Updated: 1 Oct 2016 (v2.07)
Japan Reference (JREF) is a place to exchange information and ideas, post pictures, and chit-chat on all things Japanese. Japan Reference is frequented by people from all over the world, coming from all walks of life and each having their own opinions and impressions. In order to keep the JREF community vibrant and harmonious, it is imperative that all our members respect and follow our forum rules and standards.
Japan Reference (JREF) uses an automated infraction system, in which each violation results in infraction points assigned to each user for a specific amount of time. Infraction points are cumulative, the total of infraction points depends on the severity of a user's action. Read more on the infraction system under Section XV below.
The Japan Forum is built on mutual respect. We encourage controversial discussion as long as you show respect to other members as well as their views and opinions, even if you disagree with them. Avoid flaming and other offensive, profane or hostile behaviour. Do not engage in personal attacks and insults. If you feel a discussion is getting out of hand or that you have been attacked, contact a Team member by using the report button or by starting a Private Conversation (PC).
Our members and staff go to great lengths to answer questions and support requests. As a matter of general courtesy and basic "netiquette," we ask posters to acknowledge their efforts by either replying to their thread in a timely fashion or by expressing their gratitude with a "like". While the absence of such civility is deplorable, it will not result in an infraction. Be advised however that any future requests by members deemed discourteous and/or uncooperative may simply be ignored.
Welcome new members to the community! Help them learn how to find information and resources, so they will get involved in the community much faster and easier. Do not just point them to the search function or a search engine, but offer them constructive assistance and helpful links.
General discussions and questions should be in English. Questions about Japanese language as well as Japanese discussions should be posted to our Japanese fora in either Japanese or English. Threads in other languages can be posted to a dedicated subforum.
Pay reasonable attention to written English communication standards. This includes the use of proper grammatical structure, punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and spelling. In particular, "I" should be capitalized, add a space after - not before - a comma, a period, and other punctuation. Multiple exclamation marks as well as "shouting" (the usage of capitalised characters aka "CAPS lock" - all-CAPS) are also discouraged. SMS messaging shorthand ("text-message-speak"), such as using "u" for "you", "plz" for "please", "gonna" for "going to" or "wanna" for "want to" is not acceptable.
Please avoid explicit, obscene or vulgar language, imagery or behaviour. Forum posts containing profanity will be removed without warning.
We do not allow links to websites with pornographic, nudist, racist, hateful or other inappropriate or offensive content as well as links to pirated software ("warez").
Posting of inflammatory posts or threads with the sole purpose of starting an argument ("trolling") is not allowed. We encourage our users not to respond to such messages, but to report them to Team members.
Avoid posting messages that are out of context or irrelevant to a topic. While we encourage your participation in discussions, such posts will either be moved to another forum or deleted in order to ensure a thread's consistency. If you do want to write a post relating to another topic, please start a new thread in an appropriate subforum.
Do not re-post comments from a locked thread without explicit permission of a Team member.
Nonsensical posts, gibberish and other worthless posts with no content wasting everyone's time will be removed without warning.
Do not post the same message more than once in a forum or on many forum sections. Duplicate posts will be deleted without warning. Reposting the same message repeatedly can be interpreted as spam and could result in receiving an infraction and in the worst case the loss of your membership.
Do not post to threads that have not been updated for many years, unless your post is relevant to this particular thread. Rather start a new thread and link to the old thread you want to refer to.
Posts are considered the opinion of the poster and are not necessarily endorsed or approved by Japan Reference (JREF). When posting to the Japan Forum, you grant perpetual non-exclusive rights to Japan Reference (JREF) to republish, in any form, the posted material.
Please note that we do not delete accounts, posts and/or threads unless they violate our Forum Rules or Terms of Service.
When copying or quoting external resources, a link to the original website must be provided for any copyrighted materials or articles taken from a resource other than Japan Reference (JREF).
Copyright infringement is illegal. Japan Reference (JREF) will adhere to the law to the best of its ability. Never post an article in its entirety. When posting copyrighted material, please use small sections or link to the article. When posting copyrighted material please give credit to the author in your post.
Solicitation for commercial and charity-based organizations of any kind, without the written consent of Japan Reference (JREF), is strictly forbidden. Any solicitation activity through user-controlled content including, but not limited to user names, signatures, member profiles, and posts is strictly forbidden. This includes the posting of referral links ("affiliate programs").
Any violation of this rule will result in a permanent ban without warning. Content relating to commercial or charity-based organizations is only allowed when posting a legitimate reply to a question provided the user has no affiliation to the organization.
Non-commercial advertising is only allowed in specific fora. Self-promotion and advertising in other forum sections will be removed. We consider such unrelated messages as spam and will revoke your membership without prior announcement.
Please contact us prior to promoting your website, blog or a free application.
While we do encourage the discussion of political and religious topics on the Japan Forum, political campaigning and religious proselytizing of any sort, creed or religion will not be tolerated. Political and religious topics should be confined to the Serious Discussions or Chit-Chat section unless they are related to Japan.
Discussions that assert the a priori truth or falsity of religious dogmas and belief systems, or value judgments stemming from such religious belief systems, will not be tolerated.
We do not permit multiple accounts. If you want to change your user name please contact one of the administrators. In addition, we do not allow the use of disposable email accounts and will disable accounts of users employing them.
Japan Reference (JREF) does not permit posting hyperlinks to torrents, MP3s, yousendit/megaupload/rapidshare, or any other file-sharing services due to the sensitive nature of copyright protection. You are not allowed to request these kind of files from other users.
Signature permissions vary depending on the user group: the number of printable characters, lines, hyperlinks and images is restricted. Please note that the general rules for appropriate content also apply to the signature. Graphics and/or hyperlinks to commercial or charity-based organizations, without the written consent of Japan Reference (JREF), are forbidden. Find more details on signature permissions here.
Do not use URL shortening services in your signatures.
Offensive and otherwise inappropriate avatars (see Section IV, Profanity) will be removed without further warning. Repeated violation will result in the members' inability to set their own avatar.
The number of infraction points depends on the severity of an action. They are cumulative and assigned for a specific period of time. The Team members alone shall be the sole arbitrator of what constitutes a violation of forum rules and community standards. Failure to comply will result in actions ranging from issuing one or multiple warnings, to a permanent ban without warning from the site. Moderation decisions are not subject to discussion on the publicly accessible fora and subfora.
The guidelines the Team members follow are noted below:
Catalogue of forum rules and community standards:
If you feel that you have been unfairly warned or banned from the site, contact the Team either through Private Conversation (PC) or through the Contact Us form on the site. Under no circumstances discuss moderation warnings and decisions in public. Such attempts will be regarded as trolling attempts, and will result in further actions. The moderation team will review the decision and inform the member in case it has been overturned.
Neither Japan Reference (JREF) nor the administrators of the Japan Forum can be held responsible for the behaviour of any Team member of the Japan Forum, or any dispute among or between a Team member and any other member. Team members are not employed by Japan Reference (JREF) and have no legal affiliation with Japan Reference (JREF). Team members are considered as equal to any other forum member, and are only distinguished by their capacity to help moderate the Japan Forum according to their own judgement and availability. Please note that Team members are in no position to monitor all posts at the Japan Forum, and that the compliance with our Terms of Service as well as our Forum Rules is up to each Team member's judgement, without any liability to the administrators.
Japan Reference (JREF) reserves the right to organize forum sections in order to best serve the majority of members. Furthermore, we reserve the right to remove unrelated posts as well as posts that violate the Forum Rules. Ultimately, we reserve the right to revoke your membership if you violate these Rules. Finally, the section headings used herein, including descriptive summary sentences at the start of each section, are for convenience only and shall not affect the interpretation of the Forum Rules.