Discord/Forum Rules and Enforcement

(The rules mentioned below are posted here.)

I love this forum. Running the Discord server has also been awesome but also exhausting at times. I think because it’s a “meta” environment a very small handful of people feel okay doing things they wouldn’t do on the forum, and for my own sanity I’m going to start laying out what happens when the rules that have been established for the community get bent or broken so we can all be on the same page. (I was hoping we could get through TMP without having to do this… but I need to put my big boy pants on and lay it out.)

For low-level issues like language, anything above an occasional hell, damn, or shit will get a public mod voice response along the lines of “Watch the language, folks!” That will be your chance to edit/delete the post in question.

For everything else, and if the post that breaks the language rule isn’t edited/deleted, you’ll be politely pulled aside in a pm that will look something like…

“Hey CJB, just wanted to give you a heads up that your post [quoted or screen-capped] breaks Rule [#], would you mind editing it so it doesn’t? Much appreciated!”

Hopefully the post/behavior will be amended and that will be that. Life goes on as before…

If the post isn’t changed or even if it is but the behavior continues, immediately or in the future, you’ll be given an Official Warning, which will look something like…

“Hey CJB, just wanted to give you a heads up that your post [Quoted or Screen-Capped] breaks Rule [#] ), and because this has been a problem recently, I have to issue you an official warning. I’m happy to discuss this with you, and this will all be handled in private of course, but we have to do this to maintain the AGP community guidelines.”

If it happens again, unfortunately you’ll be banned, either permanently or for a stated period of time, depending on the rule broken (breaking rules that are meant to protect other people like bullying, harassing, etc. will most likely be met with a perma ban.) That ban will be for the Discord server and the forum. This is one community and I have to treat it as such.

There’s no “three strikes and you’re out” system A) because the rules aren’t hard to follow, and B) there has been an instance or two of people purposely trolling mods and admins by going down the list of rules and breaking them to see what the consequences are.

These are the consequences.

I do however think three months is a reasonable time for official warnings to reset (except for things like bullying and harassing other readers), because I don’t want people feeling like they’re under constant scrutiny. I want everyone to be able to enjoy themselves and have fun in this community. It’s why the rules are there. And the rules are literally “Hey, be nice to each other and welcoming of everyone, okay?” It’s not exactly 1984.

SO, SUMMARY: If you break a rule that doesn’t directly affect other people (like language or “hot-button” issue posts) you will be asked to edit or delete the rule-breaking post. If it’s a rule that affects other readers an admin or mod will take you aside in pm and ask you to edit/delete the rule-breaking post(s). If an admin or mod has to take you aside again because you continue to break rules, you will be given an Official Warning. If, within three months (barring serious issues like bullying or harassing other readers) you have to be taken aside for breaking any of the rules, you will be banned from the server and the forum, either for a period of time, or permanently.

Now, I want to be clear… this has happened exactly once. This isn’t a rampant problem by any stretch. But because it’s been a problem, I want to make sure that the way this all works is public and understandable.

I want to be extra clear that mods will not issue an official warning or ban anyone without my knowledge and consent. For the foreseeable future these will all go through me. You NEVER have to worry about power mad mods in this community for two reasons, A) I’ve been selective about who I choose to moderate and I have lengthy and ongoing discussions with them about the proper and improper ways to handle situations, (and previous issues have been addressed. If you’ve had an issue with a mod that I don’t know about, PLEASE bring it to my attention in private) and B) these bigger decisions will be brought to me. And I will help make a decision that’s appropriate and right for the community.

I have a feeling some people will be offended by this. It’s bound to happen. Some people may just not be into this community having guidelines. And that’s okay. However, this post will be all the explaining I’m going to do about why this has to happen. But if you have thoughts feel free to pm me with helpful ideas and/or constructive alternatives. I really would be happy to hear them.

I’ve struggled a lot over the past few months, considering the feelings and opinions of all of you. And I think, for my own sanity and well-being, I have to step back and consider what’s best for the community as a whole and make my decisions that way.

This rule enforcement won’t effect 99% of you because most of you know how to follow guidelines that are really basic and only meant to make sure this community is a welcoming place for everyone. There are no rules in place for anything other than benefitting this awesome group.