The director and treasurer for this site is Ben. They are assisted with community management by administrators and with server maintenance by technicians.
The people who enforce the forum rules are the moderators and it is them you should contact in the first instance with any queries or complaints. They are assisted, informally, by emeritus staff.
What are the rules?
Generally a thread will have a well-defined subject, and we ask that posts remain on-topic. Please use common sense and obey normal forum etiquette (e.g. no large signatures, obnoxious avatars, multiple posting, thread necromancy, spam, etc.) — a moderator will let you know if you fail to meet our exacting taste.
Try to be courteous. Posts must not be abusive, and in particular we have a zero-tolerance policy towards *ist, *phobic or otherwise offensive comments. "Winding up" other users ("trolling" or "flame-baiting") is also verboten.
The it was a joke defence — "Ah, but I was only pretending to be an idiot!" — is viewed as dimly as you might expect.
Please never embed or link to pornography (below-the-waist nudity or "hardcore" imagery) in any thread. Excepting pornography, we allow NSFW content to be embedded in threads tagged "NSFW", and linked to only in work-safe threads as long as the link is clearly labelled. Permission should be obtained from a Moderator before the creation of a NSFW-tagged thread.
Finally, (and it should go without saying,) we forbid the posting of any content illegal in the UK or France (where our server is).
Are there extra rules for "serious" threads?
In a debate thread, tagged "Discussion", we require: that you read the thread and find out the main arguments presented before commenting; that facts are sourced with reliable evidence, and opinions backed up when faced with critique; and that other posters' opinions are not dismissed with "funny" animated .gifs, single-emoticon replies, or most of all any ad hominem attacks.
Dropping a controversial viewpoint into a thread and then disappearing is known affectionately as "shit-and-run posting" or "drive-by trolling" and is considered a serious breach of these rules.
How are the rules enforced?
Small breaches of etiquette may be met with a friendly verbal reminder from a moderator, either in the thread or by PM. Minor infractions should be met with an official warning, which will add a note to your account telling us you've been making trouble.
For serious (or persistent!) breaking of the rules, or petulance in the face of lesser action, you may be banned from the thread you have fouled in, or the entire board if appropriate. The length of the ban is decided case-by-case by the moderators, but will generally be around one week for a first offence. If you evade a ban by creating an alt account then the alt will be deleted, your ban will be extended, and any posts you make will be deleted — so don't bother.
Permanent board-wide bans are usually reserved for those who obviously deserve it, such as spam robots, people who post illegal content, or those who through extraordinary service to awful posting bring the community as a whole into disrepute.
A short legal notice
Legal responsibility for GRcade lies with Ben — all other "staff" are community volunteers. Content uploaded here is the property of GRcade, and we may do as we wish with it. We may withdraw a user's membership at any time and for any reason. We do not share personally identifiable information with third-parties. We may change this agreement at any time. By posting here, you agree to these terms. Your statutory rights are not affected.
We, the Moderators, wish to commit ourselves to setting an example which we hope the community will be proud to follow. We shall be polite, not condescending; calm, not aggressive; genuine, not sardonic; and transparent whenever it is possible.
We will enforce the rules of the forum impartially and in the spirit of their intent. We understand that most problems on the board arise from high tensions in discussions, and so our most important task is to set ease, bring peace, and avoid catalysing further anger.
It is our pledge that we shall never misuse our elevated privileges — we shall not reveal a member's confidential information, nor shall our powers be applied to advance our arguments or preferences.
Actions good Moderators take
Whenever possible and appropriate, attach a note to a post if we take an action, with as much detail as you can provide. This keeps everything transparent and unambiguous.
Remember that we are a team. Never "moderate angry": if we are upset, we shall step back and seek the input of the rest of the team. Concurrently, it is important we always take the time to contribute thoughts in the Staff board if there is an on-going discussion.
Appeals, or Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
If you are unsatisfied with the conduct of a Moderator, an Administrator may be contacted and your complaint will be reviewed impartially and in confidence.
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." – God, Futurama
Avatars may be uploaded in any size from 32×32 square up to 120×150 portrait.
Images in your signature are acceptable, but should not exceed in total a maximum height of 70 pixels (approximately three lines of text). If you wish to use a Gamercard please try to find one with a "slim" or "lite" style, as most are far too large!
How to manage your threads
So as to improve the "browsability" of our threads, we would like to ask thread authors to bear in mind the following guidelines.
A thread should generally have a single well-defined subject (though "chat" threads are fine if labelled as such). Any in-depth off-topic discussion arising in a thread should be split off into its own thread.
Threads should also have a well-defined ending point. This can be a date if appropriate (e.g. the end of this year's football season for The Football Thread), but if not we recommend a limit of 5,000 posts (250 pages), beyond which the thread should be restarted.
Thread curation in Games
Generally, there should be one pre-release thread for news about a product, and one separate post-release community thread. (Rarely, exceptions may be made for particularly significant news.)
Being the author of one of these threads should be a labour of love. Please keep the thread title up to date to reflect the latest developments and discussions. The thread opening should serve as a comprehensive hub for information about the product.
Moderators may merge threads, split them, or reassign authorship as appropriate to keep discussions accessible, categorised, and well-maintained.
The way per-thread bans work has changed. A banned user will now be able to read the thread, but will be notified of their ban upon attempting to reply.
Tapatalk, in some circumstances, may still allow a thread-banned user to reply. Any bid to exploit this will be treated as an attempt to hack the forum and will be punished accordingly.
Thread bans in serious threads
We are going to take a harsher stance in serious discussion threads moving forward. Most infractions during a debate will now result in a temporary thread ban, and repeated infractions may result in a "semi-permanent" thread ban. (These will naturally clear when the thread is restarted at 250 pages.)
It should go without saying that baiting someone who is thread-banned will itself result in a thread ban.
Hello all. There was recently a [DISCUSSION] in The Website about how [DISCUSSION] threads (e.g. The Politics Thread) have been going, six months on from their introduction. Reviews have been mixed. Some think it's working pretty well, others don't think much has changed, and some of the old issues people had are resurfacing. It's been accepted by most that we Mods have not been enforcing the [DISCUSSION] rules as much as we were when the idea was launched. Therefore, going forward and in order to justify our salaries and perks, we will be looking to monitor all [DISCUSSION] threads more closely and invoke a greater use of post edits, warnings and thread bans.
Those who have been guilty of one or all of antagonising, 'shitposting', derailing, abusing and baiting in Discussion Threads, will likely just receive a straight thread ban if deemed appropriate. If you have been guilty of this in the past, you know who you are and you should be aware of this. The harsher stance also includes any calling out, mocking or baiting of those that have been thread banned.
The forum rules (above) have been updated to reflect this.
Please also assist by continuing to use the Report Function to highlight infringements.