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Frequently Asked Questions About
Why FlameSlinger?
In the olden tyme days, people used to call reporters word slingers. Later, muck slinger and then mud slinger became popular terms to deride or celebrate certain reporters and columnists. Today, we use the word "flame" to desribe hostile interaction between web users. So we see flame slinging as a comment on the state of new media. So, FlameSlinger seems an appropriate name for a reaction to the conflict-driven world of opinion journalism. Depending on how you use it (what qualities you rank highly, which users you block or friend) it can be your personal center for or safe harbor from everything you love or hate about contemporary media.

What's your privacy policy?
We don't share your information with anyone. All of our money is made through the advertisements you see on the site.

How do my preferences change how the site lists stories for me?
We use a rather long and complicated (patent pending!) formula that weights your stated interests and user ratings in those categories against your selections. We do not use demographic profiling or track your web use. That would be creepy.

What do the rating buttons mean?
Thumbs up and thumbs down indicate you do or do not like a story, the ball of fire rates a story as flaming, and the remaining button (a flag) flags a story for deletion or movement to a more appropriate area. If you ever forget what they mean, just hover your mouse over them for a second, and text will appear to remind you.

A quality I like is listed under "thumbs down." Why?
We realize that the qualities we've selected to judge stories are not universally loved or hated. That's the whole point of the site. Some people love to read the latest gossip, some hate to sort through unconfirmed rumors. If a category you like is listed under the downward pointed thumb, that doesn't mean it will move the story downward, for you. It simply means that we couldn't put them all under "thumbs up."

How do I add my own story to the site?
There are two ways to add a story to FlameSlinger. The first is to use the "Add Your Own Story to the Site" button on any of the subject pages. This opens up a form that defaults to the subject page you're on. The second (and much cooler) way is to use the "FlameSlinger - Add a Story" bookmarklet. Just drag the link from one of the many pages it appears on to your browser's toolbar. A button will then appear on your browser. From that point on, you'll be able to add stories to the site without navigating away from the page you're reading. Just click the button and a form will pop up, with the story URL (as well as your username and password, if you've stored them in your browser) already filled in. Pick a category, add a headline and your thoughts, and hit submit. It even closes automatically when your story is sent to the site. The bookmarklet link can be found here, or at the bottom of the following pages: Join (You must have an account to add stories) Customize the Site Add a Story

Can I post anything I want?
Almost. We aim to allow users to say and share anything that is legally permissible. We keep two sections without advertising to make sure users can speak their minds even on subjects others might find offensive. However, there are a few things that we cannot allow, including but not limited to: Personal identifying information about yourself or other users (physical addresses, phone numbers); Any form of copyright infringement; Spam; Threats against anyone; Any sort of illegal activity (hacking, privacy invasion, sexual exploitation of minors, etc.) Also know that repeated posting of inappropriate material outside of the NSFW or Hate Speech areas will result in a ban from the site.

Why do you ask that we limit ourselves to two paragraph excerpts?
Lifting too much of another person's work can discourage interested users from visiting the original source. Without those sources, we wouldn't have anything to talk about now, would we? So we feel that it is important to support the people who worked to bring us the information we discuss. It can also be legally problematic in some instances. So, please, do not copy entire news stories onto the site.

What are the Newswires?
The newswires are a tool we've given you to keep yourself up to date with the latest from your favorite news sources. Just pick four of your favorite sources from the "Customize the Site" page, and their latest headlines will be embedded right into your homepage, every time you visit. Clicking a headline will then take you to the story on the source's site in a new window, without any edits, additions or commercial interruptions from us. We've provided a list of hundreds of sources to choose from, but it's really an open tool--if there's another you prefer, just copy their feed address in and you can use that, instead. We do this in the hope that you'll support the finest news sources, and that if you do find a particularly interesting story, you'll share it with other users by adding it to our site as well.

One of my newswires isn't loading. Can you fix it?
Probably not, but you should still let us know. Problems with the newswires usually originate at the source feed, which we have no control over. However, sometimes a source changes its feed, and when that happens, we do need to be able to update them.

How do I moderate the site myself?
If you find yourself fascinated or irritated by another user's stories or comments, there are a number of ways you can change they way they're represented on your site. Simply click on the user's name to open his or her profile. From there, you can: Find out more about them, if they've filled their profile out; Send them a private message: They will be alerted that they have a message the next time they visit their homepage, and will be able to reply if they want to; Add them to your friends list: This will keep you up to date on the latest stories they've posted by listing them on your homepage when you sign in. The other user is not informed you've added them to your list; Add them to your enemies list: This is much like adding someone to your friends list, only it puts them on your enemies list. So, why do we have this option, you ask? Because anyone who's ever been a member of an online community knows that there are some people you just love to hate--or at least love to debate! Think of it as more of a frienemies list; you might not always agree, but you want to keep in touch. The other user is not informed you've added them to your list; Ignore them: This option blocks you from seeing anything the user posts again, or receiving private messages from them. That's it, you've banned them and never have to deal with them again! (So long as you're signed in, of course. If you're not, you'll still see their posts.) The other user is not informed that you're ignoring them. You can also befriend, make an enemy of, or ignore a user from the options listed below their name and picture on anything they post, and you can undo any of these by editing your friends, enemies and blocked lists from the link on your homepage.

Do I have to come back to FlameSlinger every time I want to share a story?
Nope. One of our favorite tools is the "Add a Story" bookmarklet, discussed in "How do I add my own story to the site?" above.

How do I know if someone has commented on a story I've posted?
The latest comments on your stories are posted right at the bottom of your homepage, so you can see what other users are saying about the stories that interested you.

Why aren't the comments threaded?
This is a feature we may look into in the future, but for now, we hope that users will take advantage of the reply feature to discuss the stories on the site, not each other. This is also why we've made private messaging an option.

My profile changes aren't saving. What's the deal?
Some browsers fill in your password (if it's saved) into the change password portion of the profile form. This makes FlameSlinger think you wanted to change your password, and didn't enter in a new one. Simply clear your password out of that form and re-save.

What's with all the ads?
FlameSlinger has a lot more ads right now than we'd like. Though our programmers did a fantastic job for an even better rate, it was still an expensive undertaking. So, it came down to a trade-off: We got a lot of nifty features that weren't available in any existing system, but it cost money. At this time, every single penny of ad revenue is going to pay for the site's construction.

I find an ad offensive. Can you take it down?
The answer to that is... Maybe. FlameSlinger uses third party ad servers to supply the site with ads. Sometimes we can filter out ads we don't like; Other times, we cannot do that without dumping most if not all of our other ads.

Why do you have a section for hate speech?
The FlameSlinger editors have a lot of experience moderating web communities. We've found that the people who post that sort of stuff just don't go away if you tell them to. In fact, it encourages them. You can block their accounts, their IPs and their IP blocks, but if they feel their views are being ignored (very often misusing the term "censored,") they'll just come back, ruining all sections of the site. We're determined not to have that problem. We are also determined not to make money off of hate speech. (Listen to us, talking like we make money. Ha!) Therefore, we have an ad-free hate speech section. Posts flagged as hate speech simply move into that area.

I have a post that links to something containing hate speech, but I think it's an important or noteworthy story. Where do I post it?
It depends on the source. If the story is about a bigoted comment, action or uhm, other, it can go in the relevant portion of the site. If the post itself is hate speech, link in the Small Minds section. Some examples: Magazine story about white supremacists = Okay for all areas; post about how some celebrity is an evil Jew = Small minds section. Newspaper story about homophobia = Okay for all areas; post about their next protest = Small Minds section.

How do I view the Explicit Content and Hate Speech areas?
These areas are not part of the site's main menu for obvious reasons. If you would like them added to yours, simply go to "Customize the Site" page (at the top of the site, under your user stats,) select "Yes" after the corresponding questions and save your settings.

I just joined. Why does the site already have me ranked in certain categories?
These are default numbers that will change after you post stories and users start rating them. So, what are you waiting for? Post! Rate! These areas are not part of the site's main menu for obvious reasons. If you would like them added to yours, simply go to "Customize the Site" page (at the top of the site, under your user stats,) select "Yes" after the corresponding questions and save your settings.

This didn't answer my question. How do I reach a site editor?
You can contact FlameSlinger by sending them a private message through the editors' profile page. A link to that profile should appear on most story the editors post (the sports editor sometimes uses a different account ).

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo:
Terms and Conditions of Use 1. Terms By accessing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions of Use, the rules stated in the FAQ above, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this web site are protected by applicable copyright and trade mark law. 2. Use License 1. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on FlameSlinger, LLC's web site for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not: 1. modify or copy the materials; 2. use the materials for any commercial purpose, or for any public display (commercial or non-commercial); 3. attempt to decompile or reverse engineer any software contained on FlameSlinger, LLC's web site; 4. remove any copyright or other proprietary notations from the materials; or 5. transfer the materials to another person or "mirror" the materials on any other server. 2. This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by FlameSlinger, LLC at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession whether in electronic or printed format. 3. Disclaimer The materials on FlameSlinger, LLC's web site are provided "as is". FlameSlinger, LLC makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, FlameSlinger, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its Internet web site or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site. 4. Limitations In no event shall FlameSlinger, LLC or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on FlameSlinger, LLC's Internet site, even if FlameSlinger, LLC or a FlameSlinger, LLC authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you. 5. Revisions and Errata The materials appearing on FlameSlinger, LLC's web site could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. FlameSlinger, LLC does not warrant that any of the materials on its web site are accurate, complete, or current. FlameSlinger, LLC may make changes to the materials contained on its web site at any time without notice. FlameSlinger, LLC does not, however, make any commitment to update the materials. 6. Links FlameSlinger, LLC has not reviewed all of the sites linked to its Internet web site and is not responsible for the contents of any such linked site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by FlameSlinger, LLC of the site. Use of any such linked web site is at the user's own risk. 7. Site Terms of Use Modifications FlameSlinger, LLC may revise these terms of use for its web site at any time without notice. By using this web site you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms and Conditions of Use. 8. Governing Law Any claim relating to FlameSlinger, LLC's web site shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to its conflict of law provisions. General Terms and Conditions applicable to Use of a Web Site. Privacy Policy Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy. * Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected. * We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law. * We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes. * We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned. * Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date. * We will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. * We will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information. * We will not sell the personal information collected on this site to anyone at any time. We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.

Help /FAQ. Editor in Chief: Larry Womack. Editor: Rachel A. Sauerbier.
Copyright © 2011