CONTACT YOUR MODERATORS
- Responding to a comment of theirs. Respond to an old one if you want your post to be more private. Remember that the mod you tag might not see this right away.
- 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
@space_robot:disqusFor the full list of moderators, see the Board of Directors.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com to explain the context. Links and screenshots are ALWAYS appreciated, as well.
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.
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 or, if severe enough, an immediate banning.
Trolling is also not accepted here. If you are posting just to get a rise out of or upset others, you may get a warning.
Also, generally speaking: don’t be an asshole.
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. Please don’t go in assuming people will be okay with your flirting or down-talk. Do not insult people, playfully or otherwise, if you do not know they are okay with being playfully insulted by you specifically.
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.
2. Doxxing and Other Personal Information
Posting other people’s personal information is strictly prohibited
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. Targeted Harassment/Bullying
While disagreements are a normal part of community life, don’t intentionally provoke people.
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”.
5. Sticky Threads
Only Avocado mods and admins may sticky WordPress posts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Downvote usage by members.
Do not use the downvote feature to harass other Avocados.
Downvotes are not to be used for harassment of another community member. Harassment would mean regularly downvoting the same person or seeking out posts of theirs to downvote. If you find yourself downvoting someone but never flagging them, we would encourage you to block them.
Harassment can also constitute seeking out particular threads to mass downvote in: i.e. the Women’s Thread or LGBT threads. Joke threads in which this is commonly done such as Strip Club are exempt. If you are concerned about someone’s downvoting usage, reach out to us at email@example.com
Related to this, members will not “call out” each other on downvotes but will instead take any concerns to the mod team. This means not @ing someone to say “why did you downvote me, you jerk?” or posting in the OT to say “this jerk keeps downvoting me”, but instead letting the mod team know so we can handle it within the downvoting rules.
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
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.
2. Adult Content in General-Purpose Discussions
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.
3. 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. 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.
4. 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, consider stepping away from the forum and doing something else until you feel calmer.
5. External Hangouts
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.
6. 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.
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.
8. Serious Talk
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. Also, please refrain from making comments wishing harm upon others in general.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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”).
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. However, we ask that you limit your fundraising requests:
- Two requests per member per twelve-month period are allowed. That does not mean two posts linking to requests; it just means two fundraisers are accepted.
- What counts as a fundraiser:
- Either one GoFundMe campaign or a similar system with a built-in goal or time limit.
- Or a 30-day period for things which do not have a built-in goal or time limit like a Paypal link.
Do not direct your on-site requests to specific individuals, ever. That will result in deletion and potentially a warning.
Please notify the mod team before doing a fundraiser. We need no details, and approval does not depend on merit. It’s just for tracking.
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.
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.
Do not minimize the lived experiences of others, particularly fellow site members and marginalized groups. Do not trivialize the impact of bigotry and discrimination.
Daily/Nightly Open Discussions
What they are, how to make one etc.
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.
Where we make them, what they do, …
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- 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 email@example.com. Please note however that we rarely ban without a reason.