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Old 2014-12-02, 20:19   Link #41
relentlessflame
 
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Mentar:
If one of the reasons people do stick around this forum at large is for the general quality of the conversation, it happens partly because we have a stricter definition of what is productive and on-topic than some other sites. And yes, sometimes it means we feel we have to spell it out. (I'm not going to play coy: almost all the added items in your list are also enshrined in forum policy, except the obvious red herrings you threw in there.)

We want to promote in-depth conversations, not chat rooms. Because if you leave the forum for 8 hours to sleep, or whatever, you should not come back to 25 pages of pointless one-liners you have to scroll through to get to the actual relevant conversation. All this means is that people end up skipping whatever they missed only to start posting again at the current marker, and the very same questions keep coming up over and over and over. This isn't hyperbole; it was exactly the case with the DxD thread back in the day. So we went through a few different iterations to try to improve the quality of discussion in the thread -- by applying some guidelines of what was on-topic, moving some elements out to the Social Group (at the time), and splitting one thread into three. Eventually, it resulted in the sub-forum. I'm not saying we've arrived or that the rules are above reproach, but it's the result of issues presenting themselves and guided evolution to try to work towards a goal of improving the conversation quality and depth for a very popular LN franchise.

When you're talking about some minor, low-key LN that's just working up the ranks, your little conversation seems very quaint and happy. But scale your little low-key LN to a mega-hit, and this breaks down into pockets of conversation in oceans of one-liner banter. That isn't the sort of discussion environment we want to foster or cultivate. The guidance was designed to help people stay focused on the content, and not on the meta surrounding it, because meta can quickly drown everything else out. As I already explained, limiting meta conversation and keeping the focus on content has been part of the forum ethos from its inception.

Some people believe that moderators should just be janitors, cleaning up the mess when things are obviously out of order, but otherwise leaving everyone to their own devices as long as not illegal or breaking some unquestionable golden rule. AnimeSuki Forums has never had that sort of moderation policy from its inception, and that overall philosophy and approach is not going to change. And if it frustrates you so much that your replies have to take this tone, I'd encourage you to find a place that makes you more happy. Life is too short to subject yourself to misery by choice.

This doesn't mean the staff aren't going to consider what you said. And as I already mentioned, I'd be willing to consider donating some of my personal off-site time to helping support the LN community if they need a better solution to release notification. But, as I think I've explained in many different ways by now, this forum was never designed to accomplish that particular goal.
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Old 2014-12-02, 20:31   Link #42
Marcus H.
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Quote:
We want to promote in-depth conversations, not chat rooms. Because if you leave the forum for 8 hours to sleep, or whatever, you should not come back to 25-pages of pointless one-liners you have to scroll through to get to the actual relevant conversation. All this means is that people end up skipping whatever they missed only to start posting again at the current marker, and the very same questions keep coming up over and over and over. This isn't hyperbole; it was exactly the case with the DxD thread back in the day. So we went through a few different iterations to try to improve the quality of discussion in the thread -- by applying some guidelines of what was on-topic, moving some elements out to the Social Group (at the time), and splitting one thread into three. Eventually, it resulted in the sub-forum. I'm not saying we've arrived or that the rules are above reproach, but it's the result of issues presenting themselves and guided evolution to try to work towards a goal of improving the conversation quality and depth for a very popular LN franchise.
Not sure about how active the DxD-related Social Groups are, but currently I'm a member of three dead Social Groups. That gives off an impression that Social Groups suffer from an issue of visibility and accessibility that should have been addressed a long time ago, when these stricter rules on "posting quality" are enforced.

Speaking of "posting quality", by the way, what the heck is wrong with one-line banter? Not everyone has the ability to write elaborate posts on their opinions (me included) and you can't just expect people to post an essay about why Kirino Kousaka can't possibly be this cute. Meta discussions happen in a lot of forums too and the only point where mods should step up and deal with this is when the topic becomes way off topic, not every time someone nudges the thread in a slight tangent. That should probably solve your problems with mods burning out from cleaning up mess when they can just watch threads self-moderate.

Quote:
And if it frustrates you so much that your replies have to take this tone, I'd encourage you to find a place that makes you more happy.
I'm sorry, but that's just rude.
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Old 2014-12-02, 21:09   Link #43
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
I'm sorry, but that's just rude.
No, the tone of the conversation thus far has been rude. There's a limit to how much cynicism-laced vitriol I'm willing to take in the interest of considering another point of view. This whole conversation could have happened in a much, much more constructive way. I accept that there is frustration, but the staff are all volunteers and we're trying our best. I made the upcoming policy change comment here in the first place because I wanted to put it out there to get feedback, and I'm glad to get it. But the tone and attitude didn't help at all. And at the end of the day, people should do what makes them happy. We listen and try to take that feedback into consideration as much as possible, but we still won't always be able to keep everyone happy. It's my personal life philosophy to avoid spending your free time doing things that frustrate you, so that is where my comment comes from. (And dealing with the tone of this feedback has frustrated me, but this forum is my home too, so I'm willing to deal with it to some degree as long as there's hope that it will lead to a better place. But at a certain point, I will give up. That's basically where I'm at.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Not sure about how active the DxD-related Social Groups are, but currently I'm a member of three dead Social Groups. That gives off an impression that Social Groups suffer from an issue of visibility and accessibility that should have been addressed a long time ago, when these stricter rules on "posting quality" are enforced.
We know that Social Groups are not ideal. We wish they were better-implemented in vBulletin, but we've even looked at newer versions, plug-ins, and other competing software and they're still treated with the same sort of half-hearted effort. We've thought about other ways to make it better, and are open to more feedback about that as a separate issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Speaking of "posting quality", by the way, what the heck is wrong with one-line banter? Not everyone has the ability to write elaborate posts on their opinions (me included) and you can't just expect people to post an essay about why Kirino Kousaka can't possibly be this cute. Meta discussions happen in a lot of forums too and the only point where mods should step up and deal with this is when the topic becomes way off topic, not every time someone nudges the thread in a slight tangent. That should probably solve your problems with mods burning out from cleaning up mess when they can just watch threads self-moderate.
We have watched threads "self-moderate" and seen the results. It's not like we came up with these guidelines because we want to be dictatorial assholes, but because we want to promote a certain tone and caliber of discussion on the site that's different from what you might find elsewhere. We want to encourage deep thought and analysis and keep the focus on that, not barbs, meta, memes, and general chat. There are other sites on the Internet that take more of the latter approach and that's perfectly good for them. But it's not what this site has ever been about. Wading through pages of junk to find the rare insightful post is not the experience we want this site to become known for. Again, we're not trying to be all things to all people.
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Old 2014-12-02, 21:11   Link #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Speaking of "posting quality", by the way, what the heck is wrong with one-line banter? Not everyone has the ability to write elaborate posts on their opinions (me included) and you can't just expect people to post an essay about why Kirino Kousaka can't possibly be this cute. Meta discussions happen in a lot of forums too and the only point where mods should step up and deal with this is when the topic becomes way off topic, not every time someone nudges the thread in a slight tangent. That should probably solve your problems with mods burning out from cleaning up mess when they can just watch threads self-moderate.
One line barter can be fine there is no need for a thesis level analyst in every post, but there is a clear difference between:
"I think Kirino Kousaka isn't cute."

"I think Kirino Kousaka isn't cute; I couldn't believe how she acted during X scene of chapter/episode Y."

Both are one line, but one clearly is basely a disagree/agree post except an opinion, while other actually brings something to the discussion.

Please don't hyperbole and pretend, like we're asking you to make every post paragraphs long, when you know that isn't the case.
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Old 2014-12-02, 22:26   Link #45
Marcus H.
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Quote:
Please don't hyperbole and pretend, like we're asking you to make every post paragraphs long, when you know that isn't the case.
But there are cases when walls of text between other users can get intimidating to confront in a discussion. I know how that feels because it mostly happens every time I try to throw out my simple opinion like a rock. It's frustrating, and this is no lie.

Quote:
We want to encourage deep thought and analysis and keep the focus on that, not barbs, meta, memes, and general chat.
Hell no, that's already one reason why I see myself unable to contribute. It's not that all that's in my head are memes and nonsense, but I'm personally not comfortable with that level of discussion.
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Old 2014-12-02, 23:09   Link #46
Reckoner
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I think there have been good suggestions and points made on both sides, but I feel the conclusion is a bit silly. People can't seriously expect that RF is going to say, "by golly that is a wonderful idea Mentar. I'm going to reform our policy tomorrow with the other moderating staff!" He has acknowledged the viewpoint, but has only said that this would be a significant change in direction from the intentions of the site owner. So until the moderators discuss this amongst themselves I doubt there can be anything done.

Unfortunately AS is not a democracy and as such it lacks transparency. We aren't privy to the details of the moderation discussion. Hopefully they can seriously consider the issue presented and then come up with an official decision regarding it. Not too much else to be said.

For the record Mentar, I totally agree with your viewpoints regarding the forum's moderation in recent years. However, the policies aren't the only reason this place isn't as fun to discuss anime as it was in the last decade. Changing user base and culture regarding how we digest anime is probably a bigger reason honestly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Konakaga View Post
One line barter can be fine there is no need for a thesis level analyst in every post, but there is a clear difference between:
"I think Kirino Kousaka isn't cute."

"I think Kirino Kousaka isn't cute; I couldn't believe how she acted during X scene of chapter/episode Y."

Both are one line, but one clearly is basely a disagree/agree post except an opinion, while other actually brings something to the discussion.

Please don't hyperbole and pretend, like we're asking you to make every post paragraphs long, when you know that isn't the case.
I don't mean to bring a slew of whole other issues into the picture here, but this standard clearly hasn't been held up with my posts in the past (Yes there are other side issues involved, but I won't bring it up here). I just wouldn't pretend that the moderation staff ever made it that simple.
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Old 2014-12-02, 23:35   Link #47
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I don't mean to bring a slew of whole other issues into the picture here, but this standard clearly hasn't been held up with my posts in the past (Yes there are other side issues involved, but I won't bring it up here). I just wouldn't pretend that the moderation staff ever made it that simple.
You really are bringing up a whole slew of other issues that are a completely different topic, but I'll connect it this way. Criticism has to be constructive. Criticism that isn't constructive is often baiting and/or flamebait. Sometimes some people have a hard time seeing where that line is, and that's where the mod staff step in. Sometimes I wonder if people are purposefully trying to be as vitriolic as possible to try to goad a reaction or to win "emotional points" from people sympathetic to their cause. But all this does is polarizes the conversation and turns things into shouting matches. In this thread, I've tried my best to remain as objective as I can, although some of the comments made are absolutely Grade A provocation. Like, implying we wouldn't allow "addressing others in the posts"? Or how about implying that we don't allow disagreeing with the mods, even though we've allowed this very thread? These sorts of insidious unfair attacks don't go unnoticed, even under the guise of "sarcasm". And above all, they're not necessary; I was going to listen to the argument and take it seriously anyway, even though I alone can't change the ship's course.

We want people to make posts that further on-topic conversations in a constructive way. Sometimes that means choosing the right words to express your opinion, even if you feel strongly about the topic. As a case in point, there sure was a lot of Kirino hate back in the day. A lot of people expressed that on the forums without trouble. The only times when there were issues was when people took it to extremes to be overly-provocative, which prevented a balanced/civilized conversation from occurring. Some people feel that this escalation should be allowed indefinitely until things go directly personal, but moderators have to decide when to step in. Usually it's at the point where the tone of discussion is too charged to generate a constructive result. Sometimes people on one side of the debate or the other don't necessarily see how the line they've crossed is that bad, even though it may very well be.

Anyway... the bottom line that Konakaga was trying to get at is that we don't judge posts by their length. Even a short post can be constructive and on-topic, and that's the more important issue.
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Old 2014-12-02, 23:41   Link #48
OH&S
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I've been trying to follow this discussion but I don't quite understand what it is that's going to change. It feels like the supposed changes to be made were already in effect beforehand. I mean just coming from the angle of the Raildex subforums, pretty much nothing has changed; its just business as usual.

The only thing I see being affected are the really, really new LN translation projects with some random translators posting their translations in the series' thread or linking to a google docs or pastebin where they posted the translation. That could certainly sting; unless I'm reading the changes wrong.

Also about encouraging deep thought and analysis, I think that might be better phrased as intelligent conversation. And I'd love that. Konokaga is right with the given example.

The only thing left to bring up is the apparent uselessness of the Social Groups acting as a place for all the casual banter. I think more work should be done by the AS staff highlighting these Social Groups as the place to direct all casual talk. Again coming from the angle of the Raildex Subforums, this is a massive problem that we have and I remember that relentless once said that we have built up a bad reputation. This frustrates me as I know that a small (single digit) group of users is behind it.

An interim solution regarding the Raildex subforums would be to have a permanent staff announcement on both the Index subforum and the Railgun subforum that directly brings up and links to the relevent Social Group or thread in the social group and use big bolded letters to say "Casual Banter over here otherwise BAN." or something like that...

I guess I went off-topic there.

In summary;
  • has anything truly changed in practice?
  • what will be the fates of the really new LN translations that only get posted here?
  • encourage intelligent conversation and discourage one-line banter
  • make social groups more obvious in subforums as announcements
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Old 2014-12-03, 00:00   Link #49
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by OH&S View Post
I've been trying to follow this discussion but I don't quite understand what it is that's going to change. It feels like the supposed changes to be made were already in effect beforehand. I mean just coming from the angle of the Raildex subforums, pretty much nothing has changed; its just business as usual.
Yeah, from the perspective of Raildex (and DxD, etc.), really nothing has changed, because it was among the first to get a sub-forum, and both the novel and manga are licensed anyway. All the things we've talked about are already in place there. I want to say that the discussion overall is still sustained even with these rules in place, but then again these were hugely popular works to begin with. People want to talk about them.

You're probably right that the projects that would be most impacted by the proposed change are the tiny one-person projects that someone is posting on their blog or something, and where the forum thread here is really the central hub for the project. I have to admit that I personally have been more focused on the big/popular Light Novels, and the rules were partly in line with what seemed to make sense to improve the quality of the discussions in the threads there. What is being described is almost more like an "Translation Project Incubator" or something... and like I said, that just really isn't something we had in our scope. So it requires new thought.

We have tossed around the idea of promoting a link to the social group in the sub forums and opening posts at various times. There are some pros and cons to it. For a case like Raildex, it probably would work out okay. But again for some of these smaller projects... not sure. It's not like they can necessarily sustain both a thread and a social group at once. Anyway, I think this is a good conversation that we should continue to have to try to figure it out.
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Old 2014-12-03, 00:58   Link #50
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Anyway... the bottom line that Konakaga was trying to get at is that we don't judge posts by their length. Even a short post can be constructive and on-topic, and that's the more important issue.
No, I agree. I just think what is interpreted as constructive hasn't always been straightforward and your elaboration here sort of illustrates that IMO. Just things to be mindful of is all. Severity, tone, and context of such a post can greatly affect the perception of it.
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Old 2014-12-03, 05:26   Link #51
Mentar
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In one aspect this thread has been fantastic, because it has laid bare the fundamental dissent between you and me: What the role of moderation should be. The downside for me is that I had to learn that you don't see anything wrong about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
This doesn't mean the staff aren't going to consider what you said. And as I already mentioned, I'd be willing to consider donating some of my personal off-site time to helping support the LN community if they need a better solution to release notification. But, as I think I've explained in many different ways by now, this forum was never designed to accomplish that particular goal.
You love to repeat the "was never meant/designed to" line as justification for your changes, but let's please face it: It is simply not true. The Animesuki I joined in 2003 was an open community for all people loving anime culture. Anime Suki - Love Anime. It offered torrents and playback advice for fansubs, boards for music, games, you name it. It had a set of basic rules which went beyond what was normal compared to other sites in that time, but it a far cry from the ruleset which the current mod crew has iteratively accumulated over the course of the last years.

Now this doesn't necessarily need to be bad or wrong. It is normal that things change over time. What I politely ask you is not trying to pretend that your changes have been the logical realization of the goal that Animesuki always had in mind: They are not, and I feel insulted when you try to sell them this way. They are a conscious deviation of former times and should be labeled and treated as such.

The core of our dissent:

Quote:
Some people believe that moderators should just be janitors, cleaning up the mess when things are obviously out of order, but otherwise leaving everyone to their own devices as long as not illegal or breaking some unquestionable golden rule. AnimeSuki Forums has never had that sort of moderation policy from its inception, and that overall philosophy and approach is not going to change. And if it frustrates you so much that your replies have to take this tone, I'd encourage you to find a place that makes you more happy. Life is too short to subject yourself to misery by choice."
This is an excellent description, actually. The only thing I slightly dislike is the term 'janitor', because it has the connotation of being a low-ranked job not worthy of respect, and this is not true. I would prefer the term 'Senpai' - an experienced person who commands the experience and respect to intervene when things go wrong, and to keep care of the community. Who allows his Kouhais to thrive in lively freedom as long as it doesn't go too far.

Two of the best forums I know have essentially two rules: First, don't harm the enjoyment of others, treat them with respect. Second, the admins have the sole authority to determine whether or not you do, respect their decisions. In healthy communities, this would be my "ideal" approach. But yes, I do recognize that this can also have downsides, and I'm not demanding that AS adheres to them - just a description of where I'm coming from.

The current Animesuki's approach is what I would call the "Rottenmeyer" style. It postulates that the mods not only enforce a plethora of rules (which are revealingly mostly worded in the form of "forbidden"), but that they educate the users to conform to certain standards of "quality" that the mods decide on. If users don't, they will be censured. I users do something that the mods don't like (and decide "was not intended" or "not wanted"), rules will be drafted to prevent them from doing so. Then, they will either secretly ignore the rules and risk being caught and punished, or eventually are fed up with it and run away to the Alps. Which is essentially what your last lines suggest.

What it all boils down to is that I've felt for several _years_ now that AS is marching too far in the wrong direction here - the slippery Rottenmeyer slope, so to say. What has become apparent to me in this thread is that this is not an unwanted sideeffect that the moderators were not fully aware of, but that it is a conscious and fully aware decision. Miss Rottenmeyer also knew exactly what was good for Klara, and to be fair, she also had good arguments for her position, just like I'll readily admit that you also make a lot of good points about why your approach is reasonable.

But I find myself opposing it because I feel unnecessarily restricted by it. I do recognize that there needs to be moderators maintaining order, but I don't feel that I need you to tell me what to talk about in which form. I feel I don't need to be educated in that. I feel that you are infringing in my liberties way more than you should. I feel that you shouldn't make decisions like what "quality standards" should be without getting feedback what the community thinks about it. And while it's nice to at least have you mods explain your decisions, it would be even nicer if the community was given the opportunity to give feedback _before_ a decision is reached and proclaimed.

So either I can call it quits and run away to the alps, or publicly oppose what little me considers to be bad developments. As one of the older members with a little bit of connections and public exposure, I opt to do the latter, to give some visibility to what we feel unhappy about, in the hope that eventually it _will_ be heeded.

"We will consider it" is something I heard before, multiple times. Unfortunately, my arguments were obviously always judged to be unconvincing, because I have not sensed any change in the direction the AS mods are pursuing. Even more, in this thread I got to read - expressis verbis - that what I considered a problem was what you consider a strength.

*shrug* Bummer.

So let's hope that I am wrong and you are right.
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Old 2014-12-03, 07:09   Link #52
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I get where you're coming from, Mentar, but it's clear that you don't really pay attention to the difference between rules and how they are enforced.

For example, you brought up a rule previously regarding double posting. This rule isn't heavily enforced because it's not really an issue. The reason the rule exists is because for some people, it absolutely has been an issue, and because the rule is listed, they can't hide behind the defense of "well there's no rule against it, you're just being a nazi mod" in an attempt to justify their actions.

The staff isn't a hive mind, either. We usually don't collaborate too much on any one issue unless the matter has reached a point where one moderator can't handle it anymore. It's not super common, but it does happen. Or there are cases like this, where we've worked together for a policy reason, go to the community, then go back and forth.

Essentially though, we don't create rules just because. As we've stated many times over the years, we don't change just for the sake of it. We do everything with reason behind it. Not every policy change is popular. We've been down that road a few times. But where you see a laundry list of rules and boundaries, we see years of reasons why those rules were created in the first place. In the vast majority of circumstances, those rules are never needed to maintain the forums. But when those circumstances do arise, we have something to fall back on so that we can moderate with some consistency.

And yes, some rules do become outdated or they need adjusting. It's a fair criticism to suggest that a particular rule isn't doing the job it's supposed to. That being said, I feel you're only approaching this particular instance from only your own perspective and that you're not really considering our own. You seem to think we're somehow out of touch with the community, but you don't really seem interested in seeing where we're coming from with a decision like this.

Consider this, then. Inconsistent enforcement policies garner ill will among the community. For example, if we continue to allow sharing of fan translations in the light novel threads, why should we not extend this policy to manga or anime? Why not allow fan translations of visual novels? There is plenty of material in those mediums that will never be licensed, right?

Irenicus makes the point that we shouldn't care about it, because we have no fear of legal consequence. But that's not exactly true. Animesuki has received legal threats over the years, and while some of them were easy to brush off, some weren't. Media Factory was one of them. At the time, they had licenses to several major franchises every season, and there was a strong possibility that if we didn't comply, they would go as far as they could to shut us down.

Keep in mind that this is back in the days of actual fan subbing, not things as they are now. AS was frequently targeted by companies who did not like that their IP was being shared through torrents, licensed or not. This is why our policies were constantly being tweaked over the years, to evade as much legal action as possible. A site based in China or with the legal slipperiness of TPB would laugh at that kind of thing. Unfortunately, we really couldn't.

In the end, MFI's actions signaled the beginning of the end. Unlike us, most torrent sites couldn't care less about respecting license holders, and unfortunately, neither does most of the "community". With the rise of broadband and streaming, our torrent index became useless.

Most people don't really care about who makes the content, or where it comes from, as long as they have access to it. They only share in the translation discussion for as much as it allows them to find more of what they want. For all of your championing of novel translators and how they should be appreciated, no one really cares who does the translating, just that it is being translated. It's a cruel truth, like it or not.

A lot of what you consider to be a case of "too many rules" is also due to us straining to accommodate many different sides of the community. For example, the spoiler policy is way more complex than it should be, and has driven a lot of the "this is how threads/forums should be run" that you profess to dislike so much. But the complexities are because the policy is trying to handle many different discussion preferences at once: the people who only watch anime, the people who know the source material, the people who can find raws, the people who don't read/stream illegally, etc.

Honestly it's not hard to point to that one policy decision as the one which has impacted the forums the most. It's a necessary evil, but one which is difficult to balance with the desire to be more free to discuss what you want.

However, when it comes to the matter at hand, there have always been mod enforcement of the rules when it came to what is allowed in discussion threads. Rule 1.1 hasn't really changed since the time I've been here, which was about a year before the Crash. In some cases, yes, there weren't as many rules. However things have changed over the years. The scene has changed. The community has changed. The industry has changed. That magical time of innocence, when anime was this new discovery for everyone and very little existed on the internet to support that hobby, let alone manga and novels which were difficult to find even if they were translated.....it's long gone.

The problem has arisen in that our policies about licensed vs unlicensed, in regards to rules like 1.1, have been in dire need of revision. Without fully retiring the main site until recently, and because we haven't enforced the rules as strictly or evenly as we should because of the quasi state of limbo regarding them, things like open sharing of light novel translations have begun to flourish even though we haven't really intended that behavior to exist.

I wouldn't call your description of us accurate, but there is some truth to it. For example, we absolutely do try to create a minimum bar of behavior in discussion. The hope is that by adjusting the signal to noise ratio, people will have a better environment to voice their opinions. Will there be silly, pointless posts? Sure. Does that mean every post should be like that, of course not. It's not unrealistic to expect people to post something that doesn't resemble a Twitter feed, or a Youtube comment, or a 4chan meme.

Regardless, all of this goes back to the initial complaints you and others have made against this policy change: that it unfairly punishes the community here which has grown to accept open sharing of fan translated light novels.

As we've stated before, this behavior was never intended to flourish, and while it unfortunately has for many reasons, it's not something we want to continue to allow. It's a relatively recent behavior, but not one that any other section of the site has ever been allowed, and one novel threads were never meant to have. To endorse it would be unfair to people who, for example, translate manga, and to allow it for all sections is to go back to a state where we'd have to constantly monitor for licensed content while justifying that it's okay to share unlicensed content because "it's not as bad".

It would also require us to completely reshift the focus of the site. More rule changes to accommodate what is and isn't allowed, more forums and divisions for things like discussion of translation efforts, additions of aggregators, feeds, and other tools, and so on.

From our perspective, it's much simpler to just focus on the outlier issue - the sharing of fan translated novels - than to retool the forums around an even bigger policy change.

Bear in mind those changes would have consequences for the community too, some of them good, some bad. But the nature and definition of change is that someone is affected. If no one noticed anything different, did anything change at all?
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Old 2014-12-03, 08:46   Link #53
MeoTwister5
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As an outsider to the LN community here (never touched one of these thing) I can't say that this community is a minority here. One look at the visitor count shows twice the number of active forum readers than the anime boards and I assume a substantial number are in the LN forums. Whether or not having a substantial LN community was intended or not is moot because they're here and they do have a big presence. Any rule changes will affect everyone and the LN community isn't exactly small enough for the effects to be inconsequential. The translation side of that community isn't exactly an outlier group either because unlike these days where anime and manga are getting higher exposure and more content being adopted for translation, the LN community still highly relies on the goodwill of knowledgeable fans to translate and share to their fellows.

Change will and does affect all however I just get the feeling that it is assumed that the effects to this particular group will be small. Even as an outsider I can tell that this will deninitely not be the case. They blowback from these moves will definitely be bigger than expected. Some people are already particularly vocal about it in this thread, what more when the changes go live? The biggest mistake to be made here is to assume the damage will be minimal when this thread itself is already proving otherwise.

The reactions in this thread should be enough evidence to convince everyone that further dialogue is needed and not simply pointing fingers and assigning blame. Theres more to lose here than meets the eye if bad choices are made.
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Old 2014-12-03, 11:40   Link #54
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I get where you're coming from, Mentar, but it's clear that you don't really pay attention to the difference between rules and how they are enforced.
I'll try to be more attentive in the future, but I'd like to point to relentless's reply in which he made perfectly clear that he wouldn't support any rule he was unwilling to enforce 100%. And just for the record - I agree with you that there are good reasons to give mods a latitude of judgment on this.

Quote:
For example, you brought up a rule previously regarding double posting. This rule isn't heavily enforced because it's not really an issue. The reason the rule exists is because for some people, it absolutely has been an issue, and because the rule is listed, they can't hide behind the defense of "well there's no rule against it, you're just being a nazi mod" in an attempt to justify their actions.
And you don't see this outcome as a self-perpetuating problem? You feel that accumulating more and more special rules to guard against earlier "omissions" makes you less of a nazi mod in their eyes?

After trying to convince the mods to give a bit more freedom to the community, I'm very reluctant to inject suggestions to the mods on how to organize themselves, but let me please share a little piece of life experience from my side: I am an internet specialist who is often tasked to create legal documents concerning service levels. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from our company lawyer was: "Positively describe the services you provide/require. Only negatively exclude things which are absolutely vital, and then in a gereral way that makes sense even to the uninitiated. Once you chain negative special rule to negative special rule, you end up with something unmaintainable, and if then something is challenged in court, you end up with holes when the other side argues "but this has been specified here and here, but explicitly not here, so this omission was obviously intended". I see lots of parallels here.

Did you ever consider making a document "Code of conduct", in which you list the most basic rules (reduced to the max), and then positively explain what you want to be the convention of behavior on AS, scrapping the endless "no xxx" litany. In the form of "Please do/do not do _this_ for the following reason". Include a general rule "Moderators are authorized to determine and censure disruptive behavior" and then give the moderators latitude of judgment, with the option to appeal his decision with his peers. And then, apply this with restraint and common sense.

You may be surprised to hear that from me, but I am honestly convinced that your mod team would do fine this way. And I am also convinced that this would feel much less invasive towards the community than adding more or more "special rules" for isolated cases, and then feel pressure to harmonize these special rulings into general rulings for the sake of "consistency".

But I digress. Just food for thought.

Quote:
And yes, some rules do become outdated or they need adjusting. It's a fair criticism to suggest that a particular rule isn't doing the job it's supposed to. That being said, I feel you're only approaching this particular instance from only your own perspective and that you're not really considering our own. You seem to think we're somehow out of touch with the community, but you don't really seem interested in seeing where we're coming from with a decision like this.
I see your point, but _I_ honestly think that the perspective of the community should take precedence over the perspective of the mods. Especially since in my opinion, the painful forest of thorns the mods find themselves in and try to navigate was planted by you guys. These are self-inflicted wounds.

Like I tried to express earlier: relentless has been providing lots of good arguments explaining why you feel the need to do what you are doing. But is AS for the community or the moderators? Prior to this thread, I had assumed that the unanimous answer would be "the community". After reading this thread, I am not sure anymore.

Quote:
Consider this, then. Inconsistent enforcement policies garner ill will among the community. For example, if we continue to allow sharing of fan translations in the light novel threads, why should we not extend this policy to manga or anime? Why not allow fan translations of visual novels? There is plenty of material in those mediums that will never be licensed, right?
This is a good question, and I understand your argument. But if your response would be "we feel the need to enforce this for anime and mangas due to the legal ramifications endangering the site, and we will tolerate it for games and LNs as long as we are not legally challenged", then I believe that this would generate a much more positive reaction from the community than "you know, we never wanted this illegal stuff in the first place, and we must be consistent all over the board, so now everything is forbidden".

It's exactly what I mean with latitude of judgment. With such a measured response, I strongly doubt that the scanlators would want to screw over the LN translators. Different situations, different measures. Trying to make one size fit all is often not possible in the first place, and trying anyway generally leads to a much more rigid and unpleasant ruleset than what would be desirable AND necessary.

Quote:
Most people don't really care about who makes the content, or where it comes from, as long as they have access to it. They only share in the translation discussion for as much as it allows them to find more of what they want. For all of your championing of novel translators and how they should be appreciated, no one really cares who does the translating, just that it is being translated. It's a cruel truth, like it or not.
...which in my opinion makes it all the more important to maintain the feedback lines of those who show appreciation to those who spend countless hours to provide their services to the community.

While I was still actively fansubbing, I'd see on my torrent tracker that each week, a six-digit number of people would enjoy our work. In the IRC channel, hundreds of people would cheer on any release. This kind of feedback was easy.

In the LN scene, you don't easily see how many people bother to read what you logged countless hours into. They usually don't have well-populated IRC channels, and are restricted to 5-6 comments on their own blog. I know that several translators keep going because they can talk with 10-20 fans on AS who show their appreciation and discuss their work.

Harming this for the sake of "rule consistency" may be a logical consequence from YOUR point of view. It fills me with sadness and irritation on MY side of the fence, because I feel that in a healthy and flexible community, it should not be necessary, given the current legal situation.

That's my opinion regardless of the fact that I feel a strong affinity to the LN crowd, by the way. "I'm screwed, so I demand that you get screwed over, too" doesn't make sense to me.

Quote:
A lot of what you consider to be a case of "too many rules" is also due to us straining to accommodate many different sides of the community. For example, the spoiler policy is way more complex than it should be, and has driven a lot of the "this is how threads/forums should be run" that you profess to dislike so much. But the complexities are because the policy is trying to handle many different discussion preferences at once: the people who only watch anime, the people who know the source material, the people who can find raws, the people who don't read/stream illegally, etc.
Logical response: Separate the various "knowledge levels" (book/manga/anime) and explain to the community "Please make sure that you stay in the correct threads. Do not ruin the other folks' enjoyment by spoiling something they do not know by now". Which is something you worked towards and made good progress with. Wouldn't this simple approach also do the job?

I honestly do believe that the community would respond better to tossing out 90% of the rules, lay down and properly explain those that need to remain and why, and then leave things to the common sense of the mods. I know that I would. Even if I might disagree with a mod decision every once in a while ... in the end, I feel I'd accept it.

Quote:
I wouldn't call your description of us accurate, but there is some truth to it. For example, we absolutely do try to create a minimum bar of behavior in discussion. The hope is that by adjusting the signal to noise ratio, people will have a better environment to voice their opinions. Will there be silly, pointless posts? Sure. Does that mean every post should be like that, of course not. It's not unrealistic to expect people to post something that doesn't resemble a Twitter feed, or a Youtube comment, or a 4chan meme.
While I sympathize with the goal in general, my insignificant personal opinion would be to exercise a LOT of caution and restraint here. relentless gave an example that he wouldn't like to log in to multiple pages of few-liners, so he'd rather make up a rule prohibiting that - I think this is already overreach. I'd prefer an open, lively "Animesuki" community over a much more subdued "High-quality anime content discussions board". This "educating" stuff when paired with a big spoon of "VERBOTEN" tends to have a an acquired taste that only few community members really appreciate.

Quote:
As we've stated before, this behavior was never intended to flourish, and while it unfortunately has for many reasons, it's not something we want to continue to allow.
Sad. Just sad.

Quote:
It's a relatively recent behavior, but not one that any other section of the site has ever been allowed, and one novel threads were never meant to have. To endorse it would be unfair to people who, for example, translate manga, and to allow it for all sections is to go back to a state where we'd have to constantly monitor for licensed content while justifying that it's okay to share unlicensed content because "it's not as bad".
You really think that scanlators would want to screw over LN translators out of spite that they are working in a more hostile legal environment? Seriously?

I don't believe that this is how the vast majority would feel.

Quote:
It would also require us to completely reshift the focus of the site. More rule changes to accommodate what is and isn't allowed, more forums and divisions for things like discussion of translation efforts, additions of aggregators, feeds, and other tools, and so on.
Like I said above, in my most humble opinion, you don't need more rules, you rather need to kick 9 out of 10 existing ones, reword those that remain, and assume a more flexible approach. Then again, I clearly have a different vision of what Animesuki should be than at least several influential mods do.
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Old 2014-12-03, 19:05   Link #55
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
You love to repeat the "was never meant/designed to" line as justification for your changes, but let's please face it: It is simply not true. The Animesuki I joined in 2003 was an open community for all people loving anime culture. Anime Suki - Love Anime. It offered torrents and playback advice for fansubs, boards for music, games, you name it. It had a set of basic rules which went beyond what was normal compared to other sites in that time, but it a far cry from the ruleset which the current mod crew has iteratively accumulated over the course of the last years.

Now this doesn't necessarily need to be bad or wrong. It is normal that things change over time. What I politely ask you is not trying to pretend that your changes have been the logical realization of the goal that Animesuki always had in mind: They are not, and I feel insulted when you try to sell them this way. They are a conscious deviation of former times and should be labeled and treated as such.
Honestly, I feel that you're looking at the old times with rose-coloured glasses. I was here too back in 2003 and beyond, and have had a lot of interactions with the founding staff to learn their perspective and points of view. The site owner was also directly involved with this proposed change. The goal had always been to help expose people to more anime, only using illegal means when necessary (which is why all other forms of illegal content were forbidden, and only this one limited exception was made for unlicensed anime and manga). And now, we can basically say that their original goal has been accomplished.

Rules were progressively added, even before my time as a moderator, in response to situations that arose.

a) It was felt that people weren't showing enough discretion when creating new threads, resulting in too many duplicate threads and poor discoverability. Thus "one topic, one thread" was born.

b) It was felt that people were too out of control in the sorts of threads that got created in sub-forums, and using them to promote negative community behaviours, thus the sub-forum thread lockdown was implemented.

c) It was felt that the increasing amount of people familiar with source material was creating anime threads where spoiler tags were exceeding non-tagged posts, and it was crowding out anime-centric discussion. Thus, the spoiler policy was revised.

I was only entering the staff as the spoiler issue was being discussed, and that change was driven largely by the very same founding administrators. Most of the things that have happened since then, until this time, have been minor almost bureaucratic iterations of these three principles to try to make them more clear in response to complaints and confusion. So I really don't agree with your insinuation that there has been some great departure, certainly not in comparison to the forum as it was when I joined the staff. The forums have evolved with the times a tiny bit (arguably not enough), but it's following the same trajectory it has been on ever since I arrived. In my view, this final move to "turn off" the fansub connections has been a long time in coming; the staff have been discussing it for over a year.


And aside that, when I say that the forum is not designed to be a release tracker, I mean that quite literally: the forum is not the tool for the job, and was never used that way here in the past either. That's why we had the torrent site. The content threads were never designed to foster relationships between fansubbers and "their fans". Fansub groups had IRC channels for that. We generally tried to keep that sort of meta out of the threads to reduce drama and, again, keep the focus more on the content. There was some more accommodation for fansub groups in general, considering we had the Fansub Groups forum, but I hold steadily to the truth of my statement that forum threads were never intended to serve the purpose you're arguing they serve and/or should serve now. So I don't agree that the statement isn't true. I wasn't saying that the forum is exactly the same now as it was then, just the specific thing you want was never what the forum was intended to be used for.



I have personally been involved in drafting rule revisions, template threads, and policy clarification statements. There are different philosophies about how to write rules, but I tend to be more wordy and try to be more clear/precise. The reason is because, in interacting with hundreds of members over the years as a moderator, I have found that any time the wording is not literal and precise, it opens the door for challenges. A lot of people do not speak English as a first language, and vague all-encompassing guidelines tend to not be well-understood, or always interpreted in the way that supports whatever they want. And it gets pretty tiresome to argue for the Nth time that, when the rules says this, that also includes all this other stuff. So, the result is that I try to spell it out. "When I mean on-topic discussion about the content, I mean do not do this, that, and this other thing." Because then when someone says "where does it say that?", it's clear as day. If the rules just said "keep everything on-topic", nobody knows what that means. And if I come in and act on content that is getting off-topic, people will push back like "well, I am talking about the topic, you're just biased against me because <y>". You might consider this extra precision to be overboard and feel overly-restrictive, but clearer expectations reduce confusion and conflict.

Part of this is due to your wider philosophy about how forums should be moderated, and that just really isn't this site's style. I see a place like 4chan that basically adopts the philosophy you ascribe: people are basically left to do and say what they want, and the moderators only step in when things go truly over the top. And in my view, anyway, the ratio of junk to serious conversation is way too high. Perhaps it's due to sites like 4chan, or perhaps it's the influence of instant messaging, text messaging, and services like Twitter, but there's a tendency now to treat the forum like an IM thread. And contrary to your earlier joke, we do want to encourage engagement and conversation with others, but something more substantial and deeper than what you'd get over IM. That's what makes a forum different from every other communication medium out there. And I do realize that, in a lot of ways, a forum is not what people want anymore. But I also think it's part of what makes this site what it is, and keeps it somewhat unique in an increasingly-crowded world. So in some senses, preserving this uniqueness will sometimes require going against the grain a little bit: to help people remember that forums are a different sort of environment than IM, chat, or Twitter/Facebook. To some extent, this didn't have to be explained as much 10 years ago, because forums were an extension of newsgroups, which were not unlike email, which was a digital evolution of letters and memos. We come here to discuss not simply to chat.

This is why it sort of goes back to the point about picking the right tool for the job, and how not all problems are nails. If my mission today were to create a community that supported Light Novel fan translations, a forum may be part of it, but it wouldn't be the central piece. So I'd like to consider the broader question of what the LN community truly needs, whatever the role these forums need to play in it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
But I find myself opposing it because I feel unnecessarily restricted by it. I do recognize that there needs to be moderators maintaining order, but I don't feel that I need you to tell me what to talk about in which form. I feel I don't need to be educated in that. I feel that you are infringing in my liberties way more than you should.
I respect that you feel that way, but I don't see the overall consequence to the nature and tone of discussion on this site to be as drastic and devastating as you make it sound. Granted that you have a particular attachment to the conversation that sometimes occurs between LN fan translators and people reading the translations (edit for clarity: regarding translation release timing and thanks), but I don't think the threads are the place for it. It causes the threads to have a dual focus: the work, and the meta surrounding the work, and the latter can often overtake the former. The latter also tends to be more transient in nature, so it gives the threads less lasting/enduring value. It makes it less likely that people will follow the interesting conversations that occurred in the past because it's lost in the mountain of now-outdated meta.

If we did decide to continue to allow discussion of fan translations on the site, I would hope to pursue a different approach to this sort of meta conversation. But I don't know at this moment what exactly that would be. I need to keep thinking about it.


Anyway...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Then again, I clearly have a different vision of what Animesuki should be than at least several influential mods do.
As much as we want AnimeSuki Forums to continue to grow and prosper, there is plenty of place in the world for diversity. If you believe your philosophy has merit and can bring meaning and value to a growing community that needs it, go for it! I mean that with complete sincerity. If you or others are suppressing ideas for creative new communities out of loyalty to this site, just hoping that someday we'll "come around", your idea is just sitting on the vine not growing or evolving. I've looked around at other communities on the Internet, and I still feel that the approach we have here, based on the precedent established before I even joined the staff, is something unique and different. But that doesn't mean that it's the right approach for everyone, and it doesn't mean that it doesn't have some adverse consequences. If people are alienated from this community because they don't like our style, then they need a home -- a home that maybe nobody is providing. And hey, this isn't a traditional marriage; people can go to multiple sites, too! This isn't trying to shut down the conversation or alienate you or anyone else, but I'm just trying to be honest: you can expect more gradual evolution than total revolution here. We will be reworking the rules soon, and I'll take the feedback about the desire for simplification, but I've got to temper that with the points I explained above, and the other mods and admins will contribute their own perspectives and experiences. So I don't think it'll ever end up being the sort of rule structure and moderation structure you're advocating, because I don't believe that approach would yield the results the overall community expects from this site. We want to try to support the more social aspects as we can too, but Social Groups in this software aren't what they could be; I'm not sure what we can do, but we'll continue to try to iterate on that. All in all, we'll continue to try to be who we are, even if it isn't what everyone wishes it could be. We hope that some people will continue to see value in that.
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Old 2014-12-03, 20:36   Link #56
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Old 2014-12-03, 22:08   Link #57
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
This particular policy direction is not really being reconsidered at this time. That's been the policy of this forum for any content that does not fall within the limited acceptable guidelines forever. If we're not going allow links to illegal content, we also won't allow insinuations about how to find it without the explicit link. This isn't a question of "who are you trying to fool", it's a question of the principle of whether it is or isn't okay to talk about. You don't say "we don't want to be associated with illegal content" on the one hand, and then privately say "but we'll let you *hint* at it so long as you don't spell it out". That's the true "who are these guys trying to fool", at least in my opinion.
"We need to implement this rule to protect ourselves legally" is a remarkably and universally easy to understand sentiment. People accept that. They follow that. They don't have to like it, but they get you. And only the most anal retentive would care one bit about your apparent hypocrisy.

Convincing others of your principles, first that you are right, and second that they should care in the least about it, is much harder. And a pointless endeavor here.

Quote:
I don't think this was always the case, and I don't think it always is the case for all members of the community. I am a member of the community too, and on a personal level I do care about piracy vs. legitimacy. We allowed discussion of piracy in a very limited case that met self-imposed guidelines that seemed to make sense at the time. And I think we can continue to be a perfectly viable community without the direct connection to piracy, just as there are plenty of very active, vibrant gaming forums (for example) where discussion of piracy or mentions of sites where piracy occurs are forbidden. Whether people personally choose to pirate or not, or what rules they apply to themselves over what's acceptable or not, doesn't need to be a factor in terms of the nature of conversation that should be allowed.

...

This may just be a philosophical difference. I personally believe that trying to keep everything 100% legal and above-board should be the default, desired scenario. So if we can host a vibrant and viable forum that doesn't need have anything illegal about it, I think that should be the preferred choice. In my view (and I think that of the site owner and founding administrators) fansubbing, scanlation, and LN fan-translating are not the preferred solution. We do not believe "all content should be free!" as a philosophical point, as I know some do. Fan translation is a consequence of the fact that demand is not being legally/legitimately met; there is no other way to get the content in English if not for the fan work, until it's licensed.
The above is actually utterly irrelevant. I stringently refused to bring my own opinions and principles as to what constitutes moral and immoral, legitimate or illegitimate, et cetera, into this, because I am not speaking for me. I hope you are not also actually speaking for yourself.

Because that is not your role.

Moderators guide the community, not rule it. And your users, of which the vast majority are homo sapiens, do not work in straightforward ways. You cannot flip a lever, and suddenly the Red people become Blue. If you wish to influence the community a certain way, then ALL you should be concerned about is how to go about achieving it, NOT what rules should be on the books for consistency with your worldview. I was simply stating facts when I noted that the community doesn't care one bit. I was also stating facts when I noted that the rights owners do not care one bit. The former do what they want, this being a pretty big internet. The latter deals in absolutes. Are you hosting illegal content or not? Are you intentionally disseminating illegal content or not? What do I gain by prosecuting you? What do I lose? What is the opportunity cost? Why should I bother prosecuting you? Do I even know you exist?

They don't think, "oh, but Animesuki is a legitimate community concerned about licensed status. Though they actually violated certain rules, let's play nice and not send them a nasty letter." They don't give a shit.

So in other words my interest in this part is entirely whether you run legal risks or not by the effects of having or not having the rules at hand. I don't care about legitimacy and principles, not because I actually don't (maybe I do, maybe I don't, what does it matter?), but because I am just one member and the community, as a whole, doesn't, and therefore my feedback as a user is based on this:

Practical effects. I'm all about practical effects here.

And your intention at hand, here, is to implement enforce certain rules which will have the following practical effects:

1. A lot of pissed off new members.
2. Who will kindly tell you to fuck off.
3. Then they themselves will fuck off because they can't change your mind and they can just leave the place.
4. After much commotion, annoyance, misunderstandings, burned out moderators, and annoyed users later, perhaps even a dead forum or two, you will...

Gain what?

What are you doing this for? For whom? Why?

Is it for legal protection? If yes, I understand, it's a trade-off. You make your judgments based on reasonable risks and reasonable gains.

Is it for improved discussion? If yes, I have bad news for you. There are a lot of ways for discussions to be degraded or die off, and you are not running Risk #2037, That Pages Of Only Bad One-Liners Scare Off Wordy People. I would understand if you are running that particular risk and is trying to ward it off, but that's not the situation on the ground. People are happy. They don't even have all that much quality to discuss actually given the, well, quality of the source materials at hand. You are actually running Risks #1249 and #367, That Overly Strict Nanny Rules Scare Off Most People, and That The Dearth Of Discussion Itself Is the Death of Discussion.

Then, is it for principles? If so, whose principles? Yours? The community's? If you think it is the community's, put that up for vote. Trust me, if you actually make it clear what will happen practically when these rules are enforced, you will be so massively outvoted we could make Putin himself thinks there's voting fraud here.

And if it is up to just your principles, then I sincerely question what is worth more to you, the health of the community, or setting your principles in stone over the wishes of other users. Nobody will "blame" you for having a little hypocrisy (IF it can be called that!), a little light hand on the banhandle, for having rules on the books that happen to protect you legally but not all that stringently enforced (or better yet, no rules at all, if that doesn't actually increase tangible risk). Nobody is going to come to Animesuki and think, wow, what a legitimate community! I am going to join! A lot of people will tell you in very very bad words their frustrations if they think your actions are unreasonable and you are harming them and getting in their way in some way.

So again, what's up? What brought this up? What are you trying gain, in exchange for what you are about to lose?


P.S. Your comments are most welcome, kusabireika. User for a day = user, period.

Last edited by Irenicus; 2014-12-03 at 22:19.
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Old 2014-12-03, 22:22   Link #58
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
1. A lot of pissed off new members.
2. Who will kindly tell you to fuck off.
3. Then they themselves will fuck off because they can't change your mind and they can just leave the place.
4. After much commotion, annoyance, misunderstandings, burned out moderators, and annoyed users later, you will...

Gain what?
You know, I'm only going to deal with this part. We have had the very same rules that are being referred to in place for licensed content for years and years -- long past the point that the vast majority stopped caring about licensing and were going to watch what there were going to watch anyway. And, you know what, discussion of these series carried on just fine! It's not the end of the world!

1. I don't see people constantly pissed-off, because they can still discuss the shows without any problem.
2. It really isn't that big of a deal to not be able to link to fansubbers. It doesn't stop people from pirating if they want.
3. If people really are so bothered by this that they'll leave, okay. But that isn't what I've generally seen happen here before. Most people just say "oh I guess I can't link that" and continue on with the topics at hand.
4. The commotion, annoyance, misunderstanding, and potential burn out will only happen if we keep dealing with quotes like this.

This hyperbole is completely ridiculous and that can kindly fuck off.

I get that there are some smaller Light Novel projects run by one person on their blog, and they don't have a site or an infrastructure, so being able to reach out to their very small group of project followers is a value add. And I think that is something worth considering as a need this community has at this particular moment in its development. But implying that applying these rules across the board is suddenly telling a whole bunch of people to fuck off is so overblown that it makes me seriously question everything else you say.

We've been dealing with threads that didn't allow linking to fan translations forever and ever on this site, including on some of our most popular Light Novel threads. It hasn't caused the universe to implode. We can deal with this too. Now whether it's the best decision or not? That can be debated. But these overblown theatrics have to stop.
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Old 2014-12-03, 22:37   Link #59
Irenicus
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
You know, I'm only going to deal with this part. We have had the very same rules that are being referred to in place for licensed content for years and year -- long past the point that the vast majority stopped caring about licensing and were going to watch what there were going to watch anyway. And, you know what, discussion of these series carried on just fine! It's not the end of the world!
That's mostly because they currently ignore just about every rule you have over the LN threads, relentlessflame. Have you actually taken a look at them? They keep posting links to their blogs, to the translations, to B-T, and interestingly enough, also to the original WNs on Narou or wherever. They also post one-liners thanking people, commenting, whatever. Signs, actually, of a healthy community. Reddit didn't die to one-liners. It gained critical mass. And great users sharing really awesome stuff.

And if you were comparing it to the situations back in Fansubs during the heydays of the torrent listing era, you know full well people just told each other quietly where else to find the stuff, and moreover that a certain critical mass sustained itself so if the stricter rules prevented some users from joining and encouraged some to leave, there were other compensating factors.

But if we are going to go back to "[they can go some]where else to find the stuff" again, then I'd like to again inform you of the healthy state of the community, as-is, and that while your actions are hardly going to be the death knell of the LN community, it's all much ado about nothing that will harm this section of the community and cutting off Animesuki from evolving in a natural direction, or at least unnecessary dampening it.

Quote:
4. The commotion, annoyance, misunderstanding, and potential burn out will only happen if we keep dealing with quotes like this.

This hyperbole is completely ridiculous and that can kindly fuck off.
It's much better if you hear it from me than from ten pissed off translators and many other users.

Or worse yet you don't hear it at all because they fuck off and leave this place dead and user-less.

But if my words anger you so much then I guess we don't have much to discuss here.

Except, I STILL don't understand what you are trying to gain by doing all this. Maybe we don't agree on the degree of what will happen, fine, whatever, but every major moderating action should really be to benefit the community in some way, and I don't see it.
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Old 2014-12-03, 23:08   Link #60
relentlessflame
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
It's much better if you hear it from me than from ten pissed off translators and many other users.

Or worse yet you don't hear it at all because they fuck off and leave this place dead and user-less.

But if my words anger you so much then I guess we don't have much to discuss here.
No, I want to hear from the pissed-off translators, because I want to understand what they really need to succeed. That may not be on this forum or site, ultimately. But I don't want to only hear "you need to preserve the status quo because otherwise you're telling us to fuck off". Because that doesn't help me understand and diagnose the true problem, it just helps me understand the feelings about a situation that has been allowed to transpire. I get that we are here, and where we are is seen as being advantageous for certain people. But hopefully everyone can also see now the direction the site owner and staff see as making sense for this community's continued evolution.

We would like to eliminate the increasingly-archaic licensing rules because, in every medium except light novels, they really don't make sense any more. Having a simpler, easier to understand rule about illegal content would reduce confusion compared to the convoluted mess we have at the moment (particularly in manga, and to some degree anime). But we do not want to increase the amount of illegal content that we allow to be linked, as that would increase our legal risk. Therefore, to eliminate the archaic licensing principles and adopt a single consistent rule structure, we would like to eliminate all links to illegal content. This will also have the benefit of eliminating our on-going legal risk, which helps ensure the site's long-term sustainability. We have noticed in the past that eliminating links to fan translations has not had a significant negative impact on the volume or quality of the discussion in the affected threads, so believe that applying this principle can work for the entire site. The site owner, in agreement with the current staff, believes the resulting long-term sustainability in the absence of legal threat is in the best interest of the community. And ultimately, as this issue does affect legal liability that the site owner has to bear, the final decision on this matter will rest with him. The staff and community provide input into that process.

P.S. "dead and user-less"? Come on... like I said, stop with the hyperbole. This isn't our first rodeo with un-linkable content.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
That's mostly because they currently ignore just about every rule you have over the LN threads, relentlessflame. Have you actually taken a look at them? They keep posting links to their blogs, to the translations, to B-T, and interestingly enough, also to the original WNs on Narou or wherever. They also post one-liners thanking people, commenting, whatever. Signs, actually, of a healthy community. Reddit didn't die to one-liners. It gained critical mass. And great users sharing really awesome stuff.
As I already explained in my previous posts, I've been focused on the busy/popular LN threads, which also happen to be licensed (now). And these are the sections where the rules I'm talking about generally already apply. Of course, you might note that these are popular LNs, so they'll continue to be popular no matter what we say. But eliminating these links, which was required anyway due to their licensed status, didn't significantly impact on-going discussion of the content.

I do understand that the situation with less-popular LNs is not necessarily going to be exactly the same. But, if we were going to consider doing anything to accommodate that issue, it would not be by having different sets of rules, as that again only adds confusion. We need to figure this out.

And aside that, we are not Reddit. Reddit does what Reddit does well, but that's not the sort of conversation environment we are trying to have here. Its format also has its share of disadvantages as well, and the vote up/down configuration causes no end of drama. What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. But, actually, creating a subreddit where people can post new LN Translation Releases and discuss them in that context probably isn't at all a bad idea as a way to meet the described need for consolidated notification of new releases, as even the translators could submit their own releases and then get thanks in the comments.
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