Compendium of Mod Rulings & General Advice within the SC

A chamber dedicated to the dissemination of inter-regional peace and goodwill, via force if necessary.
User avatar
Issues Moderator
Posts: 6628
Founded: Oct 17, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Compendium of Mod Rulings & General Advice within the SC

Postby Ransium » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:33 am

Compendium of Mod Rulings & General Advice within the SC

The Security Council ruleset currently contains just 4 rules. However, there's a wealth of moderator rulings affecting the Security Council, and most of these will only be remembered by those who were around at the time they were made.

This thread attempts to be a comprehensive collection of all those rulings that still apply, with links given so that users can look into the rulings themselves. Additionally, it aims to further explain the existing rules contained within the ruleset, with reference to moderator rulings on them.

This thread is not aimed at newcomers to the Security Council. It is a resource primarily for experienced authors to check previous rulings, and for the SC mod team to refer to when necessary.

If you wish to discuss the contents of this thread, or the rulings within it, use this thread.

EDIT: Readers are also encouraged to read the One Stop Rules Shop too, particularly sections on the WA.


EDITED 15/11/10: clarified personal pronouns, mention of RPed characters in proposals -- Sedge. 19/11/10: Illegal resolutions - repealing -- Sedge. 20/11/10: RW Ideology updated -- Sedge. 06/12/10: Updated in line with changes to ruleset -- Sedge. 20/12/10: Rule 4/RW references and Rule 4/proper nouns added -- Sedge. 30/12/10: Rule 4/post added --Sedge. 5/01/11: Branding expanded -- Sedge. 28/01/11: Re-written in line with new Ruleset & given some colour --Sedge. 25/0 2/11: Co-authors updated -- Sedge. 01/03/11: Liberation of game created regions is illegal (apparently it wasn't obvious) -- Sedge. 04/04/11: Anchor tags --Sedge. 19/04/11: Rule 4/delusions added --Sedge. 13/05/11: Rule 4 updated, urls not allowed, religions count as ideologies, operative clauses clarification -- Sedge. 02/07/11: House of Cards added -- Sedge. 28/09/11: Clarified that Max Barry is considered an admin under Rule 1 -- Sedge. 28/10/11: Updated Rule 1, section on issues, factual inaccuracies, Rule 2 (b) and multiple Liberations -- Sedge. 27/11/11: Updated with new ruling on symbolic proposals, factual inaccuracies updated -- Sedge. 27/11/11: Updated with new rules on WA adspam -- Sedge. 26/01/12: Section on offsites updated -- Sedge. 18/07/12: Co-authors updated again -- Sedge. 07/08/12: Character limits added -- Sedge. 17/09/12: Added link in "Legal/Illegal actions" section -- Sedge. 08/12/12: Added link on Rule 4(e) -- Sedge. 16/09/13: Updated re. gameplay puppetwank -- Sedge. 23/12/2013: Finally updated with re-written ruleset, several other bits given minor updates -- Sedge (as ever). 22/02/2014: Updated sections on links -- Sedge. 15/04/2015: New information in repeals -- Sedge. 15/05/2015: Can't link to threads in proposals -- Sedge. 21/03/2016: Legal/illegal actions, Rule 2(c) -- Sedge. 06/04/16: always get a ruling when citing rules violations -- Sedge. 09/10/16: Link to post on acrostics added to Branding section -- Sedge. 24/01/17: General read-over and tidy-up -- Sedge. 22/12/2018: Updated co-authors section -- Wrapper. 1/10/2019: Added ruling with regards to cards -- Ransium. 03/03/2020: Added "tag" ruling (under R4 legal/illegal terms) -- Sedge. 09/03/2020: Acrostics section of branding updated with new ruling; also new quote in Joke Proposals section -- Sedge. 02/02/2020: No links to dispatches; new ruling under "Links in Proposals" -- Sedge. 04/04/2020: April Fool's ruling -- Sedge. 06/05/20: Ideologies section thoroughly re-written -- Sedge. 13/08/20: new cards ruling -- Sedge. 04/09/20: Commercial features of NS cannot be referenced -- Sedge.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:02 am, edited 86 times in total.

Commended by SC 236,
WA Delegate of Forest from March 20th, 2007 to August 19, 2020.
Author of WA Resolutions: SC 221, SC 224, SC 233, SC 243, SC 265, GA 403, GA 439, GA 445,GA 463,GA 465,
Issues Editor since January 20th, 2017.
Author of 26 issues. First editor of 44.
Forum Moderator since November 10th, 2017. Game Moderator since March 15th, 2018.

User avatar
Issues Moderator
Posts: 6628
Founded: Oct 17, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ransium » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:33 am

The Four Rules

Applicability of these rules
These rules apply to all Security Council proposal categories - Commendations, Condemnations and Liberations. Violating any of these rules gets your proposal deleted. I'll state each of the rules, and then, when necessary, add some explanation.

Rule 1:
The Rules wrote:1. You cannot commend or condemn members of the site staff (Moderators, Administrators, Issues Editors, Roleplay Mentors etc.) for actions taken as part of their role.

This one is self-explanatory. Moderators can still be commended or condemned, but not for their actions as a moderator. Max Barry is considered an admin for the purpose of this rule.

Issue editing and any contributions to the site appearance aside from the creation/editing of flags are considered 'site staff' functions, and are thus covered by Rule 1 (see here, here and most recently here). Given the expanded role of Issues Editors, Rule 1 covers any issues related actions carried out by Issues Editors, even if a regular player could have done them, and even if some of the actions were done when not an Issues Editor.

Note: issues authoring by Issues Editors is only prohibited by Rule 1 for issues published whilst the Issues Editor is a member of the IE team. So issues published before or after they join can be cited. See here for the original ruling on issues authoring, and here for it being expanded to exempt issues published after leaving the team.

Rule 2:
The Rules wrote:2. Proposals must contain a unique and relevant argument.
That means:
  • (a) Don't plagiarise - that will get you expelled from the WA.
  • (b) Don't duplicate. Nations that have already been Commended/Condemned for a certain set of actions can't be Commended or Condemned again for that set of actions. Equally, Liberations cannot duplicate any existing ones for that region.
  • (c) Don't use proposals to raise issues that should be dealt with elsewhere, such as rules violations and technical suggestions.
  • (d) Repeals should address the contents of the resolution they're repealing, and not by just stating the reverse of the arguments given in the resolution.

"Relevant Argument" means that the argument must apply to the nominee. If your argument uses a different name to refer to the nominee in the argument (e.g. a Condemnation of "Sedgistan" refers to "Sedge") you need to clearly state that this is an alternate name for the nominee (e.g. "Noting that Sedgistan is more commonly referred to as Sedge").

Plagiarism applies not just to copying an entire proposal, but also to lifting individual clauses from other proposals. Plagiarising the framework of another proposal is generally not a good idea either, and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. See also here.

Duplication and Contradiction:
This still allows one to condemn or commend a different nation or region for the same or similar action or set of actions. Additionally, nations/regions can be commended/condemned more than once - so long as the proposals are based on different sets of actions. A region can now 'stack up' multiple Liberations, so long as they do not duplicate each other (see here).

In general, if you've condemned someone for X behaviour, and then want to condemn the same nation/region for more X behaviour, you're going to have to explain what's different about it now that means that it warrants a further condemnation (see here).

A further explanation of Contradiction is:

Ardchoille wrote:One quibble: Suppose a "Condemn Artichokeville for making faces at Unibot" and "Commend Artichokeville for making faces at Unibot" both make quorum and "Condemn" comes to vote first. If it passes, I'd then expect that the "Commend" proposal would be removed by mods before it came to vote, as the majority of the SC would have decided that the action was not commendable and wouldn't want to, er, waste time by voting on the same topic immediately.

So, if a Commend and a Condemn for the same thing are in queue together, the one that comes to vote first is a de facto vote on the other. If it passes, the other must be assumed to have failed. But if it fails, the other must be given the opportunity to pass.

EDIT: This would need split-second timing by the mods, though, to kill the second proposal the minute the first passed; otherwise, if the split-the-queues readjustment had gone through by then, then the second one would come up for vote automatically.

Inappropriate for the SC:
This means that things like spamming of RMBs, trolling, and WA multying should be reported to the Moderators. However, it is possible to mention these actions in a resolution, provided it's done to complement moderator action, rather than as an alternative to it:
Ardchoille wrote:For now, I'll just say it has to do with the distinction between using a Condemnation as an alternative to -- instead of -- mod action, and using it to complement (supplement, underline) mod action.

Sedgistan wrote:Rule 2(c) is in place to prevent people attempting to address rules violations via the SC instead of reporting them. However, if a rules violation has already been reported and addressed by the moderation team, it can potentially be cited in a proposal. This is tricky, as you have to make it Rule 4 compliant - while this is fairly simple for matters such as WA multying, other violations can be trickier to cite. Also, the ability to cite illegal actions is purely at Moderation discretion. If we say you can't cite some illegalities, that's it. You're recommended to ask for a ruling before attempting to do so.

See also here. 2016 update: authors should always ask for a ruling before submitting a proposal that cites rules violations.

Repeals entirely based on an issue unrelated to the resolution they're trying to repeal will be deleted - an example of this was a "Repeal "Liberate Free Thought"" proposal, which justified the repeal because voting finished 12 hours before the voting timer said it would (see here and here).
Repeals are essentially arguing that the WA has changed its opinion on a subject - and this can sometimes be due to reasons not discussed in the resolution being repealed. However, the repeal should still address the arguments made in the original resolution:
Ardchoille wrote:Repeals: A REPEAL of a C&C should address the contents of the C&C in question. However, a repeal that consists of nothing but a negative of the original -- eg, Commend X because he is a good guy, Repeal Commend X because he is NOT a good guy -- may be deleted on the grounds that the SC already discussed this in the original debate. (cf "I don't like this" being forbidden in GA Repeal arguments.)

A Commendation or Condemnation is an expression of opinion by the WA. Repealing it is saying that the WA has changed its mind. You should therefore give reasons for the change of mind. These may include matters that have come to light or changed since the original resolution.

See further discussion here, here, and here

Rule 3:
The Rules wrote:3. Your proposal must contain an operative clause stating what the proposal actually does, e.g. commends, condemns, liberates, or repeals. Commendations/Condemnation can only commend/condemn the nominee, Liberations can only liberate the targeted region, and Repeals can only repeal the targeted resolution. For example, your proposal cannot impose fines, sanctions or a boycott on a condemned nation.

An example operative clause is "Hereby Condemns Exampletonia". Operative clauses must be clear that they're targeting the nominee, rather than the actions cited in the pre-ambulatory clauses (see here). You must clearly state the name of the nominee in the operative clause, not a nickname, and misspelling the name is liable to get your proposal removed.

The action that a resolution does (condemning, commending, liberating or repealing) does not have to be attributed to any body - however, if it is, it must be attributed to an appropriate authority - ie. the World Assembly or The Security Council (the former is preferred). A proposal cannot have "Sedgistan Hereby Condemns Unibot" as its operative clause. See here.
Ardchoille wrote:Re the proposals: despite the facepalm intro on the Repeal and the smartypants intro on the Commendation, both correctly ascribe the actual action to the World Assembly. The repeal does it in the line directly below the floating "A Mean Old Man" reference, and the Commendation does it in the final (operative) clause.

Additionally, Rule 3 is not affected by the precedent set by Condemn Macedon which read "CONDEMNING Macedon and the Macedonian Empire":
Ardchoille wrote:As of this minute, you can't. Sorry, but that's just too open to abuse to leave unplugged. In the absence (then) of links, I read SC#1 as a condemnation of Macedon and (all its metaphorical belongings), the other side of the coin to the idea of "god bless the ship and all who sail in her". The Macedonian Empire I took to be "all who sail in her", not an individual region.

In the (obviously) continued absence of a link, SC#1 can still be read that way, and that's the way it is read. Mod fiat.

Rule 3 means that Liberation resolutions cannot call for the removal of founder-imposed passwords:
Ardchoille wrote:A password imposed by a Founder doesn't come under the ambit of this sort of proposal, regardless of how lacking in virtue the foundation was. It says, "delegate-imposed powers", not "all powers". (Applies even if the Founder is also the Delegate. It's assumed the password is imposed by the higher power.)

Sedgistan wrote:If in doubt about whether the password is founder or delegate imposed, just use [Hereby Liberates @@region@@], and the game mechanics will tell you (if it passes).

See also here.

Rule 4:

The Rules wrote:4. Your proposal must read as representing the opinion of the World Assembly, and as targeting a Nation or Region.
This means:
  • (a) You cannot reference the "real world" outside of NationStates.
  • (b) You must refer to nations as nations, not as the player behind them. This includes the use of pronouns such as "he" or "she" as opposed to "they".
  • (c) You cannot refer to the game, or events or actions in it, as part of a game.
  • (d) Your proposal must be written from the perspective of the World Assembly.

This comes with the following explanation:
Ardchoille wrote:Remember that C&Cs are meant to be NationStates nations commenting on those actions of other NationStates nations or regions that are significant to the entire NS Multiverse.

Proposals should not refer to the personal characteristics of the player behind the nation ("good roleplayer" "always rude" "bad speller") but to NationStates actions.

Rule 4 is the hardest of the four rules to interpret, and there are numerous mod rulings on what does and doesn't violate the rule.

Please note that "representing the opinion of the World Assembly" means that the proposal must be read as coming from the WA, rather than being addressed to it. See here. So a proposal is the World Assembly agreeing to say "The WA... thinks... therefore does...", NOT "To the WA... I think... therefore do...".

Legal/illegal terms:

Firstly, there are certain terms banned by Rule 4, and others which are still allowed. This list should not be considered definitive - the mods deliberately didn't provide a list of 'banned words' as so many words have multiple meanings - for example, the word "player" would be illegal if one was referring to someone as a player of NS the game, but would be legal if referring to a nation as a "major player" within a region.

We've written the following rubric to help determine whether terms fit within Rule 4 or not:
1. Is the term something that could be applied to real-world nations. If yes, then fine. If no, see #2.
2. Is the term something that could be applied to the NationStates world? If yes, see point 3, if no, then what on earth are you writing about?
3. Is the term referring to NationStates as a game, or to the people behind the nations? If yes, it's not acceptable. If no, it's fine.

This allows language used to describe the unique aspects NationStates world to be used within proposals - not just the gameplay aspects, but also one from roleplay and other communities.

  • NationStates or NationStates community- legal (see here and here)
  • Multiverse - legal, as it's a term that is acceptable to all parts of the game (see here)
  • Personal pronouns - illegal when referring to the nation (see here, here and here). However, using the personal pronoun "who" to refer to a nation, while discouraged, is considered a grammatical error, not a rules violation (see here)
  • Feeder (as in 'feeder region') or Sinker - now legal; see here.
  • Roleplayer, Gameplayer - illegal (see here and here)
  • Any term included within NationStates the game - eg. passwords, World Factbook Entries, founders, eject, 'black helicopters transporting nations between regions' - legal (see here, here, here, here and here)
  • Forums - legal unless it "plainly refers to the electronic entity" (see here and here)
  • Thread (as in a forum topic) - illegal - simply describe what is done within the thread (see here). You cannot link to threads either.
  • Post (as in 'post' on the forums or an RMB) - illegal (see here)
  • Reference to paid aspects of the site is legal (see here), but must be worded carefully. There is no ruling yet on specific terms such as "postmaster general" or "stamps".
  • Cards - legal - "generally okay" - as per this ruling.
  • "Tag" (and other variants - "tagging", "detagging" etc.) - legal when referring to the raider/defender practices as per this ruling.
  • April Fool's Day - not automatically illegal, but ask for a ruling before submitting - see here.
  • Store features, stamps, Postmaster General etc. - all references to commercial aspects of NationStates are forbidden as per this ruling.
  • Real World ideologies - see section on Ideology below.
Using 'defining' clauses to include any of these terms is also illegal:
Ardchoille wrote:Not when you're using definitions in this fashion, to get words that talk about the game as a game into proposals. It's too easy to move on to "Defining roleplaying as ..." "Defining the proper way to play this game as ..." "Defining moderators as ..."

Additionally, proper nouns explicitly referencing game mechanics illegal under Rule 4 are not allowed (see here).

Other things to remember with Rule 4:

There used to be a "Rule 4(e)" on ideologies in proposals, and old rulings may refer to it - that rule is no longer in effect. However, mention of Real World ideologies may still fall foul of Rule 4(a):
Ardchoille wrote:Note that including in your proposal a solely Real World ideology without reference to NationStates has been illegal since the introduction of Rule 4.

Real World ideologies are ones such as Thatcherism, Fabian Socialism, or Peronism that refer to particular Real World people or groups, as against ideologies that are not considered Real World dependent, such as communism, capitalism, fascism. Nazism is not considered a RW ideology - it is considered synonymous with national socialism, and also has an established presence within the NS multiverse (e.g. in Issues).

Real World References:
Some terms normally considered Real World references can be worked into proposals, so long as it's clearly demonstrated what the terms mean within NationStates (see here and here). However, claiming 'delusions' on account of an entire nation, or an individual within it, is not a valid way of inserting Real World references into a proposal (see here and here).

C&Cing for personal characteristics of players:
The explanation below Rule 4 says that proposals should refer to NS actions rather than characterstics of players (bad spelling, rudeness). What is important is that a resolution cannot refer directly to the player, but can instead indirectly refer to it:
Ardchoille wrote:You can still refer to the player, you just can't do so directly. So saying "the player behind Naivetry" is out. But if you want to refer to the concept , you can do this: Naivetry. Depending who's reading it, that can be read as the nation Naivetry, the player Naivetry, the account Naivetry, the assemblage of statistics that are attached to the word "Naivetry" -- Naivetry is in the eye of the beholder.

Ardchoille wrote:Proposal authors can't Condemn directly for godmoding, mixing up IC and OOC posts, terrible spelling or grammar, slow responses, puppetwanking, military not tied to game-created population size, unbelievable weaponry, dogpiling, poor continuity, repetitive threads, using information gained outside the RP, one-line posts -- all the OOC things that annoy RPers -- because those don't sound like things nations could do. To describe these things in "nation" terms, in most cases, they will have to be written as "RPd" C&Cs.

Workarounds exist for describing personal attributes such as bad spelling - see here.

Repealing pre-Rule 4 resolutions:
When repealing pre-Rule 4 resolutions which violate Rule 4, the repeal attempt cannot mention that the proposal would not be legal if submitted now or "violates the current Secretariat standards for resolutions".
Last edited by Sedgistan on Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:01 am, edited 71 times in total.

Commended by SC 236,
WA Delegate of Forest from March 20th, 2007 to August 19, 2020.
Author of WA Resolutions: SC 221, SC 224, SC 233, SC 243, SC 265, GA 403, GA 439, GA 445,GA 463,GA 465,
Issues Editor since January 20th, 2017.
Author of 26 issues. First editor of 44.
Forum Moderator since November 10th, 2017. Game Moderator since March 15th, 2018.

User avatar
Issues Moderator
Posts: 6628
Founded: Oct 17, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ransium » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:34 am

Rulings not included in the Ruleset & other Modly advice

This section is in alphabetical order:

Advertisements - for regions within proposals:
This actually violates Rule 2, but since that rule is generally assumed to refer solely to things which should be dealt with in the Moderation forum, I've included it separately. If your proposal (a commendation, presumably) is nothing more than an advertisment for your region, it'll get deleted. Of course it is possible to write a commendation which works as an advertisment, but isn't blatantly one - this should be ok.
Ardchoille wrote:For what it's worth, I've been deleting pure region-advertisement C&Cs for the past couple of days on the basis that it's something for which a forum already exists (Gameplay). So "illegal" as well as "silly".

Advertising - promoting a proposal:
Please see the One Stop Rules Shop section on spamming.

The WA's no-army rule does not apply to the SC:
Sedgistan wrote:The old WA-army ruling in the SC should not be considered to apply any more. Proposals can encourage nations to participate in military action, as the above clause does. However, the limits of Rule 3 still apply - i.e. a Liberation cannot do more than just Liberate, so any clause related to military action can't be a strong, binding one - only an encouragement.

Branding is allowed:
Ardchoille wrote:So, on the precedent that SC proposals are already exempt from the existing GA rules on metagaming, game mechanics and RW references [note: RW references are no longer legal under Rule 4], I'll extend that to branding and rule that "branding" doesn't apply in the SC .

(If a proposal's written in such a way that the branding is used to flame, troll or gloat, it'd be actionable and would be deleted.)

However, it is not appropriate to have a list of supporters within your proposal, especially after the operative clause. If you wish to cite native support for a Liberation, do so within the bulk of the proposal - see here. Additionally, attempts to spell out your name with bolded letters, or other such silliness, will likely be deemed illegal under Rule 2 (use your common sense). The old ruling on acrostics is no longer in effect as per this ruling.

Campaigning - organising within at-vote threads:
Don't do it - at-vote threads are for debates.
Ardchoille wrote:But don't use the thread for the actual organising, please. (Think, you might be helping your opponents! :p )

Character limit for proposals:
Security Council proposals, like all WA proposals, have a character limit. This is approximately 5000 characters, including formatting marks, spaces and line breaks.

Multiple co-authors are allowed in the Security Council. Co-authors must be nations, not regions/organisations:
Ardchoille wrote:An authorship credit is for doing almost as much work on the proposal as the author -- a complete re-write, for example. It's not for collective critiquing, whether done by a forum or by region members.

There is no limit on co-authors, but a "reality-imposed limit" of 3 has been suggested. Nations which no longer exist can be cited, so long as they actually contributed to the authoring of the resolution. However, citing nations which are dead and clearly didn't contribute to the proposal may get your proposal deleted - as in this case (more on it here). Only those who contributed to the text of the proposal should be listed, so campaigners, lobbyists etc. should not be named - see here. Listing your own puppet nation as a co-author is illegal, unless your puppet nation was clearly involved in an earlier version of the proposal (see here). Note that the text should make crystal clear that the listed nations are co-authors, or it may be considered a list of supporters, as per this ruling.

You can list nations that are representative of "working groups" as per this ruling and this explanation However, it must still be a nation cited.

The Old Ruleset wrote:1. GA proposals create international laws for imaginary citizens in imaginary nations throughout the NS multiverse. SC resolutions use the game mechanism to perform actions on individual nations or regions within the NS community. If you confuse these, you will confuse voting delegates, and then it's goodbye to your proposal's approvals.

2. Your proposal will probably die if delegates can't quite figure out who or what you're writing about.

These two points are guidelines, but if you manage to confuse what GA and SC proposals do, as described in point 1, you'll probably end up violating SC Rule 3 by trying to do more than the Security Coucil can do in a resolution.

Factual inaccuracies:
The old ruleset mentioned this as a possible reason why a proposal may fail to make it into the queue:
The Old Ruleset wrote:3. Your reason was wrong. Nations know what other nations do. You probably won't get away with an untrue proposal.
The mods cannot, will not and should not check every proposal for accuracy of information.

Mods don't generally check proposals for factual errors. Unless clearly demonstrated in NS public records (and even then it's not guaranteed), factual inaccuracies will not get a proposal deleted. It is up to delegates and ordinary WA members to determine the validity of a proposal. This applies to roleplaying cited within proposals too (see here and here).
Ardchoille wrote:Please note, though, that I'm not going to condemn myself or other SC mods to the task of searching out the truth of events described in a given proposal, or of ruling on whether opinions are true.

I've killed one proposal because it contained a statement that could be shown to be "factually inaccurate" by consulting NS public records: it listed two nations as co-authors when those two nations had ceased to exist and had not been accessed in more than three years.

But arguments that "X is untrue" belong, for the most part, in the thread in which the proposal is discussed. They should be used to convince delegates to refuse approval to the proposal, to withdraw an approval already given, or to vote against it if it makes quorum.

Crazy girl wrote:As long as it follows the SC rules, basically...we don't give a damn. It's up to the delegates and voters to decide if the proposal is full of bs or not.

See also here and here.

Flaming/trolling in proposals:
If a proposal is flaming or trolling, it will be deleted. That's fairly obvious, as both are illegal under the site rules. However, be aware that:
Ardchoille wrote:Condemnations aren't expected to present the sweet, adorable side of the nation or region being condemned. It's to be expected that the object of the condemnation will dislike it. If all proposals listing negative views on the subject's actions were seen as trolling, there wouldn't be any Condemnations.

If in doubt, ask - but don't assume that anything negative said about a nation/region is flaming/trolling.

Game mechanics:
Resolutions cannot demand a change in game mechanics - this would violate Rule 3, as it's something the Security Council cannot do:
Ardchoille wrote:It's an attempt to change the game mechanics. To set the game to read whether a region has three people or under, and then tell it "increase military stats faster, increase economy stats faster, stop when region membership equals four" would need coding. Only the admins can do that, so there's no point making proposals about it.

In some circumstances it may just about be legal to pass a symbolic resolution calling for (but not mandating) game mechanic changes.

House of Cards
There is no "House of Cards" rule in the Security Council.
Ardchoille wrote:You don't have to worry about House of Cards violations, because they're about the risk of building a law on another law, when the first one might vanish. SC proposals don't make laws, they express opinions (C&Cs) or perform actions (Liberations).

It is therefore legal to refer to previous resolutions in a Security Council proposal.

Illegal proposals - ejections from the WA:
Ardchoille wrote:since the formation of the SC I do not remember kicking any player from the WA for submission of illegal SC proposals. The nature of the SC makes such expulsions unlikely, because C&Cs and Liberations are usually one-offs. Mistakes in SC proposals are usually of a minor technical nature, which may not even be recorded, or of a non-WA nature, such as flaming, and so not treated as a WA offence. The likelihood of, say, a Feeder delegate losing his WA nation is vanishingly small, because anyone cluey enough to reach the Delegacy would also be cluey enough to figure out how to submit a proposal without putting their Delegate nation at risk

Note the word 'unlikely'. This doesn't mean they can't happen. Things like plagiarism, flaming through a proposal or spamming the proposal queue may still see you get kicked from the WA.

Illegal resolutions - repealing:

Illegal resolutions do not exist. If a resolution has passed, then it is deemed legal. Therefore, attempts to repeal a resolution on the basis that it is 'illegal' (even if rules have been put in place which mean the resolution would be illegal if submitted now) are not allowed. See here.

Issue writing:
It is possible to commend (or even condemn) nations for issue writing. If you're looking to do this, there's an old thread dedicated to the topic, and your best bet is to read it. Issue editing, on the other hand, is illegal under Rule 1 (see here).

Joke proposals:
Illegal to submit, but legal to post on the forums:

Ardchoille wrote:So far, there are only a few things that will get a C&C killed before its proper span of life.

One of which, by the bye, is JOKE PROPOSALS. You can post all the joke proposals you like on the forum (while taking the risk that you'll get modded if they're flamey), but once you submit them in the queue, you're taking a chance of getting officially warned and of losing the nation you submit it with if you do it often enough (or if you do it once, depending on the proposal).

Sedgistan wrote:Security Council rules are deliberately minimalist. Yes, there is a rule on joke proposals, but not against "proposals that just happen to be funny", and Moderation errs towards interpreting proposals as "legal funny" rather than "illegal joke". It's up to World Assembly members to determine the majority of their standards for the SC, not the mod team.

See here for an explanation of why they're illegal to submit. Whether a proposal is a regular one that just happens to be funny, or a joke one that should not have been submitted, will always be a judgement call that moderators have to make.

Legal/illegal actions:
You may condemn the way a nation or region performed a legal action. It was a common defence that "raiding is legal, and therefore the Security Council should not condemn a nation/region for it". That is irrelevant. The Security Council will nearly always be passing resolutions about legal actions. What matters is the way those legal actions are done.
See also here, and here.

Illegal actions are covered under Rule 2(c).

Legality checks:
There is now a formal process for legality checks:
Ardchoille wrote:In summary, a player makes a legality query in a thread. If it's not answered within a few days, they post in Moderation linking to the thread and asking for a check. Whoever first sees it posts that it's been noticed, copies it to Another Place so all WA-involved mods can comment on it, and posts the final ruling in the original thread (which can take a few days, as we're not all available at the same time, and we do like to argue about politely discuss it first.).

Sedge, for future reference, mods don't usually do full-proposal checks. Authors ask us to look at the legality of a particular aspect.

Links in proposals:
Use of the nation and region tags is fine in proposals. Additionally, links to passed SC or GA resolutions (even if repealed) are acceptable (see here and here. They must be formatted to not show the url (i.e. "Noting the passage of Liberate Feudal Japan"), and you have to link to their in-game page, not their forum page.

You cannot link to forum threads or dispatches in proposals - see here and here.

Membership of the WA:
Ardchoille wrote:A clarification: a nation does not have to be a WA member to be subject to commendation or condemnation by the WA. Of course, a condemnation based on failure to obey a WA Resolution would be problematical. An author would have to be careful the he did not condemn a nation for failing to follow laws it was not obliged to follow. He could still point out that the nation in question "ignored the clearly expressed opinion of the major international body", or some such generalised phrasing.

Non-WA members are free to debate resolutions in the WA.

Metagaming is (just about) possible in the Security Council, but you'll probably only end up doing it if you're deliberately trying to... so only do it if you really want to give the mods a headache. This is the one time it did happen:
Ardchoille wrote:OOC and modly: Congratulations, Unibot. I'd assumed it was impossible to metagame in the SC, since it was created to deal with Gameplay events. But you've (I think) gifted a Gameplay function, the WAIC, which sniffs out UN multis and notes the actions of Regional Delegates, with an RP existence in which it provides building security, despite the previous existence of another body providing security ... I'm calling it metagaming, mainly because words fail me. It also limits what the SC can be RPd doing, since it says that the SC can't waste its time with security, so maybe it's some sort of blocker as well. Plus, it's godmoding, since you're preventing Kenny from RPing a bomber if he wants to. And it's assuming a function exists before the proposal establishing it is passed, since only when the proposal is passed will the bit about the security be actually in force -- that's probably metagaming too, but the word I'm going with is "MIGRAINE".

Moral stance - taking one within proposals:
The Security Council is allowed to take a moral stance within proposals - in fact it is one of the primary functions of the body.
Ardchoille wrote:As to "unethical behaviour" -- if you think it's unethical, Condemn it! Admins have repeatedly said C&Cs allow the WA nations to take a moral stance

Ardchoille wrote:[violet] said that the SC proposals were giving the WA a "moral" dimension.

See also here.

Multiple resolutions:
See also the section on Duplication & Contradiction under Rule 2.
It is possible for nations & regions to stack up multiple Commend & Condemn AND Liberation resolutions:
Ardchoille wrote:It is my happy duty to point out, with gleeful nastiness, that when Max Himself discussed the possibility of a nation being both Commended and Condemned, he nodded his august head, said a meaningful word -- I think it was "meh" -- and opined that it was possible without breaking anything.

See also here and here.

Native support - of liberations:
Liberations do not require the support of 'natives'/residents of the region being targeted for liberation:
Ardchoille wrote:If the implication is that this should be a rule, and therefore that mods would have to check whether the submission comes from a native, or a person speaking on behalf of a native; whether the permission's been freely given; and whether said native really is a native ... see where I'm going here?

Max has been quite clear on the subject of the players shaping the SC as much as possible. It's up to you to check, and it's up to you to publicise your findings to other players. If there's some blatant piece of in-game cheating going on, submit a Getting Help Request.

I'll gladly write up something like, "you should be able to prove to other players, if challenged, that the Liberation proposal is in the interests of the natives". What standard of proof is required is up to the individual player. I'll link to any definition of "native" or "proof" in a successful proposal (ie, a resolution). But mods are not going to do delegates' jobs.

Offsite links - in debates:
Previously, links to offsite forums without universal access were not allowed in proposal debate threads. This is no longer the case - however, extreme caution must be taken when posting links, as the individual posting the link is responsible for any rulebreaking content that they link to. The information linked to must be relevant and not contain personal information, or inappropriate content.

Poetry - use of within proposals:
A resolution was once submitted which was in the form of a poem. It's unlikely to be a regular occurence, but if you wish to submit a resolution in the form of a poem, it is legal:
Ardchoille wrote:As to the format of the proposal, with a Commendation, provided it breaks none of the three rules SC proposals must meet and has the essential text "The WA commends @nation@", mods leave it in the list. Whether it then gets into the queue is the decision of delegates. The emphasis of the SC is as much as possible on members shaping the body. It was the delegates who voted this into the queue, and it's them you're calling stupid.

Preventative/pre-emptive liberations:
Liberating a region which is not passworded is legal:
Ardchoille wrote:So if someone submitted a pre-emptive Liberation proposal, and nobody squealed to the Feds, and somebody did a TG campaign to get it to vote, and the SC voted in favour, then ... yeah. We'd have to assume that the majority of the WA wants things to be that way, in that particular case.

The likelihood would be that somebody would squ ... would put in a Getting Help request. But, based on recent conversations, I don't think mods'd be supposed to act, even then. That would be us making a moral judgment that a particular political tactic was wrong (or, if we dismissed the appeal, right). We're not supposed to make the moral judgments, you are.

See also here.

Puppets - use of in debate threads:
Ardchoille wrote:Different communities put different emphasis on puppetry. In the WA, it is important to expose when puppet-wanking is being used to increase the apparent support for or opposition to a proposal.

However, that's best done by notifying a mod. *snip*

Where unrelated RP happens -- such as the food fight here -- puppets may appear and disappear unchecked. Otherwise, players should post with the same nation throughout a single thread, or until the vote is over. If you forget you were logged in as the wrong nation and post, unless your puppet is widely known to be yours you should edit the post to identify it.

Puppetwank for gameplay purposes is generally tolerated (obviously unless done to break the rules). For example, if a player operates under several identities, then posting as more than one of them in the thread would be fine. However, using puppets to boost the apparent support for a proposal is frowned upon and mods will take action to stop it.

Re-founding (regions) to avoid Condemnations:

This is not a viable way to avoid a condemnation, or any other type of resolution. See here.

Religion - mention of in proposals:
Religions can be cited in resolutions, but drafting/at-vote threads should not turn into a debate on the merits/de-merits of a religion.
Ardchoille wrote:please note that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Jedi Mastery, Paganism, Wicca, Pastafarianism, Satanism, LaVeyan Satanism, the worship of Cthulhu and god(dess) or god(desse)s know(s) what else, all have an RPd existence on NS and are therefore possible candidates for citation -- not discussion -- in arguments in support of a specific Commendation or Condemnation.

RPed Characters - mention of in proposals:
RPed Characters can be mentioned in proposals, and gender appropriate personal pronouns can be used when referring to them. With one-person nations, the text of the resolution must make clear when it is referring to the nation and when it is referring to the person. RPed characters cited in resolutions cannot be claimed to have done anything which an RPed person cannot do (see here and here).

The Old Ruleset wrote:If you commend yourself, the risk is that people will have three days to point and laugh while your proposal sits there failing to gather approvals. But if you think that you can do it gracefully, nobody's stopping you. See further discussion here.

There is a convention that self-commendations should not be done - however, it is not enforced by the mods. As the link in the above quote says, attempts to hi-jack a self-commend to humiliate the person who submitted the proposal will get you warned. See also here and here for more on self-commendations.

Ardchoille wrote:in either WA chamber, if mis-spelling causes you to mis-state what you're trying to do, so that your proposal doesn't do what you say it does, it's ruled illegal. If, on the other hand, the mis-spelt word isn't essential to the understanding of the proposal, we don't kill it for that reason alone.

Supporting information:
Supporting information which isn't in a proposal can (and really, should) be posted in the at-vote thread:
Ardchoille wrote:The info you put in the proposal is the first thing the delegates who might be persuaded to approve it will see, so you put the most convincing/alluring/vital bits in the proposal.

What you put in the thread, particularly the first post, is the sort of detail that those who are seriously interested will want to read.

To get a proposal into the queue, it doesn't matter to you whether a delegate is seriously interested or just passing through, so long as you can convince him to approve the proposal.

But to get it passed, you have to convince the delegates who'll be swinging those massive delegate votes around. So when it gets to the top of the queue and is At Vote, you need the detailed arguments in the thread.

The following were included in the old rules thread as reasons why a proposal may fail to make it into the queue:
The Old Ruleset wrote:1. You didn’t give enough reasons for the SC to make an informed decision.

2. Your reasons weren’t good enough. (For example, “... because he put a note on my Regional Message Board”.)

You should therefore not rely on putting all the supporting information in the at-vote/drafting thread, as delegates may miss it.

Answering the question of whether swearing is banned in proposals.
Ardchoille wrote:Yes, it is supposed to go without saying. You're supposed to recognise that the WA, being an official international body, conducts its official affairs with some degree of dignity -- whatever the delegates may choose to do. (And the "tolerate swearing" thing isn't about individual words as much as it is about intent: if your intention is to flame, even mild terms could be actionable.)

It should be noted that the proposal "Condemn Shitty Proposal Writing" was not deemed illegal due to its title, but the mods recommended that the author change the word 'shitty' to a more mild term (see here and here).

Symbolic/concept resolutions:
Symbolic resolutions - as in resolutions that are used to condemn a nation/region which represents something else, are, in some circumstances, legal. Symbolic resolutions must be written in a way that they would make sense when read as targeting the nation/region which would get the 'badge' were the resolution to pass:
Sedgistan wrote:The nature of symbolic proposals means that any claims made in them have to match up with something that actually happened in NationStates - otherwise you are presumed be to referring to the concept/non-NS element (in this case Jolt, the company), and thus violating Rules 3 and 4.

An example of a proposal that failed to do so was Condemn Rule 4:
Ardchoille wrote:It made sense only as a concept. If you interpret it as referring to a nation/region, it didn't make (much) sense.
A proposal that totally didn't make sense would get deleted because it ... didn't make sense. I don't think we need a rule for that.

This means that you also need to provide evidence that the nation/region targeted has done the actions/supported the ideas mentioned in the resolution. For "Condemn Shitty Proposal Writing", this meant:
Ardchoille wrote:it has to be NS-related and based on more than the name of the region. So a WFE statement of evil intentions to encourage bad proposal writing would at least begin to indicate why the region deserves condemnation.

"Condemn The Holocaust" was illegal because:
Ardchoille wrote:You would have to RP the region The Holocaust being involved in NationStates in acts worthy of condemnation by an international body and then condemn them. As Kryo rightly ruled, the condemnation, as it stood, was too unrelated to the region as a region. You would basically have been condemning the region for its name.

See also here and here.
Rule 4 has made symbolic resolutions harder to pass, but workarounds (primarily the use of [nation]/[region] tags) still exist. In some cases, these are necessary - when they're being used to represent 'game terms' which would be banned under Rule 4:
Ardchoille wrote:Provided you put in all the "nation" and "region" links, you're okay. Without them you would be talking about NS as if it's a game -- Rule 4, without the links, is a rule in an internet game, which would make the proposal non-compliant.
With no [ nation] links, "OOC actions" must mean the internet game term (unless you're directing some sort of dramatic production), and "RP"ing is also something that is done in internet games by players, not by nations.

Symbolic proposals should target a 'concept' that is part of NationStates in some way:
Sedgistan wrote:Symbolic proposals are always tricky - and for that reason, they're generally judged on a case-by-case basis. We haven't had many of them to deal with, and in this case, we're introducing a new guideline them, as this situation hasn't arisen before. The rule of thumb is that if the 'concept' being targeted is part of NationStates (eg defending, the General Assembly, Francoism) then the proposal may be legal. If it isn't (eg the company Jolt, The Holocaust, McDonalds), then a symbolic proposal is not going to be legal.

The Security Council exists to address happenings within NationStates the game. If you want to express your opinion on non-NationStates affairs, we have the General forum for that.

It is also preferable to use Commendations/Condemnations for symbolic resolutions, rather than liberations - it's simply easier to do so (see here and here).

Time and dates:
Referring to years, months, days of the month, and days of the week is legal within a proposal. Reference to real-world time-zones or eras (such as B.C. or A.D.) is not, as this would violate Rule 4. See here.

Time honoured tradition of World Assembly neutrality and fairness to all nations and regions:
Not a rule:
Ardchoille wrote:Oh, and "the WA's long tradition of neutrality" has not been elevated to the status of a rule on the basis of which proposals can be deleted, despite the (apparently overwhelming) precedent.

Tit-for-tat proposals:
Proposals which are solely 'tit-for-tat' proposals (ie Condemns Nation X for Condemning Nation Y) will be deleted. However, if they have other substance to them besides the 'tit-for-tat' argument, they are unlikely to be deleted:
Ardchoille wrote:For the reasons above, Sedge, I'm very reluctant to invoke "tit for tat" against any half-way substantive proposal. I used it on a series of "if you condemn me, I'll condemn you. And your dog, and your aunt, and your aunt's dog" proposals, but I don't think mods should interfere in SC proposals much beyond that. In the GA we have to hold proposals to standards that allow new laws to interact with old, but each SC proposal is, in a sense, a one-off: if you condemn nation X, that doesn't mean that you have to condemn nation Y for the same thing.

In the SC, I think the mods' role is to de-clutter the proposals list of things that do nothing, that can be dealt with in another way, or that are the waste-of-space individual feuding that the original tit-for-tats were.

See also here.

UN Resolutions:
UN Resolutions can be cited in SC Resolutions:
Ardchoille wrote:I ruled, in the Commend Goobergunchia thread. that it was legal to mention resolutions of a previous body, as there was no possibility that those resolutions would ever be negated by repeals, so the first one stands.

The format for citing them should be "NSUN Resolution #xx":
Ardchoille wrote:That NSUR does need fixing. I didn't realise it was intentional, I thought it was just a typo for NSUN Resolution #22. We should stick to the existing system of numbering so that there's some consistency across the councils. Plus, "NSUR Resolution #22" means "NationStates Unitednations Resolution Resolution #22".

Voting Blocs:
Ardchoille wrote:Voting blocs are permitted in the WA (both chambers). Voting blocs are expected in the WA. Voting blocs are legitimate.

Players are permitted to organise against a voting bloc. Players are expected to organise against a voting bloc. Organising against a voting bloc is legitimate.

Mods do not intervene in either the formation of voting blocs or opposition to them. Voting blocs are a player affair.

Voting blocs are permitted to announce the reason for the formation of their bloc. Such announcements, if phrased in a manner consistent with the rules, are legitimate. Voting bloc members,spokesmen or supporters may not troll or flame other players.

Players are permitted to comment on said reasons. Such comments, if phrased in a manner consistent with the rules, are legitimate. Players may not troll or flame voting bloc members, spokesmen or supporters.

Traditionally, a voting bloc examines each proposal and considers it on its merits. For example, a voting bloc may decide to vote against all proposals that reduce national sovereignty. Proposals that do not reduce national sovereignty would be approved, or simply ignored -- ie, the voting bloc would abstain from voting. It is possible for some proposals to gain the approval of a voting bloc.

Arguing that the existence of a voting bloc is a form of trolling may be considered using mods as a weapon.

WA proposal references:
The Old Ruleset wrote:Links are allowed. However, since many delegates may not wish to follow links in their first reading of a proposal, it is more helpful to describe the resolution briefly, eg, "ignored [resolution link]international opposition to slavery[/link]", with the resolution reference being used to show there is some international opposition to slavery.

Remember, too, that not all nations are WA members, so you should avoid saying that they "broke" a law that doesn't apply to them.

Links to passed resolutions (even if repealed) are now allowed, so long as they are formatted not to display the url.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:50 am, edited 69 times in total.

Commended by SC 236,
WA Delegate of Forest from March 20th, 2007 to August 19, 2020.
Author of WA Resolutions: SC 221, SC 224, SC 233, SC 243, SC 265, GA 403, GA 439, GA 445,GA 463,GA 465,
Issues Editor since January 20th, 2017.
Author of 26 issues. First editor of 44.
Forum Moderator since November 10th, 2017. Game Moderator since March 15th, 2018.

Return to Security Council

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: A Bloodred Moon, Valmagnia


Remove ads