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Topic Subject: FORUM CODE OF CONDUCT
posted 06-17-03 05:41 PM CT (US)   

Forum Code of Conduct


This document can be found here.

Replies:
posted 07-31-03 05:38 AM CT (US)     1 / 9  
Updated 7/31/2003:
* New Code of Conduct.
posted 10-24-03 10:58 PM CT (US)     2 / 9  
Version 2.1, Updated 10/24/2003:

Official Language
Changed to: English is the official language of our forums because it is the common language between our moderators and users. Because we can not moderate conversations in a foreign language, you may not hold a conversation in the forums in language other than English. Foreign languages are allowed in forum signatures as long as a.) it is not in violation of the Code of Conduct, b.) not in a different character set, i.e. , and c.) a correct translation of the signature be provided upon request.

Why:
It is quite popular to quote a phrase in a foreign language in posting signatures, but that practice was not allowed because the old rule was too general. We've narrowed it down and made the rule more specific, so it's not an immediately warning/bannable offense if foreign language was used in a signature.


____________________
Chat privacy:
Deleted: You may not distribute private/email Messages and Instant Messenger messages("Chatlogs") without the consent of all participants.
Changed: You may not distribute any form of real life information, email address, private/email Messages, and Instant Messenger messages ("Chatlogs") with intent to harass or in any demeaning manner as determined by a moderator, regardless of consent.

Why:
The "consent required" rule was redundant because the main idea was to make sure the chat log was not used in a demeaning manner to a participant of the chat (or any members of the forum), an idea which was already listed in the same section.


____________________
Advertising:
Added:
2.1 Advertising
Please do NOT use any of our forums as an advertising medium for your own site or forums. HG staff don't wander over to your site and spam it with adverts, so the same courtesy is expected in return. If you wish to make an news announcement on the site you want it to appear on, please send it to the site's news editor for inclusion in the news.

Any user found mass-advertising their own site may be banned.

Note: Linking to your site in your signature is ok as long as it is not accompanied by a slogan.

Why:
We've had an increasing problem with advertisements on various sites, especially on Stronghold Heaven and Cossacks Heaven. Moderators on those sites have been acting on them (closing threads, warning forumers, etc.) under the "Questionable Behavior" rule. This new addition will make official HG's stance on the matter.


Zen
posted 12-06-03 07:46 PM CT (US)     3 / 9  
Version 2.1.1, Updated 12/6/2003:
Correction: "You may not bait, insult, flame, or otherwise abuse a moderator" to "You may not bait, insult, flame, or otherwise abuse a staff member"

Zen
posted 03-17-05 10:26 PM CT (US)     4 / 9  
Update - Version 4.2, 3/17/2005

We're introducing a set of changes to the Forum Code of Conduct to clarify several things, and broaden the definitions of others (like the piracy of copyrighted materials). This will be the first substantial update to the Code of Conduct since December of 2003. This Code of Conduct takes effect immediately. Please note the new rule about logout links - users with forum logout links in their sigs must remove them by March 25th.

The Forum Code of Conduct can be found here. Here are the detailed changes:

Forum Security
Added: "In addition, users are responsible for all activity made by him/her or anyone the user allows to use his/her account."

This rule was enforced traditionally but was never put in writing.

Spamming
Added: Free-____ links (i.e. Free iPods, Free PSP, etc.)

While the current free-____ phenomenon is covered by the "Pyramid-schemes" point, we want to stress that it's against the rules to post such links in the forum as they clutter up threads and posts.

Advertising
Replaced with the following:

Quote:

Please do NOT use any of our forums as an advertising medium for your own site or forums. Our staff doesnt wander over to your site and spam it with adverts, so the same courtesy is expected in return. Linking to your site in your signature is ok as long as it is not accompanied by a slogan.

If you are affiliated with a site that is relevant to the Gaming community and would like to link to it as part of an on-topic discussion, please contact a moderator first and be upfront in your message about the fact that you are linking to your own site. We wish to keep our forums free of the spam generated by promotion teams, public-relation campaigns, and other traffic-hungry webmasters.

We will not tolerate new threads for every weekly update on your site, nor will we tolerate forumers who seem to use their accounts primarily to promote other sites. Anyone who joins and immediately puts up a glowing review/endorsement of the latest product/service that has a public relations program / promotion team, or a thread telling us how great their site is within their first few days of posting will be permanently banned instantly.

If you wish to advertise on HeavenGames, please contact Scott Allred at sallred@heavengames.com.

The new text clarifies our position on various advertising, as well as fixing a few grammatical errors. We're trying to make the signal to noise ratio better for the forums, so naturally the forums isn't the right place to post these kind of things.

Piracy, Cracks, Trainers, Keys, and Key-Generators
Definition of Piracy expanded:

Quote:

Piracy is the illegal copying and/or distribution of copyrighted content including, but not limited to, games, software, music, movies, pictures, ROMs, abandon-ware, and leaked software.

First sentence of second paragraph replaced with:

Quote:

You may not encourage, discuss, link to, or post in support of activities, methods, and/or techniques involving piracy, cracks, multiplayer trainers, keys, and key-generators.

Last two points replaced with:
* Admitting to possess pirated materials, cracks, trainers, and key-generators
* Admitting to distribute pirated materials, cracks, trainers, keys, and key-generators

New point added:
* Admitting to the use of cracks, trainers, and key-generators

New sentence added to beginning of last paragraph: "Violation of this rule will result in the permanent banning of your account(s)"

We are expanding this to cover copyrighted materials.

Porn/Sexually Offensive Materials
Replaced with: "You may not post or link to pornography or sexually offensive materials. If you are unsure whether what you wish to post may be in violation of this rule, please consult a moderator first before posting."

New Section: Offensive Images / Shock Sites
"You may not post or link to shock sites (i.e. goatse), or any such excessively obscene material. If you are unsure whether what you wish to post may be in violation of this rule, please consult a moderator first before posting."

Illegal Use
Replaced with: "You may not use our forums for illegal purposes, in support of illegal activities, or encourage conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, as determined by the laws of the United States of America and the State of Illinois. Such activities will guarantee a ban. We reserve the right to cooperate with legal authorities and/or injured third parties in the investigation of any suspected crime or civil wrongdoing."

Miscellaneous
The part about baiting/trolling staff replaced with: "You may not bait, insult, flame, or otherwise abuse a staff member. Staff members have to follow the same rules, and should you have a problem with a certain staff member, please contact a moderator or the Forum Management Team."

New Item: "You may not link to the forum logout page, disguised or not."

Users with logout links in their sigs must remove them by March 25th.

Questionable Actions & Conduct
Entire section replaced with:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Contrary to popular beliefs, the CoC isn't designed to cover everything. We may act issue a warning, ban your account(s) and/or IP addresses, lower your post count, delete/edit your post(s)/thread(s), etc. if, in our judgment, you undertake any conduct that is deemed:
* Counterproductive to the forum community;
* Restricts or inhibits other users from using or viewing any HeavenGames services, including the forums;
* In violation of any additional policies posted in the forum (usually in the form of a stickied thread, as well as in the guidelines forum) the violation was found in;
* Discrediting to yourself and/or HeavenGames in the public eye


Zen
posted 10-25-05 11:21 AM CT (US)     5 / 9  
Update

1. 'maphacks' have been added to the list of forbidden files/patches to link to or upload. (A maphack is a modified version of a map, designed to be used online, which gives the user a huge advantage, such as with increased resources, complete line of sight etc).

2. The whole 'advertising' clause has been replaced with:

'We want to avoid spam generated by promotion teams, public-relations campaigns or any other traffic-hungry webmasters. So please note that our forums arent the place to advertise your own site or forums or sites with similar content to ours. HeavenGames staff dont visit your site and spam it with adverts, so we expect the same courtesy in return. You are welcome to link your site in your signature without a slogan.

If you are part of a gaming site and you want to link it as a relevant part of a discussion, please contact a moderator first and be honest if its your own site.

If you are part of a clan or design team, you will normally be able to make one thread about it, after consultation with a moderator. Other clan/design team information should be sent to one of the site staff for inclusion in the news. (We are hoping to have a better solution to this in the near future).

If you wish to advertise at HeavenGames, please contact Scott Allred.

Any forumer who seems to have created their account solely to promote another site will be permanently banned.'

3. Clause added under Moderation & Bans:

'You may not post a message on behalf of a banned forumer.'

4. There are several changes to the Harassment clause.

The phrase 'whether public or private' has been removed from the sentence about harassment of staff or users.

An additional section on 'Derogatory Terms' has been added.


'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
posted 09-27-06 02:34 PM CT (US)     6 / 9  
Update

Added clause for usernames to state the criteria for determine usernames that may be in violation of the Code of Conduct.


Zen
posted 11-16-06 03:20 AM CT (US)     7 / 9  
Update
* Made Ad Hominem its own section
* Updated Questionable Actions Clauses for clarification on when it may be applied

Zen
posted 10-21-07 10:37 AM CT (US)     8 / 9  
Updated to clarify the 'Official Language' rule.

'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
posted 11-01-07 06:08 AM CT (US)     9 / 9  
Further updated to clarify the Official Language section.

'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
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