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The One Stop Rules Shop

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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NERVUN
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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The One Stop Rules Shop

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:04 pm

The One-Stop Rules Shop (originally posted by Frisbeeteria)

Collected here for your amusement and amazement are summaries of most of the rules and conditions of NationStates, as set by Max Barry, site Administrators [violet] and SalusaSecondus, with precedents from Moderators past, present, and future. The core precepts for all rules in both game and forums can be found in the NationStates Terms of Service (TOS) (http://www.nationstates.net/pages/legal.html) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)http://www.nationstates.net/page=faq.

Please be aware that the following rules are not set in stone. Each case is different, and may be subject to conditions not readily apparent to the regular player. Consideration is given not just to the specific offense, but also the nation's (and in some cases, the player's) prior actions and infractions. Also, new rules may be added as circumstances dictate, and Max and the Admins may invoke special rulings as they see a need.

Privacy: While anyone can request moderator intervention in most cases, certain aspects of moderation decisions are not discussed with players due to concerns over privacy and security. Moderators cannot and will not give out email addresses, IP addresses, passwords, or other personal details about players or nations, regardless of who is asking. This is for your protection as much as it is for ours. Because of this, some cases may be resolved with no visible effect: i.e. If a WA multi-scan is requested and comes back negative, there is no need for anybody beyond the mods to know. If you forgot your password and didn't supply an email, we have absolutely no way to know that the nation is in fact yours. The security of your nation is ultimately your business, not ours.

Jurisdiction: NationStates moderators are responsible for problems and issue with the game and interactions on our Nationstates forum. We have no jurisdiction over any offsite forums, nor do we guarantee the content of such to be accurate in any way. While some Mods may also be channel ops on NationStates-related IRC channels, they are not operating in an official NationStates capacity in that role (with the exception of #themodcave on gamesurge.net). Also, if you don't like the way your brother / schoolchum / girlfriend / cellmate plays their nation (or yours that you left logged on), that's your problem, not ours. Please don't bring non-NationStates business to the NationStates forums, Getting Help page, or #themodcave.


Table of Contents

Game and Forum Rules

All About the Moderators
Last edited by NERVUN on Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:31 pm, edited 14 times in total.
Reason: Fixing links
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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NERVUN
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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Gameplay

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:05 pm

Gameplay means actions within the game itself, separate from the forums. There is a certain amount of inevitable crossover, but generally Gameplay refers to events that happen on http://www.nationstates.net, and Forums refer to events on http://forum.nationstates.net .

Gameplay includes all play within regions, nation pages, telegrams, dossiers, and the like. Certain areas of Gameplay are specifically addressed in special forums: Got Issues for issue-related questions, and The World Assembly for WA related-questions. You'll find extensive instruction in the Sticky: threads atop each of those forums. READ THEM FIRST.

Most Gameplay offenses should be reported via the Getting Help Page. This is known as a Getting Help Request, or GHR. GHR posts are private between you and the Moderation staff, and should be used for game requests where you have to name names.

Forbidden Actions: Gameplay


Customizable Field Violations: Using offensive terms and language in a nation's motto, currency, national animal, and/or national title. Also applies to using a swastika or other offensive and/or pornographic imagery in a national flag. Huge flags (over 300x200 pixels) may also be deleted. Note that malicious use of any human or racial terms as national animals is expressly forbidden.

Ex-Nation Flag Don't use it. It's a moderation tool, and is meant solely to designate ex-nations.

Commend/Condemn icons - only the WA gets to hand these out. Don't use them.

Game Moderator/Forum Moderator/Administrator/Issues Editor/Roleplay Mentor badges - don't use them. See "Impersonating a moderator" below.

Griefing: Harassing a nation or region because of what they did or said. This is specifically forbidden in telegrams and Regional Messageboard (RMB) posts. If you receive abusive telegrams, save them. If there are abusive RMB posts, use the Additional Information checkboxes on the Getting Help Page.

Impersonation: Any attempt to impersonate another player, including attempting to hack nation or region passwords, is illegal according to the FAQ.

* Passing nations from one player to another is legal but risky, as any negatives associated with the prior player are inherited by the new player. Also, inadvertent WA multiing is always a concern. Use caution.
* Using similar names of nations or regions is illegal when done in a malicious manner. Malicious intent is a difficult call to make, so this must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
* Impersonating a moderator is a deletion offense, often for the puppet master as well. (Be aware that using the moderation "warn" highlighting will be seen as impersonating a moderator.) (See also Mods as a Weapon below)

Mods as a Weapon: Attempting to use Moderators as a weapon is an offence within the game as well as the forums. Threatening another nation with moderation action if they don't do "action" is not allowed. Representing yourself as a moderator is considered impersonation, and is not allowed. Reporting rule-breakers through the Getting Help page or the Moderation forum is not only allowed, but encouraged. Doing so maliciously or spamming Moderation with questionable requests may invoke a penalty, at the Mod's discretion.

Multiing: See WA Multiing.

Invasion Rules
The concept of Invasion Griefing was made obsolete by the introduction of Regional Influence. Other rules, such as those governing spam or the use of WA Multis, naturally remain in force.

Nation Hijacking: Stealing someone else's nation by gaining their password. This should be reported using the Getting Help Page.

Obscenities: Sexually graphic images in flags (very strictly forbidden), obscene nation names, national animals and/or currencies. In-game obscenities should be reported through the Getting Help Page.

Offensive National Name: Using offensive language in a nation's name. Nation names are held to a higher standard than any other custom fields. Because nation names cannot be changed, this offense results in immediate deletion.

Referral Links: See below in Forbidden Actions: Forums.

Spamming:

AdSpam: Spamming other people's regional messageboards (RMB) with adverts for your region. The only places where you are allowed to put advertisements are:

* the Gameplay Forum (they will be deleted if posted elsewhere, as being polite hasn't worked),
* The regional messageboards of the game-created regions
o Feeder regions, defined as The Pacific, The North Pacific, The East Pacific, The South Pacific, and The West Pacific. Note that it is not legal to advertise in copycat regions like "West Pacific",
o Sinker regions, defined as The Rejected Realms, Lazarus, Balder and Osiris.
o Official Warzones.
And even then, don't over-do it. One ad per advertised region (NOT per posting nation) in any 24-hour period is the rule. Don't post if an ad for your region is still displayed (even if suppressed) on the first page of the RMB, even if it's been more than 24 hours.
* Recruitment telegrams may be sent to residents of game-created regions. No 24-hour rule here - one per nation, period.
* Sending a recruitment telegram to nations outside of game-created regions is permitted. However, you MUST tick the "recruitment telegram" box if you are sending recruitment telegrams. If you do NOT tick this box, you will be warned for spamming.
* RMB Ads are allowed in player-created regions if World Factbook Entry says they're allowed or if the region has the "Recruiter Friendly" tag. Whomever controls the WFE and tags may set regional policy towards ads.

Regional Happenings Spam
: Going in and out of a region and hence filling up the regional events board with departing and arriving messages is known as Regional Happenings or Events Log Spamming and is not allowed. Use the Additional Information checkboxes on the Getting Help Page to capture abuses on the Regional Happenings. Warzones are exempt from this rule.

Puppet Flooding: Any player or group of players creating large numbers of puppets for the purpose of spamming and/or annoying a region, be they invaders, defenders, or natives, may find all such puppets ... and their main nations ... deleted without warning as Regional Happenings spammers.

Regional Messageboard Spam: Spamming a regional messageboard. Only Founder nations may clear the spam. It helps if you clear it with messages saying '--clearing spam--' or something to avoid being accused of spamming yourself. (Delegates and other nations controlled by the Founder MAY NOT substitute for the founder. If your region has no active founder, you may NOT clear spam.) Nations who keep spamming a particular region are Griefers which is far more serious. Report RMS using the Getting Help Page.

WA Advertising Spam: Region natives are welcome, even encouraged, to post discussions of WA proposals and resolutions on their regional message boards. WA business is part of the region and part of the game.

* Non-natives and region-hoppers are forbidden to post WA advertisements or requests for proposal approval outside of their native region.
* Note that the Pacifics and the Sinkers do not receive special treatment here. WA approval requests have even less relevance in the feeder regions than they do in player-created regions, and are thus forbidden.
* Requests for proposal approval may be telegrammed to WA delegates, except where the region's tags designates "No GA Campaigning" or "No SC Campaigning" (as appropriate to the telegram request). More than one request per proposal may be considered spam and should be avoided.

Spammers will typically receive a mod telegram, and may also be warned. Egregious or deliberately offensive spammers will be dealt with accordingly.

WA Multiing: Primarily someone who has more than one WA nation.

* Note that is legal for a player to control more than one nation, but only one may be a WA nation.
* Multiple players who use the same computer to play their WA nations are likely to be considered Multiing, and therefore risk ejection or deletion.
* Suspected WA multies should be reported using the Getting Help Page, never the Moderation forum.

Originally Posted by [violet] in Ejected from the WA? Here's why
Quote:
The World Assembly is getting much tougher on people who break the "one player, one WA member nation" rule. If you have been ejected from the WA, warned, or deleted, this explains why.

Q: I didn't know it was against the rules to have multiple WA member nations.
A: It is mentioned in the FAQ (see: "World Assembly"). Also, when you receive your invitation e-mail from the WA, it clearly spells out the penalties for breaching this rule. Not paying attention to this is not an excuse.

Q: I wasn't cheating! I only have one WA member nation. Your game got it wrong.
A: This is possible, but unlikely. The game uses four different methods to detect if the same person is operating multiple WA members. These methods include IP address tracking and login pattern detection. If your nation was deleted, the game gathered very strong evidence that it was being operated from the same location as other WA members on multiple occasions.

Q: My friends operate those other WA member nations. We all share the same computer.
A: I'm sorry if that's the case. There is no way for the game to tell how many people are on the other end of a computer. For this reason, breaches of WA rules involving only two members are usually punished with expulsion, not deletion.

However, please note this important point: we cannot take your word on how many people are really behind your computer. This is not because you are untrustworthy, it's simply that otherwise there is no way to enforce the WA rules.

Q: But that's not fair!
A: True, and again, I'm sorry if you and your friends have been punished unjustly. However, this is the closest we can come to fair. If we accepted people's explanations that they were using a public computer with their friends, we would have to let people create as many WA nations as they like. This would destroy the whole point of the WA.


The line has to be drawn somewhere, and thus, fair or not, the rule must stand.
WA Proposals: A complete guide to A proposal rules and infractions can be found in the WA Forum. (updated, January 2012)

Edit History: [May 05] added [violet]'s post on WA multis, expanded AdSpam, added flag size, changed to new WA proposal rules, link to swastika ruling in Archive [Fris] | [Jun 05] Clarified telegram ad-spam, deleting non-Gameplay region ads [Fris] [Sep 05] linked Invasion FAQ [Fris] | [Oct 05] expanded griefing definition, added Founder and Refounding clarifications [Fris] | [April 06] Influence replaced invasion rules, reorganized section "Spamming" [Fris] | [March 07] Puppet flooding [Fris]|Replaced references to the UN with WA. [Kat] [July 09] Deleted reference to Jolt's PMs [Ard]|Added section on use of Ex-Nation flag. [Kat][May 10]| Updated AdSpam in line with new RMB [Sedge] [March 11] | Updating with new sinkers [Sedge] | Updated WA campaign spam rules [Fris] [Dec 11] Updated puppet flooding so that collective flooding is an offence [Sedge] [Jan 12] | Updated WA proposals w/ link and date [Jan 25] | Removed outdated !campaigning tag [Goob] [Mar 12] Section on game icons as flags updated - most are now acceptable [Sedge] [Oct 12]Changed section on recruitment telegrams outside of game-created regions to reflect new rules. [Katganistan][Jun 13]
Last edited by Katganistan on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 16 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

Proud Member of FMGADHPAC. Join today!

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NERVUN
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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Acceptable Flag Policy (originally posted by [violet])

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:05 pm

Apparently there's some confusion over our policy on acceptable images for flags (the kind you upload yourself). In particular, there's a mistaken belief that any image is fine so long as it doesn't include a swastika or nudity.

Nope! As per the FAQ, flags are subject to the same minimum standard as any other content: they can't be obscene, illegal, threatening, malicious, defamatory, spam, or have the primary aim of offending or upsetting people. And:

Originally Posted by http://www.nationstates.net/page=faq
Does that apply to my nation's flag?
You betcha. In fact, we're much stricter on nation flags than we are on forum posts, because they're not open for challenge and debate. If you want to make a political point, don't use your flag -- use the forum, where other people have a right of reply.

This has been the case from the beginning. However, I once answered a question about a three-pronged red and black flag by saying something like, "Only swastikas and swastika-like images are banned, not anything else," and the "anything else" was taken more literally than I intended. I apologize, particularly to the mods, for this confusion, and I'm sorry if it's lead to some inconsistent moderation.

To make life easier, here are some examples of what is and isn't acceptable. I expect there will be many borderline cases (there always are), but it's a simple principle. If a flag celebrates death, slavery, violence, or other not-nice things against real people, that's malicious, and will have the primary effect of offending.

Acceptable or Not? A Rough Guide

  • A swastika: not acceptable (Yes, it was used by Buddhists in the third Century, etc, etc, but that's not what it represents now. To the vast majority of people, the swastika represents the Holocaust. A nation with a swastika appears to be endorsing that event; that's malicious and has the primary effect of offending.)
  • A swastika with little flowers and happy faces, on a nation called "The Friendly Nazis": fine
  • A swastika with little flowers and happy faces, on a nation called "The Friendly Nazis" that has the slogan: "We kill Jews with kindness": not fine
  • A flag of Hitler looking all stern: no (Only one interpretation available there.)
  • A flag of Hitler wearing an apron with fake boobs that says "Kiss the Cook": fine
  • Actual boobs: no (I know, I know, who gets offended by breasts? But it's only fun to post them because it's naughty, and that's why it's banned)
  • The iron cross: my feeling is it's usually okay, because I don't think most people even recognize it. But if the nation also had a name, slogan, etc, that seemed to be glorifying Bad Things, then no
  • That SS lightning slash thing: no
  • Something that looks a lot like a swastika if you squint just right: mods would need to judge the intent. If it's just a blatant attempt to get around the swastika ban, then no. If it seems coincidental -- e.g. nothing else about the nation seems to endorse violence against real people -- then it's fine.
  • A swastika and it's on a clearly pro-Nazi nation but honest it's just roleplaying: no. Sorry, you might be RPing but if that's not obvious to other people, then the primary effect of your flag will be to offend and upset, even though you don't intend it.
  • The hammer and sickle: fine (Yes, I'm aware of the hundreds of millions of deaths. But when people look at the hammer and sickle, they think communism, not mass graves. If you can point me at a survey that shows otherwise, then we'll deem this one malicious, too. But until then, it's just a Soviet flag.)
  • The Japanese flag, or the American one, or the British one, or... : fine (Most people don't primarily associate any of these with death or violence.)
  • The Japanese flag on a nation with the slogan, "We bombed your grandparents": no

To make that point again: we don't ban particular patterns of colored pixels, we ban any content that is malicious in nature. The mods' job is to judge which is which, according to guidelines like this.

And because I know this is going to come up again: I realize that you can point out a bunch of different groups that committed terrible acts, and yet we're not banning their flags. That's because we're not banning the symbols of every group that scored a particular body count; we're prohibiting content that is malicious in nature and to most people will have the primary effect of offending. Not a few people, not just you, but most people. That's the criteria.

The forums permit relatively free speech on a range of issues, so, as the FAQ says, if you've got a political ax to grind, do it here, where people can argue back. Please don't put it in your flag when you know it will piss people off.

Animated flags: we don't mind them, within reason. Be aware that rapidly flashing flags may be removed for the comfort of other forum readers.

Using someone else's flag without permission: Don't. You'd think we didn't have to spell this out as it's copyright infringement/plagiarism, but apparently we do.

Added animated flags 04 Oct 2010 -NERV
Last edited by Katganistan on Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:10 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Reason: Cosmetic tidy
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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NERVUN
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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Forums

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:05 pm

Ever wondered what godmoding is? Ever pondered upon the subtle differences between trolling and flamebait? Well, just for you lucky people, here are those answers:

Forbidden Actions: Forums

Advertisements: For the most part, advertising threads are not allowed in NationStates. If you really want an ad, contact the Admins, and purchase banner space. Til then, it isn't a good idea to try and advertise your forum. If your advertisement involves itself along side NationStates, it is allowed (such as the GDP Calculators, and region ads in Gameplay), but advertisements, such as one that promotes your own forum for debate over the General forum, as well as an advertisement for a separate roleplay forum (That does not involve NS; an example would be a World War 2 RP) within the Nationstates and International Incidents forums, are not allowed here, and will be locked.

In short, just as long as it has something to do with Nationstates, it is allowed, but trying to pimp your own forum on Max's website will not be tolerated.

Excessive Bumping: Bumping is adding a meaningless (*bump*) post to a thread to push it back to the top of the list. Different forums move at different speeds, so bump rates vary between forums. In General or II, one bump an hour is plenty. In Moderation or Technical, once every 24 hours is the maximum. If the bulk of your posts are bumps, you should take it to mean that no one is interested in your topic, and let it die.

Flame: Expressing anger at someone in uncouth ways with OOC (out-of-character) comments (i.e. swearing, being obnoxious, threatening etc). It does to watch what you post IC (in-character) as well unless the other posters know you're not serious. You do not need to curse to be a flamer. Erudite slams while maintaining a veneer of politeness can also be considered flaming. Flaming in the forums should be reported in the Moderation forum, in the game itself, through Getting Help Page.

Flamebait: Posts that are made with the aim of angering someone indirectly. Not outright flame, but still liable to bring angry replies. Flame baiting is a far more subtle and covert action; it is an underhanded tactic that is designed to provoke a response from another player. It's in the same context of trolling but with flamebaiting it's just the one person.

Forbidden links: There is not, and will not ever, be a definitive list of forbidden links. Since we don't control the content of other websites, a link which was fine yesterday may be forbidden today. Each link is judged on a case by case basis, and occasionally the Mods will outlaw certain sites.

* Any outlawed site is forbidden in the forums, as a signature, as a motto, as a World Factbook entry, or in any other format.
* General classes of forbidden links include porn or other sexual imagery, warez (see below), sites promoting other illegal activities, referral links (see below), or sites that have links to such sites as a principal component.
* Some generally unacceptable popular sites include ebaumsworld, albinoblacksheep, plasticnipple, Encyclopedia Dramatica, and Fred Phelps' godhates<group> hate-mongering sites.
* Don't link to sites where you (or a friend/relative) stand to gain financially.

Garish Posts: We like fonts and colors, really we do, but anything used in excess becomes annoying. Think twice about posts that make other users cringe... especially if you've been repeatedly asked to refrain by players and mods alike. Keep this especially in mind when using the color or highlighter BBCodes!

Gloating: Specific types of gloating are considered warnable. Posting "In before the lock" generates a warning to those posters who wish to gloat about an obviously lockable topic. IGNORE gloating is typically seen in the roleplay forums, though it can appear elsewhere. Politely informing another nation that you are henceforth using the "ignore" feature is acceptable, but repeating it in different threads or over long periods is considered gloating. Other cases will be considered on an ad hoc basis.

Gravedigging: Posting a reply on a long disused thread; bumping threads that aren't used anymore. Adding legitimate new material is permitted, and the acceptable age varies from forum to forum. Adding a book report in Arts & Fiction is acceptable after months of inactivity, but bumping a week-old topic in General may not be.

Godmoding, Godmodding, and Wanking: The general idea behind godmoding, as its name makes evident, is making yourself or your nation godlike in power and unable to die. It is commonly used by first-time roleplayers, and is frequently accompanied by Smilie Spam (see below). Under most circumstances, godmoddery is not a moderation offense unless it turns to spam. At that point, godmode n00b wars will often be locked or moved to the spam forum. Note that flaming in response to n00bish behavior is still forbidden. For more information, see this thread.

Griefing: Harrassing a nation because of what they did or said. This often manifests when one player follows another around in thread after thread, abusing and flaming the target nation. Note that this is distinct from Region Griefing, covered above.

Homework: Requests for assistance with homework in any forum are forbidden.

Image Spam: Posting of repeated or multiple images that do not serve to help the flow of the thread. This can be the use of images to RP, the use of repeated pictures to declare a point, or the use of semi-flame images from somethingawful or ebaumsworld to mock others.

IP addresses: IP swapping among admins of offsite boards is outside our jurisdiction, and as such, we can take no action. IP swapping in public on our boards is not permitted.

Mods as a Weapon: Threatening another nation with moderation action if they don't do "action" is not allowed. Representing yourself as a moderator is considered impersonation, and is not allowed. This especially includes using the moderator's *** warning code ***; don't use it, that's impersonation and will get you temporarily banned if not deleted outright! Reporting rule-breakers through the Getting Help page or the Moderation forum is not only allowed, but encouraged. Doing so maliciously or spamming Moderation with questionable requests may invoke a penalty, at the Mod's discretion.

Obscene and Explicit Content: Sexually graphic images and posts, and violent images such as bloody corpses. Very strictly forbidden. Obscene imagery and content in the forums should be reported to the Moderation Forum. Please provide a link to the topic, but do not quote it while explaining its illegality. Then we have to find and delete your posts too.

The standard for both forums and game is the US movie rating "PG-13". Mild swearing may be tolerated, mild sexuality may be hinted, but explicit or excessive versions of either or both may result in proportional mod response. As a reference for the boundaries, Fury has linked this thread as a fair measuring stick to judge your levels by.

Poll Abuse: Polls created with the intent to troll, flame, flamebait or otherwise commit forum offences as outlined here. This includes abuse of public polls to single out voting blocks for subsequent attacks or ridicule.

Posting Past Forumban: If a nation is forumbanned, that nation's player is not permitted to post on the forums with other puppet nations. Such puppets may be deleted without notice, as may the puppet master and other identified puppets. If you can't figure out why you were banned, you can file a Getting Help request asking why. You may post on the behalf of a forumbanned player to ask, in "Moderation", why that player was forumbanned. You may not post on the behalf of a forumbanned player for any other reason.

If a nation is deleted for rule-breaking on the forums, the moderators may impose a forumban time in addition to the deletion. Failure to observe this forumban may result in a DoS order (see below).

Posting Past Lock : If your thread is locked by a moderator, don't reopen a new thread to discuss it further. In most cases, the decision is either final or adequately covered in another open thread. Reposting rule-breaking threads (flames or spam, typically) will result in rapid negative action against your nation.

Post-Whoring: Any post specifically designed to feature or increase your post count is considered post-whoring, and is illegal on NationStates.

Promoting illegal activity: Don't start threads describing the best way to get away with murder, rape, child abuse, software piracy, bombing the UN, killing the President, or anything of that nature. We don't find it amusing, and it puts the forums at risk. Such threads will be deleted. Egregious posters of such may be banned, deleted, or even have their ISP contacted. We shouldn't have to spell this out, but apparently we do.

Puppet Multiing: Using an alternate nation (a puppet) to evade or break rules, and 'protect' your primary nation from repercussions, is not permitted. Egregious rulebreaking will also affect the puppetmaster. In Roleplay, when someone uses their other nations in wars to give themselves an advantage. Not against the game rules, but very likely to tick people off.

Quote Editing: Changing what someone said in a quotation without indicating that a change has been made, especially when it casts the person in a bad light and changes his or her meaning will be treated as flamebaiting or, if appropriate, trolling. The tradition here is to indicate the ORIGINAL words changed by reproducing them and using the strike tags and adding the changes in blue or some other color -- so that the original context is clearly visible. The tradition is also to add the word "fixed" to the post. Note that doing this in such a way as to make us thing you're trying to annoy someone may well end in moderation getting involved.

Referral Links: Posting links to "personal accounts" on websites (where you get some benefit from having multiple people click the link) is a warnable offense. This refers to Cyber-war, Outwar, plus all other variants, and even such sites as kevan.org (that dumbass zombie brain thing). They are not permitted in threads, titles, signatures, World Factbook entries, National Mottos, or anywhere else.

Signature Spam: Forum signatures give you space to include a few carefully selected links or quotes. Sigs are attached to every post, and must therefore conform to clutter-reducing rules. Maximum size should never exceed eight lines, including blank lines and quote lines. (A short quote takes up 5 lines - "quote", attribution line, two lines for the box, and one line for the quote). Large font sizes should be avoided and may be trimmed without warning. Posting forbidden links is not allowed.

Spam/SPAM: Off-topic, irrelevant and multi-posts that clog the server. This includes posting lots of smilies which is known as Smilie Spam. Also akin to spamming is Post-whoring which is when a player posts anything just to increase the postcount. Spamming to the point where you get deleted is known as Klamathing. Spamming in the forums should be reported through the Moderation forum, and In-game, through the Getting Help Page.

*Tag*ing: Creating a post whose sole content was *tag* was a useful search tool on the old forums. No more. Now that we have the "thread subscription/bookmark" feature (it's in your Profile and a menu option on every thread), there is no further need for *tag* posts. Excessive use of Tags is considered spam.

Thread Hijacking: Appropriating a thread for a discussion totally unrelated to the original purpose of said thread. Hijacking can take the form of a single post or a long discussion. Such posts may be split or deleted, and the poster warned.

Threats: Any post, telegram, or other entry which can be read as a threat against a player's life or safety is forbidden. We will consider all such threats to be real and actual, not satire or hyperbole, and act accordingly.

Trolling: Posts that are made with the aim of angering people. (like 'ALL JEWS ARE [insert vile comment here]' for example). While Trolls often make these posts strictly in an attempt to provoke negative comment, it is still trolling even if you actually hold those beliefs. Intent is difficult to prove over the internet, so mods will work under their best assumptions.

Note that posts of opinions you disagree with does not automatically equate with trolling. Disagreements are expected, as long as they are done in a civil manner. Max Barry has made it clear that he welcomes all opinions in civil debate, even those that are highly unpopular or minority-held. Make your case without the invective, if you want to avoid banishment as a Troll.

Trolling is also is used to refer to making obviously silly topics that people nonetheless will reply to, despite all common sense. Don't feed the trolls.

Trollbaiting: Posts that are made to attract trolls. First known instance is someone creating a topic for Republicans to gloat in after the 2004 election "So that I could see who to add to my ignore list!" Cogitation had already declared gloating over the elections to constitute trolling.

Trollnaming: Attempting to shut down a thread or poster by labeling it/them a troll with no further discussion. Trolls/trolling needs to be reported in Moderation, not within the thread.

Warez requests: Anyone asking for or posting links to illegal software (warez), or keys/cracks/hacks to software to get around purchasing requirements, will be forumbanned and probably deleted. This sort of illegal request can cause Max to lose this site, and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

A note on Forum Stickies: At the top of each forum you'll find a number of "stickies", these are the collected wisdom of the forum in question regarding rules, conventions, and questions and answers for each forum. Please be aware that there are a number of unofficial rules for each forum that cover how to role play within that forum, or the settings for debates. These differ from the game or forum rules set forth here or given by Moderators that must be followed. However, you will generally have a much more pleasant time if you take a moment to "read the stickies" and try to follow them.


Edit History: May 05 - Enhanced "Puppet Multiing", paid advertising links, "posting past forumban" (Fris); 27-August-05 - Added section on Advertisements (Euro); Dec-05 - PG-13 guidance (Fris); 30-June-2006 - added homework thread ruling, poll abuse rules and clarified obscenity rule to include violent images (TG); 07-04-20: Added Phelps' hate mongering to forbidden links list; 13 June 07 ditto for Encyclopedia Dramatica; 11/02/09 Garish Posts entry added; 4-November-09 - Minor tweak to Garish Posts entry, adjustment to Mods as a Weapon regarding the warning BBCode. (Rep) 07 December 09: updated godmoding link, (Ard). 04 Oct 2010: Bit of clarification regarding stickies (NERV) Jan 8 2012 Edited in Fury's link for PG13 comparisons (Nathi). 26 July 2012 added clarification about quote editing. 23 Sept 2012 added Trollnaming (Fris)
Last edited by Frisbeeteria on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:33 am, edited 11 times in total.

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NERVUN
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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - Diplomacy

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:06 pm

NationStates & International Incidents

These two roleplay forums are alike in many ways, but very different. Roleplay etiquette is enforced primarily by other players, but moderators can intervene in certain cases. Note that using moderators as weapons to attack your RP enemies is much more likely to backfire on you than hurt them.

What belongs where?: NationStates threads tend to be more character-oriented roleplay. International Incidents trends more towards wars and combats. Storefronts live in Global Economics and Trade, and factbooks mostly belong in Factbooks and National Information. Sports games and the like belong in NS Sports. "How do I ..." threads can go in either, though "How do I calculate my military?" would be an II question and "How do I become a better roleplayer?" Is more of an NS question. Most of those questions are answered in the stickies anyway.

Etiquette: Threads not belonging in the role-playing sections will be deleted or moved to the appropriate forum section as we find them. RP threads may be moved from NS to II or vice versa at author's request. In addition, the mods do have free license to lock or move very poor quality RP out of II - rampant violation of RP etiquette does not belong in II or NS.

[IC]: All posts in NS and II are assumed to be In-character [IC], unless preceded by an [OOC] designation. IC posts may take the form of dialogue, descriptions, actions, official communiqués, emails, actions, or whatever other format that the players choose. IC is always done nation-to-nation or character-to-character. Player-to-player posts should always be labeled [OOC].

[OOC]: Any interaction from the player perspective is OOC, or Out-Of-Character. "I'm going to bed now" should almost always be labeled OOC. "I'm going to assemble my fleet off your harbor," is never going to be OOC. Note: improperly labeled IC posts can be ruled as unlabeled OOC posts when they cross the line into rule breaking. Flaming that may be acceptable when directed from a President to a King is not acceptable when it is player to player. It is important to remember that IC flaming is NOT OOC flaming. Do not take it personally if a foreign King calls your leader a vile name.

RP and [OOC] companion threads: Many players will create two threads for a given RP - one for the RP itself, the other for [OOC] companion comments. Roleplay etiquette requires that you observe this distinction, and only post appropriate posts in each thread. OOC comments do not need to be labeled OOC in the companion thread. Metagaming is the use of Out-of-Character (OOC) statements to define In-Character (IC) actions. Information revealed in OOC comments are considered player knowledge, not nation knowledge, and should not be misused accordingly.

Thread Ownership: Roleplay threads are largely controlled by the topic originator. The title of the thread may include such statements as [Open], [Invite Only], or [Closed], and the first post may contain additional information pertaining to who may or may not participate in the thread. This should be considered carefully before posting, as editing in later instructions may not be enforceable. The thread owner may make a moderation request for post removal, player ejection from a thread, and/or post locking or deletion. Note: Thread ownership only applies to these two forums.

Noteworthy point here: OOC RP threads not directly connected to a actual RP thread [ie discussion of general ideas or design] are subject to the same rules as the general forum to avoid people trying to stifle criticism of their ideas using the 'originator controls thread' RP post rule.

The RP 'originator controls thread' concept exists to prevent unwelcome players from disrupting roleplaying and detracting from in-character posting. It is applied to out-of-character posts directly linked to in-character threads because only the posters in the in-character thread have any real need to use the attached discussion thread. It is not a blunt instrument to be used to silence criticism in pure OOC threads discussing general concepts, be it history, nuclear weapons, ship design or anything else.

Further reading:
NationStates Stickies and FAQs: A Guide to the NationStates Forum, Roleplaying Tips and Suggestions, What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

International Incidents Stickies and FAQs: International Incidents Information Desk, II Information Desk (Short/Easy to Read Version), Guide to Aerial, Ground and Naval Warfare, NationStates Trainers 3.0 - An OOC Organization


Global Economics and Trade & Factbooks and National Information

Storefronts and Factbooks: These forums allow a nation to develop and display various things about their nations. They may be open or closed at the topic originator's discretion.

Further Reading:
Global Economics and Trade Stickies and FAQs: The Unofficial Guide to Creating a Storefront, Guide to Creating a Product

Factbooks and National Information Stickies and FAQs: About Factbooks and National Information, Factbook Guide, The New Guide to Embassies and Consulates


NS Sports

NS Sports is an in-character forum where various nations compete on the sports field instead of the battlefield. Players are highly encouraged to read before participating. The rules for [IC]/[OOC] and thread ownership apply.

Sports roleplaying: roleplaying matches or games between national or club teams (or among individuals) in a certain sport, be it football (soccer), 'American' football, ice hockey, rugby, baseball, motorsport, or any other real-life sport you can think of - or indeed new one you can invent. The results are usually generated by the hosts of the tournaments, typically with a scorinator (see below), rather than roleplayers generating the individual scores or results themselves.

Scorinator: Java programs, spreadsheets, or other utilities that are used to come up with scores or results. At the heart of every scorinator is random numbers, but many long-running competitions have ranks that measure past success. Scorinators of these tournaments usually build in advantages to higher-ranked participants; this adds a sense of realism to the simulations. Scorinators also usually feature some sort of bonus for active roleplaying participation (an "RP Bonus"). Please note that rank and RP bonuses only increase a team's chances of winning; they never guarantee that a specific team will win.

Further Reading:
NS Sports Stickies and FAQs: Guide to Sports Roleplaying, General Sports Roleplaying Questions

[Edit history] Added GMC's qualifier to RP thread ownership, expanded WA proposal legality section for clarity. (Fris, Jul 05) Tweaked description, eliminated apparent difference in rules enforcement between II and NS. (TJ, May 06)|Replaced all references to UN with WA. (Kat, Apr 08)|Added NS Sports, updated the what goes where (NERV, May 10) |Incorporated Arch's suggestions for Sport (NERV, May 10)| Added in FAQs (NERV Oct 10)
Last edited by NERVUN on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - World Assembly

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:07 pm

General Assembly & Security Council

The World Assembly contains an element of roleplay, but often there will be OOC comments mixed in with the purely diplomatic comments made IC. The WA is only semi-RP, and posts there are subject to more mod intervention for inappropriateness than in the other two RP forums. The excuse that abusive statements were made by a roleplayed character, not the poster, is not acceptable.

The General Assembly forum is limited to WA business: if a WA nation is discovered to be in violation of WA resolutions, challenges to that nation should move to NationStates or International Incidents, or to the Security Council for discussion of a Condemnation.

Civility: WA posters are presumed to be ambassadorial representatives from their nations or regions to the WA. There is a higher expectation of decorum and politeness. Player attacks are not tolerated, whether uncouth language is part of the mix or not. Smilie spam is also more heavily policed in the WA, as it really has no place there at all.

Duplicate Topics are strongly discouraged, especially on proposals At Vote. There is generally a Sticky topic for the current resolution-at-vote labeled as the [OFFICIAL DISCUSSION TOPIC]. Don't start a new topic, use the official one.

Overreaction: Launching nukes at someone because they misspelled some words or posted something you don't like is not a typical first diplomatic step. Irrational belligerence can be seen as flamebaiting, and will be judged accordingly.

Plagiarism: Nations that plagiarise proposals will be expelled from the WA. This includes reviving other players' proposals from the Body That Is Nameless, using others' proposals as a line-by-line model for yours, or copying from any other existing document, such as RW UN resolutions or the US Constitution. You may present another delegate's proposal with their permission, provided they confirm their agreement and are acknowledged as author on the proposal and you may revive your own.This applies to both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Proposal legality: Given the depth of history of passed and failed Resolutions in what is now the General Assembly, determining the legality of proposals can be quite an arduous and difficult process. WA members and forum visitors are encouraged to weigh in with their thoughts and justifications on any posted proposal, as player participation in the passage of laws is one of the main purposes of the GA forum. Moderators generally do not intercede unless specifically requested. WA Mods base most of their rulings on what gets submitted to the Proposal queue, so players would be wise to vet their submissions before posting them.

In the Security Council the rules for proposals are not as detailed as the proposals do not make laws, but direct the WA on actions it must take (currently Commend, Condemn or Liberate). However, they must be written so as not to conflict with the nation-simulation style of NationStates.

Further reading:
General Assembly Stickies and FAQs: Rules for GA Proposals, The World Assembly Reference Guide, Passed World/General Assembly Resolutions, GA Proposals Q&A

Security Council Stickies and FAQs: Rules for SC Proposals, Passed Security Council Resolutions, Compendium of Mod Rulings & General Advice within the SC, A Guide to the Security Council


WA Archives
This is the home for all proposals that have been passed or defeated, as well as their debates. It serves as a record of all WA actions. Players may request that a thread be archived here, but it is up to Moderator discretion.

[Edit history]Section created, added Security Council and WA Archives -NERV (May 10)| Added stickies -NERV (Oct 10)| Incorporated Ard's suggested changes for WA, GA, SA, and other alphabet soup -NERV (OCT 10), Added plagarism -NERV (Oct 10)| Added link to SC Compendium -Sedge (Dec 14)| Added link to SC Guide --Sedge (Jan 11) | Updated link to GA Rules -Goob (Mar 12)
Last edited by Goobergunchia on Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:04 pm, edited 9 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Ejected from the WA? Here's why

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:07 pm

The World Assembly is getting much tougher on people who break the "one player, one WA member nation" rule. If you have been ejected from the WA, warned, or deleted, this explains why.

Q: I didn't know it was against the rules to have multiple WA member nations.
A: It is mentioned in the FAQ (see: "World Assembly"). Also, when you receive your invitation e-mail from the WA, it clearly spells out the penalties for breaching this rule. Not paying attention to this is not an excuse.

Q: I wasn't cheating! I only have one WA member nation. Your game got it wrong.
A: This is possible, but unlikely. The game uses four different methods to detect if the same person is operating multiple WA members. These methods include IP address tracking and login pattern detection. If your nation was deleted, the game gathered very strong evidence that it was being operated from the same location as other WA members on multiple occasions.

Q: My friends operate those other WA member nations. We all share the same computer.
A: I'm sorry if that's the case. There is no way for the game to tell how many people are on the other end of a computer. For this reason, breaches of WA rules involving only two members are usually punished with expulsion, not deletion.

However, please note this important point: we cannot take your word on how many people are really behind your computer. This is not because you are untrustworthy, it's simply that otherwise there is no way to enforce the WA rules.

Q: But that's not fair!
A: True, and again, I'm sorry if you and your friends have been punished unjustly. However, this is the closest we can come to fair. If we accepted people's explanations that they were using a public computer with their friends, we would have to let people create as many WA nations as they like. This would destroy the whole point of the WA.

The line has to be drawn somewhere, and thus, fair or not, the rule must stand.



Kryo's Edit - It seems that there were errors in this. Instead of "World Assembly" and "WA", [violet] had put in "United Nations" and "UN", fixed to avoid confusion. [Kat Edit]A couple sneaked by.[/edit]
Last edited by NERVUN on Sun May 23, 2010 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - National Affairs

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:07 pm

Gameplay

The Gameplay forum is about how players manipulate their nations and regions. There is no roleplaying aspect to the Gameplay forum at all. Don't post roleplays here. Don't start roleplays here. Don't talk about roleplaying strategies here. Gameplay is not about roleplaying. That's why we have a number of roleplaying forums. Got it? Good.

Region Pimping: All forum advertisements inviting nations to join your region belong in this forum and nowhere else. If you post it somewhere else, it will be moved here. If you post duplicates elsewhere in addition to your Gameplay thread, they will be deleted. Moving incorrectly placed pimping threads from NationStates, WA, and General is one of the more common tasks for Forum Mods, and we'd really like not to do that anymore.

Further Reading:
Guide to the Gameplay forum, Directory of helpful Gameplay threads


Got Issues

Got Issues? is the place to discuss all things related to National Issues. Despite the name, this is not the place to gripe about how another player has treated you, or how your candidate lost the last election. It's only for discussion of existing and newly proposed issues.

Further Reading:
Got Issues Stickies and FAQs: Issues FAQ and Repetition, How To Write An Issue, NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**,

[Edit history] Added stickies -NERV (Oct 10) | Updating stickies - Sedge (Sept '11) | Updated to reflect the name change -NERV (Jan '12)
Last edited by NERVUN on Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - Nuts & Bolts

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:08 pm

Technical

Technical is for issues relating to the game engine and coding. Suggestions for enhancements should go here. Be aware that most suggestions have been made many times before, so don't be annoyed when you get a curt response when you ask for a field for Capital City of National Leader. Bug reports go here, though they may end up being moved to a different forum for solution. Many things perceived as bugs (such as issue incongruities) are actually intentional features of the game, so again, don't be annoyed with the response.

Please READ BEFORE you post in the tech forum. This will answer virtually all of your questions.

Issue Repetition is not a bug, so don't post about it in Tech. Go read the stickies in Got Issues?

Me Too!: When we have a technical issue with the game or the forums, chances are it's affecting everyone in exactly the same way. Before you post, look for an existing thread. If all you have to add is "this is also affecting me," don't bother. We don't need to hear from all nations to know that the game is down. Once we know about the issue, we'll often post a Sticky if we can't solve it immediately.

Script Rules are covered in this post. If you don't know what scripts are or how to write them, these rules are almost certainly unnecessary for you.

Further Reading:
Technical Stickies and FAQs: TFAQ: Technical Forum, Custom BBCodes for the new forum, .:The BIG Collaborative List of Suggested NS Improvements:.


Moderation

Moderation is for issues related to player interaction. Reporting of flaming, spam, and other inappropriate behavior goes here. Moderation should be used with care, as some problems can only be identified by special mod tools. When in doubt, use the Getting Help page or #themodcave IRC channel instead. Players often have suggestions for solutions to problems, but only moderator answers can be considered definitive. Linking or quoting relevant moderator decisions (or this thread) may be entirely acceptable.

"Mods Only": Players may request that only moderators or admins respond to threads in Moderation. Players should not respond in these threads.

Rule-breaking in Moderation: If someone flames or spams in Moderation, don't create a new thread about it. We're going to see it anyway, so don't clutter the forum with irrelevancies.

Spamming Moderation: While the Moderators appriciate the help of the players, certain posts are not considered helpful. These include "Me too!", random comments, and attempts to either start, or continue, an argument. These posts are considered spam and since they interfere with other players receiving help they will result in a warning or a day long ban.

Speculation: If you don't definitively know the answer or have a link to a prior mod decision that is entirely relevant, don't try to answer other player's requests. It can be confusing to new players. You're not always aware of all the facts. ONLY moderator statements are definitive, so don't use language that implies that you are 100% certain.

Further Reading:
Moderation Stickies and FAQs: First Stop for Moderation

[Edit History]Added Spamming Moderation -NERV (May 10)| Added stickies -NERV (Oct 10) | Updated stickies - Sedge (Sept 11)
Last edited by [violet] on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Modified script rules
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - General Discussion

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:08 pm

General

General is considered the "Anything and Everything" home of NationStates, but that does not grant the right to post anything and everything anywhere and everywhere. All NationStates rules apply in General as much as anywhere else on the board. Threads need to have a topic and stay on it, spam and flaming are not allowed, and trolling must be carefully avoided.

Chat threads: If you want to have a private conversation with one or two other people, this isn't the place to do it. One of the instant message clients (AIM, MSN) or an IRC /query is best.

Copy & Paste: All articles / extracts posted for debate will be accompanied by a full reference (working link or name of publication, piece and author) and original poster commentary. Copy and pasting of articles from unattributed sources with insufficient commentary will be considered trolling, spamming or copyright violation as most appropriate.

Copycat threads: When somebody creates a popular thread, copycats and parodies quickly flood the forums. Like any other fad, a few can be fun, but once everyone starts to copycat them it becomes overbearing and spammish. Such threads may be locked or moved to Forum 7 by any moderator who considers that thread to be a copycat or spam thread. Threads with genuine content may be left alone, but that probability increases dramatically when you don't use a fad title.

Cybersex chats: Illegal under the "obscene" clause of the TOS. Take it elsewhere.

Gravedigs: General has a thread "life" of 2 weeks before considering the thread a zombie. It will still be possible to bump a thread after that for up to 3 months if it meets the following conditions:
    1. The post must consist of more than a single sentence or single thought. I.e. posts such as "Me too" or "I disagree" without much elaboration would still be considered a gravedig. Posts that address a previous post and expand would not (I.e. I agree, but I think that we need to look at X, Y, and Z because...).
    2. The post must not fit into a current (Active and posted within a day) thread. This means that posts that do expand but are in a topic that comes up constantly in General (Such as abortion) will be still considered a gravedig as chances are we've got another thread on the topic already going and we really don't need 4 or 5 threads on the same topic.
    3. The post must be timely. Attempting to continue a discussion about the election that happened three months ago is not timely.
    4. The post seems likely to promote new discussion. In other words, posts that seem to be addressed to one person only or cover points already brought up and discussed in the thread is more likely to be considered a gravedig.

After three months, a thread in General is considered dead and will not be revived unless there is some major change in the topic that can best be addressed in that thread. For example, a thread talking about a legal case may be bumped once the verdict is released in order to preserve some well written posts offering legal insights to the case.

Homework Help: General is not the place to post your assignment and ask others to do the work for you. Discussing topics is fine, but not question and answer sessions.

Images: Images are acceptable in General as long as they are somewhat relevant to the discussion (In other words not just pics for pics sake) and and spoiler'ing is encouraged. Memes qualify as spam if they contribute nothing to the discussion.

Social Threads: Social threads are allowed in General as long as they lead to some kind of discussion OR are aimed at General. For example, silly news, what's your favorite X, and the like will be acceptable as well as threads like Sexiest NSG'er. Threads that are chat threads, game threads, rate the X above, and RPs will belong in F7. Moderators will try to use the OP's original placement as a guide, but might move threads that obviously seem out of place.

Tag Games: Carrying on with a conversation or chase game in unrelated threads is spamming and topic hijacking. Don't do it.

Word Games are banned. Period. It is not a matter of bandwidth, they are just not coming back as they are spam. If you want to play word games, go to Forum 7 or join some elsewhere. They are not welcome in General.

Thoughts on Thread Management: It's common for us to lock, split, or otherwise maintain threads in General or other forums as a favor to the topic starter when such action will make the thread more readable or on topic. Examples of this include deleting or splitting posts from the General stickies that Erastide maintains or Komodom's WA sticky. Stickies are a somewhat special case, as their stickiness implies a certain level of Official Approval. If somebody has a non-sticky (but persistent) thread and wants similar assistance, we will consider it on a case by case basis. My base rule on that involves the question, "would I have done this if I stumbled across it myself?" If the answer is yes, I generally accede to the request.

Other General threads may be locked on request if the thread starter (or anyone else, for that matter) points out that the topic has devolved beyond redemption, or if rampant rulebreaking has wrecked the topic. From a maintenance perspective, this is just an extension of our own Modly ability to close problem threads and deal with topic hijacking. No one of us can possibly read every post in every thread, so it's fine to have them pointed out to us.

The thread ownership aspect in the RP forums extends much further than it does elsewhere. RP topic starters can ask to have certain players removed from a thread. We do not allow that level of control anywhere else. Also, requests for closure or deletion are almost entirely automatic, which is not the case elsewhere.

Further reading:
General Stickies and FAQs: First Stop for the General Forum



Arts & Fiction (previously called Jennifer Government)
Arts & Fiction is for discussion of the literary benefits of author Max Barry (among others), other artistic works, and strutting your own stuff.


Forum 7
Forum 7 (or F7) is intended for light-hearted conversations and non-NS roleplays. The Flaming Wombat location thread, word games, silly forum games, and non-NS roleplays are permitted in this section. The key point here is that this is intended to be a relaxed fun area, so please remember not to take things too seriously. The following rules apply to F7:
  • Posts made in this forum DO NOT add to your postcount. As far as your postcount is concerned, posts here don't exist. So posting absolutely pointless spam (IE: a thread of nothing but smilies, or the typical post-whoring "+1!") isn't allowed.
  • Auto-prune is activated on this forum and is set to 7 days. Threads that have not been posted in for more than 7 days will be auto-deleted to reduce clutter and minimize potential strain on the server.
  • This area is NOT a spam forum!
  • We allow more of a relaxed atmosphere in F7 in regards to playground kinds of insults. If the people involved in a thread have no problem with what's being said, then it is not a problem. (IE: Two posters having a "Yo mama" joke fight.) Before reporting to the mods however, please try to resolve any issues on your own. However, flames are still forbidden and will be acted on and posters are encouraged to report them in Moderation.
  • All other major rules still apply; fun is encouraged, but you still need to behave!

Further reading:
Forum 7 Stickies and FAQs: The Seven Commandments of Forum 7, A Hitchhikers Guide to F7 [Questions welcome]

[Edit history] Added Thread Management, (Fris, Jul 05); 30-June-2006 - added 'Red Arrow' copy & paste ruling, added word game spam status (TG); Added HW help (Eras,5/8/06)Replaced the Jennifer Government forum with Fiction (Kat, 7/21/09) Noted that word games are allowed in F7; added F7 as well. (NERV, 3/5/10); Added stickies (NERV, 04/10/10); Another sticky (NERV, 11/11/10); Agreed upon updates for General added (NERV, 12/31/10); Forum 7 section updated (Sedge 21st Sept '11)
Last edited by Euroslavia on Wed May 29, 2013 11:42 am, edited 12 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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NERVUN
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Forum-Specific - Archives

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:08 pm

Archives

Archives is a storage bin for threads considered worthy of keeping. The Archive will not be added to except by moderation staff, as they see fit. If you want to keep track of your fabulous roleplay topic, Subscribe to it or save the URL.
Last edited by NERVUN on Sun May 23, 2010 7:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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NERVUN
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Final Thoughts

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:08 pm

A Note concerning the NationStates Terms of Service (TOS) and FAQ: While it should go without saying, some players apparently think the TOS and FAQ don't apply on the forums. They do. Don't be stupid.

Delete-on-Sight (DoS or DOS)
: Any player who has so worn out his welcome with rule-breaking behavior over a variety of nations may be declared DoS by the moderation staff. Any new nations created by this player can and will be deleted when spotted, and any threads they started or posts they contributed will be removed without warning. This is reserved for the most egregious violators, and is never unilaterally declared by a single moderator, but is agreed upon by a majority of active Mods and Admins. The list of DoS nations will not be made public, so don't ask.

Humor on the forums: This site is based on a work of political satire, and is intended to be fun. Humor is welcome here, but be aware that standards of humor vary widely. Some people find spamming and flaming to be exceedingly funny, but those actions are not permitted here. It's up to you to balance your idea of humor against what the rest of the players here find funny, and it's up to the mods to be the final aribiters of what is permitted and what isn't. Keep in mind that this is primarily a political game, so try to keep the humor running along those lines.

Mod Oppression and Mod Bias
: NationStates moderation is based on acting against rule-breaking in the games and the forums. Political opinions do not factor into official decisions by moderators. We make our rulings and interpretations as official representatives of NationStates, and are acting in the name of Max Barry. Our only agenda is RULES ENFORCEMENT. It's often the case that posters who lack the control to post within the rules also hold strong opinions on other matters, and it may appear that the mods are suppressing a particular viewpoint. This is NOT the case. Anyone who shares that viewpoint and manages to post within the rules is welcome to express their opinion.

Mods are players too: Moderators have political, religious, and social opinions, and they are welcome to express them on the forums. In most cases, mods will add a "Moderation Team" signature block when posting in their official capacity, and all mod posts in Moderation and Technical are considered official unless specified otherwise. Otherwise, Mods are free to roleplay, argue, or otherwise post in any forum just as any other player may.
    Special Instances: Mods may be occasionally accused of breaking various forum or game rules. These will be dealt with in the usual fashion, and the Mod accused will not be permitted to contribute to the ruling. Accusations of mods abusing their powers should be reported to the administrators directly. Please note that such accusations are treated very seriously and the administrators are less patient than we are, so do not make frivolous or unfounded complaints.

Mod Actions: For those who are not aware of this, Moderator actions depend upon the rule being broke, who broke it, and how it was broken and can range from unofficial warnings (I.e. Knock it off's), to official warnings (Red texts), to short or long bans from the forum, to the loss of a player's nation(s) if not a DoS order. Usually a player must gather several warnings before a ban is applied and several bans before the loss of his or her nation but this is not always the case. Some actions, such as actions that can be considered an attack on the game (I.e. a denial of service attack) or posting explicit content, can result in an instant deletion of the player's nation(s) or instant DoS depending. All Mod actions are recorded for Moderator record keeping and can be checked by asking in Moderation or through the Getting Help page. If a player feels that a Mod action was unjustified or too harsh, they may appeal using the appeals process.
    Warning Levels: An official warning (*** Red text ***) will cause your warning level to go up. Your warning level can be checked through the User Control Panel. The level goes down after a few months, though the record will remain for Moderator use. There is no magic "warning number" that triggers a ban or deletion, Moderators judge based on a player's history as well as the rule being broken and how.

Rules Lawyers
: We don't like rules lawyering. We've said this before. If someone looks like they're trying to use (or, more specifically, abuse) the above guidelines in bad faith, then an official warning will be issued against them. "But you said this was okay!" "Yes, we did say it was okay. Then you went and tried to use that to bait another player." "I wasn't trying to bait him/her!" "We don't believe you." "But it's true!" "Tough noogies. You are officially warned."

Play Nice
: Regarding ignores, quotes, and various other interpretations and variable rules listed in this topic: Play nice. If you do that, you'll probably be fine. -- SalusaSecondus

Copyright: Users of Nationstates own the copyright to everything they post here under international law, assuming it's copyrightable material in the first place and belongs to them.

The legal section only grants the site's Admins the licenses they need to store your material and make it viewable on someone else's computer. 'Royalty-free' means you cannot charge them for doing so.

Were you to find someone had, for example, stolen your Nationstates weapon designs and used them in a movie or a line of toys, you as the copyright holder would still be fully entitled to take action against them. Putting something up in our forum does not remove your right of copyright ownership.
It's doubtful you could file action if someone went so far as to actually build, say, an NS-designed tank, because the description the user provides is not exhaustive enough for 'industrial application' and would require massive additional work on behalf of the tank-builder.

On the other hand, if another user steals your designs [and that would be either using images without your permission or reproducing large portions of text unaltered], that is simple trolling and bad RP. If you point the moderators at the thread, they'll tell them to knock it off.

Characters are covered by the same rules as technology; copying one directly and entirely is trolling. This does not, however, mean any of the four million people with characters called 'Riddick' could have any action taken on that basis alone; it's only if someone reproduces a whole character and adds nothing or very, very little of their own, and that character is actually theirs to begin with.
The moderation staff wouldn't take action, for example, if two people had Darth Vader because they both nicked it from Star Wars to begin with.

Quoting posts in replies does not require copyright permission, since the 'fair use' part of copyright law allows reproduction of copyrighted works for purposes of criticism or commentary.

Finally, remember This. Is. Nationstates! -- not to be confused with /b/. Leave the "4 teh lulz" and rules-lawyering at the door.

Edit History: Added "Rules Lawyering" (Cogitation), "Play Nice" (SalusaSecondus), Copyright section [GMC], section added on to "Mods are players too" by popular demand [Czar], Section on Mod actions added [NERV]
Last edited by NERVUN on Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

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NERVUN
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 24676
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Appeals Process (Originally posted by SalusaSecondus)

Postby NERVUN » Sun May 23, 2010 5:08 pm

Appeals
For forum problems, you should start in the Moderation forum, preferably in the thread in Moderation where the report was made. Asking for a second opinion is permitted. An exception to this is a forumban - that must be made via Getting Help to avoid breaking forumban. If two or more mods have already ruled on that case, or the thread is locked, that's it for the forums. Your next stage is a Getting Help request, or Final Appeal.

For game problems, Getting Help is your first choice. You may ask for a review of moderation decisions. If there are also forum issues, include links to the theads. For deletions, be certain to include another nation name or an email address where you may be reached. Game rulings are logged by the system, so we know who made the original ruling and will pass it to a different Game Mod for the appeal.

Final Appeals
If you feel that the first appeal was unjust, you may post a final appeal via the Getting Help page. Please note in your request that this is a final appeal. The appeal will be logged where all mods can see it, and will be judged by a panel of no less than three mods, excluding the original ruling mod and including at least one Senior Game Mod. The presence of a Senior is to ensure the panel is sufficiently experienced, not to provide a higher authority: the panel's decision will be reached by consensus, with no individual having greater influence than another.

Frivolous appeals may result in warnings to your nation. Most forum warnings and minor forumbans are likely to be considered frivolous. Final appeals may take several days, so be patient.

Admins, including Max Barry, are not moderators: they are not involved in rulings, including appeals. If you bypass this process and go directly to admin, they will almost certainly toss it back at the mods, or simply ignore it. Admins will only be involved in cases involving changes to the game framework, or serious claims of moderator abuse; e.g. that would require a moderator to be stood down. In this case, admins will be alerted by mods.

Please remember to remain polite and courteous at all times. This makes the appeal easier on everybody, including you.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Clarifying that first appeals for forum problems should be posted in Moderation
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

Proud Member of FMGADHPAC. Join today!

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[violet]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7662
Founded: Antiquity

Postby [violet] » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Script Rules

This rule describes how you may use automated tools, such as scripts, macros, and browser add-ons, to interact with NationStates.

It is acceptable to use a tool that merely modifies how pages look to you. For example, a script that adds particular buttons in your browser when viewing other people's nation pages is fine. Similarly, any kind of information-gathering script is acceptable, subject to the rate limits below.

It is illegal to use a tool to automatically cause something in the gameworld to change, other than your own nation. Examples include: moving regions, sending a telegram to another nation, banning a nation from a region, creating a nation, and endorsing another nation.

A tool is working "automatically" if it executes an action in any way other than by immediately responding to a user's mouse click (or similar input), at the ratio of one click to one action. For example, a tool that sends ban requests to the server at five-second intervals, regardless of user input, is executing actions automatically, and illegal. However, a tool that makes ban buttons appear on pages where they aren't normally present is legal, as this requires a user's click something to change anything in the gameworld.

You may use a tool to execute actions that only affect your own nation, such as answering issues or changing custom fields.

Rate Limits

If you wish to use a script to gather information from NationStates, you are encouraged to use the official API, rather than scraping HTML pages. If there's data you can only get from the HTML, we will probably add it to the API if you ask. The API is able to handle scripts far more efficiently and thus has quite high rate limits (currently 100 requests per minute).

Scripts that don't use the API must send no more than 10 requests per minute.

Scripts are completely banned on the forum (http://forum.nationstates.net).

Exception: Sending Telegrams

In recognition of the fact that NS has a very crude messaging interface, with an improved one in the works:

A script or automated tool may send telegrams, providing that it does so at a rate of no more than 3 telegrams per minute.

The rate limit is adjudged per region/group/cause. That is, a group of people may not work together to send more than this rate of telegrams to promote the same region, WA resolution, or other cause.

Please note: This does not overrule the broader site rules regarding spam. You are required to stay within those rules, too.

NB, per this thread, starting June 1st 2012 this exception does NOT apply to sending recruitment telegrams. Those may only be sent manually.


Updated 9-Mar-2013. To send telegrams via script, please migrate to the new Telegrams API. Tools & scripts should not interfact with the HTML telegrams page (i.e. '/page=telegrams') unless they are only adding minor functionality. Tools that send telegrams in a fully automated or near-fully automated manner must use the Telegrams API (which has stricter rate limits).

We understand that some work will be required by script authors to migrate to the API, so if you are already running a tool, you don't need to shut it down right this instant. But the changes required should be fairly minor, and after a transition period we will be blocking scripts that don't comply, so please make use of this time.

Script Authors

It is illegal to distribute a tool that breaks game rules when used in its primary, default, or intended manner.
Last edited by [violet] on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Added link to moratorium on recruitment telegram scripts per June 1st.


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