About union guidelines

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JustPlainLucas

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#1 JustPlainLucas
Member since 2002 • 80434 Posts

I've recently read a thread in Ask the Mods about a person who was moderated for posting in a "bad game thread", and he was given a link to the Union Guideliness thread in the Union Recruitment board. Has it occured to anyone that this might be a little unfair? What if the person joined by direct personal invite instead of coming across the union through the recruitment board? There is no such link to these guidelines in the Terms of Use, so how is the user expected to know these rules?

I suggest that if you wish to continue to enforce these rules, you need to make it mandatory that all leaders and officers publish a link to the union guidelines, or you create an official header with said guideliness for every union board, or change the mandatory first offense penalty to a warning instead of a point loss. It ismy personal opinion that this current policy isnot only unfair but also a bit heavy handed.

Thank you for your time.

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Dj-Dark-1

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#2 Dj-Dark-1
Member since 2007 • 6377 Posts

Approximately at the start of last year I was moderated for creating an illegal game thread before that guidelines topic was made, I was told that these rules were always in place even if they weren't posted in a topic. Usually the leader/officers of the union should know the union rules and guidelines before they take on the role so they shouldn't have allowed the topic. Users should also think before posting a topic if it could come across as spam, I do agree though that the topic should be located on a union board or homepage.

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fastesttruck

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#3 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
I'm with you JPL. And not everyone goes to that board. Its like updating the rules and not telling anyone just so you can mod more users who had no way of knowing of the rules in the first place.
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jediknight52501

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#4 jediknight52501
Member since 2005 • 69715 Posts
i also agree with you JPL, when is it fair to give a suspension before a warning or a Moderation with a Point Loss? i know i have been suspended before and i was warned about it, but i also got a moderation without a warning at all, i always thought you got a warning first before the Moderation with a Point Loss or a Suspension? i have nothing against the Mods here, i just want a respectful answer.
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awesomejdude

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#5 awesomejdude
Member since 2008 • 4811 Posts

I think the general game thread guidelines should be copied into the ToU, since it's very possible a member may have come into a Union not from that specific board that houses the guidelines.

Another less-likely but effective idea would be to add a little checkbox in the thread options for Unions to mark it as a game thread. Then a header saying like, "Attention! This thread is a game thread, and certain restrictions do apply in this thread. [insert guidelines from Game Thread Regulations here.]" Also when more than the limit of game threads is reached and one is attempted to be marked, it could warn the user not to create the thread to avoid that. Obviously this would require more work than the ToU thing, but it was just an idea.

So, I agree with this thread completely.

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MachoBuzzzy

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#7 MachoBuzzzy
Member since 2009 • 4638 Posts
I agree with JPL,i didn't even knew these rules were there.
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msudude211

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#8 msudude211
Member since 2006 • 44517 Posts
I support this 100%. I'm not sure if you saw my thread in Ask The Mods, but I was basically saying the same thing: how can we be expected to know the rules in a thread we've never been to? I got moderated (and a suspension) for the same thing - if I would have seen the "union games" thread, I would have known, and I would have avoided the moderation. Fact of the matter is that Union Recruitment isn't the best place for a key thread that you're going to be using to base suspensions and point losses on.
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fastesttruck

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#9 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
Just made a blog about this. I fail fully to understand a good reason behind using a "cheap trick" (as I'm gonna call this) to moderate more folk. That isn't how you run a website if you want it to have a good rep. You don't hide rules and moderate users for not knowing of them when its hidden off in some board most folk don't even know of.
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Moroes

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#10 Moroes
Member since 2008 • 2041 Posts
I just posted a thread about this, instead I suggested to add some of the Union Guidlines in the ToS.
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jediknight52501

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#11 jediknight52501
Member since 2005 • 69715 Posts
a agree with you all on this, i think the ToU needs updating in a BIG way.
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pai-may

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#12 pai-may
Member since 2008 • 4101 Posts

I agree with the OP here and with most of the sentiments that followed. I think good will among the posters who use this forum can soon dry up and people will look elsewhere. There are a whole load of websites similar to gamespot that provide excellent service these days so game fans have options. I think if I were served with suspension or moderation that was neither fully explained or unjust, well then I would look elsewhere and not look back.

For the most part I've only encountered sensible people on this site who are passionate about the hobby I enjoy. We use the forums and unions as a means of developing community spirit and enjoying the company of others that share our passion for gaming. What as gamers we do not need is heavy handed moderation amongst what appears to be a dwindling community. Otherwise, ill will most assuredly will foster amongst those hard done by and many could leave these forums for good.

I thought in the free world, the democratic world, we were entitled to express ourselves in a manner as we see fit, i.e. freedom of speech. I was unaware that we were now living in some sort of semi controlled state. I agree that for the most part some offensive language and words need to be monitored, but modding someone for posting in a manner that could be perceived as spam if they've used only one word for example, and punishing people with points loss and suspension is both over the top and unnecessary, especially if it comes without warning. I think GS rules need an overhaul and union sites should automatically come with this warning attached as a sticky within each union's forum pages. That way GS can moderate how they currently seem to be because the users would have no choice other than to read the conditions.

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horgen

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#13 horgen  Moderator
Member since 2006 • 126339 Posts
Why not link to every official rule thread in the Ask the mods board?
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dragonfly110

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#14 dragonfly110
Member since 2008 • 27955 Posts

I also agree with this 100%, the rule was completely seperated forom many other 0ones, and the punishment for this is so strict it is almost beyond comprehension.

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caddy

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#15 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
I thought in the free world, the democratic world, we were entitled to express ourselves in a manner as we see fit, i.e. freedom of speech. pai-may
You might live in a free world, with freedom of speech, but GameSpot is a privately owned website with rules that users are required to follow, and rules which every single user agreed to when creating their account.
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kbmars

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#16 kbmars
Member since 2008 • 1278 Posts
yeah i agree.
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lancelot200

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#17 lancelot200
Member since 2005 • 61977 Posts
I knew about the guide a long time a go, because I happen to check the Recruitment board from time to time. I don't know why they think the recruitment board was the ideal place for this. There is only a small correlation. It's not the same thing as putting house rules concerning that specific forum. Unions are everywhere... By the way, I don't suppose anyone knows if they did a community update thing for this, right?
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Cecil_Highwind

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#18 Cecil_Highwind
Member since 2008 • 4720 Posts

I just saw that recently. I like your idea.

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jediknight52501

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#19 jediknight52501
Member since 2005 • 69715 Posts
[QUOTE="pai-may"]I thought in the free world, the democratic world, we were entitled to express ourselves in a manner as we see fit, i.e. freedom of speech. Caddy06_88
You might live in a free world, with freedom of speech, but GameSpot is a privately owned website with rules that users are required to follow, and rules which every single user agreed to when creating their account.

but how can we follow the rules when the rules are not all there on the first place, answer that one, as a matter of fact when is it right to give a suspension before giving a warning or a Moderation with a point loss?
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subrosian

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#20 subrosian
Member since 2005 • 14232 Posts

Guys... really?

Usually I don't comment on union matters, or get involved in this kind of rules discussion, but we need to hold a mirror up to this situation and be honest. This isn't about specific rules - this is about people here who are abusing the intent of the site. We have people here who are creating union games and "10,000+ post count" threads in order to boost their union, post count, messages viewed, etc. None of that is what GS is about - GameSpot is about gamers sharing a community together, not about profile or union statistics.

-

The only reason to demand overly-explicit rules is so that people can find a loophole that lets them continue to spam the site. That's just not going to happen - violating the intent of the site, the site's purpose, is a pretty reasonable thing to get a slap on the wrist over. I can't speak for everyone, but I have no desire to see people fighting with this site's administration over their "right" to create 100,000 post threads, or make unions that are nothing but post-boost games.

-

I won't be checking back on this topic, but I simply wanted to make my feelings clear.I think most of the other active users on this site simply go "oh geez", and walk away. That leaves the "bubbles" of people thinking that they've got consensus, which simply isn't true. Look at your activity on this site from the perspective of the games journalists who own it, and be reasonable - this isn't your twitter, blog, or Facebook, it's a commercial webpage which uses its forums as one of many draws. Our community is about more than union games.

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Moroes

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#21 Moroes
Member since 2008 • 2041 Posts
[QUOTE="subrosian"]

Guys... really?

Usually I don't comment on union matters, or get involved in this kind of rules discussion, but we need to hold a mirror up to this situation and be honest. This isn't about specific rules - this is about people here who are abusing the intent of the site. We have people here who are creating union games and "10,000+ post count" threads in order to boost their union, post count, messages viewed, etc. None of that is what GS is about - GameSpot is about gamers sharing a community together, not about profile or union statistics.

-

The only reason to demand overly-explicit rules is so that people can find a loophole that lets them continue to spam the site. That's just not going to happen - violating the intent of the site, the site's purpose, is a pretty reasonable thing to get a slap on the wrist over. I can't speak for everyone, but I have no desire to see people fighting with this site's administration over their "right" to create 100,000 post threads, or make unions that are nothing but post-boost games.

-

I won't be checking back on this topic, but I simply wanted to make my feelings clear.I think most of the other active users on this site simply go "oh geez", and walk away. That leaves the "bubbles" of people thinking that they've got consensus, which simply isn't true. Look at your activity on this site from the perspective of the games journalists who own it, and be reasonable - this isn't your twitter, blog, or Facebook, it's a commercial webpage which uses its forums as one of many draws. Our community is about more than union games.

I agree with the fact that its wrong for unions to abuse union games to get their post counts up, but that isn't the issue. Many users don't know about which Union Games are allowed and not allowed. If a union continues to disregard the rules and post illegal Union Games... they deserve to be moderated. The problem is, most people don't stop by the Union Recruitment forum and have no idea whats right and whats wrong. The union who abuse the privelage deserve to get in trouble, but users who don't browse Gamespot to absorb every single rule or guide shouldn't be punished for truly not knowing. The Terms of Service inlcudes a section talking about "Disruptive Posting" and some examples. Union games aren't mentioned anywhere. While Gamespot has people who abuse the privilege of posting, a large majority just wants to enjoy their time on the website and in their unions without disrupting anything.
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fastesttruck

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#22 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
Why not link to every official rule thread in the Ask the mods board? horgen123
What good is that going to do? Help them after its too late. Most folk don't go there unless they have a reason to. Just going to see what topics are there isn't really a reason for most of us to go there.
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jediknight52501

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#23 jediknight52501
Member since 2005 • 69715 Posts
some people just don't get it, this is not about post boosting or 100,000 post threads, this is about the rules and what is right and what is wrong when it comes to Game Threads at the Unions, i myself was not aware of the fact that a Vs. thread was illegal since i was unaware that is was against the ToU since it was never mentioned in the ToU, i know one word posts are against the ToU and i also try to make sure i never break the ToU after i got a suspension last year for breaking the ToU. why some people do not get this i will never understand. all i want to know is when is it right to give a suspension before a warning or a moderation with a point loss and still no one can seem to answer my question.
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Elraptor

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#24 Elraptor
Member since 2004 • 30966 Posts

I noticed a user in Ask the Mods made a similar point. Yet, merely by reading the Terms of Use (as required when creating an account), users should have an inkling that union games are categorically spam/disruptive. As Soulreavercross explained in the Union Games Sticky . . . "contrary to what most users may think ALL union board thread games are considered Spam/Disruptive Posting according to the GS TOU, however we do allow some union games on GameSpot Union Forums." In other words, the permissible game threads are exceptions to the general rule on spam/disruptive posting.

That being said, more visibility is always better, and I'm sure the TC's suggestion will be given due consideration.

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caddy

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#25 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
but how can we follow the rules when the rules are not all there on the first place, answer that one, as a matter of fact when is it right to give a suspension before giving a warning or a Moderation with a point loss?jediknight52501
I think Elraptor's post before mine just answered your first question question. They aren't very visible, but that was the best place for them when they were made.

The whole point of this board is to provide feedback and ask for enhancements, so with any luck, an appropriate solution will be found by admin.

There are violations out there that carry harsher penalties than a warning, take flaming in System Wars for an example (at least a 7 day suspension for any flaming violation), and boosting post count using these spam games are one of these violations that generally start at a points loss or up.
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msudude211

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#26 msudude211
Member since 2006 • 44517 Posts

I noticed a user in Ask the Mods made a similar point. Yet, merely by reading the Terms of Use (as required when creating an account), users should have an inkling that union games are categorically spam/disruptive. As Soulreavercross explained in the Union Games Sticky . . . "contrary to what most users may think ALL union board thread games are considered Spam/Disruptive Posting according to the GS TOU, however we do allow some union games on GameSpot Union Forums." In other words, the permissible game threads are exceptions to the general rule on spam/disruptive posting.

That being said, more visibility is always better, and I'm sure the TC's suggestion will be given due consideration.

Elraptor
But how can we assume that all users have an "inkling" that all union games are disruptive? I sure didn't know, and I've been here three years.

The ToU says you can't use one word posts, only smilies, alternating caps, all caps, etc., but what does that have to do with saying something about a users post count in COTUAY? How would an average user know that's suspension worthy?
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Elraptor

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#27 Elraptor
Member since 2004 • 30966 Posts
[QUOTE="msudude211"] But how can we assume that all users have an "inkling" that all union games are disruptive? I sure didn't know, and I've been here three years.

The ToU says you can't use one word posts, only smilies, alternating caps, all caps, etc., but what does that have to do with saying something about a users post count in COTUAY? How would an average user know that's suspension worthy?

Maybe that's more of a question for Ask the Mods, but the short answer is that the following forms of disruptive posting (set forth in the ToU) often fit union games: ". . . content-free messages . . . posting identical or near-identical messages or topics, including "fad" posts or topics . . . posting . . . nonsensical messages in a single or multiple topics . . ."
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jediknight52501

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#28 jediknight52501
Member since 2005 • 69715 Posts
[QUOTE="jediknight52501"]but how can we follow the rules when the rules are not all there on the first place, answer that one, as a matter of fact when is it right to give a suspension before giving a warning or a Moderation with a point loss?Caddy06_88
I think Elraptor's post before mine just answered your first question question. They aren't very visible, but that was the best place for them when they were made.

The whole point of this board is to provide feedback and ask for enhancements, so with any luck, an appropriate solution will be found by admin.

There are violations out there that carry harsher penalties than a warning, take flaming in System Wars for an example (at least a 7 day suspension for any flaming violation), and boosting post count using these spam games are one of these violations that generally start at a points loss or up.

thank you for answering the question i had, that makes me understand how it works on this site.
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Moroes

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#29 Moroes
Member since 2008 • 2041 Posts

[QUOTE="msudude211"] But how can we assume that all users have an "inkling" that all union games are disruptive? I sure didn't know, and I've been here three years.

The ToU says you can't use one word posts, only smilies, alternating caps, all caps, etc., but what does that have to do with saying something about a users post count in COTUAY? How would an average user know that's suspension worthy?
Elraptor
Maybe that's more of a question for Ask the Mods, but the short answer is that the following forms of disruptive posting (set forth in the ToU) often fit union games: ". . . content-free messages . . . posting identical or near-identical messages or topics, including "fad" posts or topics . . . posting . . . nonsensical messages in a single or multiple topics . . ."

Often. In a lot of cases posts in "illegal" union game threads are well thought out and weave together to make something that resembles a discussion, and those educated comments get deleted and the users get a point loss. The posts in all caps, or using only smilies deserve to get deleted, because they are clearly against the Terms of Service... but the posts that have content which contribute to a discussion are targeted dealt with the same way the disruptive posts are.

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borninvincible

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#30 borninvincible
Member since 2003 • 524 Posts

interesting how there is still no admin comment here yet...the closest thing is from a few mods, which unsuprisingly, are on the defensive. i think that this is a legitimate problem that seriously needs to be addressed.

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Moroes

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#31 Moroes
Member since 2008 • 2041 Posts

interesting how there is still no admin comment here yet...the closest thing is from a few mods, which unsuprisingly, are on the defensive. i think that this is a legitimate problem that seriously needs to be addressed.

borninvincible
There haven't been any comments from admins the past two days because they usually don't check Gamespot during the weekends. Im sure someone will pick this up, because as you have stated... this is getting out of hand real fast.
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borninvincible

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#32 borninvincible
Member since 2003 • 524 Posts

[QUOTE="borninvincible"]

interesting how there is still no admin comment here yet...the closest thing is from a few mods, which unsuprisingly, are on the defensive. i think that this is a legitimate problem that seriously needs to be addressed.

Moroes

There haven't been any comments from admins the past two days because they usually don't check Gamespot during the weekends. Im sure someone will pick this up, because as you have stated... this is getting out of hand real fast.

oh ok that makes sense... :)

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fastesttruck

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#33 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
Something for the minds to munch of for a while. This was pointed out to me by reading a few posts from others.
If union levels don't update, what point is there to stopping said games? So what if users want to just up stats on a site? Do any of you here lose sleep at night b/c OMG some group of users had some fun in a topic that didn't hurt anyone? Its not like they are making all those one word posts in topics where users are trying to have a real discussion. Is doing something such as upping a post count hurting the site any more than the large amounts of bugs that are roaming around? I can't see how it does so please explain to me if it does more harm, why and how it does more harm.
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caddy

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#34 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
I can't see how it does so please explain to me if it does more harm, why and how it does more harm. fastesttruck
Who said it's doing more harm? :?
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fastesttruck

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#35 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
Caddy no one... I asked that if it does, why does it. I'm not asking why it does b/c it does. I'm asking why it does if it does.
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caddy

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#36 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
Then no, it does not. However, you should realise that bugs and community rules are two completely different parts of the site, and they have completely different admins working on them. The issues are not related.
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fastesttruck

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#37 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
I do realize that but I wasn't really trying to point out that its two in the same nor different. I'm trying to find out why such a big deal is made about such topics and if such posts stay only in those topics, what harm it does for the rest of the board. Its not as if 2 users posting a bunch of "Hurt & Heal" things in a Hurt & Heal topic is going to have any harm what so ever on the board that the topic is in.
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caddy

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#38 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
Boosting a post count by spamming has never and will never be allowed.
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fastesttruck

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#39 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
But why is that? Saying that it has never and will never be allowed doesn't tell us why it isn't allowed.
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caddy

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#40 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
If spam was allowed, everybody would just be spamming to increase their post count. We would have so many unions that consist of spam, and that's not what GameSpot wants. There are other sites that allow spam out there, GS isn't one of them. Besides, this is getting off topic. If you want to suggest that GS abandons it's rules on spamming, create a new topic.
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fastesttruck

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#41 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
K so why isn't it out lined in the ToS with a link to said topic that has the rules for those topics? We can't expect everyone to know what the powers of the site count as spam. Yea sure the ToS can't out line every thing b/c it would be far too large and there would be loop holes for us to find and than use but when something has its own set of rules such as the board games, what is the issue with just linking to it in the ToS? From the posts I've read from the mods it seems as if we are just supposed to know where to find the rules as well as know the basics of them before we even find them. I fail to see how its fair for such a harsh penalty for something that most of the users don't even know about, not from lack of reading the ToS, from the lack of the info being able to be seen.

If I'm seeing something wrong than I do ask that you point that out to me so I can see why I was wrong. I'm not here to raise hell, just to try and get a point across that a rules topic should be linked to in the ToC when it counts not for just one board, but all of the site.
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caddy

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#42 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts

It's not like having it in the ToU would be enough for people, though. Like Elraptor mentioned earlier, if people were to really read the ToU, they would realise that union games are generally not allowed, and that the ToU states that really without exceptions. However, a few games have been deemed acceptable to have in unions, and that is what the topic in the Union Recruitment board is for. So, if they had read the ToU, they really should think that spamming up union games is not allowed, at all, even though there are exceptions that have been made.

It's not that I am against more visibility, it's that I don't think the ToU is right for it. I think a better solution would be to have a header created for every single union board (just like the header in this board that contains information), that would provide a link to the thread.

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fastesttruck

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#43 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
The ToS isn't all that clear to everyone tho. And at this point its not even a matter of "how many are really going to read it in the ToS". You guys may think it is clear b/c you know it better and have been around longer. Some new user that just signs up and this is the first site they ever par took in, how are they to know that forum games are bad? We learn from mistakes as well as what we read as the rules. And then we have the term of "Generally not allowed". Lets say the user came over here from GameFAQ's where the last I knew they didn't nit pick every little forum game users take part in so how is a user from there going to know that gamespot is so picky about things?

It seems to me tho that you are against putting it in a place where members are told to read BEFORE they even join the site. If they don't read that, what makes you or I or anyone think that they are more likely to read the header of a Union? There are a great deal of members that don't even read Pinned topics. There is proof of that. And then beyond that, what takes more time? Having the rather large bit on information plastered on every union board, or adding under the "Some additional notes on the Disruptive rule:" a line that says "Click here for rules about forum games". At that point suspensions and point losses for the first time would be fair and just due to the fact that now the info is clearly in a spot that everyone should have read and if they didn't, its their own fault.
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caddy

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#44 caddy
Member since 2005 • 28709 Posts
It's a common issue that people don't read the ToU when they sign up, or ever after they have been round for a while, which is why I don't think putting it in the ToU would really be all that helpful. Having the link above every single union would mean that there would really be no excuse for a user not to know what is allowed when it comes to union games.

And the whole "which takes longer" argument is pretty much invalid, because it can essentially take years for a small ToU change, because it all has to go through CBS Legal department, where as a header could be done by GS staff themselves.
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Moroes

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#45 Moroes
Member since 2008 • 2041 Posts

It's a common issue that people don't read the ToU when they sign up, or ever after they have been round for a while, which is why I don't think putting it in the ToU would really be all that helpful. Having the link above every single union would mean that there would really be no excuse for a user not to know what is allowed when it comes to union games.

And the whole "which takes longer" argument is pretty much invalid, because it can essentially take years for a small ToU change, because it all has to go through CBS Legal department, where as a header could be done by GS staff themselves.Caddy06_88

If people don't read the Terms of Use and get moderated for abusing it, then that is perfectly fine because they are breaking their "contract" with Gamespot which they signed when they made their account. A good amount of people don't read the Terms of Use, but should the minority who do read the Terms of Use be punished for what the majority tends to do (or not do in this case)? You do bring up a good point that it might take a long time to bring this by the CBS Legal Department, if they are indeed in charge of this. I agree with your solution to put up a link to the rules in every union forum. This would eradicate this problem, and no one else can say they didn't know about this rule. It would be nice to see it up in the Terms of Service, but either one works.

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fastesttruck

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#46 fastesttruck
Member since 2005 • 25353 Posts
Caddy06_88 - And is it not a common issue that far less people even know of the Union Recruitment board? Tho they are not the same thing. One is pointed out at the time of making an account, while the other is never pointed out until its too late or a union leader points it out in some way which again isn't always clear. How will the link at the top of every single union work? I'm interested to hear of how you would have that link show up. And who called them "Union" games? Aren't they also sometimes in a UCB? They even show up on the main boards from time to time.

Ok I'll give you that one kinda. Why does it have to go through the CBS Legal department for something to be added there but not to add a rule to all of the site in which the guide lines are very hard to find? Since the rule is already being used, for something that to me seems nearly like a set up as well as a way to keep down something that amounts to nothing in life which is half of why I can't say I really understand what the big deal is if a group of users want to have a topic to spam up a bit. So long as its not the whole board which would give the site a bad name.
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#47 mastetofthedark
Member since 2008 • 16924 Posts
It's a common issue that people don't read the ToU when they sign up, or ever after they have been round for a while, which is why I don't think putting it in the ToU would really be all that helpful. Having the link above every single union would mean that there would really be no excuse for a user not to know what is allowed when it comes to union games.

And the whole "which takes longer" argument is pretty much invalid, because it can essentially take years for a small ToU change, because it all has to go through CBS Legal department, where as a header could be done by GS staff themselves.Caddy06_88
How would you know if they don't read the TOU though? It's worth a shot to add it in. I mean c'mon.
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lancelot200

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#48 lancelot200
Member since 2005 • 61977 Posts
I'd like to recommend that instead of saying all games are disruptive that it is only certain games.
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#49 papermariofan57
Member since 2008 • 121960 Posts

ehh, i was suspended a entire week for the same thing. Lot of users were suspended, but most of them didnt know they wrere really breaking the rules. Also, an instantly suspension is not fair too.I think is morebetter to send a warning to the user, instead of a suspension. I had saw other cases in which different users were moderated for insulting other people, and thee only received a warning.