TV.com specifically created blogs so folks could have games, personal conversations, fan clubs, chats, etc. Any and all such games, chain-type threads, lounges, fan clubs, and any other off-topic subjects can and should go to blogs.
Discussion of TV.com and forum policy is off-topic on the Smallville discussion forum since they don't concern the Smallville TV series, characters, storylines, etc. You can PM the show editor, and after that the general policy forums.
Discussion of comics, other TV shows, movies, etc., should also tie in specifically to discussion of the Smallville TV series. Otherwise it's off-topic here.
Any new off-topic threads posted here will be sent on to the moderation staff for resolution.
The occasional straying post is not a concern, but extended personal discussions and thread hijacking are.
If you wish to advertise personal sites, fan clubs, etc., include them in your signature or your blog, not on the forum.
Make sure to put Spoilers in your topic header if you have spoilers. If you must put a spoiler on a post within someone else's thread, please use spoiler tags. While fan fiction isn't allowed, brief speculation on upcoming episodes is allowed, as is, "Wonder what they'll do next year?" kinda things. Brief story suggestions aren't fan fiction. Outlines for fantasy seasons are.
Please don't create Official Discussion Threads. I'd rather avoid either races or competing threads. Yes, some people like to create one even after someone else does - go figure. I'll create one a few days before a new episode premieres, and may or may not convert an existing one. There's some stuff I have to do to set it up properly, and it's easiest if I do it from the get-go. Before an official discussion thread goes up, feel free to discuss (following Spoiler rules above as necessary), but try to find an existing thread first that is suitable. After the thread goes up, direct discussion to the official thread.
When creating new threads, please try to make them discussion rather then polls, so we don't end up with tons of one-liners. thus "Who is your favorite character?" - not so good. "Who is your favorite character, and why?" - better.
The best way to perpetuate a thread you don't like or don't agree with is to post on it.
The best way to encourage a troll is to respond to them. If you respond to them, quote them, etc., your posts will be moderated as well.
If someone is violating forum policy, use the moderation-report system.
Posting you have nothing to say on a thread is off-topic, and will be moderated accordingly. Commenting on the way a thread is going is off-topic.
Don't create a thread or make a post just to make an example, or prove a point.
If you do something in the first post you create for a thread that is a violation and we moderate/delete, the entire thread is lost. So watch things like Censor Bypassing, etc. We're not going to edit a post to make it acceptable - that's your job.
Flaming and Flame Wars
There is a difference between debate and flaming. Or to put it another way, respond to the argument, not the user. Saying why something someone says is incorrect (as much as you can say any opinion is "incorrect"), is one thing. Saying they're dumb, or "baloney," or not entitled to post their opinion, is another.
Posting that you're going to report someone is off-topic, and almost guaranteed to start/maintain a flame war.
There is no such thing as "defensive" flaming. If you respond to a flame with a flame, you're flaming. If you quote someone else flaming, well...you're responsible for everything that's in your post, and your content will be moderated accordingly.
The shorter your post, the more likely it is not "reasonable and informed criticism and debate." A quick one-sentence post, especially one going against the initial point of a thread or opposing another user's argument, is more likely to be considered a driveby flame or troll, and moderated accordingly.
If you start your post with "It might be off-topic," or "Sorry to go off-topic" or whatever, while we appreciate your honesty, it'll still be deleted and considered Off-Topic.
Posting to tell someone what they're posting is off-topic or inappropriate is off-topic. Just report it and let it go. If it doesn't go away, then you were wrong.
Whether the show is on or not with new episodes, no matter how bored folks are, forum rules above still apply. There's a perfectly good Off-Topic Forum to discuss movies, etc.
In case it isn't clear from above when talking about "posting stuff that isn't yours", let's repeat: posting of any copyrighted image, including photographs and images from comic books (which are typically off-topic anyway) is not allowed. It's also a violation of Terms of Service and has nothing to do with discussion forums and discussing stuff.
Yes, we have polls! Still, this remains a discussion forum. Use polls to supplement discussion, not in place of discussion. Threads created just to run a poll will be moderated accordingly.
Videos: Since we all respect copyright law and the creative rights of musicians, directors, etc., posting of links to videos that violate copyright law (music and/or episode clips) are not allowed.
If you miss an episode, use Google if you need to to find legal download sites. Given the information is widely available on the Internet, doesn't involve discussion on this discussion forum, and inevitably generates a number of illegal site listings, any posts/requests for "episodes" here will be considered a violation of forum policy and treated appropriately.
Minor deviations from the topic are fine and happen. If a topic goes off-topic for a page or more, it'll be assumed the thread has reached its natural conclusion and will be locked.
Edited on 04/24/2009 2:30pm
Edited 16 total times.
Edited 16 total times.