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Old 02-16-2015, 12:17 AM   #3
Andrew Hackard
Munchkin Line Editor
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Modification to Forum Infraction System (7/24/17)

After extended discussion, the forum administrative and moderation staff have decided to modify the forum infraction system to better reflect our community standards and more appropriately assess the severity of actions contrary to those standards. Meanings of On Notice and Temp Banned Users, and other information from the preceding post not superseded in this one, remain in force.

As always, the best policy is to be civil, even (especially!) when emotional or upset, and to ignore obnoxious users and/or report their posts to the mods when you think they have stepped over the line. Responding in kind -- or worse, escalating -- just makes it more likely that you will be infracted as well.

Minor Infractions
Minor infractions are the smallest step above just a warning. Essentially, they're meant to be a bit of a rebuke and a reminder that we want everyone to play nicely with each other. There are two types, with the usual expiration in parentheses:
  • General Minor Infraction (7 days): This is used for annoying behavior too mild for any stronger action. Examples include ignoring specific forum rules after repeated warnings, posting links to other websites without sufficient context to allow other users to decide whether to click, and extreme overquoting (failing to edit quoted text down to the minimum required for context).
  • Tempban (permanent): A user who has been temp banned, for whatever reason, receives a permanent minor infraction. Too many of these will lead to a user being placed On Notice permanently, or even being banned permanently from these forums.

Intermediate Infractions
These rise above de minimis minor infractions to areas that are clearly disruptive to the good order of the community. All of these infractions last 10 days unless otherwise assessed by a moderator. If a user has an active intermediate infraction and suffers subsequent infraction(s), they are likely to be On Notice or possibly even banned, depending on the severity of the new infraction(s).
  • Foul/Abusive Language: We have a profanity filter for a reason; we have children reading these forums and we would prefer not to be a profanity vector if we can avoid it. Furthermore, any form of abusive language, veiled or not, directed at another poster falls under this category. If you cannot engage in productive dialog with someone, do not engage them at all.
  • Derailing/Threadjacking: This does not cover natural thread drift, but an attempt by a single poster to change the topic of discussion, often without significant reference to prior posts in the thread. If you want to discuss your own topic, start a new thread.
  • Forum Vigilantism/"Junior Mod": Please don't tell other users how to post. That's the moderators' job. ESPECIALLY don't tell other users that they are trolling or that they deserve to be infracted or banned; just report the post(s) and let us handle them.
  • IP Infringement (First Offense, Minor/Inadvertent): First-time offenders whose infringement is minor and/or not malicious, in the judgment of the moderators, will receive this permanent infraction. For truly minor cases, this can be downgraded to a 0-point warning. (NOTE: This does not have to be SJ Games' intellectual property - we can, have, and will apply sanctions to people violating other companies' or persons' IP.)

Major Infractions
These infractions will all result in the user being immediately placed On Notice. Accumulating more than one of these simultaneously, or one major infraction on top of multiple minor or intermediate infractions, will result in a user being temp banned until the infraction total drops below the temp ban threshold. These infractions last for two weeks (14 days) unless a specific infraction specifies otherwise.
  • Abusing Report Function: "Report spamming" a moderator or otherwise using the report function to be punitive rather than constructive can earn this infraction. It's a judgment call; in the absence of compelling reasons to do otherwise, we will err on the side of an honest mistake rather than deliberate abuse. However, a user who responds to an infraction by reporting a dozen posts that he feels were "just as bad" is probably going to receive this infraction as well.
  • Arguing With Mods: It's fine to ask for an explanation of a moderator's or administrator's action. However, if you feel strongly that a mod or admin is wrong (or, worse, malicious), you should contact with your concerns rather than continuing a contentious or fruitless discussion. Mods need not put up with rules lawyers.
  • General Major Infraction: As with the General Minor Infraction, this is designed to cover a host of other possible disruptive activities more severe than just a mild disruption in the flow of the forums. Many General Majors would fall under the category "Being A Jerk."

Severe Infractions
These are the biggies. Infractions at this level are gross breaches of the trust we place in our users. Anyone who receives two severe infractions at once, or a severe infraction on top of several smaller infractions, is liable to be permanently banned, period. Severe infractions last significantly longer than others because we want the people who get these infractions to understand just how thin the ice is under their feet. (These are also On Notice-level infractions, of course.)
  • Linking To/Posting Inappropriate/Offensive Content (30 days): Don't link to p0rn or to hate sites. Don't post jokes that make fun of other races, sexes, or other groups of people. We don't need that kind of junk tracking back to these forums.
  • Bigotry (Racism, Sexism, etc.) (180 days): If you're posting something negative but civil and factual about a specific person, that's fine, even if it's not polite or positive. If you extrapolate from that that "all members of group X are lazy/evil/promiscuous," you've crossed the line.
  • Advocating Illegal Activity (180 days): Another big one. This not only includes urging people to pirate software or buy drugs illegal in their (or your) jurisdiction, but offering instructions on how to do it, linking to sites hosting illegal downloads, and generally being a jerk to the people who create that content. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the illegal activity we do not want on our site! We've had unpleasant talks with the government before; we don't need that hassle again.

Extremely Serious Infractions
These infractions are so injurious to the smooth operation of the forums that they lead to immediate, permanent banning.
  • Spamming: Duh.
  • IP Infringement (Repeat or Blatant Offense): Generally, this means you have already received the smaller infraction or a warning for a first offense, but it can also be applied in blatant cases: "I uploaded my entire GURPS library to a sharing site!" or "I wrote an entire Munchkin set and uploaded it with the official rules!" This infraction may be appealed to after a period of no less than six months from the ban. However, someone receiving two or more of these infractions is banned forever.
Andrew Hackard || Munchkin Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games

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Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 07-24-2017 at 02:29 PM.
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