• Changing the current rules
    160 replies, posted
I'd like to hear from you with regards to how we can change the current rule set. Garry's concern is that Moderators shouldn't be policing conversations. He feels that if we go back to the old policy, it'll lead to over-moderation and moderators will be looking at each post for a reason to ban people. I want to strike the correct balance, it is clear that the current rule set does not detail enough what is and is not allowed which has lead to misinformation being spread such as "Mods aren't banning for flaming anymore" which was never the intention. At the same time, having rules that are overly detailed and complex means it's harder to follow and people are worried about being banned at the same time. I want the rules to focus on common sense, but also be informative to people who may not have used forums before. We can't simply go back to the old rule set, but we can derive from it if need be. I want to write a completely new rule set. Here are the current rules for reference; Rules Treat others how you would wish to be treated Nothing illegal Post in English, unless the thread/forum permits Don't post photos/videos of gore/death - or anything that might make people feel sick (link with warning okay) NSFW is considered to be things like (women's) nipples, vaginas, erect penii and arse holes.NSFW rules don't apply to art It isn't art if it's made primarily to masturbate over Don't post NSWF images/videos (link with warning okay) Don't have a NSFW avatar Not Rules In the past we've developed a bunch of rules. Outdated, confusing, stupid rules. They're no longer rules, so you should not get banned/punished/flamed for the following: Stating a contrary opinion Disagreeing with another poster Not reading a stuck thread Posting a photo of a cat Posting, hinting, alluding to or thinking about memes Posting without "effort", or any other subjective shit like "shitposting" Revealing (on purpose or otherwise) your participation in piracy Having an anime avatar Having an avatar of massive fake greased up tits wiggling about in a bikiniAlthough I would argue that this reveals your own sexual inexperience/insecurity Supporting the wrong political party
I feel "Treat others how you would wish to be treated" should be something like "Do not act overly aggressive" (for lack of a better word?) "That includes disruptive shitposting, ironic or not." That would clear up the rule and also make 'advanced forms of shitposting' bannable and easier to determine.
I'd be up for changing: "Treat others how you would wish to be treated" to "Don't be an asshole", just because it's pretty much saying the same thing but it doesn't leave room for misunderstanding and it conveys the point far more clearly (aka, don't be a dick), since you're avoiding forum specific words like "Flaming" or "Trolling" that new members to forums may not be aware of. The problem with having shitpost bans is that, well, it'd incentive that "policing" thing you mentioned (which did happen on the old forums) but I guess that's where the idea to ban users for a certain amount of coins comes from. Honestly I still think cleaning up "shitposts" would be good but it's really up to the community to decide what those are through ratings, and to the mod on whether they should actually be banned or not. Also you really gotta go back to old-Polidicks rules, I mean, videos are fines, but they should be correctly sourced, the amount of, just, shitpost-and-run I've seen over there is off-the-fucking-chart! Videos that aren't fucking sourced at all, non-credible news sources relating almost scandalous stuff, etc. Also, add "No bumps" to the rules. I know this seems super fucking obvious but in reddit it's not frowned up to reply to months old stuff (specially because 6 months is the cutoff for threads to be archived, no exceptions). The amount of Bumps I've seen (specially in early newpunch) indicates clearly that it should be a stated rule (and I'm aware you still ban for it, hence why it should still be in the rules).
Please abolish the "treat others how you want to be treated" rule, and replace it with "If you can't handle the heat, stay out of Hell's Kitchen." Please also make a rule against Drive By Shitposts esp. in polidicks. Too many people drop shit posts quoting others but then refuse to respond to others. It does nothing but derail and distract from actual conversations
Maybe it's just because I don't really post that actively, but I feel like clearing up the "Treat others how you would wish to be treated" in a way like this would more or less solve most of the problems for the general forum rules. I think the only places that really need more advanced rules are SH and Polidicks. I don't really post much in either, but from the perspective of someone who occasionally reads debates, it doesn't seem very fair that someone can post a sourced, well-constructed argument only to be countered by a condescending drive-by shitpost without any sources.
what does replacing one vague shitrule with another vague shitrule accomplish
On a similar line of thought, I had an idea for a rule to deal with "tudd-posting"/"shit-n-runs": "Do not make statements, if are not willing to support them. This is a discussion forum." It could probably work well as a forum wide rule.
Majority agrees that this rule needs to be thrown in the fire. I agree. Replace with: Don't be a cunt to others. Broad but pretty much don't be a dick. It isn't vague. It's straight to the point. That's what that rule needed but it was worded terribly. This should be a ban. Why the hell is it not? This makes any thread an easy derail and they can get away with it. I'm okay with memes such as Florida Man because that is legitimately hilarious and it required effort to BE funny but allowing just straight up shitposting is a terrible idea. People mentioned driveby shitposting. Please make that bannable. I was sick to death as an ex mod reading about 20% of all SH and PD threads and users will do driveby shitposting and then derail the entire thread and get away with it and not being able to ban for it unless it REALLY got bad and it should be quelled before it even has a chance to take off.
This is a bit too close to the old set of rules that Garry seems to want to distance the forum from, I think. The idea would work, I'm sure, but it would add this obligation to respond to certain posts you make and would probably help create a culture, especially in polidicks/SH, of not posting unless you want to argue with someone. I feel the current set of rules leaves enough room for the moderators to ban people who are pulling off a "shit-n-run(nice one though)" without creating a culture where you're obligated to post in a way most people might not be comfortable with. If you introduce that rule, you inevitably end up with discussions of the nuances of it; What is considered 'supporting a statement?' How long do you have to back up a statement you've made if someone requests it? What happens if you drop in a post that is unpopular, then hop off the forums for a few days and neglect to back up your statement? None of that would matter in the old forum structure, but I can see it clashing hardcore with the new one.
Could we replace the "Treat others how you would wish to be treated" with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative
Well, I mean, not every post in polidicks ever has to be an essay obviously, but Political Discussion should be backed up with evidence, at least in my opinion, even if it's just "I read it in a book, it was xyz book", it doesn't need to be university type sourcing. It'd just help clear up the shit waaayyy quicker, because shitposting is subjective, but sourcing is not. If you can't source your video on why "The Americans were the fascists in WWII" then that comes across more as a, erm, "shit-and-run (gods why didn't I think of that)" spreading a political agenda, than an actual, genuine, attempt at a conversation. Someone who's willing to converse with you, source their work, no matter how wrong they are or how wrong their sources are, is atleast one step better than most of the dofuses who post on Polidicks and then just fuck off from the thread, because clearly these people can, to a certain extent, be reasoned with. Polidicks overall is supposed to be a more serious forum anyways, which lends itself to more serious discussion and sourced stuff and what-not. It is politics. Many of the threads there go on about rants, very long rants, usually rightfully so, so it's clear that it's a forum with older, maturer users with some-amount of free-time, so sourcing shouldn't really be a problem. It's not like a political subforum should be the most accessible one anyways. I'm still a fan of subforum specific rules, kinda like subreddit specific rules, but that's just me. Not that we should be imitating reddit (shivering in fear thinking of labpunch), but they do have some good ideas that are applicable to forums, even if at the core they are two different platforms.
You're right, actually. I hadn't thought about it that way. I think the idea of implementing it as a forum-wide rule would really be the wrong direction to take, but as a way to craft actual discussion in Polidicks, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. My concerns about it impacting casual posting still remain, I think, but I think I agree in general that casual posting shouldn't be Polidick's priority.
You should probably keep the 's' at the end of runs. "Runs" is another term for diarrhea.
In terms of the drugs subforum, I assume this would be more stuff like somebody providing links to illegal websites for buying drugs and somebody trying to exchange drugs rather than discussing them? I understand that this is probably the correct interpretation, but thought it was wise to check. I agree with others on how this could be slightly better worded. I would argue that my thread and posts on that shooting in the UK in Polidicks the day before yesterday is an excellent example of how not to conduct yourself. I'm both sexually inexperienced/insecure and hate those avatars, so joke's on you!
"Do not be a dick" sounds cool and simple, but it's very subjective. Sounding passive-aggressive, is that being a dick? Some posters love doing that (notably one whose name starts with a 2 and ends with an X) but I don't think it should always be bannable, not when it's not directed at someone in particular and not particularly offensive. Also many Rust forums posters act like dicks to one another. But do any rules really apply to the Rust forums?
said user we all dearly love has been banned in the past, correctly so, for flaming. No reason why asshole behaviour shouldn't be punished. Being a dick is very rarely acceptable anyways. Which is why I'm in support of specific subforum rules. Rust forums could have far harsher rules to weed out the shitposters, while leaving the civil posters remaning, possibly letting them go to the rest of facepunch, kinda like a very mild form of evolution!
Wait, did you just confirm that “that cat” isn’t a banable offence
This ventures into the realm of Moderators policing conversations. Garry doesn't want us to do this. Again this is the realm of us policing conversations. I don't want to be restricting people's ability to post about things within reason. Personally if I was a regular PD or SH poster and I saw a person that frequently posts just the once in a thread then fucks off, I wouldn't waste my time replying to them and just rate them dumb instead. That being said I think banning people for intentionally derailing threads should be a thing. Maybe we're trying to dress up an existing problem as something else unnecessarily? Agree wholeheartedly. When I wrote the rules for PD I envisioned a much more in depth and discussion based forum. With people putting a significant amount of effort into their posts. Instead we have a bunch of people posting "CHEETO CUNT" in Trump threads. I don't think we really enforce that rule enough and would probably benefit from a new moderator focused entirely on PD. It's not illegal to discuss drugs. It is illegal to be involved in the supply, even if it's signposting people towards stuff like that. Luckily we've never had this problem otherwise we'd have to close down that particular forum / thread. From the Forum Discussion thread it seems that the main issue with "Treat others how you'd like to be treated" is that it is subjective. "Don't be a dick" is still subjective, but more contextual. I feel that people won't be happy until things are spelled out, so I'm reluctant to have subjective rules. I'd rather have "Don't flame, don't troll" with a catch all of "The moderators can ban anybody as they see fit. See the event log to get an idea of what people are banned for" or something along those lines.
I'm still not sure about the rule regarding what is legal/illegal. We have a thread which currently discusses gun ownership, drug use, and otherwise. Several of these things are illegal within the UK, or rather heavily restricted, but are legal elsewhere. So, with that in mind, if someone were to make a thread dedicated to home gunsmithing/chemistry, would it be against the rules?
Personally I would primarily turn up the heat on bad-faith posting in debates. I know you don't want to police conversations, but if you want PD to be a forum of real debate you're going to need to smack people around for poisoning the well with intentionally shit arguments. It's not hard to tell when people are doing it on purpose.
Any form of rules is going to be policing conversations. So I assume you mean overpolicing converstaions, or like a enforcing a police state on conversations. Now what do you consider the border between policing and over policing?
What about if it were just for Polidicks though? Me and Qbe-tex had a brief exchange above that I think highlights both sides of the coin in that regard. It definitely requires a more hands-on approach from moderators, which may not be what Garry wants, but if it's only for one subforum, and the moderators there are willing, I actually think it'd be a really constructive change for discussion over there. Discussion in Polidicks is distinct enough to warrant getting Garry to consider this, imo.
Then what is the point of having moderators? Their job is to moderate the conversations that go on. The rules list we had implemented before this dumpster fire of one were great (not perfect, but way better). the job of a moderator is to police the conversations. Flaming/Shitposting need to be a bannable offense. The quality of conversations has tanked dramatically since the rule switch and forum change. When we stopped banning for stuff, people started acting up. Almost as if there's a correlation between the moderators moderating the conversations and the quality of the discussions.
re: "Treat others as you want to be treated" -- As others have said, an outright "no flaming" rule or amendment to this one would be nice. Arguments can be heated between people who passionately believe that they are on the right side of an issue that can affect millions of people so some snipes should be expected but outright calling people children or idiots should be bannable. And I know it goes against age-old Facepunch conventional wisdom but maybe actual non-ban warnings can be dropped in threads that get a little too heated while not being outright flame wars. Gun debate threads in polidicks and SH are ugly with vitriol on both sides and it would be nice if a green poster could drop in and tell people on both sides to cool down a bit. re: Drive by shitposts -- should be handled on a case by case, user basis. If it's someone who makes decent posts otherwise then people can rate dumb and move on. If a user is constantly just dropping their hot takes in a thread before bailing for another one that probably shouldn't be encouraged. This seems like it's policing the conversation though which you have said several times that neither you nor Garry are interested in doing. I think you are exaggerating when you say "a bunch of people posting "Cheeto Cunt" " in Trump threads but even if it were true that's just low effort posting, which, while sort of dumb and meaningless, isn't really banworthy imo.
I think it's worth noting that shitposting, flaming and low effort posts could all be interpreted as different things, but are often lumped under the same rule. Like, flaming would be bannable even without a defined rule set. Harassing or abusing other users is a bannable offense, that's a given. Low effort posting though, that implies something more akin to "shit-and-runs" or one-word posts. That's actually okay on most forums, but most facepunchers are used to that being a bannable offense here. Whether or not that should have a solid rule built around it would be up for debate when considering Garry's new hands-off approach. Shitposting though? That could be a lot of different things. I personally consider it to be a combination of low effort posting and just joking around. It's not so bad because it tends to make you laugh, and I actually appreciate that "shitposting" is now more acceptable on facepunch. Before hand, you'd have to go to OIFY and get full-blown cancer in your retinas to get some more relaxed discussion. IMO it's worthwhile figuring out what definitions you want to go with for what, and relax/enforce moderation according to sections.
Discussing guns and posting pictures of guns that you legally own in the US isn't illegal in the UK. Posting pictures of guns that you have illegal in the UK would be illegal. Depends if the chemistry thread is about making drugs. Then you're going into the realms of conspiracy to supply drugs. Maybe instead of a singular moderator dedicated to PD, we could have a "council of users" with say 5 people involved in making decisions to ban / lock / etc. This would be carried out by any moderator that's available? When I talk about policing conversations, I'm talking about doing the minimum that is necessary. I'll give some examples because I know some people are struggling to understand what I mean here; People discussing politics. One person calls another person a fucking moron. Moderator bans person for a day because of flaming. This is an acceptable level of moderation. People discussing politics. One person barges into a thread and makes a single post that is contrary to the current opinion in the thread. This winds people up. Person does not respond to posts. People call for this person to be banned. Moderator bans them. This isn't an acceptable level of moderation; who are moderators to decide what opinions are and are not relevant? For the latter example there are other considerations such as the person's availability, their track record on such things, etc. What would be better and wholly simpler in this example is if the community self regulated. If somebody is shown to be a shitty debater, or fails to engage, don't bother with them in future. Rate and move on. Why should it fall to the moderation team to deal with this user? They're not causing any harm or distress to people. They just have shitty opinions. The more I think about it, the more I believe that Polidicks should self-regulate. Moderators should only take action on cut and clear instances that are detailed within forum rules, rather than dealing with the infinitely grey area that has presented itself numerous times before in places like Polidicks. I feel it should be up to the community to deal with people like that. What do people think of forming some kind of group of users who are elected from the existing userbase?
I think in principle it sounds like a good idea but in execution it will be sluggish to get results. It would be better to make those 5 users moderators for Polidicks and teach them to coordinate with each other at a close level. I would pick users from both sides of the spectrum for this. If a post is blatantly garbage, a ban can be handed out in a timely manner, but you still have a "council" dedicated to keeping an eye on slower burning problem users.
I have instructed moderators to be lenient on banning and to issue warnings via posting in the thread. Sometimes these issues aren't brought to our attention quick enough for this to be effective though. What harm is somebody doing if they just repeatedly post a single time in a thread? People should recognise them for the shitter they are and just ignore them. The Cheeto Cunt remark was an exaggeration (referring to the infamous time I banned him for flaming and there was a 500 page discussion about whether or not trump is a forum member) but Polidicks is designed to be a forum where effort posts are valued and encouraged. Single liners should be actively discouraged. Over moderation was a problem, albeit not a huge one so long as I caught it. There were certain moderators who would ban for things that I believed to be flippant, or just for the sake of banning. I did address these things as they occurred but they kept happening. I believe these instances are what motivated garry to re-evaluate the way we moderate, as it had become convoluted. People may remember the "REEE" ban of 2017 that was a major driver for me to start repealing dumb ban reasons. Also, I didn't make that list. Garry did. I had no input on the current rule set. I believe that point about contrary opinions may have been a dig about Tudd, but I can't be certain.
I have to be honest, my initial thoughts are disaster. You'd end up with a politically lop-sided set of users, or you'd have trouble preventing less 'extreme' users from getting on that list. But I do like the idea, I just think it would require more community input to work than currently exists. Perhaps for now we can trial something similar to this system on the Discord? Just have a chat where people can discuss Polidicks posting on a meta level with moderators. If that works out, and we end up with a fair and balanced set of users willing to participate, I'd be all behind this idea.
If its a pattern of behavior of one person consistantly posting a controversial opinion and then bailing on the thread, then yes it is the job of the moderators to ban that person because at that point they are intentionally disrupting threads. i’ve been a moderator before and have had to deal with individuals like that before, the quality of discussion went up immeasurably when individuals like that were temp banned from the politics forum.
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