22/07/18 - 09:13 AM

Rules, there are many like them. But these ones are ours.
Forums have rules. Rules find forums. This forum needs rules. So here they are! The rule format and general concepts behind the rules are similar to those of BumbleKing’s, but there are a few changes.
Usually when people see rules, think of those big EULA’s that come with programs. They’re large, bloated, and boring. No one wants to read those things. But here, this is not a good option. You need to know the rules so you know what’s okay on this forum. “I didn’t know” is the worst excuse you can have. After all, the rules isn't just thrown in a forum post, it's right up there in the menu. You see "Rules" every time you look at the navbar.

Section 1 – Appropriate Conduct
1.1 Swearing / Appropriate Topics
1.2 Preserving Civility
1.3 Insults vs. Criticism
1.4 Political / Religious Discussion
1.5 Bigotry and Hate Speech
1.6 Avatars & Signatures
1.7 Notes about Names
1.8 What to do When You Have a Problem / Reporting Rule Violations
1.9 Thread Necromancy / Double Posting
Section 2 – Discussing the Comic
2.1 On Ideas
2.2 Spoilers
2.3 Artist Feedback
Section 3 – Punishments and Banning
3.1 Bans
3.2 The Moderation Staff

1.1 – Swearing / Appropriate Topics
(Why are they all four letters?)
While we are a fan-run community, we do intend to stay in the realm of family-friendly so excessive swearing is frowned upon. Dropping a “damn” every now and then like a certain edgy hedgehog is acceptable, but like most things, it depends on context. Going into rage mode and cursing like an angry child on an FPS mic will not be tolerated. We do have a swear filter in place for the most egregious of words so don’t try to dodge it. Using profanity to attack another user is grounds for an immediate ban.

1.2 – Preserving Civility
(Keep it civil, silly.)
It’s inevitable that disagreements and rather heated discussions will arise on this forum. Sometimes, people will get carried away in an argument. This is understandable – everyone has said and done things they’ve regretted. However, being passive-aggressive, making personal attacks, trying to provoke an aggressive response, talking down to others, being insulting, or generally being unkind is not acceptable.
This is probably our most important rule, so make sure to follow it!
Also, no mini-modding. If there’s a problem, contact a moderator instead of dealing with the problem yourself.
(If you feel this rule has been wrongly applied to you, see Section 1.8.)

1.3 – Insults vs. Criticism
(Insults : Criticism :: white : black)
There’s a marked difference between being critical and being insulting. While we appreciate constructive criticism of this group’s work so we can improve this project’s quality, being excessively negative or insulting the artists themselves is not allowed. Criticize the work, not the creator. (Note that this rule applies to the official Archie comics and other media as well.)
Criticism: The pacing in ____’s plot was slow and left an overall confusing and unclear impression. To avoid that, I would have done ____, ____, and ____.
Insult: This comic was terrible! Everyone who worked on it should be ashamed for the poor quality of the work produced. You obviously need years of practice to even have a chance of doing okay.
Insulting an artist or being extremely negative towards their work is one of the worst things you can do on this forum. Whether they ignore your remarks or not, insults have a nasty tendency to fester and decrease the quality of an artist’s work. We will not tolerate this behavior and users doing so will be punished.
What crosses the line between criticism and insults is up to moderator discretion. But if you simply exercise common courtesy, you should have nothing to worry about.
(Ties in to Section 2.3.)

1.4 – Political / Religious Discussion
(Oh no, we’re not brave enough for politics.)
Discussion of politics and religion is no longer allowed on the forum due to the sensitive nature of these topics, and the fact they often cause participants to abandon any semblance of civility. Yeah, we get it – no one enjoys censorship or having to dance around certain topics, but as a staff we’ve collectively decided we don’t want to go there on our Sonic the Hedgehog message board. There are plenty of other avenues to have these kinds of discussions so take advantage of them.
What counts as political/religious discussion is up to mod discretion.

1.5 – Bigotry and Hate Speech
(Don’t even think about it.)
Attacking another user, or anyone in general, on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics will be met with an instant ban. No jokes in this section: it will be punished with extreme prejudice so exercise caution.
Since we’ve had issues with this in the past, it bears special mentioning that we will not tolerate any derogatory comments about the LGBT community or lifestyles. It doesn’t matter what your thoughts are on the matter are – keep it off our board.

1.6 – Avatars & Signatures
(Bling for forums!)
We don’t have super-picky rules about signatures and avatars. Just remember that there are still people in this day and age that use dial-up. If there’s a problem with your signature, hostile or offensive, the picture will be removed from your signature without warning.

1.7 – Notes about Names
(It’s all in a name…)
Keep them appropriate and non-inflammatory. Not something like “SCOURGE SUCKS SHARD IS A RECOLOR.” This is blatant trolling and will be heavily frowned upon. Impersonation will also not be tolerated. Don’t register under the screen name “Ian Flynn” and expect to get away with it unless your name really is Ian Flynn.

1.8 – What to do When You Have a Problem / Reporting Rule Violations
(Don’t use the Chaos Emeralds!)
PM a mod!
Okay, if the problem is a moderator, PM a different mod. We’re glad to hear you out. However, do not take charge of a sensitive situation if you feel like the mods aren’t doing their job. That will only get you in trouble.
There is also a report button available if you wish to report individual posts.

1.9 – Thread Necromancy / Double Posting
(The Walking Thread)
After a thread hasn’t been replied to for six months, it’s considered “dead.” Do not post any more in that thread UNLESS there is substantial new information that you can add to the discussion. Exceptions to this rule include stickied threads and anything in the fan material subforums.
As for double posting, while not a bannable offense (unless you do it intentionally to be annoying), it is considered poor forum etiquette. If a topic has been quiet for several days and you have new information to contribute then double posting is fine; otherwise, just edit your existing post.

2.1 – On Ideas
(A dime a dozen…)
We appreciate your thoughts, ideas, and concepts for stuff to do with the comic. The only problem is that there are a lot of ideas. So much so that we will have to say no to your ideas – in fact, it’s very likely that your plans and ideas will not be incorporated. So don’t be sad or get angry if we say no – it happens to everyone, even official ASO writers.

2.2 – Spoilers
(Luke Skywalker dies in – oh, wait.)
Spoilers must be indicated in the topic’s title (as in the case of new comic releases) or marked in such in individual posts for a month after a product’s release. After that time, the product is considered common knowledge and does not need to be prefaced with a spoiler warning.

2.3 – Artist Feedback
(Or, why criticism can be good.)
While it’s important for people not to be rude to artists, artists can’t be ultra-sensitive and treat every criticism as an insult. That’s just as bad for an artist because they can’t learn from their mistakes. You must be prepared for criticism if you help out with this project, because you will get it. You will fail. Everybody does. Ian Flynn has had his fair share of flops, but what’s cemented his reputation as a writer is his ability to keep going and learn from his failures (for the most part). That’s what you have to be ready to do if you join the project.

3.1 – Ban Policy
(Whosoever be worthy, he shall possess the power of Ban.)
Bans will sometimes need to be handed out for major rule violations or for violating mod warnings, which include warnings directed at a particular user and ones posted in a particular thread. Most bans have been temporary, ranging from a few days to a couple months depending on the severity of the infraction. However, permanent bans may be necessary for repeat offenders. Currently we operate on a “three strikes, you’re out” policy but this is always subject to change in individual cases, again depending on severity.
Attempting to ban hop (signing up under a sockpuppet account, using software to bypass an IP ban, etc.) will result in a permanent ban. No excuses.
Please note that for transparency purposes all bans are publicly viewable under Site Info. If you are confused or concerned about the circumstances of your ban, please contact the moderators. We’re glad to explain things.

3.2 – The Moderation Staff
Currently we have five staff members on the moderation team:
CrimDa, The Shadow Imperator, and TuxKnux are administrators. Faceclams and GentlemanX are mods.
In terms of mod authority there are no functional differences between administrators and moderators. We may add new mods on occasion if we feel it is necessary.

Well, that’s all for now, folks! Just remember to use common sense, and enjoy the forums!

[Updated 4/5/2018]