So, is this an actual rule now.. (Discussing parody threads)

Discussion in 'Communications' started by jp-30, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. Grand_Admiral_Grant Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2004
    star 6
    This issue has gone a long way back and was to be expected. The rules are fairly clear about parodies and, like Malkie said, there is this official parody thread. You might agree with the rules or not, but they should be the guideline. I locked many, many parodies, I hated some of them, liked many of them, but if the rules are clear about it, we have to go by these. It was never about my opinion, but about what we all have agreed to do (when those rules were made). Ignoring the rules because you like a thread or a person (or worse, you're afraid of sticking your neck out and doing something wrong) is wrong IMHO. I disliked 50% of the rules and would have loved to throw them out, but modding isnt always about your own preference. It's also a lot about what has been agreed that is expected from you. Part of that is upholding the rules. If you dont like them and cant do that, step down and find somebody who can and will.

    That said, these rules do need changing. To be honest, it's difficult to exactly come up with something which is clear about this. Leaving locking a parody or not up to a mods judgment alone is the wrong way to go. Rules should always be clear, if they arent, they need to be re-written, not converted into a grey area with all kinds of exceptions. A poster should be able to check up front if hi/her thread is alright or will be locked. It'd be wrong to post something and then having to wait for a while to see if a mod likes your thread or you enough to keep it open. Allowing grey areas in rules about things like these will only cause confusion, further pointless discussions and more inconsistency.

    And as for random sprees where users have lots of funs, when I saw these, I always looked away for half an hour or so, until the users had their fun and then locked the spree. Rules followed, users had their fun. The best of both worlds. Sometimes over-analyzing things will only make it worse.

    EDIT: and I dont think we should use this thread to crucify mods who did try their best to moderate their forum. They at least did something. Sometimes you make the wrong call, big deal. I prefer a mod who has the balls to step in and act than a mod who fancies his or her colors but prefers to stay away from controversial mod-decisions and only posts snarky comments in comms instead of actually modding their forums.
  2. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    The allowance of some parody threads caused a grey area, then.

    We have been okay with the rule and the grey area for some time now. I don't think this one instance is sufficient cause for a change. Someone made a mistake, and all of a sudden the whole structure is thrown into question. It feels like jumping the gun a little.

    Rules should be clear if possible, of course, but the only real way to allow 'good' (ultimate subjective term) parody threads is to give mods latitude to decide... and give users latitute to question the call.
  3. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    Well, speaking for myself, I've always disliked the present parody rule. 'Parody threads are allowed, provided there is real discussion-worthy content. Parody sprees (more than one parody thread of a certain subject) are discouraged, and repeated participation in sprees may result in warning or banning.' It seems like sprees are allowed and punishable all at the same time. Not very clear. As Grant said, a person should be able to be responsibly sure whether or not their thread is going to be locked or not prior to making it. And from what I read the mods were discussing a change before this came up in this thread so I don't see how jumping the gun applies.
  4. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Hmm. I thought the mods were discussing the change because of the sheer number of parody threads and the idea that they might be responsible for some of the downturn in quality on the forum. Are the two linked or not? That sort of thing.

    I think the discussion here (amongst non-mods) is based around the potential (or otherwise) for confusion re: the current rule - what is and is not allowed. The issue of Carmen's thread is the reason some people believe there to be confusion, and I so I think that if we're changing the rule because of the potential for confusion after one high-profile incident, we're jumping the gun a little. Maybe we're not, but I get the feeling we are. I'd be happier to simply see if the mods make a similar mistake again.

    It would be good if someone could come up with a rule that allowed users to be sure of their thread's future (locked or not), but short of placing restrictions on numbers or installing a hefty checklist of what one should and shouldn't include I don't see it. Jello said that any sort of new rule risks losing something. He's right, I think.


    EDIT: I don't think the sprees rule is unclear. It acknowledges that sprees aren't particularly harmful (discouraged not disallowed), but also that if you keep at it you're gonna land yourself in trouble. It boils down to continued poor posting getting you in trouble. Maybe just add that we'll lock parody spree threads, but won't punish you unless you realy kick-off.
  5. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    I don't see why a limit of one thread is such a horrible alternative, Everton. The odds of someone having a really good idea for a parody and not being able to make it due to someone else having already made a parody for the thread is pretty small, IMO. And if there's a really good parody first, and a bunch of other mindless ones follow, the good one is buried and probably overlooked by many.

    Sorry, but the present rule isn't clear at all. Either it should be allowed or it shouldn't be. None of this 'well we'll let you make some but at some undetermined point which will vary from mod to mod and from user to user you won't be allowed to make anymore and will be warned or punished for doing so'. That's silly, IMO.
  6. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Sprees are not allowed, but one should only be punished if one keeps doing it. So as I said, simply add in that parody spree threads will be locked.

    The idea of 'continued poor posting' has never had a particular limit placed on it - that I know of. It's for a mod to judge.

    Just like a ref booking someone for continued foul play.

    *points to there, there and there*

    *brandishes yellow card*



    EDIT:
    I'm not saying it's a horrible alternative, just one that does does risk losing something. It's probably the best alternative yet suggested, but I still think we shoudl hold fireand see if this situation blows up again.
  7. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    I thought they're discouraged as opposed to not allowed?

    If they're allowed how is it poor posting? Honestly, I'm not following you.
  8. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    Everton's right. There is no rule against parody threads now (good parodies that can stand on their own) and hasn't been since before I stepped down. I know some of my former team mates didn't like them and would lock them more, but the rule itself gives direction, but allows for some "Okay guys, let's not get carried away." We tried the parody title thread and that worked too, and if you "outlaw" parody threads would be a good way, especially if the mods take initiative and participate in it. Ophelia used to be a pro at it and was hysterical.

    And Carmen's thread was fine. It had/has it's own discussion, even though it was twist on another thread. Yes, I lol at people who order pizza and diet coke and even do it myself sometimes... It's a subject that could be discussed without OBIX's thread having ever been made. That it was made in response to his in a clever way, to me, is the good in the JCC. Cleverness and such. Some of the best discussions or posts come out of nowhere or threads you'd never think it would. You cannot structure it to a black and white forum and it still thrive.

    The JCC often takes care of itself when it comes to what stays on page 1 and what sinks, and if a few threads of the same vein on there a day, they won't stay longer than that. We survived the "Rush" parody spree, and even learned some things from it. Just because you don't like the title of a thread, they can be quite clever within.

    And I'm going to comment on something that I've seen happening over the last few weeks, and I may be off base (I'm often wrong! :p), but it's my perception. I've seen a couple or few "face-offs" between users and mods done through parody sprees or threads with a mod's name in them, or things to that effect and there seems to be some kind of dividing line forming between users and mods and you don't want that. On either side. You can't let the place go hog wild, but you can't over-control it - for the most part, it should be an enjoyable experience to mod the JCC.

    And I know my fellow JCCers can probably tell it's a tough forum to mod, and calm and rational discussion of anything you're concerned about goes farther than trying to push a mod's buttons. So, sometimes it requires a thick skin on the mods part, and sometimes it takes users realizing that mods are human and make some mistakes. At the end of the day, though, it should be about the same thing to both. Really enjoying the JCC, and wanting it to be a place for relaxtion and good discussion to everyone.
  9. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    I could post three threads per day (just for the sake of getting to three threads a day) for days and days. I'd expect to be punished for that. Posting three threads a day isn't against the rules, but doing it over and over and over again is poor posting.

    That sort of thing.

    Posting three threads a day (just for the sake of getting to three threads a day) once would be discourged, but not punishable. A mod should just say, quit it. Poor posting habits.
  10. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    'Three threads per day are allowed, provided there is real discussion-worthy content. Three threads day are discouraged, and repeated participation in three threads a day may result in warning or banning.'?

    lol If they're quality threads I don't see why someone would be warned for making three a day. The JCC could use it, IMO. If their threads aren't meeting some basic requirement for threads, then something should be done. But that's not really the topic in here.

    And can you clarify if you think sprees are discouraged or disallowed, Everton?
  11. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah, I'm with Roper. I know some people in JCC who could consistently make three threads every day that are fun to post in. JCC has slowed down so much that it might actually help things out. And if they're just posting spammy or bad threads for the sake of getting to three a day, that's another issue entirely than the 3 threads a day issue.
  12. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    the converse arguement is that the JCC has slowed down because of the poor posting habits
  13. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Really? Not because Star Wars finished three years ago and the TV series is crap?
  14. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    And if they're just posting spammy or bad threads for the sake of getting to three a day, that's another issue entirely than the 3 threads a day issue.


    But it's one that neatly parallels this discussion--just a few weeks ago, some parties in this very discussion were protesting about the spam and poor quality of current JCC threads and were lobbying the mods to do something about it. When an attempt was made, further protests ensued--leading us to think "lock other people's spammy threads, but give us special treatment, thx."

    So leaving "good threads" aside--however we determine them--the problem I am most concerned with is when really, really, really bad threads are created entirely within the rules. Ordinary logic would suggest to just let them be and the JCC would handle them by either mocking the thread creator or simply letting the thing die.

    Yet if those threads pile and pile and pile, the JCC gets filled with trash--trash that's perfectly allowable within the rules, yet I'm pretty sure a huge chunk of the user base was irritated with them. People could make their 3 threads every single day and make them terrible, yet technically be within the rules. People could make a bunch of parodies and still technically be within the rules, if it wasn't some epic spree. So what we'd have to do is to find some other excuse just to lock a thread that everyone knew was terrible.

    Why?

    That's where initiative comes in. I know it sounds terrible for a mod to lock a thread without apparent justification, but sometimes it's necessary under the catchall of "spam." I would hate to create a thread and not know where I stand with regards to it staying open or not, but this whole thing is a two way street--we know the mods can't influence the userbase through top-down modding because there's a limit to what threads can be locked (most threads, even when awful, tend to be left open) and interacting by example also has its limits. It comes to a point where it's up to the users to also help us out here.

    Nobody wants their thread closed unless they made it for that specific purpose. Most threads, no matter how terrible, were created for the thread creator to enjoy in one way or another--but that doesn't mean it's necessarily not spam. I still don't see how we can reach any ideal situation without making some sort of sacrifice--either we have grey areas, or we have spam to no end, or we restrict the number of parodies... etc etc. There's going to be a downside no matter how we cut it.

    We've seen it already--we've seen people in favor of the grey areas. We've seen people who dislike it and prefer a reliable rule, like Roper's one thread idea. Then we've seen people who think sprees themselves have their own benefit so long as they're interesting.

    We can't have it all, unfortunately. The grey area thing, no matter how arbitrary and fascist it makes the mods look, seems to actually allow for the greatest freedom. Sometimes your nice thread will be locked, and sometimes that'll be a bad call. That's the risk we have to take and we can best handle this on a case by case basis.

    It would be easier, however, if that sort of thing felt routine. It'd be easier if a mod could just say "whoops, sorry about that" and the user could say "no problem dude, I see where you're coming from." But right now I get the feeling people are more inclined to say "you're the worst mod ever and a terrible excuse for a human being" and the mods will say "yeah well I am infallible so there."

    If we want to make this more of a routine thing rather than a "man, you screwed up" I think it'd really help everyone.
  15. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    just playing devils advocate - didn't express what I felt was the 'true' answer.
  16. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    I want to touch on something Rhonda said above.

    There is most definitely a clearer line separating mod from user these days. In general, I've seen a lot more patrolling and less interaction from the moderators in recent months.

    It's like hosting a party... your role is to mingle and make the place a fun envoronment... stalking the crowd in search of somebody doing something naughty creates an environment that isn't welcoming or entertaining.

    I'm all for grey areas... I believe moderators should be allowed to assess the situation, and make a decision if it's necessary. Perhaps a PM sent to the thread author asking, "where are you going with this?" would be helpful.

    I don't think anybody is asking for special treatment... I think people are asking moderators to thoroughly assess the situation, ask questions if necessary, and then come to a conclusion. Immediately jumping on the lock button just appears to be lazy modding. If when walking through the crowd at the party, you saw somebody about to light up a smoke, the best action would be to address the person and ask them to smoke outside.... not to completely lock the room the person was hanging out in. If the person got beligerant with you and refused to smoke outside, the person could justifiably be removed from the place. Does this make any sense?

    But again... I'd really like to see this "mod / user" separation fade a little. You were modded because people thought you would be a decent host for the party, you know?

    Also, I just want to say that PRENN is okay with me, well everybody is, but he is for a reason, he is reasonable and willing to listen to feedback without getting overly defensive. I like that about him.
  17. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    The only really, really bad threads that I have a problem with are ones that have no effort, no point, and remain open. Things like 'Hi there' and only :cool: in the body. If a user keeps making them, ban them from making threads.

    Honestly, that would be great(In general. I still hate the parody rule though).
  18. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    One way to get the quality of threads up is for the community to just let them sink (those that are more spammy, but within the rules). Yes, there are stupid threads. But we also have folks that feel the need to post in every thread, even the bad threads -- like it's a chat room. And sometimes it's hard NOT to post that a thread is ridiculous, but maybe a way for those of you who think the quality is going down is to just let it go. That along with maybe a mod asking what the thread is for to get some good dialogue going or to decide whether it should stay.

    Threads with just lyrics in the title used to be against the rules in the JCC, but I can't remember if that was changed. I agree that those don't really add anything, unless you put the effort into it and make it a discussable subject. We had the same problem with threads that just put a You Tube up.

    I guess the point being, it's going to take some work, both on the users' part and the mods' part to work on the quality of the JCC.
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yes. I would be a lot more comfortable in leaving "bad" threads open if people weren't playing volleyball with them. That would allow for a lot more flexibility, because then if a bad thread stayed open for reasons other than posting for the sake of posting, it'd let us know the thread had potential after all.
  20. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    I hear what you are saying. The line between mod and user depends on the mod and the user. I see mods less as hosting a party and more chaperoning at a dance. We need to mingle all over the place, but when we see trouble start to happen we need to step in immediately and say "if you continue to make out, you will be locked out of the building."

    And I'll say another thing - that gap between mod and user is much like the gap between chaperone and student at the dance; the chaperone watches the KNOWN troublemakers more becase, surprise surprise, they are more likely LOOKING to break school rules.
  21. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I don't know that I agree with the chaperone analogy, personally. I think that does put too distinctive a line between mod and user. In a perfect world, a mod should want to never have to mod. Anyone taking this gig should be doing it to make a difference in a positive way, if possible. As a host at a party, you hope that everyone is having a good time, and you don't have to ask anyone to leave. The host (mod) should be able to have just as much fun as a partygoer, ideally. Not to say you don't ever have to "throw someone out" or change the music because the partygoers think your music sucks. ;)
  22. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Agreed Rhonda.

    Chaperoning implies patrolling / supervising... where hosting implies interaction and participation in the festivities on a friendlier and more inclusive level.
  23. Grand_Admiral_Grant Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2004
    star 6
    I agree, mods were promoted because they stood out as good users and were part of the community, why stop being such a good user just because you have a few more buttons? Be a user first and mod second.
  24. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    Yes... we are patrolling...we are supervising.. that's why I think it is a great anology. Some mods are friendlier than others, but from my perspective, the more a chaperone or mod tries to be just one of the dancers/users the more difficult it is for them to their job.
  25. Grand_Admiral_Grant Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2004
    star 6
    And also the more difficult it is to be part of the community that mod is asked to represent and the harder to relate to what normal users expect and want.
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