Megapost of Rule Changes (Including Site Chat)

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zoraster
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:37 pm

This post contains numerous changes to the Site Rules on quite a few subjects. Hopefully this is the beginning of making things clearer for our users as well as our moderators. Some of these rule changes represent mere codification of previous practice. Some are wholesale changes in policy. With changes such as these, I anticipate a number of future revisions as we determine the practical effect of the rules. Please be patient.

It'll take me a bit to get these rules officially listed on the rules page, bear with me

Site ChatThese rules largely apply to the Lobby of Site Chat, but they may also be applied to other parts of Site Chat.

Preface
The Lobby of Site Chat differs from other parts of the site in that it is (a) immediate and (b) read by all. Any subject being discussed by a user is read by everyone. There is very little way to use Site Chat and not engage with whatever is being discussed in the Lobby. Therefore, Site Chat may be more closely monitored and moderated than other parts of the site.

Discussion Rules Generally Apply
Generally speaking, the rules found in the General Site Rules are applicable to Site Chat.

Adult Topics
  1. 18+ sexual content is prohibited from the Site Chat Lobby. Casual mentions are allowed, but please keep detailed explicit discussion in the The Speakeasy
  2. Do not post links to pornography.
  3. Discussions about drugs and alcohol are permitted.
  4. Discussions about how to accomplish illegal activity related to drugs and alcohol are not permitted.
  5. Any type of inappropriate contact between an adult and a minor (under 18 years old), including flirting, sexting, inviting them to a locked chatroom, etc. will result in severe action. Not being aware of a user's age is not an acceptable excuse for inappropriate contact with a minor.
  6. Any user that is made uncomfortable by another user's flirting or casual advances may ask another user to stop or ask a site chat moderator/discussion moderator to ask another user to stop. If you are asked, you must do so.

Speakeasy and Get to Know A Scummer Content
  1. The Speakeasy and GTKAS forums are designed to be semi-private and are not listed in search engines. Do not share personally identifying information found from either of these forums in Site Chat. This includes name and photos. When in doubt, ask the person you’re talking about privately first.
  2. Sharing links and discussing The Speakeasy/GTKAS generally are both acceptable.
  3. Please understand that The Speakeasy and GTKAS are very limited in the protection they provide and generally the Site Chat Moderators and Discussion Moderators do not exist to stop rumors, stories, etc. that originated in The Speakeasy/GTKAS.


Other Site Chat Rules
  1. Do not flood the chat.
  2. Site Chat Moderators and Discussion Moderator decisions stand. If you are asked to stop doing something, you must do so. If you have a problem with what has occurred, bring it to Papa Zito or Zoraster’s attention. The punishment for ignoring Site Chat Moderator and Discussion Moderator decisions may be more severe than the initial infractions.


Off Site GamesGames organized on site but run off site through an official process (e.g. Large Social Games) still must adhere to the Site’s General and Universal Rules.


Prohibited Expression of ViewpointsThis is a site that has a wide range of views. Generally speaking, as long as those views are expressed without intending to offend another person, harass another person, and are put in a civil manner, they are permitted. However, there are certain views that no matter how civilly put are not permitted. Please keep in mind that we are largely a North American based site, and the views we choose to specifically name are largely picked due to our own experiences. The absence of any particular view is not an indication we find those views acceptable (a great number of viewpoints we find odious are not specifically listed).

Please additionally note that this is in addition to all other rules regarding offensive, abusive, derogatory, and harassing language.

  1. Identification with white supremacists, white nationalists, nazis, or other hate groups.
  2. Denial or revisionism of The Holocaust.
  3. Assertions of the superiority on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
  4. Advocating for systems such as slavery, Jim Crow, and apartheid.


Internal PolicyThis is more of a summary of what we have discussed “behind the scenes.”

Reducing Punishments
We are looking to reduce the overall penalties people receive as punishment. The goal of our punishments are two-fold: (a) to try to get a user to stop a certain behavior and make it clear to them that the behavior is unacceptable (b) to deter others from doing that activity. We would almost always rather a user change their behavior rather than get banned.

In general, the moderators use a policy of escalating punishments. People who are banned for lengthy periods of time are almost always repeat offenders. However, as time has gone on, the amount of punishment used for non-repeat offenders has grown. We are attempting to reduce this somewhat.

Below are general guidelines for our moderators. They are not rules. You will not get anywhere arguing against a particular punishment because of them. But I provide this to give some transparency of process.

  1. More differentiation for offenses and whether a warning needs to be put in place before banning for a behavior. Please note that being a repeat offender who attempts to find new ways to offend will still result in increased punishment.
  2. Reduced punishments for first time bans. You’ll likely see more 7 day bans for users who haven’t been banned in the past rather than 14 or 30 day bans.
  3. Increased acknowledgment of time without any offenses. Please note that this isn’t just time between bans but rather time spent active on the site without bans.

One note about this: warnings will continue to largely be given privately. There are situations where a public warning or announcement of a warning may be given, but generally warnings are given privately.

Last note on this topic: The severity of a ban is not usually about how problematic any individual offense is. Someone who regularly violates the rules will often get a more severe ban than someone who rarely does but made a particularly bad post. If you are determining how much a user should have been punished based on how bad the offense was, you are likely not applying the same analysis that the moderators are directed (by me) to apply.
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