Forum Rules and Guidelines

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Joined: March 27, 2002
Location: McKinney, TX

Post Post #0  (isolation #0)  » Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:06 pm

Please note that while this rules post is up-to-date, we intend to redo many of the rules to be clearer and more precise. Until that time, please also make sure to read This thread on Mafiascum Policy

Table of Contents
Game Specific Rules
Rules for Mafia Players
Rules for Mafia Game Moderators
Universal Site Rules
General Site Rules
Site Chat Rules

All Rules are Subject to Change.

Game Specific Rules

Rules for Mafia PlayersThe following list defines our standards of conduct for players of mafia games on this site. Violations of any of these standards will result in action from the moderation team, such as force replacement, warnings, and temporary or permanent bans from joining or playing mafia games. Infractions related to game integrity may result in a modkill when the list moderators determine that the slot has been compromised. Mafia games on this site typically include a section with rules specific to each game, but these sitewide mafia rules always apply. A game moderator may supersede some of these rules, but only after obtaining list moderator approval.
  1. Play to win the game. If you feel you cannot do this for any reason, you should replace out.
  2. Do not attempt to play the same game under more than one account.
  3. Do not play a game without reading your role PM.
  4. Do not bring out-of-game influences into the game - this includes trust tells, threats, bribes, wagers, promises, alliances, etc. This also includes exploiting the site or game rules to gain an in-game advantage. See this thread for more information.
  5. Players have a duty to report to game moderators and/or list moderators when they have acquired information that other players could not reasonably have acquired and that was not required to be provided to them by the setup, even if this information came from a game moderator or other player's mistake. This is included in this thread.
  6. Replacements are an unavoidable out-of-game influence. To minimize the impact of replacements on game integrity, do not tell other players to replace out. Do not publicly consider or publicly announce a choice to replace out. PM your game moderator if you are considering replacing out or have concerns and believe another player should be replaced. Once you have requested to replace out, you are no longer a player in that game. More information on this rule can be found here.
  7. Do not post in a game if you are not currently a living player in the game. Game moderators may provide exceptions to this rule without list moderator approval.
  8. Do not talk about ongoing games except in the game thread and private topics that are associated with the game as provided by your game moderator. More information on this rule can be found here.
  9. Do not take any action that attempts to prove the existence of private game communications. You are allowed to claim that these communications exist as long as you do not attempt to provide evidence. See here for more information on this rule.
  10. Do not use cryptography, invisible text, or otherwise take any action that attempts to create an in-game private communication channel in plain sight using out-of-game information or agreements to communicate with some but not all players in a mafia game. You are allowed to provide "breadcrumbs" or crumb, as long as anyone could reasonably understand and interpret the meaning. You are allowed to create in-game communications if you are using information or agreements produced within the same game - for example, if you agree on a code in a game-related PT. Using references to information or agreements produced outside of the game that you know only specific people will be able to understand is not allowed.
  11. Do not use scripts or software to hide the contents of other players' posts.
  12. Do not take any action that attempts to prove the use of randomization in your game-related actions. This includes pictures, screenshots, and using or quoting dice tags. You are allowed to claim to have generated a random value as long as you do not attempt to provide evidence.
  13. Do not edit or delete posts if you have the ability to do so.
  14. Since Mafia is based largely on conflict and psychological manipulation, we are somewhat more tolerant of aggressive and heated posts in-game than in the rest of the forums. However, game mods will often take action for excessively abusive behavior or slurs, up to and including being force replaced. In certain cases, posters with multiple or severe offenses may receive sitewide punishments from the list moderators, such as temporary or permanent bans from joining or playing games.
  15. For many years, the word “lynch” was used to describe the person who was voted out by town in a mafia game. We no longer allow this word to be used.
  16. Pretending to break a rule will be treated as if the rule was broken.

Any concerns regarding rule-breaking in ongoing games should be privately brought to the game moderator or a list moderator. Any public discussion of rule-breaking in ongoing games, even within the game itself, will be considered the use of an out-of-game influence and treated accordingly.

Rules for Mafia Game ModeratorsThe following list defines our standards of conduct for moderators of mafia games on this site. Violations of any of these standards will result in action from the moderation team, such as revoking moderation experience for the purpose of queue requirements, requiring co-moderators, and being banned from moderating mafia games. A game moderator may supersede some of these rules, but only after obtaining list moderator approval.
  1. Game moderators are responsible for ensuring each game they run will be run to completion, preferably by the game moderator, but by someone else if that is not possible. Game moderators are expected to provide all necessary information to continue running the game to a backup moderator or list moderator in the event they cannot finish moderating the game.
  2. Game moderators have a responsibility to use flavor and describe their mechanics in a way that creates a safe environment and respects everyone. Due to mafia's unfortunate legacy, the most common way this responsibility is failed is by moderating a game in which players are "lynched." We no longer allow this word to be used by game moderators.
  3. Game moderators are expected to prioritize the integrity of their game and the general site rules, and take action as needed to uphold both. This includes force replacing players who discuss ongoing games, warning or force replacing players who violate our general site rules, consulting list moderators for modkills when a player slot is compromised, etc. Game moderators are also expected to notify a list moderator or report relevant posts when an infraction occurs, so that list moderators can determine if additional action is appropriate.
  4. Game moderators are expected to consult with a list moderator if they need to make a major decision that impacts the game, such as resolving a moderation error or ending the game prematurely.
  5. Game moderators may not modkill a player without obtaining list moderator approval. List moderator approval is typically granted when a player slot has been compromised. See more information on this rule here.
  6. Game moderators generally have discretion over their playerlists within reason, with the exception of the Newbie Queue.
  7. Game moderators may force replace at their discretion, using their judgment regarding site and game-specific rules.
  8. Game moderators have discretion over selecting replacements, including reaching out to specific players and deciding which players to accept or reject as replacements. When seeking replacements, game moderators may not inform a potential replacement of the slot's role before they replace in or select a specific person to replace based on the role of the vacant slot.
  9. Game moderators may not use individual users of the site as flavor in the game without obtaining list moderator approval and review of the text.
  10. Game moderators must ensure that players have read their role PMs before participating in the game. Best practice for this typically requires players to confirm their role and alignment via PM.
  11. Game moderators are expected to provide votecounts at least as frequently as the prod timer for their game and provide timely updates as needed (e.g. flips, phases, replacement announcements, etc.), or ensure that a backup moderator or co-moderator can fulfill this expectation.
  12. Game moderators are expected to exercise due care and diligence when performing moderation-related tasks such as votecounts, action resolution, etc. and keep errors to a minimum.
  13. Game moderators are expected to keep their game thread OP up to date, including a list of currently alive players and records of replacements for all slots.
  14. When the setup is required to be reviewed to fulfill queue requirements, the reviewer must approve of the final setup and role PMs.
  15. Game moderators may not unduly influence the game - this includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Giving game advice to players in private threads
    2. Excessively bantering with players
    3. Providing information about the setup that players should not have, or refusing to provide information about the setup that players should have
    4. Providing setup information only to some players and not others when this is not directly necessitated by the game setup/mechanics/roles (more information about this specific clause is included here)
    5. Addressing misunderstandings of the setup without being directly asked
    In general, it is recommended that game moderators refrain from posting in their game threads unless it is directly related to a game moderator task (votecounts, flips, replacement posts, and other game-related announcements) or unless directly asked about the game by a player. In particular, responding to posts unprompted can influence the game if players speculate on why some posts were responded to but not others.

    The exception to this rule is if a game is declared bastard when queueing the game. The setup reviewer must be aware of and approve of any ways in which the game moderator will influence the game.
  16. Game moderators may not use nonrandom methods of role and alignment assignment at the start of the game. The use of nonrandom methods must be indicated by declaring a game as bastard when queueing the game and must be included in the setup review.
  17. Game moderators may not lie to players unless it can be reasonably anticipated or is necessitated by the game setup, mechanics, or roles. The presence of lies that cannot be reasonably anticipated must be indicated by declaring a game as bastard when queueing the game and must be included in the setup review.
  18. Game moderators may not supersede any rules for mafia game moderators or players without list moderator approval, unless specified that the rule does not require list moderator approval.

Universal Site Rules
The following will not be tolerated anywhere on the site.

Universal Site RulesProhibited Actions
  1. Spam and Advertisement - Unsolicited messages with the intent to sell something or mislead users. This includes unsolicited links to other Mafia-specific sites. Threads and series of posts that are no or low content may also be considered spam.
  2. Copyright Infringement - The use of some copyright material is acceptable under fair use. Do not link to or provide pirated media (copyrighted video, music, etc.) without the permission of the copyright holder.
  3. Malware
  4. Anything Else Illegal
  5. Posting information about a user without their permission, or any contact details posted about a minor without their guardian's permission
  6. Posting particularly gory or otherwise disturbing images (at the discretion of the forum moderators) - Links to such material should include an appropriate warning (NSFW, for example) and should be spoilered.
  7. Posting or requesting sexually explicit pictures. Please see this post for more.
  8. Requesting sexually explicit pictures from other users
  9. Embedded images should be from a reputable source. If you are unsure, copy the image and reupload it to a trusted image hosting site such as tinypic, imgur, imageshack etc. Users are accountable for hotlinks that trigger malware warnings.
  10. Hiding your identity from the site administrators and moderators acting in their official capacity. Users should register their alternate accounts ("alts") as alts (here for help), and they should not register with fake emails, exclusively use proxies, or use other methods to hide their identity. Doing so will be reason in itself to remove you from the site. See here for more information.
  11. Do not ask or give your password to another user unless the account has specifically been set up to act as a hydra (i.e. a joint account).
  12. Do not post on behalf of a banned player. This is considered an attempt to circumvent a ban.
  13. If you feel you have been punished unfairly, you may appeal to Zoraster via PM.

Prohibited Expression of Viewpoints
This 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 or other humans rights atrocities.
  3. Assertions of the superiority or inferiority on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
  4. Advocating for systems such as slavery, Jim Crow, and apartheid.

General Site Rules

General Site Rules
Treat every user with a basic level of respect.

Basic Conduct
  1. Do not make any post or start any thread with the intent to insult or offend any other user on this site.
  2. Do not make any post or start any thread that abuses or harasses another user.
  3. Certain forums have a specific purpose (Mafia Discussion, Site Ideas, Help!, News). Users posting there have a higher standard of conduct expected of them.

Specific Conduct
  1. Derogatory language or slurs, including but not limited to language that is particularly offensive to a group of people (e.g. a race, gender, sexual orientation, disability), may be moderated depending on context. Using language or images that use race, gender, sexual orientation or disability to insult or offend is not permitted.
  2. Signatures and avatars will be held to a higher standard and must follow all rules. Thread titles will also be held to a higher standard.
  3. Post appropriately to the thread and the forum you are posting in. For example, do not troll or repeatedly post off topic posts in a serious thread. Do not post 'adult' content outside of the Speakeasy.
  4. Testing the boundaries of the rules to see what you can get away with will likely result in moderator action.
  5. Playing Mafia outside the Mafia Forums is prohibited.
  6. These rules apply to Site Chat and Discord as well, with the exception that Mafia may be played in Site Chat rooms other than the Lobby. Do not post 'adult' content in Site Chat.
  7. Users should make every effort to address people in accordance with their stated gender identity. Mistakes are natural, but unwillingness to try or do better will be construed as creating a hostile space for trans and non-binary users.
  8. Advocacy or the incitement of violence against others, even jokingly, is not allowed.
  9. Discussing or advocating the sexual depiction of minors in any context, including fictional, is prohibited. This restriction does not apply to discussion about victims of assault. We encourage content warnings and spoilers for such discussions.
  10. 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.
  11. Any user that is made uncomfortable by another user's flirting or casual advances may ask another user to stop or ask a discussion moderator to ask another user to stop. If you are asked, you must do so.
  12. Another user breaking these rules does not justify breaking the rules yourself.
  13. Other content may be inappropriate and will be acted on at the discretion of the moderators.

Moderator Action
  1. If you feel someone has crossed the line with regards to these rules, use the Report button (the Image button found on the upper right-hand portion of each post and PM).
  2. Moderators will view all potential offenses both individually and within the context of other recent behavior. Posts that may not be individually over the line may be moderated when viewed as a whole.
  3. If you have an issue with a warning or ban given to you or another player, you are invited to start a dialogue with a Discussion Moderator by PM. Threads dedicated to bans (whether yours or someone else's) may be closed.
  4. Moderators will generally escalate their punishments the more a user violates rules. However, certain actions may be severe enough to warrant immediate harsher punishment.
  5. If you believe a moderator is abusing their power, you may PM Kison, Zoraster directly, but you should only do so after you have attempted to discuss the matter with the moderator in question by PM. If after speaking to the discussion moderator and Kison or Zoraster, you feel that you have still been treated unfairly, you may discuss it with mith.

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

Site ChatPreface
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.


AppealsIf you feel you have been incorrectly banned, please read this thread and then PM Zoraster. Indefinite bans may be appealed after one year.
Last edited by lilith2013 on Tue Mar 01, 2022 5:45 pm, edited 52 times in total.
Reason: Updated with new mafia rules

User avatar
Joined: March 27, 2002
Location: McKinney, TX

Post Post #1  (isolation #1)  » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:38 am

Hi, everyone.

I wrote this a while back, but I feel it is particularly appropriate today. So.

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.

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