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Given the massive public outcry at our decision to no longer host user submitted reviews (not to mention the deep divides this decision has created among our own staff), as well as the amazing level of support many have shown for the reviews, we have decided to reverse our previous decision to remove reviews from The Encyclopaedia Metallum. We will be restoring all of the reviews from a previous backup of the site, so no information will be lost.
While we now realize that we underestimated the scale of support for user reviews, the reasons why we initially reached that decision remain. While it is a relatively straightforward process to moderate the veracity of information submitted to the main site (though it is admittedly time consuming), things get much more complicated when it comes to the moderation of the inherently subjective nature of user reviews. In the end, it is ultimately impossible for our staff to moderate user-submitted reviews in a way that reflects the Metal Archives' devotion to neutrality. Our increasingly strict guidelines and rules for user reviews often served as a barrier to entry for beginner writers and for those for whom English is a second language. In addition, we do not want our staff spending valuable time moderating an often contentious review queue when they could be working to help keep our database complete and accurate.
With these things in mind, we will, from this point forward, no longer be moderating user submitted reviews before they are posted to the site. All reviews will be automatically accepted. To prevent point abuse, users will no longer be able to earn site points via user submitted reviews. We instead encourage those looking to contribute and increase their ranks to work on adding new information and, if user rank is high enough, working on the report queue.