Moderation on VGChartz. VGChartz uses a progressive moderation system as a basic guideline for moderating users. This means that repeats of similar offenses will often result in harsher penalties, starting with a warning and working up.
- Any level of progression when it comes to ban length may be skipped in especially serious/heinous cases.
- In the same way, moderators may be more lenient when issuing a moderation period, due to a myriad of reasons (usually participating in the forums for a period of time without breaking the following rules). This leniency is of course at the discretion of the moderator.
- Generally, permanent bans are only handed out for extreme rule breaking, continued repeat offenses of the same rules, or actions that threaten the site's ability to function. However, the administrators and moderators reserve the right to permanently ban your account at any time if they feel you are a poor fit for the community, or a threat to the site. This will only be done through a consensus among the moderating staff.
- New Users. Because new users have not yet shown a commitment to civil discourse, moderators will look more harshly upon them (and upon prolific rule-breakers) than established users with relatively clear moderation histories. If you are a long-time member of the site, it is easy to tell the difference between a light-hearted, humorous post, and a genuine piece of flamebait. This distinction is far less clear when you are a new user, so we advise caution. Do not, however, take this to mean that the rules do not apply to established members.
Thread Creation. Thread titles and content must be descriptive and on topic. Contentless threads and those who break the following rules can and will be locked.
- Should not use deceptive hooks to lure people in.
- Should not be used to pose simple questions.
- Should use full names rather than abbreviations (StarCraft instead of SC. Star Control 2 instead of SC2. Soul Calibur 3 instead of SC3. SimCity 4 instead of SC4).
- Should use proper capitalization (no CAPS), grammar, and spelling.
- Should not include inappropriate language. We don't restrict language usage in posts, but thread titles are a different matter. Also, letter substitution fools nobody, but strings of unpronounceable symbols are acceptable.
- Threads are only "official" if a moderator says so (to get Moderator approval, you must contact a moderator and they must be the one to approve your idea/title for an "Official" thread).
- If two threads on a topic are created around the same time, the one with the clearest title and most constructive content will remain open, the other will be locked. Even if the latter was created first.
- Threads should not be aimed at one user (or moderator) in particular, especially not to call them out or insult them. If you want to talk to a user, send them a wall post, or a Private Message.
- Posts that are clearly a reply or a response to a thread should be just that, a post. Threads should not be a reply, a response, or a retaliation to another thread. Keep related discussion in the appropriate thread.
- Thread Titles:
- Avoid Thread Duplication. As a general rule, moderators allow a good latitude for threads on closely related subjects. However, at a moderator's discretion, threads may be consolidated if they are not sufficiently distinct from other active threads. To help avoid having your thread locked, always review the thread titles on the' Hot Topics' page of gamrConnect before posting. If you are going to post a subject that is similar to that of an ongoing discussion, take great care to ensure that your thread topic and post body both clearly show how your thread differs from the others out there.
- Avatars. All Avatars must be safe for work. This means that they should not be overtly sexual (this includes blatantly sexualised poses), grotesque or graphically violent in nature. As a general guide, ask yourself whether you would see something like that in a PG-rated movie. There are children here, and people who are working, and there is no way for them to hide your obscene avatar. If in doubt, don't use it. Avatars must not troll or flame (or violate any of the rules laid out for posts, especially Rules 10, 11, and 13). Whether or not an avatar is appropriate is at the discretion of the moderators. Avatars may therefore be removed by any moderator if they violate these rules. Avatars cannot exceed a 1:2.25 (4:9) width-to-height ratio. Ex. If the width of your avatar is 200 pixels, the height can be no more than 200 x 2.25 = 450 pixels.
- Signatures. Signatures must not be excessively long. GIFs contained within signatures must not exceed 1.5MB and 270 pixels in height. Like avatars, signatures must contain no graphic violence or sexual/NSFW content, and must also be free from flashing lights and other discomfort-inducing GIFs. Quotes in signatures are subject to the approval of the quoted member. You must remove a quote of a member from your signature if they ask you to do so. Every rule applying to posts (especially Rules 10, 11, and 13) also applies to signatures. All content in a signature is subject to moderator approval. Failure to comply with these standards will result in moderator action. Signatures may be removed by any moderator if they violate these rules.
Work-Safe Content. Some suggestive content is allowed, within limits, but it must be clearly marked before the image appears. Any content of this kind needs to go in NSFW Discussion, with no exceptions. If your topic contains any NSFW material, this should be clearly indicated in the title. We aren't trying to stop you from having fun, but people of all ages view this site, as well as people at work, so please keep your content appropriate and clearly marked. Pornographic content is never allowed anywhere on the site (including links to pornographic content), and the posting of such content will be treated as a very serious offense. All judgments on work-safe content will be at the discretion of the moderator. Your avatar and signature must be work safe (see Rules 5 and 6).
If a moderator deems your username to be inappropriate, that moderator may permanently disable your account at his/her discretion. You are free to create a new account with a more appropriate name.
Substance. Content is king for all posts and threads. Threads breaking the following rules and/or lacking content can and will be locked. Some tips to keep you and your posts out of trouble:
- Poster Above You threads, Voting threads, Elimination threads, and the like require moderator approval. If you do not have it, the thread will be locked, and if you are a repeat offender, you will be moderated. Note that an approved thread may still be locked by the Lead Moderators.
Other things to avoid (the following can be moderated):
- Do not only post a link, or a copy-pasted article. At the very least avoid committing plagiarism by giving credit to the original author of the piece. Providing original context or commentary is also highly encouraged.
- Do not say that item A sucks, or that item B is better than item C. Give reasons why, and provide evidence (articles, screenshots, technical information, even opinion etc).
- Do not reply to other posters with simply "you're wrong" or by calling them a fanboy, idiot, troll (or any other sort of name calling).
- Avoid "In Before The Lock" (IBTL) posts.
- Do not posts spoilers unless you have CLEARLY marked them as such - if necessary using the ?spoiler' tool in "styles." Be sensible here. The plot twist in The Empire Strikes Back is not a spoiler. The plot twist in BioShock is.
- Threads sometimes naturally transition to new discussions, but try to stay on topic as much as possible.
- Quote trees should be no longer than three posts.
Spamming. Spam, which is multiple replies in a row without any substance and replies that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, is not allowed.
- Explain and justify your opinions. If you have nothing to add to a topic, then don't post at all. Similarly, even if it's well defended, repeating your opinion multiple times is also spamming. Make your point and move on to your next idea or point.
- Necro-Bumping (Namely posting in a non-Official/Moderator approved thread 30 days after the most recent post) will be treated as a form of spamming if the post in question has no valid reason for being posted, or treated as a form of flaming/trolling if the post in question is malicious in its intent. It will be up the moderator to rule on whether a necro-bumping post is pertinent or not.
Backseat Moderating in the forums will also be treated as spamming, as it will derail the topic and conversation of the thread. You are not a moderator, so if you do feel like a user is breaking the rules, report them and move on. Let the mod team handle moderation.
- Examples of backseat moderating include statements like "Reported." "You should be banned for that." "I give you a week tops." "I've been banned for less." and the like.
Flamebait and Trolling. Posts or signatures slamming a particular platform without basis - be it a specific console, macs, windows, or anything similar - will not be tolerated. This applies to specific games as well as consoles.
- The forums are here for all gamers. Unless you're in a thread specifically geared towards platform or game comparison/discussion, keep your anti-platform/game comments to yourself. There is a difference between reasonable argument, and trolling.
- You have the right to express your opinion, as long as it is relevant, justified, and presented in a civil manner. If you want to discuss something other than the thread topic, make your own thread.
- You cannot create threads, posts, signatures, etc. just to bait people of a specific fan group. Bait threads will be locked and you will be moderated for them. If you spend a lot of time making hit-and-run negative threads or posts about a specific platform, you will also be moderated at the discretion of the moderators
- Any user has the right to request that you stop posting on his/her personal wall, for any reason. If you continue to post on the user's wall, you can and will be moderated for it. Respect the user's wishes and move on.
- Consider that:
Website criticism. Do not attack the website. Reasonable debate based on facts is acceptable, but repeated attacks and negative comments about the website and its staff will not be tolerated. People are here to discuss games and sales, and doing nothing but attacking the site is disruptive to those who are trying to participate in a discussion.
- On the same note, do not attack any moderator without basis. Whether you are a moderated party (see Rule 18) or not, any attack or unfounded criticism on any moderator may result in moderation against you. We are open to all kinds of feedback and constructive criticism (within the parameters of a mod sanctioned thread or PMs. Anywhere else is off limits and therefore a violation of the rules), but this must be done in a manner that is professional, respectful, and above all else, backed up with evidence and facts. Any baseless or unsupported accusation or criticism has no potential to serve anyone and therefore can be seen as an unfounded attack upon the accused moderator, and is therefore a violation of the rules.
Multiple accounts. Creating a new account will result in it being permanently disabled.
- When you are banned, you are expected to serve the ban. Creating new accounts to dodge a ban will result in the lengthening of the original ban and, in extreme repeated instances, a permanent ban for all accounts (both present and in the future). Relatives or others sharing the same IP may have separate accounts, but any bans imposed on one may be imposed on the other in order to prevent ban dodging.
- If you would like to make a new account for a "fresh start", new name (must be an appropriate name, see Rule 7), etc., let a moderator know so that they can ban the old account (after an account is switched, we will not allow you to return to your old account). Keep in mind that your entire moderation history will be moved to your new account.
- Sharing your account password with any other user will result in a permanent ban for that account.
- For creating an alternate account to contact a moderator while banned, see Rule 18.
Insults and flaming. Attacking other users for any reason is never acceptable.
You should avoid:
- Insulting a person's religion, religious beliefs, race, sex, sexuality, nationality, political beliefs, gaming preferences, etc. Debate is encouraged, as is civil disagreement, but respect the beliefs and opinions of others.
- Insulting any group without proper justification.
- Using any racial or sexuality-based slurs, even if you are not using them maliciously.
- Insulting other users, including calling them fanboys, trolls or any other name-calling.
- Disparaging, insulting, or baiting comments about users who are not participating in the thread.
- Making highly offensive comments about people outside the site (though greater leniency will be shown for comments about non-members).
- Inciting abuse or harassment - of anyone. This includes attempting to discredit any user based on their preferences.
- Similarly, avoid discussing the user who created the thread in a negative, insulting, or accusational fashion, rather than discussing the thread topic itself. If you feel a topic is baiting, trolling or rule-breaking, report it.
- Taunting banned members (in threads or on their/other's wall).
- All the previous rules apply to the forums as well as every other venue of this website. That includes User Walls, Personal Messages, Game Walls, and the like.
- Moderators will look at overt discrimination very harshly. Blatant forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other sort of hatred towards a group of people(s) will not be tolerated, and will be met with firm moderation.
- You should avoid:
- Requested Bans. For any reason, a user may ask a moderator to ban them for a specific period of time. This ban will not stack against you if you are moderated for rule-breaking in the future. If you would like to return to the website before the deadline, contact a mod by way of an alternate account (See Rule 18). With all that said, we will not grant you a permanent ban.
- Do not post links to or requests for copyrighted content. This is pretty well black and white - posting links to, or requests for, copyrighted content can and will get you banned. Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to: copies of games, ROMs of console games (not including wholly from scratch creations, subject to any licenses said creations may have), and leaked versions of not-yet-released games, even ones that will be freely available in the future. Feel free to defend and discuss piracy in general, but don't use the forums as a means of sharing pirated content.
- Quality of Language. Make an effort to type in full words and sentences. Put a space after punctuation and capitalise the start of sentences. You're not writing a text message, and you are not in any hurry. It is very easy to tell the difference between a non-native speaker (who is more than welcome here) and somebody who is simply not making any effort to be coherent. You won't be moderated for using text speak, but it certainly won't endear you to other users. Similarly, use paragraphs and line breaks, because nobody wants to read an enormous wall of text.
- Reporting Content. If you think a thread or post needs moderator attention then you can let us know by clicking "report this post" and telling us what the problem is in a respectful manner. If things need to go further, send a PM to any of our moderators. Naturally, we as moderators do not read every post in every thread, and appreciate a helpful heads up from readers when something inappropriate is going on. Do not report the same post more than once; there might be plenty of reasons for a reported post not getting handled immediately. Be respectful of the process and trust that every report is carefully examined before it is either dismissed or acted upon.
Problems With Moderation. If you have a problem with a moderator or a moderation, send the moderator who issued your moderation a private message (Rule 11 applies to PMs as well as posts, wall posts, and any other moderator-related conversation), and if you are still dissatisfied, send a private message to the Lead Moderators.
- Do not post these issues in the forums, outside of moderator-sanctioned threads, or on the moderator's wall - doing so will result in moderation action against you.
- If you are banned and cannot login, you may make an account specifically for contacting the moderators. This account may not be used for anything else. Use your banned username plus ALT added to the end so that the moderation team will know the accounts purpose (For example, if the user Smeags is banned, that user should make an alternate account named SmeagsALT).
- Remember that as a banned user, you cannot post in any public venue that the website provides. Please keep your questions, comments, and concerns within a PM towards a moderator while you are banned.