CHAOSTROPHIC User Guidelines
Or: “How to Avoid Being a Douche”
CHAOSTROPHIC is a pretty open platform and free speech place, but there are a few rules:
For any society to function well, its members need to afford one another a certain measure of respect and courtesy. CHAOSTROPHIC is no different. When commenting in the threads, all visitors to CHAOSTROPHIC are expected to obey the following rules of etiquette.
The 5 Main Rules
- Treat others as you would in the real world.
Don’t use the anonymity of the internet to be obnoxious. Be nice. If you’ve typed out something in the comment box that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face, you should probably either delete it or reword it. This rule cannot be overemphasized, which is why it’s the first rule on this list.
- Do not post prohibited content.
Just as there is prohibited content for submissions, there is prohibited content for the threads—and the rules are more restrictive because we cannot attach a “NSFW” or “18+ only” warning on threads as we can with links. Posting any of the following in threads is prohibited:
- Commercial messages
- Personal information, such as addresses or telephone numbers (yours or anyone else’s)
- Do not post racist comments, hate speech, or anything that could be construed as a threat. Racial slurs and hate speech are forbidden, regardless of whether you spell the words out in full or imply them with symbols or characters. Racial slurs—the really ugly words—are pretty easy to identify; hate speech, however, may be a little harder to put your finger on. Broadly, hate speech is any description of an entire group that attempts to vilify or dehumanize.Threats of physical harm made over the internet are taken seriously. Do not make physical threats, or even imply physical threats, against anyone on CHAOSTROPHIC under any circumstances.
- Keep debates civil.
Many CHAOSTROPHITES like to debate. It can be an enjoyable pastime, provided both parties keep it civil. Avoid insults and name-calling. If the other party starts in with name-calling, take the high road: “I’m not interested in taking this in a personal direction. I’d rather discuss the subject at hand.”Whenever possible, give the other party the benefit of the doubt. For example, if the other party misuses a word, don’t jump on the mistake and call him or her an idiot. Instead try: “I may be misunderstanding something, but to me, the term X means such-and-such. Is that what you meant?” If the other party sees you aren’t going for the jugular, chances are good that he or she will return the favor.Going into a debate, understand that your chances of convincing the other party that you are right and he is wrong are close to nil. About the best you can realistically hope for is that both parties will learn more about the topic under discussion by sharing ideas—and the only way that’s going to happen is if the discussion is kept civil. Throwing insults back and forth is a waste of everyone’s time.
- Respect the moderators.
CHAOSTROPHIC moderators do their best to see that members follow the rules above. Generally speaking, if you’re in violation of any of the rules, a moderator will let you know with a warning first. You may be asked to self-delete the offending post or the moderator may delete it.If the behavior persists, the moderator may issue a temporary ban on your account, which will prevent you from accessing the site from anywhere from a day or two to, in serious cases, a month or more. In the most serious cases, a permanent ban may be issued, which will prevent partial access to the site and delete the offending account.Moderators try to enforce the rules fairly, but they are not perfect. If you feel a moderator’s judgment on an incident is off, don’t argue the point with the moderator in the thread. Instead, make your case using the “Contact CHAOSTROPHIC” link
A List of 10 Dos and Don’ts
The five rules above are the biggies. If you follow those, you’ll probably be fine. There are a number of finer points of CHAOSTROPHIC etiquette, however, that we’d also like to point out.
- Rate the links you view.
Many people visit for months—or longer—before realizing that they have the ability to like each post. Take the time to like the posts you view. The likes are important. They tell us what you want to see more of and less of.
- Use proper grammar and spelling, both in submissions and comments.
If you’re not clear on the differences between their/they’re/there, its/it’s, and to/too, take a minute to review these basic points of grammar. It will save you the annoyance of having others correct you. If you know these grammatical points and are correcting others, do so nicely.
- Use the labels “NSFW” and “SFW” on your submissions where appropriate.
If a link contains content that would raise eyebrows in the workplace (such as nudity), please label your submission “NSFW” (Not Safe For Work). If your submission is fine for the work environment but has a risqué title, use the label “SFW.”
- Search for duplicates before submitting.
Before spending a lot of time on your submission’s title and description, use the site’s Search box in the upper right of the main page and the submission page to see if your link has already been posted. Try searching on at least two nouns relevant to your submission (for example, “bear” first, then “unicycle”). If you haven’t been following the site lately, review the links of the past few days to be sure your link isn’t already up.
- Double-check your submission’s grammar, spelling, and facts before submitting.
If you’re rushing to submit a link you’re excited about, it’s easy to miss errors. Take a few moments before hitting the Submit button to proofread your title and description. Also, double-check any facts you mention. It will save everyone a lot of headache if you get things right the first time.
- Feel free to post content on subjects you like (within reason). Try to vary your submissions and make sure to send them in on different subjects, not just the same thing every single time. If that’s all you ever post, or it always seems to get voted down, take a good hard look in the mirror — you just might be a spammer. Try to find content you think will appeal to everyone and not just push ‘your’ agenda.
- Complain about reposts.
If it’s a link that went up yesterday or last week, fine. But if it’s a link that went up months or years ago, is it really an issue? Simply because you saw it the first time doesn’t mean everyone else has. Habitually calling out “Repost!” in threads adds little to the site and is annoying to other users.
- Make comments that lack content. Phrases such as “this”, “lol”, and “I came here to say this” are not witty, original, or funny, and do not add anything to the discussion.
- Announce your vote (with rare exceptions). “Upvote” and “Downvote” aren’t terribly interesting comments and only increase the noise to signal ratio.
- Please do: Start Each Word Of The Title With A Capital Letter Like This.
- Inject your opinion into your submission’s title or description.
Viewers will enjoy your link more if they are allowed to arrive at their own conclusions than if you try to editorialize or sensationalize your submission title. If you want to share your opinion on the matter, do so in the comments.
- Use the word “BREAKING” or other time sensitive words in your submissions. By the time your post reaches the front page, it probably won’t be ‘breaking’ anymore.
- Flood CHAOSTROPHIC with a lot of submissions in a short span of time. By doing this you flood the new queue. Be warned, your submissions could be considered spam.