Frequently Asked Questions & Guidelines

This document answers common questions about GTPlanet and offers guidelines and rules beyond what is explicitly forbidden in the site’s Acceptable Use Policy. If you have other questions or would like further clarifications about anything pertaining to the site, feel free to create a new topic in The Help Desk forum or contact the webmaster.

Using the Forums (#)

Message Formatting

Click here for message formatting codes and examples.

Sharing Pictures & Files

Click the “Upload a File” button below the box where you are composing your post, then select the files or images you want to include in your message. You can select multiple files, or simply drag-and-drop the files you wish to upload directly over the post editor box.

Once the image files have been uploaded, new options will appear below the editor which allow you to insert the images as thumbnails (linked to the full size version), insert them at full size, or insert a thumbnail gallery of all the images attached to your message.

You can also embed images hosted on other websites. See message formatting options for more information on how to do this.

Searching

Two search engines are availabe to search within GTPlanet. The Google Site Search is best for most general queries: it searches all sections of the website, including the News and Guides sections. The advanced search searches only within the forum but allows you to construct more specific queries.

Reporting Posts to Moderators

When you report a post via the “Report” button, the post in question is marked and emailed to all staff members for review.

As explained in Warnings, Infractions, and Banishment, if the reported post is in violation of AUP, the offending poster will be dealt with by staff. If you do not see immediate consequences of a reported post, that does not mean your efforts to maintain a healthy forum have been disregarded; only that the action has been conducted in private unless the staff feel a public announcement is warranted.

Smilies

A complete list of all the “smilies” you can use in your posts is available here.

Signatures

Your forum signature is automatically appended to each post that you make. You can edit your signature here.

Rename Your Thread

To change the title of your thread, click the “Thread Tools” menu near the top of the page in the thread, then select “Edit Title”.

Ignoring Other Users

You can “ignore” other users to automatically hide any content which they post to the site. If someone you are ignoring sends you a private conversation message, you will not receive their message, and it will appear, to them, as if you simply never responded.

Someone you are ignoring can still view and leave messages on your profile, which you will not be able to see. To prevent this from happening, you can update your profile privacy settings.

Click here to view and manage users on your ignore list.

Account Activation (#)

Did Not Receive Activation Email

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER.

Activation emails are frequently sent spam or “junk mail” folders instead of your Inbox. You can re-send the activation email here. If you cannot find the activation email, your email provider is likely blocking messages from our server and you will need to use another address. GTPlanet recommends GmailYahoo! Mail, and Hotmail as free alternative providers.

Account Suddenly Deactivated

If GTPlanet’s server experiences problems delivering notifications to your email address, your account will be deactivated automatically. Follow these steps to reactivate it:

1.) Resend the confirmation email to your primary email address.

2.) If you cannot receive email at your registered address or if you do not receive the confirmation email as you expected, change the address associated with your account.

Managing Your Account (#)

Changing Your Username

Your GTPlanet username is more than just a name – it’s your identity and the way people recognize you. Changing your username is highly discouraged.

However, name changes are allowed once per year for GTPlanet Premium users. If you want a name that has already been registered (please search for available usernames before sending your change request), that name can be reclaimed if the user in question has not been active on the site within 2 years and has less than 20 posts. Names cannot exceed 13 characters in length.

To request a name change, please contact site administration.

Forgot Password / Password Reset

You can reset your password using this form. If you are signed into your account, you can change your password here.

Lost Access to Forum Email Account

Send me an email with your original username, your old email address, and your new email address. Though not all accounts can be verified and restored, a reasonable effort will be made to solve the problem.

Deleting Your GTPlanet Account

For record-keeping and accountability, user accounts are not deleted from GTPlanet. If you no longer wish to be a part of the community, stop visiting the site. Requests for “temporary” account banishment will be ignored.

Deleting Your GTPlanet Posts

Your posts will not be deleted upon request, though you are free to edit the contents of any of your messages (provided your account has not been banished). Each edited version of your post is stored privately, should the staff need to review the contents of any post at any time in the future.

Private Conversation Privacy

Private messages are stored in GTPlanet’s database and may be read by site administrators. Although not heavily policed as the public areas of the forums, private messages must also adhere to the site’s Acceptable Use Policy and, if necessary, may be shared with other members of the staff. Please do not use GTPlanet’s private messaging system to share any sensitive personal or financial information.

Multiple Accounts

Only one account per person is allowed on GTPlanet. If it is discovered that a user has two active accounts, they will be asked which they would like to continue using and the other will be permanently banned.

Premium Membership (#)

Premium Membership Benefits

Premium members receive access to a smaller, private community within GTPlanet, known as “The Infield” (accessible as a subforum of the Rumble Strip off topic forum). Because they are supporting the site financially, no advertisements are displayed to Premium users. Premium members also have the ability to change their account username once per year, can start private conversation threads with up to 100 other users, and a yellow badge will be displayed next to their posts to show their account status.

You can sign up for Premium service here.

Giving Premium Membership to Others

You can anonymously upgrade another user’s account with a Premium subscription; simply visit their forum profile page and select the “Gift Membership” link near the top.

Paying Without a PayPal Account

A PayPal account is not required to sign up for Premium membership. We support all major credit and debit cards via Stripe, using industry-standard security and privacy procedures to protect your data.

I sent payment, but my account has not been upgraded. What now?

Your account will be upgraded immediately after your payment is received, if paying by credit card, debit card, or from your PayPal account balance. If you have paid by eCheck (by transferring the funds directly from your bank), it may take several days for the transaction to complete. As soon as the funds are cleared by PayPal with your bank, your account will be upgraded automatically. If your account was not upgraded or if anything is out of place, please contact me and I will be happy to resolve any issues.

Paying Without a Credit/Debit Card

If you live in the United States, you can pay with cash by purchasing a PayPal Cash card and using the program to add cash to your PayPal account.

If you live outside the United States, other types of pre-paid debit cards might work, but are not guaranteed. Be sure a pre-paid debit card will operate with PayPal in your country before purchasing it. All payments must be sent electronically via PayPal.

Banned Premium Users

Premium users must follow the site’s Acceptable Use Policy, and may be issued warnings and infractions. Premium benefits are suspended and no refunds are provided if the user is banned from the site. If the user’s banishment expires, Premium benefits will be restored.

Warnings & Bans (#)

Warnings

If a moderator believes you have done something in violation of GTPlanet’s Acceptable Use Policy, they may issue infraction points against your account. If you receive 30 total infraction points, your account will be automatically banned.

Warnings may be set to “expire” after a certain period of time. After expiration, they will no longer be counted, and your account, if previously banned, will be restored. Not all warnings carry infraction points.

All warnings are logged and can be reviewed by any member of the staff at any time. Information about disciplinary actions taken against a user is considered private and will not be released to other users or the public, and users can only view their own warning points.

You will be immediately notified of any warnings or infractions received via a private message. You can review all warnings and infractions under the “Warnings” tab of your forum profile page.

Banishment

When a user is banned, they can no longer participate in the site community. If the banishment expires, they will be able to return using the site as normal.

Appealing Moderator Actions

You can contact the site owner to appeal a moderator’s decision. Please include your account username and a description of what happened and why you wish to appeal the staff’s decision.

All complaints will be reviewed, though you will not receive a reply unless further information is requested.

Posting Guidelines (#)

Double Posting

“Double posting” occurs when a user makes two consecutive posts, one after another. If this is done for no apparent reason, “double posting” is typically frowned upon and may result in a warning or infraction for “spam”.

However, double-posting is not forbidden, and can be useful in many cases. For example, if a reasonable amount of time has passed or you have significant information to add to the topic, present it in a new post so that others, including thread subscribers, are made aware of the update.

Thread Bumping

Thread “bumping” is the practice of replying to a thread solely for the purpose of bringing attention to it. This is looked down upon and may result in an official warning or infraction for “spam” or “useless posts”. Your posts in a thread should contribute to the discussion or introduce new information in some way. Limited bumping is permitted in The Trading Post.

When to Create a New Thread

Threads are the lifeblood of any online forum, and keep the discussion fresh and moving forward. They also help logically segment and organize conversations in very useful ways. Sometimes, however, there may be confusion about when to start a new thread or reply to an existing one. As a general rule of thumb, if a thread has not received any replies in the past year, you should probably create a new one on the general topic unless you have something to contribute that is specific to the older conversation.

Criticizing “Those Who Do Not Search”

It has long been popular on Internet discussion boards to ridicule or embarrass users who may ask questions that could have easily been answered by searching the web or the forums. Indeed, many questions can be answered this way, and indeed, many users could make better use of the tools available to them. However, that is no reason to treat them with disrespect, as there is a wide and legitimate range of experience among users on the Internet. If you see someone on GTPlanet asking what you believe to be a trivial question, suggest keywords or links or simply ignore their questions altogether. Do not harass them.

“In Before the Lock” or “IBTL” Posts

When a new thread is created that is obviously inappropriate, some users may be tempted to post “IBTL”, or “in before the lock” comments, suggesting they believe the thread will be soon closed for new replies by the moderators. Such posts are considered “spam” and may prompt a warning or infraction by the site staff. If you see any such threads that are out of line, simply click the “Report” button to immediately notify the moderators and move on.

Nudity & Sexual Content

Sexual content is prohibited by GTPlanet’s Acceptable Use Policy. This is an intentionally ambiguous term that is open to interpretation at the discretion of the staff. As a general rule, assume any body parts not “visible” or socially acceptable at the average public beach or pool may not be visible in any images or videos posted here. If you are concerned content you would like to post may be questionable, feel free to contact any staff member for advice or approval.

Gore and Graphic Content

The Acceptable Use Policy forbids “obscene” content, which includes but is not limited to images or videos of the graphic injury or death of people or animals.

Wishing Harm to Others

While discussing any sporting event, you may not express a desire for a competitor to be injured, killed, or become involved in an accident of any kind.

International Languages

All messages must be posted in the English language, as specified in the Acceptable Use Policy. This requirement exists to make it easier for myself and the other moderators to resolve any disputes and to understand all of the content transmitted via the site.

About GTPlanet (#)

How does GTPlanet work?

GTPlanet is a private website, independently owned and operated by myself (Jordan), the site founder. Super Moderators and other Administrators (the “staff”) are volunteers who help me enforce the rules I have established for the site.

Why does GTPlanet have unusual rules?

GTPlanet’s Acceptable Use Policy applies across all areas of the website and is somewhat unusual on the Internet due to its request for “decent grammar” and the prohibition of “txtspk”.

Such rules are often met with confusion and contempt by some new users. However, GTPlanet is not just another disposable “video game forum” – it is a community and a home for thousands of like-minded people which has thrived for more than a decade. These rules have always been in place, and remind everyone to put a little more thought into what they’re contributing to the community. In turn, this creates a more pleasant and attractive place for everyone.

How does someone become a moderator?

The moderators and administrators of GTPlanet are chosen by myself (Jordan). I watch for people who are actively involved in the community over a very long period of time, and whom I believe understand and share my vision for the site.

What are the differences between moderators?

“Moderators” have access to moderation tools in a specific set of forums, usually one or two. “Super Moderators” have access to the moderation tools across all of the forums. “Administrators” also have access to all of these tools in all areas of the forums, in addition to more user information and basic forum settings. A “Super Administrator” has complete access to the forum’s settings and configuration in addition to all moderator tools.

“Staff Emeritus” users are, by definition of the word “emeritus”, former moderators. They no longer use the site’s moderation tools, though do still have access to the moderator’s private discussion forums. A complete list of all forum staff members is available here.