Critics United
Critics United: a place for reviewers to gather and talk, exchange tales and support each other as we all try and help the authors of the site.
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CU Administration

Critics United Mission Statement

Critics United is a collaborative union of constructive critics whose purpose is to assist the administrators of fanfiction.net with enforcing the site rules and improving the quality of the work posted.

We offer honest, blunt criticism regarding stories and their adherence to the rules. We are not a flame group intent on starting flame wars or arguments with other ff.net members. We will defend the content of our reviews, but do not seek to start wars for the sake of arguing. We are not a bully or vigilante group. We do not target specific writers and will only focus on one of their stories even if they have more than one fic in violation. We are not in the business of hunting trolls. We will report on identified trollfics at our discretion, but nothing more. Trolls will merely open another account if one is removed. It is better to ignore them.

More than one member will leave additional reviews on a story if we feel the writer did not get the message with their first warning. We do not accept excuses such as "Everyone is doing it!" or "This site's motto is to inspire creativity!" or "Rules are made to be broken!" Every person who joins ff.net does so for the privilege of posting their work, it is not a right. Therefore, the established rules and T.O.S. we all agreed to should be respected or appealed through the proper channels.

Some of our members will gladly assist writers who would like help improving their writing. Our purpose is not to see fanfics deleted, but to see the quality improve, which in turn increases the enjoyment of all members of ff.net.

CRITICS UNITED MEMBER RULES:

1. CU members are independent and have their own reviewing methods. Targeting and harassment is not allowed. All members must leave signed reviews on the violating stories they find. No anon reviews.

A member will not criticize or undermine the work of another. Respect the fact not everyone is going to see or do things the way you do. If one member has an issue with another member, they will address it privately via pm or ask a mod to mediate.

2. If a member spots an outside issue that may possibly affect CU, like another forum is badmouthing the group or any of its members, they should bring it to the attention of a mod and not attempt to handle it themselves.

3. When new members join they must post an intro in the 'Our Members' thread. They must at least report on all the latest stories in the 'Stories in Violation' (SiV) and 'Clean Sweep' (CS) threads. Members are not required to participate in any of the forum threads, but must post in at least one thread once a week; notifying the mods that they are still active. This is our roll call and helps us know who's still a member without requiring a pm.

4. If members don't plan on participating in any of the remaining threads, they must notify a mod if they think they will be inactive. We'll just stick a simple, highlighted note saying 'On hiatus' in their post in the 'Our Members' thread until they are active again.

If a member is M.I.A. for at least a week without notice, the mods will assume they are no longer a member and will be removed from the roster. It is not the job of the mods to check up on members. If they do, it's at their discretion. Otherwise, they will merely send the member a request asking them to remove the statement that you're a CU member and the link from your profile.

5. If members will be active in the remaining threads and are expected to help maintain the peace and not contribute or ignore when participants are getting a little wild. The threads are there for fun, but the forum is not a messenger service. There is a difference, which has blurred in recent years. We need to encourage participants to post comments of substance, not 'Omg! That's so kawaii!!!! diz iz kewl! rofl' That is perceived as idiotic as it looks. Use your words, people, don't abuse them.

6. Members are free to visit other forums and participate in other groups. However, if you act on behalf of CU, you will be held accountable for your actions if it brings unnecessary drama back to the group. We discourage attempts to reason with any anti-CU forums.

Sometimes misunderstandings happen regardless of how careful you are, though. So try to give a mod a heads up if something happens so we can help diffuse the situation.

7. No badmouthing of other forums or groups on the site will be tolerated, nor will there be any talk about trolls, specific or vague, is allowed in the forum.

Our current policy regarding trolls is what we call the three I's: Identify, Isolate and Ignore.

We will treat trollfics like any other violator. However, if it's clear it's a trollfic, members can skip reviewing them and bring them into the SiV so they can be reported by all members.

8. There are at least two mods active at any given time. It is not necessary to just go to one all the time for problems and questions.

9. If a story violates the rules and a CU member warned them and the author refused to change it, has responded back angrily, or simply ignored the member completely, the story gets put in the SiV.

After a story is posted in the SiV it's up to all members to report. Reviewing is optional unless the three review limit by three separate CUers has not been reached..

If a writer has multiple violations, we will only deal with one at a time. It gets too close to harassment and bullying otherwise. Usually if they lose one story to the site admins they'll change the rest. Not always. When they continue being obstinate, we continue dealing with each of their remaining violators in turn.

We don't target writers, regardless of how stupid and annoying they are.

We don't indulge in flame wars or the drama. This isn't high school or a middle school. Try to take the high road when dealing with an angry writer or site. It annoys them further if you're being calm and they're turning into an incoherent, blathering ranter. It also keeps you from getting in trouble with the site admins.

Mods will deal with infractions at their discretion. We may give a warning or we may not. Depends on the situation. We are a working concrit group, not a babysitting service. We don't have to deal with angsty drama if we don't want to.

VISITOR RULES:

1. Non-CU members are welcome to lurk and post in our forum except the 'Stories in Violation' and 'Clean Sweep' threads. You can report and review on those stories if you wish, but you can't post any comments in either thread.

2. We expect a certain level of maturity from our visitors. Please don't swear worse than with words you can easily find in the Bible. (Assuming you're not an atheist or agnostic.) So anything in the area of the F-bomb and beyond is verboten. The site admins have made it very clear on this issue. If you must swear, edit the swear words with something along the lines of, "sh*t", for example.

We won't tolerate playground behavior, insulting or abusive behavior. Writers complaining about reviews on their fics by members are allowed to express their anger accordingly. However, their posts will be edited to conform to the forum rules.

3. Do not come attempting to be part of our movement without joining or otherwise represent yourself elsewhere as being a CU member. If you're interested in joining then message a mod.

However, if you're only interested in socializing or being a part of CU for whatever perceived status you think you'll glean out of it without doing the work, then please keep walking. We don't need dead weight.

4. If you know of a story that's in violation of the rules and have attempted to reason with the writer, then please feel free to post it in the 'Tip Line.'

We ask that you at least leave a review on the violating story. It shows you did try giving the writer a heads up.

If you suspect the story is a trollfic, then don't bother reviewing. This is the only exception. A review feeds the troll the attention they crave.

We also won't discuss trolls in any other thread. A mention or reference is one thing, but trolls like to lurk in our forum. Talking about them feeds them.

5. Don't go stirring up trouble elsewhere and draw that to our doorstep. We aren't a sanctuary for the damned and we don't clean up other people's messes.

6. Debates are encouraged, but all out wars are not. If it's getting heated between you and another member/visitor, take it to the pms. When in doubt, don't worry, a mod will tell you.

7. Forums are not a messenger service. There is a huge difference, so unless you have a comment of substance, do not bother posting. A simple greeting just to see who's around doesn't cut it. Either wait until someone stops in or post a comment with your greeting that might start an interesting conversation. There's always something worthwhile to say, even if it's just about the weather.

"Racing" around, "throwing" weapons and such will not be tolerated. It's difficult to follow or participate in a conversation when two or more individuals are horsing around like that. Any topic besides anything related is welcomed, but horsing around like that is not a conversation.

8. No double posting. There is a little gear icon you see next to the reply link when your post shows up that will allow you to edit what you've posted. It's there to be used and we're used to rechecking posts.

9. If a CU member asks you to stop doing something, do it. They aren't obligated to explain why to anyone except a mod.

10. No randomly creating threads. Even members have to run new thread ideas by a mod first.

Again, we will handle infractions as we see fit to protect the group. We're pretty easy going most of the time, but will quickly enforce the rules if the need arises.

A Golden Rule for both CU members and non-members:

Do Not go to another mod when the first one doesn't do/give/answer how you want. We do talk with each other behind the scenes, so if one says no the rest will too. This also has the effect of making you appear to be a trouble maker which could get you banned from our lovely forum.

8/19/2010 . Edited by Spirit of paladin, 10/16/2012 #1
Cha's Aegis

Since we get a lot of folks questioning we aren't just harassing them or making up the site rules, I decided to stick the site Guidelines here for the lazy ones who can't be bothered to look them up, much less read them. It's also a quick reference for our members and fellow reviewers.

Community Etiquette:

FanFiction.Net does not filter content and is an open system that trusts the writer's judgement. However, there is an inherent responsibility that falls to writers as a result. Here is a list of conducts that should always be observed:

1. Spell check all story and poetry. There is no excuse for not performing this duty. If you do not have a word processor that has the spell checking feature, use a search engine such as Google.com to find one.

2. Proofread all entries for grammar and other aspects of writing before submission. 'Hot off the press' content is often riddled with errors. No one is perfect but it is the duty of the writer to perform to the best of his/her ability.

3. Respect the reviewers. Not all reviews will strictly praise the work. If someone rightfully criticizes a portion of the writing, take it as a compliment that the reviewer has opted to spend his/her valuable time to help improve your writing.

4. Everyone here is an aspiring writer. Respect your fellow members and lend a helping a hand when they need it. Like many things, the path to becoming a better writer is often a two way street.

5. Use proper textual formatting. For example: using only capital letters in the story title, summary, or content is not only incorrect but also a disregard for the language itself.

FanFiction.Net Content Guidelines:

Version: 11-20-2008 The chapter system is not to be used as placeholder for non-story content such as author notes. You can add short author notes to the beginning or at the end of stories but never as individual chapters. FanFiction.Net is not an archive for non-fanfiction literary works. Please visit FictionPress.com to publish your non-fanfiction literary works. Do not upload chapters, series, or segments of a story as separate entries. In order to submit a 5 chapter story, for example, use the 'Create Story' page to submit chapter 1, and then use the 'Edit/Upload chapter' feature in the left menu, after login, to submit chapters 2 through 5.

Entries not allowed:

1. Non-stories: lists, bloopers, polls, previews, challenges, author notes, and etc.

2. One or two liners.

3. MST: comments inserted in between the flow of a copied story.

4. Stories with non-historical and non-fictional characters: actors, musicians, and etc.

5. Any form of interactive entry: choose your adventure, second person/you based, Q&As, and etc.

5. Chat/script format and keyboard dialogue based entries.

Actions not allowed:

1. Multiple entries of the same material. There can only be one copy of any unique story on the entire site. No exceptions.

2. Rewriting names of characters/locations of one story in order to upload to multiple categories.

3. Copying from a previously published work (including musical lyrics) not in the public domain.

General rules:

1. Entry title and summary must be rated K for all audience. No exceptions.

2. Entry must be given the proper rating. No exceptions.

3. Entry must be placed in proper category. No exceptions.

4. Chapters of the same story are not allowed to be submitted as separate entries. All chapters/segments must be grouped together using the 'edit/upload chapter' feature in the left menu.

FanFiction.Net respects the expressed wishes of the following authors/publishers and will not archive entries based on their work:

Anne Rice, Archie comics, Dennis L. McKiernan, Irene Radford, J.R. Ward, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, P.N. Elrod, Raymond Feist, Robin Hobb, Robin McKinley, Terry Goodkind

Failure to comply with site rules will result in the removal of stories and/or suspension of account.

I will not post the Terms of Service (TOS) because they are simply too long, but it's highly recommended that you read them as they legally support these guidelines. Here's the link to the TOS.

If you do not agree with these rules and want to change them, get a new category started or to report abuse, go to this link for site Help.

2/16/2011 . Edited 2/16/2011 #2
Cha's Aegis

The Forum at a Glance:

Some folks seem to have trouble figuring out what's what here, so this is a quick list of each thread and what they're for. Check each one for the specific rules governing each thread.

Stories in Violation (SiV) Members Only: Pinned thread for CU members only. We post stories here where a writer has either ignored, responded negatively or stubbornly refuses to make their fic compliant to the site rules after one of our member's first, warning review.

Clean Sweep: Pinned thread. Once a week we update and list the worst and most stubborn rule violators from our SiV thread.

Complain/Give Thanks Here. V2: Pinned thread. A chance for writers unhappy with one of our member's reviews or actually appreciative of what we do to say their piece. It's a chance for writers unhappy with us to have it out publicly. Only for writer's who've received a signed review by a current CUer.

Our Members: Pinned thread. A list of current CU members.

Special Announcements: Pinned thread. Mods will make public announcements here.

The CU Helpdesk - Q&A thread: Pinned thread. Ask questions about the site, the site rules or about CU that is not covered in the FAQ thread.

The F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions - Cornucopia: Pinned thread. This thread is intended to clear up some of the rampant misconceptions regarding not only CU, but also the reasoning behind some of ff.nets rules.

C3- Corner Cyber Café: Designed with anime and literary nerds in mind. Name the best and worst anime, manga, or books that you'd recommend to others and why.

Just Chat __: For everything else not related to a particular thread. A place for folks to socialize and converse.

Just The Links!: A thread to fun post links from AMV's to Youtube videos.

Let's Share Some Good Fanfics!: To share our favorite stories on ff.net that we think others will enjoy.

Not All Critiques Are Bad: We share our favorite reviews where we actually offer advice and constructive criticism contrary to popular belief that we "flame."

Review Request V2.5: Pinned thread. For writers to request evaluations, constructive criticism and help from CU members with their stories.

Stories You're Not Sure What to do About: For stories we're not sure if it's in violation of the site rules or not and need a second opinion from our fellow reviewers.

The Tip Line-Post a Story You Think Needs the CU's Attention: Found a rule violating story and you tried reasoning with the writer to get them to comply with the site rules, but they ignored you? Need help convincing them? This is the thread to post those stories.

The Treasure Trove: Locked topic for CU members only. Our miscellaneous vaults for those little gems created by our members that we don't want lost forever in the chats.

Welcome! Introduce yourself here.: Although most of us check the profiles of everyone we meet, it's still nice to introduce yourself.

Worst Review Responses, Notes and Shout Out V2: We share particularly nasty responses from writers who didn't take kindly to the fact we pointed out their story was in violation of the rules. We don't name writers, but will post their responses for everyone's enjoyment.

2/16/2011 . Edited 2/15 #3
Forum Moderators: CU Administration Question42, Cha's Aegis, MrGoodyTwoShoes, Spirit of paladin
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