Hey, these are the rules. They apply to the forums, obviously, but also to chats, wall posts, private messages, and any other applicable area of the site.
What do I need to know before I start posting?
The primary rule here is: don't be a jerk. Everyone is expected to treat one another with respect as well as to respect the site, its features, staff members, guests of the site who may appear in or create content for us, and the moderators who help run it. Being nice is not always required, but we do request that you are always civil when you post or comment.
How Is Giant Bomb Moderated?
As noted in the terms of service, we reserve the right to “at any time and for any reason, without giving you prior notice, restrict or terminate your access” to Giant Bomb. In plain talk, that means we have the ability to ban users, either temporarily or permanently. We likewise claim the right to delete any comment and lock or delete any thread on these forums at any time.
In practice, we do our best to be both dispassionate and fair in moderating these boards and any chat discussions. That said, moderation is inherently subjective. The final decision on any moderation is left to the discretion of the moderators. We reserve the right to take context into account when making those decisions. In other words, we may moderate topics about controversial or heated subjects more strictly than we would topics about less serious matters.
Moderations are handled via the private message system. Some warnings are simply that: a notice that a comment that you’ve posted falls outside the community guidelines and a request to adhere to those guidelines in the future. If a comment is especially noteworthy, your ability to post will be removed until you acknowledge the moderation message and agree to review the community guidelines. Repeated violations of these rules, or an especially egregious first violation, will lead to an extended time off from the forums, if not a permanent ban. A permanent ban will not affect your ability to watch videos or livestreams, but it will prevent you from commenting, posting blogs, sending private messages, or otherwise participating in the site community.
We generally do not discuss moderations publicly, so please don’t inquire about the moderation of another user. Forum topics about moderation will be deleted.
How can I help make this community more awesome?
If you see a comment or topic in the forums that you feel is inappropriate, please hover over it and select the “Flag” option. That will throw it into the moderation queue for review. When a moderator checks the post, they’ll either bump it up for further moderation or dismiss the flag if the post wasn’t in violation of our community rules. Don’t worry if you accidentally flag something; the mods are pretty good at discerning when this happens, and accidental flags will be dismissed.
If you think someone’s post is worthy of moderation, flag it and move on, or use the PM All Mods link if you think it’s especially worthy of quick attention. Do not quote any posts that are obviously going to be deleted, and do not respond to a crappy post with a crappy post of your own; that’ll just wind up getting you moderated as well.
I disagree with the warning or ban I received!
It’s perfectly natural to react strongly when you receive a moderation, but, again, all moderations are left to the discretion of the moderators. Attempts to play rules-lawyering games, accuse us of censorship, claim that we’ve violated your First Amendment rights, etc, will not be well-received.
If you disagree with a moderation PM that has been sent to you, take a moment to calm down, re-read the moderation note and the comment that led to the moderation, and (politely) reply to the moderation message with your concerns. A moderator will follow up with you.
Can you give me some specifics about what’s allowed and not allowed around here?
NO flaming, trolling, disruptive activity or posts which encourage such behavior: Includes but not limited to posting inflammatory comments with the intent of starting an argument or flame war, quoting inflammatory posts or comments made off-site, or attempting to derail conversations with dismissive or off-topic posts. If you don’t feel that a topic is worthy of discussion, ignore it and move on rather than loudly proclaiming your indifference to the subject at hand. In addition, using the site's private messaging feature to organize or promote the same type of behavior or to incite attacks against or encourage harassment of other users is strictly prohibited.
NO victimization of others or use of discriminatory language: Includes but not limited to personal attacks against other users, demeaning commentary on anyone’s physical appearance, or any racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic slurs or statements. If you wouldn’t say something to someone while shaking their hand and looking them in the eyes, then you probably shouldn’t post it as a comment. Similarly, you may not release the personal information of anyone, site user or not, without their consent. Don’t be creepy.
NO Dismissive labeling: If you disagree with another poster’s opinion, politely respond to them and give them specifics as to why. Use of terms like “social justice warrior,” “MRA,” “neckbeard,” “hipster,” "weeabo," "white knight," and any other pejorative label intended to disregard a statement without actually engaging with it will be considered dismissive and your comment will likely be deleted. Similarly, if you're going to accuse others of being "triggered" or "virtue signalling" or requiring a "safe space," just don't.
NO aggressive, intimidating, or condescending comments: Disagreements are a natural occurrence anywhere discourse occurs, but we do ask that any threads where such disagreements occur are kept civil and polite. Shouting down or insulting users who disagree with you will not be tolerated. This includes overly sarcastic statements and comments.
NO discussion of illegal activities: Includes but not limited to the discussion of illicit substances, circumvention of copy protection, and piracy of video games or any form of media. (These topics may come up from time to time in articles or videos, and we’ll allow some general discussion when that occurs.) If you have a question as to whether a discussion of comment will be off-limits or not, contact the moderators and we will let you know.
NO material of a pornographic, overtly sexual or gory nature: Includes but not limited to in-game images from pornographic games or hentai, as well as sexually explicit fan art. This includes subjects which may be deemed generally offensive to the community. Additionally, usernames and content in user profiles must be appropriate for all ages.
NO Spam: Includes but not limited to: promoting personal sites, making comments which have no discussion value such as "first" or "bump", quote pyramids or empty quoting, quoting with nothing more than "this" or "+1", battle or versus threads, "chat" threads, and creating any threads with little to no text where off-site content is linked or embedded. This includes starting forum threads/blogs to promote your latest podcast or written review on another site, or a game which you have worked on. Additionally, replying to spam & advertising threads is prohibited. Repeatedly replying to spam will result in your ability to post being temporarily or permanently revoked. News or articles found elsewhere and copy pasted into the forums as a new topic without significant original commentary will be treated as spam.
NO Commercial advertising: You may not advertise or sell any product or service on Giant Bomb. This includes, but is not limited to; developers creating threads to advertise their games, advertising fundraising for Kickstarters or other commercial products for personal gain, and advertisements of personal sites for personal gain (monetary or otherwise, this includes posts advertising personal podcasts and projects). This includes referral links. We’ll usually except posts from this rule if they’re intended to give away a beta or Steam key from an established community member.
NO alternate accounts: Only one account per person is permitted. Users discovered using alternate accounts may find their posting privileges revoked and all of their accounts disabled.
Other Stuff That Might Get You In Trouble
Posting spoilers: Maliciously spoiling recent games, movies, or shows for others will not be tolerated. If you wish to post a spoiler, please use the spoiler or spoiler block options in the post editor to hide them from people who don’t wish to see them. Posting spoilers in thread titles is never permitted.
Posting negative threads or comments about moderators: If you have a problem with a mod decision or these community rules, send the mods a PM asking for more information. If you have an issue with a specific mod, contact Rorie. If you create threads encouraging people to complain about mods or moderation action, they will be removed and your account may be subject to moderation.
Posting overly negative threads about staff members: All members of staff are receptive to valid, actionable criticism about site content. Threads intended to demean or insult staff members will be deleted, however. Given the rapid pace of forum discussions and the busy schedules of staffers, your best bet to ensure that a staffer will read your comment is to send that staffer a private message or tweet to them.
Poor grammar/Non-English posts: Posts that are difficult to understand due to poor grammar, excessive misspellings, or other legibility issues may be edited or deleted. Posts made in languages other than English will also be deleted, as the moderation staff has a limited ability to discern which of these posts fall within the forum guidelines.
Threads with no discussion value: While we allow off-topic discussion, be mindful that this is primarily a forum about video games. Users who repeatedly post inane, nonsensical, inflammatory, or meaningless threads will be moderated.
Vague thread titles: The reader should be able to tell what your topic is about without clicking on it. Topics with intentionally vague or misleading titles are subject to editing or deletion.
Posting threads in the wrong forum: Every game and platform has their own forum; please use those when creating topics on the message boards. If a topic is about a game, a platform, or a character, it belongs in that forum. Threads about video games or Giant Bomb go into General, and everything else goes into Off Topic. Threads will be moved when appropriate and users who refuse to post topics in the correct forum may have their posting privileges revoked.
Duplicate threads: Be sure to use to the forum search to check that the thread you are creating doesn't already exist, as duplicate threads are subject to locking or deletion.
Swearing on forum and/or blog titles: While swearing is permitted on the site in general, try to keep it classy by avoiding swear words on your forum or blog topic titles. Any blogs and/or forum topics found to be in violation of this will be edited or deleted. Alternatively, profanity in thread titles may be changed to "puppy", "pup", or related cute words.
Role-playing/character accounts: Be yourself; don’t pretend to be Master Chief or anything like that.
- Publishing private information on social media: Private messages are intended to be precisely that: private. If you take personal, private discussions and share them elsewhere, publicly, expect that action to result in an immediate suspension and/or ban.
These rules not only apply to forum threads, but also to blog posts, game reviews, lists, as well as messages in any live chat. In addition, it is recommended users read through the Giant Bomb Terms and Conditions. More information on how the forums operate can be found in the Forum FAQ, and any questions about these rules should be directed to the moderators whom you can contact using the following link: PM Mods, Or you can email the mods at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can't use the PM system.
As a final note: don’t be one of those people who tries to poke and prod at the letter of the law to test the moderation team or see how best you can toe the line of these rules. We’ve got a pretty low tolerance for that kind of stuff and won’t take kindly to it.