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#1 Crystal Shards

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:14 AM

Some of you have seen this, but I was looking over the rules more and I have a couple questions and suggestions. It's probably going to be pretty long since I found quite a few issues, so please don't take that as me ripping the rules apart, because I'm not. These are just questions that came to mind as I was perusing the rules.

1. If you see somebody or something violating the rules please report it.


This contradicts this announcement yesterday. Can we get clarification?

2. Do not make one-line posts, unless it adds something new or interesting to a discussion. Likewise, do not just quote another member and simply write "I agree", "quoted for truth", "no", etc. In these cases, make sure to at least explain why you agree or disagree.


This isn't enforced. I'm pretty sure I've even broken this rule a couple times in the past week.

5. Do not derail threads, i.e go off-topic for more than 3-4 posts.


This is also not enforced, and I'm not sure that it should really be a rule, at least with how it's worded. It's a little too vague, because topics can start out being about one thing and turn into being about another thing without too much of a problem. Side-conversations are a little different, and I think that's what this rule is referring to, but it's a little too vague to really be useful.

6. If a topic has not been posted in for 1 month, any non-contributing posts made in that topic will be considered necroposting, which is forbidden. Instead, if necessary, simply make another topic. This rule does not apply to art topics, hacking projects, and other threads of similar nature that need to be updated.


Again, see this.

7. No image macros are to posted outside of the Introductions and Far from the Forest forums.


This isn't enforced, and it's a little vague. Does this mean no posts with only image macros (which would presumably fall under spam), or no using image macros period outside of Intros/FftF (which seems a little excessive)?

1. Show respect towards ALL members, no matter who they are.


This is definitely not enforced, and really vague. It's better to list things that are not allowed than to make a rule trying to get everybody to do one thing. In other words, a rule that says, "No flaming. No trolling," with explanations of what that means is infinitely better than what's above, because it's easier to defend a warn for the "No" rule.

2. Do not publicly question us on policies. We will listen to a well reasoned opinion on why policies should be different, but this needs to be done through PM.


Doesn't this rule make the Questions/Suggestions forum useless, and every topic starter in this forum worthy of a warning? A staff should allow questions and suggestions, including those that involve policy. It also sets a scary precedent: don't question the staff, even if they're doing something unethical or not good for the forum as a whole. That makes me nervous.

3. Do not flame people, or bait them into flaming you.


Not enforced. I also don't really see how this is different from rule number 5 below it, about trolling. Also, what constitutes as flaming or trolling here? The definition varies on different forums.

6. Don't take everything too seriously; the Internet is not serious business. That said, use common sense to avoid making jokes which are clearly out of place.


How does one enforce this rule exactly? Do you warn people for getting offended? And isn't it contradictory? "The internet isn't serious but don't offend people."

1. Your whole signature (including text/image etc) must be no higher than 400 pixels.

2. Signature images can be no longer than 550 pixels, total. The maximum height is 300 pixels. The maximum size is 300 Kb per image.


A little contradictory. If the whole signature can be no higher than 400 pixels, then why can't one image be larger than 300px high? Also, if that's the case, this isn't enforced.

Thanks for listening... or reading, rather.

Edited by Crystal Shards, 06 July 2009 - 04:16 AM.


#2 Kratos

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:18 AM

I agree wholeheartedly. A primary key to a smooth running forum it solid, clear rules.

#3 6669`

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:18 AM

The enforcement of every rule tends to vary from moderator to moderator. Shit's weird. Though, the announcement you mentioned, that's just telling people to stop abusing the report function, not telling them to stop using it.

also Hiii.

#4 Crystal Shards

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:20 AM

Though, the announcement you mentioned, that's just telling people to stop abusing the report function, not telling them to stop using it.


The announcement makes it seem more like only severe violations should be reported, when the rule states that any violation should be reported. There's a distinct difference between the two.

#5 6669`

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:22 AM

I'm really focusing on

I would like to point out to members that the purpose of the report function is for when a member is in severe violation of the rules, and requires staff attention, be it to lock the topic, remove illegal content, or suspend the offending poster. It should be used in moderation, and only in appropriate circumstances. The report function is not your toy to use when someone does something that offends you personally, or something you just don't like.


An explanation on what it is for, and what it is not for. That's what I get from it at least. He never said to only use it on perceived important rule infractions. Come to think of it, he said that he would be handling misused reports, not the entire staff, and he isn't on the staff anymore so it's not exactly an issue.

Edited by Death, 06 July 2009 - 04:24 AM.


#6 Crystal Shards

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:27 AM

Again...

I would like to point out to members that the purpose of the report function is for when a member is in severe violation of the rules, and requires staff attention, be it to lock the topic, remove illegal content, or suspend the offending poster.


versus

1. If you see somebody or something violating the rules please report it.


I said nothing of importance. Even if that was an explanation, it's not a good one. What counts as severe?

#7 6669`

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:29 AM

The announcement was that he would be warning people who "misuse" it, and he no longer has the ability to do so. Or to post to clarify this. I agree that the announcement could be taken in a way that conflicts with the rules a little, but it's kind of void now.

#8 Agro

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:33 AM

I agree wholeheartedly. A primary key to a smooth running forum it solid, clear rules.

What are you agreeing on?

#9 Tino

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:17 AM

Doesn't this rule make the Questions/Suggestions forum useless, and every topic starter in this forum worthy of a warning? A staff should allow questions and suggestions, including those that involve policy. It also sets a scary precedent: don't question the staff, even if they're doing something unethical or not good for the forum as a whole. That makes me nervous.


Apparantly you missed the keyword "publicly".

Questioning decisions and policies is fine, so long as it's done privately.

#10 Crystal Shards

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:42 AM

Apparantly you missed the keyword "publicly".

Questioning decisions and policies is fine, so long as it's done privately.


Um, the questions/suggestions forum IS publicly. I didn't miss it; that's the problem word. As members we should be able to DISCUSS things as a group; it also keeps staff members from having to deal with multiple questions and also keeps them accountable. You can't know if someone brought up a discussion before or what the verdict is if it's all hush-hush, and it's easier to ignore someone if they PM you.

#11 Popo

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:05 AM

1. If you see somebody or something violating the rules please report it.


This contradicts this announcement yesterday. Can we get clarification?


Sure. From what I have seen over the past few weeks, many of the reports submitted have been cases in which a user has misjudged the situation. For instance, if Person #1 gets all fired up about a discussion topic and uses colorful and/or abrasive language to make a point, Person #2 in some cases will say, "Hey! Clearly this poster is flaming the guy above him. I should report it!" when in fact, the two users are having a mostly civil discussion. As moderators, there's no reason for us to interfere when no personal attacks were made and no one appeared to be offended. (My suggestion? If you're not the one getting 'flamed' than don't make a report. If someone is honestly offended by a post, they can take it up with the staff themselves. Obviously, this isn't valid when it becomes an all out argument, but if it's just one or two posts, leave it up to the discretion of the person being attacked.)

There are also cases in which members report posts or users after they've already been talked to publicly by a moderator, or warned, or what have you. This may have been an accident, but there was a actually a report from you this morning Crystal, over a post that had not only been seen to by the staff, but from a user who had been banned some five or six hours previously. Again, we can't do anything more in a situation like that, so there's no need to make a report.

Finally, I'll explain part of what Fox considered to be abuse of the system. A few days ago, two users in particular were arguing over something, and decided to file reports each time the other posted. As you can imagine, we soon had an excess of reports to deal with, and it was getting both difficult and annoying to sift through. Making multiple reports in a case like this is not necessary; one will suffice, as it only takes one to get a staff member to examine the thread and the posts involved.

When in doubt, make a report, but always consider the situation before hand. Is it a problem the staff can solve at this point in time? Have they already intervened? Is it a direct violation of a rule? Is it really flaming, or is it just heated discussion?

2. Do not make one-line posts, unless it adds something new or interesting to a discussion. Likewise, do not just quote another member and simply write "I agree", "quoted for truth", "no", etc. In these cases, make sure to at least explain why you agree or disagree.


This isn't enforced. I'm pretty sure I've even broken this rule a couple times in the past week.

QUOTE
5. Do not derail threads, i.e go off-topic for more than 3-4 posts.


This is also not enforced, and I'm not sure that it should really be a rule, at least with how it's worded. It's a little too vague, because topics can start out being about one thing and turn into being about another thing without too much of a problem. Side-conversations are a little different, and I think that's what this rule is referring to, but it's a little too vague to really be useful.

QUOTE
6. If a topic has not been posted in for 1 month, any non-contributing posts made in that topic will be considered necroposting, which is forbidden. Instead, if necessary, simply make another topic. This rule does not apply to art topics, hacking projects, and other threads of similar nature that need to be updated.


Again, see this.


I agree with all of this. The necroposting rule in particular needs to be reexamined.

7. No image macros are to posted outside of the Introductions and Far from the Forest forums.


This isn't enforced, and it's a little vague. Does this mean no posts with only image macros (which would presumably fall under spam), or no using image macros period outside of Intros/FftF (which seems a little excessive)?


I interpret it as no image macros outside of Introductions/FFTF under any circumstances.

1. Show respect towards ALL members, no matter who they are.


This is definitely not enforced, and really vague. It's better to list things that are not allowed than to make a rule trying to get everybody to do one thing. In other words, a rule that says, "No flaming. No trolling," with explanations of what that means is infinitely better than what's above, because it's easier to defend a warn for the "No" rule.


Agreed. This needs to be both elaborated on and enforced.

2. Do not publicly question us on policies. We will listen to a well reasoned opinion on why policies should be different, but this needs to be done through PM.


Doesn't this rule make the Questions/Suggestions forum useless, and every topic starter in this forum worthy of a warning? A staff should allow questions and suggestions, including those that involve policy. It also sets a scary precedent: don't question the staff, even if they're doing something unethical or not good for the forum as a whole. That makes me nervous.


This is poorly explained in the rules. Of course we want suggestions, and as long as they're well thought out and presented in a mature fashion, we'll most likely try to entertain them. However, what we don't want is members lashing out at policy changes in the Announcements forum for example, or making threads that effectively denounce the staff and their ability to do their respective jobs. If you have a problem with a staff member, or feel that a rule change is a hindrance to the community, a much more professional way to handle the situation is by sending a message to a staff member so it can be better explained or discussed. To be honest, I think the privlage to talk back to the staff in a public setting was lost because too many people were simply bitching and moaning without providing insight or solutions to the issues at hand.



I agree with the other points you mentioned, and suspect that the rules will have a serious re-write over the next week. Thanks for your interest in the community, Crystal. :)

Edited by Popo, 06 July 2009 - 09:10 AM.


#12 Defeatist Elitist

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:44 PM

My primary disagreement is with the "No Questioning the Staff in Public" rule, but that could pretty much be fixed and still serve what I think its purpose is if its changed to "No Questioning the Staff outside of Questions and Suggestions; By The Way The Rules About Respect and Whatnot Still Apply" or something like that. Otherwise, yeah, clarifications all around.

#13 OldMan

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:04 PM

You're supposed to criticize the staff privately - be contacting the one who made a wrong decision, or an admin. That's common knowledge.

And I'm not even talking about hiding the staff's flaws so they're more respectable; more importantly, there's the ego part. A private criticism is less likely to be faced with resistance than a public one and, therefore, tends to be more successful.

In other words, it would be your own best interest to solve such issues via PM/IM.


Ignore me if that's already been said in those walls of text.

#14 Kratos

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:16 PM

What are you agreeing on?


I almost ignored this for sheer fact of lulz, but I agree that the rules are too vague and need to be rewritten. Hence my reply.

You're supposed to criticize the staff privately - be contacting the one who made a wrong decision, or an admin. That's common knowledge.

And I'm not even talking about hiding the staff's flaws so they're more respectable; more importantly, there's the ego part. A private criticism is less likely to be faced with resistance than a public one and, therefore, tends to be more successful.

In other words, it would be your own best interest to solve such issues via PM/IM.


Ignore me if that's already been said in those walls of text.


I pretty much agree with this, but sometimes it gets to the point where it needs light and it need public attention.

#15 Crystal Shards

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:17 PM

You're supposed to criticize the staff privately - be contacting the one who made a wrong decision, or an admin. That's common knowledge.

And I'm not even talking about hiding the staff's flaws so they're more respectable; more importantly, there's the ego part. A private criticism is less likely to be faced with resistance than a public one and, therefore, tends to be more successful.

In other words, it would be your own best interest to solve such issues via PM/IM.


Ignore me if that's already been said in those walls of text.


Did you read my post at all? I'm just curious, because I'm not talking about talking shit to the staff. I'm talking about discussing policies. There's a very important difference between the two.