Site Rules & Guidelines

CONTACT YOUR MODERATORS

  • Responding to a comment of theirs. Respond to an old one if you want your post to be more private.
  • If you can’t easily find an old comment, you can tag them in an old thread. For that, you need their Disqus handle (the “username” in the URL). Syntax is @disqus_handle:disqus. Example: @space_robot:disqus For the full list of moderators, see the Board of Directors.
  • Email us at avocadomods@gmail.com

NOTES ON FLAGGING

  • When in doubt, flag a post you think we should have a look at. That doesn’t always mean it gets close enough for a deletion or warning. It’s perfectly okay to flag posts which you think we should be aware of for any reason at all.
  • With one exception (see below), it doesn’t matter which reason you choose for flagging, because we’re not actually shown. Just use any option to get our attention, that’s good enough.
  • Said exception: “I disagree with this user”, because that does nothing and we will not see the flag.
  • Users don’t get a notification or are made aware that their post has been flagged by you, so don’t worry.
  • While we can track down a post through the mod panel when it gets flagged, due to Disqus borkiness, we don’t always get the full context. If you think a flagged post may look relatively innocent out of context, it’s best to flag and also email us at avocadomods@gmail.com to explain the context. Links and screenshots are ALWAYS appreciated, as well.

RULES

Rules are non-negotiable and violations thereof may lead to official warnings or bans. We have a three-strike ban policy, details can be found below under “Community Management”.

We are obliged to follow DISQUS’s Basic Rules and a list of those can be found here.

Hate Speech/Bigotry

This shouldn’t need to be stated, but we don’t accept hate speech here. This includes racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, slut shaming, or any of the many bigotries you can think of. Don’t do that stuff here. It WILL result in a warning.

Also, generally speaking: don’t be an asshole.

1. Flirting and Downtalk

Be mindful and respectful of other people’s boundaries.

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Some users are open to various levels of flirtation or down-talking, while others may not be. Please don’t go in assuming people will be okay with your flirting or down-talk.

This rule also encompasses the rule about “thirst posts”. We are aware that the rules around this are somewhat nebulous, and it’s often a “we know it when we see it” situation. Nevertheless we will still be removing posts that are nothing but objectification of people of any gender. This includes just sharing images for the purpose of talking about someone’s looks or physical features as well as comments about how much a particular person arouses you. Nobody cares about your pants feels.

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2. Doxxing and Other Personal Information

Posting other people’s personal information is strictly prohibited

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This includes that of non-users. The rule covers posting photos of other people without their consent (unless it’s a published photo of a member of the public) or sharing other identifiable information such as full names, addresses, etc.

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3. Disputes

Moderators have the final say in any dispute, unless it contradicts the rules posted here.

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If you have an issue that cannot be addressed by flagging, like with another user, a mod, or the board in general, please let either me know (best way by replying to a comment of ours. Choose a super old one if you want to remain private) or all mods via the moderator email account (avocadomods@gmail.com).

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4. Targeted Harassment/Bullying

While disagreements are a normal part of community life, don’t intentionally provoke people.

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We all end up in clashes with other members sometimes, and that’s okay, as long as you’re not breaking any of the other rules of the community. That being said, spamming a member as to provoke or incite a negative reaction or to constantly reinforce past grievances constitutes targeted harassment. Please remember to use empathy and your best discretion to know the difference between “loving ribbing” and “outright bullying”.

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5. Sticky Threads

Only Avocado mods and admins may sticky WordPress posts.

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This refers to pinning them to the front page. Do NOT select this option when you make a new thread as we will remove the pin.

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6. Slurs and the automod list

The Avocado has a list of banned words, all of which are slurs. The existence of that list is not and will never be up for discussion.

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When appropriate, we will discuss additions to the list with the community beforehand. However, we understand that there are some limited contexts where a slur might be used: in a quote, as part of a title of something, or as used as a “reclaimed” slur by a member of that group. We expect people to remember who can reclaim words: if you are not a member of the group included in the slur, don’t use it. We ask that if you always obscure a slur in some way, and err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure whether or not something is a slur. We also ask that you NEVER use a slur against another person, whether they are a member here or not.

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7.  Considerate Insults/the Red Handle Rule

Please be considerate about collateral damage when using generalized insults. Marginalized groups “punching up” will be given more leeway.

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We ask that you please be considerate of who else is catching flak when you cast a wide net of insults against a certain group of people. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Body shaming (e.g. attacking Trump’s weight)
  • Gender bashing (e.g. “Women are bad at math.”)
  • Region bashing (e.g. Florida memes)
  • Religion bashing (e.g. “Believing in deities is stupid.”, “Atheists have no moral compass.”)
  • Age bashing (e.g. “Millennials are entitled”, “Boomers are out of touch.”)

However, in the context of marginalized groups airing grievances about their oppressors as a group (“punching up”), we will allow more leeway when it comes to whether or not we intervene. Similarly, we also recognize that using certain shorthand phrases as pushback against bad-faith arguments which don’t deserve a thought-out and comprehensive reply has its uses.

In both cases, we encourage people who share a certain trait with somebody being punched up against to keep in mind that if they have not partaken in the particular behavior which is (implicitly) being criticized, then the person punching up is not really targeting you.

Those exceptions aside, comments that disregard this will be deleted and warnings will be issued for repeated behavior. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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GUIDELINES

GUIDELINES THAT ARE CONTINUOUSLY EVALUATED AND UPDATED TO REFLECT OUR COMMUNITY – We ask that you keep these things in mind. Violations can lead to a warning or deletion.

1. Creating New Discussions

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New discussions should be open focused to foster discussion. For regularly themed threads, users should be deferential to folks who have created or taken up the mantle of daily or weekly discussions of a certain theme, and have either not officially surrendered those discussions or have not gone dormant.

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2. Adult Content in General-Purpose Discussions

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Content should be kept to a level similar to what’s on basic cable television channels. Nudity or lascivious imagery should not be posted. Discussions created specifically to discuss things of a more adult nature can progress further, though nothing beyond “hard R” in terms of images can be posted. Also, THESE DISCUSSIONS MUST BE MARKED AS ‘NSFW’ IN THE DISCUSSION TITLE.

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3. Handling Arguments and Vagueposting

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Disagreements are going to happen in a community of this size. If you find yourself in one that you are not comfortable with, walk away. If you need a mod to step in because someone is not letting you do that, flag the post, or notify a mod. Do not go over to other threads or further up the thread and create a new post with the intent of continuing the disagreement elsewhere, rallying support from those who don’t see the whole picture, or just rehash what happened, or other forms of vagueposting. Also, do not make posts with the intention of inciting drama, such as bragging about blocking people or bringing up fights you were not involved in.

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4. Taking a Breather

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Connected to the above guideline is a suggestion: when you find yourself getting extremely upset or worked up about what is a simple disagreement, consider stepping away from the forum and doing something else until you feel calmer.

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5. External Hangouts

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While we have no way to police what goes on in external hangouts, you should be behaving there the same way you would here on The Avocado. If someone is harassing you or otherwise breaking our community rules in such spaces, let the mods know and provide screencaps. This applies to other outside interactions like email, chats, games, etc. If someone is giving you trouble, let the mods know and provide screenshots.

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6.  Politics in the OT

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While we appreciate that there are many members here who have an interest in discussing the current political climate, we ask that you recognize that political talk can be inherently stressful for some members. Therefore, please show consideration to them and keep outright political talk in the separately designated daily politics threads.

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7. Spoilers

Spoiler

We ask that you be considerate of people’s desires to avoid spoilers of newly released or recently released media here on The Avocado. That means if you are discussing plot points or other spoilers for something newly released or recently released you should either keep your discussion to spoiler spaces/threads specific to that media or be using spoiler tags or both. If you post said spoilers outside specific spoiler spaces, such as in the Open Threads, use spoiler tags. If people ask you to add those tags, be polite and add them. You can add spoiler tags using < spoiler > text here < / spoiler >, minus the spaces.

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8. Serious Talk

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If you post a serious topic in the OT and would prefer only responses that are also serious in tone, tag your post at the beginning with /serious. It’s a good idea to do so in bold so people can see it clearly, but not required. Avoid using just /s to denote seriousness, as that is also the “sarcasm” tag. The same general notes about reporting problem posts then apply: you may want to shoot an email to the mod email, as a flag may not give us enough context to know why the post is flagged.

If you see a /serious tag, respect it and do not respond to that person with jokes or snark. If you disregard a /serious tag, your post may be deleted. This applies site-wide, not just to the OT.

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9. Make No Threats

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Formerly The McSquirrel Rule, we updated the language to get across the seriousness of this rule. Threats (real, hypothetical, or otherwise) against public officials, public figures, ordinary people, and other commenters is strictly prohibited not only by the Avocado but by Disqus guidelines. Do not use the word “McSquirrel” to get around this guideline. Such comments will be deleted.

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10. Bad Takes

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Please refrain from making posts that feature reposts of bigoted/otherwise horrific things said by people with no political power. “People with no political power” would mean unverified Twitter randos, people on Breitbart or similar sites, and people who otherwise are not an important part of the political landscape. If you feel you absolutely most repost something along these lines, use a spoiler with a content warning, with specific notes about what content is behind the spoiler. Note that with Twitter, mobile links make it easier to spoiler tag the content. Posts that do not do this will be deleted.

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11. Be Aware of Privilege

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Give consideration to the perspectives of our members of color, LGBTQ members, and members who identify as women – they often feel like they have to speak louder than others if even given that opportunity. If they voice a concern about something, listen. Understand. Take a moment to examine yourself as well.

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12. PT Guideline: Twitter embeds

Spoiler

When posting a Twitter embed, please include some context and/or the text of the embed for those who cannot read embeds, and to help encourage discussion. If a story is breaking and you don’t see it in the featured post alert, an exception is made.

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13. Trigger warnings

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When it doubt, use a trigger or content warning for potentially upsetting topics, and specifically include notes on what the content is (as in “trigger warning for homophobia”).

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14. Fundraising

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We get it! Sometimes hardships hit us in life, and we find ourselves unable to pay our bills or cover a needed expense. We do allow people to link to their GoFundMe or other fundraisers here on the Avocado. However, we ask that you limit your fundraising requests: two requests per member per year are allowed. That does not mean two posts linking to requests; it just means two fundraisers are accepted. After that, we’d like you to find other avenues for assistance. Do not direct your on-site requests to specific individuals, ever. That will result in deletion and potentially a warning.

To this end, we’d like you to alert the mod team that you plan to link to a fundraiser before you do. We don’t need to know any of the details. We’re not approving or denying requests based on merit; we’d just like to know that you’re planning on linking one so we can keep track of the number of requests. The previously established rule that mods will not feature or otherwise officially endorse commenters’ fundraisers will continue.

Patreons for artists/creatives are not included in this rule, as that falls under self-promotion. Just be sure not to rise to the level of spamming with links to your self-promotion.

The mod team will not feature fundraising requests.

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15: Live-blogging

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Live-blogging things in the OT and the PT can be confusing and spammy, especially when context is lost to the multitude of other discussions happening simultaneously. So we’d like to ask anyone who is live-blogging something they are watching to keep their reactions to a single top-level comment or start a new thread (good for events where many people want to give live reactions like season premiers of major shows or political debates/elections). This way we can maintain context, keep the threads from moving too fast for anyone to keep up, and make sure people who are interested can find all the related content.

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Community Management

Daily/Nightly Open Discussions

What they are, how to make one etc.

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An “open” discussion will be posted twice a day, scheduled for 11:00 Eastern (08:00 Pacific) and 23:00 (11pm) Eastern (20:00/8pm Pacific). These open discussions are pretty much a free-for-all with no specific focus, just be mindful of the rules and guidelines. If you sign up to post an open thread, be sure to schedule it ahead of time so it goes up at the correct time. Also be sure to check the sign up sheet to make sure that slot is free. If any person continually posts open threads at the wrong time or posts duplicates, the mod team will discuss changing your publishing privileges.

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Moderators

Where we make them, what they do, …

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Moderators may be appointed at the discretion of the existing mods, based on various criteria.

While it is impossible to accommodate everybody in all scenarios, we do generally strive to make this community a welcoming place for all, and if you have any issues with site moderation, please contact us at avocadomods@gmail.com.

Please note that you are allowed to block moderators, but it isn’t recommended, because if you have a mod blocked and therefore miss a warning you have received from that mod, we will STILL count that as an official mod warning.

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Ban Policy
  • Warnings stay active for six months after being issued.
  • Three warnings equal a temporary or permanent ban, depending on severity. This is up to the discretion of the mods.
  • If you are banned temporarily you will be told the length of the ban and the mods will keep a record of when it happened as well. The default temp ban period is 1 month, but that can be more or less at the discretion of the mod team.
  • After that time is up, email us and we will remove the ban.
  • Once you’re back to posting again you will be on a one strike basis. One strike in the first three months after your temporary ban will result in a permanent ban. There are no second chances after that one strike.
  • Creating alternate accounts to circumvent your ban will result in a permanent ban on all accounts, including the original one, and negate any attempt to appeal your original ban.
  • If you do wish to appeal your banning, the proper venue is to email avocadomods@gmail.com. Please note however that we rarely ban without a reason.