I - What is withholding?As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, withhold means “to hold back from action” and “to keep in custody”. It could also mean “to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing”.
Seeing this, we can safely deduce that withholding is NOT trashing or deleting, as many members on GameBanana tend to confuse. Withholding a submission simply means that it is breaking a certain rule on the site, and that it is being temporarily locked and held in custody, until the submission owner fixes the outstanding issues with this submission; Once these issues are fixed, the submission is un-withheld and released back to public.
The withhold action happens if a submission is flagged 4 times (automatic withhold) or if a game manager/moderator/administrator notices a submission is breaking the rules and decides to withhold it (manual withhold).
Get yourself familiar with the site rules on GameBanana by reading the general FAQ and the site rules.
II - What to do when my submission is withheld?Getting your submission withheld is not the end of the world, and it is certainly not because mods/admins are trying to intimidate and bully you; do not panic and follow these simple steps to fix your submission and get it un-withheld as soon as possible.
When you receive a notification that your submission was withheld, go to your submission page and click on the withhold reason to see why your submission was withheld.
There are many reasons for a submission to get locked; below are the most common ones as per the general rules of GameBanana:
DuplicationYou uploaded a submission that already exists on GameBanana.
Wrong category/ Wrong sectionYou uploaded the submission to the wrong category/section: for example, you might have uploaded a weapon model in the sprites section, or a Counter-Strike Source Zombie Mod map under Bomb/defuse category.
Corrupt archive/ Erroneous filesThe file you uploaded in your submission is either corrupt or wrong. For example, your zip/rar file is corrupt, and people who download your archive are not able to open it to extract the map/skin/model…; or you might have uploaded the wrong file (i.e. vmf instead of bsp for maps).
Poor English/ Non-EnglishSubmissions on GameBanana are English only; you can use your native tongue in studios or on your profile page but not in submissions. If you are not a fan of long descriptions or find it hard to write one in English, then try to include a small description (1 or 2 lines) in English to meet the rules. You can always use Google translator to help you translate your original description into English.
ShoutingDo not use CAPS LOCK while typing your description; it is considered rude and impolite towards viewers of your submission.
Spam/ AdvertisingDo not upload invalid submissions just to get points/attention or to be a general troll and disrupt the normal course of action on the site. For example, uploading an archive in the maps section containing only a screenshot is considered spam. Having submissions link to commercial/dubious websites is considered both advertising and spam.
PornographicSelf-explanatory; GameBanana does not allow porn on the site.
HackGameBanana does not allow illegal/hack/warez files to be submitted.
Improper creditsEither you did not include persons/entities that had an important role in your submission, or you wrongly filled in the credits section.
If you did not work by yourself on your submission and other persons helped/contributed to the final work, then you need to credit all the people who participated with you in the work. For example, if you only worked on the texturing of a model, then you need to credit the persons who worked on modeling, animating, compiling…. If you release a map that includes prefabs/models/sounds made by other people, then you need to include them in the credits too (obviously after asking for their permission to use their assets in your map). For sprays, whenever possible, you need to credit the author of the original photo that you edited and converted into a spray.
Another form of improper credits is when you do not include the key author in the credit. This is important as the search function on GameBanana uses the author/key author: including a wrong name or not including it at all means that your submission might not show in the search results. Write your username in the key author field (or the original author’s name in case you are the re-distributor). Do not write the submission's name as author and do not use non-decipherable characters instead of your username.
Credit theftYou are not allowed to submit other people’s work as yours. Uploading another person’s map or model, and claiming it is yours will get the submission withheld. In relation to the previous point of improper credits, not crediting people who contributed to your work is also considered credit theft.
Copyright InfringingYou are not allowed to submit copyrighted materials unless they are clearly listed on the porting whitelist. You are not allowed to submit models/sounds/maps… decompiled then recompiled from one game into another, unless the developer/publisher of the first game clearly allows for such action. For example, porting a model from Call of Duty to Team Fortress is not allowed since Activision does not allow porting of their games’ content; on the other side, porting a model from STALKER to Counter-Strike is perfectly acceptable since GSC Gameworld allows for such actions. Check the porting whitelist on GameBanana before submitting your work.
Lacking decent screenshotsSubmissions need to have at least 2 in-game screenshots from different angles/positions (the more, the better).
Lacking informationAs stated in the poor/no English section, you need to include, at least, a small description (1 or 2 lines) in English to meet the rules. Writing “12345” or “asdf” in the description is considered rude and shows a lack of interest from your side, in your submission and in your viewers. If you do not care about your submission, then no one will.
Abusive/ Inappropriate/ Racist/ SexistSelf-explanatory; you cannot submit content to abuse and rip on other members, organizations, religions, ethnicity, genders.
Once you identify the reason that got your submission withheld, you need to take the proper action to fix the rules-breaking issues with your submission.
Click on the green spanner button labeled “edit” on your submission's page and proceed to change/fix the parts in your submission that got it withheld:
- Move the submission to the correct category/section.
- Upload a new clean archive/correct file.
- Include an English description.
- Include proper credits for all people involved in your work. Write your username or the original creator’s name in the “key author” field.
- Include 2 or more screenshots covering different positions/angles.
- Rewrite your description in lowercase.
- Only delete/trash your submission if it includes spam, porn, hacks, copyrighted material, and abusive content. Failing to do so yourself will result in your submission being trashed by a mod/admin.
Once you perform all the necessary fixes to your submission, click on “save” at the bottom of the page, then go back to the unwithhold page and post a comment to notify the mod/admin about the changes you made. You could write something simple as “Finished fixing the submission; please review it”.
The mod/admin who withheld your submission will receive a notification once you post in the unwithhold page, and will proceed to review your submission. If all the fixes are correct and the submission is within the rules of GameBanana, then it will be un-withheld and released to public again, for other people to view and download.
Please note that it is also VERY important to have your notifications' configuration properly set in your profile settings. In some cases, the mod/admin might require further clarifications from your side after you post in the unwithhold conversation; in this case, the mod will also post in the same unwithhold page and will wait for your reply/clarification. If you don't have withhold notifications turned on, you will not be aware that the mod posted in the unwithhold page, and you will mistakenly think that you are being ignored.
Go to your profile settings' page, ON, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "save" button to confirm the changes.
Important Notice: Please note that withheld submissions will be trashed/removed from Gamebanana if not fixed within 2 months after the initial withhold date.
III - What NOT to do when my submission is withheld?As we mentioned earlier, getting your submission withheld is not the end of the world, and does not mean that your submission is deleted or trashed; it is simply locked until you fix some parts that are breaking the rules of GameBanana.
When your submission is withheld:
- Do not be passive or inactive and do nothing. If you don’t act and fix the submission, it will remain locked and people cannot access or download it.
- Do not trash your withheld submission and re-upload it again with the same errors/issues. This will not work as mods/admins will withhold/trash again this new submission, since it has all the flaws and issues of the original submission. Doing this several times on purpose will get you gagged (unable to post or submit), or in major cases, banned (account deleted from GameBanana).
- Be patient and wait for a moderator to unwithhold your submission (In case the corresponding moderator is offline when you post in the unwithhold page to notify him of the change). Resubmitting a withheld submission (whether you fix the problem or not) is not allowed. It's not your decision as whether your submission is ready to be unwithheld or not, it's up to a moderator to decide.
- Do not post in the mod/admin’s profile page asking why your submission was withheld. Do not also post in the profile page to ask for your submission to be unwithheld; this is not the correct place to post and not the correct way to do it.
- Do not try to harass/bad-mouth/trash-talk/abuse moderators and administrators. They are simply enforcing the rules of GameBanana to have a smooth operation site-wide; they are here to help you with the best they can. They are not trying to make your life miserable and they are not your enemies. Harassing staff members can lead to your account being banned.