the forums are working and dealing with member issues. The admins have the unenviable responsibility of being the bottom line for shipmates who break the 10 commandments severely or repeatedly. They have the authority to suspend or ban unruly posters.

How do I get started?

The best place to jump in is All Saints, where the kind hosts maintain an introduction thread for people new to the forums. Sometimes it drops to page two, but look around, you’ll find it.

Which forum should I post my thread on?

Each forum has a specific purpose, and is unique in its style, tone, and content. If you’re unsure of where to post, see Which forum is which?, with a brief rundown of each forum. If you post a thread in the wrong place, one of the hosts will move your thread to the place where it belongs. If you’re not sure where a thread belongs, contact a host.

What is the Hell forum?

Hell is a special forum, where the rules are different. It’s an aggressive space, designed for heated debate about anything. It’s the place where personal arguments are sent if they erupt on any of the other forums, and it’s intended to keep the rest of our debate space clear of personal conflict. Hell has worked well for us for a long time.

How do I take an argument to Hell?

Commandment 4 covers this. If you find yourself grievously offended by a poster on another forum, Hell is the place to sort it out. We ask that you request clarification or explain to the offending party exactly why it bothers you before you drag them into Hell. Lots of times it’s just a misunderstanding. If you can’t resolve it to your satisfaction, by all means invite them to Hell. But read the guidelines of Hell first. There are certain non-negotiable things required of those who bring arguments into Hell. If you ignore them, you will almost immediately earn the attention of the hosts and the denizens. The spotlight in Hell is a very uncomfortable place to be.

How long do threads stay on the forums?

For as long as they’re active. Once a thread has been dormant for a few weeks, it can either be deleted or archived, depending on the quality of the thread. Deserving threads are sent to Limbo for long-term storage. Undeserving threads get sent to Oblivion. Oblivion’s bilge tank is swilled every so often so if you want to keep your favourite thread forever, save it!

Is anyone ever suspended or banned from the forums?

Members who repeatedly break the the 10 commandments or cause excessive disruption may have their posting access suspended, or even have their user account closed. Usually suspension is for a fixed period, however, if no time limit is given the user will need to contact the ship to try to reach agreement about their reinstatement. If members cause excessive disruption on a specific forum, they may lose posting privileges on that forum. Any discussion of the reinstatement of access or privileges should be between the individual concerned (not a third party) and Ship of Fools Admins. PMs may be used to make contact if the individual’s access permits this, or contact can be made via email.

Are there limits to what can be discussed?

In general, anything can be discussed provided those discussions remain within the law and are in accordance with the Ship’s the 10 commandments. The Ship does not tolerate posts that include potentially libellous material or advocate actions that are illegal. Offending material will be removed and the poster’s posting privileges may be revoked. If specifically required by law, details will be passed to the relevant law enforcement agencies. We will co-operate with any genuine requests for information from law enforcement agencies as far as we are able. If you have concerns about a legal issue in a post, please contact one of the Admins.

Can I share information about my personal circumstances?

Remember this is a public space that anyone can read. If you share things about your personal circumstances, then you open yourself up to having those circumstances discussed in the same way as anything else on these forums. Other posters are encouraged to respect statements about personal circumstances and take into account the cost involved to the person making them, but this cannot be guaranteed. If it is judged to be necessary, the hosts and admins will rule that discussion of a personal post is off limits or delete the material shared.

I need counselling, medical advice or similar services. Can I access that here?

The Ship is not an adequate substitute for face to face counselling, medical advice or similar services. Please seek professional advice and support in real life. Posts which seek to elicit such responses are strongly discouraged. Repeated posts along those lines will be deleted. The same policy applies in reverse. Do not seek to counsel or diagnose others here. The Ship wants to see all of you happy and healthy, and it is our responsibility to recognise the limitations of this medium.

Is it OK to post suicidal ideations?

The Ship not an appropriate or adequate venue for suicidal ideations. Do not waste precious time by posting here. If you suspect that your feelings of hopelessness or despair are more than just a reaction to a difficult time in your life or normal spiritual angst, or you think about suicide, then you need professional help, immediately, and you can’t get that here.

What is the Ship’s policy about safeguarding?

If you are experiencing abuse or know others who are at risk, then please get in touch with the appropriate authorities and/or seek professional support and advice. As set out in our Privacy Statement (below), the Ship does not, as a rule pass details onto third parties. However, on rare occasions where there appears to be a clear need to safeguard the welfare of a shipmate and/or their family, it may be necessary to contact the relevant authorities about a clearly identifiable member and their posts.

Information privacy

Ship of Fools respects your right to privacy in respect to the personal information you provide us on this website. Unless otherwise stated in the full privacy notice or at the time information is collected, all personal information you provide to Ship of Fools will be known only to us unless you specifically consent to us passing the information onto a third party, or we are specifically required to by law. However, on rare occasions where there appears to be a clear need to safeguard the welfare of a Shipmate and/or their family, it may be necessary to contact relevant authorities about a clearly identifiable member and their posts on Ship of Fools.

Intellectual property

All messages posted on the public forums can be re-used by Ship of Fools freely. This enables us to produce books, booklets and other media which quote from the discussion threads without the labour of seeking permission for each post quoted. This does not include your personal data, which is covered in any case by the provisions of data protection.

By posting on the public forums you grant Ship of Fools and its successors a non-exclusive irrevocable right to re-use your posting in any manner it sees fit without notice or compensation to you. No material contained in this site may be republished or reposted without express written consent of the Ship of Fools, except that forum members retain the right to republish or re-post their own work.

If you want to quote in public (such as on your own website) discussion that has taken place on one of these forums, you need to gain permission from the authors of the posts you’re quoting and also gain permission to quote from Ship of Fools and make sure that you publish the appropriate credit and link to this site. The usual copyright exceptions apply.

Please contact the editor if you would like permission to quote discussion publicly.

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