Hello <insert name here>! You're probably wondering why I've asked you here, well the answer is simple, a gentle and yet firm reminder about our chat policies and what 'PG-13' should mean, as well as what kinds of 'grey areas' are acceptable when enforcing rules.
A Friendly & PG-13 Environment
Overall chat should maintain as much as possible, an environment suitable for anyone over the age of 13. That means *'ing out most large cuss words and keeping sexual and violently graphic conversations to a bare minimum. Users uncomfortable with inappropriate sexually related topics or heavy cussing should not have to hide in a PM to get away from it. This chat also isn't for sex education, we really need to take any explanations pertaining to sexual topics to PM's. I myself have been guilty in the past for answering a question related to what a certain sexual topic meant, just because it was coming from me, doesn't mean I was right to answer it in main chat.
It should also try to maintain a generally 'friendly' environment. Arguments, heated debates bordering on arguments, insults, bullying and general topics that bring down the atmosphere of chat should be kept at a minimum, if at all.
There is also a distinct difference between an argument/heated debate and a friendly discussion/debate. Just because two users are expressing an opposite opinion, does not make it an argument that should be stopped. Unless the users are starting to get mean about it, yelling, cussing, etc. and it's disrupting the flow of chat.
Chat Grey Areas
Now there are times when we don't heavily enforce certain rules. Rules are made to guide us, not control us, but there is a fine line between when a rule should be enforced heavily, when it should be enforced leniently and when it is ok to be over-looked temporarily. There may be times in chat, when there are very few users on, and all the users are friends and either comfortable with certain topics, or age 16 and up. Having short conversations that lead into more graphic topics, bordering on the realm of Rated R, have been overlooked. However, these topics should still try to keep to short spans, as there is no way to know who and when will pop into chat at any moment. There's also times people may touch on subjects
There may also be times topics are just touched on, without going into any graphic detail or drawing them out into full on conversations. Such as, one time Nar said to me "What were you trying to do" and I said "your mom" >.< Obviously that's a bit crude, but it's not graphic, I didn't explain it in detail and we didn't go on about it.
As far as *'ing out cuss words, if a user slips up once and forgets to *** out a word, like f***, a one time incident may be overlooked.
Enforcing vs Reminding
Who has the right to 'enforce' policy? Well technically as this is a wiki, and a wiki is something anyone can edit, anyone can point out if someone's breaking rules and/or politely ask them to stop. You do not have to have a shiny chat mod star to break up a fight, or ask someone to stop doing something that is against rules. Just because a regular user that doesn't have a shiny star can't dole out punishment, doesn't mean they don't have the right to point out a rule being broken.
Now you're probably wondering if I have a single or a few specific users in mind as to why I've brought all this up. The answer to that would be most of the users on the wiki currently. I've seen in the last couple of months:
- Users singling other users out and harassing them for doing or saying things that many other users either do on a regular basis or have done in the past, sometimes that harassing is coming from the very users who themselves have done the thing they are harassing the user for doing. For instance, I saw a user yelled at for making a single mildly perverted comment, despite the fact that other users on the wiki have been making far worse and far more frequent comments themselves.
- Users saying things like "Well if they don't like the topic, they can just go hide in a PM". Chat is for everyone. If there is a topic that not all users are comfortable with, the people talking about it should be the ones going to a PM.
- Heated debates about about things, that turn more into a 'that sucks-fest' than a genuine conversation. Chat should be upbeat and welcoming to users, getting into conversations that are just a bunch of "I hate that", "That sucks", etc. just brings down the atmosphere in chat, especially when the topic goes on for quite awhile. However, just because someone does make a singular comment about something they dislike, doesn't mean that is a personal attack on you. For instance, if I say, I really like playing charades, and a few of us are talking about charades and its merits, and a user says "I think charades kinda sucks". They are not attacking me personally and there is no reason for me to take it personally and act like a spoiled brat. Nor is it ok to then turn around and attack them personally, just because they made a comment about disliking something you like. Bullying is never the answer for anything, not even if people are bullying you, you don't meet bullying with bullying, it doesn't solve anything.
Overall, I have seen at least 98% of the past and present users do things that were either rude, impolite, against rules, sexist, racist, mean, bullying, crude, harassing, violent, hypocritical, etc. Including myself, there have been times when even I was unable to keep my annoyance or anger in check and lashed out in a way that wasn't polite or necessary.
Please remember, having chat on our wiki is not a 'right' it is a privilege. If it can not be utilised in a manner that is appropriate, it can just as easily be shut off.
Thank you File:Emoticons by sophiefzy-d4d70bp.gif