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Self Moderation of This Forum:

 476 Fighteer, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:46:44 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I will EXTERMINATE your unhappiness!
Hardly. There are tons of active OTC threads. We made the list on the basis of looking at the topics that we always end up locking because they turn into flame wars or wander so far off-topic that they can't be retrieved.

For example, almost any discussion of religion almost always turns into a debate between theists and atheists.
 477 Trivialis, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:53:51 PM from contemplation
Happiness
The active OTC threads are megathreads for politics, sexism, military, and sports.

I don't know about those rules, and I'm not sure how they should be interpreted. 2012 thread touches upon half of the things in that list.

edited 4th Oct '12 1:54:40 PM by Trivialis

I don't need praise, I need help.
 478 Fighteer, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:55:03 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I will EXTERMINATE your unhappiness!
But it doesn't derail into being exclusively about them. Or, if it does, we rerail it. Look, we are moderators, not robots. We exercise judgement. Setting forth these guidelines gives us something to point to when we want to provide justification for taking action, and it hopefully prevents people from starting threads about these topics in ignorance of the rules.

edited 4th Oct '12 1:56:02 PM by Fighteer

 479 They Call Me Tomu, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:57:51 PM Relationship Status: Wishfully thinking
Sureeeeendaaaa
Anymore, I just avoid threads that are more than a page or two by the time I spot them.

 480 Madrugada, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:58:50 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Trivialis, these subjects have been off the table unofficially for some time now. (And by that, I mean that they almost invariaby got locked or nuked in short order before we went to the "OTC threads must be approved by a mod" practice, and since then, we simply don't open new threads on those topics.)

We've simply taken them officially off the table. OTC won't dry up.

edited 4th Oct '12 2:00:38 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 481 Best Of, Thu, 4th Oct '12 2:19:09 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I suppose we could insert the word "usually" into the rules to allow us to exercise judgment. Or we could amend it to say something like "threads on topics X, Y and Z will almost always be locked/nuked/not opened." That lets us make rare exceptions without twisting the rules we just wrote.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Mods on any site going "I know this isn't exactly what the rules are but this time I think this can fly" or something like that, but having some weasel words in there would hopefully answer complaints from people who want rules and guidelines to be absolute.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 482 Trivialis, Fri, 12th Oct '12 10:41:12 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Just a reminder to myself and others here.

While posting in OTC you may encounter people that think differently than you do.

You're free to disagree with those views, but you have to recognize that those views exist. You should not formulate your posts assuming that everything you're stating is a given and everyone here will buy it. When there is clearly an opposing view held by a person in the discussion thread, then if you respond to that person, you need to be explanatory and not dismissive.
I don't need praise, I need help.
Euo will do!
That runshoes369.co.uk Blatant Product Placement thread badly needs painting over with fluffy kittens, smilies and rainbows or something. And, a hammer needs swung, methinks. tongue
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 484 Irene, Sat, 17th Aug '13 12:02:06 AM from Friend Code: 1203-9265-8784 Relationship Status: Love is an open door
Ridley
...Or you could report it instead like I did.

You don't need to post on here for this kind of thing. Hollers work faster and are seen by the staff a bit quicker. smile
 485 Madrugada, Sat, 17th Aug '13 12:18:38 AM Relationship Status: In season
With Mod Hat On
Nuclear option deployed. Thanks for the head-up. And yeah, a Holler is generally the quickest way to get trash like that taken to the curb.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 486 Totemic Hero, Mon, 28th Oct '13 11:24:43 AM from the next level Relationship Status: Abstaining
I have 18 Charisma!
Got a question worth bumping this thread up for.

I recently tried to start this thread, which was not opened due to (presumably) being viewed as a link-discuss. While I did make an argument of my own there, I can see a moderator who had not checked the link not being aware where the article's content ends and my argument begins. And I can understand that the mods don't want to have to read random articles just to verify if a thread is good enough to open in OTC.

The problem is that there's a general principle in OTC of not allowing people to argue in bad faith, requiring evidence (typically linked in the post) to support any arguments. Given the above, I'm not sure how a good OP for a new thread could be constructed that is simultaneously not viewed as a link-discuss post by the mods and provides evidence to back up any arguments made. Any thoughts?
"These days they have a stat for how many times a guy goes for a cup of coffee." -Mark McGwire
 487 Best Of, Mon, 28th Oct '13 11:43:57 AM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
We want an OTC thread to be accessible without having to read anything behind links or other external sources. Preferably an OTC thread starts with some definitions (except if the topic is something that everyone would obviously know about, ) followed by enough information to get discussion started.

It's not that an OTC thread can't work if there's a link in the OP, but the idea is that the OP should work even if you didn't click the link (or watch the embedded video etc.)

You should define a topic, give sufficient info, and try to set up a framework for the discussion (which means setting some boundaries for the topic and establishing why the issue is interesting, as well as pointing out directions that the thread shouldn't take if such derails or other problems look likely to emerge.) If you do that the thread should be good to go.

I've looked at your OP and I think it looks good to go. I must've missed the automatic Holler about it when you posted it. Maybe there was something urgent going on at the time - I don't remember. Anyway, I'm opening your thread now.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 488 Totemic Hero, Mon, 28th Oct '13 1:11:31 PM from the next level Relationship Status: Abstaining
I have 18 Charisma!
Fair enough. I'll just inform you (speaking from my experience as webcomic forum herald) that newer threads that drop off the top half of the first page are often doomed to fade into obscurity. So you definitely want to not miss hollers like that very often.

edited 28th Oct '13 1:12:06 PM by TotemicHero

"These days they have a stat for how many times a guy goes for a cup of coffee." -Mark McGwire
 489 Fighteer, Mon, 28th Oct '13 1:28:58 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I will EXTERMINATE your unhappiness!
If that happens, we can bump it when we open it.
 490 Best Of, Mon, 28th Oct '13 1:48:08 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Also, if a thread you made remains locked and you're not contacted by a Mod even though it's been a couple of days you should feel free to PM me about it. I'll either open the thread or tell you why it wasn't opened. Just remember that I live in Finland, in the GMT+2 timezone, so if you're from the US it'll probably take me a while to reply.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 491 Smasher, Fri, 14th Feb '14 10:17:48 AM from Somewhere Far Away
The Appathetic.
I got a question.

I want to start a thread on a religious survey I found, but there are too many questions for just one thread, and I don't want to have 8 different threads. (The survey has 8 parts.) Should I combine a few of them into one topic, put them all in one topic periodically (as in do one part first and another a few days later) or just not bother?
Hetalia has as much to do with history as SpongeBob has to do with marine biology-A Devantart stamp, paraphrased
 492 Fighteer, Sat, 15th Feb '14 10:24:18 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I will EXTERMINATE your unhappiness!
What value would such a topic bring to the forums? We aren't interested in being made into survey subjects; you could link to it in an appropriate thread, but tropers aren't your guinea pigs.
 493 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 16th Apr '14 4:46:34 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
This is about the existing drone thread. Since we do mention other drone information and news in the thread outside of the Drone Strikes in Pakistan I was wondering if it would either be a good idea to change the thread title to reflect a more broad line of Drone Related Subjects or to make a new separate thread on Drone Related Subjects excluding the drone strikes.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 494 Best Of, Wed, 16th Apr '14 4:50:56 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
For future reference, you can make requests/questions like that by Hollering the thread itself.

There's nothing wrong with doing it by posting here but Hollering is probably easier.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 495 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 16th Apr '14 6:16:11 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
I wasn't in a rush and wanted others thoughts on it as well.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 496 Best Of, Wed, 16th Apr '14 6:20:33 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Oh. Well, I rushed it for you anyway. (As you've seen if you've taken a look at the thread yet.)

If people think the new name isn't good I'll change it to whatever they suggest.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 497 Tuefel Hunden IV, Wed, 16th Apr '14 6:21:04 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
Lol. It's cool. Thanks for the help all the same.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 498 FF Shinra, Fri, 5th Sep '14 9:57:02 AM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
Any reason that clock is still on the US politics thread?
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 499 Blue Ninja 0, Fri, 5th Sep '14 6:25:22 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Plotting my Escape
[up] When it went on, the mods said something about how once on, it can't be removed, even if the thread won't be locked from it.
I'm going to get killed becuase some guy saw me walk out of a Subway eating a foot long shotgun - Mousa
 500 Best Of, Sat, 6th Sep '14 4:49:41 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
We used to always ask Eddie to take the clock off but most of the time we can't be bothered (and neither can he) because a clock in a thread that clearly isn't going to be killed when the clock hits 0 is just a pointless little detail that doesn't matter enough for anyone to spend a full minute of their life to rectify. (If there's a clock in a place where it actually does matter - namely, in the workshops - it's a problem that does require action.)

I sort of like those pointless clocks because to me (having probably stuck a few of those clocks on myself) they're clear and slightly amusing evidence that the Mods are also human and just as vulnerable to mistakes (in this case clicking the wrong box) as anyone else. It's like seeing a politician say the wrong word and have to start the sentence over or something like that.

Now that I've said all that, I do believe we're going to create a tool for the Mods to fix those useless clocks in the near future. (Basically the toggle just needs to be able to be switched off - it doesn't sound complicated to me, but then again I couldn't write the code to even have a clock in the first palce.)
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
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