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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to register to use this message board?

The snopes.com Urban Legends Message Board (hereafter referred to as the ULMB) is a public forum open to viewing by everyone. You do not have to register in order to read this message board; you only need sign up if you wish to be an active, contributing member of the ULMB community.

Please do not register if you simply wish to inquire about the status of one particular item you're interested in. You can use our search engine to locate the item on our site or our comments form to submit it to us if we don't already have an entry on the topic.

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How do I register for this message board?

To become a contributing member of the ULMB, just fill out our registration form. Your registration must be approved by the message board administrator before you will receive a password that allows you to post to the board. (Registrations are generally approved within one to two days, although approval may take longer during busy periods.)

Please note that if you use a spam blocker on your e-mail account, you must authorize e-mail from the address snopes@snopes.com prior to registering. Otherwise, you will not receive the message informing you of your approval and your message board password.

When you register, you must provide valid information for all of the required fields (e-mail address, name, age, and location) as follows:
  • Valid values for the "Name" field are your first and last name, first initial and last name, first name and last initial, or first name. Nicknames and initials alone are not acceptable.
  • Value values for the "Location" field are city/state and city/province (for North Americans) or city/country (for those outside North America). If you are concerned about divulging your location, you may omit the city name and just list your state/province of residence. Entries such as "Home," "Work," "Here," and "USA" are not acceptable.
  • Your age must be a numeric value. Entries such as "Legal," "Older than dirt," "Adult," and "21+" are not acceptable.
Accounts are limited to one per person. Users who apply for, log in, or post from multiple accounts will be suspended without notice.

You must maintain valid information in the required fields of your profile at all times. Accounts that violate this rule will be suspended without notice.

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Why does the registration process tell me that every screen name I want to use is already taken?

If the message board rejects every screen name you enter during the registration process, the most likely cause is that your browser's security settings are preventing the message board software from setting the cookie it uses to keep track of the information you have entered. Try lowering your browser's security settings for the msgboard.snopes.com domain or enabling the "Accept all cookies" option.

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Why haven't I received a password?

If you registered for the ULMB but did not receive an approval message and password, it was likely due to one of the following conditions:

  • You entered invalid, inaccurate, or inappropriate information in one or more of the registration form fields and therefore did not pass the approval process.
  • Your e-mail account uses a spam blocker or filter that prevented the approval message from reaching you.


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    Why can't I log in using the password I received via e-mail after registering?

    If you are having difficulty logging in using the password sent to you via e-mail, the most likely causes are:

  • Your browser's security settings are preventing the message board software from setting the cookie it needs to keep track of your login status. Try lowering your browser's security settings for the msgboard.snopes.com domain or enabling the "Accept all cookies" option.
  • You are entering your password incorrectly. Check your password carefully, as zeroes and ones can easily be confused with the letters O and I.


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    How can I change my profile information?

    You may change the information stored in profile by using the "profile" link located near the top of every page. You must be logged in in order to update your profile.

    You are expected to maintain valid and accurate information in all required profile fields (name, e-mail address, age, location). Failure to do so may result in the locking of your profile and/or loss of posting privileges.

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    What are the titles that appear under members' screen names?

    User titles are whimsical handles assigned by the administrator that are related to the current "theme" of the SLC forum. Each members is automatically assigned a title based on the number of posts that member has made, and that title is displayed just underneath the member's screen name in every post.

    Members may choose their own titles by modifying the "Member Status" field in their profiles, but user-selected titles must conform to the current message board theme. Users who abuse this privilege by setting non-theme related titles will be locked out of their profiles.

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    Why can't I edit my profile?

    Users who violate the rules regarding profile information stated above (including setting non-theme related user titles) will lose their profile editing privileges.

    If you attempt to edit your profile and receive an error message stating that your profile has been locked by the administrator, your profile editing privileges have been revoked due to rules violations.

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    Why do I get an error message when I try to log in?

    Users who violate regulations regarding profile information (including registering with false information, modifying a profile to remove required information, or failing to bring profile information into compliance with the posted rules) will be suspended from further message board participation.

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    Why does the board include multiple forums for similar topics?

    The forums in the "Urban Legends" category (at the head of the main message board page) are for posting urban legend-related questions, comments, and articles. The forums in the "SLC" category (at the bottom of the main message board page) are for general chat about non-urban legend-related topics.

    Several of the forums also have specific instructions about what kinds of material should and should not be posted to them.

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    I made a post, and now I can't find it. What happened to it?

    If you cannot locate one of your previous posts, the most likely reasons are:

  • The administator moved it to a more appropriate forum.   (You can use the "View Recent Post" option to find out which forum it was moved to).
  • The administrator deleted it because one or more threads had already been started for the same topic.
  • The administrator deleted it because the topic was already covered on the main snopes.com site.
  • The administrator deleted it because it contained copyright-infringing material.
  • The administrator deleted it because it contained material inappropriate for this board.


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    What do SLC, NFBSK, and other abbreviations stand for?

    Some of the jargon used on this board may be unfamiliar to you. You can learn what various terms mean through context and observation; please do not create new threads and interrupt discussions to ask about them.

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    What other rules should I be aware of?

    The primary rule of this board is for members to act civilly towards each other. Other guidelines for board members include (but are not limited to):

  • Check the main site at www.snopes.com before posting inquiries to ensure that your topics haven't already been covered there.
  • Use descriptive topic names when starting new threads, ones that reflect the subjects of your posts. Topic names such as "I just got this in e-mail," "Here's another one," or "Yuck!" are not good choices.
  • When replying to another member's post, please quote only enough of the preceding post to establish the context of your reply.
  • Respect others' copyrights. Specifically, do not post the complete text of newspaper and magazine articles to this board; post excerpts and/or URLs to articles instead.
  • All the URLs for newspaper articles posted to this board point to sites with free access; if registration is required to view articles, it is a free one-time only registration. If you choose not to register for these sites, that is your prerogative, but please do not post to complain about the necessity of registering.
  • If you decide to publicly proclaim that you are leaving this board forever, please be sure you really mean it, because you won't be welcomed back.
  • This message board is for the use of registered members only; it is not a conduit for relaying messages from unregistered visitors, not-yet-approved members, suspended members, or banned members.


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    How can I use smilies?

    Smilies are keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile :) or a frown :(. This message board automatically converts certain smilies to a graphical representation, which we call graemlins. You can use our Instant Graemlins buttons for automatic generation. For example, if you type :o in your post, it will automatically be converted to  - - a shameful face. The following graemlins are currently supported:
    :) Smile Smile
    :( Frown Frown
    :o Embarrassed Embarrassed
    :D Big Grin Big Grin
    ;) Wink Wink
    :p Razz Razz
    :cool: Cool Cool
    :rolleyes: Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
    :mad: Mad Mad
    :eek: Eek! Eek!
    :confused: Confused Confused
    :fish: fish fish
    :dunce: dunce dunce
    :flame: flame flame
    :lol: lol lol


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    How do I use HTML and UBB Code?

    You can use either HTML or UBB Code in your posts. UBB Code is similar to HTML but offers only a few basic functions, such as hyperlinking, image display, bolding and italicizing. Complete details on UBB Code are listed here.

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    Does this board use cookies?

    This bulletin board uses cookies to store the following information: the last time you logged in, your login identification, and your preferred "topic view." These cookies are stored on your browser. Cookies are not used to track your movement or perform any function other than to enhance your use of the message board. If your browser does not support cookies, or your browser's security settings prevent the board software from setting cookies on your desktop, you may not be able to login or post new messages. If you are having trouble logging in, try adjusting your browser's security settings to "Accept all cookies."

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    How can I clear all cookies set on this board?

    If you are experiencing problems logging in, viewing posts, or making posts, you might want to try clearing the cookies this board has set in your browse by clicking here.

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    What do those icons next to each topic mean?

    These icons provide information on the state of each topic:
    New Posts Old Posts  
    [new] [old] An open topic
    [new] [old] An important topic
    [new] [old] An open poll
    [new closed] [old closed] A closed topic or poll
    [new closed] [old closed] A moved topic or poll


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    Can I edit my posts?

    You may edit your own posts by clicking the edit icon on the post you wish to change. No one else can edit your posts except the message board administrator. You can only edit your posts; you cannot delete them.

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    Can I use a signature?

    You may display a signature on your posts by setting the signature field in your member profile. Signatures should be kept as short as possible and no more than four lines at a maximum. If your signature is longer than your posts, it's too long.

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    Can I attach files to my posts?

    For security reasons, you may not attach files to any posts. You may cut and paste text into your post or use HTML or UBB Code to provide hyperlinks to outside documents and images.

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    How can I search for a particular post or topic?

    You may search for specific posts based on words found in the posts, by a particular registered member, by date, or by forum. Click on the "search" link found at the top of most pages to initiate a search. To prevent overloading the server's resources, you may only search one forum at a time. You cannot perform a search of the entire board.

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    What are private messages?

    Registered members of this message board may send private messages to each other. A private message is not e-mail; it is a one-to-one communication that can only be read by the recipient through his profile page on this message board. profile). To send a board member a private message, click the private message icon on a post created by that member. If you choose, you can configure your profile to prevent anyone from sending you private messages.

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    What is an 'ignore list'?

    Ignore lists apply to private messages. Anyone you add to your ignore list can no longer send you private messages. You can put someone on your ignore list by viewing the member's profile and clicking on the "add to ignore list" link.

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    What is a 'buddy list'?

    Buddy lists apply to private messages only. Anyone you add to your buddy list will be stored in a handy location to make sending private messages to that person easier. You can put someone on your buddy list by viewing the member's profile and clicking on the "add to biddy list" link.

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    What do I do if I forget my login ID or password?

    All of the pages that require you to identify yourself with your username and password carry a "lost password" link that you can use to have your username and password e-mailed to the address set in your profile. It is important that you keep the e-mail address stored in your profile up to date; otherwise, you will not be able to retrieve lost login information.

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    Can I be notified by e-mail if someone responds to my topic?

    When you create a new topic, you have the option of receiving an e-mail notification every time someone posts a reply to your topic. Just check the e-mail notification box when you create the topic.

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    What are Today's Active Topics?

    When you visit this message board, you will see a link at the top of the list of forums called "Today's Active Topics". Clicking on this link will provide you with a list of all posts made to the board during the previous 24-hour period.

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    How can users get in touch with me if I hide my e-mail address?

    If you would prefer that your e-mail address not be publicly available, but you want users to be able to mail you through this message board, edit your profile and select the "No, but allow members to mail me through the board" preference.

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    How do I report an inappropriate post?

    If you see a post that you believe requires immediate attention from the administrator, click the  - icon. You will then be able to write a brief note explaining why you are reporting the post and send it to the board administrator via e-mail.

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    How do the new post images work?

    Every time you begin browsing the board, a cookie is set in your browser containing the date and time. When you return later, this cookie is read, and the date in the cookie is compared to the last post time of each topic. If the topic has had new posts since you last visited the board, it will be marked with a "new" icon. Use this link to update the new post indicators. (You may also find the update link on your "my profile" page.)

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    What are Avatar Images?

    Avatar Images are small images that users may choose that represent themselves. Like signatures, a user's avatar is displayed with each post he or she makes. You may choose an avatar by editing your profile. Note that this feature may be disabled by the board administration.

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    Can I upload an Avatar Image of my own?

    For security reasons, we do not allow any file uploading. If the board administration allows it, you may provide a URL to an avatar hosted on web space that you own. Otherwise, you must choose from one of the avatars provided by the board administration.

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    How to I hide the Avatar Images of other users?

    If you do not wish to view the Avatar Images of other users, you may hide them by changing your preferences. Click the "my profile" link at the top of this page, then click the Edit Preferences link.

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    Can I get email notification of replies to topics I'm interested in?

    Yes, you may. When making a full reply to a topic, check the "Email Notification: emails sent to you whenever someone replies." option, located below the Instant Graemlins / Instant UBB Code™ boxes.

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    Can I view a list of topics I've subscribed to?

    You can find the list of topics, and manage your subscripions from your Edit Topic Notifications page. (You may also find a link to this page on your "my profile" page.)

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    What is Quick Reply?

    Quick Reply allows you to add a reply to an open topic without leaving the topic itself. At the bottom of each topic will be a field in which you may write your reply. Once you are done, you may post the reply directly, preview the post (if allowed by the administration), or move the post to the normal reply page. If you do not wish to use Quick Reply, you may turn it off by editing your preferences - click the "my profile" link at the top of the page, then click the Edit Preferences link. Note that this feature may be disabled by the board administration.

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    How do I create new polls?

    To create a new poll, click the "New Poll" button available inside of a forum: New Poll. If the button is not visible, then polling is disabled in that forum.

    Creating a new poll starts like creating a new topic - you must provide a topic subject, and a message for the post.

    The polling system on this board allows you to place multiple questions in a single poll. Each question may have multiple options for users to choose from. While creating the poll, you will need to decide the number of questions to ask, and the number of options each question will have.

    Once you have posted your poll, you can not return to edit it. You will be able to preview the poll, and return to make changes before the poll has been posted.

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    How do I vote in a poll?

    To vote in a poll, click the Vote Now button inside of a poll topic. Please note that the administrator may choose to restrict certain users from voting in polls, and you may not have permission to vote as a result.

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    What is the "Blue Arrow" at the top of each topic?

    When you visit a topic, you may see a blue arrow icon (Jump to Latest Posts) at the top of the page. If you click on this icon, or the link next to it, you will be taken to the first new post made since you last started browsing the board. If there have been no new posts in that topic since you last started browsing the board, you will be taken to the last post in the topic instead. Note that this feature may be disabled by the board administration.

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    How will I be notified when I have received a private message?

    If the board administratior has enabled private messaging, and you have received a private message, an icon (New Private Message) and a message will be displayed below the "log out" link at the top of most pages. If you have enabled the option in your preferences, you will also receive an email notification of the private message. You may edit your preferences by clicking the "my profile" link at the top of the page, then clicking the "Edit Preferences" link.

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