Moderation COVID-19 Policy & Updates

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Moderation COVID-19 Policy & Updates

Postby Katganistan » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:35 pm

In light of the news post from March 2020 detailing our policy regarding dangerous misinformation involving Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we wish to point our users to reputable sources for information about this ongoing crisis:

If you're just in need of a smile or a laugh, drop by The Sunshine, Daisies, and Lollipops Happy Stuff Thread. Come share some good news, something that just made you happy or smile, and have a bit of light-hearted fun. Note: Arch will abuse his Mod powers to cheer you up! ;) (No COVID-19 discussion permitted.)

Further, due to social distancing and the isolation that comes with it, as well as the near-constant bombardment of news involving COVID-19, if you or someone you know is undergoing a crisis or struggling with anxiety, depression, or other difficulties at this time, please urge them to seek professional assistance.

Lastly: we know everybody is stressed, we get it. People who are stressed are more likely to lose their temper, including those who might ordinarily never come anywhere close to breaking the site rules. In light of current events, we're making some adjustments to the usual ban escalation and warnings as a whole:

  • COVID-19 related warnings and bans for dangerous misinformation are being treated as entirely separate from a user's existing warning record. Essentially everyone has a clean slate with regards to COVID-19 warnings. Regular non-COVID-19 related warnings will still be applied to a player's existing record subject to the usual warning/ban progression (with some modifications, noted below). Note that violating the regular site rules (e.g. by trolling, spamming or flaming) on the topic of COVID-19 will be treated as part of your regular warning record.

  • Greater use of very short-term (30 minutes, 1 hour, and 6 hour) bans. Particularly for users with generally clean or very minor warning histories and if we happen to catch the perpetrator currently online, short-duration bans are meant to put somebody into time out to cool back down before they can escalate in a moment of temper and wind up earning themselves a heavier penalty. Consider it basically an official warning with a little more teeth, but not the full bite of a 1-day ban. No longer in effect from July 2021 onwards.

  • Adding a 2-week/1-month ban tier before DEAT. Call it digital social distancing. We understand that everyone is a bit on edge right now. People getting these are very likely at the "DEAT on next offense" stage. Shutting these near-DEAT users out for two weeks to a month will hopefully keep them from further riling up everybody else and from tipping themselves over the edge into getting that DEAT. No longer in effect from July 2021 onwards.

    PLEASE NOTE! In the event of a player getting one of these non-standard bans (or warnings), the warning note on their record will include the fact it was related to our COVID-19 policy so that when dealing with future violations said bans will be considered accordingly. Furthermore, please understand that information and details involving COVID-19 are changing rapidly, sometimes from one hour to the next. A certain degree of give is being provided for differences in "outdated information" and blatant misinformation.
This announcement and the manners of our enforcement of this exigent policy are subject to change without notice. We will try to keep you as up-to-date on information as possible throughout this trying time.

Please stay safe, stay civil, and stay home. ...And wash your fucking hands!

— NS Moderation Staff

Added sign-off due to popular demand. -- Kyru, MAR 25 2020
Edited to amend "6-12 hours" to "30 minutes, 1 hour, and 6 hours" for short term ban lengths. -- Kyru, MAR 26 2020
Added "The Happy Stuff Thread." Cheery Mod abuse increases by 10%. -- Kyru, MAR 28 2020
Updated to clarify policy changes from July 2021 -- Sedge
Last edited by Sedgistan on Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:03 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Sedgistan » Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:04 am

As the Coronavirus situation has evolved globally, so our approach to moderating it is changing. Our policy on misinformation introduced in March 2020 has always been intended as a temporary measure, and we review its effectiveness and necessity on an ongoing basis.

As of July 2021, we will continue to punish COVID-19 minsinformation that is directly and immediately harmful (e.g. "drink bleach"). Posts on COVID-19 that are incorrect or misleading but are not directly and immediately harmful (e.g. questionable statistics, querying the effectiveness of public health measures, or unfounded speculation on responsibility for the origins of COVID-19) will not be subject to our policy on dangerous COVID-19 misinformation.

The post above has been further updated to clarify how we are handling future Covid-19 dangerous misinformation offences, with regards to punishment.

As ever, the site rules continue to apply to all content submitted to the site.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sedgistan » Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:31 am

Following an internal review, we've decided to retire the specific rules in place regarding Covid. Since we modified our policy six months ago (see my post immediately above), we haven't warned anyone under the Covid specific rules, so keeping them on seemed unnecessary. Directly and immediately dangerous misinformation (e.g. of the "drink bleach" variety) is likely to be covered by our existing site rules anyway, such as Harassment/Griefing, Trolling, and Illegal Activities.

This announcement has therefore been taken down and moved to the Moderation forum.

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