Comment Room Rule Terminology

Several less common or familiar terms featured within the CR rules have been defined below. The following definitions were created by Lain Iwakura with the aid of the Wikipedia online dictionary.



Originally, the term "flame" meant to carry forth in a passionate manner in the spirit of honorable debate. Flames most often involved the use of flowery language and flaming well was an art form.

More recently flame has come to refer to any kind of derogatory comment no matter how witless or crude; a searing posted message in which the writer attacks another participant in overly harsh, and often personal, terms.

What counts as a flame? In general, any kind of ad hominim or personal attack, during an argument or otherwise.


"You are an idiot" is a fairly obvious example of a flame.

By extension, saying, "anyone who believes or does X is an idiot" also qualifies as a flame (though more roundabout than the more obvious example) because the attack is against the person expressing the belief, not the belief itself.

Saying something like "that argument is moronic" does NOT qualify as a flame, because the attack is against the argument, not the person making it.


It is permissible to attack persons who have absolutely no chance of defending themselves in the forum, such as any political figure, celebrities or fictional characters (from TV shows, books, movies etc). This rule will only remain in place as long as it is not abused and is not used to circumvent the rule above.


A Flame-Bait is a message posted to an Internet discussion group, such as a newsgroup or a mailing list, with the intent of provoking an angry response (a "flame"). Various motives or explanations can be sought for this puzzling behavior; from a common sense point of view, the practice seems usually to be a cry for attention. (See also: Troll or Trolling.)

Flame War:

A Flame War occurs when an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debaters, rather than discussion of their positions. Discussion of any topic will be permitted in the TGS Comment Room as long as it does not progress into a Flame War. If it does so, the argument must be called off by an Administrator and must cease immediately. This, however, does not mean the topic will be off-limits for discussion forever but it is not to be commented upon until passions have cooled.

Godwin's Law:

Also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies.

Named after Mike Godwin, Godwin's Law states that "as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."


An acronym for Role-Play. In role-playing, participants adopt characters possessing personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. When role-playing on a message board, the player controls a character, and works them into the plot along with other characters controlled by other players. The end result is an unpredictable story that may or may not finish, depending on the length of story and devotion of the players.


Spamming is the act of excessive multiple postings of a message or series of similar messages or unsolicited messages or advertisements posted to the forum.

Includes deliberate "page widening," or the inclusion of an unnecessarily long word or group of words that forces the browser to expand include cumbersome horizontal scrolling.


The "plugging" or promotion of the work (fandom related or otherwise) of a participant or friend of a participant in the forum is perfectly acceptable.


A spoiler is a summary, review or comment disclosing plot details of a book, play or film not formerly revealed in the media itself. Unintentional reading of such a review by people unaware of said plot elements "spoils" the enjoyment and suspense that consumers of the media would otherwise have experienced. This situation can be avoided via proper warnings surrounding the spoiler.

Troll (also, Trolling):

On the Internet, troll is a slang term for a person who posts messages intended to create controversy or provoke an angry response rather than to add content to a discussion.

Abiding by rule #3 (and also because it has a history of helping perpetrate such behavior), it would be inappropriate to call someone a "troll." However, calling attention to the actions of an individual by calling them "trolling" is perfectly acceptable.

The hallmark differentiating factor between a "Troll" and any other poster are the goals of trolling and the way in which a trolling individual will respond to criticism.

There are several basic goals of an internet troll:

  1. To generate discord for personal amusement.
  2. To force a policy change in the way the board is operated. (For example, to change from a free-posting forum into one where accounts and passwords are required for discussion, and all members must be approved by an Admin to ensure specific individuals with differing opinions may be kept out.)
  3. To temporarily or permanently shut down the discussion forum.

The proper response to a troll is to ignore them, which might seem difficult because trolls are often very adept at provoking the response they desire.