Hello, one and all. You all know me and if you don't - you know nothing of the site!
Now, this thread I wanted to post back in late autumn last year... But I have to say, I was too lazy or too busy with other stuff to get to it. Then I got banned, which made it a really bad time to post something like this. But now it's okay, and I have time, so let's get to it. And yes, get ready for a huge wall of text.
If you think you noticed any personal attacks here... Well, probably those were personal attacks (I will probably put some in anyways). However, understand that this thread is here to help you, for fuck's sake! Try to get the goddamn point and think about what I say.
CL rules at their current state suck hard. This came from an obvious and easy to trace reasons - bad admins. We started with a list of... I don't even remember, maybe 3 or 5 rules, made by an immature person who knew nothing of how to run the site, then we got improved list by the same person, who then proceeded to break his own rules, then we got ToS based on a fucking MMO ToS made by a power-grabber. MMO ToS on small anime site. The idiocy... The whole reason for making rules into what they are now sucks. I mean, at times rules were added just to try and 'protect' the poor little admins from one single user. Yes, that was me.
The point I am making here, rules we have now are not good, not well thought-out and they are made using precedents, and here I mean it in a bad way. It shouldn't be like 'we don't like what this user is doing so we make new rules'. This is exactly why I want to look at the rules now - because we don't have anyone banned or actively breaking rules. Well, there's Deft, but fuck him. If we think about rules now, we are less likely to think about using them against someone in particular, which would provide more general and less biased foundation to build on.
One more thing before I start. In this thread I will show how rules we got now are not good. I am not yet giving a solution, nor am I giving my own version. I will address that point in the end of the thread.
The very first thing - where is the link to rules? It's all the way at the bottom of the site. And we all know that average newfag doesn't even read stickied threads. So how do you expect him to even find the rules? All sites I frequent have rules link way up, near the main buttons. U think it would be better to have rules link somewhere between FAQ and Tags links. Oh, and btw, checked FAQ right now - no link to rules there either.
Now that we have this out of the way, let's look at the rules themselves.
.... okay, right from the start - complete bullshit. And it is even more silly if you read further "Mutual respect is what keeps a community safe and enjoyable." because we haven't had a safe community from as far as 2010.
Now, I am not really against respect in general. But as a rule - it does not work. First - how can you even moderate for something like that? Second - we have people not respecting each other openly here every goddamn day, for years now. So they are all rulebreakers who should be banned? Noone bothered, even with this rule being the first one.
At best, this is something for the guidelines.
Act without limiting the fun or disrupting the discussions of other people.
Partly useless, partly redundant, because limiting of fun can also be disrespectful. Anyways, this is another one of those broad vague rules that are no good. I mean, what if someone would provide harsh constructive criticism? If done right, it would limit all the fun right out of you. And would having an opposite opinion count as disrupting discussion? Sometimes it does exactly that. It's not really clear and open to misuse.
Do not do or promote anything illegal on the site.
Okay, first proper rule, finally. I would think about 'promote' part though. Because here on CL we promote a lot of things that people would not promote in real life. Hell, I am promoting killing people, for example. I am pretty sure that's still illegal.
One other thing. I understand that site should refer to US laws, but... is there like a general laws list for the whole US? I believe, different states have different laws. About bestiality, for example. This is really a minor point, but hey, when hit with 'this is illegal' some US user might as well say 'it is legal in my state'.
Do not misrepresent yourself or miscredit content.
No comments here, good solid rule number 4.
Do not spam messages.
We are on a roll! Rule 5 is great!
Do not repost material deleted by the staff without permission.
And we are back to no-good land. Mainly this is just redundant. I mean, if staff removed something, we are to assume that it was against the rules, right? Riiiiiight... So anyhow, if you would repost it, you already break the same rule you broke before... so you don't really need that one. It just makes staff look overly important and arrogant.
Do not make threads about technical support issues.
This rule tells you to delete THIS thread and ban me. Also, this is the rule previous admins did exactly in a futile attempt to shut me up. So, since it is a rule made for me, I command you to remove it now.
Seriously now, this is no good. If you want to look at how silly this is - this rule makes 'hey, the chat is dead, when will it be fixed?' message on forum illegal. I believe we are long past the time when admins hid themselves from users, so this rule is likely obsolete.
Do not use alternative accounts to like posts, report posts, or vote in polls multiple times.
This I actually fully support. Well, personally, I just want to make all alts illegal... but that probably never would pass, so oh well. The only problem I can see here is, can you see lists and IPs of all people who voted on some thread? Or liked some thread? If not - you may have this good rule, but you can't really moderate on that.
Do not post anything 18+, other than in threads explicitly tagged as NSFW.
Once again, great sensible rule I fully support. Also the one often broken by Gargron. Yeah, those dark ages of CL...
Or "additional notes" that go after the proper rules. Actually, not much to talk about here, so just a few key points.
Anything not expressly forbidden in these rules yet still found to be misconduct by the staff will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis. Note that the terms of service reserve us a right to ban a user at any time, for any reason.
This I am against for obvious reasons, which I will state later.
Anything relating to suggestions, criticism, or bashing can be freely sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as well. Posting it to the forums will result in a speedy deletion.
Redundant in relation to rule number 7. And useless 'cause that rule is idiotic anyways.
Terms and Conditions
So, this is the motherload. First of all, just like with rules, you can't see this. It's way down at the bottom. Second of all, this, as I said, was taken by Aco from, I believe, Maple Story game ToS. This is not even relevant to forum issues all that much. Hell, even more, MMO license agreements are something very different from forum rules. To try and make one compatible with another... well, that's just really silly. But oh well, if we have this, I have to look at this like it's some actual thing and try not to laugh.
When using The Colorless, you will be subject to any additional rules or guidelines, whether already stated in the Rules and Guidelines or in the form of announcements. These new guidelines are to be followed as the site-wide rules and guidelines are, and are also incorporated by reference in these Terms.
You will laugh at this, but there's also link there and this one also doesn't even work. No rules or guidelines on CL! Should I even stress how stupid it looks?
The Colorless reserves the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of these Terms at any time, with or without posting a notice in the announcements.
Obviously, something I don't like here is 'without posting a notice'. Notices are easy to post, and it's obvious that if a new person gets on the site, he should read the rules. But then, of the rules change, it should be announced. Once again, sites I visit tell if the rules change. This site should to, and this line should be erased and forgotten.
Redundancy galore! So, apparently we have two sets of rules - rules rules and ToS rules. Sense - this makes none. But oh well...
Stalk, threaten or harass any user, whether it be on or offsite.
This is something I am not sure about. On one hand, this is a good thing to enforce - we have people stalking other people to no end here and on skype and wherever. However, how do you really know if someone is stalking? Do you take user's word? Take logs? How do you see if something is a harassment or not? We are quite harsh here, so there's a really fine line. And threats... well, I threaten people all the time. Um... does 'I will criticize your story till your eyes bleed!' counts?
I kinda feel that this should either be reworked somewhat, or mods should have some modding guidelines for cases like this.
Send, post, or make available any threatening, embarrassing, hateful, racially or ethnically insulting, deceptive, tortious, defamatory, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate or offensive content to other members of The Colorless
Lots of words... redundant with rules rules 1 and 2.
Impersonate another user, entity, or The Colorless Staff
Redundant with rules rule 4. That reminds me. We had people doing that on alts at times. Hey, actually, that's also what previous admins did. Can we ban them already?
Misrepresent the source, content, or identity of any information posted to The Colorless, including, but not limited to, original author, artist, or copyright holder.
Also redundant with rules rule 4. (Yes, I will now have to say rules rule and ToS rule... yes, this is silly)
Use, or cause/encourage any other to use The Colorless for any illegal/unethical purpose.
I think that's also redundant with rules rule 3.
Interfere with the staff
Now that's just silly. How can you interfere with the staff that would go into separate rule category? I think this is the same as rules rule 6. If you do that - you already break some other rule, so you don't need that and that makes staff look overly important.
You may not publish or post other people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address, photograph or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.
Exploit site code for malicious purposes, including, but not limited to, that which is described in these Terms, and in the general Rules and Guidelines.
Also good standard sensible rule. Don't fuck the code or use code bugs... and we had those, yep.
Purposely interfere with any Moderator, Admin, or Developer's work, or any user's enjoyment of The Colorless.
Oh go fuck yourselves already! This is fucking redundant with already redundant ToS rule 6 and redundant with rules rules 6 and 2. What is this crap? Why do we need the same fucking (and btw useless in its very core) rule repeated two, three, four times?!?!
Discuss, promote, or depict any form of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation, or anything of the sort that can be used to harm or threaten the security of a minor.
Hmmm... I think this is redundant with rules rule 3 but for some reason minors and abuse of minors seem to be important to people, so many places repeat stuff like that... oh well.
Post or distribute anything that contains viruses, or malicious code.
That's alright too. Though, I think it's illegal by law already?
Engage in anything else that is prohibited in the Rules and Guidelines, including site Guidelines that are included into the Guidelines by reference.
No guidelines. This is really useless text. What, just reminder to follow rules? Or reminder that this site is so fucked up that we have rules rules ans ToS rules? God... mash all rules together in one simple list, and be done with it!
So, that's it with the list.. what else we have there...
The Colorless is not available to persons under the age of 13 or to any Members suspended or removed from The Colorless by The Staff.
How do you plan to keep little kids out? It is funny that I am one of the few people who actually ask newfags their age.
You agree that the information you provide to The Colorless during Member registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current and complete. You also agree that you will ensure that this information is kept accurate and up-to-date at all times. The Staff may, in its sole discretion, refuse to offer The Colorless to any person or entity. The Staff may change its eligibility criteria at any time. This provision is void where prohibited by law and the right to access The Colorless is revoked in such jurisdictions.
This is bullshit again. More precisely - MMO bullshit. When you join CL, you give out your e-mail... and that's that. That's all 'personal info' you are asked. This is not MMO where you need to update your info to, for example, continue paying for the fucking game. This is useless here.
Messages and Posts
Pretty much just ass-covering. I have nothing against it, but it feels kinda useless for such a small site, really.
More ass-covering. But, I guess, on anime-related site you should have that. I actually comply with that by not posting torrents on my documentaries threads.
You agree that The Colorless, in its sole discretion and for any or no reason, may terminate any account (or any part thereof) you may have with The Colorless or your use of The Colorless and remove and discard all or any part of your account. Any fees paid hereunder are non-refundable. The Colorless may also in its sole discretion and at any time discontinue providing access to The Colorless, or any part thereof, with or without notice.
Okay, this is the core of what I hate about this thing. Oh, and you can see that it's still something from MMO. Termination, fees... they put that in, but they never do that without reason. On this site, however, this was put in specifically to delete people without reason.
This is something I can't agree with and you should also agree that staff should not say that they can do things to users just because they want to do things to users. For one thing, that's actually against the rules. Another thing is I would destroy the site if I see that happening. And the main reason is, this is something very stupid to write on a site where you are not the content-maker. You see, MMO players use content made by the company. They actually don't own anything - not even their own characters. That's how it is. On community sites like this, however, site only provides the place, and all the content is made by users that ToS threatens to trample on. So you should see that this is something completely wrong to write. Both in ToS and in Guidelines under rules rules.
Disclaimers; No Warranties
Pretty much, more ass-covering. That's a lot of ass-covering. Our site doesn't have an ass as big as that.
While this link in ToS is broken, we actually have some privacy. Here's the link
Well... hm... ahem... actually, I got nothing bad to say about this. As far as privacy information goes, this is quite good. I'd say the one problem for this is that, once again, you can only read it if you scroll all the way down. And keeping information on 3-4 separate pages is also not the best thing to do. But other than that - quite sensible text there, I am properly surprised.
So, those are the things that are, in my personal opinion as oldfag CL user and past mod, are bad in our rules. While I have some strong opinions about it, this is in fact NOT SOMETHING WE NEED TO DO RIGHT AWAY. I mean, people on staff are working on general modding guidelines and are doing, mostly, a decent job. However, when using common sense, mods sometimes go against or ignore the rules we have now. Exactly because there's a lot of dumb stuff in there. Plus, rules are a basis for staff relationships with user. So when rules are sloppy or, as we have here at times, horrible to users, still having them feels disrespectful to a community we are trying to rebuild here.
So, saying all that, I would really recommend you people to look at this. I don't tag Warlock or any mods here, you will all read this anyways )) , but I do urge you to think about how rules can be improved. It's not that hard to do - just re-making a lot of text in a way that would make sense.
If anyone would be interested, I have experience working on site rules before, so I can help you out on some points that should be remembered or something. But I am pretty sure you can do you yourself pretty easily too. Just read the rules properly and see, like I saw, how many things should be changed.