As I mentioned in a different thread, Lauren and I are making a few changes to the forums. I just wanted to share a bit of general thinking about the forums, and then tell you about some of the specific changes.
In some iteration of the site FAQ, posters were asked to think of the forums as a cocktail party. I like that image. You're at a cocktail party, and people are standing around and talking about different topics. If you walk up to a group, you check out the conversation a bit before jumping in. You may disagree with other people, and tell them that, but you do it politely. You don't throw your drink in someone's face and call them an idiot. After you've made your point once or twice and it's clear that someone continues to disagree with you, you let it be and move on to a different topic. And if someone else violates one of these rules and commits a faux pas, you overlook it and let it go by without comment, because that's the gracious thing to do.
In short, you should able to have a conversation with other posters in which you demonstrate mutual respect. And you should be able to disagree with each other without getting personal. And if you can't, and if you are constantly trying to stir up fights, you're going to be asked to leave. And if someone else is doing all that stuff, either ignore the other poster or report him or her. The mods will enforce the rules.
Some specific changes:
1) There will be no "unpopular opinions" thread, no "bitterness" thread, and no threads devoted just to fans or enemies of a particular relationship. There should be no need for one point of view to be privileged over any other in any section of these forums. If you have an opinion about makeup, or a character, or an episode, or an actor, you should share that opinion in the appropriate thread. If you feel that you are being attacked over that opinion, e-mail me or another mod (or report the attack in the Forum Traffic Court).
2) I hate portmanteau names applied to relationships. I think they're completely smurfy and disgusting. You're free to continue to use those names if you want to, but don't put them into thread titles.
3) There's way too much fighting over people's perceptions of the body size of various characters or actors (mostly female). I've asked people to knock it off in a few threads because it's gotten way too personal and angry. But even where that kind of talk might be appropriate or allowed, there will be no tolerance for the use of ugly or hate-filled words to describe various body types. If you call a perfectly healthy woman like Katherine Heigel a "fat cow," you might as well have aimed that insult at a poster.
I think the overwhelming majority of posters in this section are smart and sane and have interesting things to say. And I think there are a few posters who take things way too personally and are always looking to stir up some shit. Those over-invested shit-stirrers need to calm down or leave so everyone else can enjoy the conversation.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, comments, insults, related to any of these changes, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by LTG, Oct 5, 2006 @ 10:34 AM.