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Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:32 am
by DarklightIndigo
This is hopefully a starting point to getting the public involved in both forming and understanding site policies.

We'll see how this goes; hopefully, we won't have to shutter this thread for excessive requests and / or obstinance regarding existing rules.

This thread is meant to gauge reactions to potential new rules, and help to clarify those already existing.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:04 am
by ash1102
I recently added what I thought was a TV series, but it was deleted because it apparently falls under the category of movie serial. So, first off, let me apologize for breaking the rules. Secondly, I was wondering if someone could expand on why there is a rule against including movie serials.

"Movie Serials: Movie Serials are not allowed on the database, They are better served by IMDB or another movie database."

Using the information from imdb or themoviedb isn't very helpful because it doesn't have the information broken down into episodes, and combining them together into a single 4-6 hour video isn't ideal.They aren't movies as we know them now; they were called movies back in the 1930's because it was short for moving picture, not because it was a feature length video. TV shows didn't really exist at the time.

They are episodic, like tv shows, broken up into 20-30 minute episodes. They have an opening title sequence for each episode like a TV show. The total run time for all of the episodes is over four hours, so it's longer than most single movies (The extended edition of The Return of the King as well as War and Peace refute my point).

They have more in common with a TV mini-series than with a movie. Some mini-series on the site, such as the two episode series Houdini, are more similar to movies than the old 1930's and 1940's movie serials.

I read a previous forum thread on the topic, but it didn't explain the reasoning behind the rule beyond calling them movies. It's true that they weren't originally aired on TV, but neither are the web series which are now allowed.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:29 pm
by please-be-gentle
I'm a long-time lurker on the tvdb, who has only recently started to participate and contribute. I only have a handful of posts, so my perspective is that of someone who isn't overly familiar with the current site rules.

I have a great deal of sympathy for this mod, who followed the rules and deleted a series when he/she clearly didn't want to, and then was abused for following the rules. But even though a site founder explained exactly which rules were broken, it's still not clear why those rules are in place to start with.

I think the main problem on the tvdb is that many people either don't understand the rules, or don't understand what the rules are trying to achieve. And the main reason is that those rules are too hard to find, or they're vague, or contradictory, or they simply don't actually explain what their goals are and why they are important.

The rules seem to be handed down like a bureaucracy, without public discussion or consensus, without even clearly defining them. The result is that people often break the rules without realizing. And the mods have to clean up after them, without the proper the tools to do so, and often without the consensus of the community. (This is the main reason why I won't volunteer to be a moderator).

The tvdb needs to move towards a more open and consensus-based method for creating and enforcing rules and policies. The biggest and most successful example is probably wikipedia, which might not be right for thetvdb, but it is something we can take inspiration from. It is a perfect example of a community that strikes the appropriate balance between community consensus and quality. Another example is the recently open-sourced swift project, where a core team makes decisions but all discussions are open and community involvement is strongly encouraged.

In an open community, rules are not handed down arbitrarily. Rules are proposed by the community, discussed openly, and only become rules with the consensus of the community. And moderators should not be required to enforce rules that are vague, contradictory or unwritten, and they should not be required to enforce rules that exist without consensus.

Apologies if these processes already exist on the tvdb. I'm fairly new, so it's possible that there are already policies and guidelines in place and I just haven't found them yet. But I've searched and found nothing. As far as I can tell, the current decision making process for site rules is arbitrary and private. I see no evidence of consensus, nor do I see any of the reasoning behind many of the rules, and this results in unnecessary abuse to mods who have the thankless task of enforcing rules they may not agree with.

The tvdb needs to move towards a more open and consensus-based approach to its rules and policies. I understand this is a huge task, and probably not something that the site can achieve without community support, but it's something that I believe would be a huge boon to the community.

Apologies for using a throwaway account, but the sad fact is that when people speak up, they put themselves at risk of abuse from certain moderators, and I don't want any retribution against my regular account with my real identity attached.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:14 am
by DarklightIndigo
It was my mistake, movies quite simply aren't allowed.
I figured there'd be an exception for planned TV mini-series, but I was wrong here.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:29 pm
by jrcorwin
Clearly, your rules regarding web series need to be changed in a way that properly deals with shows like the once produced by Louis CK, Horace and Pete.

This series has received wonderful reviews after it's first 5 episodes and there is absolutely no reason to believe it will not continue. Perhaps the staff should have a discussion about things like this, rather than simply removing entries without consideration. This is not a show which failed to gain traditional distribution, rather it voluntarily avoided it. Arbitrarily denying its inclusion here is shortsighted. If a show like this cannot exist here, you should probably stop proclaiming this site as an "open database."

This is not some simple YouTube creation. It is a high quality production put on by an award winning staff and has resulted in a series receiving wide critical acclaim. Either TVDB is an open database or it isn't. The rules regarding shows like this one are clearly flawed and need to be discussed.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:49 pm
by hikaricore
Our rules on this subject will not be changing for the foreseeable future. A site admin has already chimed in on Horace and Pete. Please consider the matter closed for the time being. I do not want to see another argument between users and moderators here on this topic. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:13 pm
by jrcorwin
Then let's have a discussion about it. It clearly needs to be addressed...

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:55 pm
by hikaricore
I literally just told you that isn't going to happen right now. You are welcome to type to your hearts content, but you will get no further replies on the subject. Try to be cool and accept this.

Re: Site Rules Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:38 pm
by jrcorwin
...accept that a site which claims to be an open database has a rule in place that has the opposite effect? There is absolutely no acceptable reason why you should impose this requirement on this series, but not on the various network series that appear in the database. I have already received plenty of veiled threats, so please...let's just have a discussion about it. Clearly, the rules pertaining to web series need to be better defined. You simply cannot apply the same rules to a series like Horace and Pete that you do in reference to random YouTube videos.