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Gaia Community Discussion Forum Rules and Guidelines


Welcome to the Gaia Community Discussion (GCD) forum! The GCD forum is intended for light to extended discussion on all aspects of the Gaia Community, be it in the form of speculation or general community chatter.

As a member, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the forum's rules before posting. Posting in this forum implies that you read and understand the rules and guidelines and that you accept responsibility for the appropriateness of your thread or post.


Navigation:
  1. Introduction
  2. General Posting Guidelines
  3. Rules and Guidelines for Posting in the GCD Forum
  4. Discussion Standards
  5. How to Report
General Posting Guidelines

Please be sure to follow the Terms of Service and Rules and Guidelines here, as in all forums.

Common violations to avoid:


  • Spamming
    Nonsensical posts with no discussion value, posts not related to the topic at hand and excessive bumping are considered spam and only permitted in the Chatterbox.

    Low-content posts like "tl;dr", picture responses and one word replies do not contribute to discussion, so we encourage you to expand on your points where possible. Please also remember that submitting reports is much more useful to us than posting "wrong forum"!


  • Flaming
    Sarcastic, unhelpful, or abusive comments are not permitted since they are examples of flaming. There is no excuse for being rude to somebody, whether they have posted in the wrong forum or are trying to get a reaction out of you.

    Debate is allowed and encouraged so long as both parties remain civil, and we ask that you do not report users just because they disagree with you.


  • Trolling
    Deliberately posting with the intention of disrupting other users' enjoyment of the site is trolling and will not be tolerated.

    Creating threads with misleading titles about updates and features, disagreeing with users in a rude or derogatory fashion and making threads about why a particular group of users "sucks" is not in keeping with community spirit.


Terms of Service violations may result in a warning or a ban on your account.

Please remember that you should NOT quote ToS violations; it is almost as bad as making the original post. Quoting violations only makes them more visible and we don't want that.

If you find Terms of Service violations, or threads that may need moved to a different forum, please use an appropriate report. The procedure for this may be found below.

You can find online moderators by following the "View Forum Moderators" link at the top of the forum.

Gaia Staff will NEVER ask for your password! If anyone asks you for your password, report it.
Rules & Guidelines for Posting in Gaia Community Discussion

Threads that Belong in This Forum

    The Gaian community is huge, so there are many subjects that can be discussed in GCD legitimately. The forum is in no way limited to discussion about the GCD -- even though it may look that way sometimes!

    Feel free to speculate about future Monthly Collectibles, new Evolving Item generations, the shadowy past of Gaia's NPCs or what we can expect to see from upcoming plot. New ways to develop the community, trends you've noticed here or in other forums, user relations and even site policy changes are also appropriate discussion topics -- provided they contain sufficient content for the forum.


Note: Threads made by members of Gaia staff (e.g. Admins, Artists, Devs, Mods, etc.) that we feel are appropriate for this forum and which allow us to get your feedback on forum-related topics, your opinions on general Gaia Online issues, or which simply allow us to stay connected with you on a more personal level through interactive Q&A/chat posts are allowed. We'll try and not get too off-topic, or to spam up the forum with multiple staff-run threads at once, but we do like to spend time with you and get your feedback on things and this is the easiest way for us to do that.


Commonly Misplaced Threads

    Help Threads
    Any threads asking questions about features, items, or general site questions that can be answered belong in the Questions & Assistance forum.

    Feedback Threads
    If you are looking to give Gaia Online Staff feedback or suggestions about items or features please use Site Feedback. If you are having trouble determining if your thread would be better for user discussion or as feedback, please check over the Site Feedback rules.

    Avatar/Item Threads
    Threads which specifically relate to avatars or items, such as "What kind of music does your avatar like?", belong in Avatar Talk. Threads discussing trends in items or avatars that go beyond simply linking a tektek/naming your favorite item, are okay for the GCD.

    Gaia Community Projects
    Projects that relate to Gaia and serve to better the community, like newspapers and user run events, belong in the Gaia Community Projects subforum. Please note that the discussion rules of GCD still apply there.

    Event Guides and other Resources
    Threads that are meant to describe how to play an event, game, or simply tell people how to do something on Gaia belong in the Gaia Guides & Resources subforum as these threads do not actually promote discussion. This includes lists for items from the events.

    TekTeks: The Dressing Room
    Profiles: Profile Discussion
    Aquariums: Gaia Aquarium
    Homes Arena: Homes Arena Discussion
    Avatar Arena: Homes Arena
    Towns: Gaia Towns
    Homes: Gaia Homes
    zOMG!: zOMG!
    Achievements: Achievements Forum
    Storyline Organizations: The forum dedicated to the storyline event in question. Any group created by a user that is dedicated to an aspect of the storyline is classified as a storyline organization.


Inappropriate Threads



Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are repeat threads allowed?
    Yes, so long as they are not identical.

  • What is a "Hit and Run" topic?
    Hit and run topics are threads with low content that provoke simple survey-style responses. These threads generally contain users merely posting something about themselves and leaving, which does not encourage discussion.

  • What are "spoons"?
    Spoons, or "spoonfeeding questions" are questions at the end of a topic that offer a few starting points for users looking to join the discussion and may be a good idea if your thread is long or hard to follow. Adding spoonfeeding questions to a low-content thread does not make it appropriate for the forum.

  • Is "namedropping" allowed?
    Namedropping, the practice of saying another users' name in the first post or throughout a topic, is allowed. Topics completely about a user or a group of users, or namedropping to insult or embarrass, is not permitted.

  • What happens when my thread goes off topic?

    It can potentially be moved to the Chatterbox as the discussion is no longer relevant.

  • Are Chance Item (CI) Lists allowed?

    Yes. User lists created to track what items come out of the latest CI are allowed as it is often an ongoing community event that produces quite a lot of interest. However these topics must present a discussion about the CI in it's first post - it cannot just be an item list with no discussion. The conversation in the thread should be about the CI - what people like, don't like, other items it might work well with, etc. Trading/selling the items from the CI in said thread is not allowed and belongs in the Exchange.
Discussion Standards

This post should answer any other questions you may have about what we mean when we refer to "discussion", or the best ways to encourage it in your threads. Please note that one line of text is not enough to initiate an ongoing discussion and we urge you to put thought into your topics.


Low Content Threads

    Threads can be considered low content for a variety of reasons. The first post could just be one question or a series of questions in the style of a survey or poll, a re-post of an announcement, or a screenshot asking users to comment without any direction. Threads that also only display the "hit and run" mentality are considered low content.

    As a reminder, adding discussion questions to a thread that would be deemed low content does not excuse the thread of the rules.


Fanthreads/Permanent Threads

    Fanthreads are allowed in the Gaia Community Discussion as long as they adhere to the following set of rules:

    1. Fanthreads must be about a character from somewhere on the site or an evolving item. "Characters" include named NPCs, mystery characters from the main storyline and NPCs from zOMG (not monsters).

    2. Fanthreads must present a generalized discussion about their subject; simply posting that you like an NPC and supplying a member list does not make your thread a fanthread.

    3. Fanthreads must control their level of off-topic chatter. We encourage you to post a separate chatter topic in the Friends Chat for members to talk about day to day life, reserving the main fanthread for general discussion about the NPC themselves.

    Should a fanthread go off topic in the Gaia Community Discussion, the thread will be issued one verbal warning posted by a Moderator in the thread. Should it go off topic again, the thread will be moved out of the forum without question.


Anecdotes and Personal Experiences

    GCD threads should have topics that are accessible to many users, not just a small group or single user. Though the use of a personal experience as an example can often enhance a thread, it should not be the main focus or dominating factor of the discussion; the focus of threads must be generating discussion rather than just sharing a story or experience.

    If all you wish to do is share something that you have done or that has happened to you, or rant about an issue, we ask that you use your journal. Threads in which the discussion is deemed to be merely an afterthought to the personal experience will be treated as anecdotes and moved to the Chatterbox.


    Example:

    An anecdote
    Today I got three bundles of CIs from a friend as an early birthday present. I opened them not expecting to get much, but I got the rare cat item! I am so happy. It looks just like my pet kitten!

    Spoons:
    -Do you like this CI? Pirates & Ninjas, yay or nay?
    -What did you get from it?
    -Are you jealous of my cat?


    The above thread would be considered an anecdote as the main section of the topic is relating a personal experience, also known as an anecdote. The "spoons" or discussion questions are merely an afterthought of the topic, and therefore are not considered legitimate discussion. However, if you wish to rework this topic:

    Rewritten
    So, the new CI just came out, and I wonder what everyone thinks of its theme. Pirates and ninjas never go out of style so it was a great choice, but perhaps not the most original one. We've also had a lot of CIs with rare cat items lately (though I really love that this CI's rare because it looks like my kitten - so happy I got it!). What do you think?


    The topic does not have to be this long, but instead of just talking about a personal experience the user's thread focuses on a topic which is open for everyone to discuss, and the user includes their personal experience as an aside.
How to Report

Abuse of the report system will result in a warning or ban of your account.

Report a Post

Use the User Image button when an individual post in a topic contains inappropriate content.

    Reasons to Report a Post:

    • The content of the post violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The content of the post is off-topic.

    • The member who made the post has a signature which violates the rules.


Report a Topic

Use the Report this Topic button at the bottom of the page when a topic is not appropriate for the forum.

    Reasons to Report a Topic:

    • The topic violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The topic is in the wrong forum and should be moved to a more appropriate forum.


If you need to contact a moderator via Private Message, please use the "View Forum Moderator" link at the top of this forum to find a moderator.



Report Hacking, Scamming or Abuse & Harassment?

The Hacking, Scamming and Abuse or Harassment report forms can be found at the bottom of the forum index. When submitting a report, ensure that you fill out all fields and include as much relevant information as possible.

    Report A Hacking
    Use this form to report a Hacking. Hacking, on Gaia Online, refers to the unauthorized access of an account by someone other than the account owner. In most typical hacking cases, an unauthorized person enters an account which does not belong to him or her and takes items or gold from the account, often changing the account information so that the original owner can no longer access his or her account.

    Report A Scamming
    Use this form to report a Scamming. Scamming is when another member of Gaia takes your gold or items, or tries to take your gold or items, by making false promises of giving you rare items, get-rich-quick schemes, or by any other deceptive means. Scamming generally involves a situation in which two members of Gaia make an arrangement to trade gold, items, or a Gaia approved service (e.g. avatar art commission) with each other and then one of the parties involved in the arrangement fails to live up to his or her promise of an exchange.

    Report Abuse or Harassment
    Use this form to report ongoing Abuse or Harassment. If you are reporting harassment or abuse that is occurring directly in a thread, please use the "Report This Post" button instead.

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