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What is the purpose of the Expat Forum?

This forum was created in 1998 to allow members of the expat community in Indonesia to ask and answer practical questions about the daily life and concerns of expatriates in Indonesia. These expats include people who are planning and preparing for their move to Indonesia, those newly arrived, and seasoned veterans of Indonesian life.

The Expat Forum is also an online community where expats and Indonesians who enjoy interacting with them can chat, communicate, get to know each other, and have a little online fun.

How do I join the Living in Indonesia Expat Forum?

To join, you need to:

Where can I find help on using the Expat Forum software (vBulletin)?

The answers to all the questions you have and didn't know you had can be found in the Forum software's FAQ page at www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/faq.php.

Why didn't I receive my password after I registered?

If the password wasn't delivered to you, there are three possible reasons:

1. Your email address was entered incorrectly
2. Your email address is not valid
3. The confirmation notice was misdirected, most likely to your spam folder

If this happens, send an email to an administrator and we'll resend the password email.

What do I do if my registration is refused?

We have a pretty tight spam filter on our registration system to discourage bots/spammers from registering profiles and posting spam/porn links. If you think your registration has been inaccurately rejected, please let us know and we'll assist you.

Can I post a message without joining or signing in?

No. All guests must register and log in before they can post.

What happens after you make a posting?

A number of things can happen in response to a posting:

1) People post their response to you on the Expat Forum
2) People send you a personal message (PM) with a direct response
3) You get no response. Go back and edit your post (if within 24 hours of original post) to be more specific and you'll be more likely to get responses.
4) If the 24 hour edit/delete window has passed, make an additional post in the thread which gives additional information to clarify your request.

Why can't I edit/delete my post?

It is no longer possible for members to edit or delete their posts after 24 hours have elapsed. This change is in line with the way that most message boards operate. We hope that his change will help to preserve forum content for readers and prevent those very rare but unwelcome situations where a disgruntled user disrupts the flow of threads or deletes useful information.

The Basics

What is netiquette?

Simply put, netiquette are well established common practices, manners, customs and established procedures of internet culture and discourse. In other words, netiquette is the ruleset for being polite on the Internet, or a special kind of sopan santun!

There are NO stupid questions!

This forum was created for people of all levels of experience with Indonesia, from people who are planning and preparing for their move to Indonesia to those newly arrived to seasoned veterans of many years. Therefore, please don't jump on anyone, but especially not on newcomers, for asking what you may feel are stupid questions. That is the purpose of this forum: to have someone to turn to when you need to find answers. There are no stupid questions!

We can all gain wisdom from an ancient Chinese proverb:

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who
does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”

Referring forum members to another website

If you want to refer visitors to another web site, type in the FULL URL (example: http://www.thesite.com/) into the message composition window, NOT the subject line. Messages with URLs in the subject line will be deleted.

Language usage on the Expat Forum

While the Living in Indonesia website has been created exclusively in English, this is because the expat members of the organizing committee are native-English speaking North Americans. If we had additional language capabilities within the volunteer pool, we would utilize them to make this site more multi-lingual.

In principal, the Organizing Committee has no problems with people posting on this forum in foreign languages other than English. We acknowledge that there are many expats for whom English is a second language. If these expats are looking for answers from their specific nationality/community, it makes sense for them to post in their own language.

However, this will limit the number of responses, as expats of other nationalities may know the answer to their question as well. If the posting is a general question that would invite and welcome answers from the broader expat community, then of course it makes sense to post it in English.

Regarding the use of Bahasa Indonesia on the Expat Forum: certainly there is no problem with using Indonesian words in a posting. It's inevitable that we pepper our posts with Bahasa Indonesia terms, because we all live here and it's a part of our lives, and understanding of the language is often a part of the questions we have !

However, posts/threads shouldn't be predominantly in Indonesian because newcomer expats will most likely not understand them. Remember that this is a forum for the larger expatriate community, and therefore it is usually most appropriate for postings to be in English. Indonesians are certainly welcome on the forum, but remember that the purpose of the Living in Indonesia Expat Forum is to assist expats with their lives in Indonesia.

Policy on advertising and commercial information

The Expat Forum is meant to be for community discussion. Advertising is NOT THE FOCUS of the Expat Forum. We understand that there are many companies that would like to offer products and services to expatriates, but a flood of ads tends to mess up interesting discussion threads.

Including your company name, logo, website address (URL), and/or address in the signature of your Forum Profile, so that it appears on every post, makes each one of those posts a commercial post, no matter what the subject of the post is. We strongly suggest you not do this, as then you will not to be able to post on the Forum more than once a month.

We only allow one commercial posting per month from companies. If a company is interested in promoting their services to the expatriate community, they should consider becoming a sponsor. Contact us for more information.

Policy on the use/mis-use of the PM and email systems

Can the PM and email systems built into the forum be used for commercial/spam purposes?

No! Let me repeat that for emphasis: NO !

The private message system and email system built into the living in Indonesia Expat Forum are NOT to be used for commercial messages to other members. If you receive a PM from another member that you would like to complain about, please flag/report the PM and the appropriate action will be taken.

Posting of personal data

No Expat Forum member should ever divulge any data or personal information concerning other members without the consent of said member. This includes such information as real names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, social network account links (Facebook, Friendster, etc.), and pictures of the member and their family members. Linking to such information on another website is also prohibited.

Minors on the Expat Forum

Members of the Expat Forum must be at least 18 years old. Moderators may choose to make exceptions to this rule on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Administrator through the contact us form prior to any registration, if you are under 18 years old.

Housing Listings Template

If you are selling or renting any type of accommodation (house/apartment/kos/townhouse, etc), the following pieces of information are recommended ... IF you want your post to be SUCCESSFUL! Providing less information leads to less inquiries!

If you don't include all of this information above, your post will be deleted and you will NOT be notified!

If you are renting your property:

These are the minimum requirements. Feel free to add more information. Any posting which does not include all of this information will be deleted without any notification to the poster.

The Expat Forum is meant to be for community discussion. Advertising is NOT THE FOCUS of the Expat Forum. We understand that there are many companies that would like to sell their products and services to the expatriates, yet the Expat Forum members get upset if we see a flood of ads messing up interesting discussion threads.

We only allow one commercial posting per month from companies or private parties. If a company is interested in promoting their services to the expatriate community, they should consider becoming a sponsor. Contact us for more information on sponsorship.

Job Listing Template

All this information is REQUIRED! Posts that do not include the required information will be deleted without notifying the poster!

Job Title:

Job Location:

Job Description/Responsibilities:

Required Qualifications/Skills(*):

Salary Range:


Last date on which applications will be accepted (day/month/year):

When the job begins:


How to apply or seek further information about the position:


(*) The Living in Indonesia Expatriate Forum does not condone discrimination in hiring for any reason, including gender. Job advertisements that are consistent with Indonesian law are permitted, however you are strongly discouraged from specifying male or female applicants only or establishing extraneous requirements such as age limits. Please be aware that many forum members find these limitations offensive and may choose not to apply for your openings if you include sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory language.

(**) Under documentation, please verify that the employer will pay for the costs of ALL required documentation related to employment and living in Indonesia (visa, work permit, etc.)

Job channel guidelines for forum users

The purpose of this channel is assist Expat Forum members who are looking for employment. It is not here so that posters, in particular those who are not seeking a job themselves, can offer their unsolicited opinions about the salary or working conditions offered by a particular employer. If you see a job advertisement that breaks Expat Forum guidelines, please flag the post. The only posts that should be made in job threads are sincere requests for clarification about the position offered. All other comments will be removed from the moderation queue/deleted without warning.

Regarding discriminatory qualifications that employers may list (i.e., "male applicants only"), the forum does not condone this kind of advertisement. There is language to that effect in the template that all employers are required to follow. However, such restrictions are legal in Indonesia and we will not remove or edit advertisements that include them. Our first concern is serving the Expat Forum community. Because it is particularly difficult for expatriates to find employment in Indonesia, we leave the decision to individuals as to whether they wish to pursue a job opportunity with an employer that openly discriminates. Also, we believe it does a disservice to potential applicants if we edit out discriminatory language, thus opening up the possibility that, for example, a woman may apply for a job with an employer who will reject her based on gender. It would be better if the employer's discriminatory policy was clear up front so she could save herself the time.

If you are looking for employees, please do NOT post your advertisement for the position in multiple threads. Just submit one post with the full information required above.


Privacy on the Expat Forum

Just as with any other forum on the Internet, posters should understand that anything and everything that they post about themselves becomes public information. Seemingly innocuous details of your life can be gathered together from your posts over the years by anyone who is interested. Why would anyone do that? Reasons may range from boredom to malicious mischief or revenge, but who knows!

Keeping this in mind, be cautious about any personal information you post on the Expat Forum (or any other internet forum). If you want your phone numbers kept private, don't post them. If you want the details of your unhappy marriage kept private, don't post them. Get the drift?

The Organizing Committee of this website does not delete historic posts, so everything you've ever posted will stay on the forum.

Your IP address (from the computer/ISP you posted on the forum through) for every posting is known to the administrators. This is a safety feature meant to help rein in malicious posters' activities.

It is not allowed to use the real name of other forum members in postings. You must refer to everyone by their nic, even if you know their real name. Please respect the privacy of others!

To keep your email address confidential, hide your email address, never give it out to another forum member, and never post it in a thread. To do this, click Settings -> click General Settings under My Account -> click Don't allow vCard download. Additionally, uncheck the Receive Email from Other Members option and then click Save Changes

How to report a post to the Moderation Team for review

To report a particular post to the moderation team for review - In the post you want to post (the actual post) look for the Flag icon. Click on the flag and your message goes to the moderator to review the post.

Reporting abusive behavior and/or communication

If receiving abusive emails from former banned members. Please know that you do have some options available to you for defending yourself online. Here are some steps you can take:

1) Hide your email address, never give it out to another forum member, and never post it in a thread.
* To do this, click Settings -> click General Settings under My Account -> click Don't allow vCard download additionally uncheck the Receive Email from Other Members option. And then click Save Changes

2) If a user is being abusive, report him to an administrator and add him to your ignore list.
* If a user is being abusive through private messages, add him to your ignore list by clicking Settings located at the top right hand corner -> click Edit Ignore List under My Account-> and then add the person's forum name and click Okay.

To report a user to an administrator, simply either PM an administrator or contact us.

3) If a user is sending abusive emails to your personal email address, report the email address that sending the harassing emails to the provider by following these steps:

* For a harassing Yahoo account, visit this page: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/mail-for-desktop
* For a harassing MSN/Hotmail account, forward the email to abuse@hotmail.com while giving them an explanation of the email received.
* For a harassing Gmail/Google account, visit this page: https://support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse?rd=1
* For all other email providers, please look in their respective Help sections of their websites.

4) It is always advisable to not give out your real name or private information as such information will remain online indefinitely.

5) For more information on how to protect yourself online, go to your favorite search engine and type in these keywords:

* “How to protect yourself online”
* “How to protect yourself from identity theft”
* “Online safety tips”

If you're receiving email from a member of the LIIF community that you don't want to receive, check your profile settings. To avoid being spammed directly to your email address (from the forum software) here is what you need to do:

1. Click on Settings (upper right top on your screen)
2. Click on General Settings in the My Settings window (scroll down on the left part of your screen)
3. Make sure that the check box next to Don't allow vCard download is checked/ticked
4. Make sure that the check box next to Receive Email from Other Members is unchecked
5. Click on Save Changes (bottom right of your screen).

Arranging a meet-up with other forum members

If you would like to meet other members of the Expat Forum, we (strongly) suggest  that you arrange it by PM rather than on the board.

In the past we have had a number of pre-organized gatherings, all of which were a success and a great way for forum members to meet and socialize. However, particular individuals (known to the moderators and long-time Expat Forum regulars) have tried to cause serious problems for people attending such gatherings. We believe  it is safer and wiser for everyone involved that these meetings be arranged by PM to avoid similar issues.

Do NOT infringe on anyone's legal copyright!

Do not post excerpts or full passages from authored works which are protected by copyright. Such creations as copyrighted poems, lyrics to songs, passages from books and other information that is covered by DCMA and other copyright protections are in force on the Living in Indonesia Expat Forum. If you have been found to post copyrighted materials your post will be deleted and you will receive a warning to cease and desist. A repeated offense may also lead to an infraction or banning from the LII Expat Forum.

Forum policy regarding requests for charitable donations

On many occasions, posters have started threads asking that members send cash for charitable causes. Sometimes the request is from a known and trusted poster and we have no doubt the request is legitimate and the funds will be used to benefit a good cause. Other times, it seems that posters sign up for the forum only to ask for money, with no intent to become part of the forum community and no way for members to know if the request is legitimate or not.

We hope and believe that forum members are a good-hearted community who will gladly help out others in need. On the other hand, we would like to exercise some control over who asks for funds and how they do it. The internet is full of scammers and while we cannot prevent them from coming to the Forum, we want to maximize the chances that the requests posted on LIIEF are legitimate. Therefore, we are establishing these guidelines:

1. Only posters who meet these criteria can start threads requesting charitable donations:

2. Posters who request funds are asked to describe two things:

3. The following disclaimer should be included at the end of all posts seeking donations:

LIVING IN INDONESIA EXPAT FORUM DISCLAIMER: Posters should be advised that moderators and administrators do not, and cannot, investigate or approve requests for charitable donations. We believe that the majority of our members are an honest and trustworthy group. However, anyone making donations as a result of an internet appeal is advised to use their own judgment.

Threads seeking donations from the Expat Forum membership that do not follow the above guidelines will be deleted without notification to the poster.

Bullying Policy

The Moderation Team has noticed that there is a tendency by some members of the Expat Forum Community to bully other members, particularly those who may not be able to express their thoughts eloquently in English. Aside from the lack of language skill, members who come across as "different" can also be an easy target of this bullying attitude. We do not condone this kind of behavior as it hinders our efforts to create a welcoming and friendly environment in the Expat Forum. Cases are dealt with by the Moderation Team and without a doubt, in the future we won't hesitate to take any necessary action against bullying in this forum.

As much as we love a healthy discussion, we feel the need to strongly encourage all members to take care (and avoid unnecessary mocking that only demonstrates insensitivity) when responding to comments that sound odd, particularly coming from people whose English is their second language. This does not mean that any rebuttal to opinions or inquiring questions or comments will be heavily censored. Rather, we appreciate it if ALL questions or comments are posed in a civil manner.

How to upset the administrators/moderators

This is a short list of things that may lead to deletion of your posting, infractions, the banning of your profile or any other decision unanimously agreed by the moderation team:

If you are not sure if your posting is welcome, contact an administrator or the webmaster and we'll let you know!

* By all caps we mean words consisting only of capital letters (huruf besar), like “LOOK AT MY POSTING, SCREAM ... PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!".

Reporting posts/threads on the forum

Yes, we welcome feedback on forum postings. If you feel a thread is becoming offensive, you can report the posting to administrators directly through the forum software by clicking the Flag icon.

If you are not a member of the Expat Forum community, please feel free to contact us regarding any posts that you have a problem with, sending the links to the actual post so we have a clear point of reference!

Policy on censorship

We don't condone the spread of hatred, pornography or ridicule of individuals for any reason. These postings serve no positive purpose for the expat community or the larger community in which we live.

The committee that runs this site (and volunteers hundreds of hours each year) believe that the purpose of this forum is to assist expats in answering questions not already be answered in the articles on the Expat website.

While acknowledging that not all portions of the expat experience in Indonesia will be positive, we see our role as helping to make the experience as positive as possible for all concerned and assisting in a SUCCESSFUL transition to living in Indonesia. To this end, we maintain and administrate this forum.

To this end, personal discretion is exercised when dealing with reported and posted material. Moderation may involve editing offensive words from posts, rather than deletion or bans. All concerns are balanced against our stated goal for the forum.

Anyone with questions on how this website is run can contact us. We'll be happy to answer your questions.

Policy on infractions

The infraction system is our way of standardizing penalties and disciplinary actions on the Living in Indonesia Expat Forum. The infraction system is based on a point-based scale, with each infraction a user receives being worth a certain amount of infraction points based on the severity and type of offense. A non-exhaustive list of possible infractions is given below:

At certain point amounts, the following actions will be taken by the moderation team:

1 < 15: a warning sent by email or PM
 15 < x < 20: 7-day ban or more after deliberation by the moderation team.
 20 < x: a permanent ban from the Expat Forum

Infractions will stay in place for a total of 12 months. If no further infractions are accumulated during that time, these points will expire. If not, they will continue to accumulate.

Every user has the right to protest any assigned infraction points. To dispute your infraction, you need to PM a member of the moderation team with a note about the infraction. Include why you believe you were unfairly issued the infraction, including URL links to any relevant posts. One of the moderators will acknowledge receipt of your PM/email, the moderator team will discuss the infraction and will come to a decision. The decision may be a reaffirmation of the previous infraction, a downgrade of the infraction or even possibly an increase in severity of the infraction

Profile suspensions and bans

The moderator will ban or suspend your profile if it is found that:

  1. You are using a bogus email address or temporary email address
  2. Repeated requests by the moderator to stop abusing the forum/forum members go unheeded
  3. You send nasty, abusive or rude emails to the administrators or other members of the Expat Forum
  4. You adopt an attitude detrimental to the forum or the community
  5. You have >20 infraction points, at which point the forum software automatically institutes a permanent ban

Who has the final say on questions regarding the Posting Guidelines?

The administrator has the last word in any dispute and are responsible for interpreting the Posting Guidelines for cases not fully covered by them. If a member feels they have been unfairly denied service or has received unfair moderation, an appeal may be sent to us. Each appeal will be reviewed by the the administrator for any further decisions on the suspension or moderation.

The role of moderators/administrators

The moderators are users of the forum who are granted access to the posts and threads of all members for the purpose of moderating discussion and also keeping the forum clean (neutralizing spam and spambots, etc.). Moderators also answer users' concerns about the forum, general questions, as well as respond to specific complaints. They also can do anything to lend a helping hand to a user in need. Moderators themselves may have ranks: some may be given mod privileges over only a particular topic or section, while others (called 'global' or 'super') may be allowed access anywhere. Common privileges of moderators include: deleting, merging, moving, and splitting of posts and threads, locking, renaming, stickying of threads, banning, suspending, unsuspending, unbanning, warning the members, or adding, editing, removing the polls of threads. 'Junior modding', 'backseat modding', or 'forum-copping' can refer to the behavior of ordinary users who take a moderator-like tone in criticizing other members.

Essentially, it is the duty of the moderator to manage the day-to-day affairs of a forum or board as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of a forum in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users.

The administrators manage the technical details required for running the site. As such, they may promote (and demote) members to moderators, manage the posting guidelines, create sections and sub-sections, as well as perform any necessary database operations. Administrators often act as moderators and may make forum-wide announcements or change the appearance (known as the skin) of a forum.

Rules on forums usually apply to the entire user body and often have preset exceptions, most commonly designating a section as an exception. For example, in an IT forum any discussion regarding anything but computer programming languages may be against the rules, with the exception of a general chat section.

Forum rules are maintained and enforced by the moderation team, but users are allowed to help out through the report system. Most American forum software contains such a system, and it consists of a small function applicable to each post (including one's own). Using it will notify all currently available moderators of its location, and subsequent action or judgment can be carried out immediately. Generally, moderators encourage members to also use the private message system if they wish to report behavior. Moderators will generally frown upon attempts of moderation by non-moderators, especially when the would-be moderators do not even issue a report. Messages from non-moderators acting as moderators generally declare a post as against rules, or predict punishment. While not harmful, statements from non-moderators attempting to enforce rules are discouraged.

When rules are broken, several steps are commonly taken. First a warning is usually given; this is commonly in the form of a private message but recent development has made it possible for it to be integrated into the software. Subsequently, if the act is ignored and warnings do not work, the member is (usually) first exiled from the forum for a number of days. Denying someone access to the site is called a ban. Bans can mean the person can no longer log in or even view the site anymore. If the offender, after the warning sentence, repeats the offense, another ban is given, usually this time a longer one. Continuous harassment of the site eventually leads to a permanent ban. In most cases, this simply means the account is locked. In extreme cases where the offender creates another account and continues to harass the site after being permanently banned, administrators will apply an IP ban or block. With static IPs, the machine of the offender is prevented from accessing the site. In some extreme circumstances, IP range bans or country bans can be applied; this is usually for political, licensing or other reasons.

Offending content is usually deleted. Sometimes if the topic is considered the source of the problem, it is locked; often a poster may request a topic expected to draw problems to be locked as well, although the moderators decide whether to grant it. In a locked thread, members cannot post anymore. In cases where the topic is considered a breach of rules, it along with all subsidiary posts may be deleted.

Source: Wikipedia

Copyright on Expat Forum postings

All posting content (text/photos) is the property of the original user who posted it. The overall thread is the property of the administrator of the Expat Forum. Other parties should not use the content from a posting off the Expat Forum site without the express agreement of the original poster.

Copyright infringement of your content?

If you see content that you hold the copyright to being used on the Expat Forum, please contact us, and we will discuss deletion of that content.

Profile deletion

We do not delete profiles. If you are not interested in participating in the Expat Forum any longer, all you have to do is stop posting.

Will these posting guidelines change?

Yes, without a doubt. With the ongoing and fluid nature of forum interactions, it is inevitable that from time to time we will change these guidelines to address new issues. There is a link to the guidelines in the bottom right hand corner of all forum pages for easy access!

By completing your registration and posting on the Expat Forum, you agree that your participation will strictly conform to any such additions or amendments to the Posting Guidelines.


Does the Expat Forum Use your Data?

We do not use any data submitted by Expat Forum members for any purpose other than responding to your inquiries. Data you have entered in your profile will never be given or sold to any third-party for any purpose by the administrator.

It is your personal choice what you choose to include in your profile and your posts. If you wish to remove personal information from your profile, please feel free to do so at any time.


Last updated September 15, 2022

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