UPDATE Jan. 2010: Being three years after the show has ended, I really couldn't care less what happens on this forum. In other words, until further notice, there really won't be any "formal" board rules to follow; the following can just be considered useful guidelines. Please note that all submission policies are still strictly enforced.
I created this thread to combine both the forum and the editing policies. If you have a question about any of them you can always PM me, and I will be happy to answer them.
Policy 1.1: No Game Threads
In case you didn't know, there's already an official thread for games. TV.com policy says that only four game threads are allowed on a show's forums. I, however, do not approve of game threads. They waste time and forum space and serve no purpose other than entertainment. Post them on the thread linked above. All game threads on this forum will be deleted altogether. This will not be counted against you on your moderation history.
Policy 1.2: Worthless Posting
I have the right to moderate your post if it doesn't add anything to the conversation and just quotes for the sake of quoting, making the thread difficult to read. This qualifies as disruptive posting, and is not acceptable. Avoid "me-tooing." If you aren't contributing anything significant to the conversation, I will delete your post. This will not be counted against you on your moderation history.
Policy 1.3: Don't Respond to Trolls
If you suspect a user is trolling or intentionally leaving posts designed to start a flame war, don't respond to them. Just use the pull down menu and report the abuse, and then be on your merry way. Don't try to argue with a troll; that's exactly what they want you to do. Instead, go the opposite route and ignore them completely. For while trolls feed off of attention both positive and negative, the one thing they cannot stand is being ignored. Don't tell the troll that you're reporting them. This qualifies as a ToS violation because it is a technique used by the trolls themselves. Let the mods deal with trolls.
Policy 1.4: Don't Quote Abusive Posts
If a post has a ToS violation, don't quote it! Your post will qualify as a ToS violation as well, and it will show up on your moderation history regardless of whether or not you made the post. This is because all users are responsible for what shows up in their posts and if you quote something abusive, this is considered abuse and you will be moderated. I know you have no harm by quoting it, but this is beyond my control.
Policy 1.5: Don't Post Links to Illegal Material
This applies especially to this forum because of the large number of episodes that are uploaded to YouTube. That site used to contain all of season three, but those episodes were deleted due to copyright infringement. In other words, be careful that what you're linking to doesn't violate the TOS rule against advertising illegal material and encouraging other users to do the same. If I find that this is happening, I will lock the thread immediately and report the post, and the mods will decide what to do.
Policy 1.6: Dead Threads
A dead thread is a thread that is no longer up-to-date with the current happenings of the show. I will not allow any thread that has not been posted on for three or more months to continue. If you do post on a dead thread, I willc ompletely delete the thread. If it was originally your topic and you "bring it back to life", it is considered bumping. If you are looking for a duplicate thread when making a new thread, and you come across one that is considered dead, you are free to create a new one instead of bumping the old one.
Policy 1.7: One Answer Threads
I have set up a special topic called Ask a Question, Get an Answer II that is always in the pinned threads section. Instead of posting a new topic just to get one specific answer, just ask it in there. Any thread that is created that violates this will be locked, and I will redirect you to the approprate thread.
Policy 1.8: Crude References
As a personal pet peeve, I dislike any mentions that are of crude nature. If you aren't quite sure what exactly this policy entitles, you can PM me and I'll give you an example or two of what I mean. But basically, just stay clean and be careful of what you make references to. Anything that I seem unfit will be deleted without penalty to the user.
Policy 2.1: Responses Belong on the Forums
I will not accept anything that responds to an earlier comment in any given submission section. If you believe it is incorrect, mark it for deletion or correct it. Do not respond to it, or your submission will be rejected. No exceptions.
Policy 2.2: Personal Opinions Belong on the Forums
One of the first rules of essay-writing is never to say "I think." Just say it. The same principle is at work here. Trivia, notes, allusions, etc. are supposed to be fact-based, and if a submission is personal opinion, I will either edit it so it is not or reject it altogether.
Policy 2.3: Questions Belong on the Forums
Questions are a rather silly thing to ask on guides because nobody can technically answer you anyway due to the guideline above, which is the reason I don't allow it. Ask a question, and people will try to respond, which means I have to reject submissions, which I don't like doing but must. Even rhetorical questions are not allowed because people will try to respond to those as well. Basically, if it contains a question mark, I'll reject it. No exceptions, but in quotes it is alright for obvious reasons.
Policy 2.4: Trivia Must Be Fact-Based
This means no speculation. If you're not 100 percent sure of something, don't submit it. I will reject any submission that uses the words "may," "maybe," "might," etc. Be absolutely certain that the information you are submitting is accurate before you submit it.
Policy 2.5: Appearances Are Not Notes or Trivia
I'm tired of seeing, "this is the first appearance of. . ." in the notes and/or trivia. There are just too many, and it just makes things messy as dozens of such entries must be done. If it's an actor, well, there's already a section for that (Show Stars).
Policy 2.6: Plot Points and Spoilers Belong in the Recap
Remember, TV.com wants these guides to be usable to people who are watching the episodes for the first time. Don't submit plot points and spoilers as notes. The main reason for this is that they aren't notes anyway; notes deal with off-screen events. Put it in the recap. If there isn't a recap, write one! It gets you eight contribution points, which is eight times more than you get for notes, quotes, trivia, cast/crew, and allusions.
Policy 2.7: Spell Correctly
I can't emphasize this enough. Some people don't realize that there's a little "Check Spelling" button at the bottom of the submission window that they can use to make sure the spelling is absolutely perfect. Still, it doesn't catch everything, and that's what I'm here for. One of my pet peeves is misspelled words, so I will catch it. I will allow at most five spelling errors in any given submission, and then I will start rejecting because it's really not fair for me to be doing half the work while you get all the credit.
Policy 2.8: Use Correct Grammar
Write like you talk. I understand that not everybody is a literary genius, and on the forums I can excuse this, but the guides reflect somewhat more on the overall quality and reliability of the site and should thus be held to a higher standard. I don't expect it to be perfect, but at least write so that I can understand what you're saying. If I can't decipher it, I will reject it and ask you to resubmit.
Policy 2.9: Don't Mass Contribute
Mass contributing is defined as submitting a large amount of information in a very short amount of time. This not only makes my job harder as only the staff can mass-accept/reject, but it is also highly suspicious because you may very well be copying and pasting from other sites. I understand that many people type it up in a word-processor and then just copy and paste, and if you're going to do that then I suggest telling me about it in the comments or sending me a PM so I know not to accuse you of mass contributing. Still, keep it within reason out of fairness to me. It can be very tiring to go through all those submissions, so I will be enforcing a limit of twenty submissions per twenty-four hour period from any given user. If you are planning on submitting more than twenty in a given day, you can PM me beforehand with exactly what it is that you are doing, and I will most likely allow you to do it. Otherwise, all of your submissions past the twentieth one will be rejected when you surpass the limit.
Policy 2.10: Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Some editors are very clear about citing your sources. I am the same way. I will accept "based on my own viewing experience" as a source for quotes, trivia and allusions, but for things that may need confirmation like notes I suggest you give me a source using a hyperlink. Don't just post a long URL in the comments box either as this causes issues with the formatting. I do not accept Wikipedia or IMDb as a source. The people who submit to those sites do not cite their sources, which make them completely unreliable in my opinion. I'd rather beone hundred percent sure. See this thread for more information on how to cite your sources.
Policy 2.11: Write Submissions in Your Own Words
Don't plagiarize. Copying and pasting is not allowed under any circumstances even if you are the copyright holder because it looks like TV.com is stealing. All submissions had better be in your own words otherwise I will report them to staff. TV.com reserves the right to release your information to the holders of whatever copyright you violate. This is serious stuff, people, and I take it very seriously. Just write notes, trivia, allusions, summaries and recaps in your own words and you should be fine.
With quotes, however, it's a bit trickier. The wording is obviously going to be the same because it's a quote. However, as an added safety measure some sites purposely put errors in their quotes to make sure people don't copy and paste. For this reason I suggest that you base quotes on your own viewing experience. If you do get a quote from another site, convert it to TV.com format first of all and second of all give them credit in the comments by following the instructions listed above.
Policy 2.12: Editing Definitions
You would not believe the amount of submissions I have to reject because they do not follow the guidelines for a certain area of submission. Because of this, I will make a simple area briefly stating what everything means. Everything below is for episode-level only.
Policy 2.12.1: Summary- the summary submissions take care of all the truly important information on an episode. This includes the summary of the episode, the episode recap, the air date, the production codes, and the episode numbers. Most of this is self-explanatory, that is except the summary itself. Do not put plot points in it. All plot points belong in the recap. This is worth different contribution points based on how much you have changed.
Policy 2.12.2: Cast and Crew- since the new submission system went live, this area of the contribution system has been messed up. I recommend you avoid submitting these types of submissions for now.
Policy 2.12.3: Notes- this is a big one. Just about everyone gets this one wrong. Notes are only for off-screen events that have to do with an episode. An example of this is the episode airing online before it does on television. Please do not submit a trivia submission in the notes section. This is worth one contribution point per submission.
Policy 2.12.4: Quotes- you would not believe how many times I have to moderate this before I accept it. PLEASE put the bold marks and italic marks where they belong in a submission. You need to put the person who is speaking in bold. Then place a colon that IS NOT BOLD. Next simply write what the character says. DO NOT put quotation marks around what the character is saying. If the situation calls for it, place what is happening that is causing the character to say what they are saying in italics. Do not double space between dialogs! This is worth one contribution point per submission. When done, you will get something like this:
(Ron is freaking over his baby sister)
Kim: Face it Ron, you freak fully over change.
Ron: I don't and I won't!
Policy 2.12.5: Trivia- trivia is basically the same thing as notes, except trivia is for things that happen in the episode itself. This can be for any small detail or goof that might not be known to people who view an episode. An example is a sudden change in clothing on a character. This is worth one contribution point per submission.
Policy 2.12.6: Allusions- this is usually handled correctly, but I sometimes get ones that do not follow the guidelines. At the top, put the name of the thing the reference is from in bold marks. Then, state where in the episode the reference is, and explain where it comes from. This is worth one contribution point per submission.
If you have a question about anything above, you can either PM me or click on Help at the top of every page.
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