Since launch, we have pretty much kept the same, small staff of forum moderators. There were five of us in the beginning: Myself, Hamz, Suneku, CitizenKane, and BoG. That worked out just fine for awhile, then we brought over one of the many excellent Wiki mods to the forum side, TheBeast, in mid-August. Since then, things have been pretty status quo around here. The forums have generally been running themselves, and things have been going well, for the most part anyway. However...Kush has always been there supporting the site from the very beginning. We all thought that with school starting up and most of the forum mods going back to college this week, that this would be a good time to bring on another forum moderator.
Kush was an easy choice for all of us. He's active, never has a bad word to say about anyone, and has always been a big help to the staff. He was constantly keeping us advised of issues that were developing on the forums with certain threads or trolls when none of us were around to do anything about it, so he really was a great help to us in that respect.
With that, I welcome Kush to the dark side of Giant Bomb, may your shiney new tools keep you warm amongst the hate!
If you all hadn't noticed yet, there is a "feature" which leaves blog posts that are published to the forums virtually pinned to the top until they get a reply. You won't see this in the newest topics feed - you need to go into the individual main forums like Off Topic or General to see this. Take a look at this:
You'll see that the feature/bug leaves blog posts published to forums pinned at the top of the list of topics until they get at least one reply. Please help keep the forums clutter-free by posting replies to these blogs when you see them, at least until it's fixed. In theory this is a nice idea to ensure that blogs get exposure, but when there are 15+ five day old blog posts in General discussion pinned to the top of the board, that constitutes a problem.
You can see for yourself how an alias works by typing one of the above nicknames for The Old Republic in the search window in the upper right corner of your screen. Try putting in Star Wars MMO...as you can see, it immediately finds the correct game.
Since aliases affect Giant Bomb's search engine a great deal, please only request to add or remove an Alias if it is critical for the page you're suggesting it for. Aliases need to be used sparingly so the search engine doesn't get completely filled with bad results - this is why Alias is and will remain a staff-only field. I'll use The Old Republic again as a good example. Since this title is new, many people may not know it's called The Old Republic, but they may know that there is a Star Wars MMO in the works and in this case, the alias is a success and guides them to the correct place.
When requesting a change to an Alias, please provide the name of the game, a link to the Wiki page, the alias change you wish to make, and a brief reason you think the change should be made. Your request will be reviewed as soon as possible and if the changes seem justifiable, it'll be done.
Currently, Aliases can be added for Games, Characters, People, and Companies.
In short, multiple accounts are not allowed under any circumstances. This is covered in the Giant Bomb Terms & Conditions under the "You may not create user accounts...under false pretenses." clause. In particular, these are a few of the things we look for:
Ban dodging. Creating an alternate account to continue posting while banned
Bumping one's own posts. Users having conversations with themselves, also known as spam
Using multiple accounts to negatively rate topics
Creating accounts solely to insult or attack other users with
Alternate accounts will be permanently banned, and any action taken against the user's "main" account will be at the moderators' discretion.
UPDATE - Multiple accounts are not allowed for any reason, that includes "Role-Playing".
Now, here is a G.I. Joe machinima by Dr Smoov, because he rocks and I can never get enough Dr Smoov.
A couple of boring pieces of business for Tuesday, August 12th:
The ability for users to delete their own first post in a forum topic has been removed. This was causing problems because users were going back and deleting their own first post, leaving an empty shell of a topic that made no sense and had to be locked or deleted.
Special characters can no longer be used as the only part of a forum topic. This should cut down on unclickable posts and other craziness.
Effective immediately, anyone found to be exploiting the WIki by either plagiarizing others' work or otherwise abusing their live edit privileges to get points will have their points reset to zero. In addition, these people will be banned from making any further submissions or edits to the site. If you've copy & pasted something from another website into the Wiki, it would be best if you went back and editied that stuff out before you get caught by one of us. Remember, we want original material in your own words, and no watermarked images from other sites in galleries.
Thankfully, there are a few users who have taken it upon themselves to investigate the submission history of users that are on the top of the leaderboards. If you come across suspected plagiarism, PM me and I'll make sure the appropriate action is taken. Make sure you include plenty of links and supporting information.
On a related note, please do not submit thousands of screenshots into a gallery. I'm not naming names here, but there are a few people that are submitting hundreds and even thousands of screenshots for games that were only taken a second or two apart from one another. This realliy ruins screenshot galleries, and it makes looking for a specific shot like looking for a needle in a stack of needles.
I'm pleased to announce that there is a new feature on the forums, a sort of Crowd Moderation/Reporting Tool. The way it works is that the moderators are notified when a post gets a certain number of negative ratings. That number is subject to change, but for now I'll reveal that the number is not very high at all. Once a post gets it's required number of negative ratings, a moderator will be notified to look at it and then he will decide what action to take.
This is an aspect of the site that is vitally important for the community to get involved in, simply because there are so many forums and so few moderators. When there is a bad post...tell us! Reasons to negatively rate a post could be inappropriate images, trolling, spamming, attacking other users, or any other situation where you think a moderator needs to be involved.
To rate, click on the - or + icon in the top right hand corner of the post.
In pictures, here's how the system works:
Troll starts acting up
Users negatively rate the bad post
Once the specified number of negative ratings is reached, a Moderator
Through a combination of hard work and the power of technology, we've reduced the queue to around 7,500 submissions. The turnaround time is just about 36 hours at this point. We expect to meet our goal of a 24 hour turnaround time by the end of the week!
Edit: To clear up a little confusion, this number does not include image submissions, those are in a separate queue. Again, thanks to the awesome power of technology, the image crowd moderation tool has reduced the number of images waiting to be approved from over 20,000 down to almost zero. Go forth and submit more images!