健次・バショウ (bashou) wrote in bad_service,

Mod post: Ad hominem attacks and other clarifications

By nature, this community is closely related to customers_suck. A lot of the charter members (and the community creator) are/were members of that parent community. Both groups are alike in the fact that there's a membership overlap, and that there's a low tolerance for people we perceive as being wrong or stupid. The primary difference is what side of the counter we're usually standing on when we post about our experiences to either community. In CS, you're working for the business. Here, you're patronizing that business. Some of us are quite familiar with being at work dealing with a crappy customer, then running errands after work to deal with a crappy clerk. So both groups (in addition to a few other related communities) are, indeed, about dealing with crap.

But sometimes what some of us perceive as being bad is not being viewed the same way as others would view it. Pennies are pretty important to someone who has rolled them in order to buy cigarettes or ramen, they're not too important to people who regularly toss them out into the streets.* And sometimes, we're all in agreement about when someone is behaving badly. We all rally to the poster's cause, or perhaps we step on them for their actions (or more recently, their lack of actions or competence in parenting, and zeal for censorship). It's easy to express ourselves here on teh internet**, and at times, it's easy to forget ourselves. So as much as I dislike needing rules, this community does have them. Hopefully they're not as draconian as some other communities' rules can be. And we do sort of expect people to scroll down a bit on the info page when they join or watch a community.

1. Leave comments enabled and unscreened on all posts. This isn't your private journal. Let people comment on your posts, or don't post here at all. If you just can't deal with the fact that people want to respond to what you say, turn off e-mail notifications for comments on that entry.
Ignoring this rule can get you banned quickly. Usually your post will be deleted. If you don't want feedback, go rant in your personal journal. The paper version is usually good for posting opinions that aren't going to get made fun of in public. Just keep it out of your sibling's reach. You're not free to delete comments. If there is an offensive comment (like someone posting a pr0n picture), you are free to screen it and notify a moderator. If you have to delete a comment that is not yours, then delete your whole post.
2. You may freely paraphrase, link to or quote portions of any unlocked entry, or any locked entry in a community with open membership. If the entry is locked and in a closed community, you need permission from the original poster to link or quote (paraphrasing is okay). You also need permission to link or quote any individual user's LJ (paraphrasing is all right). Under no circumstances may you identify the individual user without permission.
Generally, if the average person can see it, then it can be quoted here for community consumption. If the source is private, then don't betray confidence by posting that person's identity. This particular rule is more about playing nice with other LiveJournalers than anything else.
3. No flame-baiting. The point of this community is to rant about how pissed off you are, not to piss people off. Troll somewhere else.
Also, wank is funny, but please do not make a habit of stoking wank. It's one thing if the [post] naturally invites it, but if that's all you're ever posting about, you're not going to be too welcome here. Also, if you have pet issues that seriously conflict with others (ie., you hate women, believe in mandatory post-natal abortions up to age twelve, enjoy goose-stepping exercises and separate lines for different folks), you might want to simmer down about it. It's one thing to mention be mentioning it once in relation[ship] to the subject at hand, it's a little obsessive to go on about it in a 50-comment thread.
4. No off-topic posts. Don't advertise your damn community here. Any community. This means you, bitch. If it's a community that community people might be interested in, email a mod. Also note that there is a special kind of entry, the "You suck and I'm leaving" entry, that will get you immediately banned, no questions asked.
There are two moderators here you can email for permission if you're in need of advertising a related community or service. You just need permission from one, and you'll need to mention that you have that permission. Related topics could include helping people manage their debt, complaining about things, reviewing businesses, etc. Unrelated topics would be free iPod scams and your prom picture community. As for the "I'm leaving" posts, you're not that damn important. For that matter, introduction posts without something else related to the community are also discouraged. And you are free to ask if you were a sucky customer, or if you're receiving sucky service.

One thing to keep in mind is that we deal with service-related issues. A broken car you just bought brand new a week ago is not bad service. Dealing with a car company that won't honour a warranty is bad service. Buying badly-made restaurant food is not necessarily bad service. Being forcefed it by your irate server would be. Buying a Trabant or a ticket to an Uwe Boll film is not bad service, and neither is the act of selling it to you. Sometimes the buyer does need to beware.
5. No complaints about LiveJournal service -- that'd be pointless here. Take it up with LiveJournal support. This community is a discussion forum that allows ranting.

Only in a few cases would a complaint about LiveJournal be allowed here. I feel that most of the time, you'd be better served complaining to the LJ staff, or voting with your wallet and time. Also, I have to complain about all these people complaining about complaints in a complaint community. There is a huge difference between someone talking about some "asshole" in their story here, and calling them one during the incident. It's called common etiquette to be nice in person, and saving your cussing for later.
6. Flame wars will be deleted when they reach a certain limit. Yes, this does mean we'll let certain flames slide past. Community members are free to flame dorks that don't follow community rules until we mercifully delete the post and ban the user.
This is usually for those posts where the moderator goes "OMFG, I'm not moderating all of this!" Also, flames are a part of life on the hard, hard internet.
7. No ad hominem attacks, plzkthnks. Attack the argument, not the poster. If we wanted to moderate a high school class, we would've brought barbituates. You can be banned for being an overbearing prick.
We really need to focus on critiquing people's actions, not their backgrounds or person. Young people don't all need to grow up. Old people don't all need to die. Someone doesn't suck because they're into animal costumes, cartoons, tattoos above their butt, or the Vaporware flavour of Linux. They might suck because their actions suck, or perhaps they don't know better. "You are a total tool," isn't nearly as helpful as "What the hell were you thinking, you should have ..." Some name-calling will still happen, and still slide by. But saying "Crotch-droppings like you shouldn't be driving," is quite different than "You're being a jerk."

And yes, that last sentence in rule #7 is a catch-all, for those that like to skirt on the edge. Someone continually posting "You're being a jerk," just to be an ass is going to get canned. No pun intended.

Comments and discussion is welcome. This isn't aimed at anyone in particular necessarily, but an attempt to clarify what this community is about.

* Disclaimer: Yes, that's me picking pennies off the ground. No, I don't smoke. Yes, I like ramen. 8 cents got me one pack at one point in my life.
** Which is hard for some people.

[I swore I proof-read this for typos before posting.]
Tags: mod, rules discussion
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