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Disclaimer: Content may include adult themes, such as, and not limited to, sex, drugs and sausage rolls. As to how colourful language may be, see here.
Preamble: Our rules are intended to serve as examples of behaviour, not prescriptively as an exhaustive list of permitted and prohibited actions, etc. Modern societies often have quite extensive law codes, and yet even so, law cases require a judge and often a jury to determine whether a law has been transgressed, as it is impossible to write laws so exhaustively that they specify every possible way of violating the intended standard. As such, we can set out in broad sweep an outline of the standards of behaviour we hope will contribute to justice and well-being in our community.
However, the well-being of our community depends on more than just general principles. It depends also upon a common vision, a feeling of fraternity, a belief in the worth-whileness of our communal cohesion, and upon personal relationships of mutual concern and enjoyment.
In brief, enjoy your time with your fellow hobbyists, and just don't be an ass!
In that spirit, we offer the following additional Policies. Statements on the Roles and Responsibilities of members of the Admin Team are available here, and policy regulating their actions is available here.
Member Policy 1: Representation to Non-members and Outside Organisations (February 2012)
1. If a member is contacted by or contacts a non-member or an outside organisation he/she should:
a. indicate in what capacity he/she is acting;
b. consider consulting other members (e.g. Phoenix Roleplay’s senior official; the General Coordinator);
c. consider the likely consequences for Phoenix Roleplay of his/her statements etc. (e.g. image, commitment to a particular course of action, etc.);
d. be sure of what he/she wants to say and wants not to say.
Member Policy 2: Canon characters (January 2011) (Updated January 2015)
1. Sim Leaders and Game Masters may choose to use canon characters in their sims but are encouraged to do so minimally.
2. Players may not submit canon characters as their own characters to play.
3. Sims are exempt from clause 2 where the sim in question is an alternate-canon sim, and thus explicitly barred from all cross-sim plots involving regular sims. Sim Leaders of such sims may choose to permit such applications, but should they do so are heavily encouraged to think carefully before permitting a player to play such a character, with particular consideration as to whether the player is capable of "doing the character justice".
4. At the Sim Leader's discretion, players may include canon characters in their own character's (non-canon) background.
Member Policy 3: Out of Character (OOC) posts in In Character (IC) threads (February 2012)
Preamble: It is entirely up to Sim Leaders (SLs) whether they want to encourage or indeed enforce the following four guidelines. Some SLs will feel that OOC chatter adds to player cohesion which enhances the IC experience, but this policy serves as a framework for those SLs who feel that OOC chatter in IC posts can make immersion in the sim harder:
1. Roleplay (RP) threads should be kept IC, although brief OOC comments like 'Great roleplay!' could be included at the start or end of an IC post.
2. OOC comments should generally be kept to the OOC threads.
3. Sim Leaders and GMs, however, might regularly post stand alone comments like 'Great roleplay!', or not, according to their preference.
4. An SL has the right to boot someone from their sim; consistent failure to observe a published requirement would be reasonable grounds for booting.
Member Policy 4: Sim-level AWOL Policies (February 2012)
1. The phrase "AWOL Policy" with regards to a sim refers to the number of days a player can be inactive on that sim (i.e. not post) without incurring a consequence. Being inactive longer than the period allowed by such a policy is usually called 'falling AWOL'.
2. Some sims benefit from having an AWOL policy as this may encourage players to post more often and keep the sim lively, while other sims may be harmed by a restrictive AWOL policy. As such, each SL may decide for his or her sim whether or not to have an AWOL policy.
3. Each SL who decides to have an AWOL policy will decide how long a period a player in that sim can be inactive without being AWOL, and the SL will decide the nature and extent of the consequences of falling AWOL; for example, being booted from the sim.
4. SL's have the right to boot players (any player, including their ASL and GM) from their sim, and could certainly boot a player for being AWOL. It is, however, considered good practice for their policy on enforcing AWOL limits to be publicly available. An example would be setting out the AWOL limit for the sim as being 10 days in a post in the sim headed 'AWOL Policy' and specifying, in the same thread, a 'three-strike' rule whereby players who are inactive for more than 10 days more than three times (or more than 30 days in a row) will be removed.
5. Enforcing any AWOL policy on the sim is entirely the SL’s purview.
Member Policy 5: Site-wide AWOL Policy (February 2012)
1.1 Players who have never posted and who go 30 days without posting will have their account 'hidden' (i.e. removed from the User List) and an automatically generated email sent to them informing them of this development. The email will state that their account has been set to invisible and will very warmly encourage them to post. It will also include the MWO's email address - MWO@phoenix.reid96.com - and a mention that their account will be deleted if they don't post within the next 30 days.
1.2 If the same player makes no posts for another 30 days, their account will be deleted.
2.1 Players who have posted less than 100 times in total and who go 30 days without posting, or 30 days over their LOA expiration date if they posted an LOA with an expiration date, will have their account hidden and be automatically emailed as Policy 4 Article 1.1.
2.2 If the same player makes no posts for another 15 days, another automatically generated email reminding them of us. 2.3 If no posts after another 15 days, their account will be deleted.
3.1 Players who have posted 100 or more times but fewer than 1,000 times and who go 30 days without posting, or 30 days over their LOA expiration date if they posted an LOA with an expiration date, will have their account hidden and automatically emailed as Policy 4 Article 1.1.
3.2 If the same player makes no posts for another 15 days, another auto-email.
3.3 If no posts after another 15 days, another auto-email.
3.4 If no posts after another 30 days, their account will be deleted.
4.1 Players with more than 1,000 posts will be given a year before deletion and would receive one final notification a month before deletion, but will otherwise follow Policy 4 Article 3.1, Article 3.2, and Article 3.3.
4.2 Players who post an LOA but don't state an expiration date and who go 30 days without posting will have their account hidden and be automatically emailed as Policy 4 Article 1.1.
Member Policy 6: Spam (February 2012)
Preamble: Phoenix RP has anti-spam technology including but not limited to security checks on registration and on posting. Nevertheless, we have a policy on how to address spam if it were to occur.
1.1 Phoenix RP has a zero-tolerance policy on spamming as it is a nuisance and overloads our servers and prevents other users from being able to access pages.
1.2 We define spamming to include but not be limited to: unsolicited advertising, spam posting out of character, spam posting in character, persistent or intentional repeat posting, and other forms of spam as determined by the administration or General Membership.
2.1 Spamming will result in immediate banning from the community which will only be repealed at the behest of the GC. The first administrator with the ability to ban to log on after a spam incident is required to ban the spammer.
2.2 The GC may then email the spammer a notification that they've been banned for spamming, and offer them the opportunity to email to reapply if they're actually serious about joining.
2.3 All spam posts will either be edited to display 'SPAM POST DELETED' or literally deleted outright, according to the preference of the Moderator of the thread in which the spam post occurred, and the spammer's account may also be deleted. At the discretion of the GC, posts made in response to spam may also be deleted in the interests of keeping the site uncluttered and attractive in the interests of both active members and prospective members.
3.1 If the nature of the spamming deserves more consideration (e.g. frequent, apparently unintentional, double-posting), the GC will first discuss the issue with the other Coordinators and any other administrators/moderators they may decide to include (e.g. the SL of the sim where the 'spam' is occurring), and then present their decision to the General Membership before taking action, so long as the issue being discussed does not conflict with the interests of the General Membership (i.e. the ability to connect to and use the forums, the interests of roleplaying and maintaining a friendly environment) and doesn't violate the host’s ToS or any legislature of Phoenix Roleplaying.
Member Policy 7: Member Participation (February 2012)
1. All members are entitled to participate fully in any posted discussion threads etc. excepting threads in sim forums where they don't have an active character. Sim Leaders (SLs) may permit members who don't have an active character in their sim to nevertheless participate in OOC discussions. This may, but need not, be on a case-by-case basis, at the SL’s discretion.
2. If an OOC discussion occurs in a sim which a member feels should be public, that member or any other member may post about it in a relevant thread in the Site or OOC forums (starting a new thread if need be).
3. A person to whom a comment has been made or a question put by another member can decline to answer except where required to by published Phoenix RP policy.
4. The moderator of each forum (e.g. the Sim Leader or the Coordinator responsible) has the right to disallow any question, comment, or the like, which in his or her opinion is scurrilous, capricious, irrelevant, or otherwise objectionable. All appeals to be directed to the GC.
5. See also Admin Policy 9 and 10 for more information on participating in voting.
Member Policy 8: Disturbances and disruptions (February 2012)
1.1. No one is entitled to cause disturbances or disruptions.
1.2. “Disturbances” or “disruptions” are as defined by the thread moderator.
1.3. Appeals to the GC, but in most circumstances the GC will support the thread moderator.
2.1. It is the responsibility of each thread's moderator to deal with such disturbances.
2.2. The moderator will not be rude, but if good humour and conciliation fail to produce order, the moderator's powers include but are not limited to banning from the forum the player causing the disruption, provided at least one warning be issued.
2.3. The moderator should not allow argument with the player causing the disruption, i.e. other members participating in the thread should support the moderator, rather than engaging in argument with the player causing the disruption.
2.4. It is good practice for the moderator to inform the GC of the disruption at the beginning of the disruption.
2.5. The GC may be required by any member to step in if the thread moderator is not succeeding in restoring order.
2.6. The GC’s powers of enforcement include but are not limited to the right to remove a member from the club and to bar their returning.
Member Policy 9: Safe and Fair Environment (February 2012)
1.1. The purpose of this document is to guarantee a safe and fair environment for all members. It is based on Phoenix Roleplay's commitment to the principle that all members deserve equality of treatment, dignity, and respect. This policy seeks to maintain and enhance the integrity (real and perceived) of Phoenix Roleplay.
1.2. Every member is entitled to a community environment in Phoenix that promotes dignity and respect for all. Phoenix is committed to the development and maintenance of a supportive, positive community environment. Members must respect the roles and duties of each other, displaying reasonable standards of courtesy. We hope all members will contribute proactively to the maintenance of a supportive, positive community environment. The conduct of members should be such as to instil mutual confidence and trust. Every member witnessing an act of harassment, etc., should encourage the victim to seek satisfaction through the appropriate channels, and should be willing to provide evidence.
1.3. We oppose all forms of harassment, victimisation, bullying, intimidation, oppressive behaviour, etc.
1.4. Conduct will be considered harassment, etc., whether 'one-off' or sustained, wherever it might reasonably be considered (with particular regard being paid to the victim's own perception/s) to have the effect of violating a person's or group of people's dignity, or which might reasonably be considered to have the effect of creating a hostile, distressing, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for a person or group of people (with particular regard being paid to the victim's own perception/s). This definition is, furthermore, by no means exhaustive.
1.5. When defining harassment, etc., we differentiate from legitimate managerial exercise. Coordinators, Officers, etc., have a responsibility to manage performance of their teams, including providing accurate feedback which may sometimes be critical, and to take steps to achieve an improvement in performance where that is necessary. Harassment, etc., is something beyond a firm management style; it will include, for example, an unduly aggressive, ridiculing, or caustic manner. Such remarks might be made where others can see them (e.g. in a group email) or privately to the victim.
1.6. We will not tolerate acts of harassment, etc., or any act that might bring Phoenix into disrepute, by any member against another member or by any member against any non-member where that member was acting in a Phoenix-related capacity, or where such an official association might reasonably be construed.
1.7. This policy is not intended to deal with occasional minor lapses of good manners, courtesy, or respect, unless such a lapse is part of a pattern of sustained behaviour which is itself intimidating, upsetting, or the like.
1.8. The principles enshrined in this 8th Policy underpin the Phoenix community ethos. We recognise that harassment, etc. can not only cause personal distress, loss of confidence, and so on, it can also cause AWOLs and widespread upheaval. This commitment to fairness is thus also good management practice and makes sound holistic sense.
2. Conduct that occurs off the forums (for example, in email) can nevertheless be connected to the club and so might in various circumstances fall within the scope of this policy. In particular, emails between Phoenix members pertaining to Phoenix matters very clearly fall within the scope of this policy.
3. The community (in particular the GC or any designated officer) will provide awareness building as needed for all members on how they can best abide by this policy.
4.1. If it becomes apparent to you as a member, even if no complaint has been made, that you are in breach of this policy, you must modify your behaviour to be acceptable to this policy.
4.2. If you as a member are subject to a complaint, you must try to remain calm and to take in the complaint and the particular concerns expressed, remembering importantly that the complaint is the complainant's perhaps legitimate reaction to your actions. It may be helpful to refer to clause 3 and especially 4.4 of the Complaints Policy, which are intended to guarantee that all parties, yourself very much included, are treated with fairness and respect.
5. Disruptions of our safe and fair environment may be acted against as misconduct and may lead to banning from the site.
6. This policy will be monitored and reviewed once in every term of office.
Member Policy 10: Content in RPs (December 2012)
2. In terms of the content they allow, SLs should generally be true to the 'universe' their sim is set in.
3. SLs must post a 'House Rules' thread as set out in Admin Policy 14: House Rules.
1. This policy sets out procedure for dealing with complaints that anyone may have about a Phoenix member.
2. We recognise the need for a fair, speedy, and consistent process for people to raise a grievance.
3. Complaints should, in the first instance, be directed with civility by the complainant to the person being complained about. The complainant may enlist the help and support of another member with the aim being to raise the issue informally with the person being complained about effectively and at source. Only if the complainant feels unable to deal with the person being complained about so directly, or has tried to deal with the complaint at source but to no avail, should further steps be taken. The more formal steps set out in clauses 4a-8 below are intended to facilitate swift resolutions with the minimum of undue distress to all parties.
4.1. If a complaint is regarding a member's conduct on a particular thread, the complaint should be referred to and dealt with by the thread moderator. In most cases this must be by proactively seeking to ascertain the credibility or otherwise of the complaint, and then trying to settle the complaint directly with the complainant. This shall not be done without first giving the person complained about an opportunity to comment.
4.2. If resolution at this stage fails, complaints should be passed by the thread moderator to the GC who will attempt to resolve the matter by hearing the cases of the complainant, the person being complained about, and, where relevant, input from any moderator who has already tried to resolve the complaint.
4.3. In general, it is expected that any complaint be resolved within 60 days. Where this is not possible, all parties will be advised as appropriate.
4.4. Investigation into complaints will be carried out with due respect to the rights of all parties, consistently, fairly, and with due process.
5.1. As soon as may be after the decision has been made, it, and the nature of any action to be taken, shall be communicated immediately in writing (e.g. by email) to all parties the deciding moderator (or GC) believes to be involved (i.e. the complainant, the person being complained about, etc.).
5.2. Where a complaint is not upheld, the person making the decision (e.g. the thread moderator, GC, etc.) will stipulate whether they have reason to believe that the complaint itself was malicious or vexatious in intent. A complainant may thus be subject to corrective or disciplinary consequences, but the application of this subclause should not deter members from bringing forward legitimate complaints.
5.3. Where a complaint is upheld, appropriate corrective or disciplinary consequences may be imposed, but the preferred course of action is one of restorative justice: i.e. that the respondent apologise to the complainant to the complainant's satisfaction and offer the complainant guarantees that the offensive behaviour be not repeated.
6.1. The person making the decision will do everything in their power to protect all parties involved from harassment, victimisation, bullying, intimidation, oppressive behaviour, etc. resulting from their participation in the process.
6.2. All parties will have opportunity to respond to the decision within ten days to correct any factual errors.
6.3. The decision is effective immediately upon being communicated to all parties.
6.4. The decision may be revisited after 30 days.
7. In the event of a complaint being withdrawn by the complainant, the person dealing with the complaint at that stage (i.e. the thread moderator or GC) may nevertheless continue to investigate the complaint in the interests of all parties.
8. In the event that a complaint is about the GC, it should be directed to the Contender where possible, or if there is no active Contender, it should be brought to the EVC, who will attempt to resolve the matter by hearing the cases of the complainant, the person being complained about (i.e. the GC), and, where relevant, input from any moderator who has already tried to resolve the complaint. Clauses 5-7 of this policy will then apply.
Also, for obvious reasons you need to abide by our host's terms of service too.
N.B.: Variation, Revocation, and Suspension of Policy: Any or every part of this or other Phoenix Roleplay documents may be changed, suspended, or revoked by referendum vote, the only exception being Section I of the Roles and Responsibilities document which preserves the rights to make such changes. Section I of said document may not be suspended or revoked as we hold that this is the greatest of all rights and that its value in the preservation of Democracy is self-evident.
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