Thanks for your input so far, everyone. I apologize for the length of this post, but I'd like to address various issues raised above.
ether a go-go wrote:This board is currently in very good shape. I have warned new quizbowlers about this place in the past, but I no longer do so. There were a couple of crazy posts made when the Watkins scandal hit, but I chalk that up to the fact that it was a crazy scandal, and even then the small number of crazy posts were not supported by anybody.
David nicely captures my general feeling on the board right now. Various persistent issues still come up whenever we have discussions like this, but I do think we've made a lot of progress toward making this a useful, friendly place for most board users.
Grams's Go-Go Boots wrote:A trend that has continued to this day is that posts are, in general, less mocking or negative. I think expecting people to never make angry posts is a bad goal; I think expecting them to only be made in situations where they're deserved is fair.
I generally agree with Fred, as well. This is a forum for discussing the good and the bad of quizbowl, and expecting people never to be angry or upset is unreasonable. I ask that people take a few minutes to consider whether their anger is justified, proportionate to the offense, and reasonably along the lines of what they would say in a face-to-face conversation, but I don't think we can mandate that kind of consideration as moderators.
Ringil wrote:Here's a question I have: How come the Andy Watkins thing wasn't dealt with the same way that the board dealt with the Andrew Chrzanowski thing? That is announced and then just shut down. Except perhaps for a discussion how NAQT could improve their question security etc.
I ask this because I don't see how anyone thought the Andy Watkins thread could turn out to be anything but a rage fest in a way that's hardly productive to discussing quizbowl except by telling the world that everyone here pretty much hates Andy Watkins. And it ended up turning out much worse than that. I know the offenses the two people committed were different, however, I still feel like the discussion of either of those two could have only degenerate into the toxic venting of rage and throwing of insults that reflect badly upon us no matter how they have deserved it.
Mike, Fred, and Jeff have adequately addressed this concern above, but just so we're clear, I'd like to state that the moderators will continue to exercise our judgment on potentially toxic discussions about issues that only tangentially involve quizbowl. I consider the discussion of this situation closed.
Ringil wrote:Also, the anime rule is dumb (if rarely applicable).
Cheynem wrote:I am okay with the anime thing in a way to prevent terrible posts (like that ghastly Raynell Revolution a few years ago that I discovered while waiting in a Holiday Inn Express lobby for my shuttle to pick me up). I do think it gets sort of overzealously implemented--like let the dude post his Dragon Ball Z side event thread in the trash forum, shut down any stupid posts that come from it, and move on.
bt_green_warbler wrote:Not speaking for anyone but myself: I too dislike the anime rule. However, the many terrible posts by anime supporters were deservedly FZed.
The relevant board rule states: Humor in posts that does not violate other rules is allowed/encouraged. Parody posts, threads that are only about non-quizbowl humor topics, and the like should be restricted to the Off Topic forum. Tired Internet memes of any kind, anything originating at 4 chan, and anything containing or originating from anime, are prohibited at all times. What constitutes anything in the previous sentence is at the sole discretion of the staff.
I understand the purpose of the rule as keeping this place from devolving into an insider-only internet community that does not advance the goal of promoting good quizbowl. People who want to skirt the rules tend to do things (like announce fake tournaments) that make it appear as though they're having a quizbowl-relevant conversation, when really they just want to turn a corner of the board into a place for irrelevant internet humor. That said, if there is discussion of anime that is not meme-like and somehow related to quizbowl (i.e. criticizing a trash question), I don't have a problem with it.
All that is to say I'm on board with Mike's interpretation of the rule. People are free to discuss anime (or anything else in the world) to the extent it's relevant to quizbowl, but we reserve the right to aggressively police any internet awfulness that comes from it.
Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:I think we could do a bit more to make Collegiate Discussion more engaging - we don't have many interesting threads about preparation, gameplay, or question-writing, and I think that's a bit of a shame. Although people have gone ballistic in those threads in the past, I think there are useful and interest topics to discuss, as we saw in Mike's thread about being a fourth player. I do have to admit that I'm unsure how to encourage such good posting beyond asking people in a thread like this one.
Cheynem wrote:I might be interested in perhaps collaborating with some prominent players or writers in doing some productive roundtable threads (either a thread or like posting an on-task discussion) about various aspects of playing or writing or whatever.
Matt makes a good point, and Mike's idea is an interesting one. The Collegiate Discussion section is my favorite part of the board, and anything that we can do to make it more lively and productive is good in my book.