Community Rules

Rules for the Foldit community
Updated 7/01/2015

We want the Foldit community to be a pleasant and safe place for all members. To ensure this, please follow these simple rules as you play Foldit and interact with other community members on the chat, forums, feedbacks, and other areas of the website.

Failure to follow these rules may result in kicking or banning from chat and suspension or deletion of your account depending on the severity and number of occurrences. A warning may or may not be given before action is taken, depending on severity (although we will make a good faith effort whenever reasonable/possible). This is not a comprehensive list and we reserve the right to take action on a case-by-case basis.

  • Keep the conversation PG-rated, since there is a wide range of ages in the community. Anything deemed offensive or obscene will not be tolerated.
  • Do not make offensive references to a person or group by race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, orientation, age, disability, etc. and no offensive IDs or nicknames.
  • Do not discuss illegal activity (e.g. offering or discussing where to get warez, pirated movies, etc.) under any circumstances.
  • Don’t shout (i.e., TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS).
  • Do not harass or insult other members. You can respectfully disagree, but don’t be rude or belligerent.
  • Do not impersonate any other user in chat.
  • Do not make threats toward other members, directly or indirectly.
  • Do not release personal, real life information about other members.
  • Do not spam web sites for either personal or commercial purposes. Posting a personal web site link once is okay, just don’t do it repeatedly. Posting a link that is about another player is not okay, unless it is a news item.
  • Don’t repeat yourself over and over to try to get noticed, as this is disruptive. (Bumping posts without additional content also falls under this category.)
  • Don’t be rude or belligerent to newcomers.
  • Do not use scripts to copy data from other players or external sources.
  • Do not actively use multiple scoring accounts simultaneously.
  • Do not harass other users via private messages.

General Guidelines

Foldit is truly a global game, where everyone has something to offer. As you play, please remember that some subjects are more sensitive than others. When you chat in global and/or post on the website, respect your fellow folders, and let common sense be your guide. If you veer off course (and it can happen) the moderators will step in and guide you, but only if you make them do so. Allow the moderators to help keep the community a welcoming place for everyone. Rather than correcting behavior, it is always better to ignore people who bother you and inform a moderator if someone is being disruptive.

However, if you have an issue with a moderator, please drop inkycatz a private message with necessary details (time, date, quotes) and it will be investigated accordingly. All decisions are final.

Do not be offended if your question cannot be answered right away, and do not post your question or screenshots multiple times. Have patience.

...and the most important (and simplest) rule: Use common sense, and don't be a jerk.

These rules do not cover all possible things that can happen in an active community.
Generally speaking, if you avoid being disruptive to other user's experiences, and if you are polite and helpful to the less experienced members, you are less likely to be removed from chat. A little thinking before typing goes a long way.

Got a problem with someone?

People being people, protracted heated arguments (some over relevant tech topics, some not), personality clashes, and other issues arise online just as in real life.

Bear in mind that the moderators will kick people who are disruptive to the chat, but this often will include both or all of the participants in an ongoing fight. From the outside it is often very difficult to see who is the instigator.

If you just can't get along with someone, consider using the "ignore" feature of your chat client (this will also work in game). In most clients you simply have to type:

/ignore nickname-to-be-ignored

Gameplay Guidelines

What is cheating?

Any method of copying data from other players or external sources in order to increase your solo score is cheating. If you'd like to collaborate or expand upon another person's work, you must do so as an evolver. Cheating circumvents the intention of Foldit and jeopardizes its scientific goals.

What about secondary structures?

Yes, you may copy or attempt to reproduce secondary structures. In addition, you may copy sequences inside a design puzzle.

From the Foldit wiki:
“Secondary Structure refers to the three-dimensional, local shapes that serve as building blocks for all proteins. These are alpha-helices (spirals) and beta-sheets (ribbons). They come in different sizes, but the essential shapes are the same. Every protein will have at least one of these structures, and usually several. Secondary structures serve principally to stabilize the core of the protein. The secondary structures are stabilized by hydrogen bonds.”

What about tertiary or quaternary structures?

Copying tertiary and/or quaternary structures from other players or third parties is forbidden.

From the Foldit wiki:
“Tertiary Structure refers to the 3D conformation of the fully folded protein in its entirety. Usually this means the same thing as the protein’s native structure. The tertiary structure is stabilized by hydrogen bonds, salt bridges and disulfide bonds, and also by formation of a hydrophobic core.”

“Quaternary Structure. Some proteins are made up of multiple, separate proteins (called "subunits") that join together in order to be functional. Hemoglobin, for example, is made up of four subunits arranged in a certain way. Quaternary structure refers to the particular arrangement of protein subunits.

Since most Foldit puzzles consist of proteins that contain only a single subunit, quaternary structures are generally not relevant in most cases. However, quaternary structures can be found in symmetry puzzles, which feature proteins that contain multiple identical subunits.”

Is it ok to attempt to reproduce another person’s structure visually?

Learning from other players and sharing strategies is acceptable and encouraged. However, remember that diversity helps Foldit's scientific goals. Please keep this is mind as you collaborate with others.

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Supported by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UW Baker Lab, VU Meiler Lab,
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