1. #1

    Suggestion: Revision to forum rules

    Good morning! I wanted to start by saying I greatly appreciate this site and what it accomplishes for the community.

    My suggestion is that of a revision to the forum rules. There are several places within the current revision that are very ambiguous or not explicit.

    The law in my city states that you cannot open carry a firearm in a school, church or public gathering. If I open carry while just walking down the street and an officer arrests me and the charge is "having a gun". Well, that isn't exactly what the law says. Unfortunately, that's how I see enforcement with the rules here. Not all the time but on several occasions. They go outside the scope and I believe this is where more explicit wording would be beneficial.

    Ideas to this would be:

    1) Removing any vague/generic terms such as "nonconstructive". This term can encompass over half the posts in any given forum (some more) and is generally not fair to most people.

    2) Set the goalposts where you want them so they're not being moved on a case-by-case basis. This makes it nearly impossible for more outspoken person(s) to contribute.

    3) A review of the enforcement in the Off-topic forum. It seems that some rules may not necessarily apply here or apply equally. When a poster or two are seemingly immune while some are hit from even the most miniscule items, it will certainly dissuade people from wanting to participate.

    4) An updated/improved rules format to help pinpoint where something was violate (if at all).**

    This would prevent several assertive posters from feeling like they have to walk on eggshells when posting. Being assertive is often misconstrued as "trolling"

    **I've moderated forums for 30 years and written forum rules and moderation criteria for several forums. I would be more than happy to write or help write a revision to submit for review and disposition.

    Thank you for your time and I hope you have a great week.
    Want a livable wage? Get a real job.

  2. #2
    Free Food!?!?! Tziva's Avatar
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    Rules that are phrased broadly/generally are done so intentionally and we aren't interested in changing the phrasing so people can workshop how to find loopholes. If you make things overly specific, then people nitpick the semantics of the rules and then waste time trying to argue that their bad faith posting was okay because the way it was phrased didn't apply perfectly to their situation. That said, I still think general rules asking users simply to post constructively are still pretty clear about the kind of behaviour we ask users to exhibit in threads. I don't think anything is so broad as to be overly ambiguous or confusing.

    And I think the general userbase doesn't have a problem. Many outspoken people have no problem contributing on the forum, as long as they are opinionated in ways that are productive to the thread. We have a huge volume of users who are never or rarely infracted, many of whom are prolific posters. I have participated in literal thousands of appeal threads, I can say that the amount of people who are there because they were trying to post positively but didn't actually understand the rules is pretty much nil. Most people are there because they were caught up in discussion, slipped up and did something they knew was bad. Users who receive frequent infractions almost entirely do so because they either don't care or don't have the self control to do otherwise. Users who have difficulty checking themselves when it comes to being civil, on topic, or appropriate aren't going to be fixed by having more explicit rules.

    So we will have to agree to disagree there.

    As far as GenOT, I agree that sometimes enforcement is inconsistent. More often than not, this is simply due to a shortage of manpower. We have two mods who are only able to volunteer limited hours a week trying to cover the two most active subforums we have (GenOT and Politics) that are also the ones that tend to attract a lot of bad faith actors. It is not the ideal situation, but we can neither force our volunteers to work more time nor can we magically manifest new good mods. We leave our applications constantly open, and chaud will news recruitment periodically on slow news days, in hopes we can bring in some new blood to assist. In the meantime, the mods there are doing the best they can, but yes stuff will occasionally get missed. (that said, frequently posts that look missed are because someone was infracted on another post "for multiple posts," or because that user was already banned for something else).

    We will pass on you rewriting our rules for us, but thank you for the concern and offer.
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