Hey folks. We promised you updates to the community and here they come. There has been a good deal of discussion about the direction of the sub in the mod channels and I'll try to convey the fruits of that. Grab a tea.
As many of you have noticed, the rules of the sub have been in some sort of quantum limbo for quite some time now, with differences between what is displayed in the respective side bars (old/new reddit), what the removal templates said and what was generally understood to be acceptable both for reports and actual mod action.
With this update we'll hopefully reign in those discrepancies and clear up the rules in the process. The following is the rule set we've come up with:
The Rule of Quality and Effort
We strive for quality discussion. This also means we expect quality in everything you do here.
- All discussions must be about gaming in the broadest sense.
- Make an effort to use proper grammar and punctuation.
- Expand on your idea with sufficient detail and examples.
- Remain on topic and keep the relevance of your discussion in mind.
- Do not submit links without explaining your own thoughts
- Do not submit retired topics.
- Do not post spam or self promotion.
- Top-level comments with less than 100 characters are automatically removed.
The Rule of Civility
This implicitly includes the usual netiquette of not being a dick. But furthermore:
- Do not get into shouting matches with trolls, report and ignore instead
- No witch hunts
The Rule of Constructive Discussion
Certain styles of topics have been found to generate very little discussion by virtue of their nature. We reserve the right to remove them:
The Rule of Meta
- Meta posts are allowed
- Surveys are allowed as long as they serve a scientific purpose and have prior approval from the mods (send us a mod mail).
- Donations, giveaways, fundraisers require prior consent of the mods.
- Comments by accounts younger than one month are automatically removed. If you think your response is worth it, contact the mods to be approved and whitelisted.
Explanation and Rationale
As you see, we're condensing the 11 rules we had into 4 universal attributes to express what the sub is about. The bullet points under the four rules double as guidelines for both the users and the mods. Modding here has never been particularly strict about the letter of the rules and this will not change with the new set of rules either.
We want and expect quality discussion
This one has been the foundation of the sub since the beginning and is rightly our first rule.
At the same time though, it's a nightmare to implement for mods because what is a quality discussion is very hard to pin down. There have been some common things though, which the sub bullets address. In particular when the rule says "must be about gaming", we want to make clear that this has been interpreted very broadly. Talk about controllers, conventions, board games, escape rooms, console hardware, development processes and technical aspects have all been deemed to be okay in the past.
With the growing popularity of the sub (we're close to 1mio subscribers, can you believe that?) we're getting a lot of new folks and sadly need to keep an eye on the quality of the posts. One particular issue is chat speak, meaning no punctuation or capitalization. We'll keep an eye on this, and the effort part of the rule gives you a direct reason for reports if you feel that something is unfit for the sub. We want to make it very clear here that this is not intended to be a grammar nazi policy. A lot of our user base speaks English as a second language and this is not intended to punish them for honest mistakes. You can probably tell if a user just doesn't care.
The rest should be self-explanatory. For the first time we're spelling out the automod config of a minimum of 100 characters in top level comments. If you want to know why this policy is a good one to have, here is a random selection of comments from the last couple days that triggered this:
We want to be a civil place
Whenever discussion about the sub comes up this is the most common positive mentioned.
People like how this is a civil place without the screaming of the internet at large and we will see to it that it stays that way. This implicitly includes the usual stuff of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, hate speech, using slurs yada yada. If you feel the need to test the rules because it's not explicitly spelled out, you're free to test that hypothesis and get a ban.
Since I lobbied for the inclusion of "No Witch Hunts", I'll also defend its purpose here. I feel that the worst development of social media is the power of destroy individual persons. A single guy calling out the shitty practices of a CEO is fine. Ten thousand doing the same in an echo chamber is guaranteed to result in death threats. If you don't know it, I recommend Jon Ronson's TED talk
When online shaming goes too far. So I ask of you all to keep the criticism limited to the company or corporation and to keep the person out of it.
We want constructive discussion
It's hard to come up with a conscise attribute that distinguishes what we want from what we don't want, but "constructive" is a decent candidate. For example, judging from the reports we get there is a pretty widespread sentiment here that rants are not wanted. As an experiment we added those to the rules but added a loophole if someone also provides genuine analysis about the problem. We also already had rules against submissions that don't lead to discussion, most prominently the list post rule. Unfortunately as much as the community intuitively understood these rules, the actual wording was very confusing and regularly misinterpreted.
Instead we'll now define these topics by subreddits that specialize in these types of questions in the hopes that reddit savvy people will more likely understand their purpose.
For the new folks here a quick reminder why these are unwanted: in a nutshell list posts are the fucking noob tube of reddit.
The main problem is that these threads game the reddit algorithm. We've historically always been a low volume sub for the size of the user base. A simple "What is your favourite video game villain?" however is easy to answer and will get 500 replies and 1500 upvotes in a matter of hours and then sit on the front page for days while the complicated analysis about Time To Kill in competitive shooters gets shoved out. This is the tightrope that all quality subs have to walk. Education has so far proven ineffective, list posts are still by far the most common reason for thread removal.
By changing the wording we hope to provide better grounds for reports and to resort to less handwavy "this is not quality discussion" when we do remove a thread. Whether that works as intended will be seen.
Note that two particularly frequent report reasons are not covered by these rules: game reviews and essays. Currently we don't feel that these violate the spirit of the sub and will not create hard rules against them. We'll bring them up in the retired topics thread instead.
The meta rules
These were actually not as clear cut as the rest and may still change in the future.
We do want to keep surveys as we feel that it's our duty to give back to academia if they try to provide the fundamental research for next generation's games. We do however tighten the quality requirements (no, your cobbled together google docs survey for a homework doesn't cut it) and keep the need to get prior mod consent to weed out the worst ones.
The rule for accounts needing at least one month of age will stay in effect for the time being, it is however under review.
Outlook from here
We'll edit the respective sidebars, wiki, report and mod templates over the next couple days (typing this has taken far longer than I want to admit). As is custom your feedback is welcome, we'll promise to listen to good arguments and then get accused of having no clue about what we do when we didn't implement something (we're learning from the best out there /s).
The retired topic thread is not forgotten and will come hopefully this week too.
Source: Original link
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