Rules for Participation in AAVSO Forums, Chat Rooms and Discussion Groups

The AAVSO online forums, chat room and e-mail discussion groups are available to the public (except where otherwise noted). However, we ask all participants to adhere to the following rules:


  • No Spam / Advertising 

We define spam as unsolicited advertisement for goods, services and/or other web sites, or posts with little, or completely unrelated content. Do not spam the forums with links to your site or product, or try to self-promote your website, business or forums etc. Please note that spamming also includes sending private messages to a large number of different users.

  • No commercial posts unless prior approval is given by the Executive Director.

This will usually be given after some editing of the post. This is also a grey area: a posting by someone on a scientific result from a commercial telescope service, for example, is an implicit ad for the service. We will handle each case on an individual basis.

  • Do not post copyright-infringing material

Providing or asking for information on how to illegally obtain copyrighted materials is forbidden.

  • DO NOT ask/provide email addresses or individual's phone numbers 

  • No posting from a false or anonymous address or ID.

You must be willing to accept private correspondence concerning your posts. Many times clarification can be made privately, or a person may feel insecure in posting a public question in response.


  • No personal attacks, offensive posts or images - please use appropriate language

It is ok to say "This person's photometry has errors." That kind of personal opinion is likely to result in a post or two asking for clarification. To say instead: "This person's photometry is garbage and useless," is insulting.  All posts should be professional and courteous. You have every right to disagree with your fellow community members and explain your perspective. However, you are not free to attack, degrade, insult, or otherwise belittle them or the quality of this community. We ask that everyone treat each other with decorum and personal respect. Indirect insults can often be just as counterproductive as direct insults.

Furthermore, any material which constitutes defamation, harassment, or abuse is strictly prohibited. Material that is sexually or otherwise obscene, racist, or otherwise overly discriminatory is not permitted on these forums. This includes user pictures. Please use common sense while posting. This is a web site for accountancy professionals. Also, please be mindful of the AAVSO's  Ethics policies, which apply here too.

  • No political topics.

Policy discussions that are directly related to astronomy may be allowed, but must be approved by the Executive Director before posting.


  • Do not consistently crosspost from other mailing lists.

Do not routinely post summaries, newsletters, etc. that are available via other mailing lists/forums/web sites/etc. An occasional message reminding people of the other content or service is okay, as is reposting individual messages that are of interest to the greater community.


  • Do not post the same topic more than once.

Please find the best forum for your topic and post it there only, so all discussion of that topic is kept in a single place. If you would like to post the same topic in multiple places, please contact the AAVSO for permission before doing so.


  • What happens to questionable posts?

A variety of staff and members act as moderators for the forums, chat rooms and e-mail discussion groups. If they find a questionable post, they will unpublish or block it (where applicable) and contact the author to discuss its appropriateness and make whatever changes are needed to adhere to these rules. The moderators reserve the right to reject a post completely when the two sides are unable to agree. The rejection can be appealed to the Executive Director of the AAVSO. However, we plan to take a common sense approach to moderation and will make every attempt to satisfy both sides in such a situation.

The administrators and moderators also have the right to edit, delete, move or close any thread or post as they see necessary, without prior warning.