As Groupthink chugs along, we occasionally have to address issues that habitually come up for the forum. Sometimes that can be accomplished with a bit of a GT chat. Occasionally, the mods feel like we may need to make rules to deal with cyclical situations.
It is not my intent to overburden Groupthink with rules. As I've stated on many other occasions, as participants in this forum, you are expected to act like adults. We should not have to create rules that cover every possible situation or permutation of a situation; as adults and trusted members of this community, we expect that all of our users practice common sense in dealing with circumstances that moderators have not directly addressed. That said, this is also not a free-for-all space and we provide you some guidance as to how we expect our posters to act.
Below are a handful of issues that have been raised in the past several weeks or months that either we have been asked to speak on or are apparent to the moderating team that some clarity is needed. You may read our earlier rules posts or moderator discussions under the "Mod Talk" tagline.
Trigger Warnings: Groupthink does not have a trigger warning policy nor are we planning to implement one. As a whole, we believe that the posters on this forum use trigger warnings appropriately on the most common triggering situations, and that users also respond well when asked to add a trigger warning if needed. Above all else please remember to assume good faith on the part of other commenters here and not assume that anything posted without a trigger warning was done out of maliciousness. Vice versa, should a commenter request a trigger warning, do not assume they are attacking your post. It is not a requirement that one must automatically add a trigger warning if requested, although we have never seen this not happen. The OP should seriously consider any such plea and act accordingly.
Pornography/Porn Gifs/NSFW Imagery: There is to be absolutely no posting of visual pornography on these boards either through the use of clips, gifs, or still images. This includes making a post on your own Kinja and using the "share" function to repost it to Groupthink. There is no wiggle room on this. This also includes "funny" porn gifs. If you wish to post pornography on your own Kinja, have at it. If you want others on Groupthink to know you've done it, you may post an html link to your page. When sharing any imagery on the forum, consider Groupthink an "R" rated space, not an "X" rated one.
This rule is not a debate on the place of pornography or its moral worth. Simply, we have underage readers and commenters on this forum, which is linked to my name as the "owner". As the "owner", this is my executive decision.
NSFW language: It is important to have a space in which we can discuss "adult" matters relating to sex and sexuality, and associated topics. You are free to discuss those topics here to your own comfort levels. However, consider Groupthink a rated "R" space, not a rated "X" one when choosing the language you use.
Curse all you want, except abusively at other people.
On disliking other posters: As I've stated so, so often, it is unlikely that you will get along with every poster on this board. There are 724 approved authors on this forum. In addition to that are the "followed" and "unfollowed" commenters, which are too numerous to count. People come and go all the time. You will not like everyone. You may clash with some of them.
If a relationship with another poster is particularly contentious, do not interact with them. That includes: replying to their posts, replying to threads in which they are participating to tell other people you do not like them, replying to posts they've made with fuck off gifs, randomly showing up in threads you weren't involved in to them how much you dislike them, posting venomous screeds about how much you dislike them, sharing their comments to the forum in hopes of creating a pile on, or calling them out by name as fucking assholes in otherwise unrelated posts. Yes, I am directly citing behaviors I have seen numerous posters on this forum engage in. I have absolutely reached my tolerance level with this sort of behavior.
If there is a problem with another commenter, you may let me or another moderator know so we can look into it.
If you are unsure about how to interpret your interactions with another commenter and want an additional pair of eyes on it, you may ask me or another moderator to do so.
If someone is harassing you on the forum, let us know.
If you see someone causing problems on the forum or sense an impending shitstorm, let us know.
With so much activity on the forum, the moderators cannot read every comment or post and we are not privy to the personal interactions between every person on this board. We understand that tempers can run high and that people can respond aggressively within the moment, and we attempt to be understanding about these issues, which is why being a jerk isn't an immediately bannable offense. We all need a little forgiveness sometimes. But the Golden Rule of Groupthink is "Don't be a jerk" so if this behavior is repetitive, you can lose your authorship rights, your "follow" by, and/or be banned from the forum. And you may not get them back.
Sharing/Unsharing, Following/Unfollowing: Kinja allows anyone with authorship rights on a forum to share and unshared comments and posts, and follow/unfollow commenters. We ask that every author on this board use these tools with discretion.
As moderators, we do prune the board – this may mean removing numerous reshares from the same post, removing shares that we feel are meant to create a pile on or shitstorm, removing repeated shares from the same commenter in a short period of time. We do not always alert the person who shared the item and we will not make it a rule to do so, though we try to address it directly if it seems part of a problem.
As authors, before you share something, ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" And, "It is appropriate for the forum?" If you've had a banner day and feel like you, yourself, have had a string of great comments, instead of individually sharing each of them, consider consolidating them and sharing them as a group via a dedicated post. Walk the fine line between promotion and over-promotion, ok?
A note: People who are new to the forum may not understand the history at play here with some of these issues. GT has had problems with persistent trolls in the past. Some of them were porn spammers (see the pornography rule above). Some of them were spammers, who would fill the board with repeated posts about Pokemon or gifs or lists of numbers that would sometimes go pages deep. As such, there is a certain wariness about the same person or group of persons repeatedly sharing multiple comments they made, especially if they come grouped together rapidly, and despite the sharers intent.
As authors, you have often assisted us by removing shares that are inappropriate for a variety of reasons, and we are always thankful to find that a shitstorm has been averted before we even hear about it. If we have given you authorship privileges on this forum, it is a show of our faith in you. We ask that you do not abuse this faith by unsharing comments or posts that do not violate our standards. Do not unshare someone's comments just because you don't like the author. Seriously, behave like adults. If you feel that a poster is "oversharing" or causing an issue with what they choose to share on the forum, just let us know.
As authors, we appreciate that you help identify new voices on the board by following them from "grey" to "black". Once a person has been followed, there is absolutely no reason any author on this forum should be unfollowing them. Period. If you think a commenter someone has "followed" will be an issue for the site, speak to us about it so we can keep an eye on the situation.
Any author who repeatedly unfollows the same person, or repeatedly unshares the same person's posts is, in fact, violating the "don't be a jerk" rule. A warning – while we are unable to track this behavior at this time, that does not mean we will not be able to in the future, and I will consider this behavior abusive and worthy of deauthoring, unfollowing, and/or banning.