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Subject: Unwritten Forum Policy Regarding Political Figures rss

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JJL
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Not sure who reads posts in this forum, but this is where Octavian directed me, so here goes.

Several weeks ago, I posted a link to a humor article about a particular political figure (whom I cannot name, as you'll see). There was no political content in the article -- it was a joke article about how this figure had designed a board game, and poked fun at board game design and Kickstarter tropes, etc. The only political content was just this person's name, since he is a politician, and I suppose his family members' names because they are associated with him.

My post was deleted based on a policy I was unaware of, and which does not seem to be written down anywhere. Apparently, any post that mentions a "politically charged" person may be deleted. How "charged" the person is, apparently, is decided purely by an admin based on his/her judgment at the time. Whether the post has any political content is irrelevant. I take it the worry is that the mere mention of such a person could lead to people commenting with something offensive or controversial or provocative. But whether such comments are actually posted is also irrelevant -- my post apparently had no comments at all (according to the admin -- I can't check b/c it was deleted). To be clear, this is not locking the thread -- the thread is simply deleted altogether.

Is anyone else concerned about this unwritten policy? Political figures are in games all the time, for example. Could an admin start deleting posts about 1960: The Making of the President because the posts mention Richard Nixon, a "politically charged" person? I think generally the admins here would exercise better judgment, but certainly this policy would allow something like that. What about satirical games about a sitting President? Would posts about those games be deleted? Or even whole games just because the games feature a "politically charged" person that could attract controversial posts (even if they haven't actually attracted such posts yet)? Is this really different from something like Secret Hitler or Black Orchestra, both of which deal with Hitler, who is arguably both politically charged and could attract offensive comments?

I have sympathy for the admins, who want to prevent dumpster fire threads that could create a hostile environment. But I think this is a very slippery slope. Locking a thread to prevent it from getting out of control is one thing. But in my view, this crosses the line into censorship. At the very least, if there is a list of people that are deemed too "politically charged" to be mentioned in any post, that list should be posted so BGGers know. What does the rest of the BGG community think (if you're reading this at all)?
 
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
What does the rest of the BGG community think (if you're reading this at all)?

It doesn't seem that complicated. RSP sounds like a lovely place to start your thread.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
Not sure who reads posts in this forum, but this is where Octavian directed me, so here goes.

Several weeks ago, I posted a link to a humor article about a particular political figure (whom I cannot name, as you'll see). There was no political content in the article -- it was a joke article about how this figure had designed a board game, and poked fun at board game design and Kickstarter tropes, etc. The only political content was just this person's name, since he is a politician, and I suppose his family members' names because they are associated with him.

My post was deleted based on a policy I was unaware of, and which does not seem to be written down anywhere. Apparently, any post that mentions a "politically charged" person may be deleted. How "charged" the person is, apparently, is decided purely by an admin based on his/her judgment at the time. Whether the post has any political content is irrelevant. I take it the worry is that the mere mention of such a person could lead to people commenting with something offensive or controversial or provocative. But whether such comments are actually posted is also irrelevant -- my post apparently had no comments at all (according to the admin -- I can't check b/c it was deleted). To be clear, this is not locking the thread -- the thread is simply deleted altogether.

Is anyone else concerned about this unwritten policy? Political figures are in games all the time, for example. Could an admin start deleting posts about 1960: The Making of the President because the posts mention Richard Nixon, a "politically charged" person? I think generally the admins here would exercise better judgment, but certainly this policy would allow something like that. What about satirical games about a sitting President? Would posts about those games be deleted? Or even whole games just because the games feature a "politically charged" person that could attract controversial posts (even if they haven't actually attracted such posts yet)? Is this really different from something like Secret Hitler or Black Orchestra, both of which deal with Hitler, who is arguably both politically charged and could attract offensive comments?

I have sympathy for the admins, who want to prevent dumpster fire threads that could create a hostile environment. But I think this is a very slippery slope. Locking a thread to prevent it from getting out of control is one thing. But in my view, this crosses the line into censorship. At the very least, if there is a list of people that are deemed too "politically charged" to be mentioned in any post, that list should be posted so BGGers know. What does the rest of the BGG community think (if you're reading this at all)?


To entertain your 1960:MotP strawman....

if it were a post not directly discussing the person in connection to the game, and the intent was not ever have the thread discuss the game, then that would deserve to wind up in RSP, and would most likely get there.

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I believe I recall the post. It was about Obama, yes?

It should have been moved to RSP, not deleted (as that's the standard BGG policy and procedure), but there's no way that post was not political. Being "just" a funny post does not make it any less political.

As to the policy that is not written down anywhere, I invite you to read the community rules linked below the text box every time you post. Specifically this:

Quote:
Raising issues of religion, sex, or politics outside of the designated Religion, Sex, and Politics forum
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I can't judge on the case here, but in my opinion the admins are too proactive.
I appreciate their role, but I see people censor themselves where they shouldn't (imo).

In a recent list 'I hate it...' amusing comments by low rating users where gathered.
These users where not named for fear of inciting flames. I think this is wrong on a fundamental level. By all means move to RSP when appropriate, lock a thread if need be, but don't presuppose we're snow flakes.
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tumorous wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
What does the rest of the BGG community think (if you're reading this at all)?

It doesn't seem that complicated. RSP sounds like a lovely place to start your thread.

This is part of my point. It was not moved to RSP, which I wouldn't argue with. It was just deleted.
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JasonJ0 wrote:
I believe I recall the post. It was about Obama, yes?

It should have been moved to RSP, not deleted (as that's the standard BGG policy and procedure), but there's no way that post was not political. Being "just" a funny post does not make it any less political.

As to the policy that is not written down anywhere, I invite you to read the community rules linked below the text box every time you post. Specifically this:

Quote:
Raising issues of religion, sex, or politics outside of the designated Religion, Sex, and Politics forum

Do you believe your post just now should be deleted? It certainly should be under this policy because it mentions the person, who has been deemed too politically charged to mention in a post for any reason.

It wasn't non-political because it was funny. Certainly political satire could be funny (or at least intended that way) but still political. This was not political because it didn't raise any political issues. The same article could have substituted Mick Jagger or Steve Harvey and still made sense.

In any event, I think you are making my point. Moving to RSP, locking a thread, those I wouldn't argue with. But this involves just deleting the thread altogether just on an admin's ad hoc determination that it *could* lead to political discussion because that admin feels a political figure is too controversial at that time.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
I believe I recall the post. It was about Obama, yes?

It should have been moved to RSP, not deleted (as that's the standard BGG policy and procedure), but there's no way that post was not political. Being "just" a funny post does not make it any less political.

As to the policy that is not written down anywhere, I invite you to read the community rules linked below the text box every time you post. Specifically this:

Quote:
Raising issues of religion, sex, or politics outside of the designated Religion, Sex, and Politics forum

Do you believe your post just now should be deleted? It certainly should be under this policy because it mentions the person, who has been deemed too politically charged to mention in a post for any reason.

This statement makes it clear that you're being intentionally obtuse.

Quote:
It wasn't non-political because it was funny. Certainly political satire could be funny (or at least intended that way) but still political. This was not political because it didn't raise any political issues. The same article could have substituted Mick Jagger or Steve Harvey and still made sense.

My guess would be that you're too close to it to accurately guage if it came across as political. But I haven't seen the post, so who knows. Maybe you should repost it in RSP and we can all judge it there.

Quote:
In any event, I think you are making my point. Moving to RSP, locking a thread, those I wouldn't argue with. But this involves just deleting the thread altogether just on an admin's ad hoc determination that it *could* lead to political discussion because that admin feels a political figure is too controversial at that time.

When you post in the wrong forum, the admins have discretion on what to do with that. You can't get bent out of shape that they didn't choose your first choice of what do do with your post.
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If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)
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It was deleted for being an exact duplicate of an already existing topic.no big conspiracy here
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tumorous wrote:
RSP sounds like a lovely place


Survey says... buzzt!
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russ wrote:
If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)

It was not deleted for being a duplicate. I also don't recall which forum I posted in and couldn't check because the post was deleted -- maybe it was in RSP, maybe not.

Anyway, maybe it is to be expected that this is getting lost in the weeds, but the larger point I was trying to make is that it is troubling (to me) to have a rule that an admin can delete threads because they mention someone the admin thinks is too controversial, even if no controversy has happened (yet).

The thread you linked to on the Onion article was not deleted. Why? Obviously because admins (perhaps different ones) came to a different conclusion about that post. Maybe they were more optimistic that day, or ate something better for breakfast, or whatever. Leaving it to an admin's ad hoc value judgment of a public figure on a given day is not a good way to go about it IMHO. If particular people are off limits per se, a list should be posted to make clear who those people are.
 
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I thought BGG policy was they didn't delete posts.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
russ wrote:
If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)

It was not deleted for being a duplicate. I also don't recall which forum I posted in and couldn't check because the post was deleted -- maybe it was in RSP, maybe not.

Anyway, maybe it is to be expected that this is getting lost in the weeds, but the larger point I was trying to make is that it is troubling (to me) to have a rule that an admin can delete threads because they mention someone the admin thinks is too controversial, even if no controversy has happened (yet).

The thread you linked to on the Onion article was not deleted. Why? Obviously because admins (perhaps different ones) came to a different conclusion about that post. Maybe they were more optimistic that day, or ate something better for breakfast, or whatever. Leaving it to an admin's ad hoc value judgment of a public figure on a given day is not a good way to go about it IMHO. If particular people are off limits per se, a list should be posted to make clear who those people are.


I think you are working waaaay too hard to discuss a site whose ownership is not yours.

I donate to NPR, but I don't own its content. I may call into NPR to talk with a host, but I don't own its content.

You're in a similar, but different boat.

The mods deleted a post of yours they deemed inappropriate, etc. The story really ends there.



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And as for clarity and clearly defined rules... well, its clear enough you shouldn't do what you did. Consider the rules like a sculpture that gets more detail as the days and tools dig away at the big blob of medium, slowly revealing the details.

Life is messy, but this site isn't a place that you have any control over the details or administration - apart from participating, viewing, or contributing useful content.

I highly recommend devoting your resources to something that will actually change when you apply them.

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JJL
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darthhugo wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
russ wrote:
If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)

It was not deleted for being a duplicate. I also don't recall which forum I posted in and couldn't check because the post was deleted -- maybe it was in RSP, maybe not.

Anyway, maybe it is to be expected that this is getting lost in the weeds, but the larger point I was trying to make is that it is troubling (to me) to have a rule that an admin can delete threads because they mention someone the admin thinks is too controversial, even if no controversy has happened (yet).

The thread you linked to on the Onion article was not deleted. Why? Obviously because admins (perhaps different ones) came to a different conclusion about that post. Maybe they were more optimistic that day, or ate something better for breakfast, or whatever. Leaving it to an admin's ad hoc value judgment of a public figure on a given day is not a good way to go about it IMHO. If particular people are off limits per se, a list should be posted to make clear who those people are.


I think you are working waaaay too hard to discuss a site whose ownership is not yours.

I donate to NPR, but I don't own its content. I may call into NPR to talk with a host, but I don't own its content.

You're in a similar, but different boat.

The mods deleted a post of yours they deemed inappropriate, etc. The story really ends there.




You clearly have a very different view of BGG, fair enough. In your view, rules are irrelevant, the admins can do whatever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they want. I totally disagree, but I respect your consistency at least. (On a practical level, of course the admins have the ability to do whatever they want, but they shouldn't and rules matter IMHO.)

From an "ownership" of content perspective, I also disagree. For example, folks who post copyrighted content (e.g., articles, photos, artwork, videos) don't give ownership over that content to BGG. Posting about Asmodee doesn't give BGG ownership of their trademark such that BGG can use it however they want. Using your NPR example, if you were interviewed and played a song you wrote on the radio, NPR doesn't now own that song because it was "posted" on NPR. Not sure what this really has to do with the issue I raised, just wanted to respond to that.
 
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I should also make clear that I don't think the admin in my case was trying to do anything nefarious or had anything but good intentions. I just think the policy is misguided.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
In your view, rules are irrelevant, the admins can do whatever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they want.
Yup... as long as the guy owning the site approves of what they're doing. Why would you think differently?

JJL_WashDC wrote:
(On a practical level, of course the admins have the ability to do whatever they want, but they shouldn't and rules matter IMHO.)
The function of an admin is to make sure the site behaves how the owner wants it to. As long as the owner is happy, the admin is doing a good job. You might not like that, but it's not your site. If you don't like how the site is run, then you can take it up with the admins and owner or you can go to another site... but just because you're a participant here doesn't mean you get to decide how things are run.

JJL_WashDC wrote:
Using your NPR example, if you were interviewed and played a song you wrote on the radio, NPR doesn't now own that song because it was "posted" on NPR.
And if NPR decided your song was too controversial and wanted to take down the post with your song or edit the interview to remove your song, they'd be completely justified. Just because you "own" your content doesn't mean they are obligated to broadcast it. If they feel it's bad for their site, they can take it down.
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Thunkd wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
In your view, rules are irrelevant, the admins can do whatever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they want.
Yup... as long as the guy owning the site approves of what they're doing. Why would you think differently?

JJL_WashDC wrote:
(On a practical level, of course the admins have the ability to do whatever they want, but they shouldn't and rules matter IMHO.)
The function of an admin is to make sure the site behaves how the owner wants it to. As long as the owner is happy, the admin is doing a good job. You might not like that, but it's not your site. If you don't like how the site is run, then you can take it up with the admins and owner or you can go to another site... but just because you're a participant here doesn't mean you get to decide how things are run.

JJL_WashDC wrote:
Using your NPR example, if you were interviewed and played a song you wrote on the radio, NPR doesn't now own that song because it was "posted" on NPR.
And if NPR decided your song was too controversial and wanted to take down the post with your song or edit the interview to remove your song, they'd be completely justified. Just because you "own" your content doesn't mean they are obligated to broadcast it. If they feel it's bad for their site, they can take it down.

It's like ships passing in the night. No one, including me, is arguing the admins CAN'T delete posts. Of course they have that ability. No one, including me, is saying BGGers can MAKE the admins do or not do something. Except in really extreme cases, that isn't the case.

But that doesn't mean we can't express our view on what the admins SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do for the well-being of the site. If the admins decided tomorrow that all posts that do not praise Asmodee will be deleted, no one could argue they CANNOT do that. Of course they can. But I would argue they SHOULD NOT do that. Just as I am arguing they should not have a policy of censoring posts on the basis that an admin thinks a public figure is too controversial to be mentioned in any way. BGG can ignore me entirely of course (and probably will) but that's my opinion. It's not your opinion, fair enough. I posted this thread because I think at least some other BGGers will agree with me, and that a discussion could help inform the admins with how they apply this unwritten policy.

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JJL_WashDC wrote:
I should also make clear that I don't think the admin in my case was trying to do anything nefarious or had anything but good intentions. I just think the policy is misguided.
I don't. I agree with you in theory, but in practice anything with Obama's or Trump's name in it is going to draw the nastiest denizens RSP out of their cave to cause mayhem. The policy is sound.

Pete (wishes it wasn't so, but knows it is)
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plezercruz wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
I should also make clear that I don't think the admin in my case was trying to do anything nefarious or had anything but good intentions. I just think the policy is misguided.
I don't. I agree with you in theory, but in practice anything with Obama's or Trump's name in it is going to draw the nastiest denizens RSP out of their cave to cause mayhem. The policy is sound.

Pete (wishes it wasn't so, but knows it is)

Even if what you say is true, I wish they would just say somewhere, "The following people may not be mentioned in the forums in any way: Barack Obama, Donald Trump" etc etc. But your point is fair enough. As I said in the OP, I totally get what the goal of the policy is. I just think this is the wrong way to go about it.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
russ wrote:
If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)

It was not deleted for being a duplicate. I also don't recall which forum I posted in and couldn't check because the post was deleted -- maybe it was in RSP, maybe not.

Anyway, maybe it is to be expected that this is getting lost in the weeds, but the larger point I was trying to make is that it is troubling (to me) to have a rule that an admin can delete threads because they mention someone the admin thinks is too controversial, even if no controversy has happened (yet).

The thread you linked to on the Onion article was not deleted. Why? Obviously because admins (perhaps different ones) came to a different conclusion about that post. Maybe they were more optimistic that day, or ate something better for breakfast, or whatever. Leaving it to an admin's ad hoc value judgment of a public figure on a given day is not a good way to go about it IMHO. If particular people are off limits per se, a list should be posted to make clear who those people are.


The linked thread is in RSP, and originated there. That's the place for it, as per the rules.

Your post was in General Gaming, which is against the rules, and which is why it got flagged.

And if you can't work out why an Onion article about Obama is political, then you're going to have an awful lot of trouble with many more things than just basic BGG rules.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
I should also make clear that I don't think the admin in my case was trying to do anything nefarious or had anything but good intentions. I just think the policy is misguided.
I don't. I agree with you in theory, but in practice anything with Obama's or Trump's name in it is going to draw the nastiest denizens RSP out of their cave to cause mayhem. The policy is sound.

Pete (wishes it wasn't so, but knows it is)

Even if what you say is true, I wish they would just say somewhere, "The following people may not be mentioned in the forums in any way: Barack Obama, Donald Trump" etc etc. But your point is fair enough. As I said in the OP, I totally get what the goal of the policy is. I just think this is the wrong way to go about it.

It's not a matter of mentioning names. I have seen passing references to political events completely derail otherwise ordinary threads with half a dozen people who want to throw in their two cents, or complain about the reference, or start your kind of argument, and so on.

Rules can't be that clear-cut and direct, because they can't be enforced in such a black-and-white way.

Board games have nice clean rules. The actual world is full of greys.
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JJL_WashDC wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
I should also make clear that I don't think the admin in my case was trying to do anything nefarious or had anything but good intentions. I just think the policy is misguided.
I don't. I agree with you in theory, but in practice anything with Obama's or Trump's name in it is going to draw the nastiest denizens RSP out of their cave to cause mayhem. The policy is sound.

Pete (wishes it wasn't so, but knows it is)

Even if what you say is true, I wish they would just say somewhere, "The following people may not be mentioned in the forums in any way: Barack Obama, Donald Trump" etc etc. But your point is fair enough. As I said in the OP, I totally get what the goal of the policy is. I just think this is the wrong way to go about it.


No need for clarity, because then the rulebook becomes something constantly growing and arguable.

Just learn that what you did wasn't allowed and don't repeat. Add it to your personal BGG ruleset, which is what should guide your actions.

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JJL_WashDC wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
JJL_WashDC wrote:
russ wrote:
If you're talking about the onion article which was already linked in the (RSP) thread (Onion) Obama Sinks Family Savings Into Developing Presidential Tabletop Game, I would say that it clearly has some political content in its humor and would not make sense if you substituted in Mick Jagger.

(Maybe it was deleted instead of being moved to RSP because there was already a thread there about it?)

It was not deleted for being a duplicate. I also don't recall which forum I posted in and couldn't check because the post was deleted -- maybe it was in RSP, maybe not.

Anyway, maybe it is to be expected that this is getting lost in the weeds, but the larger point I was trying to make is that it is troubling (to me) to have a rule that an admin can delete threads because they mention someone the admin thinks is too controversial, even if no controversy has happened (yet).

The thread you linked to on the Onion article was not deleted. Why? Obviously because admins (perhaps different ones) came to a different conclusion about that post. Maybe they were more optimistic that day, or ate something better for breakfast, or whatever. Leaving it to an admin's ad hoc value judgment of a public figure on a given day is not a good way to go about it IMHO. If particular people are off limits per se, a list should be posted to make clear who those people are.


I think you are working waaaay too hard to discuss a site whose ownership is not yours.

I donate to NPR, but I don't own its content. I may call into NPR to talk with a host, but I don't own its content.

You're in a similar, but different boat.

The mods deleted a post of yours they deemed inappropriate, etc. The story really ends there.




You clearly have a very different view of BGG, fair enough. In your view, rules are irrelevant, the admins can do whatever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they want. I totally disagree, but I respect your consistency at least. (On a practical level, of course the admins have the ability to do whatever they want, but they shouldn't and rules matter IMHO.)

From an "ownership" of content perspective, I also disagree. For example, folks who post copyrighted content (e.g., articles, photos, artwork, videos) don't give ownership over that content to BGG. Posting about Asmodee doesn't give BGG ownership of their trademark such that BGG can use it however they want. Using your NPR example, if you were interviewed and played a song you wrote on the radio, NPR doesn't now own that song because it was "posted" on NPR. Not sure what this really has to do with the issue I raised, just wanted to respond to that.




It's like a friend's house. You are welcome, but realize it isn't yours and you need to learn to follow the rules. Some friends are lax, some are strict, but they don't need to explain all the rules. You'll know when you have crossed a line, and when you are invited back if kicked out, then just don't do that thing that you did.

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