It is finally time for the big topic that has everyone on their toes. We'll be talking about spam, the definition of spam, and certain members of the community. But first, I have to explain why the staff have been so passive about our controversial spam problem.
You are a staff member whose job is to enforce the rules and keep the forum a nice place. When the community questions your ability to do this fairly (ie, being biased or providing special treatments), the worst possible thing to do would be to act outside of what the currently existing rules allow. Therefore, punishing someone "on discretion" or "because many people have requested so" is actually the very exact thing that the community criticizes the moderators for. This breaks a line between fairness and opens a path to tribal witch-hunting; a somewhat barbaric path that we just don't want to go down.
It really is a tricky situation. The best way to deal with this is to redefine "spam" in general so that our standards of what is considered spam is changed. Here is the difficult part: this new definition will apply to everyone.
You see, since becoming admin, I did a lot of digging through past threads and posts. I looked at every post that people have complained about being spam, and every thread that was reported for spam. Each and every person who voiced their discontent at the post/thread for its irrelevant and spammy nature has, at some point, posted a post/thread of their own with the same level of irrelevant and spammy nature. This hypocrisy makes it really difficult for me to get a grasp of what you people really want.
To start, I will simply fix the Mabinogi-Splatulated spam issue with one change. He will now be required to only ask questions in his own dedicated thread. Each time he makes a thread for a question, we'll be giving him an infraction for minor spamming (2 points each). Like all other users, he will be automatically banned at 10 points. Though this contradicts the nature of what I had explained just above, his inability to process and maintain information when the moderators warn him has led them to become a cleanup crew for merging/moving/fixing his trail of posts. This really is a band-aid fix, one which I'm not sure can stick or not.
For Bean Rua spam, this is the responsibility of the community as a whole, and not just myself. Bean Rua has always been an Off-Topic section, for threads that do not belong in other areas of the forums. But at the same time, we have an Everything Else section, which is actually even described as following, "If it isn't spam and doesn't belong anywhere else, it goes here." Essentially speaking, Bean Rua has always been a spam board. If you guys want this changed, then you need to decide what is too spammy for Bean Rua, right here in this thread.
Dig up 2~3 threads that you believe are too spammy to be allowed in Bean Rua and post it here. There is actually a very strong likelihood that I will actually be able to find a thread that is very similar but you don't/didn't find spammy, and even participated in. For the sake of defining the clearest standard possible, try your best to play devil's advocates for both others and yourself. What is spam? What isn't spam? By those conditions, have you spammed?