Q: How does someone get banned?
A: Through a lengthy process filled with checks and balances.
1) Members of the user community report someone who is violating TV.com policy.
2) A random forum moderator reviews each report and decides if it's valid. If it is, they send out a moderation report via PM and delete the post or thread.
3) If a user continues violating policy, they eventually get a suspension of 1-7 days.
4) If after the suspension is over they continue to violate TV.com policy, they receive more PM warnings.
5) After more warnings, at least two forum moderators must agree to send the user's moderation history to the TV.com staff.
6) TV.com staff review the matter further and decide if a ban is warranted. Only TV.com staff can ban a user.
Q: I did something and got moderated, but the guy I was responding to did something worse.
A: First, if someone violates TV.com policy, don't respond to them. Don't argue with them, don't tell them you're going to report them, don't quote them. Just report them. Second, forum moderators respond primarily to reports from the user community. If you feel a post is violating policy, please report it. The moderators try to check the surrounding posts when something is reported, but occasionally something slips by.
Q: I keep getting moderated because someone is out to get me!
A: Users making false reports receive warnings, suspensions, and a ban for making false reports. No single forum moderator reviews every report. Staff reviews the moderation history before making a ban. The system has many checks and balances to eliminate bias and make sure no one person can get you banned.
Q: If I report someone and the moderators disagree, will they think I'm making a false report?
A: Forum moderators never assume someone is being malicious just because their report wasn't good. However, if you make constant reports against a user who you're arguing with, or keep reporting the same thing even after previous reports have been dismissed, it could become an issue.
Q: I deleted a post of mine, but I still got a moderation PM on it. Why?
A: This typically happens if you post something to provoke other users then delete your post. This is a common trolling technique. Forum moderators can check your edit history and see what you said, and subsequent posts will usually quote you anyway.
Q: I posted something and got suspended, but the people who responded to me didn't. Why?
A: On occasion folks set out to "troll" and provoke people. Particularly if this is a first-time violation for people who responded, we will moderate the troll's post and simply warn the people who responded. People who repeatedly "feed the troll" after warnings will be treated accordingly. Also, people are suspended and banned based on their number of violations. If your troll post was the last in a long line but someone else's violation was their first, you may get suspended when they do not, even though they did the same thing.
Q: Some people say bad things about TV.com and get banned. Some don't. Why is it inconsistent? Why do people get banned just for criticizing TV.com?
A: We never ban users for reasonable debate and informed criticism. In fact, we welcome it. In some cases users get moderated and ultimately banned for "flaming" - name-calling, posting hostile and insulting remarks, making physical or legal threats, etc.
Q: I said something and it was true. How can it be "flaming" or "trolling"?
A: "Flaming" and "trolling rarely have anything to do with whether the user thinks what they're saying is true. Look at what you wrote. Is it hostile and insulting? Would you be offended if someone said the same thing to you and they thought it was true? Would you be okay if TV.com responded to you in the same manner? Would you say it in person?
Q: The editor on a show forum keeps deleting my posts and saying I'm not doing things right. Will I get suspended/banned?
A: Editors may create additional rules for their forum. However, you can normally only be suspended/banned for violating TV.com policy. Deliberately and continually violating posted rules can be considered Disruptive, however.
Q: Why did something of mine that was deleted not show up on my moderation history?
A: Sometimes a forum moderator or show editor will simply delete a post rather then run it through moderation. If you responded to a troll for the first time, for instance (see above). In this case it doesn't count against you.
Q: I got a moderation report 1 week/1 month/6 months/1 year ago--does it still count?
A: After a reasonable period of time, old reports may no longer count against you.
Q: I got a suspension 1 week/1 month/6 months/1 year ago--does it still count?
A: At staff discretion, an old suspension may no longer count against you after a reasonable period of time (a longer period of time than moderation reports).
Q: I received a "Moderator Discretion"--what does that mean?
A; Moderator Discretion is used to flag a non-violation and is used as a warning, request for more info, clarification of policy or misunderstanding, etc.
Q: I was banned but created a second ID and tried to get back on. I was told I was "ban-dodging" and banned again. Why was my second ID banned? I didn't do anything bad under it.
A: We ban by user, not by ID. If you flame or troll or otherwise violate TV.com policy even after many warnings, we figure you're going to do it no matter what ID you use.
Q: How long am I banned?
A: Banning is permanent unless a system glitch occurred (see below).
Q: Being banned permanently is unfair! I learned my lesson and won't do it again.
A: A permanent ban is a drastic step, which is why we usually give users sufficient warnings and one suspension before it reaches that point. The time to learn your lesson is during the warnings and your first suspension -- not after you get banned.
Q: I didn't understand the warnings.
A: Forum moderators send you a brief message explaining what you did wrong. Each general TV.com forum has rules posted for what is and isn't on-topic there. You should review the TV.com Help Center. You can also post in the About the Forums -- Ask the Mods forum here with any questions. There are plenty of ways to find out what the warnings mean, so don't wait until you're suspended or banned to find out.
Q: When don't you give users sufficient warning?
A: Very rarely there are instances when it's either clear a user is coming on only to spam, post scam advertisements, etc., or they engage in behavior so extreme (death threats, obscene ASCII art), that we bypass the normal moderation/suspension/banning process and immediately ban. Further, any attempt to bypass the submission moderation system will result in your account being banned as soon as TV.com identifies the activity and goes through an elaborate process to verify such activity.
Q: What if I did nothing and the system screwed up, and I'm banned?
A: Very rarely, something unfortunately does go wrong. If you feel you were erroneously banned from TV.com, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not create a new ID.
Q: Who is this TVcom_Moderator guy, and why does he keep hassling me with suspension/banning/signature/submission warnings? (added 10/08/06)
A: The TVcom_Moderator (TCM) is the collective ID for all the forum moderators. It is used to send semi-automated PM warnings and notifications, to make general public announcements, and to publicly answer many forum-related policy questions. Since it is made up of the forum moderators, it is as "official" as the forum moderators.
Q: I want to talk to a real person, not TVcom_Moderator. (added 10/08/06)
A: You can PM one of the nine forum moderators if you have private questions. TCM is used when we want to make it clear it's an official policy statement that all the forum mods stand behind. If you get a warning or answer from TCM, that means that all the forum moderators are in agreement and answering your question. The forum moderators as of October 2008 are: angelandspike, danbambridge, Edward_Nigma, GeorgeFergus, Gislef, grailwolf, more_ncis_now, studog2961, and Villafan.
Q: Why don't the forum moderators treat everyone and everything consistently? I got caught doing something and someone else did the same thing and didn't get caught--isn't that unfair? (added 2/20/07)
A: For general policies such as number of games per forum, trolling, illegal activities, etc., the TV.com moderators make every effort to handle things consistently but with tens of thousands of show and person forums, there is no way they can know everything that goes on with every forum. TV.com doesn't give anyone preferential treatment, but if you see someone violating policy, please let us know using the moderation tool. That is the only way we can assure consistency and make sure every situation is handled the same way.
Q: Why was my thread allowed on one forum and deleted or locked on another? (added 2/20/07)
A: For individual show and person forums, TV.com encourages editors to set whatever rules they need within the TV.com Terms of Service to best serve the members of their particular "community." What one community doesn't have an issue with may cause problems in another one.
Q: Some guy started trolling the forum and I fought back, but I got moderations for it. Shoudn't the troll get moderations? (added 05/09/07)
A: Most trolls intend to get people mad and get them in trouble. If you're fighting with a troll, you're doing exactly what they want you to do. Report them and ignore them. Violating the TOS to "fight" someone who is violating the TOS is not allowed.
Q: Why was my review for a new season show deleted? (added 9/6/07)
A: As stated in the Review Guidelines here, please wait until a show or episode airs to review it. TV.com asks that you watch a show before reviewing its content in the review section. "Reviews" of the "Wow, this sounds cool" variety, are not considered reviews and are not allowed. You can post speculations in the show forums or on your blog.
Q: What can I do when it looks like the moderators are taking sides? If someone has reported me for violation, but they don't get in trouble for the same thing, what are my options? (added 9/10/07)
A: The moderators strive to be impartial. If you feel we missed a violation of the Terms of Service, please report it. With thousands of active forums, a few problem posts will obviously slip through the cracks. Therefore, it is vital that users bring every violation to our attention, or else we might not see them.
A user's level status or reasons for reporting you have no bearing on whether or not you've violated the TOS. If you feel that someone is falsely accusing you of violations, we will do our best to investigate.
Q: Don't I have a First Amendment to say anything I want?
Q: Why are there so many rules? How can anyone possibly follow them all?
A: There are really only about eight basic things you can do to violate tv.com forum policy. And they all pretty much boil down to basic netiquette - "play nice, don't do anything illegal." The extra explanations are provided for the users' benefit and so no one can plead ignorance. We have hundreds of users making thousands of posts each day, and the vast majority of posters handle the rules just fine.
Edited on 07/22/2010 9:33pm
Edited 19 total times.
Edited 19 total times.