Overemphasized minor rules on message boards

We all know that the big SDMB minor rule that is taken so seriously that if somebody were to violate it, there would almost guaranteed be a response just pointing out the mistake. If I had to pick one for this board, it would be “ALWAYS be sure you post in the forum category that best fits your post”…I’ve seen in-thread debates over which category some posts deserve to be in. That’s probably not the best example, but it’s the first one I think of with this site.

This thread is not about SDMB though. It’s about sharing your observations on other boards/communities which you visit online which have one minor (not bannable or something that’s simple etiquette) but a unique enough rule that the residents will never fail to jump on somebody breaking it, and something which won’t show up in other communities.

BVEstation.com - this is a community for making realistic train/subway simulations, primarily focused on the NYC subway. There is a rule on their forum which the members are insane about upholding, which is to NEVER ask how a project is coming along, or when it will be expected to be finished. The mods feel that asking will put pressure on the content creators, and make them want to abandon the project if they haven’t gotten enough done to show, or if they’re expected to finish by a certain deadline.

subchat.com - another subway message board, this one focused on general discussion. Their one big rule is to never post news without some kind of proof (or PROFF as they call it) attached, be it a photo, link to an article, or specific information about WHO or WHERE you heard something, lest you be flamed to death for trying to start a rumor. Sort of like SMDB’s “cite?” response, except treated as actual board policy.

I’m not going to post the name of this place, lest I break one of SMDB’s serious rules, but it’s an IRC channel for classical mp3s, where they seem to only have one rule, which is to only request 2 files within every 2 minutes. They actually set up bots to keep a counter for every member, and they don’t seem to even care if a file was listed in correctly or the server logged out, resulting in the request not going through. – it still counts as request If you request more than 2 files within 120 seconds, your screen will fill up with PM’s telling you what a loser you are.

Wow. Mod-enforced co-dependency.

For the SDMB, the “cat pictures” rule might almost fit this description, except that the “jumping on” would be done very lightheartedly. Or, more seriously, the “no homework” rule.

That’s common practice on a number of boards I’ve visited with user created content for simulator type games. While most didn’t have the rule that you couldn’t ask, those asking were usually left in no doubt that “it’ll be ready when it’s ready”, whatever “it” was at the time. To ask excessively is to be a “gimme pig”.

On one of the boards I visit about collecting Indiana Jones action figures there are a couple of people that insist that no threads be started if there is another thread just like it. Even remotely like it. For example there is a “What have you gotten thread” that has over 2000 replies and is something like 200 pages long. It’s full of pictures and what not. It has become the only place to get information about new figures. You want to know when a new figure is coming out, don’t post about it in a new thread least you get jumped on for not looking through six months worth of posts. The mods will even merge threads.

It is impossible to read through it, but people complain that there are too many threads, except that it takes 2-3 days before even the oldest threads will drop off to the next page. I find it harder to read through the boards sometimes because of it. They will even bring up zombie threads that are years old before starting a new one, I’m always reading them and seeing my own replies then looking at the dates.

The “insulting other posters outside the pit” here is ridiculous.

Like, as if someone saying “god you’re stupid sometimes” in one of the hundreds of threads that go by each day is going to ignite a powder keg.

It would be nice to have a symbol next to your name that indicates to other people, “If you see anyone insult me, please don’t report it to a mod, you f’n hall monitor.”

I’ve seen a different board with the same problem. They say “That’s been answered in this thread already.” How about I don’t want to read 50 pages of the tread that is two years old to find out the answer to a question.

There’s a message board about that?

As I’ve mentioned before, I run a message board about urban planning, intended more for urban planning professionals, students and those in allied professions rather than just “skyscraper fans”. We’ve got more than the average amount of rules, organized much like a zoning code. New users often comment about how many there are. (Send me a PM for a link; don’t want to be seen as advertising.) When asked “which ones would you cut?”, there’s silence.

I can’t say that we’re unusually anal about one minor rule, but if you asked the members, they’d probably mention that we’re tough with the following:

  1. The “all hotlinked images must be under your control” rule. Basically, no leeching without the permission of the affected site owner, lest Goatse make its presence on the site. One day suspension is the norm.

  2. The “you must have a working email address” rule. The users that don’t change their profiles when they update their email addresses are inevitably the ones that have thread subscription and private message notification turned on for everything; I get all the bounced notifications. Also, people that have notifications turned on, but use some address with challenge-response spam filtering (“Complete the captcha for the message to receive its intended recipient”).

As for user pile-ons for rule-breaking … nothing, really. I get some notifications when there’s two consecutive posts by the same user (“Oh, and another thing …”; they’re supposed to edit and amend the original post), but that’s about it.

Gee, aren’t you violating a StraightDope rule here? :wink:

Hi, Opal.

Man, that’s my favorite rule!!! :wink:

I think I’ve only invoked it (ie; reported a post) maybe twice in my time here, and I’m sure it allows people to get pissy over inconsequential comments, but considering how hot discussions get in the pit, I’m really glad the line here is drawn where it is.

I’ve abandoned other boards because arguments/debates couldn’t stay on topic, they’d just inevitably devolve into name-calling wars.

As for my submission; I’m on one board where they have a few very similar (IMHO) forums. But, if you post a thread in the ‘wrong’ one, your thread may be moved, but it also may be disappeared without warning or explanation. I lost a thread that way, and no one could tell me why. They’re very focused on posting in the right forum, but don’t delineate between them very well.

There’s more then one, but this one is quite big. It’s quite annoying, especially when one or two say the same thing over and over again “There’s too many threads around here, it takes me too long to read them, here’s a search for it from two years ago.”

Ummm… didn’t it take you longer to read and search then just answer the question or ignore it? While I do read there, I don’t post much any more, and never new threads because of it.

I visit a tiny, tiny social message board that has a thread much like the MMP (Monday Morning Post) here. It’s sort of a random conversational thread, but a touch more serious in tone sometimes. It has an official rule of “no cancer talk” in that MMP-style thread because one member had a hissy-fit, saying it shook her up to remember her mother’s death from cancer many years ago. That got a private :rolleyes: from me because how in the heck are you going to avoid the word cancer in your daily life? But, I comply with the rule.

It wouldn’t, but we’d have to wade into the issue of which insults are allowed and which aren’t. I’d rather avoid that headache; if I wanted to imitate the Supreme Court I would have gone to law school.