Here are some answers so you don't have to ask:
- What happened to my post/thread/comment?
- It was probably moved to the Bottom of the Barrel thread in the Hall of Shame. The Bottom of the Barrel thread serves as a repository and gruesome example of low-content posts.
Off-topic threads or bad flamewars go to the appropriate forums (in the latter case, the Hall of Shame). We leave shadow topics in place so you can find them after they have moved.
- Why was my post/thread/comment oppressed?
- Probably because your post was deemed to be off-topic or lack meaningful content by a SLAM mod, a passing supermod, or an admin. Bear in mind that while the board in general frowns upon low-content posting, SLAM has higher standards because it is a forum for the discussion of meaty topics such as science, mathematics, ethics, and philosophy.
If you were posting substantial arguments, your thread or posts may have been moved to the Hall of Shame because you or your opponent (or, in rare cases, both) violated posting or debating rules, or were just plain stupid. You may continue to post in that thread until or unless an administrator or moderator deems the thread has run its course and locks it.
- What is spam?
- Spam posts are worthless posts. Spamming is the practice of worthless posting, as measured by how much a post advances the discussion in a given thread (this is also known as a post's "signal to noise ratio"). Any throwaway comments, wiseass one-liners, cute but content-free jokes, or chatty bullshit are considered spam. (Note that this is not a rigid definition; whether your post is spam is up to staff discretion.)
- How can I not spam?
- When you post, make sure you are adding a new thought to the thread. Try to take a few minutes to elaborate on the reasoning supporting your claim, or expand illuminating commentary on the thread topic. The longer your post, the less likely it is to be considered spam. As a general rule of thumb, if your post contains more than three lines of text, it's probably not spam; if it contains one, it's probably spam; and if it contains between one and three, it's probably borderline. The moderating staff is not particularly charitable when it comes to borderline spam.
Note that this is not a hard-and-fast rule; we have had stunningly insightful one-line posts in the past, and we have had pages of hot-air pontification. Nonetheless, if you're about to post a short comment, sit on your hands and think long and hard about whether it really contributes meaningfully to a discussion.
Special Rules: In addition to the boardwide bans on discussions of the Gor series and the Israel vs. Palestine conflict, SLAM has a moratorium on posting threads about Jack Chick and his infamous tracts. Any threads posted about Jack Chick will be summarily removed without warning and the offenders will be reprimanded; repeat offenses will be eligible for further disciplinary action.