Moderation and Forum Norms

@Gower, this has been nagging me the moment you gave a guideline on what threads must be locked. Seeing how I know discourse (the current system, not prior) sometimes doesn’t close threads that are off topic after 2 months, should it be reasonable to close down said thread if, all of a sudden, someone commented on it after, let’s say, a minimum of 3 years ?

No, not in my opinion. I think it’s fine to repurpose old threads if a topic suddenly becomes relevant again.


I am pinning this to the “Meta” category for general perusal. It is a work in progress.

What if a post got removed but none of the above reasons apply?

These are additional to COG’s policies and forum rules, which are also always in effect. There is also the discretion and best judgment of the mods in general, since that’s what they’re there for.


I feel like the “You got it chief” and “Oof” are personal attacks on me @Gower

I thought we had something special :frowning:


Gower is using these examples cause these are simple affirmations which do not have to said when you have a like option. It’s better to have a longer post that might be discussing/relevant to said thread then just a small one agreeing to a user.


I should have added that I don’t feel I broke any rules, either. Most of my WIP suggestions have garnered multiple likes, but then one got instantly removed. It was such an unwarranted move that I almost stopped coming to these forums, but fortunately another member reached out and prevented that

I would like for this thread not to relegislate decisions or open up old wounds, but to put in plain language some norms for how we can all get along. If there is any question about past decisions, I would be more than happy to talk to anyone on PM.


It’s good to see some clear guidelines that moderators will try to adhere to. I think it makes it more clear for forum posters on here if there is a question.

However, I would like to advise against setting up a fanfiction place on the forum. Fan art? Yes. Fan writings? No.

Here’s a few reasons.

  1. Moderators are going to have to police those threads like crazy even if there is a specific sub-forum for it. A ton of NSFW stuff will be posted on there, and I’m not sure you guys really want to have to police that.

  2. Even if an author doesn’t read the fanfic made of their own characters by some random person, they may already have an idea in mind for a future scenario, but if a fan has already written something close to it, they may assert that the author stole the idea from them and try to demand money or accuse of plagiarism.

There are already quite a few sites out there that host fan fictions, so it might be best just to leave it to them.


I know I’m bad sometimes and go OT way too often, I’m sorry about that. :disappointed:
But I agree with @spunkycatninja, a joke or two about what a character would say is one thing; but full fanfiction on the forum would be unnecessary.

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To be clear, this is just me trying to get down in words what my actual practice is. I’m not speaking for any of the other moderators (even though I suspect many of them do abide by many of these ideas). But this is also subject to change if I realize something doesn’t work or make sense.

The main thing I’m working to figure out is what to do with a thread that pops up with one or two stories based on a WIP, let’s say. My inclination would be to take that and fold it back into the main thread so it is findable by the community who would be most interested in it. But what happens when people start writing tons of stories? Then it starts to take over the main thread, and that’s not good. So maybe it does need its own thread after all. So I think that’s why I’m coming around to the notion that it has to be adjudicated case by case.

Honestly I don’t really run into this problem too much. I’m just thinking ahead.


But if some of the authors don’t want fanfic? Or are all right with it but don’t want to read it for purposes stated above? Or they don’t want someone else’s ideas to somehow taint their own? Or they are worried about copyright?

I think you guys need to discuss this carefully. That’s why I brought it up. Many published authors are not ok with fanfic. Yes, I am aware that some are, but even some of the ones who are ok with it say they won’t/can’t read it (usually for legal reasons). I thought I’d bring it up in case none of you were really aware.


I think it’s a bit unfair to put all fanworks under the NSFW banner. Most of the fanworks threads I’ve seen have been consistently SFW, and I don’t see a reason that wouldn’t hold true for future threads and games. And if a game has an audience that wants to discuss NSFW elements, there’s precedent for a NSFW discussion thread for a game that isn’t in the adult category itself. Despite Wayhaven having a dedicated fanworks thread, anyone making NSFW content has posted so in the NSFW discussion thread, at least every time I’ve noticed it

I think an across the board ban (or even discouragement) of fanfic isn’t really necessary. Folks have posted it before and every time I’ve seen it it’s been in spoiler tags, or under a reveal more, or a link to another site. If authors want to avoid it, it seems very easy to, while still making it available to the on-forum fandom that’d be interested in it


I see the logic, but I think I worry less about a sudden influx of inappropriate material. People have been posting fanworks for a while now–multiple works have dedicated fanworks threads, none of whom have been overcome, unless the moderators have been cleaning up a lot of stuff I haven’t noticed. I think “fan artists/writers are posting too much adult material for the mods to keep up with” is one of those bridges that should be crossed if/when we get to it


But that’s what you’ve seen on here. You go to fanfiction hosting sites and the tone and material is quite different.

COG is sex positive and pro-feminism, right? Many stories get into topics and scenarios that are…quite disturbing and dark. Incest, non-consensual interactions (I’m gonna be vague here), degradation, bestiality, LI turns into a yandere and kills MC, etc. And those aren’t in the minority of posts for fics in fandoms. The majority isn’t all the lemony sweet stuff or slightly angst-filled love you see on here. I’ve seen it in tons of fandoms: Harry Potter, Dragon Age, Marvel and DC comics, Pokemon, etc. Heck, I’ve even stumbled across a Wayhaven one where one of the LI’s was being super abusive and disgusting, and the only reason it wasn’t linked on here was because of the forum rules regarding adult content.

There was already a thread locked behind the plaza about how “downhill” the forum has gotten with the quality of posts. Now imagine the type and quantity if given a free-for-all.

As more and more people come on here, it’s going to be an issue, so that’s why I think the fan stories really need to be thought about before given a free pass. There are just a lot for reasons for being cautious about it or just directing it to sites that already host them.


My inclination is to do it this way for now. I am willing to revisit the issue if it becomes a problem. It is not a problem now, and I would rather deal with things that are problems now.


I don’t see that as a fanfic problem, I think that’s just a fandom problem.

The issue of “as more people wander off the street and onto the forum, more people who clash with the stated viewpoint of the forum are going to wander in with them” is there whether or not people are allowed to post fanfic. I’ve seen people post some pretty dark stuff outside of fanfic too–and it’s gotten flagged and removed. I don’t see a reason to assume that the same wouldn’t hold true about a fanfic

Like I said above, there’s already precedent for “if a work has a substantial following wanting to discuss things only suitable for the adult content section, a thread for that work will be created in the adult content section” and “if a fan creator has the option to post an adult fanwork in either the fanwork thread, or in the adult thread, they usually seem to use the adult thread; if they don’t it can be moved if necessary or deleted”.

The rules regarding adult content are still going to be there whether the fanworks sub-fora is in the adult section or not. I feel like putting that sub-fora in the adult section of the site would just encourage that subset of fandom that you’re worried about, and might make users creating SFW content less likely to post in the designated section

And given that there’s been confusion over the adult section anyway, moving the fanworks section there might just make most forum users behave as they have been–posting fanworks in the main discussion thread, or starting a new thread for it in one of the open forum categories


I know, I’m just memeing Migs.