Given the upswing in strife over the past several months, particularly in General Discussion, I have decided to post a "formal" list of rules and guidelines for acceptable content. Many of you were aware this was coming, and whatever your stance on this I want to thank you for your input (in particular Mr Stoofer, who drafted the first few versions of this).
These rules are not necessarily set in stone. If you have any comments or questions, a thread has been created for that purpose here.
However: Though some of the rules/guidelines may change in the future, until that time they apply. If you strongly disagree with something here, discuss it in the above thread - don't just ignore what you don't like.
Mafia Specific Rules
Breaking rules, not posting, or certain other behavior may result in a modkill or replacement in individual games; rules regarding this should be (and generally are) included up front by the moderator. Some rules apply to most games, and should be assumed to hold unless the moderator explicitly says otherwise. These are:
- Do not attempt to play the same game under more than one name.
- Do not bring outside influences into the game - this includes threats, bribes, wagers, promises, alliances, etc. Using knowledge from previous games is perfectly acceptable, but try not to carry grudges from one game to another.
- Do not talk outside the game thread about an ongoing game except where allowed to do so by your role. Likewise, do not use bbcode to hide secret messages - this equates to discussion outside the thread.
- Do not edit/delete posts.
- Do not quote communications with the moderator (in particular, your role PM). Paraphrasing is usually ok.
- Do not talk after you are dead or replaced. Some moderators do allow contentless "Bah!" posts, but you should never reveal information once you are dead.
- Play to win the game.
All disputes regarding an ongoing game should be taken to the moderator of the game by PM.
Moderators should never modkill or replace over personal issues; instead, the moderator should follow the rules set at the beginning of the game. If you feel the moderator is being unreasonable, you may contact the appropriate List Mod or a site administrator.
In some cases, actions taken with the intent of ruining a game may result in further action against the user, such as a limitation on the number of games that user can play, or a temporary or permanent ban.
General Site Rules
The following will not be tolerated, and will be deleted on sight:
- Spam - Unsolicited messages with the intent to sell something or mislead users. This includes unsolicited links to other Mafia specific sites.
- Copyright Infringement - The use of some copyright material is acceptable under fair use (for example, still images used in avatars). Making available copyrighted video, music, etc. without the express permission of the copyright holder is against the law. When in doubt, ask first.
- Anything Else Illegal
- Flooding (adding messages to many topics at once with no other purpose, or with malicious intent).
- Personal Details - Information posted about a user without his/her permission, or any contact details posted about a minor without his/her parents permission.
New accounts created for the purpose of any of the above will be deactived immediately. Depending on the severity, offenses from regular users may result in a warning or further action.
General Site Guidelines
The following are guidelines, not rules. In general, this is a very relaxed site when it comes to moderation. I don't like deleting things. But I like needing to delete things even less, so please keep in mind that the users of this site come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
- You should not make any post, or start any thread, with the intention of abusing, ridiculing, insulting, offending, or upsetting any other user on this site. Within a game, criticism of another player's play is acceptable - making it personal is not, and may result in action by the moderator of that game. Outside a game, determination of the intention of the poster will be made by mith, or someone appointed by mith.
- Most "swear" words are not banned. However, going out of your way to annoy or upset users who find certain words offensive falls under the previous guideline.
- Certain words which are particularly offensive to a group of people (by race, gender, sexual orientation, or mental capacity) may be deleted on sight depending on the context.
- Do not post particularly gory, sexually explicit, or otherwise "disturbing" images. Links to such material should include a warning (NSFW, for example).
- You should not start or post in threads which have as their main purpose "posting lots". (Pointless necros and quote pyramids will likely also be deleted on sight.)
- You should try to post appropriate to the thread you are posting in. The occasional off-topic joke is fine. If your sole contribution to a serious discussion is a string of jokes, you might want to consider finding another thread.
- Spoilers should be included in spoiler tags, and with a clear label of the content of the hidden text.
- Signatures should follow all the guidelines and rules that apply to posts. In addition, any reference to a user on this site should be removed immediately if that user asks you to.
This is not an all-inclusive list. Other content may be inappropriate. Use common sense.
If you feel someone has crossed the line with regards to these guidelines, PM mith (or a moderator appointed by mith). Reacting to an offensive/insulting post by responding in kind is not productive. Likewise, do not go around suggesting people should be banned. If you disagree with what someone says, either respond rationally, or respond privately - preferably both.
If mith (or a moderator appointed by mith) feels you are out of line, you may receive a warning. You can of course discuss such a warning in private, or even in public (within reason - for example, if a picture you post is deleted, don't start a thread with that picture in it asking if everyone else thinks the picture is ok). Repeated offenses - or in extreme cases, a single offense - may result in further action including temporary and permanent bans.
mith wrote:This is a privately owned website.
It has a list of rules and guidelines. I didn't want this list. I wanted users to act reasonably without requiring such a list. Instead, a small percentage of our users decided they would rather act like complete idiots - flaming, trolling, spamming, often with no other purpose than to push the line and annoy me personally.
So, we have rules. They weren't abritrarily thrown together. They were worded based on issues that had already come up, and issues that might come up. There's even a nifty clause that says, to paraphrase:
"No list of rules can possibly be complete. There are situations that will come up, which were either omitted because no one thought of them beforehand, or because I just thought no one could possibly be so stupid as to think something could possibly be acceptable, and mith reserves the right to take action as necessary."
This is not a democracy. This is not a site governed entirely by a list of rules, carved in stone and passed down from generation to generation. It is - once again - a privately owned site. When I send someone a warning, it is not an invitation to berate me or anyone else, nor tell me that I don't have the right, the justification to send such a warning. I am a reasonable guy - if you disagree with a warning you receive, you are more than welcome to discuss it in a reasonable manner. But if the only justification you can come up with for your behavior is a perceived loophole - if you don't believe your action was ok in spirit, only by some sort of legal technicality - don't expect me to be moved by your arguments.