Forum policy review 2018

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linguoboy
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-16, 18:26

vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I actually use nonstandard spellings here fairly regularly when writing Irish or (Cajun) French. But I guess because these are based in dialect usage, they don't raise people's hackles in the same way.

Well, you write (or at least make an honest effort to write) Irish and French in ways that native speakers actually write them themselves, right? I think that's a pretty important difference.

I don't know any native speakers who use an orthography identical to the one I use for either of those languages. (For instance, the Irish orthography I use is similar to that of the Coiste Litríochta Mhúscraí in some respects, but there are several of their conventions I don't use, such as writing lth for Ó Cuív's /lh/.)

The points is, this distinction gets pretty grey and I don't think we want to be in the business of trying to draw any firm boundaries. As Ashucky says, if the choice of a nonstandard orthography becomes disruptive, then mods can deal with it on a case-by-case basis.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-04-16, 19:21

linguoboy wrote:I actually use nonstandard spellings here fairly regularly when writing Irish or (Cajun) French. But I guess because these are based in dialect usage, they don't raise people's hackles in the same way.

Another difference is that AFAIK you make it clear that certain spellings you use are nonstandard. IMHO the main problem is when someone uses nonstandard spelling (or grammar or vocabulary) as if they are standard and doesn't indicate in any way that they aren't. I agree that a hard rule wouldn't be a good idea here, but I think we can certainly add a guideline recommending standard spelling (grammar, vocabulary) to avoid confusing people who are learning the language, and indicating in some way if a usage isn't standard.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-23, 19:16

One thing which I don't think ever came up in the previous (ongoing?) discussion but which was a long-running sore spot for me is overenforcement of the ban on "backseat moderation".

I understand not wanting an environment where everyone is a freelance cop, trying to enforce rules willy-nilly in discussions they are involved in. But in practice, this has meant that reasonable suggestions to "take the discussion elsewhere" when it becomes inappropriate for a thread have been greeted with warnings by moderators. I don't see what's wrong with making a suggestion like this, or even raising the question of whether a thread should be split in the thread itself before petitioning a moderator. (Because sometimes a side discussion is winding down anyway and creating a new thread wouldn't be worth it.) This is convention pretty much everywhere else I frequent on the Internet and it seems to work just fine.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-08-27, 16:41

That sounds reasonable. Personally I don't see anything wrong with even citing forum policy in an attempt to warn someone (or something similar), as long as it doesn't come across as an official warning.

Also, I still consider this an ongoing discussion, even if nothing has been discussed in a few months. When issues related to forum policy and moderation come up, this could be the place where we discuss them - be it existing, ongoing, or new issues.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-08-29, 8:47

So, here's a new draft:

1. User accounts

    1.1 Do not choose an offensive username.

    1.2 You are allowed to have only 1 account. If you have a deactivated account, see 1.6; you are to ask for that to be reactivated instead of creating a new one. If you forgot your username/password, you can contact a forum administrator asking for your account to be reset.

    1.3 Contact the forum administrators via PM if you want to change your username. It may only be changed once in any 6 month period.

    1.4 If you for any reason can't log into the forum and need to contact the forum administrators, send an e-mail to unilang@unilang.org
    Ex. Your account is deactivated, you've forgotten your password and can't reset it using “I forgot my password”, or you're currently banned.

    1.5 If you haven’t made any posts from your account and it's older than 6 months, your account may be deleted in an account purge.

    1.6 If you have made at least one post, you may deactivate your account by contacting the forum administrators.
      • This is is done instead of deleting an account, since deleting the account destroys the ability to follow threads.
      • All it leaves is the account’s username. However, all posts will remain.
      • Your account must remain deactivated for at least 6 months.
      • You must contact the forum administrators for reactivation. You can do so via the contact form or e-mail.
      • If you discuss it with the forum administrators first, deactivation for a period of less than 6 months is possible with a good reason.


2. Behavior and general rules

    2.1 General guidelines:
      • Be nice to other members and visitors to the forum.
      • Treat people the way you would want to be treated.
      • Be civil, show respect for other members and their views.
      • Use normal netiquette.

    2.2 Do not:
      • Ridicule, mock or insult other members.
      • Post for the sole purpose of getting reactions from other members (in other words, do not troll).
      • Fill the forum with a lot of meaningless posts.
    2.3 Language - We do not censor language. Cursing is permitted as long as it is not used to offend another.

      2.3.1 Examples of what is allowed:
        • “That’s fucking great!”
        • “This book is fucking stupid!”
      2.3.2 Examples of what is forbidden:
        • “You’re a fucking idiot!”
        • “Fuck you!”

    2.4 If you think that someone is breaking the rules:
      • Report the post, there is a button for that in the header of all posts.
      • Do not comment on it or reply to it in the thread itself.
      • Private messages are reported in the same manner as posts.
      • All communication between users and moderators is confidential. A moderator will never reveal the contents of a conversation to anyone outside the moderation team without the user's consent.

3. Promotion and spam

    3.1 Allowed:
      • Linking to a blog, personal or commercial website which contributes to a post or topic.
      • Linking to a survey with an academic purpose, if you ask the forum administrators for permission first.
      • In signatures, links to non-commercial sites that have to do with languages.
      • In signatures, links to a personal blog or website, as long as it’s non-commercial.

    3.2 Forbidden:
      • Posts whose sole purpose is promoting any website or blog, non-commercial or otherwise.
      • In signatures, links to commercial websites.
      • Unauthorized posts whose sole purpose is getting answers for a survey.
      • Private messages advertising commercial goods or services, as well as non-genuine romantic private messages, seeking to mislead another user.
      • Joining for the sole purpose of promoting a website or a blog, non-commercial or otherwise.

4. Forum posts

    4.1 Keep posts on topic, if you feel the need to discuss something that is not, do so where it is appropriate, or create a new thread. If a discussion goes off-topic for more than one page, the moderators may split it into a separate thread.

    4.2 Do not post in old threads unless you have something that contributes to them. Similarly, do not create a new thread unless you have something to contribute about the topic.

    4.3 Do not create a new thread if one already exists, however exceptions can be made for threads that are very outdated, and should be made for threads which have had their topic completely changed through off-topic posts.

    4.4 Do not write posts with identical or very similar content in multiple sub-forums. If you want input from speakers of several different languages or people from several different countries, post it in the General Forum, the General Language Forum, or in one of their sub-forums, which one depends on the topic and type of thread.
    4.5 Information about other users

      4.5.1 Allowed:
        • Using the given name of another user if it is already common knowledge.
        • Posting the personal details of a non-user that are public knowledge.
        Ex. “The President of the United States lives in the White House”, “Elvis lived at Graceland”.
      4.5.2 Forbidden:
        • Posting another user’s personal information.
        Ex. Account details, addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, etc.
        • Giving away another user’s identity without permission.
        • Exchanging any personal details of a non-user that are not public knowledge.
        Ex. “Zhang Ziyi, the lead actress in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon lives at [her address]”.

    4.6 File-sharing and piracy

      4.6.1 Allowed:
        • Links to torrents or downloadable material in the public domain, or material to which the user owns the copyright.
        • Explaining how torrents work for users who wish to download legal material.
        • Links to streaming content which does not break any other terms.
        • Discussions about piracy.
      4.6.2 Forbidden:
        • Explaining how to obtain illegal or pirated material.
        • Linking to downloadable illegal or pirated material.
        Ex. Copyrighted books, films, music, software, etc.

    4.7 Sexual and romantic content and nudity

      4.7.1 Allowed
        • Non-sexual flirting, regardless of gender.
        Ex. “You’re cute”, and “I’d take you out for dinner”.
        • Posting sex-related posts in the appropriate thread.
        Ex. The random threads, but not in threads with a specific, non-sexual subject.
        • Clearly artistic historical works depicting nude people.
      4.7.2 Forbidden:
        • Sexual flirting.
        • Graphic depictions of sex.
        • Graphic depictions of body parts and fluids.
        • Pictures or drawings that:
          - are clearly pornographic
          - show pubic hair (including the mons pubis if there is no hair)
          - show nudity with the genitalia covered by a hand or object
          - show exposed breasts
          - show genitalia

    4.8 Editing posts

      4.8.1 Allowed:
        • Correcting typos, spelling errors and grammatical errors.
        • Clarifications of what you meant, before too many have answered.
      4.8.2 Forbidden:
        • Deleting all of the content.
        • Twisting the content so that the actual meaning of it becomes something else.
      4.8.3 The ability to edit your posts can be restricted should these rules be continuously broken or ignored.

    4.9 Pictures

      4.9.1 Allowed:
        • Posting a picture which you hold the right to, unless another Unilang member is visible in it, in which case you need that member’s expressed consent.
        • Posting a picture which you don’t hold the right to if you have been given permission by the person who does.
        • Posting a picture belonging to the free domain.


    4.10 Spelling

      • It is recommended that posts be written in standard or conventional orthographies


5. Private messages

    5.1 The rules for behavior on the forum also apply to private messages.

    5.2 Allowed:
      • Forwarding a private message to the forum administrators if a rule violation is suspected.
    5.3 Forbidden:
      • Posting any private message on the forum without expressed consent by the author.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-09-03, 16:53

Is there anything in there about allowing users to delete a post if no one has replied?
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-03, 17:39

It says we're not allowed to delete all the content from a post.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-09-03, 17:50

vijayjohn wrote:It says we're not allowed to delete all the content from a post.

Yeah I know. I guess my question was to initiate a discussion about whether that policy (of not deleting all content) should be changed? Sometimes we might respond full of emotion and then regret what we said. So, if no one else has replied, I personally don't see the harm in having a rule allowing someone to delete their post provided they give reason, which you can do when you go to delete a post.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-09-03, 17:59

Honestly, the reality is that people delete their posts on this forum if they feel like it, and they don't state a reason. I've never once heard of this being noticed by the admins, let alone punished. I've also never seen it cause any sort of disruption.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-09-03, 19:15

There's a reason the rule about not deleting your posts or editing them significantly made it into the forum policy in the first place, namely that such things had happened. I remember a case where someone heavily edited the content of a post of theirs, completely changing the meaning of a post made by another member in response.

dEhiN wrote:I guess my question was to initiate a discussion about whether that policy (of not deleting all content) should be changed? Sometimes we might respond full of emotion and then regret what we said. So, if no one else has replied, I personally don't see the harm in having a rule allowing someone to delete their post provided they give reason, which you can do when you go to delete a post.

In my opinion, it's okay to delete a post or replace the content with [content removed now that I've calmed down/due to overreacting previously/for [reason]], provided nobody has made another post in that thread and it's been, say, an hour or at most two since you made the post.

It's also fine to delete a post and re-post the content if you realise you've posted in the wrong thread, largely under the same circumstances as the situation above.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Johanna » 2018-09-07, 22:27

Aurinĭa wrote:There's a reason the rule about not deleting your posts or editing them significantly made it into the forum policy in the first place, namely that such things had happened. I remember a case where someone heavily edited the content of a post of theirs, completely changing the meaning of a post made by another member in response.

dEhiN wrote:I guess my question was to initiate a discussion about whether that policy (of not deleting all content) should be changed? Sometimes we might respond full of emotion and then regret what we said. So, if no one else has replied, I personally don't see the harm in having a rule allowing someone to delete their post provided they give reason, which you can do when you go to delete a post.

In my opinion, it's okay to delete a post or replace the content with [content removed now that I've calmed down/due to overreacting previously/for [reason]], provided nobody has made another post in that thread and it's been, say, an hour or at most two since you made the post.

It's also fine to delete a post and re-post the content if you realise you've posted in the wrong thread, largely under the same circumstances as the situation above.

Didn't there use to be a clause in the policy that explicitly said that it was OK to delete your own post if it was still the last one in the thread? I think it was based on the fact that it was possible by default in the forum software and we didn't really disagree with that...

I can't check the relevant threads any more, but I'm pretty sure that either Bryon and I included it from the get-go, or it was added later on when someone on the admin team pointed out that we should have a specific rule for that. Or maybe it never made it to the policy itself or just became moderator praxis?

In any case, I think it should be in the policy if it's actually OK. It's not like it would be the only exception.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-09-07, 23:37

It was never explicitly written in the policy.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Johanna » 2018-09-07, 23:58

Aurinĭa wrote:It was never explicitly written in the policy.

Ahh. Time to add it now then?
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-09-21, 15:13

Johanna wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:It was never explicitly written in the policy.

Ahh. Time to add it now then?

And the answer to that is...?

Elsewhere I wrote (somewhat intemperately):
You don't need a poll, you just need to default to not merging threads unless there's a really good reason to do so. I've never understood why the moderators here get so merge-happy. Threads are not a finite resource; it's not like we hit 300 (or whatever) and then have to start deleting them.

I suspect moderators would appreciate having some firmer guidelines on when to merge (or split) discussion threads as much as other users would.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-09-21, 15:28

linguoboy wrote:
Johanna wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:It was never explicitly written in the policy.

Ahh. Time to add it now then?

And the answer to that is...?

I vote for adding it in.

linguoboy wrote:Elsewhere I wrote (somewhat intemperately):
You don't need a poll, you just need to default to not merging threads unless there's a really good reason to do so. I've never understood why the moderators here get so merge-happy. Threads are not a finite resource; it's not like we hit 300 (or whatever) and then have to start deleting them.

I suspect moderators would appreciate having some firmer guidelines on when to merge (or split) discussion threads as much as other users would.

I think a merger rule such as merging if two or more active threads are talking about the same topic should exist. However, I can see there being problems about similar topics, including if one subsumes the other. In the example you quoted, if, for example, the old, non-active thread, entitled "Board games" was active, and at the same time the thread "Tabletop games" was initiated, should they be kept separate or merged? If merged, in which direction?

As for splitting, I believe there is a rule about splitting a thread if there is off-topic discussion that persists for more than a page.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Johanna » 2018-09-23, 9:46

dEhiN wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Johanna wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:It was never explicitly written in the policy.

Ahh. Time to add it now then?

And the answer to that is...?

I vote for adding it in.

I vote for that too, this is a clear-cut example of when you should make practice into [written] policy.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Car » 2018-09-23, 14:33

Johanna wrote:
dEhiN wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Johanna wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:It was never explicitly written in the policy.

Ahh. Time to add it now then?

And the answer to that is...?

I vote for adding it in.

I vote for that too, this is a clear-cut example of when you should make practice into [written] policy.

I agree.
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