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> Forum Guidelines Update, A rundown of things.
    Posted: Jan 17 2013, 03:39 PM

More NEGATIVE than a black hole
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Posts: 19,345
Member No.: 12,263
Joined: Sep 12th 2005
Location: Update Profile

Hello, IDW! It's been a while since we did much of anything with the guidelines, but in light of the recent forum activity spikes, it was high time to do a bit of tweaking. I will be highlighting everything that has changed. Don't worry, it's not much.

First off, some folks may have noticed an unannounced edit last month. As a test in response to Mobius' critique of the minimum character limit, we completely removed it on December 15th last year. At the same time, I got rid of all rules that could have punished members for breaking the character limit that no longer existed. The "no spamming" section lost a few pounds because of this. Since we had almost zero reports of people spamming the forum with tiny posts, the character limit will not be reinstated, and the corresponding rules will also stay tucked away in history.


• Please note that using spoiler tags does not mean that members may post X-rated content on IDW.

This goes without saying. Nobody has been stupid enough to try this for quite a while, but we wanted it explicitly laid out. The problem before this was that there was nothing in place preventing people from posting explicit content, aside from a rather bland "post a discretion" guideline. This didn't outright say that pornographic content was disallowed on IDW, and so an actual rule was put in place to iron things out. So there you have it. No porn on IDW. You'll get a warn and a stiff post ban period if you try, no pun intended.

• Trolling, harassing and/or bullying other members are all collectively prohibited. Members discovered performing these acts will be given an actual warning and a 24-hour post ban (posting privileges revoked).

Here's one we've been working on for months. We noticed a lot of bullying going on in certain areas of the forum after Fifth Stage broke out and new members started pouring in. Naturally, they're going to do some dumb things and break a few guidelines, but that's expected. What we didn't expect were some of the older members "pulling rank" and pushing the newbies around. This has to stop. To facilitate our talented moderating team in curbing this practice, this rule was put in to give them a reference point when handing out warnings (and a 1-day post ban, in this case).

Note that member groups and titles are not a representation of heirarchy on IDW. A member with 1 post is considered the same as a member with 1,000 posts. There is no such thing as seniority or pre-eminence among the general membership.

This is true. The only members on IDW with any sort of clout are staff members, and that is solely used to moderate threads. In a discussion, nobody is better than another member. We do not treat post count, donations, and/or forum contributions in other forms as a currency here. You and I are members, plain and simple.

This is an old rule, but I'll reiterate it here to clear up some confusion.

Actual warns will not be handed out for one-time offenses (everybody makes mistakes). Members may receive a notice from the mod team if this happens, be it in the form of a verbal warning or just a reminder. Repeated offenses may escalate to actual warns if the mod team sees offenses as intentional.

The moderating team is a group of understanding people. We all know that people, as fallible beings, are prone to making mistakes now and then. It happens. With respect to this knowledge, most first time offenses will be dealt with as they typically are in real life: a reminder to keep your nose clean, and you're free to go.

That said, the guidelines are a base reference for the mods to look at when making decisions about punitive actions. It can be plainly seen that the rule I just talked about runs against the grain of a few others that explicitly state they will be met with an actual warn, plus extra punishment in some cases. In these situations, the mod team is entrusted to make the tough call regarding just how harsh the punishment will be. Just this week, the team got together to discuss how to deal with a reported post in one of the Initial D Fifth Stage episode threads, because the thread rule stipulated an actual warn + 1-day post ban, but it was the member's first offense. The compromise? A verbal + 1-day post ban. Was it the right call for this situation? I believe it was, and I commended the team for taking the time to think it over.

That's all I've got for you today, folks. Keep it clean.

- T

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