Over the past couple of months there have been several reports of questionable content being posted in the chatbox. For isolated incidents individual members were contacted about the infractions; however, the behavior was unfortunately much more persistent and pervasive and called for a stronger course of action.
The chatbox is a much more fluid discussion venue than the standard discussion board topics generated here and is therefore much more difficult to consistently monitor by the moderating team (and luckily up until recently was unnecessary for the most part).
Several members have been contacted and have lost chatbox privileges for a temporary amount of time. The duration of the restrictions varied by violation severity and number of violations during the reviewed period of time.
The forum rules apply to the chatbox (as is stated in the typing area of the chatbox prior to any text being entered). Rules that were notorious in the review included but were not limited to:
- Cursing, swearing, and vulgar language;
- Bypassing cursing, swearing, or vulgarity by substituting ASCII characters (i.e. $, @, etc. for similar looking letters);
- References to illegal drugs;
- Illegal file sharing;
- Vulgar and inappropriate images;
- Conversations of a sexual nature;
- Discussion of outside vendors (including vague references like "you know the one in [REDACTED] location) or abbreviations; and,
- Links to websites promoting or engaging in the previously mentioned topics.
It should also be noted that during this review period only individuals who initiated a particular conversation (i.e. illegal drug use) were given an infraction; however, in the future, all individuals who participate in the discussion may be held responsible for the relevant rule violation. The best course of action if in inappropriate topic surfaces is to ignore it or encourage the individual to cease.
The chatbox is a great benefit to Terraforums and we value the continuous fluid conversation that can occur at a moment's notice; but we need to ensure that the conversation follows the Terraforums rules such that the conversation is appropriate for all members and does not alienate any individual from participating.
As I believe there is potentially some value to discussion surrounding this issue this topic will be left open for discussion but shall not be used as a venue to air grievances on behalf of members who have had chatbox restrictions imposed on them. Since we protect the privacy of members by not discussing infractions and actions taken against members by the moderating team it would be a one sided conversation with our inability to publicly respond. As always, questions and concerns about forum privileges should be taken to pm.