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You claim that "Averagjoe makes people want to come to the Fool." If that is so, why does the old blighter direct those people to sites not related to TMF? Just asking.

I will take your question on face value, assuming that you're relatively new to TMF, don't understand how the boards work, and are truly seeking guidance....

First, it should be noted that enrollment in TMF is a prerequisite for participating in and enjoying the AJ caption contests (the links and participant responses are only available here). As a result, they bring guests here both out of curiosity and a desire to laugh. That is why AJ is an asset not only to the members of the HURL community but to TMF as well. (It should be pointed out that AJ also contributes to a number of other boards where he appears to be respected - esp. in the area of photography.)

Second, links to external boards are a VERY common practice across TMF boards -- almost to the point where I suspect it would be hard to find ANY board without them. In fact, some boards such as HWTSC have hardwired links with hints, tips, "what to do" instructions, etc.

Third, contests have been a part of TMF since, well, nearly the very beginning I suppose.

If you object to contests or links to external sites, TMF offers you several options:

1) Simply bypass (or put on "ignore") any threads which you believe fail to meet your criteria for acceptability;

2) Simply bypass (or put on "ignore") any poster(s) which you you believe fail to meet your criteria for acceptability;

3) Do not visit boards where the behaviors you find objectionable are present;

4) Lobby TMF for a change to TOS which makes the practices you find objectionable a criteria for TMF as a whole;

5) Leave TMF in favor of a community discussion board which meets your standards.

Just answering.

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