The Rules - SMF Guidelines

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoke Whisperer
Original poster
Staff member
OTBS Member
Jun 28, 2005
Tulsa, OK
The following guidelines/rules have been composed by admin and given the thumbs up by the moderating staff of the SMF.

Not trying to make it starchy... it has just become apparent that in the absence of rules, things can get out of hand.

Recently, there have been several untrue statements and/or accusations made and I have to admit, some overly tough disciplinary actions taken simply because we had no baseline by which to judge what is right or wrong.

The moderating staff did what they thought was best in the circumstances however, I feel there were just as many at fault who did not get disciplinary action as there were those who did.

This is neither here nor there and I do NOT want to talk about it in this thread.

If you have a problem, as will be mentioned below, with myself or the moderating staff then feel free to take that up with me in a PM.

At any rate.. the new guidelines are posted below. I would like for all members to read it over carefully and make sure it is something you are willing to live by while posting at the SMF.

I think these are very fair and will change nothing for most members since we have a ton of really nice, easy-going, classy folks here and I do mean that sincerely.

This is mainly formalities and will provide some guidelines on how to handle various situations as they arise.

Thanks everyone for making the SMF the best forum of it's kind in the world bar none.


This assortment of guidelines will be hereafter referred to as "The RULES" and is the bible when it comes to all actions related to posting, moderating, etc.

First and foremost,

All moderator and Admin decisions are final

If you have a problem with something the Admin or a moderator did then take it up with them or Admin in a PM. Do NOT get caught talking in any way that is disrespectful about one of these guys in public.

This is considered stirring the pot and is not allowed at SMF. If you post this type of material it will be immediately deleted and you will receive a rap on the knuckles by a staff member.

This also includes all messages within the chat interface.

Common Sense

Most of this should be common sense however, as it has become clear, this cannot be assumed. Rules must be in place.

This is a family friendly forum.. I have small children (as do many of you) who are at any time on my lap or behind me, etc. and I want to be able to open the forum and read any post without fear that they will see/read something that will damage their minds for years to come.

Please keep this in mind when you post...

General Member Posting

Admin and staff will do their best to be tolerant of free speech and general speaking of the mind as long as it does not contain any of the following:
  • Slandering another member
  • Talking bad about another member
  • Racial prejudice
  • Anti-American dialogue
  • R-rated Sexual content other than the "Jokes" area.
  • Showing hatred toward another member, the SMF, the SMF staff, God or anything deemed American
  • Politics. This topic always causes problems and this is why it is NOT allowed.
If any of the above is found to be present in a post the poster will be PM'd and either asked to edit their post within 3 hours or will be advised that their post was edited or deleted. If the poster complies then all is well. If the member refuses or is unable to edit the post for whatever reason, the post in question will be either edited in whole or in part with a note that says "edited by Admin due to..." and the reason for editing will be given.

Note: Some posts may be edited immediately such as extreme foul language, etc..

The member who posted the inappropriate material will be emailed and told that their post was edited and the reason for it.

Note: posting incorrect information may also be edited at the moderators discretion.. for instance, someone posts that chicken is done at 145 degrees. Admin or Mods will edit this to read the correct temp of 165 degrees.

The member will be emailed and told the reason for editing the post in a very tactful manner and the post will read "edited by Admin" but will give no reason since this could embarrass the member who accidentally or otherwise posted incorrect information.

Embarrassment is not the motive here.. correct information is the motive.

Things of an opinionated nature will be left alone such as what type of wood goes best with brisket. If someone posts the the best wood for brisket is maple and although that is not the consensus of most, it is still an opinion and will be left alone.

If someone posts that the best wood for brisket is pine, then Admin/Mods will edit the post to say "Note by Admin: Pine is not recommended due to the fact that it will create a nasty flavor and could even be poisonous in some cases".

A little common sense must play a part here.. we do not want statements that could affect someones health or safety and such posts will be edited.

If it does not affect health or safety then it will probably not be edited in most cases.

Do not take offense if your post is edited.

The SMF is holding itself to high standards and as such, the moderators and admin will strive to do what is best for the SMF. If this includes editing your post for whatever reason then please try to be understanding.

Links to your own personal or commercial website, blog or forum are not allowed in avatars or signature lines however, you may place a link in the home page field of your profile if you like.

OTBS members are expected to be the best of the best..

..they are the examples which everyone else should strive to follow. If you are an OTBS member then hold yourself to a high standard knowing that you represent something much larger than yourself.

Private Messages

Private message known as PM's are just that.. they are private and for the most part separate from the forum. Moderators do not have access to these messages and frankly do not want to. If needed a Admin can review PM's but will only do so if there is a valid reason.

You have the option to turn off the PM service within the UserCP. If you choose to use the tool, you use it at your own risk.

If someone sends you a message that you do not like then simply put them on ignore.. also an option in your UserCP.

The only time you will ever need to report a PM to Admin or the moderating staff is if it is of an illegal nature such as a proposition to buy/sell cocaine, to proposition you for sexual favors, etc... you get the drift.

You will also need to report any queries for your personal email address and/or invitations to another forum, website, etc. via PM.

This is not allowed on the SMF and will invoke an immediate and permanent ban on the sender.

Any such PM's should be immediately forwarded to the admin for proper handling.

Note: when contacting Admin/Moderators via a Private Message, regular posting rules apply as it relates to language and attitude. Any such PM's which contain questionable language and/or attitude will be immediately deleted and disregarded.

Moderator Duties

The moderators of the SMF are ultimately chosen by admin, in most cases this is with special recommendation from the present moderator staff.

As such they are held to high standards and should portray a great deal of patience, self control, wisdom, equality, and most of all.. loyalty to the SMF and its administration.

Moderators will perform all disciplinary matters in private either in a PM or an email at their discretion.

If any edit needs to take place, a moderator will PM the member in question and ask them very nicely to edit the inappropriate post within 3 hours.

If the member complies then all is well. If the member is unable to edit the post for whatever reason or refuses to do so within 3 hours..

the moderator will then edit the post and give a short concise reason for the edit.

All deletes will be "soft" deletes to maintain a record of what was done and why.

Members who are habitual "pot stirrers" or who constantly require editing will be reported to Admin who will either deal with them directly in a PM or may at his discretion ask a moderator to handle it.

SPAM Posts

All spam posts will be deleted immediately and the user banned forever. A SPAM post is one which is without doubt only created to sell something or invoke a clickthru to another website.

It may also contain pornographic images and/or lead to a site of that nature.

Admin reserves the right to amend these rules at any time without notice. As changes take place, admin will post a notice that the rules have been updated and it will then be each members responsibility to read the rules again and make sure they are understood.

If anyone has any questions concerning the rules, feel free to contact me via a PM and I will do my best to answer satisfactorily.

Efficient, concise, and fair.

Thank you Jeff. Now come to Michigan and straighten out this GM strike thingie eh? We got it bad enough 'round here...sigh.
We officially have (3) Moderators:


i believe that anyone who sign's up to be a member HAS to read this........and check a box they agree..........just like microsoft has...........that confusion.....before they are allowed membership.......i have had to do that in other forums not related to smoking/cooking

I will setting it up that way in the next day or so.. I agree that is the best method of ensuring that folks at least have a chance to read it.

The "I agree" must be checked before an SMF membership will be granted.
Glad to see some rules posted. I can live with them and I'm sure most others can as well.

Liked the Family Friendly comment. We need to be respectful of others on the forum who may have young'ns watching and prefer a little less course vocabulary than some of use use at times.
I have read the rules, understand the rules and the need for them, and I plan to follow them as best as I can. A job well done.
i'm down with it Jeff,sometimes on forums folks think they can do and say as they want without repercussion's.
they need a wakeup call.

The rules seem more than fair to me Jeff. This site seems to be growing larger everyday so I am glad you did what you had to do before something got out of control.

I frequent other forums on the web, but none as much as SMF for the simple fact that everyone seems to get along fine. There is no bickering and argueing, and everyone is so helpful. I would hate to see that change for the worse.
Over two years ago when I joined this forum there was no need for rules.As I have learned many times, bigger is not always better.I am very glad to see this forum grow but not at the cost of having problems in the ranks and personally I am very disappointed it has come to this.Now that we have reached the volume of members on board that we have problems were bound to rear their ugly heads.As a dedicated smoker and meat handler in general I have no problem with the guidelines set forth by our tireless moderators.As a long time member here I pledge to be always LOYAL to the "Smoking Meat Forum" and "The Order Of The Thin Blue Smoke"

If you are here to piss someone off, go somewhere else.

D. Dotson OTBS #008

Thanks for the effort and time spent setting these rules up.

I agree they are well explained and fair to all. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads