Following the abolition of the Local Council, it is the responsibility of the moderation team, as delegated by the administration team, to establish rules and appoint moderators for the RMB. We have now concluded that process and are submitting an updated copy of the Community Standards to the Assembly for public comment for one week, per Article XI(3) of the Charter.
The full set of the Community Standards after these revisions is found below the dividing line. A summary of the changes is:
- an RMB-specific “appendix” to the community standards was added
- procedures for appointing, and accountability structures for, the RMB Moderators were outlined
- the initial team of RMB moderators is listed below (this list is not itself a part of the Community Standards, but we have historically listed our moderators in the Community Standards for ease of access, and so they are listed here). These appointments were made after taking open applications and nominations from community members and the process was overseen by myself and @penguin. These appointments will take effect after the Community Standards themselves are official.
- the existing Rules of Bantam Harbor appendix to the Community Standards from the old forum has been migrated over to the current standards. “A Note on Anti-Semitism” was not.
- guidelines for punishments and providing additional education in the event of discriminatory or offensive content being posted by a player has been added
Please let us know if there are any thoughts!
Principally, our community standards cover all interactions related to or originated from TSP’s official off-site property, including our forums and Discord servers. This includes private/direct messages. Interactions on unrelated websites or services will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We’re Not All Adults Here
We want our community to be accessible to anybody who is allowed to play NationStates. This means we’re not an adults-only community. Everybody is expected to behave as they would in a setting with minors as young as 13.
We’ve had serious problems in the past with people going overboard with incivility, and creating an environment nobody wants to play in. This is a political game, so there will be fighting and arguing. But to keep the game somewhere people want to be, over-the-top hostility will be dealt with swiftly.
The idea of there being different “realms” of behavior is strange and some people have difficulty understanding it. “IC” stands for “in-character” and refers to behavior expressed in the game itself— debating laws, criticizing political campaigns, etc. “OOC” is “out-of-character” and is basically when we’re talking about the actual people behind the nations names and Discord handles. You can’t avoid punishment by claiming your constant insults are IC. While we handle IC and OOC behavior differently, at the end of the day we’re all actual human beings, and you-the-person-at-the-keyboard are expected to follow the rules no matter what role you see yourself in.
Use Common Sense
This should be self-explanatory. Use your common sense, don’t be the person to cause trouble, and always remember to attack the argument rather than the player making it.
Advertising/Spamming: Whether you’re a bot or a well-intentioned player just wanting to grow their own region, both of these things will likely earn you a permanent insta-ban.
Offensive Material: To maintain a friendly and welcoming community, we do not allow certain types of material:
Do not post anything would not be allowed in a PG-13 movie.
Mild swearing may be tolerated — if it’s for the rhetoric, it’s fine, but if it’s simply to be edgy, it’s not.
Material that is discriminatory based on race, sex, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or appearance.
Material that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.
Material that espouses political or ideological views that are hateful, extremist, or radical. This includes, but is not limited to, Antisemitism, neo-Nazism, neo-Confederate views, white supremacy, fascism, xenophobia, nativism, and alt-right views.
Explicit Material: Once again, see We’re Not All Adults Here. Erotic roleplay, sharing pornographic or overly suggestive material, sending nudes, cybersexing, or excessive public displays of affection are forbidden on all offsite property regulated by TSP and will likely lead to an immediate permanent ban. Sexuality should be avoided entirely and may at most be mildly hinted, but anything explicit or excessive will result in a proportional moderation response.
Flaming: Hostile and insulting behavior against another player, particularly based in personal attacks, is unwelcome in our community. Depending on the severity, you could be banned. Being in-character does not excuse anybody from this rule. Erudite slams while maintaining a veneer of politeness can also be considered flaming.
Flamebaiting: Posts that are made with the aim of angering someone indirectly. Not outright flame, but still liable to bring angry replies. Flame baiting is a far more subtle and covert action; it is an underhanded tactic that is designed to provoke a response from another player. It’s in the same context of trolling but with flamebaiting it’s just the one person. Also included under flamebaiting is malicious quote editing, changing the contents of a quoted post without showing the original text, either through color changes or strike-out.
Trolling: Posts that are made with the aim of soliciting an angry response from the general community, or to mess with the community for their own amusement, and any other bad-faith content that a poster knows will be annoying, start a fight, etc.
Privacy violation: Players on NationStates have a reasonable expectation that their privacy will be respected. It is not permitted to post or otherwise share another player’s personally-identifying information (i.e. social media accounts, IP addresses, postal addresses, E-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc.), and neither is it permitted to post or share information that may not be identifying but is nonetheless of a personal nature (i.e. medical history, relationship status, etc.). The only exception is if the player in question has shared that information themselves and does not mind its dissemination.
Threadjacking: Please do not threadjack or post off-topic comments. While discussions will naturally drift from the original topic from time to time, excessive off-topic comments and threadjacking will be addressed by moderators. If you feel a thread is being threadjacked, please report it, rather than arguing about whether or not the thread is being hijacked. This rule does apply to Discord as well — while the real-time nature of that platform inherently leads to a much more fluid transition between varied topics, don’t obnoxiously barge into an existing topic and try to keep each conversation in an appropriate channel.
False Accusations of Misconduct: Making a claim of serious OOC misconduct (e.g. bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, etc.) against someone else, without providing evidence to moderation/administration, is considered malicious harassment. It will result in an exceptionally long ban. This applies anywhere, not just on our forums and Discord server.
Bullying: This is a form of harassment and will not be accepted in our community. Bullying is any long-term targeted flaming, flamebaiting, or over-the-top attacking of somebody based on your dislike of them personally. Being a longtime political opponent of somebody isn’t bullying, but if it crosses into the territory of regular personal attacks, it may be considered bullying. This is another rule where you can’t claim exclusion by being in-character.
Warnings & Punishment
For any violation of the rules, you will receive one and only one warning, across all of our platforms. If you break another rule, you will face punishment. Depending on the severity of your rulebreaking, you may find yourself unable to post or you’ll be banned completely (temporarily or permanently). Bans may apply to the forum and the Discord server. Particularly egregious misconduct will be punished directly without a warning first.
For content which is discriminatory, offensive, or which endorses fascism, users will receive a warning at first if it is likely that their comments were due to misinformation, propaganda, or lack of awareness rather than explicit discriminatory intent. When such a warning is given, the moderation team will ensure the person is given access to educational materials and an opportunity to ask any questions. If someone demonstrates they refuse to learn from these efforts, or if someone’s discriminatory content was posted out of active malice, they will receive a ban.
A Note on Adult Interactions
Over the years, we’ve run into the problem of people not quite understanding the meaning of consent or what a healthy adult relationship looks like. However, we are cognizant of the social aspects of the game as well as human nature, and realize that relationships between players will inevitably develop, and whilst these are not against our rules, they are strongly discouraged. NationStates is a political simulator, not a dating service. If a relationship does develop in spite of this, we demand that the following basic standards are met:
Do not use TSP offsite property to conduct your relationship. Again, NationStates is NOT a dating service.
We expect any relationships to be consensual and emotionally healthy. Should we suspect otherwise, action may be taken.
Relationships between adults and minors are explicitly forbidden, and it is your responsibility to confirm the age of a player before entering into a relationship.
Your relationship does not absolve you of the rules toward each other or any other players.
Private areas where adult issues may be openly discussed may be created on offsite property regulated by TSP, and in these areas, the PG-13 standard does not apply, however even in such areas, any explicit graphic or auditory content is still strictly forbidden. Access to these areas is strictly regulated, and limited to players for which we have a very reasonable assurance that they are eighteen years of age or older.
We have a legal duty to our users, and the Senior Moderation team investigates any concerns we have about vulnerable adults and children. Due to the nature of NationStates we are primarily concerned about sexual abuse and exploitation, emotional abuse, and extremism and radicalization. If we have have reason to suspect that a vulnerable user is at risk, either from a fellow user or from someone they know in real life, we will conduct a confidential investigation. If necessary we will refer the matter to the appropriate legal authorities.
If you feel you or anyone else is affected, you can at any time privately contact a Senior Moderator you trust, or contact the team privately, confidentially, and (if desired) anonymously via firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we claim no jurisdiction over offsite property regulated by others, if we become aware of actions or behavior on your part that we consider to break our safeguarding policies we will take preventive action to limit your access to our community.
NationStates rules and our Community Standards also apply to the Regional Message Board, but the RMB has some additional rules that are specific to the platform.
- Spamming is prohibited. This means avoid meaningless or unnecessary, repetitive, or single word/emoji posts. Don’t post three or more times in a row and use spoilers or “~snip~” quotes when quoting a long or rulebreaking post. If you’re quoting a post that tags people, take out the tags (often surrounded by [nation][nation] code). Avoid “gravedigging”, or quoting/responding to very old posts from long past conversations.
- Posts must be in English or include an English translation. Some leeway may be given on greetings or common expressions.
- Endorsement requests and region advertisements are prohibited. Information about how to exchange endorsements can be found in the SWAN dispatches.
- Roleplay guidelines: RP is permitted on the RMB as long as it complies with other rules and does not clog the RMB. If RP starts to clog the RMB, we may ask you to move to Knowhere.
The RMB moderator team will be directly managed by a Senior RMB Moderator but is accountable to the off-site moderation team. A Senior Moderator will be assigned as the contact point for the RMB moderation team. Currently, that Senior Moderator is @Amerion.
Moderators are trusted individuals responsible for enforcing our community rules. They are granted access to relevant moderation tools on all official off-site platforms of the South Pacific. The Moderation team will consist of two tiers: Senior Moderators and Junior Moderators.
Junior Moderators are appointed by the Senior moderator team through a process of their choosing. Officials of the Coalition of the South Pacific will be considered Junior Moderators ex officio, but will only receive moderation access over those areas related to their office’s duties, and only for as long as they hold that office. Junior Moderators can be suspended or dismissed by the Senior Moderator team (this includes ex officio Moderators).
Senior Moderators may appoint an individual that has served as an active appointed Junior moderator for ten consecutive months, or has served at least 12 non-consecutive months as ex officio Junior Moderator, to be a Senior Moderator. The Senior Moderators may dismiss one of their own through a vote.
By default, Moderators only have moderation access in those areas where they would otherwise be permitted to read and post anyway. They will not be granted additional viewing or posting privileges through their moderator status, except for explicitly moderation-related forums or channels. However, all areas, no matter how restricted or hidden, are subject to our community rules, and therefore Senior Moderators may be temporarily granted view access to an area otherwise restricted to them for the purposes of investigating a report or an appeal.
Any case that involves personally identifiable or otherwise real-life sensitive information will be handled by Senior Moderators only. If necessary, they will coordinate with Administration to receive technical information such as IP address and email addresses. Junior Moderators will not be granted access to information not otherwise visible, though Senior Moderators may be granted access to these by default at Administration’s discretion.
All appeals of a Moderator action will be heard by all uninvolved Senior Moderators. These appeals are final; however, in cases of Moderator misconduct only, there may be one additional appeal made to the Administration team.
Who are the moderators?
The About page contains a list of staff, but not all people listed there are moderators for rules-enforcement purposes. For example, members of the Legislator Committee are given the a staff role because of the requirements to vet applicants, but are not members of the official Moderator Team.
Note: When reporting a topic, post, or private message, please use the forum’s built-in reporting features rather than messaging or tagging individual moderators.
|@Amerion||Amerion#9702||Senior Moderator (and RMB Team Contact)|
|@Roavin||Roavin#5410||Admin & Senior Moderator|
|Drystar||Drystar#5371||Senior RMB Moderator|
|Concrete Slab||Concrete Slab#8764||RMB Moderator|
|Canadian Dominion||Canadian goose#3817||RMB Moderator|
Rules of Bantam Harbor
Given problems among posters due to the separation between IC and OOC and the length and detail of some posts, here are some simple rules that everyone is encouraged to follow, in order to keep Bantam Harbour a friendly and enjoyable place for our roleplaying:
Our Community Standards are the main source of moderation, and should always be consulted when posting.
- It is the right of the original poster to establish rules over their roleplay regarding the following:
- Use of one-liners
- OOC posts or establishment of a separate OOC thread
- Restricting participation to certain users
- Posts that break thread rules may be removed upon request.
What does this mean? It means that the person who creates a thread has the right to decide the conditions under which their roleplay is held, without different people arguing over the appropriateness of one-liners or the necessity of separate IC and OOC threads. Forum Moderation will honour the wishes of the OP, removing posts that break the rules they establish for their own threads.