LAST EDITED ON 03-20-06 AT 11:15 AM (EST)
PLEASE READ, even if you've seen some of this before.
Compiled by yours truly from posts of Bebo, MysticWolf, and myself.
Edited by the owner of RealityTVWorld.com.
The following moderator thread is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list culled from previous moderator threads, which it's designed to replace. It's long, but all should read it. We'll also be adding to this thread and bumping it as necessary.
FAQ 1: I missed a show / The show got pre-empted by ____! Can someone tell me what happened on (insert day/date here) show?
This site does not offer daily recaps of Starting Over episodes. We have explored the possibility of providing these, but our regular posters are not interested in putting in the effort to make this a regular offering.
So don’t. even. ask.
Please do not start threads requesting that someone recap the show for you. We are having way too many threads started just to make that request, and those threads are pushing active discussions off the main page. Sometimes we get multiple threads started in one day, because posters aren't willing to take a moment or two to see that a thread already exists.
If you want to find a site that does offer daily recaps, please check out our Starting Over Links and Message Board Compilation Thread, which includes some sites that do offer daily recaps. We encourage you to visit one of these other sites to get the information you're looking for.
FAQ 2: What happened to Starting Over in my market? Why was it cancelled/moved to a weird time?
We don’t know; we have nothing to do with Starting Over, NBC Universal Television Distribution, or Bunim-Murray Productions. Nor do we have time to ask each and every station that carries Starting Over.
Here’s some of what we do know:
# Many markets pre-empted Starting Over for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and did not make up the missed episodes.
# Some did not bring Starting Over back after the Olympics ended. The show has been pulling poor ratings in some markets.
# Others, like Houston, banished Starting Over to an overnight timeslot.
# It's looking more and more like Starting Over will be cancelled after this third season. But because Starting Over is syndicated, it's up to each individual station to decide whether to show Starting Over or not, even now.
# The only ones who know the exact future of Starting Over in your market are each station's programming directors. Call or e-mail them if you're upset.
# You MAY NOT request tapes or DVDs of Starting Over through here. If we allowed that, we could be sued for facilitating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.
FAQ 3: Which forum should I post in? (There’s more than one?)
Please post in the General Discussion Forum if:
# You are making a general comment about the show.
# You are making a comment about more than one houseguest (past or present).
# You are making a comment about one or more life coaches, or about anyone not a HG or an LC. (Andy Paige, even though she WAS a HG, fits here because of her current role.)
If you are starting a thread about one particular houseguest, then your comments belong in the Individual Houseguest Forum. Please show consideration for your other posters by checking out the threads there - you'll most likely find there's already a discussion about the houseguest (and the specific topic) you'd like to discuss.
# Starting a thread recapping an entire episode - or asking for a recap - is not an Individual Houseguest discussion. And as mentioned above, it shouldn’t be asked for anyway.
# Starting a thread on the graduation gifts - or why no one has graduated yet - is not an Individual Houseguest discussion.
# Starting a thread about orgasms is not an Individual Houseguest discussion.
# Starting a thread about a BOR is not an Individual Houseguest discussion.
# Starting a thread about more than one houseguest - or all of the houseguests - is not an Individual Houseguest discussion.
# Starting a thread about your fellow posters is not an Individual Houseguest discussion.
And we have a Spoiler Forum for show developments that have not yet aired. Posting spoiler info outside the Spoiler Forum -- even one day ahead -- will get your posting privileges suspended. Note: Posting info on an episode that occurred that day is NOT spoiler info, since it’s impossible to know when all areas have seen the show.
Before you start a new thread, take a quick glance at the threads on the first few pages. Is someone posting similar comments to yours? Then join in their discussion.
Do you have technical questions about how to use the forums, change your profile, etc.? Please go to the Help Forum to ask those. You'll find a link saying "Help" in the blue column on the lefthand side of the screen.
FAQ 4: What’s a thread?
A collection of posts under one topic, as if connected by a thread running through them. Get it?
This is a threaded community - join in existing discussions instead of starting new threads. There's no need for five threads saying basically the same thing. It just makes it harder for folks to really get discussions going, since they end up repeating themselves over and over, and the existing discussions get pushed to later pages. When in doubt, join an existing discussion. If you're 99.9% sure your specific comments warrant a new thread . . . join an existing one anyway. Every new duplicate thread YOU start makes it harder for YOU to find the APPROPRIATE thread on the next couple pages.
FAQ 5: Someone just posted inappropriately! What should I do?
You should be alerting the posts and leaving them alone. If you know the link to the thread that has their information, putting it in your alert saves us time and is much appreciated. But leave it to one of us to respond to them.
You are not mods. It's absolutely not your place to tell them they're in the wrong forum, that they should quit spamming, or that they should read instead of posting. All of those things fall into the category of vigilante moderation &/or poster bashing of your own. That's our job. And responding to a post bashing you, or someone else, just encourages them.
There have been a couple incidents where someone has written an inflammatory post (called a "troll" elsewhere on the Internet) and begun bashing other posters, which is a violation of our guidelines. Responding back to that person in kind with a flame is ALSO a violation. The ends don't justify the means here.
Again, just alert the thread and slowly.back.away. Otherwise, you could be banned too. Show that you're bigger than the instigator.
FAQ 6: But it says not to abuse the alert system! Are you going to ban me for alerting you?
If the alerts you're sending in are legitimate, then you will not get in trouble for sending a lot. You'll just get happy thoughts and appreciation from the moderators.
The warning about misuse of the alert system is directed more at the people who attempt to use alerts to further a vendetta against another poster. There have been situations in the past where two posters will bash each other on a show forum, and one of the posters will alert all of the responses from the other person in an attempt to get that person in trouble. If you were calling people idiots, and then alerting their responses to you, then you'd have something to worry about.
The other common misuse of the alerts is when people send alerts just because someone disagrees with their opinions. The disagreeing post doesn't violate the guidelines, it just expresses a different opinion.
But if you're sending alerts because you think someone is violating the guidelines, you've got nothing to worry about.
FAQ 7: Why do so many posts say “bump” and nothing more?
We have answered this question in these forums in the past (WAY too many times), but no longer. There is now an explanation in the Help Forum, so we will be directing all inquiries there.
FAQ 8: Why not just have “sticky” posts like other boards, instead of all this bumping of moderator threads?
Because the current software doesn’t allow it. A software upgrade is in the offing, however. We’ll let you know when that happens.
FAQ 9: So will you have individual forums for each houseguest, then?
No. We haven’t had to get that specific in our other forums, and even so, the turnover in Starting Over houseguests is too much to warrant it. Moreover, we’re not convinced that would cut down on posts to the wrong forum, duplicates, etc. It would likely make more work for us than the current system.
FAQ 10: I know something that’s going to happen next week on the show!
Then post it in the Spoiler Forum. We like spoilers, but . . .
There is zero. zip. nada. excuse to post spoiler info outside the Spoiler Forum, and it WILL get you banned. Don't try us.
FAQ 11: “I can’t believe what that person/all of you think of the houseguests/life coaches! You’re just a/a bunch of . . .”
That is bashing a fellow poster, and it often occurs from the use of the word “you.” Bashing other posters is never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never acceptable.
You bash, you can get banned. It doesn't matter who you bash. It doesn't matter who starts the bashing. If you bash, you can get banned.
We DO allow disagreement with prevailing views, and ask that minority opinions be respected.
But. When you start saying "You should start watching another show," "You are so insensitive," "How dare you when you've haven't experienced what (insert HG name here) has gone through," etc., you're bashing fellow posters. You can disagree with the opinion without going that route, mmmkay?
FAQ 12: Why are you limiting my right to free speech on here by keeping me from "bashing" posters?
Let us explain further:
"You" can be a loaded word. It's often followed by something like "don't understand", "are being judgemental", "are full of s--t" . . . add your own examples. "You", particularly when it isn't a universal "you", but one directed at a particular post, almost always is potential warning word. (Not always, but if you use it, it's worth doing a preview of your post to see how it could be interpreted through someone else's eyes.)
"I", when used without an accompanying "you" is generally a "good" word. "I think", "I feel", "I believe" . . . These are statements of your own opinion.
Opinions are what make up a threaded discussion board. It wouldn't be any fun, and none of us would learn and grow from the exchange of ideas, if all of us believed exactly the same thing - or "saw" exactly the same thing. We need to learn to see things through someone else's eyes. Eyes that have developed through that persons own life experiences.
When someone says "How dare you judge so-and-so. You haven't lived, or done, or seen, or whatever . . .", they are doing exactly what they are complaining of. They are judging the person they are addressing.
This is a message board - not a reality show that posters are being paid to appear upon. There is no requirement for anyone to post their life details to justify their opinion to others. It is their opinion. Plain and simple. Your experiences are different, leading you to a different opinion? Great! Post your opinion. Of the show or the show participant - not the poster that you disagree with.
As for the show, and show participants? It is a paid opportunity. The show exists to make money. You don't like the show? Feel free to bash it. You do like the show? Feel free to support it.
The participants tried out to appear on it and expose their lives to the general public. You don't like them? Feel free to say so. Criticism is part of the package of signing up and exposing your life choices. You do like them? Feel free to post that, too. They're just people, people make mistakes, atone for them, and, hopefully, move on.
Again, they signed up and tried out for the publicity and the possible opportunity of receiving help. Someone that likes them (or their behaviors) is probably a breath of fresh air. After all, if they thought they were perfect they wouldn't be on the show. Everyone can use both some criticism and some support in their lives. They've just chosen to get it, whichever it is, on national television.
Just leave each other out of it and you'll never have to worry about receiving a "bashing" warning, or worse, a bashing ban.
Remember - the PREVIEW button is your friend. But remember to think of it like this: PREVIEW is to see what your post might look like (content, spelling, grammar, etc.) to someone that isn't you.
By the way, bashing posters as a whole is also a violation of our guidelines and will be handled accordingly. It doesn't have to be just one person who's impugned.
FAQ 13: Are game threads permitted here?
Yup! If you want to post something funny that popped into your head based on the show, by all means do so. If you look at some of our other forums, you’ll see that there are plenty of games that take place quite regularly on these forums. Examples of these on the Starting Over boards have been the various “picture threads” of “sightings” of the HGs after their departure from the house, as well as the Be the Houseguest role-playing game.
FAQ 14: How are people sending emails and PMs for comments made on this site?
The email and PM icons are on the top right-hand corner of every post in unlocked threads, and other posters can use them to send emails and PMs through the site. No one has access to your email address unless you provide it to them – the messages are sent through realitytvworld.com. Emails and PMs are subject to the same guidelines as message forum posts. If someone sends you an email or PM that violates the guidelines, then please forward a copy to the moderators so that we can address this. Abuse of the email or PM system has led to bannings in the past – we take that sort of abuse quite seriously.
That's also how you can get in touch with us mods if you have a question or complaint. But know that that method only sends a message to one mod. (See below.)
FAQ 15: Why was my thread locked?
Here are the most common reasons:
# It's a duplicate topic. This is by far the most common reason. When in doubt, please join an existing discussion instead of starting a new thread. Read first, post later - it's a good rule of thumb, and it's one that shows respect for your fellow posters. It also means they'll be more likely to find and read your message.
# It's in the wrong forum. Posters post about one houseguest in the General Discussion forum, or post a general topic in the Individual Houseguest forum. We used to move them, but then that just led to a whole bunch of "Where did my thread go" threads popping up and cluttering the forums.
# There was a serious guideline violation in the topic. The moderator didn't want the posters to be fueling a flame war and decided that locking the topic was the best course of action.
# It's not related to the show. These forums should only be used to discuss SO, not off-topic personal issues. And they definitely should not be used to discuss moderator decisions - that's a violation of guideline XIII. If you wish to discuss things not related to the show, we have an Off Topic Forum for your use.
FAQ 16: Why don't the moderators explain exactly why a particular thread is locked?
Each moderator handles things differently. Some explain, some don't. Besides, the moderators who volunteer on these forums already spend more time on the three SO forums than they do on the 70+ other forums on this site, so it's not reasonable to expect them to write a detailed explanation for every single lock. When there are literally dozens of alerts in our inboxes, we tend to lock first, explain later.
There's another big reason we don't always add explanations. If we reply, it bumps the message back up to the top of the forum, and that pushes the active discussions further down the page. That makes it harder for posters to find the existing active discussions, and just makes it more likely that a new duplicate thread will be started. It's a vicious cycle.
FAQ 17: Why do you make such a big deal about duplicate threads? I don’t have time to read through what everyone else is saying.
Because of attitudes like yours. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your time is no more valuable than the time of the other posters on these forums. By making comments like that, you’re implying that people should be paying attention to your comments, but you’re dismissing the comments and existing discussions as if they are unworthy of anyone’s attention. If all you want is to post your comments and read the responses to your comments, I’d suggest starting a blog (www.blogger.com is an easy-to-use site). But if you’re going to post here, you’re going to follow the rules, out of courtesy to your fellow posters.
You CAN start new threads if they begin a new topic or have a completely different angle to an existing topic. For example, if there's a "Jill needs to go" thread, and someone starts a "Why I like Jill" thread, that's not a duplicate. Most new threads, however, haven't done that; they can fit perfectly well in an existing thread.
So please don't interpret our crackdown on duplicate threads as saying that you may NEVER start a new thread. Just give some thought as to whether it can go into an existing thread first, and if it can, that's where it should be.
It’s just that if you don't have time to read through the threads, and post to a more appropriate thread rather than start one because Everyone Must Hear What You Have To Say Because It's More Important Than What Everyone Else Is Saying, you don't have time to start new ones either.
So take a few minutes and scan the list of threads for at least the first few pages, ok? Know that we will always err on the side of fewer threads.
FAQ 18: Why did you lock my link to another site?
Because trolling spammers ruined the party for everyone else, so now we're asking posters to keep all links in one spot - the Links and Compilation Thread on the General Discussion forum. That way, folks who want links can easily find them, while folks who want to discuss the show can discuss the show without having their threads bumped down to page 8 by trolls or hijacked to plug someone else's site. We used to be nicer about this, since we wanted folks who weren't happy here to be able to find a place that they would feel comfortable, but there were too many rude people who took advantage and were disruptive. Besides, now we can keep bumping the compilation thread to page 1 or 2 in the General Discussion forum, so it's much easier to find than hunting and pecking through pages of threads to try and find a link or two.
FAQ 19: Give me a break; I’m new here! You’re not very welcoming, are you?
Folks, please take some responsibility for your own behavior. Claiming that you shouldn't have to follow the rules because you're new is a cop-out, and it's rude to your fellow posters.
Would you walk into a room and interrupt someone's conversation by calling them names and disregarding everything they've just said? Then why is it acceptable for you to be rude to people here?
FAQ 20: Where did my post/thread go? I’m posting it again . . .
If your post is removed, it's for a reason. Don't post it again. And don't post the same message multiple times - our guidelines clearly state that's not permitted here.
FAQ 21: I emailed you asking why you locked my thread. Why won't you answer?
For one thing, I (whichever mod I may be) may not be the mod who locked your thread. Besides, the reasons why threads are locked can be found here. As a reminder, we don't always post the specific reason within the thread because that just pushes the thread back up to the top of the page, which just makes it harder for posters to find the open discussions. Given the number of duplicate discussions already started when the existing discussions are right in people's faces, we don't want to make things even harder. Besides, almost every time we post a link, someone feels the need to dispute the lock ("That thread referred to the first time TJ said that to Allison. I wanted to talk about the second time.").
FAQ 22: My thread wasn't a duplicate of the one you referred me to. Will you reopen my thread?
No. Just because you didn't use the exact words someone else did doesn't mean you didn't duplicate the topic. For example, since there was an open thread on Christina's pregnancy, there was no reason for new threads to start up asking if we would get confirmation on Friday whether or not she was pregnant, or who the father of the baby could be. Those are all part of the same topic. If a topic has been started talking about Allison's experience in Houston, we don't need five other new threads popping up to discuss each particular thing she said there - join the existing discussion. So there's no need to waste your time writing some big justification - just join in existing discussions.
When you start a thread on a piece of minutiae, you really run the risk of getting it locked as a duplicate, since it's probably already been brought up as part of an ongoing discussion. You're also less likely to get folks to respond to your topic. On most of the show forums, it seems like the folks who start a broader discussion topic are the ones who get lively discussions going on, and whose topics don't end up languishing on the back pages of the forums in a matter of days. Folks don't want to repeat themselves just to address the one itty-bitty quote you thought was worthy of a new thread, when they've already been discussing the general idea in existing discussions.
That's the thing about a threaded community - the goal is to focus the discussion by having related information in one spot. By pulling your small piece out for a separate thread, you're making it harder for folks to get into that sort of deeper discussion of a topic and forcing them to repeat themselves too much. And that's why when it looks like a topic is similar to one already being discussed, it's going to get locked here.
FAQ 23: I started a thread on the wrong forum. Will you please unlock it and reopen it?
No. That just triggers too many "Hey, where did my post go?" messages from posters.
FAQ 24: Why did you lock my thread asking why my thread was locked?
Do not post a message - either on a thread such as this one or as a new thread - asking why a particular thread was locked. This is a violation of Section XIII of our guidelines.
As stated above, if an explanation isn't posted on the thread, the most likely reason is because it would put the locked thread back at the top of the forum, ahead of the open discussions, and that would just keep the vicious cycle going.
FAQ 25: Why can't people post positive comments on this site? It's so negative.
We welcome positive comments about the show and its participants on this site . . . as long as the posters making them don't trash the folks who disagree with them. And vice versa - be critical of the show and its participants, but don't attack posters for being fans of the show, a particular houseguest, a life coach, etc. We encourage differences of opinion, as long as posters can do it without making value judgments on posters who have a different view.
Think about it: If you're posting that people are being too judgmental, what does that say about you? Aren't you doing the same thing when you trash someone else for stating an opinion? We think so, which is why it's not tolerated here.
FAQ 26: Why do you permit bashing of contestants? Is it because it’s too hard to moderate or because you actually encourage it around here?
Our message boards exist to allow discussion -- both positive and negative -- of a show and its contestants. We neither encourage nor discourage either type of discussion.
FAQ 27: Why are you mods so mean?
We aren't "mean." If we seem "mean," it's because while many posters are making honest efforts to comply with the community guidelines, there are some incredibly rude and ungrateful posters on these forums. While most posters are willing to follow these rules, some posters have been extremely disrespectful of the community's existing membership and policies.
If you don’t want to follow this community rules and guidelines, then please take your discussion to another Internet message board, then do all of us a favor and just go away. There are plenty of other places on the Internet to discuss reality television. And even you really want to be here, please show it by following the rules.
FAQ 28: Would it help to change the subject line when you are looking at a slightly different view of the subject when replying to a thread? Could it help keep multiple discussions straight in one thread?
Absolutely. For example: TJ's problems could cover everything from dyslexia to being over talkative. If you want to discuss her dyslexia, have that in the subject line. If you want to discuss her talking Lisa's ear off, have that in the subject line (in the same thread).
Be careful about not just tacking a comment on at the end of a group of posts. Taking time to respond to the original post when you have a different take could help keep ideas and thoughts straight.
That also goes for the subject line of a post starting a thread.
FAQ 29: I didn't get any warnings - why has my account been suspended?
We don't have a specific criteria for suspending people - it's not a fixed "three strikes and you're out" thing, certain types of infractions ore more severe than others. And the moderators aren't going to bump up every thread containing a violation just to be able to point out that yes, yet again, someone violated a guideline. Typically, the main reason a warning is posted is to let other posters know that the mods have been alerted and there's no reason to alert again.
As a member of this community, we expect you to take the responsibility for yourself to read and follow its guidelines. Additionally, we're sick of getting emails trashing us for public humiliation every time we dare to warn someone publicly. Y'all can read - you should be able to figure out the problem. Besides, you've already wasted enough moderator time and inbox space by causing problems in the first place.
FAQ 30: I had to create a new ID because my other one gave me an Inactive User ID error. Could you please fix it so that I can log in?
In almost all cases, the reason that you’ve gotten this error is because you’ve been banned for guidelines violations. So, no. Oh, and don’t get attached to the new ID that you created to email in the question, because that one’s going to be deactivated too.
FAQ 31: I know I did some things I shouldn’t have, but I’ll be really really good from now on. Will you please reactivate my ID?
No. You had your chance to follow the guidelines. Besides, we don’t believe you that you’ve reformed. After all, one of the easiest ways to identify duplicate IDs is to look at who’s violating the guidelines. Typically, the folks who got banned and try to sneak back in fall back into the same behavior way too quickly.
How can a poster can prove they've reformed so that he or she can come back? Not at all. Once you're gone, you're gone. Go violate the guidelines on someone else's message board - you've worn out your welcome here.
FAQ 32: Why didn't you warn/ban so-and-so for what they did?
The most likely reason is because no one bothered to go through the proper channels (spelled out in the guidelines) to let the moderators know what so-and-so did. So if you got warned and someone else didn't, it could mean that your post was alerted and theirs wasn't. If you think theirs should have been, then alert it - but don't gripe that the mods don't psychically know that the other person did something wrong.
FAQ 33: Will you update my profile so my information doesn't show up?
No, each user maintains this setting on their own. If you need help to figure out how to do it yourself, please go to the Help Forum.