Moderation FAQ

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Can we start having megathreads for popular subjects like highly anticipated game releases? One big thread has to be better than a dozen others that do nothing but push other threads off the front couple of pages. Right now with Skyrim it's getting to the point where there are more threads on the front page of the Games forum about that one game than not. Sure it'll die down in a week or two but having a megathread will save us a lot of thread spam until then.

Pearwood:
Can we start having megathreads for popular subjects like highly anticipated game releases? One big thread has to be better than a dozen others that do nothing but push other threads off the front couple of pages. Right now with Skyrim it's getting to the point where there are more threads on the front page of the Games forum about that one game than not. Sure it'll die down in a week or two but having a megathread will save us a lot of thread spam until then.

I can see the usefulness of it, but it's note entirely functional. Sometimes people will want to discuss things from different angles, or with people with similar experiences. Maybe some want a spoiler free thread and another wants to discuss the ending at length? If there are several threads on the same specific subject we'll merge them, but for something that's as big as Skyrim there are just too many things to discuss. That said, feel free to make a general discussion thread about Skyrim and see if it reduces the Skyrim threads.

Hi.

This is your friendly (or not), neighborhood Cali reminding you that if you don't like a topic, you don't have to post in it!

It's not a reportable offense to make a thread you, personally, don't like and if you make a "Don't care/who gives a shit" post in it, you will get hammered.

And I don't mean that in a good "Friday night with some friends, women/men and some nice booze" way.

That is all. You may return to your regularly scheduled program.

Caliostro:
Hi.

This is your friendly (or not), neighborhood Cali reminding you that if you don't like a topic, you don't have to post in it!

It's not a reportable offense to make a thread you, personally, don't like and if you make a "Don't care/who gives a shit" post in it, you will get hammered.

And I don't mean that in a good "Friday night with some friends, women/men and some nice booze" way.

That is all. You may return to your regularly scheduled program.

Does this mean that people are going to get punished now for posts along the lines of 'This thread is stupid, I don't care about it at all, so I'm just going to waste everyone's time by posting in it'? Because that would be great!

b3nn3tt:

Does this mean that people are going to get punished now for posts along the lines of 'This thread is stupid, I don't care about it at all, so I'm just going to waste everyone's time by posting in it'? Because that would be great!

They have always been punished for that AFAIK. It falls well under "low content/spam".

Just seen too many of those recently and felt like reminding people that you really don't have to post in EVERY thread you see.

Recalling the PROBATION titles that used to appear in the old system, what are the mod's opinions on axing that policy? Personally I would prefer to see the health bar set to private (only the user involved and the mods/staff being able to see them) and bringing back the probationary stamp. It would disappear after a few days (though its removal wouldn't change the health bar) and would only be applied when wrathing those with 4 warnings and up.

I dunno, it used to be a visible consequence of being put on probation for an offense. I know it won't deter those who don't give a fuck what other people think of them but it may discourage another user to re-offend after being branded around their friends for awhile. Maybe the length of time the title stays up could correlate to the number of incidents in the user's recent history. This number would go down with the forum health bar too. Just my musings on the difference between what probation used to mean and what it means today.

what is 'low content'? can I have an example?

Samuel Henson:
what is 'low content'? can I have an example?

Sometimes quoting people and then only saying "This."

One to two word answers.

Or really random things that have nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

Those are some examples I can think of anyway..

Stand by for a public service announcement:

Hi. Caliostro here. We here at Moderator Industries® would like to inform you that regardless of how much you disagree/dislike/consider stupid/ignorant/etc... a post, that is emphatically [n]not[/n] grounds for:

a) Punitive moderator action - no matter how much you report something, we'll only punish posts that break the Code of Conduct;
or
b) Insulting the poster - which IS against the aforementioned Code of Conduct.

So if you don't like someone's opinion on a topic, and otherwise feel reasonable discourse is not possible, remember you have the possibility of simply not fucking replying to them. They're not holding you hostage.

You may now go back to...

...Caroline what is it these people DO on their free time? Buy felt hats? Beard dirt?

...to whatever it is you do on your free time.

Evil Smurf:
what is 'low content'? can I have an example?

Late as this may be: To expand on what Sky said, low content refers to making rather inane and null value posts for the sake of posting something / inflating post count when the post contributes in nothing towards the thread.

Things like "this", "+1", "what he said", and such, or things that are completely random/off topic (e.g.: "Thread is about your favorite shooter"; UserG: "I like bananas!").

I want clarification on coloured text and such. Back in my day the forum rules clearly stated that typing in colour, bolding or typing in CAPS was not considered acceptable. Since the annotated rules came in and erased this vital clause, I have seen two people who always post in a particular colour- one in red and one in a thoroughly unpleasant light blue, and a member likes to post in bold letters.

This has become an epidemic. I have encountered a total of three people with incredibly annoying posting habits and I won't stand for it. If we don't put our foot down there will be an influx of users who feel the need to differentiate themselves through the colour of their posts and the Escapist will become a technicolour shitfest. Please cleanse this scourge before it spreads. Thank you.

manic_depressive13:
I want clarification on coloured text and such. Back in my day the forum rules clearly stated that typing in colour, bolding or typing in CAPS was not considered acceptable. Since the annotated rules came in and erased this vital clause, I have seen two people who always post in a particular colour- one in red and one in a thoroughly unpleasant light blue, and a member likes to post in bold letters.

This has become an epidemic. I have encountered a total of three people with incredibly annoying posting habits and I won't stand for it. If we don't put our foot down there will be an influx of users who feel the need to differentiate themselves through the colour of their posts and the Escapist will become a technicolour shitfest. Please cleanse this scourge before it spreads. Thank you.

It isn't completely gone from the rules, we do ask that people put effort into their posts and make sure they're readable. 3 people isn't really much of an epidemic, and you're the first one I've heard complain about it, but if it spreads perhaps the phrasing of the CoC will change.

GeorgW:

manic_depressive13:
I want clarification on coloured text and such. Back in my day the forum rules clearly stated that typing in colour, bolding or typing in CAPS was not considered acceptable. Since the annotated rules came in and erased this vital clause, I have seen two people who always post in a particular colour- one in red and one in a thoroughly unpleasant light blue, and a member likes to post in bold letters.

This has become an epidemic. I have encountered a total of three people with incredibly annoying posting habits and I won't stand for it. If we don't put our foot down there will be an influx of users who feel the need to differentiate themselves through the colour of their posts and the Escapist will become a technicolour shitfest. Please cleanse this scourge before it spreads. Thank you.

It isn't completely gone from the rules, we do ask that people put effort into their posts and make sure they're readable. 3 people isn't really much of an epidemic, and you're the first one I've heard complain about it, but if it spreads perhaps the phrasing of the CoC will change.

I've seen it a few times as well. A few people have reported them for the colour in their post. I agree that it is painful on the eyes, but I don't see how we can punish people for it, 'cause it's not really doing anything wrong.

sky14kemea:
I've seen it a few times as well. A few people have reported them for the colour in their post. I agree that it is painful on the eyes, but I don't see how we can punish people for it, 'cause it's not really doing anything wrong.

But it used to be wrong. Please just re-insert the clause that clarifies typing in colour, bold or capitals is unnecessary and violates the "don't be inconsiderate to other users" rule. Then you can send a PM to those people asking them to type normally.

manic_depressive13:
Please just re-insert the clause that clarifies typing in colour, bold or capitals is unnecessary and violates the "don't be inconsiderate to other users" rule. Then you can send a PM to those people asking them to type normally.

Except I use bold and colours for emphasis.
So I don't think it should be disallowed altogether. However if someone insists on doing their whole post, and every post they make, like this, then I can see your point.
Maybe just skip over their posts? If nobody reads them, they may stop doing it.

I have a question:
What is the policy on external linking?
Linking to Wikipedia is allowed, but what about ad-supported sites like Wikia sites?
I can understand how the Escapist may not like being a referrer to such sites. (Free advertising?)

TopazFusion:
Except I use bold and colours for emphasis.
So I don't think it should be disallowed altogether. However if someone insists on doing their whole post, and every post they make, like this, then I can see your point.
Maybe just skip over their posts? If nobody reads them, they may stop doing it.

Bold or capitals to emphasise a single word is one thing, but doing it for entire posts is pointless and done solely for the purpose of attracting undeserved attention.

This sort of thing isn't necessary and it's annoying as hell.

I was under the impression that Esacapist moderators existed for the sake of discouraging and, when needed, punishing annoying nonsense like low content and offensive posts. Their diligence is what makes these forums somewhat enjoyable to browse.

We could easily just skip over the posts of people who like to write "first", but we punish it instead because it's stupid and irritating. I don't see why this obtuse, highlighted, cacochromatic nonsense should be an exception.

Although colouring posts pink to indicate sarcasm is really clever, it would appear that I'm not the only one who is annoyed by it. If the mods think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, I'll happily start a poll to see whether the community thinks this should be acceptable. If it turns out I'm just being contrary, I'll stop complaining and may even adopt it myself.

Please reply to tell me whether you'll amend the rules, or if I ought to hold this "referendum".

TopazFusion:
I have a question:
What is the policy on external linking?
Linking to Wikipedia is allowed, but what about ad-supported sites like Wikia sites?
I can understand how the Escapist may not like being a referrer to such sites. (Free advertising?)

As long as it isn't done with the intention of providing ad revenue to the external site, linking to sites that support ads is fine.

For example, if I was making a thread and wanted to back up a statement in a post I made, then linking to an external site (including ad-supported ones) is acceptable.

If the link is unrelated to the post or the user can gain ad revenue from clicks on it (such as if it's their blog), then linking to it in the forums isn't allowed.

GeorgW:

manic_depressive13:
I want clarification on coloured text and such. Back in my day the forum rules clearly stated that typing in colour, bolding or typing in CAPS was not considered acceptable. Since the annotated rules came in and erased this vital clause, I have seen two people who always post in a particular colour- one in red and one in a thoroughly unpleasant light blue, and a member likes to post in bold letters.

This has become an epidemic. I have encountered a total of three people with incredibly annoying posting habits and I won't stand for it. If we don't put our foot down there will be an influx of users who feel the need to differentiate themselves through the colour of their posts and the Escapist will become a technicolour shitfest. Please cleanse this scourge before it spreads. Thank you.

It isn't completely gone from the rules, we do ask that people put effort into their posts and make sure they're readable. 3 people isn't really much of an epidemic, and you're the first one I've heard complain about it, but if it spreads perhaps the phrasing of the CoC will change.

I would just like to add my voice to the complaints that I agree with manic depressive, the few people using colour constantly for every post have been bugging me too. I wouldn't want any of them punished without warning first, but I think it would be fair to warn them by PM first that they should stop before taking mod action, just my opinion anyway.

manic_depressive13:

TopazFusion:
Except I use bold and colours for emphasis.
So I don't think it should be disallowed altogether. However if someone insists on doing their whole post, and every post they make, like this, then I can see your point.
Maybe just skip over their posts? If nobody reads them, they may stop doing it.

Bold or capitals to emphasise a single word is one thing, but doing it for entire posts is pointless and done solely for the purpose of attracting undeserved attention.

This sort of thing isn't necessary and it's annoying as hell.

I was under the impression that Esacapist moderators existed for the sake of discouraging and, when needed, punishing annoying nonsense like low content and offensive posts. Their diligence is what makes these forums somewhat enjoyable to browse.

We could easily just skip over the posts of people who like to write "first", but we punish it instead because it's stupid and irritating. I don't see why this obtuse, highlighted, cacochromatic nonsense should be an exception.

Although colouring posts pink to indicate sarcasm is really clever, it would appear that I'm not the only one who is annoyed by it. If the mods think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, I'll happily start a poll to see whether the community thinks this should be acceptable. If it turns out I'm just being contrary, I'll stop complaining and may even adopt it myself.

Please reply to tell me whether you'll amend the rules, or if I ought to hold this "referendum".

We're looking into it. It's a long way to amending the CoC, if it even gets to that, but the discussion has been raised. For now, why not use the ignore function for those users that use it regularly?

GeorgW:
We're looking into it. It's a long way to amending the CoC, if it even gets to that, but the discussion has been raised. For now, why not use the ignore function for those users that use it regularly?

Okay thanks. To be fair, you wouldn't need to amend the CoC. You could just send them a PM, as moderators, and say "this violates the 'be considerate' rule, please stop it".

I feel like there is much fun to be had here.

SeventhSun:
I feel like there is much fun to be had here.

There is, but it's not really relevant to the topic at hand. That kind of comment is a great example of what would constitute being against the low content rule, but since it's only your 3rd post I'll let it go. Please be more wary of that in the future.

So wait are we not allowed to discuss porn or whether or not lolicon should be legal?

When the hell did that change (if it did), and why? It used to lead to interesting discussions.

Father Time:
So wait are we not allowed to discuss porn or whether or not lolicon should be legal?

When the hell did that change (if it did), and why? It used to lead to interesting discussions.

Since this is a PG-13 site, talking about porn is kind of inappropriate...

Father Time:
So wait are we not allowed to discuss porn or whether or not lolicon should be legal?

Most of the time with moderation, context should be your major concern. In the same way that a thread discussing EA or Activision's business practices would be a bad springboard for a discussion of the ethics of piracy (because of their only tangentially-related natures), it could derail the topic into further issues, or worse, introduce the advocacy or encouragement of piracy.

By the same vein, a discussion about what features are attractive between eastern and western cultures, especially where youth and femininity are central points, could theoretically host a discussion about the nature of lolicon media on the greater society. Again, much of it is in context. Introducing it by linking lolicon, on the other hand, obviously a problem.

Overall, its easier to error on the side of caution. If a topic hasn't already been introduced or alluded to, then it's usually best to leave the topic unbroached. Most of the topics that produce problems, argumentative or otherwise, are often started because of some external stimulus, and not the opening point of the thread itself. The easiest path is also often the best one. (Occam's Posting, perhaps?)

In the worst case, just PM a mod. Never hurts to get an official opinion on the topic, especially if you're worried a topic or discussion point might blow over wrong.

NewClassic:

Father Time:
So wait are we not allowed to discuss porn or whether or not lolicon should be legal?

Most of the time with moderation, context should be your major concern. In the same way that a thread discussing EA or Activision's business practices would be a bad springboard for a discussion of the ethics of piracy (because of their only tangentially-related natures), it could derail the topic into further issues, or worse, introduce the advocacy or encouragement of piracy.

By the same vein, a discussion about what features are attractive between eastern and western cultures, especially where youth and femininity are central points, could theoretically host a discussion about the nature of lolicon media on the greater society. Again, much of it is in context. Introducing it by linking lolicon, on the other hand, obviously a problem.

Overall, its easier to error on the side of caution. If a topic hasn't already been introduced or alluded to, then it's usually best to leave the topic unbroached. Most of the topics that produce problems, argumentative or otherwise, are often started because of some external stimulus, and not the opening point of the thread itself. The easiest path is also often the best one. (Occam's Posting, perhaps?)

In the worst case, just PM a mod. Never hurts to get an official opinion on the topic, especially if you're worried a topic or discussion point might blow over wrong.

Where do I find mods to email?

Also I wanted to talk about whether loli should be legal, because it raises interesting discussions and because whether or not Rapeplay should be allowed to exist was a pretty big topic at one point so it's not entirely unrelated to games.

Your answer doesn't give me a big yay or nay that I was hoping for.

Father Time:
Where do I find mods to email?

In regard to finding the contact information for the mods, there are a couple of ways of doing it. There's a complete list of mods in the Code of Conduct. To find that, on the toolbar above, hover over Forums. There will be a list of forums in the drop-down menu. Beneath that, in the blue, there are four options. "Code of Conduct" should appear on the lower left. (It should look something like this.)

Each mod's profile should have some method of contacting them. The direct way through the Escapist's website is to select "Send a message" from the profile. Other alternatives include finding other listed contact information (such as Skype, Steam, XBL, SEN, IM, and Twitter profiles) and occasionally e-mail addresses.

You can also occasionally find mods online on the IRC. (Brief tutorial for that found here.)

Your answer doesn't give me a big yay or nay that I was hoping for.

Unfortunately, like most things, there is no big "yea" or "nay" option when working with certain topics. If there wasn't context like that, you and I would've both been banned already for discussion lolicon, porn, and sexual violence. It's just part of the nature of all discourse really.

Whether or not you can talk about things like lolicon, Rapelay, and other such things are context-dependent in life. As such, I can imagine it's the sort of thing you can discuss with university-level culture professors, but likely not your grandparents. On the same coin, it's generally a bad idea to talk about your hidden fetishes and fantasies among strangers, but not to your significant other or lover.

Although if you're looking for a flat answer, then just go with "Nay." It's impossible to go wrong by simply avoiding topics you think will go badly. Doesn't mean you can't, just that you should be careful about when you should.

I'm still curious about my previous post on this page...

Redlin5:
Recalling the PROBATION titles that used to appear in the old system, what are the mod's opinions on axing that policy? Personally I would prefer to see the health bar set to private (only the user involved and the mods/staff being able to see them) and bringing back the probationary stamp. It would disappear after a few days (though its removal wouldn't change the health bar) and would only be applied when wrathing those with 4 warnings and up.

I dunno, it used to be a visible consequence of being put on probation for an offense. I know it won't deter those who don't give a fuck what other people think of them but it may discourage another user to re-offend after being branded around their friends for awhile. Maybe the length of time the title stays up could correlate to the number of incidents in the user's recent history. This number would go down with the forum health bar too. Just my musings on the difference between what probation used to mean and what it means today.

Personally I think the system is fine the way it is.
Doesn't the SUSPENDED title come up for the entire length of a suspension anyway?

If you were talking about just the PROBATION title though then we aren't trying to parade users who we punish. While we want other users to learn from warnings, probations, suspensions and bans, I don't think it's a good idea to basically hit someone with the hammer and then shout "HEY LOOK AT THIS GUY! WE PUNISHED HIM NOW LEARN FROM THIS!" for several days before they get their title back.

However in the case of the health bar. I think hiding it would be pointless. It's not like it's broadcast to everyone under their badge list for every post. If you want to see the level of another user, you have to go on their main profile and even then you don't get links to each infraction.
Note to self: Get Kross to put the health bars under everyone's top 4 badges

Edit: Wait, I just re-read your post. You think the PROBATION titles should be axed? Why? They don't last for the whole 6 months between getting a probation and a -1 to your health bar?
Wait, I'm confused. Does it even do that?

Redlin5:
I'm still curious about my previous post on this page...

With regards to the old Probation Stamps and the Suspended links of old then users would just click those links to see what said user had done wrong, it wasn't used as a tool to find out what was bad on this site but as a busy bodies gossiping tool for users to talk about at the bridge club.

I wasn't a fan of it because users would converge on a post for no other reason than morbid fascination, as opposed to the tool of conduct it was meant to be.

Redlin5:
I'm still curious about my previous post on this page...

DigitalSushi:

Redlin5:
I'm still curious about my previous post on this page...

With regards to the old Probation Stamps and the Suspended links of old then users would just click those links to see what said user had done wrong, it wasn't used as a tool to find out what was bad on this site but as a busy bodies gossiping tool for users to talk about at the bridge club.

I wasn't a fan of it because users would converge on a post for no other reason than morbid fascination, as opposed to the tool of conduct it was meant to be.

It's interesting, cuz I used to click on every single one of those links and learn from them, which would later end up helping me now that I'm a mod. Though, I realise I'm in an extreme minority there, given my position.
Anyway, my dear colleagues have explained the reasoning behind it very well, I don't really have anything to add to that. Except that another reason the health meter was added was as a response to a lot of confusion regarding inconsistent moderation. As people couldn't see other's history, and they didn't realise we take previous history into account when moderating, there were a lot of complaints.

DigitalSushi:

Redlin5:
I'm still curious about my previous post on this page...

With regards to the old Probation Stamps and the Suspended links of old then users would just click those links to see what said user had done wrong, it wasn't used as a tool to find out what was bad on this site but as a busy bodies gossiping tool for users to talk about at the bridge club.

I wasn't a fan of it because users would converge on a post for no other reason than morbid fascination, as opposed to the tool of conduct it was meant to be.

such a shame, now I have to ask people what they did wrong

never mind, my thread did finally show up (a half an hour later) :P

Would it be ok if someone put a thread that lists all the users who get banned within the year?

I think it could help people if there was one location where they could find that info. out, instead of asking in the forums

PsychicTaco115:
Would it be ok if someone put a thread that lists all the users who get banned within the year?

I think it could help people if there was one location where they could find that info. out, instead of asking in the forums

I don't really see the need for it... If anything it'd just be like a public shaming. Some people might even try to turn them into martyrs.

If people wonder why someone got banned, they can always PM a Mod.

sky14kemea:

PsychicTaco115:
Would it be ok if someone put a thread that lists all the users who get banned within the year?

I think it could help people if there was one location where they could find that info. out, instead of asking in the forums

I don't really see the need for it... If anything it'd just be like a public shaming. Some people might even try to turn them into martyrs.

If people wonder why someone got banned, they can always PM a Mod.

I just thought it would be easier to have one location to see who was banned, but I do see where it can be problematic

Live and learn! :D

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