With the promotion of three new admins, we have decided to spruce up the official rules. While most of the forum policies will remain essentially the same, we made a few minor tweaks, and added a few new rules. Hopefully this will clarify some of the grey areas and general confusion so we can be clear about forum policy going forward. By using this forum, you agree to abide by these rules and the directions of the moderation team: Behavior Contribute, don’t just post – We are a forum whose primary purpose is discussion, so please avoid making posts that consist solely of one-word reactions like “Cute” or emoticons like “xD”. This includes stand-alone emojis, memes, and gifs. Moreover, gifs and memes that are unrelated to the thread subject are considered off-topic. Responses like these are better suited for Twitter or Facebook, and not a discussion forum. If you don’t know how to respond in a certain thread then take some time first to think of a reply instead of just posting for the sake of posting. Criticism is allowed, bashing isn’t – Everyone has the same right to criticize; the lack of new stages, a certain decision a member made, if you don’t like a single, etc. Constructive criticism is one side of what makes a good discussion. However, bashing idols or other groups without any basis is strictly disallowed. Comments like “x member is such a loser” without any rationale behind it will be deleted and you will be issued a warning. Moreover, using sexist terms like "bitch," "slut," or "whore" is strictly forbidden. Don't make things personal - Don’t take it personally if people disagree with you; again, this forum is for discourse and people may feel differently on certain topics. That said, if you disagree with someone, you should provide a well-reasoned post with facts or logic, as opposed to merely belittling the other user. Moreover, do not tee up your response by insulting/disparaging the person you are addressing. Responses that begin with thinly-veiled insults, facepalms, "LMAO" (and the like) may be subject to deletion or mod editing. No lewd remarks towards minors – Many 48 Group members can be considered minors, so please refrain from making lewd remarks about any idols younger than 18. I know that in many parts of the world the “legal” age is 16, but as our servers are based in the US, we’ll err on the side of caution here. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, don’t say it to an idol. No discriminatory slurs or insults – The use of any racist, sexist or other discriminatory remarks is forbidden, even if it is used just as a joke. Consider the feelings of others before you post. Multiple accounts are forbidden – The use of multiple accounts to reinforce your position on an argument is not permitted. The same rule applies for using multiple accounts to game any forum contests or events or promote certain traders. If you have multiple accounts, choose one and stick with it or DM one of the admins to merge your accounts. People found to be using multiple accounts may be subject to having some or all of their accounts banned from the forum. Anonymous proxy services are forbidden – Stage48 is available worldwide, there should be no need to use a proxy to access the site. If we find that you are using a proxy to have multiple accounts on the forum, hiding a former forum identity, or any other nefarious reason your account may be subject to a forum ban. Do not spam/double post/triple post – You must wait at least 24 hours before re-posting in a thread, unless someone else responds. There is no reason to create a separate post for every single response or thought that pops into your mind, and you can always edit your previous post if you want to add more information. Also, using the "@" tag next to a user's name is much more effective than quoting their entire post. You can also respond to multiple people in one post this way. Do not message a moderator about receiving likes/dislikes - The rating system is meant for fun, as well as serve as an easy way to see how many people agree or thanked your post. It affects nothing except the user title, and even then, dislikes don't change your title negatively. Do not waste our time unless you're reporting someone for disliking every single post you ever made across the forum. Content No adult content – Anyone 13 years old and up can join this forum, meaning a number of our members are minors. To keep this forum friendly for all-ages, refrain from posting or linking to any content containing nudity or overtly sexual subject matter. Also, when posting questionable content, please use a clearly labeled spoiler tag. (e.g., NSFW) You never know who might be reading, or in situations where seeing content like that may be completely inappropriate. Give credit where credit is due – If you’re taking translations or images from somewhere else, give credit to the person who took the time to translate/scan or just link their blog. Make sure you have permission. Stay on topic – We understand that topics may be free-flowing and branch off, however, please try and stick to the original topic or else, look for the right thread to post in. In the same vein, please be mindful of where to post things. If a staff member notices a thread straying too far off-topic they will post a reminder. If the off-topic conversation persists then remedial action will be taken, which can be anything from a formal warning to a thread ban. Information Spam - We understand that the users get excited when there is a new announcement, new lineup, etc. However, in most cases there is a thread dedicated to the specific event or release. Therefore, please refrain from posting the same information in every single participant's individual thread. For example: A new MV with 16 members doesn’t mean the same video has to be posted in 16 members’ individual threads, posting in that single's dedicated thread is enough. Take responsibility for OPs you create – If you start a thread, you are expected to maintain the opening post and update it to meet certain standards. If you are not quite sure how an OP should look or what information it should contain, please ask one of the staff or look around to see what other threads in that section looks like. Also, before creating a thread, make sure your source is official (any of the official blogs, an announcement by King Records, etc) and that a thread doesn't already exist for it. Take responsibility for the content you link - We get constant complaints about the abundance of dead video links and broken photo links all over the forum. If you post it, you are responsible for it, and it is up to you to fix it when a link goes dead either by finding content, or editing/deleting the post. Now this doesn't mean that we expect users to keep track of everything they have posted in the history of the forum. However, time and time again we see users posting new content in threads, and there are dead links on posts they made on the same page. Thus, we advise all users to check their recent posts for dead links, and fix them as needed. Use English – We understand that English isn’t everyone’s first language, but we are primarily an English forum. Other languages are not explicitly forbidden, but discussion should not carried out in any other language other than English. Thumbnail images or gifs larger than 750 (width) x 750 pixels (height) – Large images stretch the page unnecessarily. Please thumbnail them or reduce their size, especially if you have series of pictures such as those from scans. If your images exceed the forum limits a staff member will either ask you to resize them or remove the photo and/or post. Spoiler tags are not a valid workaround, as the images are still loaded regardless of whether users click the spoiler tags or not. Signatures should be no larger than 750 (width) x 225 (height) pixels – Signatures are a way to show off your individuality, but ones that are too large distract from actual content and stretch the page. The same goes for text; don’t write so much in your signature that it would exceed the size of an image that’s 750 x 225 pixels. Moderators may remove or ask you to remove signatures that are deemed to be too large. Gifs, as well as any other types of animation are not allowed in signatures or avatars. Gifs should not be larger than 2MB - It's a pain to load a page that's filled with gifs, more so when gifs are too large. Alternatively, try html5 for smaller file sizes and more color range (what you see on gfycat.com) Also, a single post can contain a maximum of three gifs. No blatant advertising in your signatures - in general links to personal blogs, translations and AKB, Sakamichi or other idols related sites are ok, other links are left to the discretion of the moderators as there is of course a grey area. furthermore content rule #1 applies And finally... Forum policy on downloads and piracy – While we realize that this is a controversial issue for overseas fans. Stage48 has long maintained that we do not support piracy, and the best way to support the group is by purchasing their content. Therefore, we wanted to come up with a clear set of rules so there would be no confusion, grey areas, or interpretation. No download links of audio or video files allowed, with the exception of television shows. This goes for all other content, music videos, concerts, DVD extras, radio rips, etc. Stage48 is a discussion board, and not a download site. We make an exception for television programming. But that is the only exception we are willing to make. "View Only" videos (YouTube, Daily Motion, etc.) are okay as long as they are not of purchasable DVD/CD/BluRay/streaming content. In other words, linking "view only" videos of TV shows, Showroom, or LOD clips is fine. Videos of the latest BluRay, the new single DVD, and paid livestream concerts or events are not. Moreover, posting any illegally obtained audio or video (bootlegs) is expressly forbidden. Softsubs are fine, as the way we see it they are the property of the creator. However, this will beg the question "Where do I find the raw file?" In this case, we will allow people to state the location of the original file WITHOUT A LINK. (i.e. stating the name of the site, not an elongated version of the web address) Sharing of illegal streaming sites is forbidden, as is soliciting or requesting them. This is partly to protect the sites themselves, as the more they are shared publicly, the increased chance they get taken down. While magazine scans and photos are in many cases copyrighted material, we have never had an issue that I know of with the posting of them on this forum. So as long as people are crediting the source, this is okay. Sharing mobame photos or videos is not allowed, nor is posting a screenshot of a mobame post. However, translations and/or summaries are okay. Please refrain from soliciting, either requesting or offering out of policy content via DM. "Hey, can someone DM me a link to the download site of XX" completely defeats the purpose of us having these rules in the first place. We hope this clears up any confusion on the matter. The staff will generally observe a “three strikes” rule, except in severe cases where staff feels an immediate ban is warranted. You will receive official warnings on your account for larger infractions, explaining exactly what you did wrong. However, as long as you change your behavior, nothing else will happen. If you receive three warnings on your account within a year, you will most likely be subject to a temporary ban, its length dependent on the severity of your offenses. This is not a set in stone system. When we issue warnings, we will also note on your account what we're issuing the warning for, allowing us to go back and check the quantity and reasons, thus allowing staff to make a decision as to how to deal with individual users at that point. All rules are subject to change by staff and in the case of a conflict, the moderation team will have final say. If you believe a decision has been made in error, you are free to message an admin to state your side of the story.