Fanpop Etiquette How should one handle objectionable clubs?

harold posted on Apr 03, 2009 at 10:07PM
I want to discuss how users feel objectionable clubs should be handled (if at all).

There are a number of types of content that are clearly violations of the Terms of Service ... I'm NOT talking about those. Nor am I talking about duplicate clubs (not necessarily, anyway) or clubs that are devoted to a particular user. My path for handling those is pretty clear in my mind.

What I'm curious about is a new kind of club I've been seeing more and more of lately, which is a club with an apparently random title which does not appear to be about any particular subject. What's more, these clubs seem to be gatherings of people who know each other in real life who are just using the club as a place to "hang out" and post content that is effectively the same as content in at least a dozen other clubs. As an hypothetical example, let's imagine there's a club called "Team Super Giant Zombie Robot Monsters". There isn't actually any game, book, film, TV show, web site or anything else with that name, but there are 20-40 fans in the club and a lot of content along the lines of "YEEEEEAAAAHHH!" Answer Requests, "What's up, homies?" picks, a bazillion random funny images labeled "lol" and articles where users talk about themselves.

What do people feel should be done with these sorts of clubs? Should they be reported? Should the individual content be reported? Should users post a forum thread asking what the topic of the club is?

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een jaar geleden harold said…
I instinctively feel that such clubs are a violation of the spirit of Fanpop: in that fans of a particular topic gather together to discuss that topic. There isn't a single topic for these clubs, which could make an argument that they're duplicates of any of a dozen others (say, the Random club); the difference merely being the users involved.

But on the other hand, while I find such clubs objectionable, does it really matter? Sure, it gets obnoxious when the users of those clubs post a lot of content, so that Fanpop's top page is constantly cluttered with "Team Super Giant Zombie Robot Monsters" updates (in images, picks, answers and questions), but aside from that, it doesn't really affect me, right?

On one hand, it's so wrong I can't figure out how to handle it, and on the other, it's so fringe that I feel like I should leave them alone as harmless crazies (treat them like people hopped up on PCP - they'll either come to their senses eventually or they'll burn out completely). What do you think?
een jaar geleden germany123 said…
cool
i have the same problem and i know exactly the type of clubs you are talking aboot. i eventually decided that its better for them to have their own spots rather than clogging up the fanpop users spot with their useless inside jokes and crazy emote wars.
i do see the risks of these spots though because only ertain users may join (if you ship the wrong couple for example youre OOT) and they feel very possessive of their spots (you cant comment unless you asked to join) and if thats not unfanpopesque i dont know what is.
i try to avoid them like edward the glittery vampire avoids the sun.
een jaar geleden vider69 said…
surprise
I know what you mean, yes there are random spots, duplicate spots, and mash-ups, but there are more and more spots out there where the topic at hand is 'to me' a non topic, spots for different types of products are even ok within reason, but the 'non topic' spots as I call them are just getting out of hand, they don't bother me I just don't join them.
een jaar geleden harold said…
Is there a point, though, where they provide so much clutter that they threaten the site, either by performance hits, disk space, and search results clutter, or that they alienate the new user and make it less likely that people will continue to use/return to the site? If so, the first would be a problem for user experience, and the second would be a potential revenue problem for the staff.

Is ignoring these things the best choice? I'm generally in favor of ignoring crazies, myself. But just like I'll report abusive users, I could see how one might want to report objectionable clubs.