WAYS TO CONTACT YOUR MODERATORS:
Responding to a comment of theirs. Respond to an old one if you want your post to be more private.
Email us at the mod email: email@example.com
Tweet us at https://twitter.com/AvocadoMods
TWO NOTES ON FLAGGING:
It’s important to note that one of the flagging reason options, “I disagree with this user”, is basically a trash can for Disqus: the mod team doesn’t see it, the flag goes nowhere. Do not use this reason option if you want the mods to actually see the flag! Otherwise, the Avocado mod team does not see the reason you use, so go with your heart and choose whatever reason speaks to you.
Flagging a post with any other reason will make that specific post show up in our mod queue as “pending”, and will sometimes allow us to see the immediate context surrounding that post. However, it doesn’t always show context. If you think a flagged post may look relatively innocent out of context, it’s best to flag and also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to explain the context. Links and screenshots are ALWAYS appreciated, as well.
RULES: Rules are non-negotiable and may lead to official warnings or bannings.
We are obliged to follow DISQUS’s Basic Rules and a list of those can be found here.
Also, 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.
1. Flirting and Downtalk: Be mindful and respectful of other people’s boundaries. Some users are open to various levels of flirtation or down-talking, while others may not be. Everyone should feel free to politely state whether they’re being pushed out of their comfort zone, and everyone else must be able to respect that, as long as it’s reasonable. Please don’t go in assuming people will be okay with your flirting or down-talk. If you have an issue with content that some others may not, please discuss it with the moderators to see if we can accommodate everyone as best as possible.
2. Doxxing and Other Personal Information: Posting other people’s personal information is strictly prohibited, including that of non-users – this includes 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.
3. Disputes: Moderators have the final say in any dispute, unless it contradicts the rules posted here. 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 (email@example.com).
4. Moderators: Moderators may be appointed at the discretion of the existing mods. Mods are chosen based on their competence, attitude, availability, and respect within the AVCAD community, plus whether they’re crazy enough to actually accept the role. However, IT IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST. No one is appointed just because they want it, or because they’re prominent. I can only ask you all to PLEASE view mods as custodians of our little society, rather than superiors, and for the mods to act accordingly. Also, we won’t remove a moderator unless there’s an extremely good reason to, but mods can request themselves to be removed (temporarily or permanently) and we will do so.
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.
5. Targeted Harassment/Bullying: 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. For example, if you know another member doesn’t like one type of joke, consistently replying to them with that joke can be harassment. Similarly, if you’ve had an argument with a particular member months ago, continually responding to all their comments with “hey, remember that time you said Batman vs. Superman is great?” in an effort to upset them can be harassment, too. I know we all goof around with each other sometimes are there are instances of this exact same behavior that would be a welcome in-joke, of course. But please remember to use empathy and your best discretion to know the difference between “loving ribbing” and “outright bullying”.
6. Ban Evasion: If you are banned from The Avocado for any reason, you are not permitted to create a new account under a different name to try and avoid that banning: the new account will be banned as well. Any attempts at ban evasion will negate any attempt you make to appeal your banning. If you do wish to appeal your banning, the proper venue is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note however that we rarely ban without a reason.
7. Sticky Threads: Only Avocado mods and admins may sticky threads, by which we mean pinning them to the front page. Do NOT select this option when you make a new thread as we will remove the pin.
8. Invasion Protocol: Once in a blue moon, our channel will get invaded by groups of trolls from other sites. It happened more frequently when we were just a simple Disqus channel, and some were quite inane and just annoying. However, some of these invasions included graphic, violent images that no one needed to see. When our site is being targeted by an invading channel, flag the posts. Do not engage, and do not go over to the invading site and attempt to counter-troll. Doing so will result in a warning. Also, when these invasions occur, we will close down the threads that they are occuring in temporarily in order to clean everything up. These invasions most frequently occur in the open threads. Do not take the thread being closed down as an opportunity to just go into other themed threads and treat them like the open thread. Not only is it not productive, but it draws attention to those threads from the invading sites, causing us to have to close those threads down as well. So when an invasion occurs and we close threads, just take a breather, go pet an alligator or walk your pet chupacabra or something of that nature. Going without the open thread for a half hour is not the end of the world.
9. Slurs and the automod list: The Avocado has a list of banned words, all of which are slurs. The existence and content of that list is not up for discussion. 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 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.
Automodded words put the post directly into our queue and mods will use consideration and discretion to determine if a slur is being used in one of the abovementioned ways and approve the post if so. We also 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.
GUIDELINES THAT ARE CONTINUOUSLY EVALUATED AND UPDATED TO REFLECT OUR COMMUNITY – Violating a guideline may result in a warning or deletion of post/thread:
1. Creating New Discussions: New discussions should be open focused to foster discussion. For regularly themed threads(i.e Frinkiac, Mental Health, etc), 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.
2. Daily/Nightly Open Discussions: 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. Anyone can make an Open Thread but it’s best to check on the current one to see if the next has been claimed to prevent duplication. 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.
3. Adult Content in General-Purpose Discussions: content should be kept to a level similar to what basic cable television channels. Remember that swear words are automatically sent to the mod-holding pin. Nudity or lascivious imagery should not be posted unless it’s so cartoony that no one would mistake it as true “adult content”, and the use of spoiler tags to block the image so those who are browsing at work don’t have issues is encouraged.
4. Adult Content in Specialized Discussions: Discussions created specifically to discuss things of a more adult nature (such as the weekly fanfic thread) can progress further, though nothing beyond “hard R” in terms of images can be posted, and links to pornographic content must be marked as such. Also, THESE DISCUSSIONS MUST BE MARKED AS ‘NSFW’ IN THE DISCUSSION TITLE.
5. Handling Arguments and Vagueposting: 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. Before creating a new post, ask yourself “does what I’m about to post help resolve this conflict, or is it likely to just create more drama and conflict?”. 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. This is an online forum, not a middle school.
6. Taking a Breather: Connected to the above guideline is a suggestion: when you find yourself getting extremely upset or worked up about what is a simple disagreement (as opposed to things that outright break the rules or issues like hate speech and harassment), consider stepping away from the forum and doing something else until you feel calmer. It is sometimes easy to get very worked up or upset about internet discussions: it’s hard to read tone! But often sticking around to try and get the last word or to respond to every single post makes things worse for all involved, when taking a short break to go do something else might diffuse things.
7. Rabbit and Other External Hangouts: While we have no way to police what goes on in Rabbit 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 Rabbit, 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.
8. Considerate Insults/the Red Handle Rule: We ask that you please be considerate of who else is catching flak when you cast a wide net of insults about the looks of various politicians and pundits, or when you insult them based entirely on their gender. For example, when you want to post about Trump, we suggest you think about how people who are larger might feel if you comment in an extremely derogatory manner about his weight. Similarly, it is not okay to call Kellyanne Conway misogynistic slurs just because she’s an awful person. Please keep in mind that the religious beliefs, or lack thereof, of others are included in this guideline. Also included in this guideline are age/generation, what state or country a person is from (or bashing an entire state or country), looks in general, weight. In short: do not mock people for aspects about themselves they cannot change. Comments that disregard this will be deleted and warnings will be issued for repeated behavior. We ask that you read this article for more thoughts about these kinds of posts.
9. Politics in the OT: 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. If the politics thread is slow, feel free to announce in the OT that you have made a post there to direct discussion there. Otherwise, please try and keep controversial political talk out of the Open Threads.
10. Spoilers: 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 (whether it be a movie, TV show, book, etc), 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.
11. Flag Abuse: We want you to feel free to flag posts that break the rules or guidelines here! But that is exactly what flagging is for: alerting us to posts that break the rules/guidelines. Flagging is not for posts you simply disagree with, users you don’t like, or as a replacement for downvotes. If we notice a user repeatedly flagging posts that don’t break any rules (keeping in mind that if a post IS breaking rules but may seem innocuous out of context you should alert us at the mod email so we have that context), we will consider issuing a warning to that user for flag abuse.
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.
Please note that sarcastically using the /serious tag is NOT encouraged. Also please avoid using just /s to denote seriousness, as that is also the “sarcasm” tag.
13. Make No Threats: 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.
14. PT Guideline: Bad Takes: 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.
15. PT Guideline: Be Aware of Privilege: 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. This should be considered a site-wide guideline as well, but applies in particular to the PT.
16. PT Guideline: Twitter embeds: 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.
17. Trigger warnings: 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”).
18. This is more of a polite suggestion than a guideline. If you have a WordPress account, when reading an article that you’re commenting on, it would be nice if you would like the article itself instead of just recommending the Disqus comment section of the article. Liking the articles will increase The Avocado’s visibility, searchability and traffic while simply recommending the Disqus comment section will not. Just a thing to keep in mind going forward.
19. This is more of a notice than a guideline. Beginning now, the mods will no longer feature Go Fund Me or other fundraising efforts by members. This is for several reasons: to avoid appearances of favoritism, to avoid liability issues should a fundraising effort go badly in some way, and to keep members from feeling pressured. Avocado members are still welcome to link to their fundraising efforts and to repost links so that their fundraisers are seen, but moderators will not feature those links. Please understand that we are not trying to discourage members from these fundraisers or discourage anyone from contributing: we’re glad this is a place where people feel they can ask for help and be supported.