In time long past the Citadel was new and innocent. As the years went on much was added to include the ability to vote and comment. Ever since then there has been prosperous periods where the votes and comments were just a tool and the Horde was happy. But subtle battles raged, sides were taken and votes were interpreted as acts of aggression. Much dread and drama followed these battles and authors were lost. So was birthed the Law of the Hammer.
Besides obvious spam, admins at the Citadel rarely, if ever, delete anything off these pages. We value our freedom and respect one another a great deal. None of that has changed, however, there is a need to be brutal with a certain type of comment.
The Law of the Hammer authorizes the destruction, with extreme prejudice, any comment or discussion that aims or hints at critiquing another person's voting practice.
Discussion should directly pertain to the Submission that is being commented on. At no time should the discussion malform into abstract discussions about the why's and how's about somebody's votes.
Why have the Law of the Hammer?
We have lost many authors to the unanswerable arguments that spin around, "Why did you vote low on my submission?" type questions. These arguments are painful to watch because there is no final answer...ever! There is no way to definitively put why you vote a way into words that are accurate. We all vote different, we won't get it and you won't be able to articulate it. All it does is drive deeper discussions that stab at each other's responses till all that is left is a bloody mess.
In most cases we won't understand another's voting practices because:
a) You will never maintain an outwardly consistent voting record. There will always be votes that are outside your norm because they way you feel. You can't explain every vote you make. Voting is emotional and very loosely based on some internal rules each of us have. It is gut. You will never be able to define your gut voting and Authors will never be able to understand it.
b) Even if these internal rules are explained, they only make fodder when you decide not to vote by them. This may upset those that read your 'rules' and gives them ammo to argue even more if they feel slighted.
c) After a disagreement, any vote cast by anybody involved in the disagreement will be accused of voting high or low in spite/retaliation/anger/etc.
d) The final result is rarely the amiable ending of the argument with two people agreeing to disagree. Most times it ends with one Author taking their crayons and going home. That really sucks for the site! We have lost AWESOME people to these kind of arguments.
e) The entire site gets sucked into these dramas. Some takes sides while most could give two pips about the discussion because it is futile and we understand points a) thru d).
f) there are probably many more but you get my point.
I would rather piss somebody off about deleting a comment that they thought was OK than getting sucked into another maelstrom of voting critiques. In the past I have just let them run their course but every time the outcome has been disastrous. I can no longer stand by and let that happen. Thus, the Law of the Hammer has been birthed.
Expectations for Authors and Commenters
When you submit the piece as a Normal submission you are releasing it into the wild. Honest voting and comments will commence. These comments and votes are outside your control. I expect the authors to take these votes and comments and roll with them. They are personal viewpoints from each person that are in reaction to your fully released submission. You did your work and submitted it, deal with the result of that. If you want advice on how to make it better then you should have put it into Advice Requested or In Work. Those are the places to ask for assistance, NOT seeing a low vote and asking that voter why he/she didn't like your submission. If they offered advice, awesome, have a conversation about that advice and brainstorm away. If they voted and said, "It was OK" then let it go. You don't need to ask what you need to do to make them happy. If they had more thoughts they wanted to share they would have written them.
Authors, you have the ability to give 5xp per comment to those that give good feedback. Use it, reward those who write good comments, see if it improves the overall responses. You should be able to vote all you want on comments on your submissions without losing any votes. So vote for the ones you like for free!
Commenters, you are not obligated to give any opinions about anything. But, since you are Authors as well, you know how appreciated solid comments are on your own stuff. Hook an Authour up!
How will it be implemented?
Question: Which of these two seem to fit this rule?
"dude, you like totally vote low on stuff, why are you hatin on peoples subs man?"
"I notice you didn't really like this sub, how come? Is there something about it that you feel needs improving?"
Answer: Both will be eliminated with extreme prejudice. They both open up the opinion about how you rate/comment on submissions and gets into questioning the motivation behind them. There will NOT be a good answer coming out of these question. See all the above for the reason why this is bad.
For now, I have added a "Report" button that can be utilized to show us Spam, innappropriate comments and those that violate the Law of the Hammer. They will be flagged and you will get a notification about the comment being reported. The Admins will review, discuss and deal with these as they come up. If there is any issue with any removal you can expect somebody will PM you with the reasoning. Otherwise you can PM me and we can discuss it. In some cases the Admins will delete only portions of the comments.
When in doubt, you can blame me for any changes, updates, deletions. I will bow and apologize for the inconvenience but it is being done for the greater good. Those that have seen will understand. Those that haven't need to trust us.
What is the Law of the Hammer NOT about?
This is not to stifle conversation about improving submissions. Most comments will have a critique about what they liked or disliked about the submission. Discuss and brainstorm all day about the details. In most cases these discussions will be initiated by the commenter so go for it. Reply, state your side and reason away...but, there should be no questioning by the Author on motivations behind votes or the lack of much comment.
There is a VERY small amount of comments that will fall into the realm of the Law of the Hammer. You shouldn't even worry about it, just be aware of it.
to add an idea. It only takes a moment.