[07/11/17] The Direction of GD & Miscellaneous

Hey fellow GD'ers,

We've got a long post today, but we think you'll find a lot of what we have to say is important.

Introduction

It's time we began an in-depth discussion on the future of General Discussion and where we take this community from here. GD has long been a standing community for many of us- a home and environment where we felt free to express ourselves and our opinions, and to share experiences with each other that may or may not be League-related. Our community has gone through changes and evolutions; some of which were by choice, and some of which were forced upon us. But at the end of the day, you and I are still here; and although we’ve lost some members and gained others and have seen several different iterations of the rules governing GD, we still the same community at heart.

If there is one thing I hope we can agree on, it’s that in order to grow as a community, GD can not be sequestered on the Boards. Moving forward, we believe that it’s time to reduce the redundancy of the existence of both General Discussion and Miscellaneous and to move towards having only one of these sub-boards. There are advantages to each of these sub-boards individually, but these advantages don’t need to be exclusive of each other. We can and we will complement these advantages to create a more ideal environment for GD.

What GD Brings to the Table

General Discussion has a well-established, long-standing community; and when it comes down to it, we do see a lot of our activity from a consistent set of users. We are a family, and we stick together. There is definitely a sense of belong when you are a GD’er, and that is something that Miscellaneous lacks in any sense. While they do see their fair share of “miscellaneous” posts, the sense of community in that area is virtually non-existent limiting the amount of visibility and feedback each post is able to obtain.

General Discussion also exclusively maintains the “Chronological View” style from the original forums, and that’s something that we’ll be keeping in this proposed transition. There may be benefits to Discussion View, but we don’t feel that these benefits would be conducive within GD. As such, GD will retain Chronological View exclusively.

What Miscellaneous Brings to the Table

That’s not to say that Miscellaneous isn’t without its perks as well. Miscellaneous has something that many of you have voiced that you’ve wanted for a while- . This is beneficial as it allows all users to see threads posted in GD on the Boards front page, especially on the “Hot” and “New” views. It gives Boards-goers a reason to visit GD in the first place.

So, What’s the Catch?

1) Political and Social Issue Posting


We tried it. It didn't work out.

This has to go. Even within the GD community, it’s a heated topic of debate and many individuals take advantage of the exception we’ve given in an attempt to offend individuals with different perspectives, views, and opinions. With GD moving into a more visible space on the Boards, these topics aren’t something that we can sustain while maintaining a healthy environment.

From our thread posted in May, Political Threads: Discussion or Divisive, we opened up discussion on what conditions we could reach a potential common ground in regards to moderating political threads. Participants indicated that most political and social discussion on GD was not constructive or insightful and that the community would be better suited to be rid of these topics entirely.

Political and social issue threads are difficult to moderate, and the political and social threads that are conducted in a healthy and respectful manner are few and far between. We have discussed this topic both internally as a team and with the community through threads like the one previously listed and the Moderation Discord.

We understand that there are some of you who do have a lot of thoughts on the political climate as of late; however, in order to move forward with increasing visibility to GD, we’ll have to ask you to host these discussions on a different platform. If you’d like, we can continue this conversation on this thread or the Moderation Discord, but we’re adamant in this discussion and this policy has been a long time coming.

2) GD in its current form will be archived, and the Miscellaneous sub-board’s name will be changed to "General Discussion"

Due to technical limitations, we can’t simply reclassify GD as a front page sub-board; doing so would require us to delete the GD sub-board entirely and to re-create it. What we’ve decided to do instead is to archive GD as it currently exists and to rename Miscellaneous to "General Discussion". From there, we’d remove Discussion View, effectively finalizing the transition of Miscellaneous to General Discussion.

3) Our leniency regarding rules, and more specifically, the "Don’t be a Jerk" clause

GD has long been a bastion of, well, people swearing like sailors, playfully bantering among one another (in sometimes derogatory terms), and expressing their "superiority" (lul Diamond 1, no back talk). We don’t want to shift this too harshly, as we want to maintain the community and culture that we’ve built over the years. Keeping this in mind, we’ll have to re-evaluate the leniency we give on direct attacks on other posters.

While the rules of GD explicitly state that “flaming and insults specifically targeting someone is still against the rules and will be deleted”, all too often, there is leniency given to those who aren’t reported for these actions. This will be changing, and we will be monitoring for this type of harassment and removing them immediately. This will not apply to joking around with friends (calling them “pancakes”, gentle teasing, and whatsuch), but think of it as stricter enforcement of the “no flaming” rule mentioned above. We won’t be going “Club Penguin” on you, but we need to enforce this consistent with the rules in order to get new people involved with the community without scaring them away.

Review of What We Discussed

As we promised, it was a long post. If you skimmed over any paragraphs longer than 2 lines, no worries; here’s the rundown for our proposal:

  • GD and Miscellaneous will be merged into one section
    • Miscellaneous will be renamed into “General Discussion”
    • GD in its current state will be archived and be "read-only"
    • Miscellaneous will only offer Chronological View for viewing discussions
  • Political and Social issue threads will no longer be allowed
  • Flaming and harassment will be enforced more consistently

And that’s about it. We don’t currently have a date for the merge, but we’re excited about breathing new life into our community and continuing the growth of General Discussion. Some things will be changing, but we’ll try our damnedest to keep most things the same.

Well, wait. I have feelings about this!

Naturally, of course you do! We expect GD to have feelings about every decision that affect this community we’ve built. It’s one of the many reasons we love not only this community, but each of you. We want your input on this move to combine these two sub-boards. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know with a comment below. We’ll be here to address anything you have for us. And hey, if you don’t think a comment will do you justice, you can always chat with us on the Moderation Discord.

Communication is key here, and our goal as Wardens is to make sure that your opinions are represented in any changes might make to this community. We’re confident that you know best about what’s best for this sub-board, and we’re here to listen about what you have to say about the growth of GD.

Your friendly neighbourhood Wardens,

Evangele, Boggybuntu, Jikker, Mounting Dread, Tundra Fizz, Explorer Ezreal, & Wuks

Updates

7/11/2017 - Dates and Finalizations

The date we're looking at right now is August 4th. If we run into things we need to refine we'll extend the date though, we'll keep you guys updated. We're current doing the following:

  • Finalizing New Official Rules
    • Discussing how and when to lock necros
    • Discussing how to handle derails/fights in a thread
  • Reworking Guidelines on the Sidebar

We'll add to the list as we see fit, so if you think we missed something or want to give feedback on these subjects. Let us know here!

7/9/2017 - Political/Social Issue Discussions

Based on feedback relating to Social Issues and wanting to keep them. Here is our idea right now:

Personal/Social Issue Discussions:

  • The Social Issue must be related to video games, anime, T.V, and books in some way.
  • The Personal Issue will be given more leeway than Social, but should still relate to the above to some extent.
  • The Social/Personal Issue cannot be towards Ethnicity/Race, Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Religion.
  • News involving emergency situations will be allowed as long as they do not have Ethnicity/Race, Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Religion related to them.

We'll make adjustments as appropriate. Let us know what you think! We want to refine this as much as possible.

As a parting note, we'll be looking at creating a new sub-board with the URL as /c/general-discussion or something similar. This would be the alternative to using the /c/miscellaneous URL, allowing GD to maintain as much of the GD identity as possible.

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We're testing a new feature that gives the option to view discussion comments in chronological order. Some testers have pointed out situations in which they feel a linear view could be helpful, so we'd like see how you guys make use of it.

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