Dealing with cyber-bullying.

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Dealing with cyber-bullying.

Postby rick.leeds » 02 Apr 2012, 15:29

This post has been replaced by the rules here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=659&t=43414#p748907

Introduction.
Following some fairly recent 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, 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.


Links
Link to House Rules.
Some issues, such as hacking accounts or threatening retaliation in other games, are dealt with here.
Link to Forum Guidelines
Guidelines for the Forum are already in place. The underlying guideline to posting on the Forum is that content should respect members of the Forum and not be personally abusive. These guidelines also deal with spam and trolling.
Link to Reporting Inappropriate Public Press
This thread deals with reasons for using the Report Inappropriate button in games in more detail.
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Ban the Code & Banish the Bullies

Postby Lionlaw » 04 Apr 2012, 02:20

Theoretically, everyone playing on this site is an adult or almost an adult so it worries me when speech codes are implemented. :(

Certainly, if anyone has been threatened the person issuing the threat should be banished. :evil:

But, I fear your code is too broad. :o

For example, in a game I am currently playing I sensed the French player was high-strung. In an effort, to get under his skin I began referring him as "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey" and began posting many of the jokes we've all heard about the historical skills of the French military (I particularly enjoyed posting the story about how France was conquered by a Texas High School Marching Band). :D

My strategy was successful and France attacked wildly with horrible results. :mrgreen:

Now, technically what I did was probably against your new code - but the rest of us (I've rec'd feedback from Austria, Germany & Turkey) had a grand time of it. Was what I did in somewhat poor taste...........perhaps. But, I certain level of taunting can certainly liven up any contest between men. And I'll give into stereotypes and assume we're mostly male geeks on this wonderful site. :ugeek:

To conclude, if you have to have a speech code, please implement it with a light touch and remember that any code that makes it wrong to make fun of the French army is by definition fatally flawed. :P
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Re: Dealing with cyber-bullying.

Postby Kian » 04 Apr 2012, 02:39

Yeah!

...and if it wasn't for the f*****g yanks on the site we wouldn't even NEED, this M***********g policy!!!!

(I hope you find my witty contribution as funny as yours !!!!! ;) )

Seriously, there are many under 18's on the site, there are many under 14's on the site, there are gay, bisexual, female, noobs, veterans, and even bloody Philadelphian's on the site.

Some of these groups have suffered cyber bullying.

Mostly because they have been targeted by very poor diplomacy players suffering sour grapes.

Take the trouble to actiually READ site guidleines and you will see that none of your war stories would earn you censure.

Threatening to 'find' you anywhere you exist on the internet and telling the world what an evi person you are would.

Threatening to track you down in real life and make your life a misery would.

Playing with a schoolmate and threatening to beat him up at break would.

Sad to say all of these have happened.


Why has this policy / guidleines thread not been locked?

Feel free to delete my outburst when you lock it.
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Re: Dealing with cyber-bullying.

Postby Lionlaw » 04 Apr 2012, 03:38

Dear Kian:

Wait a second, I'm a f*********g Yank!

And, I was born and raised (notice didn't say matured) in Philadelphia!

And, now I've got a huge quandry. Being from Philly, I'm fighting off the overwhelming desire to launch into a obscenity filled tirade followed up by beating you like a drum.

But, now with the new conduct code I can just sit here typing in an aggressive manner.

Christ, thank god for the code (is that offensive to the religious or athiest wings of the site?).

Seriously, it only takes one stuck up humorless jerk with a little bit of authority to go overboard.

So again, I plead with the moderators use a light touch.
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Re: Dealing with cyber-bullying.

Postby asudevil » 04 Apr 2012, 03:42

Relax, as Kian clearly said, your story wouldnt even get a look. 99.9% of all people wont even come close to any of this, but its there for the couple of people who just cant separate a game from real life.
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Re: Dealing with cyber-bullying.

Postby rick.leeds » 04 Apr 2012, 14:42

asudevil and kian pretty much covered it. The main parts of this have been operational for a long time, as looking at the links will show. The newest bit is the part on cyber-bullying. This isn't name-calling, player-provoking or in-context winding-up: that always happens. It is the more serious stuff.

For instance, two fairly recent examples had one player telling a number of people that he was going to, amongst other things, murder them; another had a player who had been stabbed in a game threatening to hunt the stabber down on different sites on the net to hound him. In the first case, we initially warned the player that it wasn't acceptable and, when he repeated it in other games, banned him; in the second the guy doing threatening that really didn't see that stabbing was part of the game and refused to accept that those threats were unacceptable, so he went too.

In many cases like this, the threats - like most threats made over the net - are so much hot air. The people making them are idiots. However, on the chance that someone would be even more mentally unbalanced enough to follow-up on threats like this, we need to have a procedure in place to make it clear that (1) we WILL take action and (2) if you want to report something if this nature this is how to go about it.

There is a big difference between someone making French jokes at the expense of the French player in a game and someone on a white supremacist tirade. The first can be contextualised as being game-based, the other is racially-motivated. "Sledging" is fine.
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