Sunshine, Light, and Joy
This is a post that I've been thinking about for awhile. Recently, I opened up the discussion to other members of the staff to get their feelings on the matter, and their opinions generally matched mine, which is this:
Within the last year or so, there's been a steady increase of negative posts in movie threads. We've always had some heated discussions for some movies, but recently things have not only gotten more histrionic in those threads (generally speaking, the CBM ones), but they've started to spread to other franchises and other movies as well. I'm not talking about out-and-out trolling, I'm talking about members feeling they have to consistently shit on a movie (or studio, or star) simply because they aren't interested in the current project or projects. With every piece of news about a movie, it's now a virtual guarantee that there's a flood of people rushing to say they think it sucks, they don't like the current trailer/tv spot/actor/actress/director/concept. And I get it -- we all have movies we don't like, movies which we think are bad ideas, industry people that just don't appeal to us. But there's a fine line between expressing your opinion about this and doing it so often, with such consistency, that the collective emphasis of all of it basically brings down the entire thread and thus the entire forum.
There's no easy answer to this. We don't want to crush freedom of expression here. But at the same time, the spirit of this forum is for people to have fun talking about the movies they love and the box-office runs they love.
To have fun.
And while it may be fun -- in a sense -- to personally vent about a movie, or to vent at people who dare to enjoy something you don't, it doesn't bring fun to our community. In fact, it generally drags down the overall fun for everyone else. We've had people repeatedly mention to us over the last several months or so that in some cases they don't even bother going into some threads -- even for movies they're curious about! -- because they just don't want to deal with the overall mess those threads contain. And frankly, that matches the personal opinion of most of the staff as well.
So this post is both a request and a warning.
The request: Next time you feel like taking a dump on a movie (or a topic) for the dozenth time, take a moment to consider whether it's really worth it. People probably already have a good idea of what your attitude about the project is. Maybe just put your posting energy into a movie that you enjoy and love or are excited about.
The warning: The staff is going to be taking a closer look at some of these threads and we'll be more active with temp thread-bans if we think it'll help the overall vibe of the forum. I'd rather we don't have to, but it's not going to constrain any of you too much if you aren't allowed to post about a movie you supposedly don't care about anyway.
Remember the words of Bill and Ted: "Be Excellent to Each Other".
They're just movies, guys. It's about having fun.
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Moderator Emeritus: (Staff members currently on leave.)
Alright, everyone. The part none of us like to go over, but also the most important part of what makes a good forum tick: the general rules and guidelines regarding behavior and actions of board members. Things are pretty lenient here. However... that does not mean we will be completely loose. It is our goal for this site to remain considered "Safe For Work", as we are aware that kids may find their way here.
That said, you will find that we have considerable freedoms here as long as the community exercises them in moderation and without abuse. The more members treat these freedoms (and other members) with respect and common sense, the more smoothly the community will function and thrive.
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As you are aware, this site has rules. It's up to the staff to try their best and enforce them. They try to do this to the best of their ability, but it seems like some people aren't aware how we enforce them. here's a brief explanation of how the staff works and a promise to you of how we'll work:
On Any Significant Punishment: For the most part, unless it's such an obvious detraction or have gotten into trouble a lot in a short period of time, the staff will typically act when a majority of the staff agrees the punishment is necessary. This includes bannings, suspensions, topic bans, and warnings. If you receive a warning, it's not just the individual staff member who has increased your warn level. It's something that the entire or majority staff has agreed on.
This is important to know because some members feel that because a staff member dislikes them, they are being targeted unfairly. Friendly verbal warnings usually aren't voted upon, but the staff is aware when they occur.
Just because YOU don't see anything being done about a reported post doesn't mean nothing is being done about it. You might see other members consistently insulting other members and, figuring that because nothing is being done about it, think it's okay fr you to fire back or defend. The problem is those members have probably been warned for insulting members -- and you'll only join them in getting in trouble.
Sometimes we really aren't punishing members. This isn't because we are giving them special treatment -- it's because their actions haven't been reported to us. There's a report feature. If you really feel like there's people getting away with breaking the rules, then REPORT them.
Also: if you use the report feature, please don't post that you just reported someone. That only creates more problems for yourself.
Just because someone reports you doesn't mean you are going to get warned. Every report is seen and discussed and only if the staff agrees that the post should be warned, then the poster is warned.
Generally, we only warn people if they are truly causing a problem. If you consistently target posters calling them “idiots” then the staff will start to take action. We'll also generally warn people who resort to more "colorful" expressions of insults or attacks. It's up to the staff's discretion.
If you get warned, it's generally better to just accept it rather than argue with the staff. If you feel that we were in error by warning you, then feel free to let us know. But please don't waste everyone's time when you know a warning coming...
No one likes to get in trouble, but arguing only makes it worse. Here are the following arguments we constantly get that will not help your cause in any way but only make your case worse:
"Everyone else is doing it." As I said earlier, a lot of those members are getting punished or we don't know that they are doing it. You got caught and that means you got warned. We didn't just target you.
"The other person started and insulted me!" Chances are, that other person has been warned as well. We don't care who started it -- you still broke the rule.
"XXX is an actual idiot!" Well, that doesn't mean you have to tell them. If you don't like the person, ignore them. There's an actual “ignore” feature in the forum. Use it.
"The rules are stupid!" That's your opinion, but when you registered your account on this site, you agreed to follow the rules.
"So-and-so has it out for me!" Well, this has nothing to do with XXX's opinion about you. It has everything to do with you breaking the rules.
Clearly we won't ban you for suggesting that the staff might have made a mistake (although be careful not to insult a staff member since then you break a rule), but unfriendly messages and a lack of a strong defense won't get your warn level decreased. Honestly, it will only make us less sympathetic to you in the future.
So what can you expect of the Admin and Staff?
As stated, the staff member has to be in agreement before you get seriously punished. No one, therefore, has it out for you.
If you have a concern, we will respond and do our best to deal with your concerns.
We aren't perfect. We take every complaint, even about the staff, seriously. THEY SHOULD BE PRIVATELY DISCUSSED BY USING THE REPORT CENTER OR SENT TO ANY OF US BY PERSONAL/PRIVATE MESSAGE! If you complain publicly about the staff, this will not solve anything as you aren't communicating your problems to us directly.
We will be polite when responding to you.
If one admin or mod makes a decision, then it's the decision of every admin and mod. Asking Moderator A to revert a warning put in the system by Moderator B won't help you.
We will constantly do our best as a whole to be available for you. As it is, we are human.
Can't Post? Maybe you were recently warned...
So you are minding your own business on the site and decide to go here:
You open a thread to read it. You decide you want to reply but, alas, something is missing..
That's right, there is no Quick Reply box! Where did it go? Well, if you go to the top of the page, you'll see the following:
Click on "Reply this Topic" and you'll realize you got warned:
Is there anything you can do? Just click this button:
This way, you've acknowledged that you were warned. Now, you can post again. Just make sure to behave please.
Also, if you've been misbehaving several times recently, or the staff did something wrong, then you'll have to follow this process until you can post again.
NO SPOILER POLICY:
In accordance with our Spoiler Policy listed in the Forum Rules & Guidelines, please make sure that you provide a warning and hide ALL spoilers when making a post, especially in excerpts of reviews.
You can do this by one of two methods:
1) Use the smiley icon that has a black bar through its eyes, to the left of the Twitter icon in the reply window menu.
2) Type[spoiler]Your spoiler here[/spoiler]
We've had some issues with this in the past with reviews of high profile movies.
Also, please remember that it is against forum rules to post ENTIRE articles -- this includes things like weekend predictions or updates from Nikki Finke. It is a violation of the author's work and will result in disciplinary action by the staff.
Lastly, when posting clips of articles/columns, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LINK TO THE SOURCE!
Our official spoiler policy on television shows: outside of the television forum please post any TV spoilers within spoiler tags until the season of the show has ended.
If you want to discuss television spoilers without tags, please go to the TV forum where you can post spoilers without tags after the West Coast feed has aired (so when the show airs PST).
This policy includes GIFs.
If an accident happens once, that's understandable -- just please proof-read your posts and correct any mistakes. If a member continues to post spoilers without warnings and without using spoiler tags, disciplinary action will have to be taken by the staff.