Yeah, that's far from a petty concern. That the fanbase might split up had crossed our collective minds, but the thinking goes, "If it's people who just spam up the boards and act stupid all day, who cares?" in some circles. The question then becomes, who do we want to emphasize as members – the people who debate intelligently or the people who make fifty-plus pages of the same 9.5/10 or 10/10 scores? Yeah. That's why we're leaning towards stricter enforcement.
However, I do see your point entirely. I believe we should tread lightly, try to keep some unity, but in some cases it all comes down to a given person's own choice to stay on. Do we want the senior members leaving because of the ignorance? It's a big point, and I can't answer it alone.
_Pass the Rootbeer
Let's take the "Rate the Member" thread for an example. I personally don't see the point in the game, as by the eventuality of it you're down to the same 6-10 people voting the same thing, or slightly different because of what they're "wearing." Is that what we would call an intelligent discussion? No. Is it what we'd call fun? Maybe to those 6-10 people, but to some others, I'd wager it was seen as spam and disregarded. Take into account that it got bumped up usually once a day or so (by my recollection, which isn't entirely accurate, mind) it gets frustrating. That's the short answer for those kinds of threads. Not naming any names, again, I have my eye on a few threads. [/Big Brother]
The "What are you listening to right now?" thread might have been closed for a couple of reasons. Like, reason a) It's a thread at J-Rev (and that's that. >.>)… or maybe because it encouraged one-line answers that didn't serve any purpose other than to say, "Hey, I'm listening to ____ right now! I r0xx0rz. All your base belong to us," etc. etc. and whatever it is I'm not thinking of. Simply put, it has no real value in contributing to anything. It isn't really "getting to know" someone better, because it's a one-liner. So, I'm guessing that's why it was closed -- lack of purpose.
In regards to your final point, I believe it's been said, but I'll post a tentative rule I wrote up for perusal -- please, PLEASE, don't think this is finite yet.
! Recent events and a change in moderating style have prompted the staff to write this, so listen up, all ye who speak of space and Griffins. >.>
! To create a thread for discussion – that is, not a poll -- you ought to hold up two fingers and ask yourself, 'Will it create discussion?' and 'Is it a reasonable idea?'
! The first quality of a discussion thread is, of course, to promote discussion. Something interesting that hasn't been pointed out before? Point it out! Want an issue clarified? Sure! Just please, please use the Search option (or attempt to) before making something on a whim. The more you do, the less likely it is that the thread will be bashed/deleted/hurled into the third circle of hell.
! The second quality is pretty much the same ground rules, except for one thing: You should be reasonably sure that you aren't making an idiot of yourself. People perceived as idiots get bashed, bashing leads to flaming, and flaming leads to destruction… of threads, but you get the idea. That's why this is the second cardinal rule: Be reasonable.
! That said, have fun posting.
I think that's the best I can offer for an answer, sorry.
If you go on technicality, then no, the threads like "Picture Battle" and "What are you listening to right now" aren't dead. I covered this earlier, but let me make a new interpretation: A thread might be considered "alive" when it is a healthy, functional member of society. Like a human being, if we take that perspective, then the thread must serve a purpose other than being spam. And, actually, that may or may not be an issue in the future.
ocean has brought up the idea of a "spam/fun" board, where all this stuff would go into. That way we could cut the offending threads and put them somewhere that they would be enjoyed, maybe even welcomed, but not at the expense of other members' desires not to see a given thread rise from the ashes for the umpteenth time over their new thread. I won't say whether the idea's going through or not, but anything is possible at this point if we get enough input, I suppose…
If you want to emphasize anything I've said, anyone, then please ask me here.___