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12 September 2005 @ 05:25 am
Mod Post - regarding off-topic posts  
We would like to take this chance to attempt to define what is and isn't regarded as off-topic. These points are, of course, presently open for discussion.

First, we'll post the general gist of what came up in the mods' discussion, which should give you a general idea of what's expected. A more in-depth version is provided under the cut. We encourage reading it to gain a thorough understanding.

We intend to place restrictions on the following:

a). Posts that only relate to FMA by a character name.

b). Posts that rely solely on fandom injokes. Edit: Changed based on the results of this poll

c). Posts that focus on real life events not directly related to FMA.

Therefore, before you post, please consider the following questions:

a). If I changed the name of a character, and made the same post, would it be at all recognizable as FMA?

b). Would someone new to the fandom, who wasn't around for past famous jokes and discussions, still understand what I am talking about?

c). Will this be meaningful, and recognisable as FMA, to people in other places or countries, who aren't undergoing the same real-life experiences as I am?

The Situation:
There have been, for a long time, many complaints regarding off-topic posts. Considering how busy this community is, it rather hurts the community as a whole. The team of mods have been attempting to address the issue, yet unfortunately we have had some issues on deciding what is and isn't off-topic. As such, enforcement has been sporadic.

In other words, we apologise for not dealing with many off-topic posts that we should have.

However, a few of us put our heads together and constructed the following guidelines. Please feel free to discuss your thoughts in comments. We only want what is best for the community as a whole, and we are aware that one person's 'spam' is another's 'good time'.

The Community's Ideals:

1) To be an open forum for the discussion of the anime, manga, and related franchises of Fullmetal Alchemist. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist, its characters, its plot, and its fandom are to be the primary topics of discussion.

2) This community is not meant to be a forum for the discussion of current events, even those that affect individual community members.

3) It is also not meant as a forum for the promotion of communities, events, or topics not directly related to the show.

However, these are very broadly defined, and allow a lot of individual interpretation as to what is or isn't on-topic. The guidelines we are attempting to introduce are as follows. Remember, they are open to discussion at the present time!

What's Being Restricted:

A) Characters. Fanwork, discussion, and speculation devoted to the characters is allowed and encouraged. However, a character is more than his or her name. We ask that you please refrain from posts centering on anything unrelated to FMA, even if they happen to share a character name. For example, a photograph of a street sign saying 'Fletcher Street', or a truck with 'Havoc' written on it.

B) Fandom. The FMA fandom, like most communities, quickly developed its own rich history of traditions and in-jokes. In some cases, these have evolved quite a bit away from the original show. Please stop and consider: Would someone new to the fandom be able to understand your post? If not, then please refrain from posting it.

If you want to share your ideas or fanworks related to in-jokes, we recommend that you use LJ's search engine to find some of the several communities dedicated to that kind of material.

C) World events. We're all affected by events in our lives. However, this community is FMA. Real life isn't, really.

It would therefore be appreciated if details of current events, such as personal issues, weather, political or social events (as just examples) would be kept out of posts. Not only do they not really relate to FMA unless forced to, they also have controversy issues.

If You're Not Sure:

What all this comes down to, of course, is simply "be on topic!" Be sure that you're talking about FMA before you post. If you're unsure about how something will be received, ask yourself these questions:

1) If I changed the name of a character, and made the same post, would it be at all recognizable as FMA?

2) Would someone new to the fandom, who wasn't around for past famous jokes and discussions, still understand what I am talking about?

3) Will this be meaningful, and recognisable as FMA, to people in other places or countries, who aren't undergoing the same real-life experiences as I am?

If the answer to any of these questions is "no," then you may wish to consider your post off-topic, and restrict it to the appropriate communities, or else to your own journal, where you are always on-topic!

What We'll Do:

If we see, or have brought to our attention, a post that is considered off-topic, a moderator will take the following action.

First, we will consult the question with any other mods that are easily available at the time. If we agree that the post is off-topic, we will post as a mod to the topic and let the poster know that her or his post is out of bounds for the community and needs to be removed.

After leaving the notice for at least two hours, to give the poster a chance to save anything she or he wishes, the post will be deleted by a moderator.

If a poster feels that her or his post was deleted unfairly and was not off-topic for the community, she or he will have the chance to appeal to a different moderator and the case re-judged.

Unlike for other moderator actions or rules, no action will be taken against posters for repeated infractions.

No poster will be temporarily or permanently suspended for posting off-topic, unless it qualifies as deliberate trolling. Nor will they be suspended for requesting that their case be rejudged.


Again, I'd like to repeat that discussion of these guidelines is welcome. Please also be aware that this is only regarding unique posts in the community, not comments or comment threads.

The mod team is still working on getting the FAQ updated and the rules settled, so please bear with us during this transitition period as we work with you to make this community a nicer place.

Thanks for your attention!
Jen: FMA;;Ed Sulk_only_of_you_ on September 12th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC)
Mods pwn n00bs. I love ya'll.
Cynthia: Thankscsakuras on September 12th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
Sounds fair. :)
ヴィ様です!: FMA - Roy: Useless in the Rainveatariel on September 12th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
I don't agree with B. It wouldn't be fair for those who had been in the fandom for a long time to be subjected to that rule just because a newbie does not understand. Besides, if posts with 'Envy Lightbulb' jokes for example have comments about not understanding the in-joke, I'm sure someone will direct the person to an archived post explaining the whole thing.

As with the others, I think they're fair. Those types of posts are irrelevant.
mikkeneko on September 12th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
We'll take that into consideration. Certainly we want to make sure that all fans, new and old, have a place for what they want to post.
(no subject) - veatariel on September 12th, 2005 06:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - without_reason on September 12th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acdragonmaster on September 12th, 2005 06:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kytyngurl2 on September 12th, 2005 06:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - veatariel on September 12th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tavella on September 12th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - veatariel on September 12th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - devils_devotion on September 12th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizukori on September 13th, 2005 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - takokinoko on September 13th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on September 12th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - billypilgrim on September 12th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on September 13th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - billypilgrim on September 13th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
slovak vampire: real men wear PINKnumisma on September 12th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
We ask that you please refrain from posts centering on anything unrelated to FMA, even if they happen to share a character name. For example, a photograph of a street sign saying 'Fletcher Street', or a truck with 'Havoc' written on it.

I love you.

*cough cough*

Anyhoo, to better articulate, I will say this. Shit like that was getting REALLY annoying. It's not like it's an Amish Cafe or something, and the names of these characters can be found EVERYWHERE. FMA crack that still boils down to FMA is fine, but 99.9% of that sort of stuff is funny because it doesn't go off on some random, almost pointles tangent that few actually care about.

I had never said anything about this because I wasn't certain of the policy concerning off-topic posts. That, and I realise that I can be a really tactless bitch when I confront others, so I try to minimise speaking my mind to when it's actually important. My cyber mouth has gotten me into a lot of trouble before, so it's the whole 'pick your fights' thing. But I suppose the important thing is this: I am glad I am not the only one who felt annoyed at those posts, and that you guys are doing something about it. Thank you.
Walang Utak: fma - roy hehdiavana on September 12th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Great. I've been around the FMA fandom for a long time and I joined this community to get solid, current information about the show and look at fans' related fanwork.

Despite the fact that I've been around for a long time, I do not understand nor do I care for the private jokes between groups of FMA fans. I think they should have been kept to themselves and continued in private chats or whatever. They just flooded the community so much it got annoying having to discern between the relevant topics from the irrelevant.

No offense to the other community members, but not everyone thinks these fandom jokes and so-called FMA crack are THAT great. I never found them funny and I'm sure I'm not alone on this one. Just because a certain group does, does not mean they should dominate the community. Jokes belong in private chats, not in a community that is this big already ^^
purplemewitpurplemewit on September 12th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
ya know... it really bugs me when people take their fandom too seriously and then end their post with a ^^

while I agree that the "LOL Farman street" things could use a halt, or their own separate comm, the fandom in-jokes (which every fandom has) and other humor definately have a place here.

And the same old thing that people say to those that just want news and not the day to day randomness of the comm is either 1) keep scrolling down and not click (because ya know, no one is forcing you too...) or 2) the digest comm. It's there for a reason.

Also, just because the in-jokes are disliked by a certain group doesn't mean they should be banned wholesale either.


*goes back to making figure crack to spam you all with later*
(no subject) - diavana on September 12th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - diavana on September 12th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - purplemewit on September 12th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on September 12th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - diavana on September 12th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - diavana on September 12th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on September 12th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arisato on September 13th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - purplemewit on September 13th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arisato on September 13th, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kat~♪: Al- Scarssome_kat on September 12th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
In all honesty, I've almost completely stopped posting/looking at this community because of all the spam. I only check it about once a month to see if there is any news or new scans I haven't seen (which isn't very often right now).

I do agree, there are some inside jokes that really should stay out of the forum. For all of that, there's envy_lightbulb. I've also been scrolling past all the fanfiction/drabbles. I am in no way saying that fanfiction/drabbles should be restricted, I'm simply saying what I look at and don't look at.

All I've really felt safe with posting lately is links to icons. I don't dare post my theories or anything else here; there are too many "elitists" for me to do that and not feel like I've had my brain ripped out and trampled on, then stamped with "Stupid". I've never really felt safe doing that here.

But, I'm all for the new restrictions. They're here for a reason: to make everyone's experience with the communtiy a better one.
RW Grimmgrimm222001 on September 12th, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC)
So in-jokes are a no.

But crack is still okay right? Just as long as it's not an in-joke between people and not spoiling stuff for new fans (unless there's a spoiler warning of course).

I just want to make sure since crack is all I really have to offer to this community right now.

Mari: Domestic - chiba_yuriko DO NOT TAKEkaitou_marina on September 13th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)
The jury's still out on the in-jokes. We really want some more opinions here and were hoping for more of a community response. Considering the number of complaints we've had about the in-jokes, I'm surprised more people aren't speaking up either against or for them. They seem to be quite controversial.

For crack, check all the guidelines up there. If it only has character names in it, it's not okay. As long as it directly features characters and events from FMA in some way, it'll probably be fine.
(no subject) - glass_houses on September 13th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grimm222001 on September 13th, 2005 12:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - glass_houses on September 13th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arisato on September 13th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - __kat__ on September 14th, 2005 04:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grimm222001 on September 13th, 2005 12:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on September 13th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grimm222001 on September 13th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
honeywellagent_honeywell on September 13th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)
To throw my two cents in, I would personally be happy if in-jokes were out since zeppilins and lightbulbs are only so funny the first half a million times (if ever :/). But I since this comm. isn't on my friends page, I've got no problem with just scrolling past them.

I would really love it though if people would stop posting last-minute pictures of their food with FMA references (IE the bagel thing, somebody's tacos, mustard and shrimp, etc.). If anything can be done about that, my world would be made. ^^
Küchenhexe (formerly Zanne Chaos): Must think!kuchenhexe on September 13th, 2005 10:21 am (UTC)
Frankly, I agree with everything suggested.

Random not-entirely-relevant stuff being posted because of some vague connection to FMA? Kick it to the curb.

In-jokes? -_- Enough, already. I like a good in-joke as much as the next person (hell, I still randomly add "...now he dead from coke" to things once in a while while chatting with friends where appropriate </Fandom_Wank> and note the keywords: "where appropriate" and "with friends") but there's a problem with in-jokes:

They're only actually funny outside of their original context a small percentage of the time. And then when new people come in and find the original source, it's new to them, but old hat to the rest, and even teh funneh gets boring and old and dry when you've dealt with it for the millionth time.


Instead of abolishing in-jokes entirely, why not compile a list of in-jokes that are overdone and need to be retired? New in-jokes can have their day in the sun?

::goes to copy some of this to the injoke poll post::
Cuddlefish: Come Sit In the Colonel's Lapmoumusu on September 13th, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
Omigod, so let me get this straight. There were other people all along who were reading the digest comm because they were sick of having their flist flooded with in-jokes? 1. You mean the digest wasn't just for me?! YOU'VE BEEN CHEATING ON ME and 2. the new rules couldn't have come fast enough. I mean, yey.

Question: if I was to theoretically make an art post where the characters were cast in a certain "white trash AU"...I mean, theoretically...I mean, that's an in-joke with me, but I'm so happy to share it, and I never will without actual nice drawings...I wouldn't get in trouble for that, would I? Just...just checking. I AM so happy to see this new rule.
Mari: Ed's God - sky_darkkaitou_marina on September 13th, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
As long as characters from FMA are actually featured in the fanart somehow, it should be fine ^.^
like a moeblob without the moe: Pirate!Roy says: 'I don't get you.'darknightrain on September 13th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
Like many people have already said, I stopped watching this comm because the amounts of spam/in-jokes/pointless posts were getting ridiculous (god bless the digest comm). But then again, as far as in-jokes or "OMG THE ELRICS OWN A SUPERMARKET LOOK!!2" posts go... well, I am 120% sure there are like a hundred other comms for that. People who want in-jokes about in-jokes can head there, for their posts will be appreciated and everyone will be happy that way.

My 2-cents.
istealboyswings on January 18th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
This is a good list. I'm glad you put this up. But for new members (like me) do you think you could link it from the front page? Some of us arn't smart enough to go looking through for mod announcements *coughmecough*, and that results in deleted posts... u_u;;;
Serephita: Winry pinkserephita86 on July 28th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
It might be because I'm reading this at almost 1am, but I am a tad confused...do these rules also mean that we're not allowed to recruit for communities that are looking for FMA RPers? please don't kill me my lack of sleep is turning me into a moron
Iris: FMAhockeyiris on January 6th, 2008 08:54 am (UTC)
Before I actually post, I have a question.
I NEVER do this, but I'm quite desperate... where can I go to ask questions related to searching for a fic? I read a quite incredible piece months ago and I would have sworn it was on an archive site, but I have gone through both archives I frequent, twice, and have had no luck. I don't know if there's a search comm I might have missed or what else to do, but I don't want to post without asking if it's alright first.

aristastarfyr: inner hickaristastarfyr on January 18th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
I have a question!

I'd like to promote my game, which is in dire need of more FMA crew. May I pimp out the code here?