Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

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Papa's in the House
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Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:39 am

The unfortunate actions of a certain now-banned poster reminded me of a question I had about a certain forum rule:

Does the rule banning discussion of a certain art form prevent one from discussing questions related to that art form that appear in actual tournaments, past, present, or future (such as the tossup on the work with the 5th most popular character of all time of a certain medium or a certain packet from TTGT11 2004)? I certainly hope not, given that this prevents people from critiquing others' questions to help them improve as a writer and may cause writers to completely stop writing questions about a subject that at least some people think should appear in tournaments. That said, I'm just looking for some clarification here.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by saintanthony » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:14 pm

And when Case announces the housewrite trash tournament we're planning for the fall will have a 1/1 Japanese animation/Pokemon distribution will our announcement be summarily dismissed as well?
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Kyle » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:45 pm

The board rules are quite straightforward, and I would encourage you all to review them. Here is the particular rule relevant to this conversation:
Board Rules wrote:Tired Internet memes of any kind, anything originating at 4 chan, and anything containing or originating from anime, are prohibited at all times. What constitutes anything in the previous sentence is at the sole discretion of the staff.
There is a very good reason for this rule's existence. The purpose of a quizbowl message board is to facilitate serious discussion of quizbowl. It is the experience of the board staff that internet memes, things from 4 chan, and anything inspired by anime render meaningful quizbowl discussion impossible. Obviously, it is important to foster a social community among quizbowlers, which is why the Off Topic section exists, but you need to think of this message board as a place for intelligent, professional, on-topic discussion. It's a board used by teachers, students, administrators, and representatives of companies. It's also a board that we use to try to promote quizbowl to new people at the middle school, high school, and college levels. To do so, we require those who post on the board to do so in an intelligent and professional manner. This is why we have moderators and why we have rules. I also suspect that none of you will have a difficult time finding other places on the internet where you can discuss any topic unrelated to quizbowl that you so desire.

What has happened in the past two days is not about the discussion of anime, but about the blatant flouting of board rules for the sake of being obnoxious. The people who posted about anime yesterday did so in order to be obnoxious, and they all deserved the temporary bans they received from other moderators and administrators.

The board staff, as it turns out, is not comprised of total idiots. We are quite capable of differentiating between posts that are attempts at serious discussion and posts that are immature attempts to be intentionally confrontational or passive aggressive. The post that began this thread, for example, is not actually an attempt to start a meaningful discussion about the board rules. Instead, it's a way to link to an anime site and declare anime to be an art form while not getting banned for it despite violating a very, very clear board rule.

What Charles has proposed is a hypothetical situation that isn't really going to happen -- it strikes me as eminently implausible that there will be a tournament in the near future that cannot be discussed without referring at length to the anime questions. Someday, maybe (but I doubt it) there will be a tournament decided on a tossup about a two-dimensional Japanese creation with big eyes. If that happens (which it won't), you will be able to post that the tournament was decided on such-and-such a tossup. The problem is that any discussion of anime in tournaments won't stay focused on discussing the tournament, but will quickly morph into an opportunity for some posters to take us down the rabbit hole into a distracting, off-topic mess. I can say this with certainty because it has happened before. That is why the rule about anime, 4 chan, and internet memes exists. And that rule is not going to change any time soon.

So, yes, you can post the distribution of your tournament. Of course you can post the distribution of your tournament. But, after you do, you can't talk about anime. That's the rule. The rules are posted. Follow the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't post on this message board.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:57 pm

I just wish the threads had been deleted instead of moved. It sucked to hit "view new posts" and see a huge list of spam posts cluttering it up.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:11 pm

Kyle wrote:The board rules are quite straightforward, and I would encourage you all to review them. Here is the particular rule relevant to this conversation:
Board Rules wrote:Tired Internet memes of any kind, anything originating at 4 chan, and anything containing or originating from anime, are prohibited at all times. What constitutes anything in the previous sentence is at the sole discretion of the staff.
There is a very good reason for this rule's existence. The purpose of a quizbowl message board is to facilitate serious discussion of quizbowl. It is the experience of the board staff that internet memes, things from 4 chan, and anything inspired by anime render meaningful quizbowl discussion impossible. Obviously, it is important to foster a social community among quizbowlers, which is why the Off Topic section exists, but you need to think of this message board as a place for intelligent, professional, on-topic discussion. It's a board used by teachers, students, administrators, and representatives of companies. It's also a board that we use to try to promote quizbowl to new people at the middle school, high school, and college levels. To do so, we require those who post on the board to do so in an intelligent and professional manner. This is why we have moderators and why we have rules. I also suspect that none of you will have a difficult time finding other places on the internet where you can discuss any topic unrelated to quizbowl that you so desire.

What has happened in the past two days is not about the discussion of anime, but about the blatant flouting of board rules for the sake of being obnoxious. The people who posted about anime yesterday did so in order to be obnoxious, and they all deserved the temporary bans they received from other moderators and administrators.

The board staff, as it turns out, is not comprised of total idiots. We are quite capable of differentiating between posts that are attempts at serious discussion and posts that are immature attempts to be intentionally confrontational or passive aggressive. The post that began this thread, for example, is not actually an attempt to start a meaningful discussion about the board rules. Instead, it's a way to link to an anime site and declare anime to be an art form while not getting banned for it despite violating a very, very clear board rule.

What Charles has proposed is a hypothetical situation that isn't really going to happen -- it strikes me as eminently implausible that there will be a tournament in the near future that cannot be discussed without referring at length to the anime questions. Someday, maybe (but I doubt it) there will be a tournament decided on a tossup about a two-dimensional Japanese creation with big eyes. If that happens (which it won't), you will be able to post that the tournament was decided on such-and-such a tossup. The problem is that any discussion of anime in tournaments won't stay focused on discussing the tournament, but will quickly morph into an opportunity for some posters to take us down the rabbit hole into a distracting, off-topic mess. I can say this with certainty because it has happened before. That is why the rule about anime, 4 chan, and internet memes exists. And that rule is not going to change any time soon.

So, yes, you can post the distribution of your tournament. Of course you can post the distribution of your tournament. But, after you do, you can't talk about anime. That's the rule. The rules are posted. Follow the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't post on this message board.
I think the issue people are having is that locking the thread about the side event in question has basically removed that event from the quizbowl community. This board is where people go to announce events on whatever topics they want to write about. If people can write and announce side events on rock music, board games, and Harry Potter, I think most people who have different interests would like the opportunity to write and announce side events on the things they like.

Personally I don't like the topic in question and wouldn't want to play a tournament on it. But if others do, I see no problem with that. I fully understand why the board has the rule that it does, and obviously many of the posts of the last few days have been disruptive and unnecessary, and posts like that on any topic deserved to be deleted. But in my opinion it seems a bit unfair to tell people that their interests are bad and wrong and have no place in the quizbowl community.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:27 pm

Well, there are many ways to announce a tournament. In fact, by locking the thread (which is still available to see in the Forbidden Zone), it probably guaranteed more publicity for the tournament than otherwise originally intended. The people who are writing that tournament (Ryan and Connor?) can announce it through Facebook, through some other means. I guarantee you that anyone interested in playing such a tournament will know about it by the time it is written.

I'd also like to clarify something. This board wasn't created en masse by the quizbowl community as some sort of "anything goes" commune. The person/people who created/maintain this board have clear ideas of what the forums should be and how they should be organized, thus explaining the rules. Appealing to higher laws of free speech or "the quizbowl community" is pointless--you knew the rules when you agreed to the account. Secondly, this board is meant to promote quizbowl. While technically trash is a form of quizbowl, it isn't really a primary concern--there are certain trash tournaments that do not fit the rules and criteria that this board has set, and there is no obligation to be forced to promote these tournaments.

To sum up my point, people are fretting about something that is not a major concern. To use anime as an example, there are literally millions of other Internet forums to discuss anime. An anime side event can still be run and still be publicized, just not at this forum. If a legitimate tournament has a question related to anime, it can be noted and discussed within reason. But this site has rules. By agreeing to be a member, you agreed to obey these rules. Such a rule has an incredibly miniscule effect on the actual game of high school or collegiate quizbowl (if at all).
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Bartleby » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:57 pm

I don't disagree with anything you're saying, Mike, and like most people here I have no interest in playing an anime-centred tournament. But if Kyle's assertion that simply posting a distribution and not having an actual anime-centred discussion is acceptable (which is what happened in that thread... before this spate of ridiculousness broke out) is acceptable, then why was the thread locked initially?

(I'd like to note that this is not meant to challenge the board's rule in any way, and that I could basically give a shit about most of this. It just seems to me that there's a bit of a contradiction between these two posts, both from staff members on this board.)
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by cornfused » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:00 pm

Bartleby wrote:I don't disagree with anything you're saying, Mike, and like most people here I have no interest in playing an anime-centred tournament. But if Kyle's assertion that simply posting a distribution and not having an actual anime-centred discussion is acceptable (which is what happened in that thread... before this spate of ridiculousness broke out) is acceptable, then why was the thread locked initially?
This is where I stand, too - forbidding discussion of anime is one thing, but deleting a tournament announcement is another.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:10 pm

Cheynem wrote:The person/people who created/maintain this board have clear ideas of what the forums should be and how they should be organized, thus explaining the rules. Appealing to higher laws of free speech or "the quizbowl community" is pointless--you knew the rules when you agreed to the account.
I disagree with your reasoning here, but it's essentially a difference in outlook and nothing would be gained by arguing over it. You're correct that it's not important.

EDIT: I should probably note that I mean in application to this particular instance. In a broader context the HSQB staff has every right to maintain this board in a way that promotes productive quizbowl discussion, something it does quite well in my opinion.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by jonpin » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:31 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I just wish the threads had been deleted instead of moved. It sucked to hit "view new posts" and see a huge list of spam posts cluttering it up.
I think one reason for doing it this way is so that we can see the posts in his history down the road. If Raynell, for instance, comes back in a week and posts more anime, he'll get banned for a month or more for being a dumbass. If he comes back and follows the rules, then spams about anime three months from now, we'll probably remember and he'll get banned for a month. If he's good, but then decides while our guard is down during ACF Nationals 2013 that he'll spam about anime, it'll be good for some admin/mod to be able to search his history, "Hey, is this that asshat who has spammed the boards with cancer-causing anime in the past? Yep. Banhammer."

It's the equivalent of posting his picture being the counter of our metaphorical store, with a note that says "THIS POSTER HAS SURRENDERED ALL RIGHTS TO AN ASSUMPTION OF GOOD FAITH ON THIS MATTER."
saintanthony wrote:And when Case announces the housewrite trash tournament we're planning for the fall will have a 1/1 Japanese animation/Pokemon distribution will our announcement be summarily dismissed as well?
If your tournament is a trash tournament that incidentally will have some anime, OK. If it's a theme tournament on cartoons that will have a significant Far East content, that's probably OK (I speak only for myself). If it's a theme tournament solely about anime, you can enjoy your thread deletion and/or vacation.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:34 pm

Banning any talk about anime just seems really draconian. Is the rule really necessary? I know there was a recent tournament discussion that focused on a trash question, but that's what quizbowlers do, even if it doesn't add to overall criticism of the set.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:37 pm

Look, I think the point here is that the rules really aren't supposed to be constantly questioned. I don't agree with all of them either, but there was a thread where we were supposedly to discuss the rules and administration, and this isn't that thread. This isn't our forums; we deal with the rules and move on.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:49 pm

Speaking only for myself, I see no reason to keep up a thread that purports to be a tournament announcement when there is no evidence that such a tournament will exist (and, in fact, the overwhelming evidence suggests is a fly-by-night attempt to get around a forum rule that will probably be forgotten about as soon as there are more exciting internet genitalia size comparison battles to be waged).
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:47 pm

This topic has gotten very off topic. Thanks to Kyle for answering the question I asked and clearing up my confusion. I simply wanted to know if I (and others) could discuss actual quizbowl questions about the banned subject from actual quizbowl tournaments and it appears that this sort of action is permissible (within limits, I'm assuming).
Kyle wrote:The post that began this thread, for example, is not actually an attempt to start a meaningful discussion about the board rules. Instead, it's a way to link to an anime site and declare anime to be an art form while not getting banned for it despite violating a very, very clear board rule.
I just want to note that this was not my intention.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:20 pm

theMoMA wrote:Speaking only for myself, I see no reason to keep up a thread that purports to be a tournament announcement when there is no evidence that such a tournament will exist (and, in fact, the overwhelming evidence suggests is a fly-by-night attempt to get around a forum rule that will probably be forgotten about as soon as there are more exciting internet genitalia size comparison battles to be waged).
If only that was mentioned more. To me, it appears that the confusion concerning the discussion of anime in tournaments stems from the fact that only the "no anime" rule was used to justify locking the original thread (which appeared rather innocuous to some), when it was more likely to have been a combination of that and the reason above. If that rule was the sole reason for locking that thread, then those people who spammed the boards last night might have been able to actually make a case for themselves (instead of behaving like immature internet trolls), no matter how weak or ineffective it would have been. I feel like if more people were aware that the thread was locked for more reasons than just because it was about anime, things would be a lot clearer.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:26 pm

Honestly, I understand the reasons for the rule completely, and I don't disagree with it unless a rule on a message board somehow prevents me from writing a toss-up on Studio Ghibli.
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Re: Forum Rules and Tournament Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:32 pm

Hey, to reiterate, the relevant rules are:

1) There is nothing related to anime permitted on the board.
2) What constitutes anime is at the sole discretion of the staff.
3) The staff are not idiots and are under no obligation to indulge attempts to push and cross the line just to be cute or make some ridiculous point.

This means, among other things: if your avatar has been deleted three times because the staff thinks it's anime and you've already been banned for participating in troll attacks on the forum, stop uploading your avatar.

We have already declared the end of indulgence for this nonsense, and as a result the bans will continue, without prior warnings, for people who insist on acting like children. These are the quizbowl forums. They are not the anime forums, the Internet humor forums, or the rules lawyering forums. Cut this stuff out. End of discussion.
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