Make Topics That Have A Point
The forum is called Completely Off Topic, not Completely No Topic. Meaningless, random jibberish will be locked. Likewise, this forum is not your personal blog or chat room.
Do NOT Spam
SPAM stands for Stupid Pointless Annoying Message.
Spouting random jibberish at every opportunity is not good, especially not if it is done in a thread that has a clear point. If you want to chat, do it elsewhere or on IM/PM, but don't do it here. Excessive roleplaying is also prohibited, and please stay on topic. Derailing a thread risks getting it closed.
Do NOT Flame
Tearing into other members or their ideas is not productive for anyone. If they have broken a rule, use the Report button. If they need to be pointed to the Rules & FAQ, point them to it and leave it at that. If you disagree, present your opinion in a courteous manner. If you don't like something that's being discussed, say why or perhaps keep to yourself. Flaming isn't tolerated here.
Trolling, or flame baiting, is similar to flaming. It is antagonizing someone in hopes of getting a negative response to make the other person look bad. While trolling is not exactly the same as flaming, it is just as bad, if not worse.
Image Only Posts
Much like the blogs, image only posts will not be allowed. This means you don't get to reply to people using your favorite "Cool Story Bro" picture or your favorite "U MAD?" or "HATERS GONNA HATE" unless you toss in some text as well. Of course, the CoT staff will use their judgment to determine whether the image adds anything to the discussion or no and will remove those we feel are in violation of any other rules (Spam, flaming, trolling, etc...).
NO INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT
NO links, pics or even REFERENCES to porn or hentai, or any adult content whatsoever. This will result in instant banning. BZP has no age requirements which means there are people of all ages here, including very young children. We're a site with the primary intent of discussing a kids toy line-- keep things safe for everyone. If you want to talk about adult subjects then find yourself another messageboard that allows it.
If you don't know what the above rule is talking about and referencing, then don't worry - you won't break it accidentally. If you do, be warned... this is an automatic suspension and then banning.
Read this topic for information on the advertising rule; if you have any questions, ask them in there. This advertising rule includes creating topics to simply advertise a site that you know of/own; that's what your signature is there for.
NO Clubs/Groups/Leagues, etc.
No topics for "clubs," "groups," or the like, where you have to join, and people are excluded. It hasn't worked out in the past, due to spam and other conflicts, so they're out and will be closed if posted.
NO Politics & Religion
Politics and religious discussions are forbidden. Not because there is anything wrong with discussing these things, but because 99% of the time those topics turn into flame wars. NO exceptions! If you want to discuss these things then there are plenty of messageboards out there that focus on serious topics like politics or religion where you can go to discuss these things. Please keep debates like this off BZP-- there's little reason to bring it up to the audience here anyway.
There will be NO exceptions here. Yes, even new presidential discussions are forbidden, unless there is a News Article and/or Official Topic about it. Thanks for being understanding about this rule.
NO Off Topic Polls
Polls are not allowed in this forum. Only Bionicle or BZPower related polls are allowed, and even then, only in the forum called "BZP Voting Booth."
Use the Report Button
There is a "REPORT" button in the lower left-hand corner of each post for a reason. Posting "Will a Moderator please lock this thread!?" does nothing to bring the thread to our attention. If you feel that that post is breaking the rules, hit the report button, enter an understandable reason, and leave it at that. Don't be afraid to report something even if you are not quite sure whether it breaks the rules or not; a Forum Leader/Assistant will take a look and make a decision.
OFF TOPIC means OFF TOPIC
COT is for the discussion of things not covered in the rest of the forums. Off topics artwork, games, stories, discussions, and everything else are for here. Bionicle-related topics go in their respective forums, Lego-related topics in the Lego General Discussion forum, and BZPower-related topic in General Discussion, Voting Booth, Q&A, or here.
In the Completely Off Topic forum, if a topic has not been posted in for 30 days, you may not revive it by posting again, or it will be closed. When a topic is inactive for that long, people didn't want to continue discussing it, so let it stay dead. If there's new information/interest/etc. in the topic, feel free to just create a new topic for it instead.
Creating birthday topics for people on the day of their birthday is fine. However, topics celebrating the birthday of BZP staff members are for the General Discussion forum, ok? Also, after the member's birthday is over, we'll come around and shut the party down.
When posting topics, please do not note that a topic is unofficial in the title (eg. "Unofficial Polo X Topic!"). Using the "unofficial" title is not necessary to differentiate your topics from those with official status. Don't worry about being closed because you didn't specify in the title; as long as you don't specifically call it official, there won't be any confusion. If you include an unnecessary 'Unofficial' in your topic's title, it will be edited out by a Forum Leader.
The following topics cannot be posted unless you PM a Forum Leader first, and they give you the heads up:
- Official Topics
- Games (Not games you've created and are putting up for download, text game threads)
Only Forum Leaders, not Forum Assistants, can approve the above. If you post one of these topics without it being previously approved by a Forum Leader, then it will be closed by a Forum Leader/Assistant. If you have gotten one of the above approved, make sure you include "Approved by [Forum Leader]" in your topic description, or at least at the beginning of your first post-- this insures that your topics will not be closed because we aren't sure whether the topic is approved or not.
Please do not PM the Forum Leaders asking to create an official topic for something that isn't already highly discussed, or probably going to be a popular topic soon. The primary function of official topics is to eliminate duplicate topics, and, if the topic was created for a controversial issue, to be able to watch the posted content more carefully, and more easily. If it hasn't been frequently discussed, we probably don't need it. Many times we just create an official topic when we see the need, not when it's requested. Please keep this in mind.
With such a high rate of membership additions, there's no need to say "I'm new here, I'm a fan of Bionicle/____!" Just have fun on the forums and post in threads to which you want to contribute.
We don't need these. If you're leaving, you can tell your friends via PM/IM/Email, and denote it in your signature. Similarly, "I'm going to die" topics are "no" as well. If you are truly leaving, you won't be back to check the topic anyway.
"Help me stop _____" topics are not allowed.
Topics asking if you like one kind of a food or discussing one type of food are pointless. If it's just asking what is your favorite food, it'll be all right.
Topics, which usually pit one video game, console, movie, or whatever character against another, won't be allowed. They're pointless. Why do you really care who would win?
Too much spam potential-- we've had bad experiences in the past.
"At The Moment/Right Now" Topics:
Topics asking people to tell what they are doing at the moment, be it eating, drinking, etc. These types of topics are best discussed via instant messenger or chat.
"Look what I found on Google/Yahoo/Bing" topics
We get it, you found something you thought was funny or cool through a search engine, however most of these topics have little to no discussion value. These topics may be judged on a case-to-case basis (there are some things you find that might have legitimate discussion value), but for the most case, let's avoid the "lol look what i found" topics.
Regarding New Members
Members who join BZP are automatically placed into the New Members group and must reach 10 counted posts to be moved to the Members group; this also applies to any Member who joined before the policy was enacted but have not posted since (only one post is needed). What that means is they will be unable to PM or see they're posts instantly until they have made 5 posts in a forum that counts (excludes BZPower Q&A, Shops & Kits, Games & Trivia, BZP Voting Booth, and Completely Off Topic). All posts made by anyone in the New Members group will remain invisible until approved. The posts do exist, but only certain BZP Staff can see them, so there is no need to remake the same post; just wait until your post is approved.
And before complaining about us restricting you freedom of speech, remember, BZPower is a privately-run messageboard. It is suggested that you read this topic by former administrator Bionicle Rex on the subject of your freedom of speech on BZPower.
We hope you enjoy Completely Off Topic and follow the rules here, so that the forum can continue to be the enjoyable place that it is. COT can be a hectic forum, so we appreciate you doing your part to help.
Please PM a COT Forum Leader if something needs to be added, corrected, or suggested.
COT Forum Staff
Edited by -Windrider-, Dec 22 2012 - 03:40 PM.
Removed information on topics that now belong in Off-Topic Culture.