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Site Rules - Effective from 21 February 2014

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:42
by rick.leeds
THESE RULES HAVE NOW BEEN REPLACED BY THE RULES FOUND HERE.

This thread contains rules for using PlayDiplomacy.com and the Forum.

It DOES NOT contain the site's House Rules governing playing games on the games site. These are posted in the accompanying sub-forum which is linked to below, as well as individual posts in that thread.

Site Rules links are also provided to different posts within this thread.

INTRODUCTION
The Site Rules state what rules govern using PlayDiplomacy.com, the games site and the Forum. They are in different sections and each section will have its own post:
A. Using the Games Site.
B. User Agreement.
C. Chatbox.
D. Forum Rules and Guidelines.
E. Reporting Abuse.
F. Dealing with Cyber-bullying.
Addenda.

HOUSE RULES
Links to sections on the rules for playing on the games site:
A. General Rules.
B. Variant-specific Rules.
C. Game Categories - Rank, No Rank, Friends and Schools Games.
D. Separation of Games from the Forum.
E. Deadlocked Games.
F. Appealing a Decision.
Addenda.

ETHOS
The driving force behind these rules is the concept of respect. This is a games site; it should be a place where members can play games, whether Dip, its variants or the other games organised on the Forums, without dealing with personal abuse or hatred. On the other hand this is a games site - and specifically for the game of Diplomacy, which is not necessarily a game built around politeness.

The Site Rules, therefore, seek to balance an ethos of respect with an acknowledgement of the nature of the game.

The site and its management reserve the right to enforce these rules and sanction any member who breaks them irrespective of whether the individual(s) concerned agree(s) with or accepts these rules, whatever the status of the member’s account.

HOW MODERATORS REACH THEIR DECISIONS
Whilst the circumstances of any moderator involvement vary Moderators will examine all the evidence available and may contact members to clarify points. Site management are committed to dealing with each issue fairly and impartially. Should they feel that their impartiality is questionable, a Mod will refer the issue to another member of the team. They will also seek a second opinion or consensus amongst the team if they are unsure of what, if any, action needs to be taken.

Moderators and Investigators have been given the freedom to act within certain guidelines. Any decision will be a balanced one, depending upon the circumstances.

SITE RULES MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND MODIFICATION AT ANY TIME.

A. USING THE GAMES SITE.

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:45
by rick.leeds
1. Inappropriate usernames. Any account which has a username which is deemed, in the opinion of site management, to be inappropriate will be disabled and removed from games. Definitions of "Inappropropriate" include:
- Sexually explicit content;
- Racially abusive content;
- Content which is abusive towards sexuality, sexual orientation or gender;
- Content which is explicitly obscene or profane;
- Content that references illegal acts.
Such accounts will be disabled and permanently banned from the Forum. No appeal.

2. False or temporary email addresses.
The site requires that members use an email address at which they can be contacted. This is because, in some circumstances, management may need to contact members to help conclude an investigation into possible cheating or site rules infringements. If there is no reply to a request for information within a reasonable period, with "reasonable period" being deemed by the investigating member of management, the accounts associated with an email address are liable to being disabled and permanently banned from the Forum after a period for appeal.

3. Posting inappropriate content in Public Press is not allowed. Inappropriate content includes:
- Racism;
- Overtly sexual material;
- Comments which express hatred towards sexual orientation;
- Threats that are linked to actions, off-site or on;
- Extreme profanity (especially when targeted at other players);
- Posting other people’s personal information;
- Spamming;
- Advertising;
- Discussing cheating or possible cheating involving active players in the game.
Reported posts which meet the above criteria, including images, GIFs and links to sites which reflect inappropriate content, will be removed. If necessary, or for repeated offences, players will be warned, may be removed from the game and, in extreme cases, accounts may be disabled and permanently banned from the Forum.
NB1: Casual obscenity will not be acted upon.
NB2: Posts which contain illegal material (eg child pornography) will lead to an immediate and permanent ban from the site.


4. Advertising.
Advertising is not allowed anywhere on site without the permission of Administrators. Any adverts will be removed, wherever they are, and accounts disabled and permanently banned from the Forum following a period allowed for appeal.

5. Any other actions which the management feel is harmful to the site, including (but not exclusive to) phishing for members’ account information or blagging, maliciously impersonating other members or site management, and hacking another member’s account. This will be acted on appropriately.

B. USER AGREEMENT

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:49
by rick.leeds
When registering on the site, new users accept the following user agreement:
I promise that I will not play more than one account.
I promise I will not communicate in games outside of the game mechanisms.
I promise I will not ally based on who I know in the game.
I promise I will not carry grudges across games.


This thread is to explain these conditions.

I promise that I will not play more than one account.
This is Multiple Accounting or, when the accounts are used in the SAME game, Multi-accounting. It is worth pointing out - because I have had players tell me "I thought it meant only in the same game" - that the site rules are that one site member must use ONLY ONE ACCOUNT. This isn't ambiguous in the agreement - players agree to "not play more than one account".

I promise I will not ally based on who I know in the game.

I promise I will not carry grudges across games.
These two are very basic examples of meta-gaming, which is clearly unfair and regarded as cheating on this site.

I promise I will not communicate in games outside of the game mechanisms.
This is extremely difficult to monitor. It is important, however, that players communicate using the game mechanisms.

Should Moderators or Investigators be looking into a game for possible cheating, we look at the messages sent between the accounts involved. If there are no messages, or if there are very few messages, this WILL be taken as corroborating evidence. Players are EXPECTED to communicate using the in-game mechanisms.

A lack of messages will not be taken as key evidence on its own. However, if there is evidence suggesting probable cheating and messages between the accounts cannot be used to discount cheating – because there is a lack of messages – this will add to the evidence already seen.

Whilst we cannot monitor communication outside of the game, WE WILL USE A LACK OF MESSAGES INSIDE THE GAME AS CORROBORATING EVIDENCE.

Which games does this agreement apply to?
Friends and Schools games are not routinely investigated for cheating unless they are connected to an investigation involving other games. We anticipate players in Friends and Schools games will see each other outside the game and may communicate outside the game! Players ARE expected to play by the House Rules and the agreement in all Ranked and No Rank games.
(See: Game Categories under HOUSE RULES.)

What does this mean for Live games?
We recognise that a number of Live games may use the site’s associated Chat Box tab for communications. If this is the case, and a Live game is investigated, this will be taken into account.

See: the full HOUSE RULES here.

C. CHATBOX

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:51
by rick.leeds
These rules refer to the site Chatbox.

1. Do not use obscene or profane language (swearing, cursing, whatever you want to call it).

2. Do not use language which refers to sexual acts.

3. Do not use language or content which is racially abusive or abusive towards sexuality, sexual orientation or gender.

4. Do not refer to acts such as drug use which are considered illegal in many jurisdictions.

5. Do not threaten, bully or abuse other members.

6. Do not use the Chatbox to comment on active games.

7. Do not use the Chatbox to accuse members of cheating, to report possible cheating or report possible bugs. Go to the Forum for that.

8. Do not post other people's personal information. (And it makes sense not to post your own!)

9. Do not spam, troll or flame in Chatbox. All advertising is banned.

10. Do not use Chatbox to complain about members, or about decisions or actions taken by site management.

Breaking these rules will mean you will have access to Chatbox removed.

D. FORUM RULES AND GUIDELINES

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:53
by rick.leeds
The Forum is a place for discussion, debate and banter which is open to all to take part in. The community we have here is great. There’s wit, wisdom and a wealth of worthwhile words. If you’re new to the site or new to the Forum, or even if you’ve been here for a while, have a browse through it – maybe the places you don’t normally go – and enjoy it. If you haven’t already, take a peek at The New Members' Guide to the Forum.

Forum Moderation
Moderators will act only when they feel it is necessary. In this the guiding principles are enjoyment, respect and community protection.
Enjoyment: Every member should be able to enjoy their time on site and in the Forum and we aim to make this a positive experience for everyone.
Respect: The views and practices of every member should be respected. By all means, disagree, but don't be personally abusive.
Community protection: It follows that members of the Forum community should feel that they are protected from personal abuse in the Forum. However, Mods may take the view that posts which one member feels are offensive may not be offensive in general and protecting the community also means protecting the integrity of Forum debate.

As such we have come up with some guidelines on Forum “etiquette” which we encourage everyone to follow.

General Posting
When responding to a thread posts should be “on topic”. There is always room for witticism, of course, but posts that bear no relation to the topic are likely to be removed. The following is a list of examples of types of posts that may lead to moderator action:

(a) Spam has a number of forms. Here it is taken to include posts that are generally meaningless in the context of the thread and posts which deliberately take a thread away from the stated topic in order to promote a personal agenda. Posts deemed as spam will be removed.
(b) Raising post count. Members should not simply post to raise their post count. Posts such as these are likely to removed.
(c) Antagonistic posts (trolling/flaming) will be removed. These are posts which moderators feel have been made deliberately to evoke a reaction with no other valid reason.
(d) Advertising is not allowed without the prior agreement of site management. Whether the advertising is for another Diplomacy site, another game site or other products, posts deemed to be adverts will be deleted and may earn the poster a permanent ban from the site.
(e) Personal abuse is not acceptable. Whilst members are free to disagree with other's opinions, abusing members personally will not be allowed. Any post that is personally abusive, where the person is attacked or otherwise abused, will be removed.
(f) Collective abuse is also not acceptable. This includes posts which are abusive racially or sexually, or are abusive towards sexual orientation.
(g) Duplicate posts/threads: Members should avoid duplicating a post; this includes duplicating a post in different threads. Should you do so unintentionally please delete the post or contact a Mod. Duplicate threads are subject to being merged, closed or deleted.
(h) Multiple accounts are not allowed on the Forum (as well as the games site). Should there be a need for a second account please seek permission from Admin; at present permission is ONLY considered for game-playing purposes in 'Other Forum Games' and only when those games require/would benefit from anonymity. Any authorised secondary account must only be used in the permitted sub-forum; if members inadvertently post elsewhere on the Forum with an authorised secondary account, they should contact a Mod. Using any secondary account on the Forum without permission is likely to lead to a Forum ban; any deliberate misuse of a permitted secondary account will lead to that account being deactivated and may lead to further action against the primary account.
(i) Profanity is not banned as we view the Forum as adult in context. However, posts which use excessive profanity will be subject to editing or deletion.
(j) 'Mature content' in graphic form (videos, images, gifs, etc) or links are subject to removal. In some circumstances game threads (for instance, in Other Forum Games) may contain material which may cause offence to some members; best practice for this is to advise members of the content.
(k) Private Messages (PMs). Privates Messages are just that - private. Members should deal with issues raised in PMs themselves and do so privately. Disputes in PMs should not be brought to the Forum in general.

Community action
If members of the community believe a post has broken these guidelines, they can:
(i) PM the poster, expressing their concern/opinion. It may be that the poster will be able to explain the context of the post to the satisfaction of the concerned member, edit the post or delete the post.
(ii) Report the post using the Forum system. This logs the report in the Moderator Control Panel and will receive the attention of a Mod. Members can give a reason as to why they feel the post requires moderation.
(iii) PM the HELP! group. This is not needed if a post is reported but may draw a Mod's attention more quickly to the post.

Moderator action
In deciding whether to act, Mods will take as objective a view as possible.
There are a number of actions that Mods may take if they think a post may contravene these guidelines:
(i) Contact the poster and ask for a review of the post. It is always preferable for members to review and edit posts themselves rather than Mods doing so.
(ii) Remove the post or parts within the post if the Mod feels the post is in need of moderation. This may lead to subsequent posts being carefully edited.
(iii) Issue a warning to the poster. Generally, warnings will be issued before further action is necessary. Warnings are issued on the Mod's discretion.
(iv) Ban a user from the Forum. Generally this will normally follow one or more warnings, although advertising will result in a permanent ban from the Forum and games site. Bans may range from a matter of hours to a permanent ban.
NB: this is NOT a hierarchy of actions. Mods will act as they feel is appropriate and a Mod's decision is final.

Section Specific Guidelines
Some forums have specific rules/guidelines attached to them.

Debates section
This is the place where some quite heavy and often personal discussions take place (as well as some lighter ones). As such, opinions expressed may be strong and personal, and therefore threads may include material which may lead to members’ opinions, beliefs, etc being strongly challenged. As such, members should be aware that in some circumstances Moderators will have a higher level of tolerance in this section than in most others. However, the general guidelines still stand. Spamming and advertising will be subject to the same degree of monitoring; personal abuse is not allowed; posts which are purely provocative in nature may be removed.

Where greater tolerance is exercised is in the area of what may be termed personal opinion. In this section players are encouraged to express a personal opinion. This may lead to some members feeling offended. If so, then there are a number of courses of action; amongst others a member might:
- Stop reading the thread;
- State your case, explaining your own point of view;
- Report the post(s).
The latter, of course, is always an option. BUT please consider the context of the post and discussion. Moderators will act on their own discretion. If a post is felt to be generally abusive, rather than stating a personal opinion, action may be taken.

In general
Before reporting a post which you feel requires moderation:
Anonymity
Members are encouraged to do all they can to maintain anonymity in games which are anonymous. This includes posting on the Forum. If you feel there may be a bug, or there may be cheating going on, PM the HELP! group rather than post in the respective sections of the Forum.
Taking offence
Please consider why you are offended. Mods are not going to act just because a member is offended at another member's opinions or viewpoint. The post will need to be demonstrably offensive, either personally or collectively (see above), rather than simply because a member is offended by it. Posts which express an opinion in context, which are on-topic and which are acceptable within a general area of relevance are unlikely to be moderated. Posts which offend an individual may not be seen as intrinsically or generally offensive.

Management, Administrators and Moderators reserve the right to edit or remove material from the Forum at their sole discretion, and to take appropriate punitive action.
Management reserve the right to update and alter these guidelines at any time.
Members posting in the Forum are held responsible for the content posted. PlayDiplomacy.com provides the medium and is not responsible for the content.


See: Site Rules for Playing Games on the Forum.

E. REPORTING ABUSE.

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:55
by rick.leeds
There are different places a member might be the target of abuse: Power-to-power messages in games, Public Press in games, on the open Forum and via Private Message.

Two of these are considered by site management as being in a public format - Public Press messages and on the Forum - and two as being in a private format - power-to-power messages and PMs.

When dealing with a report of abuse, the general principle is that:
If the message is in a public format, such as a Public Press post or a Forum post, management will consider moderation; if the message is in private format, such as an in-game, power-to-power message or a Private Message (PM) on the Forum, management will not normally consider action.

Reporting Public Press
This should be reported using the Report Inappropriate button in the Public Press box (there is no need to post anywhere else and this is the ONLY reason the button should be used). Moderators may act if the reported press contravenes the site's rules:
23. Posting inappropriate content in Public Press is not allowed. Inappropriate content includes:
- Racism;
- Overtly sexual material;
- Comments which express hatred towards sexual orientation;
- Threats that are linked to actions, off-site or on;
- Extreme profanity (especially when targeted at other players);
- Posting other people’s personal information;
- Spamming;
- Repeated accusations of cheating when this is not accompanied by a request to investigate the game in the Cheaters forum, or when the case has been cleared.
Reported posts which meet the above criteria, including images, GIFs and links to sites which reflect inappropriate content, will be removed. If necessary, or for repeated offences, players will be warned, may be removed from the game and, in extreme cases, may be banned.
NB1: Casual obscenity will not be acted upon.
NB2: Posts which contain illegal material (eg child pornography) may lead to an immediate ban from the site.
NB3: This relates ONLY to Public Press posts, not power-to-power messages.


Reporting a Forum post
This should be reported using the Report This Post button within the post (an inverted triangle with an exclamation mark ! inside). Moderators may act if the reported thread or post contravenes the Forum Rules and Guidelines.

Private communications - Power-to-Power messages and PMs
These will ONLY be considered for action if:
- the Moderator feels that the content may be classed as cyber-bullying as recognised by the site (see Dealing with Cyber-bullying). If the Mod feels it doesn't require action, then no action will be taken. Action on private communications will NOT be taken based only upon the recipient being offended by the communication.
- the content includes information that might be considered as evidence of cheating, when it will be investigated if appropriate. This should ideally be reported in the Cheater's Forum.
Private communications which DON'T match these two criteria should therefore be dealt with privately. The member who received the message may deal with it in any way s/he feels is appropriate, within site rules.

Should members feel it is appropriate to report this, they can contact the HELP! group via PM.

F. DEALING WITH CYBER-BULLYING.

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:57
by rick.leeds
Introduction.
Following some incidents of cyber-bullying, it has been decided to put in place guidelines on how to deal with, and how the site management will deal with, these incidents. Whilst in some situations the person who experiences the abuse may wish to deal with it personally, or even ignore it, in other situations it may be more appropriate to report it. If that is the case, the ways to do so are outlined below. Action will only be taken only on the issues addressed below.

Issues to be Addressed.
1. Inappropriate content used publicly in games, both in game names or Public Press.
2. Inappropriate language contained in usernames.
3. Threats referring to off-site action, whether physical threats or cyber-bullying, in any format, inappropriate content, and/or any actual activity off-site which is directly linked to games/events on-site.
Because abuse and cyber-bullying can potentially also happen on the Forum as well as in games, it also links to content on the Forum. These guidelines are already in place and the link will be provided at the end.

Definition of Inappropriate Content.
Content which the site has deemed inappropriate is:
- Pornographic language, images, gifs, video and links which lead to sites with such content.
- Content which is racially abusive in nature.
- Gender-specific attacks, ridicule or abuse of sexual orientation and sexual abuse in general.

1. Inappropriate content in games.
(a) Game Names. If the name of a game breaks the above guidelines and is brought to a Moderator’s attention it will be changed. Players should PM a Mod via the Forum to report this. The Mod will assess the content and take any action needed.

(b) Public Press posts. Any posts – written, image, gif, video or links to sites which contain inappropriate material as defined above – should be brought to a Mod’s attention using the Report Inappropriate button in the game’s Public Press box. The Mod will assess the content and take any appropriate action. Public Press posts which provide personal information of other players will also be dealt with. The actions a Mod may take will include posting a warning in Public Press and sending a warning by email and/or site PMs to the poster(s). Repeated offences will lead to players being removed from the game (if it is repeated in the same game) and may lead to accounts being deactivated (removed from the site).
It should be noted that posting anonymously does not prevent Mods from identifying the poster.

2. Inappropriate usernames.
Usernames which break the definitions above will, if brought to a Moderator’s attention, result in the deactivation (banning) of the account. Should a site member feel a username is inappropriate, s/he should PM a Mod with the details. The Mod will then assess the case and act accordingly. The account holder will be contacted by email which will explain what has happened. A new account may be opened. If the account holder was removed from active or pending games the new account may re-enter these games if the position is still available, but MAY NOT enter the same game(s) as a different power.
If you feel your username may break the site guidelines, you may wish to contact a Mod and ask for the username to be changed.

3. Off-site threats/action and cyber-bullying.
Most people understand that Diplomacy is a game and are able to separate their feelings, however strong, from other areas of their life. Unfortunately, some people are not as adept at doing this and this may result in threats of physical action in real life, threats of cyber-bullying or even take action.

Should a player be subjected to:
- threats of physical abuse,
- threats of cyber-bullying, or
- actions off-site which are directly linked to events on-site
and that player has real concerns (rather than simply believing it to be a joke or "hot air", for instance) it should be reported to a Moderator by PM.The Mod will investigate and take action if there is persuasive evidence. This action will be the removal of the perpetrator from all active and pending games and deactivating the account. Action may be taken to prevent the perpetrator from accessing the site again. Action will also be taken on-site to protect the recipient of the threat.

In the case of threats made or action taken off-site, persuasive evidence may be difficult to find, but the Mod will still do as much as possible, using the site's tools, to investigate. If persuasive evidence cannot be found, then the Mod will contact the complainant and discuss the way forward.

Any action the complainant wishes to take off-site is the complainant's responsibility. Should this result in legal proceedings the site will cooperate only with competent jurisdictions as required. Any requests for information must be made via direct contact with the site owner.

Guidelines on whether to report.
Before reporting any of the above, it is suggested that you consider the reasons for reporting it. For instance, is the content inappropriate or simply not to your taste? If you are offended by a post, is it because it is personally abusive or because you disagree? Is the threat you have received real or simply made to throw you off the game? If a player feels strongly enough to report any of the above, though, s/he should report it. Moderators will treat all reports seriously.

Decisions and Appeals.
In all of the above, the Moderator’s decision, following an investigation, is final. If you disagree with a decision you can, of course, appeal. Contact should be made with the Moderator using the same method you were contacted, either by PM or email. Mods will treat respectful communication with equal respect; abuse or threats will not be responded to and will be passed along. If a Mod feels it is necessary the case may be passed onto an Administrator or other members of the team. After discussion, if agreement cannot be reached, then the case will be passed to the site owner.

Management, Administrators and Moderators reserve the right to edit or remove material from PlayDiplomacy.com at their sole discretion, and to take appropriate punitive action if necessary.
Members posting on the site are held responsible for the content posted. PlayDiplomacy.com provides the medium and is not responsible for the content.

Addenda

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 11:59
by rick.leeds
This post will contain any modifications made to the House Rules when these are made before a full review is actioned.

Re: Site Rules - Effective from 21 February 2014

PostPosted: 13 Jul 2014, 16:36
by HGuderian
I give my commitment to these rules. Could you please reactivate my account before the next game phase?

Re: Site Rules - Effective from 21 February 2014

PostPosted: 05 Apr 2015, 17:44
by zarif
you should reconsider about your rules
as long as this is a war game , mental war is a part of it

Extreme profanity (especially when targeted at other players)


it is not bad , but accusing other without any evidence is !
personal profanity which is not provable (like insulting to others family members) is one of this kind

when it is repeated again and again , the site members will consider is there any other websites on the web that support us more logically

american presidential debates should be a good model for rethinking about your rules