Frequently Asked Questions

Galt's Gulch Basics

Galt's Gulch Etiquette



What is "Galt's Gulch?"

With 20,000+ members, Galt's Gulch is now the largest active online community focused on the propagation of Ayn Rand's ideas and is the new official Atlas Shrugged™ "Collective." Galt's Gulch is a community of like-minded individuals who come together regularly to share interesting content and ideas with each other and debate politics, economics, philosophy and more. If you've read Ayn Rand and have been influenced by Atlas Shrugged™, this is the site you've been waiting for. This, is Galt's Gulch Online. top

How do I use the Gulch?

The Gulch has many interesting and unique features to explore. Click here to take a quick tour of the Gulch's most basic features. top

What are points and how do I earn them?

Points are how we, as a community, gauge member activity. Whenever you add new content, comment, or when other users vote on your content and/or comments, you earn points. While points have very little real world value, they reflect essentially the value of a member's contribution to The Gulch.

Every time you post, you get 1 point. 1 post = 1 point. Whenever other eligible members vote on your post, your point total is affected. 1 post = 1 point; 3 upvotes + 2 downvotes would then raise the post total point value to 2 (1 + 3 - 2).

Click here to read more about voting. top

How do posts get selected for the Daily Digest email?

Each morning, an algorithm scans the posts on the hot list in the Gulch. This algorithm suggests 5 posts for the daily digest based on upvotes, comments, how long ago the post was submitted, etc.

At that point an admin reviews the suggestions and makes adjustments. A post may be removed/replaced from the suggested digest if it:
  • Is inappropriate (or is filled with inappropriate comments)
  • Has 0 comments
  • Has been in the digest previously
  • Is deemed too old
  • There are other posts that are more relevant with more engagement (comments and upvotes)

What is an "Atlas Shrugged Movie Producer?"

Atlas Shrugged Movie Producers worked on the Atlas Shrugged trilogy scripts, casting, editing, and more, to adapt the book for film. Only official credited movie producers sport the exclusive "Atlas Shrugged Movie Producer"" badge. top

What is a "Gulch Producer?"

$ The Galt's Gulch Producer Membership includes access to special "Producers Only" events, including private Q&A sessions with the Atlas Shrugged Production crew, regular discounts on official Atlas Shrugged™ merchandise, the ability to shut off ads, special Producers only invites for new features and content plus, you get a shiny Producer badge to proudly wear in the Gulch. Read more...

Recent Producers Only Content

Producers are members of the Galt's Gulch community who have read Atlas Shrugged, are advocates of Ayn Rand's ideas, and understand that there is no free lunch. They understand that running this site costs money. They understand that the value they get from this site deserves a fair value-for-value exchange. And, they understand that $3.95 a month is a nominal membership fee to belong to a site that promotes the ideas of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged and facilitates communication between like-minded individuals.

Create a Galt's Gulch Producer account or upgrade an existing account now.


What is a "Gulch Admin?"

Admins work directly for the Atlas Shrugged Movie production company. As well as hanging out in The Gulch, effectively supporting the community, Gulch Admins all have other jobs and responsibilities within the organization. From merchandise fulfillment, to web development, to online marketing and more, the Gulch Admins are your Gulch Ambassadors. top

Who are the "Atlas Society?"

The Atlas Society is an American Objectivist research and advocacy organization that "promotes open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, individualism, achievement, and freedom originated by Ayn Rand" (Wikipedia). Only official Atlas Society faculty sport the exclusive Atlas Society badge.

Learn more about the Atlas Society. top

What is a "Galt's Gulch Fellow?"

A "Galt's Gulch Fellow" is a Gulch member who has been a featured speaker at a Galt's Gulch endorsed event (e.g. Atlas Society "Atlas Summit"). The Fellow badge is awarded to these members in recognition of their demonstrative expertise in their respective fields (e.g. philosophy, education, law, etc.). top

What are the "Producer's Lounge" and "Producer's Vault?"

The "Producer's Lounge" and "Producer's Vault" are private areas of Galt's Gulch reserved for paying "Gulch Producer" members. While the title of the posts to either category remain public, the content and comments of those posts are only visible to Gulch Producers. Click here to learn more about becoming a Gulch Producer. top

What does the green shopping cart icon represent?

Individuals who subscribe to the Galt's Gulch Marketplace are awarded a green cart. This icon shows that the individual is a "shopkeeper" (advertiser) with a product or service being promoted in the Galt's Gulch Marketplace.

Learn more about the Marketplace. top

What does "Distance" represent in the Member Directory?

"Distance" represents how far another member is from you (either your nearest ISP hub or your zip code if provided in your public member profile). top

What does "Flag" do?

"Flag" sends a notification to Gulch admins indicating that a comment needs to be reviewed. If you think a comment crosses the line of propriety, flag it. This of course is a purely subjective function so do us a favor and think twice about flagging. top

What does "Hide" do?

"Thread hijacking" - When a person starts a posting on a message board, or forum, or Facebook, that others are able to comment on, that original posting and the comments on it are called a thread. A thread hijacking occurs when one or more individuals commenting on the original posting, go off topic, creating a separate conversation. This is rude, and bad internet etiquette. If people want to discuss a different topic, they should start their own thread.

"Hide" is for thread authors to help keep their conversation on topic by effectively "hiding" a comment from public views and lists. Example usage: You post a new topic, someone else comments attempting to take the discussion down a completely unrelated and unwanted tangent, hide it. IMPORTANT: Comments are not deleted and are still viewable by anyone - just not as easily accessible. top

What does "Mark as read" do?

"Mark as Read" is a way for you to simply dim a comment so that the next time you visit the thread, you'll know which comments you've all ready read. top

What does "Permalink" do?

"Permalink" provides a direct URL to a specific comment. For instance, if you want to send a friend a link to read a comment, you would send them the Permalink so they could click on it and be taken directly to the comment. top

How do I remove ads?

Ads are how we monetize the Gulch's web site traffic generated by non-paying members and visitors. You can remove ads from the Gulch by signing up as a producer or by upgrading your existing membership. top

How do I change my username?

For the sake of posterity, once you commit content (e.g. a post or comment), your username can not be changed. You are however permitted to create additional user accounts at will. top

Galt's Gulch Etiquette

Galt's Gulch Code of Conduct

"A proper association is united by ideas, not by men, and its members are loyal to the ideas, not to the group. It is eminently reasonable that men should seek to associate with those who share their convictions and values. It is impossible to deal or even to communicate with men whose ideas are fundamentally opposed to one's own (and one should be free not to deal with them)." - Ayn Rand

We're not all going to agree on everything and that's OK. However, if you are not here for legitimate reasons, and your intention is less than honorable, you should know that you will be found out and you will be removed. Debate is fine, but remember this site is specifically for supporters of Ayn Rand's ideas. If you don't support Ayn Rand's ideas, you're in the wrong place.

So, to site etiquette...

Please do...

  • Read the About Galt's Gulch page and FAQ.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling.
  • Vote on everything.
  • Consider posting constructive criticism or an explanation when you down-vote.
  • Report "Spamming" or "Trolling" by flagging inappropriate content.
  • Browse "New" and vote on content.
  • Proofread your submissions for mistakes before submitting.
  • Own your posts and moderate (e.g. hide, flag) comments.
  • Choose the appropriate category for your posts (e.g. news, politics, philosophy).
  • Debate in good form.
  • Expect members to disagree and challenge you occasionally.*

Please do not...

  • Cast obscenities or be rude. This is the Gulch. You can do better.
  • Wage personal attacks or chastise other Gulch members. Ad hominem and/or "flaming" is not permitted.
  • Assume the role of an Admin and attempt to discipline other Gulch members.
  • Play the race card. No "Racist! Bigot! Homophobe!" nonsense.
  • Divulge personally identifiable information (e.g. email addresses, full names) in your comments. Other members have no way of verifying your identity or knowing if you are impersonating someone else.**
  • Spam the Gulch by injecting links to your website, products, or services, repeatedly in comments or posts.
  • Copy & Paste articles in full. When posting a link to an outside article, a simple blurb from the article will do.
  • Proselytize your religion or advocate faith. Inquiry, yes. Advocate, no.*
  • Threaten other Gulchers in any way, shape, or form. Note that posting a threat in any manner (e.g. comment, post, reply, private message, etc.) is grounds for immediate and permanent banning without warning.

* Galt's Gulch Online is a site for Ayn Rand enthusiasts and those wishing to learn more about Ayn Rand's ideas. Comments made offering constructive criticism, asking for clarification, or pointing out contradictions are not necessarily attacks on you as an individual, but may be asking you to check your premises or explain further. This is perfectly acceptable.

** It is acceptable for a Marketplace post owner to publicly add contact information to a Marketplace post only. top

When and how should I use the thumbs up and down to vote?

Voting on Posts

In Galt's Gulch Online your vote means, "I think more people should see this", not necessarily "I agree with this."

After registering, and attaining 10+ Gulch reputation points, you can vote up or down on all of the links In Galt's Gulch Online based on whether you liked or disliked them. If more people like a post than dislike it, it will rise up in the ranking, appear on the hot page and be seen by more users. Upon voting, the highlighted score will have changed +1 or -1 depending on your vote up or down, respectively. Regardless of your own personal point accumulation, all votes effect post scores equally.

As a general rule, vote up what you liked (and want to see more of) and vote down what you disliked (and what you want to see less of).

Voting on Comments

While the same general rules apply to voting on the comments of others, downvotes should really only be used for irrelevant or inflammatory comments, not ideas you necessarily disagree with. Also, don't be afraid to upvote a comment you disagree with if you think it is furthering the discussion. This will result in the most interesting and relevant discussions moving to the top of the comment page.

Other information

  • If a post or comment dips below a threshold of -5, it will be automatically hidden.
  • Voting is completely anonymous.
  • To un-vote, click on the same button you used to issue your original vote.
  • You can change your vote at any time.
  • You get one vote per item.

When is it appropriate to edit my comments?

Rarely. If you misspell a word or want to correct grammar, by all means, edit. Please make sure to append a reason at the end of your comment explaining the edit (e.g. "EDIT: Spelling."). If you want to add content to your comment, please also make sure to add it as an edit (e.g. "EDIT 07-01-13: I really think..."). top

What is "Spamming?"

WIKIPEDIA: Forum spam consists of posts on Internet forums that contains related or unrelated advertisements, links to malicious web sites, and abusive or otherwise unwanted information.

In the Gulch, spam can take many forms - some blatant; some, not so much. As a general rule of thumb, if you just got here and are submitting a post to promote your own website, product, or service, it's a safe bet that you should probably use the Gulch Marketplace instead. Ads start at only $19.95 per month and guarantee prominent placement throughout the site.

Gulch Posting Best Practices*

  • You should not just start submitting your links - it will be unwelcome and may be removed as spam, or your account will be banned as spam.
  • You should submit from a variety of sources (a general rule of thumb is that 10% or less of your posting and conversation should link to your own content), talk to people in the comments (and not just on your own links), and generally be a good member of the community.
  • You should not vote up only things from your domain or project, or have any other employees or fans do the same. Every Gulcher should evaluate and vote on each submission or comment based on the value when they read it. Only submitting on, or voting on, one particular person, domain, or brand's content will get an account banned from the Gulch.
  • You should not ask for votes in the Gulch, even on your twitter or blog or forum - it will get your account banned, and in extreme cases can get your domain banned.
  • You should engage in conversations in the Gulch that are relevant to your interests. Give feedback to others, talk about issues that interest you, and be a good member of the community. Gulchers don't care that you have something to promote, they care what you think and that you have interesting things to say.
  • You should check your domain page from time to time - it is located at galtsgulchonline.com/d/ - check out what people are saying, what stuff of yours people like, and participate in the comments if people have questions or comments about something you've done. Identify yourself and be transparent: "Hi, I'm the author of this article, and I can answer the question you have about that..." But don't blindly upvote everything there or try to manipulate voting in any way - if your stuff is good, people will vote for it.
* These best practices derive from Reddit best practices. top

What is "Trolling?"

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion (Wikipedia). top

What is "Flaming?"

Flaming is a hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users, often involving the use of profanity. It is frequently the result of the discussion of heated real-world issues such as politics, religion, and philosophy, or of issues that polarize sub-populations, but can also be provoked by seemingly trivial differences. (Wikipedia). top


What is the Galt's Gulch Marketplace?

The Marketplace is a promoted section of Galt's Gulch where liberty-minded individuals can showcase their products and services and like-minded individuals can easily find them. Learn more... top

How does a Marketplace post differ from a regular post?

Regular posts have a life-span. You post, people comment, maybe you make the hot list, and then they disappear. Marketplace posts have longevity. They maintain primary real estate through placement rotation and promotion. For more details on the differences, see the feature comparison. top

What are the benefits of the Marketplace?

To the Gulch member: The Marketplace is an opportunity for you to patronize like-minded individuals who have goods and/or services to offer. Check out the Marketplace.

To the Gulch advertiser: 20,000+ liberty-minded individuals are here and they want to patronize you. The Marketplace is your opportunity to tell them about your product or service. Learn more... top

How much does the Marketplace cost?

See pricing: Create a Marketplace post now.

NOTE: Galt’s Gulch Producers receive a FREE Basic listing and a 25% discount on Starter and Gold listings. Create a Galt's Gulch Producer account or upgrade an existing account now. top

What types of products or services can I post in the Marketplace?

The Galt's Gulch Marketplace is open to most products and services. However, please do not post:
  • Multi-level marketing products
  • "Get rich quick" products
  • Adult products
  • Affiliate marketing products
  • Anything illegal
NOTE: All posts will be reviewed. If the product or service is deemed inappropriate, or you do not have the proper authority to sell the product or service, the post will be removed. top

Do Gulch Producers get a discount?

Yes. Galt’s Gulch Producers receive a FREE Basic listing and a 25% discount on Starter and Gold listings. Create a Galt's Gulch Producer account or upgrade an existing account now. top

Can users comment and vote on my Marketplace post?

Yes. top

When will my Marketplace post get promoted?

While placement is guaranteed, because your Marketplace post is in rotation with other Marketplace posts, there is no set time when your post will show up at the top of the home page, in the header's Gold Bar, on Twitter, or in the Daily Digest email. top

What determines the position/order of my post in the Marketplace?

All Marketplace posts are in rotation within their categories (ex. if there are two posts, the post in position 1 will move to 2, and 2 to 1). top

How do I cancel, upgrade, or downgrade my Marketplace post?

You can cancel at anytime by writing us a quick email. Upgrading or down-grading marketplace packages is not currently available. top

Can you help me with my ad, marketing message, banner, etc.?

We're happy to answer any technical questions you might have. In addition, as a Gold Package subscriber, you will get assistance refining your marketing message. Please contact us and someone will respond to you within 24 hours. top