What are the rules here?

The message board rules are spelled out clearly in the Message Board Terms of Use, or ToU. The majority of the rules are common sense, and the large majority of board accounts are never found violating them. We also have a Board Etiquette that should be read to ensure that you do not ruin the board experience for other users.

How does the moderation system work?

Any user Level 20 or higher can mark messages that violate the ToU for moderation. By clicking on the "report" link in the lower-right corner of each message, a popup box will appear allowing you to report the violation to the moderation staff. The moderators then will review the message, and if they find that it does indeed violate the ToU, it will be deleted.

What actions can the moderators take on a marked message?

If the moderators find a message to be violating the ToU, there are several actions they can take.

  • Notify Without Delete: When a post contains a very minor violation, the moderator may choose not to delete the post but rather to simply notify the user that their post was against the rules. This is used to educate the user about rules they might not be familiar with rather than punishing the user by deleting their post.
  • Delete Only: The moderators can delete a message or topic from the boards with no additional penalty to the poster. This often happens for violations that are serious enough that they should be removed from view or for users who continue to violate the rules after being notified of the rules.
  • Warning: If a ToU violation is repeated, severe, or intentional, the moderators can place a warning on the user's account, which leaves them at Level 5 for up to three days. While warned, a user cannot create topics and can post very few messages per day, and 10 Karma is also deducted from the user.
  • Suspension: If a ToU violation is repeated, severe, or intentional, and the user has shown a clear disregard for the site rules, they can be suspended, preventing them from making any more posts. Suspended users are reviewed by an administrator, who can permanently ban them from the site or take other less severe action if they feel that the user deserves a second chance.

Moderators can also close topics as necessary.

If a marked message is not a ToU violation or the marking feature was used abusively, the moderators can also choose to ignore or de-prioritize any further marked messages from that user, or even suspend them if the need arises.

There's another user on the boards who is harassing/annoying me. Can you stop it?

If that user is violating the ToU, you can alert the moderators simply by marking that user's messages for moderation. If the user is not violating the ToU, they have as much right as you to post messages on the board. If you do not wish to see their posts at all, you can add the user to your Ignore List.

Can banned accounts be restored?

You can find more information about account bans here.

What is a usermap and what does it mean?

Each account may have a "usermap" associated with it that tracks all accounts that were used from a shared computer at some point in time. If any one of the accounts on a usermap are banned, the administrator may also ban any other accounts on that list. As many people do have multiple accounts, this adds a layer of accountability to those users.

My brother/cousin/friend/roommate posted those messages, not me! Why did you ban me?

GameFAQs accounts are the sole responsibility of the account holder. Any messages posted on an account are assumed to be from the account owner, and any ToU violations committed will count against that account. Furthermore, any accounts listed on a usermap are considered to be under the control of account holder, so if one account is banned for severe ToU violations, they all risk the same punishment.

What can I do if I feel that a moderation was unfair?

For up to 72 hours after your moderation, you can contest it. From your user preferences page, view your moderation history and then select the moderation you wish to examine. If you feel your message did not violate the ToU, you can send it to another moderator along with an explanation. If your argument is successful, the moderator can overturn the decision and restore your lost karma and even return your post to the boards in some cases.

Should you not agree with the moderator's contest decision, you can appeal the moderation to a Lead Moderator and add more to your argument. If the Lead Moderator upholds the moderation, you will not be able to contest another moderation for a month. If you are still not satisfied, you can send it in again with more explanation to an administrator.

However, if your appeal fails again, you will lose the right to contest any further moderations for three months. Abuse of this system will result in the permanent loss of all appealing privileges and possibly the loss of your account.

I have a right to free speech! What right do you have to delete my messages?

Yes, you may have a right to free speech, but not here. When you signed up for the GameFAQs message boards, you voluntarily gave up the right to certain kinds of speech in return for the ability to use the boards. If you do not feel that you can follow the rules here, you have the right to create your own message boards and make your own rules there. GameFAQs is a private business, and if you'd actually read the Bill of Rights, you'll see that "Freedom of Speech" applies to the government, not here.

How long do posts stay on the boards?

The daily purge process archives or deletes older topics from boards every night at about 4:00am Pacific. Topical game board messages are archived (closed, read-only), all other boards are purged (deleted). Depending on how many messages a board has, the following schedule is followed:

  • Under 6 Messages: 10 Days
  • 6-100 Messages: 30 Days
  • 101-250 Messages: 20 Days
  • 251-500 Messages: 15 Days
  • 501-1000 Messages: 12 Days
  • 1001-2500 Messages: 10 Days
  • 2501-5000 Messages: 7 Days
  • 5001-7500 Messages: 6 Days
  • 7501-10000 Messages: 5 Days
  • 10001-12500 Messages: 4 Days
  • 12501-15000 Messages: 3 Days
  • 15001-20000 Messages: 2 Days
  • 20001 or more Messages: 1 Day

How long do moderated messages stay on my account?

  • Notification without deletion: 14 days
  • No Karma Loss moderation accepted by user: 7 days
  • No Karma Loss moderation unaccepted/upheld by moderator: 14 days
  • Karma Loss moderation accepted by user: 20 days
  • Karma Loss moderation unaccepted/upheld by moderator: 30 days
  • Karma Loss moderation upheld by admin: 90 days
  • Overturned moderation (no longer considered a violation): 30 days

When are account levels updated?

Account changes for gaining higher levels or coming off of Warned status take place at about 7:00pm Pacific. Karma for the day is also awarded at this time.