It has come to my attention that our chat has become home to various acts of inappropriate behavior.
Inappropriate behavior includes linking to pornography and other suggestive images. Additionally, talking about mature acts or actions is also inappropriate behavior. Like the forums we're hosted on, content is restricted to PG-13 since many of our members are not adults. In some cases, even PG-13 material can be deemed inappropriate if there are members present who are not yet teenagers. Even if everyone visibly present is of age, mature content is still not allowed in the URPG.
In terms of enforcement, we obviously uphold the rules on all of our boards as well as our various URPG chats. Additionally, these rules apply to chats in which battling is taking place, including immediately before, during, and immediately after the battle. Though sometimes not necessarily in our jurisdiction, inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment is always punishable when conducted by one of our members.
I see there is some concern, so let me clarify our position on the matter and how the URPG fits into the scheme of things.
We are, as we have always been, an independent organization. As such, our leadership has ultimate say over anything that occurs regarding our RPG. Ryan, Archaic, and the PWN Admins have no authority to modify ref wages or approve new Rangers. That has, and always will be, under our control.
At the same time, we similarly do not have authority over the other sections in these communities. In some cases, like on Pe2K and BMG, we share leaders, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
That is not to say we are not a part of these communities. Our policy is to cooperate and coordinate with them to the best of our ability and support their efforts and policies. I merely wish to clarify where formal authority lies.
This is reflected in our ban policy. A member who is banned on Pe2K can still participate in the URPG, but only on BMG or PWN. Likewise, a member banned from the URPG can still participate in sections outside of the URPG on any of the three forums. Ban policies are, thus distinct, though I have often found that a member banned by one group is usually banned by the others shortly after, due to similar violations. There are a few members who have proven to be extraordinary exceptions to this.
We do this because it would be impossible to enforce every forum's rule on every conversation, chat or battle we conduct. Part of this is due to the fact that different communities simply have different laws. A rule violation on PWN may not necessarily be a rule violation on Pe2K and BMG. To combine all three together would result in a bit of a legal mess.
The simple solution is to enforce each board's rules on the forum they're based. As such, you must obey Pe2K rules on our Pe2K branch. You must obey BMG rules on our BMG branch. You must obey PWN rules on our PWN branch. If you do not, you will be punished by forum moderators. In many cases, we share information regarding violations with the forum staff because they have a right to know. We are, very much, a part of their community.
What does this mean for AIM? Well, that's a bit trickier. All URPG rules apply to URPG AIM conversations as outlined in the first post. So if you violate one of those rules, you will receive disciplinary action.
Additionally, certain forum rules may apply. I'll try to review them to the best of my ability, but if you have more questions, I recommend you ask a moderator of the forum you're asking about.
Pokemon Elite 2000 - I have talked with Ryan several times about this and he has always maintained a policy that whatever happens outside the Pe2K boards is not under Pe2K jurisdiction and therefore not punishable as a Pe2K offense.
Bulbagarden - Bulbagarden maintains that conversations between its members in chats are still under their rules and as such, punishable. This is to maintain a level of respect between members and to prevent such problems from leaking onto the boards.
Petalburg Woods Network - Only official PWN chats are considered under the jurisdiction of PWN and, as such, all rules are enforced there.
I say this only to notify you of the current state of rules and how it all works. I know it's a bit more complicated, but that is the nature of our current organization and how it relates to the communities who graciously host us.
Does this mean we enforce forum rules in chats?
No. Most of us are not forum moderators and thus have no formal ability to ban anyone from a forum.
Will we report chat violations to forum leadership?
It depends. Obviously we're not going to report on post limit rules or some of the spam laws. That would be silly and counterproductive. On he other hand, we certainly will do so if a violation will cause problems for the forum members and leadership, especially if the violation is particularly problematic such as sexual harassment.
Ultimately, it's just a matter of common sense. You know our rules and you know the forum rules. Sticking close to them will probably keep you out of trouble.
In regards to why we've made this announcement in the first place, it's simply to clarify rules that we already have in place. If you check the "Read First" thread, you'll notice that one of the main rules is No Inappropriate Content. As such, I think it's only fair that we enforce a rule that the URPG has listed rather clearly.
Originally Posted by Ultra Roleplaying Game
Inappropriate Behavior will result in disciplinary action.
And we already enforce many decency rules on all of the boards out of respect for the communities that host us.
Originally Posted by Pokemon Elite 2000
2. No Inappropriate Behavior/Junk Posts (spam).
3. Respect other members and their opinions.
Note: Inappropriate behavior and junk posts may lead to ban. I have little patience for this kind of behavior.
6. This is a Pokemon forum for all ages, make your posts reflect that.
Originally Posted by Bulbagarden
9. Inappropriate Content (5 points, 3 months)
- Posting humorous pictures of graphic violence or sex is regarded as inappropriate content.
- Posting written sexual content is also Inappropriate Content, with the only exception being properly labeled fanfics.
- Posting written violent content is also subject to Inappropriate Content, with the only exception being properly labeled fanfics.
10. Abuse & Harassment (10 points, 4 months)
- Users should never pressure other users into talking to them or into giving away personal information about themselves.
- Users should immediately stop contacting or make jokes about other users that have asked them to stop.
- Violation of either of these tenets will result in an Abuse & Harassment infraction.
12. Graphic Imagery (10 points, 4 months)
- Users should not post images, videos or links to sites that depict genitalia, nude female-like nipples or sex acts.
- Depicting sex acts where the participants are not nude violates Graphic Imagery.
- Posting violent images, scatological images, or shock pictures.
Originally Posted by Petalburg Woods Network
Respecting other people
No one is perfect, everyone has their strong and weak point. Do not act like you're perfect. Be nice to all the members, treat every members equal. Do not act like you're better than everyone else. Do not insult, manipulate, flame or bash other members for their points of view. Avoid swearing on the forums anywhere, especially when directed at other members. Do not post rude or disrespectful thread titles and/or posts, show some respect. You're not allowed to bypass this rule in any way. For example using "*" to cover up swear words.
We have kids in this forum. Absolutely no pornographic material can be posted or linked to anywhere on the forum. You will receive high amount of infractions if you're caught doing this.
Protect your privacy. You are allowed to give out your personal information, but we advise you not to give out your personal information. Such as your gender, age, phone number, photos, address, etc. Respect other's privacy, do not ask them to give you their personal information. If one of our members makes you feel uncomfortable or worried in some way, please make sure you contact us.
It's a lot of information, I know, and I apologize for discussing it at length. I do feel that the more you know, the better off you are. And I hope I answered any of the questions you might have had.