Hi, I handled a lot of the issues with the cringeworthy gallery and spearheaded the decision to lock it indefinitely. I know I’m a forum moderator, but I spend a lot of time on the IRC and a huge amount of complaints were heard there, so I spent a lot of my time during the two weeks where we focused on that gallery solving issues and offering solutions, so I’m one of the more knowledgeable mods on the subject.
You see, we’d already tried multiple solutions over the course of those few weeks. We locked it temporarily and cleaned it, we gave verbal warnings in the comments. You mention addressing specific people, we did just that, warning and even suspending prevalent troublemakers. Trust me, there was plenty of attention pulled to rules that should be followed and they were not followed at all.
There’s a good reason for the issues we have – it’s such a subjective topic. I’ve already written on this before:
The issue with the gallery at the moment is that it should follow site content rules but generally does not. Things like gore and personal attacks are not allowed, but are currently daily occurrences in the gallery. In addition, the topic of “cringeworthy” is extremely subjective, leading to User A feeling that harmless topic X is crigeworthy, offending User B who enjoys topic X, causing large amounts of drama and fighting. Unfortunately, this also makes enforcement of a common theme a touchy subject, as everyone’s definition of “cringe material” is different, mods and regular users alike. One thing I’ve brought up in this discussion is that perhaps the users in question do consider gore and body horror to be simply “cringe”, and are unaware of the site’s NSFW guidelines.
We brought up those guidelines after the temp lock, and abuse continued.
Trust me, I was in your boat. I thought people could change. You’ll see in most of my posts on the subject that I’m very disappointed that was the route we had to take. The issue is most of moderation was sick and tired of dealing with the gallery and all of our attempts to fix it failed, so we took the nuclear route.
On the subject of moderation – We have people to handle image abuse, they’re called media moderators. Having someone to just deal with the gallery is unnecessary, especially since basically every single media mod was focused on the cringeworthy gallery during those two weeks and they still couldn’t handle it. (One thing to note – when the MLP gallery went through a similar debacle with dupes and rule abuse, we notably could get people to cooperate and we only needed existing moderation to correct the problem. This gallery has been significantly less cooperative.) We have talked about adding new media mods, but we also have potential candidates picked out already. Just trying to ask for it won’t get you anywhere.
And as for the spam thing, yes, that is a problem. The original purpose of image galleries was to be for notable examples, not as a dumping ground for picture spam. I even have precedent for you, just to validate my claim – the MLP gallery crisis I mentioned above, where a major reason for it was a large number of users simply dumping every image they could get their hand on.
So if you’re going to negotiate for the gallery’s unlocking, get in line. You aren’t the first, you probably won’t be the last. We’ll unlock it if we feel that it needs to be unlocked at all, and even then only when we feel that we can trust the userbase not to abuse it.