A Request for Guidance on Image threads.
Image threads on series subforums are amongst the most popular threads on all of Anime Suki, so they're a significant part of the forum. As one would expect with such threads, they contain a mix of...
1) People posting up pertinent images.
2) People commenting on those same images.
After all, people who post up images, and certainly any artist who created the image in the first place, would typically like to know what people think of the image.
And yet, sometimes in Image threads you get a short discussion going over an image with that discussion getting shut down or considered "off-topic" by a Monderator. To be fair, I understand that an Image thread should by its nature contain a lot of images, so extensive discussion on any one image could get in the way of that. At the same time, though, I hope that we would all agree that there's nothing illegitimate about people briefly discussing a particular image on an Image thread.
So, basically, what I'm looking for here is clarity and guidance from the moderating staff. To cut directly to the chase here: How long can one image be discussed on an image thread before it's considered "off topic" by a Moderator? What's the cutoff point? In reading through the "Forum Rules" and "FAQ" and a couple OPs for Image threads on this site, I saw nothing clear-cut here which is why I started this thread.
Let me raise a few hypothetical situations, and hopefully hear from the Moderators what they think of each one. To make this post shorter, I've put them in spoiler space.
Spoiler for Three hypothetical situations:
I'd really like to hear back from the Moderator's here, because I often find myself wondering if I'm near or at the cutoff point for just commenting on an image on an Image thread. It would be great to receive from Moderators a sense of what is a desired, or at least acceptable, balance between actual images and discussion on images on Image threads.
Any comments or observations that other AS members want to make on this is welcomed, of course.
I don't see a problem with any of the three hypothetical situations as presented. The caveat being you don't give actual post content for your examples, so I'm going to assume all else being permissible.
To answer your question regarding situation number two, both are acceptable to my mind and a comment, given the same caveat above, would be unlikely to meet a "too much talk" response. The ideal may very well be to combine both, contribute to the discussion but also offer new visual material for people to digest.
If you merge situation two and three, and increase the quantity of non-image posts, there might be cause for intervening to stop the thread mutating into a "post a joke" thread. Hypothetically speaking.
I think a lot of the problems come from the difference between "it's on-topic to the image" and "it spawned from the image", and usually in the form of the direction the conversation heads. For instance:
a) conversations that devolve quickly into veiled (or open) shipping wars
b) conversations that start digging deeply into spoilers or side-topic comparisons
c) conversations that seem direction-less and are dominated by a few individuals who seem to have a compulsive need to reply to every. single. post with some silly reply.
Most of the hypothetical examples you posted I would probably allow, as long as they didn't start following into patterns like the above (and that's not necessarily exhaustive). And there are certain sub-forums, in my experience, that are more prone to problems like the above, usually because of the regulars that hang out there.
I think some people sometimes treat image threads like the way they treat 4chan, where each thread starts with an image and somewhat-related conversation and images ensue. But that isn't really the intention of image threads here. The replies should be about the image as much as possible, and not about something that's about something that's related to something that started when someone posted the image. For example, if you really want to talk spoilers and the image is just the trigger, then it's better to actually post the image in the spoiler thread so that the spoiler conversation can happen there -- because what is being discussed is really the spoiler, and the image is just the illustration/trigger.
I would say in concept that the emphasis in image threads should remain on the images themselves, because there are other threads for all sorts of other conversations.
(I will also note, it's a bit of a pet-peeve when I catch people making this giant off-topic post, and then being like "oh, but to stay on-topic, I'll post this throwaway related image". Just posting an image isn't like a get-out-of-jail-free-card as far as on-topic rules go. :heh: )
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