Question What qualifies as "Off-topic?"

Discussion in 'Site Discussions & Suggestions' started by Pedeadstrian, May 26, 2016.

  1. Pedeadstrian
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    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    Sandy Eggo
    Reading the "DO NOT BUMP SPAM" and State of the Temp threads, it's got me to thinking. What exactly is an "acceptable" level of off-topic-ness? Some single posts get deleted for being off-topic, but in other cases the off-topic-ness can last for several posts in a row and not be moderated at all. Take, for example, something that happened in the State of the Temp thread earlier today. The thread was going smoothly (at least at that moment in time), then all of a sudden we get someone (Foxi4) talking about sex dungeons, which is clearly off-topic, and then he gets called out on it. In response to being called out for being off-topic, he responds thusly:
    The way that came out, it sounds as if he's saying that it's okay to joke about non-crisis topics, but the vast majority of threads aren't about crisis situations. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming him. I know Foxi4 is not the voice of GBAtemp and his word isn't the absolute word of God, but it brings up a question that I think we should get a solid, definite answer to.

    How exactly do we balance on and off-topic posts? When is it okay to talk about sex dungeons? When is it okay for someone to make a post in a thread that doesn't contribute to the conversation and only serves to get a laugh or a "like?"
     
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  2. Vulpes Abnocto

    Vulpes Abnocto Drinks, Knows Things

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    That's handled not only on a case-by-case basis, but also has a lot to do with the tone of the thread, and even how the on-duty moderators are feeling at that moment. It's quite a fluid definition.
     
  3. endoverend

    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    In a way, Foxi had barely gotten off track; people were talking about becoming mods, relevant to the topic, and it's pretty much a Temp tradition to bring in sex dungeons when talking about mods :P

    But seriously, what qualifies as off topic is a judgement call by the mods. Perhaps in a thread full of garbage the mods might be more strict with deleting it but in a serious thread that produces a long, thoughtful discussion (like the one previously mentioned) a joke or two is no reason to go off your rocker, especially in a situation where the mood needs to be lightened. There's no special GBAtemp definition of off-topic.
     
  4. Pedeadstrian
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    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    Sandy Eggo
    The fact that "off-topic" has such a fluid definition is the problem. People see others making jokes and getting away with it and then try to do the same thing themselves and end up with very different outcomes. The same exact joke might be allowed in one thread and not allowed (i.e. deleted) in another, solely at the whims of whichever mod happens to be active at the time and what his or her (do we even have any "her" mods?) mood is.
    The sex dungeon example was just an example, not the sole reason for me typing this. I wasn't offended by the joke. As a sadomasochist myself, the idea of a sex dungeon is rather intriguing. But that's beside the point.

    I knew before creating this thread that what was to be considered off-topic would be handled on a case-by-case basis, but clearly from both of your responses you already have some kind of rules for certain cases. Knowing those would at least help some people in the way (and place) they make off-topic posts, whether they're in the form of smartass comments, jokes, references, memes, etc. Having a definite lists of do's and don'ts, instead of just saying "It's only okay when it's okay" might help with all of the "shitposting" that people have been complaining about as of late.