Although GAF's posting rules are listed in the Terms of Service, some posters want more specific guidance about things they should and shouldn't do. When we moderate, we do our best to look at how posts impact discussion. It's not about banning specific phrases, it's about encouraging good quality posts. Put it this way--the point is not to get away with the worst possible posts you can, it's to try to contribute to good discussion. With that in mind, a few useful hints:
A number of sites have been banned from being posted on GAF. Trying to post one will get the URL replaced with asterisks. The reasons for each individual site ban vary, and new sites are added and old ones removed every so often. In general, sites are blocked after either a history of posting false information, or a history of self-promotion. If you notice that you've posted a banned site, just edit your post and look for a better source.
If you're reading a HUGE rumour ("Nintendo going third party") from some random Blog you've never heard of, use some common sense. If you don't believe the rumour yourself, don't post it. Posting something obviously crazy and calling it a rumour is not a defence.
One site in particular, VG Chartz, tends to come up a lot. VG Chartz numbers are considered unreliable, and because sales discussions often degrade into console war-style arguments between posters, it's really important to us that accurate sales numbers are posted for discussion. Users are generally banned for posting VG Chartz numbers because of the way it derails threads and prevents good discussion.
Innapropriate Posts & Banned Memes
- Thread Whining / Respect to Others. It's not that "Haters gonna hate" is a banned meme, it's that it's often used to be flippant and dismissive to other posters. If someone is trying to explain what they think about something, either treat them with respect or don't reply at all. So when you post "u mad", "deal with it", "haters gonna hate", "the GAF hivemind", "the usual suspects", "but GAF said x and now they're saying y!!!", "entitled whiners" or anything else that suggests that you don't care what other people think, you may be banned if it is taking away from discussion. This is getting to be a pretty big problem, and it's probably the single largest category of bans these days. If you don't want to discuss something, you don't need to post.
This also includes things like "weekend gaf", "sounds like a GameFAQs threads", "tl;dr", "cool story, bro", "Neat" and associated image macros, "who gives a shit", etc. This list is not exhaustive, and using variants of these statements such as "bold please" and "screw the haters" is not a good way to avoid getting banned, as the problem is the general message/intent of your post, not the specific words you are using. If you think a particular thread is lowering a quality of the forum, PM a moderator about it.
- Racist / Bigoted humour or language. As per the Terms of Service, "you will not use NeoGAF to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of any law. Sexual, racial, or ethnic slurs will not be tolerated in any form and are bannable on the first offense." This includes racial or bigoted humour. We do not allow any slurs--including middle school language like "That's so gay!". This also includes racist comedy images, for example "Shoop da Woop" or "Stole My Bike". It also includes misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, or anti-transgender remarks, jokes, or memes. Although we do allow some humour that offends, it's easily possible to cross the line and people are banned for particularly cruel and insensitive remarks all the time ("rape time" is one example--and I know the "nicole bass" meme was a big thing years ago, and no shortage of people have been banned in threads commenting on natural disasters).
- Gotcha! Bait and Switch. You don't need to trick people. Don't post comedy news as real news, don't post rickrolls, don't post rumours as facts, don't post things you don't believe just because another site posted them, try to find legitimate sources.
- Console War. Obviously arguments about consoles, platforms, and publishers are going to get heated. Don't make things worse by calling out "xbots" or "ntards" or "fanboys" or "sdf" or "xdf" or insulting someone else by calling them one of those things. Clearly some people get a bit too attached, but the best thing you can do is try to improve conversation, not make it worse by dragging it down in the mud. It's also important to make sure you aren't getting too attached. If you find yourself getting super defensive about something or claiming that everyone other than you is "biased", chances are you should probably take a little break from the thread. Don't worry about calling out others--if moderators seem to be missing the thread, just call it to our attention via PM.
Basically, if you make an effort to contribute, you won't get banned. Nothing in this post is new, nothing has changed, this is just an effort to clarify the kind of things that we've already been enforcing.
Read the Terms of Service