Our House Rules

Commenting guidelines for what's allowed, not allowed and how you can make GI.biz a better environment

By James Brightman.Published Monday 20th October 2014, 2:18pm GMT

With over 100,000 registered users spanning every facet of the games business, GamesIndustry.biz offers industry professionals a forum to discuss the key issues of the day, whether that's mobile, free-to-play, indies, the newest consoles or social issues involving gender, sexual orientation or race. The recent GamerGate storm has brought out the worst in some individuals, and debates in our comments section have gotten quite heated.

Considering that tensions are extremely high at the moment, this is a good opportunity for us to remind you explicitly of what we feel is appropriate, inappropriate and how you can make this website and professional community more comfortable and inclusive for all involved.

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Who has commenting privileges?

GamesIndustry.biz is a trade publication, and as such our key audience is composed of game developers, executives, marketers, PR, analysts or anyone involved in the games business in a professional capacity, or at the very least studying for a degree to get into the industry. If you're a journalist attempting to register, we will require links to at least three articles you've published in the last few months. Once you've registered, demonstrated proof of your background in the industry and been verified by our staff, you're free to comment on any story you'd like.

The House Rules

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A lot of what we expect from our readers should be common sense to the majority of you, but in an era where online discourse and hashtags quickly spin out of control, it's only fair that we explicitly spell out the rules.

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This cannot be stressed enough. It's our number one rule, and it should be easy to obey. If you cannot respect each other even as you disagree with one another then you shouldn't be here commenting at all. So please, show respect for fellow commenters, the company you represent, and the industry at large.

2. Verbal abuse.

Any sexist, misogynistic, homophobic comments or racial slurs are strictly forbidden and will immediately result in a ban. Cursing is discouraged but allowable in the context of a conversation; however, cursing in anger as part of an attack on someone else is also strictly forbidden and will result in a ban.

3. Trolling.

If in our judgment you're deliberately provoking others or derailing a comments thread, your comments may be subject to deletion and repeated offenses will result in a ban. If one of the GamesIndustry.biz staff feels the need to enter a thread and say something to you, consider it fair warning.

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4. Complaints.

If you don't like a story we've chosen to cover, then don't waste our time and the time of fellow commenters by complaining. We do want to hear your feedback, but that's what contact@gamesindustry.biz is for. If you have nothing of substance to say to further the dialogue on a story, then please do refrain from commenting on it.

5. Self-promotion and spam.

If you enter a comments thread just to push your latest product or some company agenda, consider your comment ripe for deletion. This isn't Facebook - put your spam elsewhere.

6. Abuse of the Report button.

As you may have seen, one of the recent additions to our system is a Report button. This has been implemented so that you can help us make GamesIndustry.biz a better place. If you see someone breaking the rules, hit the button to flag a comment and that will alert our staff. DO NOT, however, hit the button just because you disagree with someone else's opinion. Abusing this button will not be allowed and could result in a ban.

7. The Ignore button.

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Next month, we'll be implementing a new feature that will let any commenter selectively ignore all future comments from another user they vehemently disagree with. While we'd encourage you not to use this function much - as hearing opposing viewpoints from people you disagree with can be quite healthy and productive - we're offering this to you as a way to make the website and commenting more enjoyable.

8. Closing a thread.

We have now programmed comments threads to automatically close after one month. However, if discussion gets out of control on any particular story, we will close it when necessary before then, and you will no longer be able to add further comments.

9. Our house, our rules.

Some of you may cry "censorship!" when we moderate or delete comments. As editors of GamesIndustry.biz we determine what's appropriate and what's not, and if we feel the need to steer the conversation in a certain direction, that's our prerogative. If you can't play by our rules, then you won't be commenting here.

10. Above all, have fun!

This is an entertainment industry built around fun interactive experiences. If you can't have fun while talking about video games, then something isn't right! The world is mired in fears about Ebola, Isis and a myriad of other problems. GamesIndustry.biz is simply encouraging you to have a constructive conversation about a hobby and industry that we all are passionate about.

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What else can I do to help?

Apart from following the rules above, we'd love for more of you to get involved. Tell your co-workers, Tweet about us, do whatever you can to spread the word. GamesIndustry.biz strives to be a safe place where anyone in the games business can have an interesting dialogue without fear of repercussion. It doesn't matter what your gender, race or sexual orientation is - we want you to feel comfortable and to help us raise the level of discourse here. We already have some of the top people in games commenting, but we'd like to see even more of you here. Thanks for participating!

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