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 Sn.tv Myth Busters, Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Raven524
Posted: Jun 16 2011, 01:32 AM


Winchester
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Group: Co-Admin
Posts: 11,945
Member No.: 6,079
Joined: 3-July 06



SN.Tv Myth Busters

We have been spending some time over the past few months talking to members about where the SN.Tv Forums are at today and reviewing various threads. We’ve been doing this and will continue to do it going forward to see what the moderators and administrators can do to continue to make this an exciting place to visit.

As part of this process we discovered there were a number of misconceptions among members as to what to expect on these forums. So we thought we’d take a few moments to do our own version of “Myth Busters” regarding the SN.Tv forums.

Myth 1:

There are discussion threads on the SN.Tv forums that are exclusive to only one kind of member.

Fact:

All discussion threads on the SN.Tv forums are open to all members, regardless of their affiliation with a specific character or group. We only ask that if you go into an area that is defined for a specific character that you keep your comments pertinent to the current discussion in the thread. We also ask that you remember when in character specific threads that some members in there will be there because they only like that particular character and therefore may even dislike other characters on the show. If you go in to these forums, you are responsible for taking this into account before joining the discussion in there.

That being said, we also expect that anyone who posts on the open threads realizes that everyone can read what is being said. So before you make a negative post about another character or the show in general, take a step back and ask yourself, is it really necessary to state your opinion in a manner that is likely to upset others. If so, then we ask you think about not including the comment in your post. It is not necessary to include inflammatory language and/or adjectives to state you are not happy with a character and/or their actions.

No one says you have to like a character, but you do not need to rub your hatred of the character in the face of those who like him/her. The same can be said about the show in general. Also, just because you like a character, you do not need to go into a thread to defend that character or make those who are unhappy feel as if they are wrong to feel that way. Both actions normally disrupt the thread and end up in discussions where one side is trying to prove the other is wrong. We have been and will continue to discourage these types of discussions in the threads.

Finally, if we see a trend of a member(s) going into threads to try to upset other members, we will act accordingly. We are aware that some members act like Trolls and go from thread to thread to try to rile up other posters. If we find a member(s) acting in this manner, we will take appropriate action which can include banning. So before you make the decision to ‘take over’ a thread, you may want to consider the consequences before you do so.

If you are taking part in a Fan Group discussion, you will need to follow the parameters set by the group. But even here, anyone is able to join the Fan Group.

Myth 2:

A member who makes a negative comment about how they feel about a character is bashing.

Fact:

Unfortunately not everyone is happy with where the show is at right now or they don’t like how their favorite character is being treated. The members involved change as the show changes, so this is not just limited to one part of the fandom. Just like the general fandom, the boards reflect what is going on in the show and is not something we can or will attempt to fix. This is an Open Forum and all members are welcome to come and discuss their views, both positive and negative as long as they follow the board rules.

Members who give negative opinions and back them up with examples of why they feel that way in the appropriate forums (i.e. the opinion adds to the discussion in the thread and is on topic) are not bashing a character. They are simply saying how they feel and why.

In general, bashing has been defined on SN.Tv as statements made as a matter of fact or opinion statements made with no support for the opinion. It also applies to statements made in a post that do not add to the current discussion, even when the poster adds a sentence or two pertaining to the topic.

As it pertains to characters, bashing is defined by these forums as malicious statement(s) intended only to incite other members to react or be upset. The deliberate use of exaggerated adjectives and hostile words that are not really necessary to get the point across may be considered bashing especially when the comment really does not add to the discussion.

On a side note, just stating something is your opinion or putting IMO at the beginning or end of an otherwise bashing statement does not mean it will be considered okay. Also, if it is deemed that your point could be made without including words that could make others upset, then they may be edited. We do not allow members to use any part of this forum to try to bait and/or upset other members on purpose.

We are currently looking at this issue and discussing ways we can help members understand what is considered bashing and what is not. Once we have finished reviewing and discussing the matter, we will publish the results.

In the meantime, if you think a statement is bashing, first step back and try to give the person the benefit of the doubt. Not all members are out to upset anyone, most times they are just upset themselves and need to vent. Next please read through the rest of the thread to see if maybe the person has clarified their post and/or to see if the issue has been resolved by other members or by a posted warning in the thread. If the conversation has moved on, you may want to consider using a PM to the member instead of bringing the argument up again. However, if the person continues a rant that you feel is inappropriate, even after others have tried to move the conversations on, then contact a mod/admin for assistance.

Myth 3:

There is no place on these forums to escape the negativity.

Fact;

Actually a vast number of threads on the SN.Tv forums rarely have any constant negativity in them. However, we are aware that some threads, once again depending on what is going on with the show, may become more negative for a period of time. The make up of a thread is dictated by the members who are participating in that thread at the time and as an Open Forum, we do not dictate what members want to discuss as long as the discussion follows the board rules.

However you have four options if you happen into a thread that is discussing something you are not interested in:

(1) Try to start a new discussion in the current thread. If others are interested in joining in, they will. If no one joins in, then it may simply be that the members who are in the thread at that moment are not interested in changing the discussion and/or others are not interested in the new discussion. If this happens, you can try a new topic of discussion or wait until you see others in the thread who may be more interested in what you want to talk about. You can see who is in the thread by looking at the bottom of the Forum you are in and members who are in there will show up.

(2) Leave the thread and find another one that interests you. Topics and discussions change over time, so you may just have to leave that thread for a brief time. There are many threads on these forums; we encourage you to investigate them. If you can’t find one, then contact a mod/admin and they may be able to direct you to one that you might enjoy better based on what you are looking for.

(3) Start a new thread in the appropriate Forum to discuss the topic that interests you. If you can’t find a topic to discuss what you are looking for, you may start a new one as long as another one does not exist (i.e. duplicate threads on the same topic are not allowed). If you are not sure if there is already a topic to discuss this or are unsure where to start a new topic, contact a mod/admin and they will be happy to help you.

(4) Start a Discussion Fan Group. If you only want to discuss a topic with members who view things the same way you do, you have the option of creating a Discussion Fan Group. A Discussion Fan Group does not have to just be about a particular character or even be strictly positive. The Group may set up the parameters as long as the purpose of the group does not violate any board rules. So if you want to discuss the reason Heaven and Hell were a bad idea for the Supernatural Universe, you can do so. If you designate the thread may include spoilers, you can also do that as well. The point is, if you have a broad enough topic that you and at least four other people want to discuss, you can create a Discussion Fan Group.

Once again, if you need help you can contact a mod/admin and they will be happy to direct you to a solution that will help you enjoy your time on the forums.

We will be posting more on the Discussion Fan Groups once we have finished setting them up.

Myth 4:

Repetitive or Circular Arguments are against board rules

Fact:

We did a poll of members last year to address this issue and based on member response, came up with a Circular Arguments Rule that is used when a thread reaches an impasse and others who are trying to move the conversation on are ignored.

Here we need to clarify that repetitive discussions are not breaking a board rule nor was the rule made to stop debates that others may not be interested in but are not actively participating in within the affected thread.

Once again, moderators will only intercede if (1) more than one member in the discussion thread has tried to move the conversation on to a new one and is being ignored and/or (2) We receive a report from more than one member, who wants to move on but feels they can’t because others have been ignored.

It should be noted that we do in fact monitor what happens after this warning is posted to ensure that those who asked for the moderator’s intervention are now actively participating in the thread. Why? Because we don’t feel it is fair to allow those who do not want to participate in the discussion to dictate what is discussed. We know some don’t go in right away because they may not be on-line, but if we get a sense that the thread was disrupted to stop an unpopular discussion then we will take appropriate action.

Myth 5:

Personal attacks are allowed in some threads.

Fact:

We do not allow personal attacks on any member on the SN.tv Forums. However, when you join a discussion on an open forum, you should expect that members may come in and respectfully disagree with your statement. This is true no matter where the statement is made.

We simply ask that the disagreement be kept in context of the discussion and that it does not derail the main discussion being held. Also the person who is disagreeing should keep in mind where they are and not try to make the original poster feel like their opinion is wrong or that they are a bad person or fan for stating what they think.

There are no wrong opinions, only different ones.

Myth 6:

A discussion must be on topic all the time

Fact:

We ask that discussions try to remain focused on the topic. However, we are also aware that sometimes members get diverted either to joke around or make a random comment to friends who are in the thread. Also, we are aware that some threads will hold off topic discussion when there is nothing else to talk about (i.e. no new spoilers to discuss in the spoiler threads, no new episodes to discuss, etc.).

We enforce the stay on topic rule when:

(1) Members try to get back on topic but are ignored in favor of the off topic discussion.

(2) The off topic discussion is clearly meant to chastise other members for behavior or done to start an argument in the thread or to upset other members.

(3) We receive reported posts and/or PM’s from members who are upset by the off topic discussion.

So what do you do if the thread you are in is way off topic? If you are in a thread and the discussion is off topic, simply ask that the thread get back on topic in a respectful manner. If that doesn’t happen, then report the off topic discussion to a mod/admin and they will intercede if it is determined the discussion is really off topic.

Myth 7:

I’m afraid to post or say something wrong because I’ll be banned

Fact:

Once again, we do not view our role here is to punish people for bad behavior or for inadvertently breaking a board rule. The truth is, automatic banning is reserved for only the worst offenses (Trolling, Spamming, Threatening a Member, or Linking to an Illegal Site for example). The only other time we ban members is when they repeatedly break board rules and have received numerous warnings. Also, you will be warned in most cases before you are banned. So if you have not been told you will be banned by a mod/admin, then you don’t need to worry about it.

Myth 8:

It is the Moderators’ job to edit any member who breaks a board rule.

Fact:

We are moderators on this site and not the forum police. The moderators here are volunteers who have been members of the site for a number of years and actually enjoy participating as a member in many of the forums. So if you see a mod/admin in a forum, they actually may just be there because they want to take part in the discussion and are not really checking to see if a rule is being broken.

We expect members to try to work things out between themselves first. If someone says something that upsets you, try to nicely ask for a clarification in either the open thread or via a PM. If the disagreement escalates and you feel you need help to get it resolved, then report the post or PM a mod/admin for assistance.

The role of a moderator is to moderate, not spend the days trying to catch people making mistakes. If we happen to see one that is breaking a board rule, we will normally act depending on (1) whether or not the issue has already been resolved between the members (2) To what degree did the rule breaking disrupt the thread and (3) How much time has passed since the rule was broken.

Keep in mind that even though we are in a thread, it does not mean we have read every single post in it. Just like members, many of us simply skim and then respond to discussions that interest us. So if we have missed a problem, and it continues to be a problem, then please report the post or PM a mod/admin.

Once we determine further action is required, editing is only one tool we may use to handle the situation. Many times we simply post a warning in the thread or we may PM a member. So just because you don’t see an edit, it does not mean the situation has been ignored or not handled.

Myth 9:

I see people breaking rules but the moderators are not doing anything.

Fact:

Actually moderators take many actions that members may not see. When we become aware that a board rule has been broken we look at each situation independently before taking a course of action. Once we have determined that a rule has been broken and that action is required we may do one or more of the following:

Edit the Post: This is done based on the individual situation. Recently we have been asking members to edit their own posts instead of us doing it. We do try to keep editing down to a minimum but will do so if the situation warrants it.

Delete the Post: This is rarely done as we normally just edit. However, if we see members going in and replacing an edited post with another rule breaking post, we will delete the post entirely to prevent further disruption.

Place a General Warning in the Thread: If we see more than one member involved in breaking a board rule, a warning is placed in the thread. It is assumed that all members read through a thread before replying to a post. If you don’t, you may want to do so as ignoring posted warnings in a thread may result in further actions by the mod/admin.

It has been brought to our attention that some members are confused or not aware a warning has been placed. This is because a number of the moderators and administrators personally post in the threads. Also, some people only skim through so they may miss the warnings. For this reason, we have begun to post General Warnings in the Thread in the color yellow.. This way members will be able to tell a personal post from a posted warning.

Send a Heads Up Warning: This is an informal warning normally done when the infraction is viewed as unintentional or minor.

Send a Formal Warning: This warning is done when the infraction is more serious or when a member refuses to follow the rules after receiving previous Heads Up Warnings.

Moderated Posting: Members who have received multiple warnings and continue to break board rules are placed on moderated posting for a period of time. This means the member must have all posts approved by a mod/admin before it will appear on the board. The member can still read and send PM’s. After the moderated posting period ends, the member is free to post normally.

Suspension: Members who have a serious rule infraction or who have received multiple warnings, placed on moderated post and still continue to break the board rules will be suspended from the board. This means you will not be able to post for a period of time. Once the suspension is lifted, you may post normally as before.

Banning: Reserved for the most serious rule infractions and/or for members who after going through all the above steps still refuse to follow the board rules. Banning means you will not be allowed to participate in any capacity on the SN.tv forums.

Please note that if a member requests that their account be terminated it does not mean the person was banned. A message of ‘unregistered’ means the person requested that their account be removed. You can’t tell by looking at a post if a person has been banned.

Since we do not post a list of people who receive PM’s, are placed on moderated post, are placed on suspension or banned – most members are not aware of what may have been done to handle a situation.

We do not disclose to other members what is really happening between us and a member who has broken the rules as we feel that is between us and the member. We do not have a wall of shame as most people who break a rule do so inadvertently and/or were upset at the time. We also understand that members may be upset because they have received a warning PM, been placed on moderated post and/or suspended and will sometimes vent their frustrations.

However, we do try to work with members to help them understand what rule(s) are being broken and what they can do to avoid problems in the future. If a person has been placed on moderated post, suspended or even banned they have received multiple warnings and chances to abide by the board rules – the same rules that members who have not received warnings abide by. The truth is the majority of the members on this site are able to participate without us having to intercede. For those who do break board rules, we address them as they become known to us on an individual basis.

So if a person has received a more severe punishment, it is normally after many attempts have been made to work with the member and over a period of time. The truth is, open forums are not for everyone and some members may find character specific forums more to their liking. We are continually working on ways to help keep the discussion threads a place where everyone can participate, regardless of their viewpoint and to provide places for members to participate with those who feel the same as they do (i.e. the new Discussion Fan Groups). But that can only happen if the members themselves work with us.


Hopefully this helps clear up some of the most comment questions and/or comments that we have received from members. However, if you ever have a concern or even a suggestion on how you think something can be improved, PM a mod/admin and they will bring it to the staff for further discussion.

Thanks!

Raven524 & Irishgirl
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