We want the TrueAchievements forums to be a place where Xbox gamers can chat about the latest news, help each other out with achievement hunting, and share their gaming stories.
Over the last few years some discussions have too often descended into personal attacks and circular arguments, especially around controversial topics.
I've been asked on numerous occasions by members of our community if something could be done about that. Regular contributors no longer want to post due to the nonsense and abuse that can easily break out, sometimes for no obvious reason.
Of course, this is not an issue unique to TrueAchievements, so we've been checking out other gaming and technology sites that have been successful in keeping their forums productive.
We've looked at their rules and how they are moderated, and we have adjusted our forum and comments appropriately.
The new rules are below — please read through them carefully.
Any of the following guidelines can and will be used as justification to remove comments. Extreme transgressions of this policy, or repeated incidents, can and will be used as justification for a forum ban.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before every forum post:
- Be civil. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it while hiding behind your keyboard. Comments should get more civil and meaningful, not less, as a topic gets more divisive.
- Keep content to "PG-13" level or lower. Avoid excessive vulgarities and inappropriate external links. Keep in mind that our forums are home to many different age groups and cultures.
- When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. "Halo 5 released in 2015, you idiot” can be shortened to "Halo 5 released in 2015."
- Assume good faith when responding to a comment or article. Assume the most plausible meaning behind their words, don’t jump to a conclusion that makes it easier to criticise.
- Do not use any catch-all term designed only to upset and agitate people. Calling your ideological opponents "snowflakes/SJWs" or "GamerGaters" only cheapens whatever point you are trying to make.
- Do not flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics in the forums or the comments of an article unless you have something genuinely new to say that is relevant to the original discussion. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.
- Please don't post shallow dismissals of posted news, reviews or features. A good critical comment teaches us something and is always welcome, a thoughtless insult does nothing but cause harm.
- Do not use the forums to push your own political or ethical agendas. We recognise that video games invite some political and ethical discussion – just keep it on topic.
- Please don't insinuate that someone hasn't read an article or played a game properly. "If you’d bothered to read the article, it says the release date is October" can be shortened to "The article mentions the release date is in October." Similarly, "Have you even played the game? The tutorial explains that..." can be shortened to "The tutorial explains that...."
- Please don't use uppercase for emphasis. Your points should speak for themselves without pretending to shout in text.
- Please don't imply that an author or commenter is astroturfing, or is a shill for a company linked to the topic of discussion. These comments degrade the discussion and are usually mistaken. If you're worried about it, contact us and we'll look at the data.
- Avoid spoilers. If you want to talk about something that's a spoiler, clearly mark it in the thread's topic and use the spoiler tags.
- Blatant self-advertising, trolling and linking to anything illegal are not allowed.
- Impersonation of users, moderators, writers and other staff members is not allowed. You can find a staff list here.
- What is the intent of your post? Are you asking a question, informing a community member or sharing something new and meaningful with the community? If the intention doesn’t fall into these categories, consider whether it is worth posting.
- Are you feeding the troll? If someone is clearly trying to agitate others in the comments section, arguing with them will only make things worse. Try to ignore their attempts to engage. A moderator will intervene if necessary.
- Would this post be in violation of the Xbox Code Of Conduct? If it could get you banned from Xbox Live, chances are it can get you in trouble here.
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