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Lots of rules when you sign up... useless... harmful?

When you have people sign up for your community, resist the temptation to tell them how to behave by making them agree to a list of rules and disclaimers.

First of all, those rules don't really do much.  They mostly serve to make you, the admin, feel better… like you have legal backing for future actions.  I don't know of any actual court case where a list of community rules and a check box served as evidence to justify an admin's actions.  You are the admin.  Trust in your overall authority when you need it, not the authority of a checkbox agreement.

Second, it is terribly unwelcoming.  It is like making people sign an acceptable behaviour list when visiting your house.

If you really feel like you have to say something when people sign up, say it positively.  Talk about what you are for and what your vision is for the community and ask people to agree to that.