We’ve spent a lot of time on forums in the past, some as members and some as site staff. So we know how it’s like to be on both sides of the bar, and we’re going to be up front with you. Nearly everything that’s done on administration is on a case-by-case basis.
This is a list of stuff that we actively dislike and generally always leads to disciplinary action, but there’s always going to be that point where you can be like “Well, I only barely mentioned something political, but this guy went on a whole rant and yet he didn’t get punished and I did!” or “I just did some really minor thing that I didn’t even mean to be trolling, but this guy seriously trolled this other guy and he didn’t get punished but I did!”.
There’s also the point where it gets really hard to define where the rules are. So we can say “No trolling!”, but how do you define trolling? Where do you draw that line? Or we can say “No swearing!” but what counts as swearing? When is it appropriate and inappropriate? Which words count as “swears” and which don’t?
Here’s the honest truth. Sometimes, people will break the rules and we leave it in because it’s topical, or because it adds to the discussion, or because we know that person better and know what they actually meant, or sometimes just because we think it’s funny. And other times we punish people because of those same reasons; it isn’t topical enough, or funny enough, or we don’t know you enough to know your intentions, or whatever other reason.
So here is the policy when it comes to rules. If you don’t want to get on our bad side, if you want to stray from administrative action, then follow these rules like they’re laws. Don’t do anything that skirts close or seems remotely questionable. That’s your best bet to say safe and our of our “crosshairs”.
But some people will want to push the envelope of how far these rules go for whatever reason, and if you do decide to be one of those people, know that you’re really playing with fire. And maybe you can get away with it and maybe we’ll laugh and think you’re clever and witty. And maybe we’ll just ban you for it because you aren’t.
It really depends on what we’re feeling at the time, and what you’ve done or said before, and if whatever you’re doing has been done before by others and we’re tired of it and you’re just the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s called bias and I really wish we could say that we will not be biased but in all honesty that is simply impossible,
I mean, just being on this site is playing with fire, honestly, because you can be punished for something you didn’t even mean. It’s happened to us before, and we understand what it’s like to be blamed for something you didn’t do, but you also have to realize that anyone can say anything to get out of trouble. How are we supposed to know you didn’t mean it, or that you didn’t have those intentions?
So the only solution we have is to be up front with you and tell you that we treat everything case by case. Yes, we totally realize that it sounds unfair, and to be honest, it totally is, but there is honestly just no way to be 100% fair in every situation. If you’ve been on a site before or been staff on a site before, you know what I’m talking about.
We’re going to straight up tell you that our decisions are going to probably, at some point, seem unfair to you, because at some point they totally will be unfair to you. We just aren’t able to make sure that everything is fair because we can’t see every thing that’s happened. We can’t judge how antagonistic someone has been, what people have said on other sites, what you were thinking when you made that post or whatever other reasons were at play. We can’t always be fair. We really wish we could, but we can’t. That’s just life.
That’s the risks of being on this site. If you’re willing to gamble with them, that’s your decision. You’re going to see people, friends, enemies, staff, that to you clearly broke the rules we’ve listed here, and they aren’t getting punished for it, and to be honest that’s because they gambled and they won. And you’re going to see others, maybe your friends, maybe your enemies, maybe staff, maybe even you, break the rules and get brutally punished for it. That’s because they gambled and lost.
We’re not saying that it’s arbitrary, because we will try our best to stick by these rules and deal with things as fairly as we can. But “as fairly as we can” is not “always fair all the time”. So we apologize in advance and hope our little bout at honesty, while it won’t make up for being unfair, at least makes you aware that it is very possible and can happen.
So when it comes to pushing the envelope with these rules, you can play it safe, or you can try and go as close to the cliff edge as possible, that’s all up to you. But we’ve made you aware of what your chances are up front. If you get burned, that’s your responsibility. Gambling is always a dangerous game.
(Basically, you’re at our mercy, peasants. Mwahahahaha.)