6. You Are In A Public Forum

Please remember that anything you write on any of our discussion boards is potentially available to everyone on the planet. The Fool has million registered Fools worldwide, and hundreds of thousands of readers of the UK boards. There is a good chance that people you know ‘real life’ read this site, so it is good idea to avoid insulting your family, neighbours or work colleagues.

For this reason, if you intend to post any personal information, please consider whether your username is a giveaway as to your real identity. If it is, you may wish to change it before posting anything ‘private’.

The laws of libel apply on our site, just as they do anywhere else, so please do not write anything that might provoke anyone to consult their lawyers. On the other hand, if you feel that you have been defamed by someone on our boards please use the ‘Report this Post’ facility to alert us to the message and our discussion board staff will deal with it.

Also, please be aware that anything that you post on any of the Fool discussion boards may be highlighted or reproduced elsewhere – for example, in an article on the site.

Whilst our readers love to see posts by people with special expertise or knowledge, we know of several regrettable cases in which people have been dismissed by their employer for posting confidential information about the company they worked for. So, please be sure that anything you post belongs in the public domain, and that you are not breaching the terms and conditions of your employment.

To reiterate then – even if there only seem to be a few regular participants on your favourite board, bear in mind that:

  • You are in public and probably shouldn’t post anything that you wouldn’t be willing to see printed in a newspaper.
  • Your messages could be read by absolutely anyone, anywhere, who has access to the Internet, and will be there long into the future.
  • Your messages may be highlighted or republished elsewhere by The Motley Fool.