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Rules for Review Threads

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Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Feb 13, 2016
Seattle Area
New Rules for Review Threads

Reviews of audio products are the crown jewels of our forum. In cooperation with kind members and companies that send in gear, and collective wisdom of the contributing members, we have created an incredible asset for audiophiles. As we cover nearly one new audio review a day, we are making rapid progress toward providing proper, reliable information about performance of audio products in all categories from electronics to speakers and recently, headphones.

There is not one other site or magazine that remotely comes close to breadth and volume of audio reviews we publish here. Alas, with that frequency, we are also facing some difficulties. It seems that review threads are becoming dumping grounds for any and all arguments, off-topic rants, etc. by a few members. While some level of levity and degree of freedom is fine, we are way past that with most review threads become contentious, argumentative, sidetracked, etc.

Remember, by far the main entry point into our side for new visitors is through reviews. Just imagine them seeing all the infighting and unfocused discussion and how they could learn much among that jungle of noise.

There is also incredible tax on me personally to deal with these types of review posts. It is one thing to do one review a month and answer a few “letters” a magazine may get. It is entirely another matter to spend half a day doing a review and immediately read, “your tests are useless. Why don’t you do this and that instead?” Answering such challenges is taking a ton of time away from doing other productive things on the forum such as doing more reviews and articles.

So going forward, these are the new guidelines:
  • Comments in review threads need to be specific to the product being discussed. If your comment is generic in nature, “who needs a DAC since they all sound the same,” it does not belong in the review thread.

  • The review thread is not where you come and take on your opponents, whether it is me or someone else. Please don’t drag your grudges into review thread. And oh, don’t think getting a “like” means you did good. Gladiators received a lot of praise from the audiences right until they got their heads chopped off!

  • Not all rules apply to all people equally. Yes, you read that right. We have some very experienced members who bring their objections in the most constructive and friendly way and their feedback will be welcome far more than one of you just throwing out one liner jabs. So please don’t point to someone saying this being OK and yours not. You are not them but you could learn from them how to express disagreement properly and constructively.

  • Your conduct must be of highest levels of professionalism in review threads. This is the formal part of our site and requires members act responsibly and to highest regards. If you are nasty and obnoxious, expect a harsh treatment from management in return. Your posting history and status in the forum will not protect you.
Violating these rules will be dealt with simply. The first action would be getting a “reply ban” to the thread, stopping your ability to post. Your post may or may not be deleted as well. Show disregard for these rules again and you will be given a temporary ban. Do it again, and you will be banned longer. And repeat once more and you will receive a permanent ban.

What is that you say? This will result in censorship? Not at all. You are free to post your complaints, protests, objections, etc. in the rest of the forum. Last I checked we did not charge for thread creation. These rules apply to review threads.

Let me finish by saying that most of you provide some of the best contributions there are to these review threads. As usual our problem is caused by a handful of folks but have to enact the rules for all. My wish has always been to have a low moderation forum but the time has come to make this change.
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