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Rules change/rewording: Commercialism

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Sedgistan
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Rules change/rewording: Commercialism

Postby Sedgistan » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:00 am

Original text:
[violet] wrote: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.

Mousebumples wrote:Expanded Rules on Commercialism

Promotion

Players aren't permitted to use NationStates for commercial purposes (i.e. making money). With regard to player posts (forums, RMBs, telegrams), players are not permitted to post content related to:
  • Promoting a commercial product related to NS
  • Promoting a free site or product unrelated to NS
  • Promoting a commercial product unrelated to NS
Store Purchases as Currency

Players aren't permitted to use NS Store purchases to induce or reward in-game behavior, such as (for example) running a raffle on their region where a random new member each day is rewarded with TG Stamps or coordinating a contest where the player with the most activity (i.e. RMB posts, endorsements, etc.) in a region is rewarded with something from the NS Store.

Players can buy NS Store purchases as gifts and may do so to help a friend or region-mate. What is not okay is when the players don't have a common goal, but rather one is motivated only by the reward of an NS Store purchase, and performing some action that benefits the buyer. In that case, it is a simple "pay for service" transaction and is prohibited.

Note that parts of the game that are not Store purchases (e.g. Trading Cards) can be used as rewards or inducements.

Prizes, Raffles, Giveaways
Just as players are not permitted to use NS Store purchases to induce or reward in-game behavior, the same applies to any raffle or giveaway that has monetary value. This includes but is not limited to gift cards, Steam codes, paid or referral perks in other games, and straight up cash prizes. It's still a "pay for service" transaction at best, or outright gambling at worst, and as such remains prohibited.


New text:
[violet] wrote:Commercialism: NS may not be used to promote products or services, with the exception of free products or services directly related to the site, such as a Discord channel for region members. Players may not post offers of NS Store purchases or other cash-equivalent items in exchange for anything, including for joining or remaining resident in a region. For more information, see here.

Mousebumples wrote:Expanded Rules on Commercialism

Promotion

Players aren't permitted to use NationStates for commercial purposes (i.e. making money). In particular, the explicit promotion of products and services is prohibited, with one exception: You may promote free products or services that are directly related to NationStates, such as a Discord channel for region members.

Store Purchases

While NS Store purchases can be gifted to other players, players aren't permitted to offer them in exchange for anything, including for joining or remaining resident in a region. For example, it's prohibited to offer Telegram Stamps to nations who are the most active in your region.

It is additionally prohibited to promote any kind of random giveaway or raffle of NS Store purchases for any purpose.

Players may offer non-NS Store in-game goods or services in raffles or as compensation for in-game behavior; for example, you may offer Trading Cards in exchange for joining a region.

Other Items of Monetary Value

The above rules on NS Store purchases also apply to any prizes or gifts that possess real-life financial value beyond NationStates, such as gift cards, Steam codes, paid or referral perks in other games, and straight up cash prizes: These may never be offered to others on the site or given away in raffles.


The main purpose of this is to prohibit in-game promotion of stamp/store purchase giveaways/rewards (whether the event is onsite or offsite). The wording of the rules are also simplified.

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Wymondham
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Postby Wymondham » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:09 am

2 questions:

1. Do the rules on raffling/running a giveaway for NS store purchases only apply to such events advertised on-site or all such events advertised anywhere?
2. Do the rules on raffling/running a giveaway for non-NS store purchases with a monetary value, i.e. a steam key, apply only to such events advertised on-site or all such events advertised anywhere if said events are advertised off-site by a community with a connection to NS?
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:18 am

"On-site" to both; that's what we moderate.

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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:32 pm

Sedge, I have one question regarding this that I’m a little unsure about. I have a link in my sig to a site that helps with feral cats. People can either volunteer time or donate monetarily to the site. Should I remove that link in view of the Commercialism rule change?

http://www.feralcatproject.org/home
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Glorious Hong Kong
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Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:19 pm

Does the rule apply to charities such as The White Helmets or The Syria Campaign that deal mainly with saving lives? Because I happened to link to those sites in passing in a thread OP about the Syrian Civil War. Do activist sites count?
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Praeceps
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Postby Praeceps » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:09 pm

For clarification, would a region advertising on-site that they are playing a free multiplayer game and inviting others to join in be permissible (eg. Among Us) when the person advertising it derives no personal benefit (aside from creating engagement in their region)?
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:01 am

Links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules. I'm fairly sure some mods have had charity links in their signatures in the past (and may still do).

Praeceps wrote:For clarification, would a region advertising on-site that they are playing a free multiplayer game and inviting others to join in be permissible (eg. Among Us) when the person advertising it derives no personal benefit (aside from creating engagement in their region)?

That's fine. It only becomes an issue when there are "referral links" involved, which comes under the 'Forbidden Links' rule.

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Praeceps
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Postby Praeceps » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:44 am

Thanks for the clarification!
Apparently simultaneously a Ravenclaw puppet, a NPO plant, and a Warden spy. I had no idea I was that good. Depending on who you ask, my aliases include Krulltopia.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for The North Pacific, Former Guildmaster of The North Pacific Cards Guild

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Glorious Hong Kong
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Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:12 am

What Praeceps said. Thank you.
LIBERATE HONG KONG. REVOLUTION OF OUR TIMES. CCP DELENDA EST.
VIVE LE FRANCE. JE SUIS SAMUEL PATY. I STAND WITH EUROPE AND ISRAEL AGAINST RADICAL ISLAM.
ALL LIVES MATTER.
Wuhan coronavirus is racist but Japanese encephalitis is A-OK. The CCP has nothing to do with this double standard whatsoever. Nothing to see here.
The case against communism
Definition of radical Islam

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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:29 am

Sedgistan wrote:Links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules. I'm fairly sure some mods have had charity links in their signatures in the past (and may still do).


Whistles innocently while looking off into the middle distance.

Though they're a mixture of formal government bodies and charities; and they desperately need an update.

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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:48 am

Sedgistan wrote:Links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules. I'm fairly sure some mods have had charity links in their signatures in the past (and may still do).

Praeceps wrote:For clarification, would a region advertising on-site that they are playing a free multiplayer game and inviting others to join in be permissible (eg. Among Us) when the person advertising it derives no personal benefit (aside from creating engagement in their region)?

That's fine. It only becomes an issue when there are "referral links" involved, which comes under the 'Forbidden Links' rule.


Thanks for clarifying.
Slava Ukraini
Also: THERNSY!!
Your story isn't over;֍Help save transgender people's lives֍Help for feral cats
Cat with internet access||Supposedly heartless, & a d*ck.||Is maith an t-earra an tsíocháin.||No TGs
RIP: Dyakovo & Ashmoria

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:41 pm

We've made another small change to the Commercialism rules to clear up a situation we've been asked about. Changes underlined below:

Expanded Rules on Commercialism

Promotion

Players aren't permitted to use NationStates for commercial purposes (i.e. making money). In particular, the explicit promotion of products and services is prohibited, with one exception: You may promote free products or services that are directly related to NationStates, such as a Discord channel for region members.

Store Purchases

While NS Store purchases can be gifted to other players, players aren't permitted to offer or request them in exchange for anything, including for joining or remaining resident in a region. For example, it's prohibited to offer Telegram Stamps to nations who are the most active in your region.

It is additionally prohibited to promote any kind of random giveaway or raffle of NS Store purchases for any purpose.

Players may offer non-NS Store in-game goods or services in raffles or as compensation for in-game behavior; for example, you may offer Trading Cards in exchange for joining a region.

Other Items of Monetary Value

The above rules on NS Store purchases also apply to any prizes or gifts that possess real-life financial value beyond NationStates, such as gift cards, Steam codes, paid or referral perks in other games, and straight up cash prizes: These may never be offered to others on the site, requested or given away in raffles.

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Wymondham
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Postby Wymondham » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:00 am

Sedgistan wrote:Links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules. I'm fairly sure some mods have had charity links in their signatures in the past (and may still do).

Praeceps wrote:For clarification, would a region advertising on-site that they are playing a free multiplayer game and inviting others to join in be permissible (eg. Among Us) when the person advertising it derives no personal benefit (aside from creating engagement in their region)?

That's fine. It only becomes an issue when there are "referral links" involved, which comes under the 'Forbidden Links' rule.

What about charity fundraisers like the one I ran last Christmas and am hoping to run again this Christmas, would those be prohibited under the current rules?
Doer of the things and the stuffs.
That British dude who does the charity fundraiser.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:16 am

Same situation as when that question came up earlier in the thread - links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules.

Anything large in scale / new, we would suggest running past us first. But the fundraiser you did last year should be fine do to again this year.

If people think charity fundraisers generally being okay needs to be specified in the rules, feel free to suggest some wording for it. We're happy to consider that.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Wymondham
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Postby Wymondham » Wed Aug 25, 2021 11:57 am

Sedgistan wrote:Same situation as when that question came up earlier in the thread - links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules.

Anything large in scale / new, we would suggest running past us first. But the fundraiser you did last year should be fine do to again this year.

If people think charity fundraisers generally being okay needs to be specified in the rules, feel free to suggest some wording for it. We're happy to consider that.

Awesome thanks Sedge! I might give some wording a go later today or tomorrow depending on RL, and the details will be GHRed in September so everything can be kept completely above board as with last year
Doer of the things and the stuffs.
That British dude who does the charity fundraiser.

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Wymondham
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Postby Wymondham » Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:05 am

Wymondham wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:Same situation as when that question came up earlier in the thread - links to charities aren't prohibited by the Commercialism rules.

Anything large in scale / new, we would suggest running past us first. But the fundraiser you did last year should be fine do to again this year.

If people think charity fundraisers generally being okay needs to be specified in the rules, feel free to suggest some wording for it. We're happy to consider that.

Awesome thanks Sedge! I might give some wording a go later today or tomorrow depending on RL, and the details will be GHRed in September so everything can be kept completely above board as with last year

Apologies for dropping the ball here for 2 months. Recent events reminded me of the need for an explicit allowance for this:
[quote]Fundraising for registered charitable organisations is permissible, provided any fundraising occurs in accordance with the following terms:
  • The fundraiser must not confer any financial or material benefit whatsoever upon the organiser/s
  • Donations must be made via a platform which transfers any funds raised directly to the charity, at no stage may any funds be held by a player organising or promoting said fundraiser.
Doer of the things and the stuffs.
That British dude who does the charity fundraiser.

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Sedgistan
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Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Sat Dec 04, 2021 1:43 am

The following has been added to the Expanded Rules on Commercialism:

Mousebumples wrote:Charities

NationStates does not directly promote or endorse any charities, and we place limits on how players may promote charities, in order to protect the community.

Discreet, "passive" promotion of charities is generally acceptable; for example, in signature links, as part of a Dispatch, or a mention as part of a relevant conversation. However, we may prohibit those we consider to be insufficiently transparent or altruistic, including: charities with unclear or politically motivated goals; charities that may financially benefit the promoter (such as when they're an employee), and charities that employ questionable donation platforms.

Active promotion of charities, such as fundraising events, may be permitted, especially if they are localized to particular regions and do not include wide-scale telegramming of nations, but plans should be run past the Moderation team on each occasion: please contact us via Getting Help Request with details.

Political parties/causes are not considered to be "charities," and direct fundraising for such on the site is prohibited.

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Wymondham
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Postby Wymondham » Sat Dec 04, 2021 6:14 am

Very glad to see this, I've submitted a GHR regarding the fundraiser to triple check that all is still ok under the new rules (if anyone sees this before answering, I forgot to mention that we intend to produce a promotional dispatch which may be pinned on the WFE's of participating regions as well)
Doer of the things and the stuffs.
That British dude who does the charity fundraiser.


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