Forum rules | The Popjustice Forum
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Forum rules

Please pay close attention, thanking you

Hello! Typing these words you find a man called Peter Robinson. I started the Popjustice site in 2000 (!) and the forum came along a year or two later. I hope you enjoy using this forum, but of course sometimes there are problems. These rules and guidelines are aimed at keeping things running smoothly.

In general things run fine if you behave like a real person in real life. By that I kind of mean: try not to say stuff that in a real social setting might result in you being punched in the face. Members of this community are real people with real lives.

As long as everyone respects the forum’s rules, the other people on the forum, and the people who keep the forum running smoothly, things will be great.

Here’s what’s likely to get you banned.

Any sort of hate speech. This means but is not limited to racism, misogyny, homophobia, religious intolerance, denying the majesty of Carly Rae Jepsen.

Being persistently disruptive, bullying other members here, in real life or on social media.

Posting copyrighted work: if you didn’t create it or don’t own the rights, posting it will likely result in the deletion of your post and/or account.


Posts or replies that consist entirely or mainly of a reaction GIF, a smiley, an emoji, webspeak (‘LOL’ etc). If you’re already trying to think about how you can get around this rule, you’re the sort of person whose account ends up getting deleted.

General posting stuff

Stay on topic. Don’t start personal or aggressive arguments, and don’t respond to people starting them. Report posts to moderators instead. Do your best to swerve eaggressive posts and move on.

Don’t insult forum members, singers or other public figures based on appearance.

DON’T use the word ‘stan’ or otherwise attempt to belittle reasonable points made by reasonable fans.

If your post amounts to little or no more than an image AND YES THIS INCLUDES REACTION GIFS your post may be deleted, you may be banned and your account may be deleted.(More on this at the bottom of this page.) Yes we know that sometimes the best response might seem to be a hilarious GIF of someone pouting or whatever. Just try to use words to describe how this GIF makes you feel.

Please write in fully formed English sentences. This means capitalising the first letter of a sentence and the names of artists and song titles, putting a full stop at the end of a sentence, and so on. Posts not written in full English may be deleted.

This is not a chatroom.

Don’t use textspeak or webspeak or whatever you want to call it. This means steering clear of things like LMAO, LOL, ‘meh’ and so on.

Making a rude, incendiary or offensive comment then posting “JOKE!” or “NOT REALLY!” or “/TROLL” or whatever is not clever or funny, it’s annoying. We have a no smiley/emoji rule – posts containing comments like ‘Insert sad smiley here’ (or text-based emoticons or other attempts to get around the no smiley rule) will also be deleted.

Abbreviations (like GA for Girls Aloud, or ‘BTW’ for ‘Born This Way’) can be confusing for people who aren’t intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of an artist’s career – so please write artist and song titles in full.

If you have registered to talk about one artist only please try to either diversify your interests or leave the forum alone.

If there’s an active thread about an artist, try not to start a new one unless your contribution informs us of a huge and explosive new development.

There’s no need to censor or asterisk out your swear words!

How tragic that this even needs to be a rule: do not use words like ‘bitch’, ‘slag’, ‘cunt’ and ‘slut’ to describe women. This has been something we’ve had a lot of discussions about on the forum over the years and it’s a rule that’s staying. The only exceptions are when you’re quoting song lyrics or titles etc.

If you’ve been looking through these rules trying to find loopholes or ways to get around them, things probably aren’t going to work out that well for you on the Popjustice forum. Sorry.

Your profile

Signatures should be no longer than one line of text (which can include a link) and must not include images.

It’s fine to link to your blogs and websites, but not if they’re MP3 blogs or offering illegal downloads.

Don’t put porn in your avatars! Jesus bloody Christ, there are enough places online to find that without making Popjustice one of them.

On a related tip, please don't post images involving nudity.

The law and/or general decency

This is a forum with liberal values and a diverse community. Don't be a fucking idiot. Don't assume you can pick or choose which issues or social matters you can be enlightened about.

Avoid posting videos or content from right-wing or deliberately provocative internet/real world dickheads without any comment or context or people will think you too are a right-wing or deliberately provocative internet/real world dickhead.

Do not speculate on popstars’ sexuality, drug habits or addictions. If you want to out someone or gossip about rumours you’ve heard go somewhere else.

Don’t post illegal music downloads or links to illegal music downloads or streams; don’t request or hint for illegal music downloads or links to illegal music downloads or streams.

Don’t copy and paste items from other websites or news services without crediting and linking to the original source – and try to add something to the story rather than just chucking it on the forum.

Don’t post midweek chart information – it’s the copyright of the people who compile the charts.

Do not post images from photo agencies. If in doubt, don’t post it.

What happens when a post is reported?

When you report a post:

I and other moderators get an alert email which includes your reason for reporting a post. It’s important that you state clearly why you’re reporting the post — just something like “mess” or “ . “ isn’t enough. Not all moderators know exactly what’s happening in all threads.

One (or sometimes all!) of us will have a look at the offending post. Bear in mind we’re unlikely to delete a post or a member just because they’re disagreeing with you, or just because they’re arguing back in an argument you started!

Once we’ve decided whether action needs taking, we’ll take appropriate action. This can range from doing nothing, to deleting a post, to personally warning the offending member over private message, to a temporary or permanent ban, to total account deletion.

Bear in mind that because the moderators are literally different people they will respond to reported posts in different ways.

When one of your posts is reported:

Sometimes you’ll get a notification about why something’s happened; sometimes you won’t. Don’t appeal against a decision until you’ve read this page and are certain you haven’t broken any rules or gone against any of the community values.

If you need something sorting out, start a private messaging conversation with me (popjustice).

Forum background and general notes

Popjustice has been going since the year 2000, the forum since a couple of years later. That's a really long time that bridges numerous pop eras, the rises (and falls) of countless artists, and thousands of forum members.

This means the forum has a membership whose age diversity tends to increase every day: a 16-year-old might sign up today and be sharing a space with members who were 16 when they signed up in 2002. Of course, people with different pop backgrounds will approach pop with a different set of experiences. Embrace this, don't shut it down. If you're an old fucker like me, understand that a new member now might be as excited now by Halsey as you once were by Madonna. If you're young, understand that the way you feel about Madonna is how people in the future may one day feel about Halsey! Often pop is all about being in the moment — don't forget that everyone has their own moments!

Part of the reason I set up the site was that I couldn't comprehend or tolerate the relentless positivity in most pop media. As well as being a place to celebrate pop, I wanted Popjustice to be honest: some stuff is just rubbish, some popstars just aren't very good! But I do wonder how well this pans out in a forum situation. The idea of a grudge or vendetta just looks silly, after a while, especially when herd mentality means everyone piles on.

In short: a lot of artists are doing their best. A lot of artists aren't comfortable with what they're doing. Look beyond the person fronting the music: it's not just popstars who make bad decisions. In fact, very often it's not the popstars making the decisions at all. Bear that in mind when you're talking to fans of artists — but also bear it in mind in the sense that artists do read the forum. From a personal point of view I'm more interested in why you think something's bad, or how you think it's happened, than simply the fact that you think something is bad.

Ignorance is nothing to be proud of. Or it shouldn't be. If you don't get an artist or a style of music repeatedly posting in related threads after you've made your point isn't very helpful to anyone.

It's great when your favourite act does well. Chart positions and streaming numbers are one way of measuring that. I'm not sure that necessarily makes the song or artist any better. And is an artist or song any worse when they flop?

People ask about GIFs a lot. When the forum started up I wanted it to be different to other pop forums that were online at the time. They were full of smiley faces and phrases like LOL. I felt pop deserved more expressive and eloquent discussion, so smileys and things like LOL were banned. Banning them felt quite heavy handed but obviously if you go 'try not to use them too much' some people will use them a lot and it's hard to keep the tone of the forum right. As the years have passed, the way people abbreviate online has changed a lot! GIFs have replaced smileys, emojis have also replaced smileys, people might write 'tea' instead of 'LOL', or whatever. You get the idea. But my hope that the forum is expressive hasn't really shifted. People complain they can't post GIFs just like people complained a decade and a half ago that they couldn't say 'ROFL'. I know sometimes a GIF or emoji can express 100 words. I'd really like to read the 100 words.

If there's anything else you'd like to see me address here, or any rules you think need updating, adding or removing, do drop me a line. You can PM me here (my username's popjustice) or drop me an email: [email protected]