Edit by arcaneCoder:
Note: “Freedom of speech” does not apply to posting whatever we personally like. Please read the terms that you agreed to when you registered your account for more details.
Welcome to Off-Topic!
This part of the forums is rumored to have made people laugh until they cry as well as, well, just cry. It’s sometimes the wild west of the forums, but who doesn’t like a bit of excitement in their day? Off-topic is a place to work your random bone. Have you ever wondered if you have more umbrellas in your house than the average person? Go ahead and ask! Do you want to talk about how totally stoked you are for an upcoming movie? Make a thread.
Before we venture further into the specifics of OT, read these threads. Seriously, we’ll wait. I have all day. Have you read them? There’s a test at the end. Okay, now that you’ve read those, we can move onto:
Please don’t spam
What does potted meat product have to do with forums?
Spam is essentially pointless, annoying messages that add nothing to the conversation or topic. It is also quoting pointless, annoying messages that add nothing to the conversation or topic. A wise woman once said that spam is like porn—you know it when you see it. If you see something and think “that has nothing to do with anything,” it’s spam. If you see something and think “my oh my, that sure is cluttering up the thread/forum,” it’s spam. If you see something and think “they’re really only posting that to up their post count,” it’s spam. One word “lolwut” or “orly?” replies? Spam. Motivational poster replies? Spam. Replying with a picture of a can of spam? Spam. Basically, if you see something and think it’s spam, it probably is.
The best way to combat spam is to take 10 seconds before posting to think “is this actually adding anything to the conversation?” If the answer is anything but a resounding “yes”, just don’t hit the “submit reply” button. I know it’s really super to see your name and avatar with words by it, but it’s not worth risking a silence or ban over.
What is a spam thread?
Off-topic does not mean no topic. Threads with silly focuses (what’s your favorite flavor of ramen?) are fine, thread with no focus (lololol be random) are not. This includes, but is not limited to, things like “go to my referral link to help me pwn n00bs/get points/look pretty”, “let’s all increase our post counts by counting to 100 GOGOGOGO!” and topic name: “LOL” first post: “ “
But, but, but….what do I DO if I see a spam thread/post?
First of all, do not quote the post or post in the thread. Second of all, DO NOT QUOTE THE POST OR POST IN THE THREAD. What you should do is report it and let a mod take care of it. Bumping the thread, even to say “this is spam, don’t post here” is spamming. Quoting the post even to say “get back on topic” is spamming. I don’t care how witty and great your “in before the lock” image is, just report it and leave it be; we’ll get to it.
Don’t feed the trolls
Uhhh, what’s a troll?
A troll is an internet term describing a person who really just wants to ruffle some feathers and make people upset. There aren’t usually evil people, just extremely bored ones. What they want is for you to pay attention to them; ignore them and their power is lost.
And…you don’t want me to share my cookies with them?
Well, sort of. We don’t want you to fill their bellies with the attention they so desire. Fighting back is the worst possible thing you can do: it gives them exactly what they want—attention. The best way to combat trolling is not to get in an argument with them, but to straight up ignore them. They want to be important and to ruin your good time—don’t let them. What you should do is report them and move on.
Don’t be a jerk
But they’re soooooo mean/whiny/dumb/alive
I don’t care. Be nice. An argument needs at least two parties to participate to continue. If one person says “YOU SUCK” and the other one ignores it, it’s not an argument. No matter what anyone else is doing, your actions are your own. They can’t make you do anything. This is extra super important because, no matter who started it, if you’re harassing someone you are likely to be silenced for it. Don’t let other people get you silenced. Report them and let us deal with it.
No, you don’t get it, did you SEE what they posted?
Yes, we are all knowing and all seeing. I don’t care what they post. Don’t be a jerk.
Use proper forum etiquette
Etiquette. Manners. Decency. Courtesy.
Oh. How do I do that?
It’s not terribly hard, just realize other people will be reading the threads and we don’t want their eyes to bleed. A few specifics are: try not to have multiple posts in a row. There’s an edit button on all of your posts, you are welcome to use that if you have other things to add or change. You might also notice the “quote post” button. It’s a very handy thing, but if used too much can create GIGANTIC QUOTE PYRAMIDS OF DOOOOOOOOM that are quite spammy. If you’re replying to a post that has a post quoted in it, just copy paste the bit you’re referencing and type “bq.” in front of it, that’ll make it show up as a quote. Don’t bump old topics for no reason.
But what if I had a question and that thread was about it and I didn’t want to make a new topic and and and and…
Note the “for no reason.” If you have something to add to a thread, go right ahead and bump it.
Oh, okay. Rockin. So, I think I get it…is it test time now?
No, the test was a lie.
Many thanks to the OT Council and regs who so kindly outlined this.