Author Topic: Rules update 2020  (Read 23213 times)


  • A Sticky Wicket
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10266
  • RIP. Again. And again. And again.
Rules update 2020
« on: 04 February 2020, 18:02:01 »
Hi all. It's 2020 and honestly time to update you guys on the forum rules. Nothing has changed but before, we had notices regarding a number of rules changes from 2012. So in the spirit of the new year, we're doing cleanup on forum notices and stickies. It's also a good opportunity to explain and emphasize the rules from the moderator and admin point of view.

0) Housekeeping

- The last update to forum rules was April 2018 which covered both thread-jacking behavior and some cleanup. No rules additions since then. This is simply an update and explanation compiling some themes, behaviors we've seen over the past year or so, and making some clearer expectations for behavior.

- Also, this is being written with the approval of the admins in an effort to clean up the forums and the sticky thread cruft that has built up over time.

1) Thank You!

On the whole, you guys are awesome and do a great job of keeping your respective tempers under control, keeping up with the rules, and reporting posts instead of arguing over them in-thread. We just want to take an early point to acknowledge that give our biggest thank-yous to the people increasing the quality of the forums. Well done youse! On with the rest...

2) The Rules

Here are the rules. Obey them. They are not up for debate or personal interpretation. They are how CGL representatives wish to keep a lid on things so that we have a reasonable public-facing set of forums about a long running big smashy robot game line.

3) Be a Good Guest

There are many places on the internet to vent, complain, flame, and talk religion, politics, and philosophy. This is not one of those places. You may feel like this is home because you have so many long-time friends here, but in the end this is CGL's house, their resources, and their rules for behavior. Don't be *that* houseguest.

4) Don't Overreact

A warning for violating the rules can feel awful, but we've structured the warning system so that a single warning isn't a big deal. Warnings expire after a year, so if you run afoul of the moderation team, take a big deep breath and re-calibrate your expectations for how to behave in the future. You guys, it's *just* a warning. Breathe.

5) There is Redemption

About that warning ladder. Remember that warnings expire after a year. Keep your nose clean and your record becomes clean. Otherwise you will see this happen:

  • warning
  • warning
  • one week loss of posting privileges (you can still log in)
  • one month loss of posting privileges (you can still log in)
  • your final warning where we beg you to see the light and repent
  • we kick your butt off the forum permanently

This is a set of warning *levels*. So if a warning expires after its year is up and you go from four active warnings to three, you're one less warning closer to a full ban, but you'll also be up for another one-month ban if you get warned again.

Frequently we'll be kind to newbies and people making posts that are a close call. However, the moderators have the right to judge any given situation and admins have the review authority on appeal. Final appeal can be made to the ombudsman (Worktroll) who has the final call on any given situation. Sometimes warnings really do get overturned. Just make sure you're not acting like an outraged, shocked jerk who has been wronged and wishes to "see the manager" when doing so. Don't be that forum member.

6) Just Don't Cuss

Cussing is not allowed. HOWEVER, our way of enforcing this is by barring you from circumventing the forum censo-tron. So you have two ways of avoiding warnings on this. 1: By leaving the sailor talk where it's welcome and re-reading the post you're about to make so there's no cussing. 2: Always clicking preview to make sure the censo-tron caught and edited out your word. Do not ever ever EVER use 133t sp3@k to get around it. This moderator's first warning was for saying 'd@mn' instead of just writing out 'damn'. The moderator was being a bit too cute and it was a fair cop. The upshot in the end is: don't cuss.

7) Be a Decent, Patient Person

Be kind and be self aware. Seriously. We've seen so many times that people get busted for either rule 1 and 3 (basically anger and trolling) because they didn't check themselves to see what their rage level was. Calm the heck (<--see? I didn't cuss there; see point 5) down and walk away from the computer rather than let the adrenaline guide your brain. We've had a lot of trouble with the Off Topic Star Wars discussion who can't seem to do this. They feel affronted, feel they must counter this Deep Affront to Honor, and punch back in frustration. Sometimes this comes from habits learned on another forum. Still not a good excuse. Be aware of yourself and step away for an hour before coming back, hopefully a little bit more chill.

A corollary to this is don't be obtuse. We've have lots of people getting into pretty juvenile debate modes where the discussion spirals into arguing not even about the subject but about who violated the "rules" of debate when. That's stupid and we moderators are very aware of what's happening. Sometimes we've taken direct action against the person being obtuse (as well as the frustrated person who erupts in anger rather than simply reporting the obtuse-ness to the moderators). We've gone as far as telling the obtuse person that they may no longer participate in the thread or that subject and have made an addition to Rule 8 (see Housekeeping) to help address this.

8 ) Don't bust copyright.

This is a Very Big Deal to CGL and we are therefore much more self-aware and much more strict than other online communities. A lot of people aren't aware of the finer points of both copyright and authorship. We won't go over the fine legal details, but it's much more strict than you think, taking a case-by-case four-point test in civil courts for fair use; it doesn't work the way you might think. If you want to read more about the subject, go here for a lawsplainer. We're not lawyers, but we try our best to stay on the right side of this as we govern the forums:

One wrinkle is that we are *very* strict regarding the MWO minis and 3D printing services generally, which you can read about here:

Obey what it discussed there. Sometimes we'll try to educate rather than warn, but don't rely on that as an excuse. We have the right to warn and frequently will.

9) Don't sell stuff without asking.

Please. There's multiple reasons why we don't allow that, but the upshot is that this isn't a selling site. There are exceptions, such as official Camospecs auctions or particular services we think are unusually valuable to the community, but the key bit here is that the sellers came to us to ask permission first.

10) You Won't See Most Moderation

Moderation takes place in private communication. We usually remove posts silently because that causes the least disruption. Sometimes we'll post an in-thread warning or caution to adjust behavior, but we will normally try to make that vague so that the primary objects of that caution are not "aimed at" like it's a public dressing-down. The whole goal is the forum member's privacy and the avoidance of public shaming. This can be difficult to understand for the average forum member because it looks like secretive process. No, we have a private process to prevent public shaming. Our accountability is three-fold. First the admins who have review of our actions. Second the ombudsman who has review of the admins. Finally the line-developer or his/her assistant who governs the health of the Battletech forum community.  Ultimately, the company owners and stakeholders who are the final authority and are beholden to the health of the game, the larger community, and themselves as owners and licensees of the Battletech IP.

Note: The moderators are also volunteers from all over the world. This means that we don't do this as our job. Sometimes we might be a bit slow on the trigger, discussing an issue to make sure fellow moderators aren't going off half cocked. That takes time and we're not perfect in our speed, but we try to get better at issuing judgments on tough calls (the admins hold us to account on this).

11) See Rule 11 Again

Remember that ultimately we're accountable to CGL. In a roundabout way that means we're accountable to the community, but in the moment what we say goes. We're not a participatory voting republic here. This is a service extended to the community. The members of the community have a duty to read, understand, and obey the rules. That means doing right by their fellow members, paying attention to what they're writing, and generally not being a jerk. Sometimes poster behavior can be a difficult call and moderators do what they can to be fair. But in the end, a call has to be made and Rule 11 vests the moderators and admins with the authority to make that call.

Thanks for reading this update on How Everything Works. We're much obliged.
« Last Edit: 04 February 2020, 18:05:27 by Bedwyr »
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.


  • A Sticky Wicket
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10266
  • RIP. Again. And again. And again.
Re: Rules update 2020
« Reply #1 on: 04 February 2020, 18:03:58 »
Just so it's clear to all reading this, there will be a bunch of cleanup and links happening around the forums as things get updated. It'll take awhile, just so you're aware.
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.