Created on Sunday, 04 November 2012 20:29
Written by Alice Jester
When the Winchester Family Business was first founded back in 2009, our mission was to create an environment where open discussion was allowed, but it would be a safe haven for all that wanted to post. At the time, season four, the fan environment was a little different. There wasn’t as much fan division, and the conversations were usually a bit more constructive and positive.
Now that Supernatural is in season 8 (a feat we NEVER would have predicted back then), the times have changed. There’s more unhappiness in the fandom. There are many long standing frustrations with some Supernatural fans that commonly occur with long running TV shows. After all, expectations run very high after the quality of entertainment we’ve gotten in seven seasons.
However, it’s not all unhappiness. There are still many happy fans out there too. These fans want to have their say too. Considering our polls often run on the high end of positive as opposed to negative and Supernatural’s ratings continue to be strong, we have evidence the majority are happy fans.
Unfortunately, fans venting their displeasure over character development and story lines during the run of the entire series are dominating every discussion thread now, causing most discussions to veer off topic. They’re also not very enjoyable for an average fan to read, especially if the review or article in question is a positive one. It’s hurting the level of discussion that we’ve become known for, and it’s ruining that “safe haven” environment we’ve been committed to providing since our beginning.
In order for us to restore the original spirit of discussions on this website, new controls are being put in place in moderating comments.
We are introducing today regular “Let’s Discuss” topics. These topics will be easily visible on our front page, and eventually on a dedicated “Let’s Discuss” page. These discussions will be free form and only subject to moderating under our core set of rules (Be nice, show respect, no Sam vs. Dean, Jared vs. Jensen, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch”...). Rules of the site, which have been in place since December 2010 (except for two additions), are clearly spelled out here:
We want all our readers to feel comfortable posting a comment, and we want our writers to feel comfortable analyzing what they watch without fear of negativity from commenters. All your opinions are welcome, but we need to keep articles and reviews on task and focused on the analysis part. If you're unhappy about something within the episode, it's fine to say that in a review comment. But prolonged comments that are voicing displeasure about a character or the series in general should go into a Let’s Discuss area.
By making people aware what’s on topic and what’s not, the proper comments will eventually end up in the appropriate place and our discussions will be less repetitive and more enjoyable for everyone.
We assure that anyone who is found commenting off topic will not be warned, reprimanded, banned, whatever. It’s still a valid opinion. We will just be moving any off topic post to the appropriate place. Any moved comment will come with a note, “Moved to xxx article discussion.”
If there is a topic that you want open for discussion in the Let’s Discuss area, send your topic suggestion through the “Contact Us” page. It will be looked at by an administrator and opened if deemed appropriate.
We also ask for everyone’s patience, because we’re sure this process will be confusing over the next few weeks and beyond. Again, the goal here is to streamline our discussions and make them more enjoyable for everyone to read and comment, not to punish or censor.
This new policy will only kick in with articles going forward. We will not edit or move any comments in already published articles.
Thanks in advance for everyone’s cooperation in this matter, and feel free to give us feedback or suggestions through comments below or the “Contact Us” section.
Alice, Ardeospina, and sweetondean