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The One Stop Rules Shop

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Euroslavia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 7674
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The One Stop Rules Shop

Postby Euroslavia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:42 pm

Collected here for your amusement and amazement are summaries of most of the rules and conditions of NationStates, as set by Max Barry, and 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. Previous rule set here.


Table of Contents

Overview

Advertisements
Bad Faith
Appeals Process
Class Regions
Commercialism
Customizable Field Violations
Offensive Material
Flame/Threats
Flamebaiting
Forbidden Links/Warez Requests
Garish Posts
Gravedigging
Harassment/Griefing
Homework
Impersonation
Mods as a Weapon
Nation Hijacking
Posting Past a ban/Lock
Privacy violation
Puppet Flooding
Selling Nationstates accounts
Spam
Thread Hijacking
Illegal Activities
Trolling/Baiting/Gloating
WA Multiing
Last edited by Sedgistan on Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:48 am, edited 13 times in total.
Reason: class regions
Cards Against Nationstates | Getting Help | The One Stop Rules Shop

"It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to fall down. Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it!" Latrice Royale.
Trans waz here!

Rest in Peace Dyakovo.

User avatar
Euroslavia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 7674
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Euroslavia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:42 pm

How do Moderators moderate?

* For a list of active moderators, see here.


Moderators consider a number of points when coming to a judgement.
1. What rule was broken (Flaming, spamming, trolling)?
2. How was it broken and how badly?
3. What is the history of the poster in question? Is this an older member who has never received a warning? A brand new member who came in guns a blazing? Someone who has had multiple warnings?
4. What was the context of the post in question? Was the player baited into it? Is this two players who have been arguing with each other across the forum?

The same offense may receive a harsher punishment if the poster has a history of rulebreaking and a lighter one if the poster has a reputation for good behaviour; in general, offenses are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Note on Mod Actions: All Mod actions are recorded for Moderator record keeping and can be requested 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 or forumban (*** 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. Bear in mind that your warning level is forum-side warnings only. 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.

Can Moderators play too?
Yes, Moderators are all chosen from among the players and they are allowed to participate in RPs, debate in General, play games in F7, and propose legislation in the WA. Moderators are welcome to express their political, religious, and social opinions when appropriate. What a Mod cannot do is use his or her position as a Mod in the game to attempt to get ahead as it were. For example, a Mod cannot say, “Don’t argue with my opinion or I’ll ban you” in a debate in General, when not acting as a Mod.

    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 the Getting Help page, where our admins will be notified of the report. 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.

What are the various types of Moderators?
For a quick and easy reference, check out the thread with all the details in Moderation listing Information and contact emails.

How do I know when a Moderator is acting as one?
Usually official Moderator Actions are rather noticeable. Using the *** warning text *** for example, drawing attention with colored text, or attaching a Moderator Signature. When in doubt though, ask.

Can a Moderator act as a Moderator in a thread that they are in?
Yes and no. A Mod will not rule on a person they are in a forum/game conflict (such as an RP conflict or a debate in General) unless the action is one were speed is needed (Such as posting graphic images). However, if a Moderator sees other posters breaking the rules, they are free to act as they see fit. Mods can also perform ‘bookkeeping’ tasks such as editing posts to repair bad code or splitting threads.

Do Moderators have to be on all the time? Are they on shifts?
No, Mods come on when they have time. Remember that Mods are unpaid volunteers, and do have things that require attention outside the forums. This is not a complaint, simply a statement of fact.

Do Moderators have to monitor each thread and post?
No, there are far too many posts for that and not enough Moderators. Mods rely on players making reports in Moderation.

Can Moderators moderate a thread in which they have bias?
Yes and no. Mods might be active as Mods in a thread where they would seem to have a conflict of interest. That said, Mods usually do not moderate in threads or situations where they feel their judgment is not neutral or there would be an appearance of bias.

Note on 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. All viewpoints are acceptable so long as they are argued within the rules.

Privacy: While anyone can request moderator intervention, 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, and make no guarantees about their content. 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). Please don't bring non-NationStates business to the NationStates forums, Getting Help page, or #themodcave. In particular, accusations of misconduct outside of NationStates do not belong in NationStates and will be punished as defamatory.
Last edited by NERVUN on Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cards Against Nationstates | Getting Help | The One Stop Rules Shop

"It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to fall down. Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it!" Latrice Royale.
Trans waz here!

Rest in Peace Dyakovo.

User avatar
Euroslavia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 7674
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Euroslavia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:42 pm

General Guidelines


1) Keep it PG-13. The standard for both the 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. Anything that crosses this boundary is subject to punishment depending on how far it goes.

Erotic roleplay and cybersexing are forbidden on all areas of the site -- forums, rmbs, or telegrams. Engaging in these anywhere on site will lead to warnings, bans, deletion or being declared Delete on Sight (DOS), depending on a player's prior history here.

2) Keep it Civil. While being abrasive, mean-spirited, and mean are not against the rules, they do make you much harder to get along with and will be considered as aggravating circumstances, whether intentionally or not. Someone who's generally decent but has an off day is always going to get cut more slack than someone no one likes to be around. Additionally, if someone's being decent, it's really hard for that person to do something that will get them in trouble. When in doubt, a simple guideline is 'Don't Be A Dick'. Thanks, Scolo.

3) No rules lawyering. The intent of a post (while sometimes hard to judge), is a very important factor when determining whether or not it is actionable. The Moderation team does its best to interpret it. Agreeing or disagreeing with a moderation decision at whatever length you wish is perfectly within the rules, so long as it is done tactfully and civilly. Please see the Appeals Process (listed below) for further information.

That said, moderator decisions are not to be taken in bad faith. For instance, if something is ruled to be acceptable, don't turn around and use that ruling to bait another player (e.g. "In this case, I don't think Player 2 intended to be malicious when he described Player 1 as a 'maladjusted rapscallion.'" "Okay. Hey, Player 2! You're a maladjusted rapscallion! Moderator 3 said it's okay to call people that!"). This will never end well for you and it's best to simply leave things be; if you are doing so in an attempt to demonstrate that a moderator decision is wrong, simply file an appeal.

4) Thread Ownership. It's accepted that in the RP forums (Nationstates, International Incidents, Portal To The Multiverse, Global Economics and Trade) have what's become know as 'thread ownership', giving creators the opportunity to maintain more control over their RP situations and environments. Whereas discussion forums (General, Arts and Fiction), given their nature, are not given that consideration, to avoid the dismissal of opposing views. We reserve the right to split out posts from threads in special circumstances where the player or players are breaking rules.


Reporting Guidelines


Forum-side violations are to be reported in the Moderation Forum. All other violations are to be reported using the Getting Help Page. The GHP may also be used in any instance in which you would prefer your privacy to remain intact, and is our preferred method of receiving player reports as it allows for better bookkeeping. For time-sensitive complaints, employ our IRC channel, #themodcave on irc.gamesurge.net -- more information about our IRC channels.


Forbidden Actions


Most importantly, in-game violations should be reported to the Getting Help Page while forum violations should be reported via the Moderation Forum.

Advertisements: Advertising sites unrelated to NationStates is not permitted. If you really want an ad, contact the Admins, and purchase banner space. Advertisements for websites/forums directly related to Nationstates are allowed.

Bad Faith: It is expected that players post with the intent of making the site a better, more enjoyable place to be - this is good faith posting. Bad faith posting is when a person is no longer interested in this goal, and instead seeks to score points, contributes nothing useful, or is deceitful.

This standard is enforced in the Moderation forum by default, and may be declared as applicable by the Moderation Team in other threads elsewhere when said threads involve policy discussions, mechanics discussions, discussions of potential additions/modifications to the game or forum, or other pertinent announcements. These threads, like Moderation "discussion threads," are meant to gauge the opinions of the community and otherwise help better player experience; posting in bad faith in such is detrimental to this process. Please note, in the instance a post is removed for being in bad faith, it is not deleted, but instead moved to the "Evidence Locker" where it may be reviewed if necessary.

Class Regions: Class regions are special regions that exist for educational purposes. Unless you are an invited member of that class, you should not move to a class region.

Commercialism: It is prohibited to promote any commercial product on NS, or to promote products or sites unrelated to NS, even if they are free; a site or product is considered "commercial" if we believe it is primarily or substantially profit-driven. "Free" sites may still run ads, solicit donations, or otherwise raise revenue, so long as this appears primarily aimed at defraying costs rather than carrying on a commercial enterprise. In addition, players aren't permitted to use NS Store purchases to induce or reward in-game behavior. For more information, see here.

Customizable Field Violations: Using offensive terms and language in a nation's motto, currency, national animal, demonym and/or national title. Also applies to using offensive and/or pornographic imagery in a national flag or banner (For more information on this decision, go here). 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.
*Animated flags are subject to removal as well if they're overly flashy or disruptive to the eyes.

Offensive Material: As mentioned previously, we use the US movie rating "PG-13" standard. Mild swearing may be tolerated, mild sexuality may be hinted, but explicit or excessive versions of either or both will result in moderation intervention.

Flame/Threats: Personal attacks against other players, expressed via OOC (out-of-character) comments; insults, swearing and anything posted with intent to offend. In-character remarks can be interpreted this way as well; watch what you post if other posters are unaware you're not serious. Erudite slams while maintaining a veneer of politeness can also be considered flaming. Repeated instances of flaming directed at the same player can be considered harassment, a more serious offense.

Flamebaiting: 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. Also included under flamebaiting is malicious quote editing, changing the contents of a quoted post without showing the original text, either through color changes or strike-out.

Forbidden Links/Warez Requests: Referral links (where you derive some sort of financial or other benefit) such as Cyber-war, Outwar, plus all other variants. In addition, certain sites are expressly prohibited, specifically kevan.org, ebaumsworld, albinoblacksheep, plasticnipple, Encyclopaedia Dramatica, A Voice For Men, and Fred Phelps' godhates<group> hate-mongering sites are not allowed. Use discretion when linking to another site.

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.

Gravedigging: Posting a reply on a long unused thread. Adding legitimate new material is permitted, but the acceptable age varies from forum to forum. Check the stickies in each forum to determine the standard for what constitutes gravedigging.

Harassment/Griefing: Harassing/griefing a nation or region because of their words or actions is forbidden regardless - in telegrams, Regional Messageboard (RMB) posts, and on the forums. Save abusive telegrams so that moderators can examine them. Use the Additional Information checkboxes on the Getting Help Page to report abusive RMB posts. Report abusive forum posts in the Moderation forum.

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

Impersonation: Any attempt to maliciously impersonate another nation or region, including employing a similar name or attempting to hack nation or region passwords, is illegal according to the FAQ. Passing nations from one player to another is legal, but inadvisable as the receiver also inherits any warning history attached to the nation.

*Impersonation of moderators or administrators can lead to immediate deletion. Note that using Moderation's Custom Warning Tags in your posts is deemed impersonating a moderator. *** Don't use the moderation red-text warning tags. ***

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 includes using the moderator's warning code. (See also "Impersonation", above)

Nation Hijacking: Stealing someone else's nation by gaining their password is a very serious offense and likely to result in a permanent ban from the site. Note the section on shared accounts for when an account is shared.

Posting Past a ban/Lock: If a nation is forumbanned, that nation's player is not permitted to post on the forums with other puppet nations until the forumban expires. This also applies to nations who receive a ban from posting to Regional Message Boards, or a ban from sending telegrams; do not use a puppet to get around this ban. Doing so will result in the deletion of both the puppet and the originally banned nation. Questions or appeals regarding a ban should be submitted via the Getting Help Page. Similarly, do not repost a locked thread unless given permission by a moderator.

Privacy violation: Players on NationStates have a reasonable expectation that their privacy will be respected. It is not permitted to post or otherwise share another player's personally-identifying information (i.e. social media accounts, IP addresses, postal addresses, E-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or other real-world identifying information).

Puppet Flooding: Any player or group of players creating large numbers of puppets for the purpose of spamming, harassing, 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.

Selling Nationstates accounts: Strictly prohibited. Under no circumstances are you allowed to sell nations/regions for any form financial (or items with financial value) compensation.

Spam, and the different types of it
There are many types of spam, but the general definition is making a post that doesn't have any sort of use. Excessive bumping, tagging, and random posts with irrelevant information are all examples of spam. The same applies to in-game posts on regional message boards and telegrams.

*Excessive Bumping: Bumping is adding a meaningless (*bump*) post to a thread to push it back to the top of the list. Bump rates vary between forums, but as a rule, once every 24 hours is the maximum outside General or II where it may be acceptable to bump any thread that has fallen past the first two pages. If the bulk of your posts, or posts in the thread are bumps, you should take it to mean that there is not enough in your topic, and let it end.

*Forum Spam: Off-topic, irrelevant and multi-posts that do not belong, such as smiley spam, meme spam, linkspam, and attempting to increase your post count.
-- Fishing for attention can be distracting, even upsetting to other players. Your Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites are more appropriate places for it. This especially applies to unnecessary drama. Please, do not drop a drama bomb on a chat as a way of getting a response.
-- Greeter Spam is only posting a 'hi' or 'hello', especially in the chat threads. Please add something to the ongoing conversations, even if you're introducing something new.
-- Trollnaming is a post made only to call out a player suspected of trolling. This can also be considered flaming. Report trolls in Moderation. Don't name them in-thread, and if found, do not feed.
-- Tagging is considered spam as well, since we have the "bookmark topic" feature (it's in your Profile and a menu option on every thread).


*Regional Advertising Spam: The only places where you are allowed to put region advertisements are: The Gameplay Forum (they will be deleted if posted elsewhere) and the regional message boards of the game-created regions (The Pacific, The North Pacific, The East Pacific, The South Pacific, The West Pacific, Lazarus, Osiris, Balder, The Rejected Realms and the Official Warzones). Note that it is not legal to advertise in copycat regions such as "West Pacific". One ad per 24-hour period or per 10 posted messages, whichever is longer.

RMB Ads are allowed in player-created regions if and only if the region has a "Recruiter Friendly" tag.

Recruitment telegrams must be labelled appropriately.


*IGNORE Cannon Spam: Just posting "IGNORED" or 'Ignore Cannon Fired', with or without accompanying pictures, is spam. If you don't want to play with someone, don't. Work it out with the participating players, or withdraw from the roleplay. Add to your ignore list as you like, but don't gloat about it. If you use the Ignore Cannon as part of your IC method of explaining why $player is no longer involved, do it with some class - and do it in character.

*Image Spam: Posting of images, particularly repeated or multiple images, that do not serve to help the flow of the thread. This includes images in both in-character and out-of-character posts.

*GHR (General Help Request) Spam: Sending (repeated) messages that are not related to either game issues or reporting rulebreaking behavior. Also included is sending repeated appeals for the same situation after you have received a final appeal on the matter as per the published procedure.

*Regional Message Board Spam: Posting multiple messages on your message board within a short period of time can be considered message board spam. Founders and regional officers they designate may suppress spam (or any other messages) on the regional message board.

*Regional Happenings Spam: Going in and out of a region while filling the regional event's board with departing and arriving messages. Also deliberately spamming the wrong password to attempt to enter a region, as this will also cover the regional happenings section. This includes doing so with more than just one of your nations and is not allowed. Use the Additional Information check-boxes on the Getting Help Page to capture abuses.

*Signature Spam: Maximum size should never exceed eight lines, including blank lines and a quote box is four lines; signatures should not use more than two of these. Signatures exceeding eight lines will be reduced using spoiler tags. Large font sizes should be avoided and may be trimmed without warning. See Advertisements and Forbidden Links above.

*WA Advertising Spam: Non-natives and region-hoppers are forbidden to post WA advertisements or requests for proposal approval outside of their native region. The game-created regions (Listed above) are no exception to this rule. Requests for proposal approval may be telegrammed to WA delegates, but must be tagged appropriately. More than one request per proposal may be considered spam. WA campaign telegrams shouldn't be sent to non-WA members

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.

Seeking Help with Illegal Activities: 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. Egregious posters of such may be banned, deleted, or even have their ISP contacted. For more information on this, and why we've specified as we have, see here.

Threads with the purpose of collecting opinions on the 'worst X of Y', or similar, will probably be considered an unacceptable risk for flaming, baiting, trolling or spamming, so don't start them.

Trolling/Baiting/Gloating: Trolling is defined as posts that are made with the aim of angering people. (like 'ALL JEWS ARE [insert vile comment here]' for example). Someone disagreeing with you does not equate to trolling. Intent is incredibly important and will be judged by the moderators to the best of their abilities. Honest belief does not excuse trolling. Disagreements are expected and conducting yourself in a civil manner is ideal. Trollbaiting is the action of making posts that attract trolls. A prime example of trollbaiting would be gloating over the results of an election.

Gloating over punishments handed out to other players is not acceptable. Another form of the offense, 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 and will be dealt with appropriately. Other cases will be considered on an ad hoc basis.

WA Multiing: A basic rule is one WA nation per person. (You may have as many non-WA nations as you like.) Any WA nations operated from the same computer will be treated as multies. If you have family or roommates who want to be in the WA too, work it out with them. It is your responsibility to make sure you have resigned from the WA before someone else joins from your computer. There is no way for us to truly know how many people are on the other side of the connection.


Appeals Process


Appeals
For forum problems, you should start on the forums, preferably in Moderation with a link to the ruling that you're appealing. 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 threads. 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.

Please be aware, that while mods may choose to honor a third-party request for a second opinion at their discretion, they are not required to do so. Formal appeals must be made by the person who was subject of moderator action, and not by a third party. Third-party appeals will not be considered.

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.

Edit log: Added back in honest belief does not excuse trolling because it was forgotten. - NERV 11 Jun 2014
Added in explicit warning that use of official moderation warn tags is counted as impersonation, because apparently this needed clarification.
Added in section on Commercialism - Mouse 19 Oct 2015
Removed mention of swastikas, as per this. --Cogitation, 12 Nov 2015
Added clarification of Privacy Violations. --Cogitation, 2 May 2016
Changed "thread subscription" to "bookmark topic" under "Spam, Tagging." — Kyrusia, 2 June 2016
Added General Help Request Spam -- Kat 26 July 2016
Amended "Commercialism" to define "commercial" — Kyrusia, 29 July 2016
Added a very clear warning about erotic roleplay/cybersexing being forbidden on all areas of the site -- Kat, 30 August 2016
Removed the part about Founder spamming the Regional Message Board to clear it as the Founder/Delegate/Regional Officer being able to suppress spam (and the message board displaying more than the last 25 messages now) made it defunct. -- Kat, September 21, 2016
Last edited by Sedgistan on Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:48 am, edited 43 times in total.
Reason: Updated.
Cards Against Nationstates | Getting Help | The One Stop Rules Shop

"It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to fall down. Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it!" Latrice Royale.
Trans waz here!

Rest in Peace Dyakovo.

User avatar
Euroslavia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 7674
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Euroslavia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:42 pm

Acceptable Flag Policy


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.


We 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.

We don't ban particular patterns of colored pixels, 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 mods' job is to judge which is which. For more details, see the Acceptable Flag Policy and the Site Policy on "Malicious" Content thread.

As such, what causes a flag to be more or less offensive is dependent on a variety of current events of a cultural, political, military etc nature, and may change without warning. For example, if a zombie attack destroys Japan, a flag displaying zombies eating Japanese citizens may become widely offensive and be removed as a result.

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.


Regarding Sharing Accounts
What is "sharing accounts"?
As far as moderation is concerned, a nation account is shared if more than one person has accessed it. Whether a nation is being used by a group of players, or a nation is given permanently from Player A to Player B, both instances are shared.

Is sharing nations among multiple players allowed?
It is allowed, but moderation's stance on the act is to avoid it as an unnecessary risk.

What are the risks?
  • WA warnings - If you're sharing around a WA member nation while one or more people with access to it also maintain WA accounts, you run a greater risk of getting caught on the WA cheatscanner.
  • Warning history - If you share a nation that has a moderation warning history, you risk having that history associated with you.
  • Bans/DEATs/DOSes - Sharing nations around muddies the moderation trail and increases the risk of one or more players being at risk for moderation enforcement they didn't actually earn. Although moderation will do what we can to avoid this confusion, if players share nations around enough, it truly becomes almost impossible to definitively tell who has control of what.
  • Nation theft - Fact is, the more people have access to a nation, the less secure it is. If one of the owners hijacks that shared account, there will be nothing moderation can do to help the others recover it.
  • Outright malice - If one person with access to shared account goes on a rulebreaking rampage, everyone with access to that account risks having disciplinary actions levied against them, as the system will have trouble telling Player A from Player B when they both login to Nation X regularly.
So why don't you ban it?
Enforcing such a ban would be impractical at best. Hence it falls under the same general umbrella of "player responsibility" as things like your password security, caution about sharing computers or using publicly accessible ones, and so on. Players can share, and will share, and thus they accept the risks that go with it.


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.


Terms of Service (TOS)( http://www.nationstates.net/pages/legal.html )
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ( http://www.nationstates.net/page=faq )

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. 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.

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 plagiarism which deserves to be its own offense. 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 plagiarism (as above). Original characters are protected by copyright. Characters taken from existing media are not; no action will be taken in case of a dispute over Darth Vader.

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. Additional advice/commentary on "Fair Use" located here.

The Malicious Content Ruling can be found in Moderation, and further details flag, and nation creation issues that can get you into trouble.

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

Edit log:
Removed mention of swastikas, as per this. --Cogitation, 12 Nov 2015
Last edited by Sedgistan on Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:53 am, edited 8 times in total.
Reason: Added the bit discussion sharing accounts.
Cards Against Nationstates | Getting Help | The One Stop Rules Shop

"It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to fall down. Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it!" Latrice Royale.
Trans waz here!

Rest in Peace Dyakovo.

User avatar
Euroslavia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 7674
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Euroslavia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Script Rules


This rule describes how you may use automated tools (e.g. scripts, macros, and browser add-ons) to interact with the regular NationStates website. (The NationStates API has its own rules.)

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, endorsing another nation, and anything else that generates a Happenings line in a region, the World Assembly, or a nation other than your own. These are referred to below as "restricted actions."

A tool is working "automatically" if it executes a restricted 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 restricted actions automatically, and is 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 to change anything in the gameworld.

A tool may never execute restricted actions simultaneously. It must wait for the completion of each command--a complete response from the NationStates server--before issuing the next one. A tool should never spawn background processes to enable multiple simultaneous server connections that each perform a restricted action.

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

API

NationStates offers an API, which provides a faster, more efficient interface for many scripts. It is governed by its own rules; these Script Rules do not apply to any API request. The main reason you would not want to use the API is that it currently doesn't offer a good way to do things as a logged-in nation: it is mainly a way to collect data, not execute actions.

User Agent

You must set your script's UserAgent to something informative, such as the URL of your site. This allows us to contact you if something goes wrong with your script.

Rate Limits

Scripts must send no more than 10 requests per minute.

Scripts may not make authenticated requests of the forum ( http://forum.nationstates.net ). Tools that modify the look and layout of the forum are allowed, as long as they don't make any requests automatically. In other words any request of forum.nationstates.net that a script is associated with must either not include anything which authenticates an account, such as session cookies, login information, gameside login tokens, or autologin cookies; or must be in the context of a user's browser and be the immediate result of the user clicking a button or pressing return.

If you wish to use a script to gather information from NationStates, consider the official API, rather than scraping raw 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 more efficiently and has much higher rate limits (currently 10X as high).

Sending Telegrams

To send telegrams via a script, please use 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 or near-fully automated manner must use the Telegrams API.

Script Authors

It is illegal to distribute a tool that breaks game rules when used in its primary, default, or intended manner.

Tags: script bot automated automating tool utility robot program agent rules illegal banned
Last edited by Eluvatar on Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:51 pm, edited 8 times in total.
Reason: Replaced wholesale ban of scripts from the forum with forum-specific script rules.
Cards Against Nationstates | Getting Help | The One Stop Rules Shop

"It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to fall down. Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it!" Latrice Royale.
Trans waz here!

Rest in Peace Dyakovo.


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