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[Discussion] Illegal Activity in Roleplay reports

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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Venico
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[Discussion] Illegal Activity in Roleplay reports

Postby Venico » Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:58 pm

As some folks were warned for illegal activity and my region's entire roleplay is being contracted assassins, I feel the need to discuss the precedent established here and why it is dangerous to Gameplay's ability to roleplay.

Things off the top of my head that are fun themes that we can no longer put into raid reports: Robin Hood, Revolutions, Cat Burglar's entire theme, graffiti, etc.

If we're making a ruling not to solicit to children, I can easily understand and get behind that. But people were getting warns for promoting illegal activity. And a ton of roleplay can easily fall under that. I would like to ask that the moderation team reanalyze this decision.
Last edited by Venico on Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Improper Classifications
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Postby Improper Classifications » Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:12 pm

Perhaps it would be easiest first to define what country's laws define illegal activity here.
Edit: clarity
Last edited by Improper Classifications on Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Scardino » Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:18 pm

It becomes even murkier since the comments in question were not only obviously IC and in jest but also not advocating activity that is illegal in most of the world if you even interpret it as advocacy at all. “Ask your parents” is a perfectly legal action anywhere that I’m aware of and most countries dictate purchase ages. The interpretation of rules, warning, and the response to the appeal set significant precedent, don’t make much sense, and don’t appear to have been thoughtfully considered. It would be helpful if the moderators took a critical read of this interpretation and application.

Also, most of the questions in the appeal were not addressed. That could also be helpful.
Last edited by Scardino on Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Chef Big Dog
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Postby Chef Big Dog » Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:42 pm

The term "tag" needs to be banned from raid reports for encouraging gangland activity
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Evil Wolf
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Postby Evil Wolf » Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:24 pm

As it was pointed out in the appeals thread, "underage" tobacco consumption is legal in the vast majority of the world and several US states. Seems to be a lot of picking and choosing on what is and isn't allowable.

On that note, I have notice throughout NS history that many players, nations, and regions have talked about, either as RP or not, consuming and promoting the culture surrounding Marijuana. Some even put it right in the name of their Region or Nation. Now, Marijuana consumption for all ages is illegal in many, many more countries than underage smoking is, in fact it's illegal in the super majority of the nations on Earth. So, with that in mind, and following the logic of the underage smoking ruling, I expect we shall be seeing a large amount of DEATs, permabans, and warnings very shortly.

Right?

I also expect the Issue that allows players to allow children to smoke in their nation to similarly be removed shortly, in compliance with this ruling, not to mention the issues regarding underage gambling, child soldiers, and, of course, the consumption of Marijuana. We're going to be very busy removing illegal issues, I suspect.
Last edited by Evil Wolf on Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Imperial-Octavia » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:01 pm

There are threads about slavery, genocide, and every other kind of illegal activity on the RP forums, are those banned now too? It doesn’t make sense to take a fairly obvious IC thread on child smoking and hit it with a warn when there are many other threads that “advocate” for much worse crimes.
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Postby Nantoraka » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:04 pm

Imperial-Octavia wrote:There are threads about slavery, genocide, and every other kind of illegal activity on the RP forums, are those banned now too? It doesn’t make sense to take a fairly obvious IC thread on child smoking and hit it with a warn when there are many other threads that “advocate” for much worse crimes.

Exactly. And even when considering tobacco, possession of it by children is legal in most countries on Earth. The US is literally an outlier.
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Nantoraka
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Postby Nantoraka » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:05 pm

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Postby Wymondham » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:38 pm

I'm not going to comment on the ruling itself as I have no particular feelings on the ruling itself, plus, one side has had their say and I'm sure the mods will have theirs at a later date. That said, from a perspective solely of clarity and easily understandable rules I definitely think that there needs to be a clarification in OSRS as to which nation's (or state subdivision of a nation if the nation it federal) laws are used when determining whether something is illegal or not.

There also needs to be a clarification as to where the line is drawn regarding "roleplayed illegal conduct" that is not deemed to be in violation of site rules because it is roleplayed. Does the IC nature of a post need to be made explicit? Does the rule differ depending on where a post is made (e.g. RP Vs general) and if so where do places that can be both IC and OOC (like gameplay) fall.

The post in the OSRS regarding illegal activities links to another post that makes reference to "guidelines" that will be created to address the issues of deciding what is and isn't illegal in a game that crosses national boundaries, but no guidelines are given except for the issue of cannabis use. Assuming that these guidelines likely exist backstage (as Kat and Chingis will likely have reached their decision based upon something other than their gut instinct); the easiest way to clear things up here might be to make these guidelines public, whether any direct OSRS changes happen as a result of this discussion or not.
Last edited by Wymondham on Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheKeyToJoy
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Postby TheKeyToJoy » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:45 pm

Jesus Christ why are all of you so mad about a ruling, get on with your lives.
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Venico
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Postby Venico » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:59 pm

TheKeyToJoy wrote:Jesus Christ why are all of you so mad about a ruling, get on with your lives.


As explained earlier, my region, The Brotherhood of Malice, roleplays as a guild of assassins guided by a malevolent entity. Regularly in our raid reports we include things like, breaking and entering, contracted murder, assault, etc. In order to roleplay as fantasy/multidimensional assassins. If this precedent sits it will force us to almost entirely move these reports off site, despite there regularly being issues where you roleplay as your nation that allow you do practically all of these illegal activities such as letting children smoke and drink, rear themselves, etc.

I'm personally not hugely vested to the warns that were handed out, but there needs to be clarification before I ask one of my members to post a raid report they're excited about that involves breaking into a museum and absconding with an artifact.
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TheKeyToJoy
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Postby TheKeyToJoy » Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:03 pm

Venico wrote:
TheKeyToJoy wrote:Jesus Christ why are all of you so mad about a ruling, get on with your lives.


As explained earlier, my region, The Brotherhood of Malice, roleplays as a guild of assassins guided by a malevolent entity. Regularly in our raid reports we include things like, breaking and entering, contracted murder, assault, etc. In order to roleplay as fantasy/multidimensional assassins. If this precedent sits it will force us to almost entirely move these reports off site, despite there regularly being issues where you roleplay as your nation that allow you do practically all of these illegal activities such as letting children smoke and drink, rear themselves, etc.

I'm personally not hugely vested to the warns that were handed out, but there needs to be clarification before I ask one of my members to post a raid report they're excited about that involves breaking into a museum and absconding with an artifact.

No not you the people who are still crying about their warnings.
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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:11 pm

TheKeyToJoy wrote:
Venico wrote:
As explained earlier, my region, The Brotherhood of Malice, roleplays as a guild of assassins guided by a malevolent entity. Regularly in our raid reports we include things like, breaking and entering, contracted murder, assault, etc. In order to roleplay as fantasy/multidimensional assassins. If this precedent sits it will force us to almost entirely move these reports off site, despite there regularly being issues where you roleplay as your nation that allow you do practically all of these illegal activities such as letting children smoke and drink, rear themselves, etc.

I'm personally not hugely vested to the warns that were handed out, but there needs to be clarification before I ask one of my members to post a raid report they're excited about that involves breaking into a museum and absconding with an artifact.

No not you the people who are still crying about their warnings.

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Haruhi Japan
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Postby Haruhi Japan » Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:14 pm

Isn't there an issue that literally allows you to sell tobacco products to children? If so, why is it banned in rp?
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RunDown
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Postby RunDown » Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:39 am

According to the rules that United_Calanworie Linked, the only rule about illegal activites refers to real life and seeking help with how to get away with real life crimes. Not posting about them in character. Quote below

"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."


They then clarify that talking about illegal behavior is fine if in character.

With specific reference to game-side, and regions such as Weed, we'll generally assume that people are posting about their nations, not their personal lives. And of course it's fine to control a nation in which cannabis use is legal. We'll only act if the nation is clearly talking about breaking real-life laws.


"tl;dr:
"Marijuana should be legal": OK
"I have just consumed some excellent cannabis": not OK
Some description about using cannabis in a way that's clear from the context of the post is legal, and doesn't require us to go all International Super Lawyer to figure it out: OK
A region that is pro-cannabis: OK"


The precedent set in the official rules means both the Original Warning and the Denied Appeal goes against site rules. The Mods are wrong and either need to rescind their decision, update the rules, or accept the Anarchy that results from the obvious message that some people are allowed to ignore rules as they please. Because the Mods are not upholding the rules set by the Admins but making up their own.
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Postby Valentine Z » Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:39 am

Haruhi Japan wrote:Isn't there an issue that literally allows you to sell tobacco products to children? If so, why is it banned in rp?

Yes, there is. Since this is marked as Discussion, here it is for reference.
#635: Hey Kid, Have A Cigar [Kungyo; ed: Sleep and Candlewhisper Archive]

The Issue
One of @@NAME@@'s leading tobacco companies, Maxboro, has produced an advertisement depicting children frolicking in a playground while smoking cigars and cigarettes. Predictably, a truckload of angry letters has been dropped on your desk, from angry parents and moralising busy-bodies.

The Debate
1. "This is truly odious!" screeches @@RANDOM_FEMALE_NAME@@, your Secretary of Political Correctness, as she tries to cover her child's eyes and ears. "Tobacco companies cannot be allowed to market their death-sticks to our children! Our poor vulnerable youngsters could get hooked, and become chain-smokers before they finish primary school! Advertising dangerous products to children must be banned!"

*2. "Oh, Boo-hoo!" mocks M.B. Winston, CEO of Maxboro, while smoking a SpongeBarry SquareShirt themed cigarette. "Those ads are cute and funny! Kids should be allowed to make up their own minds about our exquisitely smooth leaf blends and candy-flavoured filters! Market restrictions are un-@@DEMONYM@@. We should be able sell our product to anyone who can afford to buy it, no matter how old they are!" [Must have private industry]

*3. "Oh, Boo-hoo!" mocks M.B. Winston, State Factory Director of Maxboro, while smoking an unfiltered cigarette with acrid fumes. "These advertisements remind children that by buying cigarettes, they are supporting the Motherland! You should, in fact, be encouraging this habit, with increased funding for state advertisements encouraging all good children to smoke." [Must not have private industry]

4. "I have a reasonable third option!" interrupts passing minister @@RANDOM_NAME@@, right around the time someone normally interjects with a crazy third option. "Let tobacco companies operate freely, but have them do social good equal to the social harm, according to a fair assessment of externalities. Like, if they advertise to children, then they have to build a kids clinic or a litter picking program, that sort of thing."
Last edited by Valentine Z on Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Sun Dec 04, 2022 2:37 am

A reminder while everyone is talking about having read the rules that you should also have read the READ ME FIRST: How to use Moderation thread that makes clear:

Frisbeeteria wrote:Discussion threads. These should clearly labelled with [DISCUSSION] in the thread title, and are for discussion of moderation policy. You should not use Discussion threads to re-open discussion on specific incidents that have already been handled - they are for discussing wider policy. Anyone may post in Discussion threads; however, we expect people to express their opinions in good faith. Bad faith posts will be removed.

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A Bloodred Moon
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Postby A Bloodred Moon » Sun Dec 04, 2022 5:42 am

I don't usually post here, but this is a pretty important matter to me that has some rather concerning implications. While I understand that we should "not use Discussion threads to re-open discussion on specific incidents", this specific incident is what led to the discussion and it is that precedent that may be set that is so worrying, which is why this specific case is in focus for the rest of the post. Two people got warned for posts that were (a) pretty clearly not advocating for anything, (b) not an illegal activity in the majority of countries around the world, and (c) this rule seems inconsistently enforced. I'll elaborate on all three points.

First of all, point (a): there was no "promoting" anything here. There was a made-up parody brand, with explicit satire surrounding it. It was in no way, shape or form, more "real" or "harmful" than posting an RP post or (for example) writing an issue on this exact topic. Morbid humour? Sure. Promoting or advocating for something? Decidedly not. If Moderation can't distinguish between something obviously non-serious and in-character, than that effectively kills any and all RP reports, as has been noted above. Assassination is illegal, so does BoM risk warnings by playing with their theme? Will we be getting warnings for advocating arson when we make a propaganda post about how we'll burn regions to the ground? If these hypotheticals sound ridiculous, they should be, but they are not meaningfully different from our parody in seriousness or intent.

Moving on, (b): you are (seemingly) applying US law, despite most nations not having laws on a minimum smoking age, instead preferring to regulate a purchasing age. If the posts had said "you should fake your age to purchase a pack of cigarettes", that seems like a more reasonable application of the rule, because that would be illegal around the world. But the posts said nothing of the sort. This carries the implication the rule applies to US law, which is pretty arbitrary and opens up another can of worms in the differences between a person's home country's law and the US' laws. My understanding of the rule has always been that content that is obviously illegal around the world is banned (one doesn't go out and tell people to break into their neighbours' homes to steal that TV they always wanted, for example) - this also seems to be what [violet] seems to use when talking about the cannabis example. This does not qualify for such by any stretch of the imagination, and it would be nice if we could get more clarification on how this rule is (apparently) meant to be interpreted.

Lastly, consistency is an issue here. At the time of posting, the thread directly below this one talks about a "slavery thread". Slavery, unlike minimum smoking ages, is illegal anywhere. Moderation ruled that was somehow just fine, because they'd allowed "slavery threads" before. RP about selling people as property (again, illegal everywhere) was allowed just fine, but an obvious parody post about a fictional cigarette brand nets you a warn, despite being no more serious than the thread in question. The lack of consistency was raised in the appeal thread, and was just about the only question Moderation bothered to even acknowledge so far: Chingis gave the condescending reply that we should instead be reporting everyone else rather than actually addressing the concern that this ruling has (to my knowledge) never been made before and could potentially kill off Gameplay propaganda and reports outright: no one is thrilled to post propaganda or RP-themed reports in Gameplay (and I believe the rules in the OSRS are forum-wide, meaning this ridiculous interpretation of the rule would also apply to the RP forums - I digress) when someone can come along and start reporting them because Moderation handled an interpretation of a vague rule as strangely as this, and then explicitly encouraged people to start reporting others as well.
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Falafelandia
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Postby Falafelandia » Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:01 am

Here's one of The Black Hawks' raided regions:

https://nationstates.net/region=interna ... ce_treaty/
"Woah
Your region has been the landing spot of some hawks.
These hawks were going to a shop to buy cookies but got lost, so they decided to land on your region instead and steal all your precious cookies.
If you want to help them steal more cookies, come say hi!
"

Is this not promotion of illegal activity?
Couldn't every raiding region be considered promotion of illegal activity, because an unprovoked invasion is a violation of international law?
Every raider region role plays illegality. I would estimate 25% of nations rp illegality.
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Scardino
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Postby Scardino » Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:20 am

RunDown wrote:The precedent set in the official rules means both the Original Warning and the Denied Appeal goes against site rules. The Mods are wrong and either need to rescind their decision, update the rules, or accept the Anarchy that results from the obvious message that some people are allowed to ignore rules as they please. Because the Mods are not upholding the rules set by the Admins but making up their own.


The ruling was obviously wrong and the appeal was dismissed without being considered (after the mod who ruled on the appeal came to our Discord server to gloat) but what’s done is done. This novel interpretation of the rules has changed how we have to publish raid reports. It’s unclear whether it affects defenders in any meaningful way. If the moderators can provide some guidance on how this new ruling is going to be applied, we can know how to approach it. It could mean anything from Gameplay posting largely moving off the server to perhaps regions establishing compliance committees that review and approve raid reports for conflict with international law prior to publishing, especially if this is a new avenue for moderators to be weaponized.
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Illegal Planets
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Postby Illegal Planets » Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:43 am

My roleplays and characters often feature criminals. I'm curious if rulings like this would ever extend to things I write IC.

Scardino wrote: (after the mod who ruled on the appeal came to our Discord server to gloat)


Do you happen to have screenshots of this?
Last edited by Illegal Planets on Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Davelands » Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:27 am

At this point, if the mods just admit that they got emotional about an issue and issued an incorrect ruling, this would all go away. As it stands now, the mods are going to have anyone who has a grudge against another player combing through posts looking for any reference to an illegal act in a nation they dislike, to try to get the player a redline warning. I can easily see R/D using this as a weapon too (at least the ones who take R/D way too seriously).

In the end, it is going to mean that the mods will be forced to respond to an increasing number of whining posts and GHRs as a result of this action.
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Syberis
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Postby Syberis » Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:35 am

And if obvious fictionality is not a factor, should we potentially discuss some extreme examples of why this would either require a fundamental shakeup if NSGP or a review of practices? This isn't a trend unique to one side of the gameplay spectrum.

Are we supposed to expect obvious fictionality to be tossed aside when it comes to gameplay? Instead of being a Dragon Age themed roleplay, now does TGW think that everyone who raids is a Darkspawn, a corrupted, subhuman individual with no free will suitable only for destruction, who seeks the end of the world through the unearthing of ancient gods? Obviously not, because that's insane. However, if we're supposed to take everything literally... Their fight against an entire race could be considered advocacy of genocide.

I understand where the ruling that kicked this off came from, it's one of those things that seems very clear cut on the surface. However, the second you start hashing this stuff out, you open all sorts of cans of worms, and while the normal shield is that you can't rule on hypotheticals... These are hypotheticals that need to be discussed if suddenly things are going to be enforced this way.
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Postby RiderSyl » Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:39 am

Scardino wrote:
RunDown wrote:The precedent set in the official rules means both the Original Warning and the Denied Appeal goes against site rules. The Mods are wrong and either need to rescind their decision, update the rules, or accept the Anarchy that results from the obvious message that some people are allowed to ignore rules as they please. Because the Mods are not upholding the rules set by the Admins but making up their own.


The ruling was obviously wrong and the appeal was dismissed without being considered (after the mod who ruled on the appeal came to our Discord server to gloat) but what’s done is done.

Does the Final Appeal process not exist anymore? I remember, when I first joined, there was one final step after the appeal denial that one could take if it seemed like a major error had occurred - and with the reaction to the ruling that set this off, perhaps those warned should invoke the Final Appeal process? (if it still exists)
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Illegal Planets
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Posts: 563
Founded: Jan 24, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Illegal Planets » Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:49 am

I'm pretty curious on if the ruling mod in question went to an affected player's discord to gloat and antagonize about the ruling in their capacity as a mod.
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