Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

Pre-Code-Of-Conduct heads-up
Staff2020-11-23 18:23:46 [Permalink]
Hey folks, I've been working on social stuff the past few weeks and we're gonna be going live with our new Code of Conduct this week. It's an enormous wall of text that for the most part doesn't actually represent any changes or tell you anything you didn't already know - rather, we're aiming to preserve the Island's culture as it currently stands, which I think is in a pretty good place, and encourage newbies to fit in with the existing culture.

There are really only two changes that may affect you - first, we're gonna be disallowing underage characters, and second, we're gonna be disallowing posting NSFW stuff in public areas.

We've been struggling with the underage characters thing for at least five years, because of the friction between these two things:
1. We've got a handful of players doing wonderfully imaginative roleplay with child characters, who've been with us a long time.
2. The above players are an exception to the rule that underage characters are almost always being played by people who turn out to be pedophiles.

It hurts to punish the handful of well-behaving players of child characters for the actions of creepy weirdos, so for a long time we had a kind of soft-rule "These half a dozen players are grandfathered in but no more underage characters" situation going on - it didn't work, because new players would see underage characters and make one themselves, and it wasn't great to have different rules for different people. Having a bunch of kids running around puts more work and worry on the mods because we've got to watch them extra closely, and we always worry that they'll end up belonging to a predatory player or that someone else will try to ERP with them or whatever, so the new Code of Conduct will explicitly disallow underage characters in any capacity.

While the CoC will be posted later this week, we won't be enforcing the "no child characters" bit for existing players until the first of February 2021, to give you time to let your characters age up.

The other change we're making is disallowing posting NSFW stuff in public areas like Banter, bios etc. This also won't affect most people, but we wanted to give you a heads-up.

Currently we have a sort-of-unspoken agreement where porn isn't allowed, but NSFW stuff is, as long as it's clearly marked. We allow tasteful nudity or stuff that's raunchy and funny, but step in to remove the pics with three spunking cocks. This puts us in the undesirable situation of being arbiters of the line between NSFW and porn. It's incredibly difficult to define that line, and no matter where we draw it we're going to upset people, and we'll never be able to define it and apply it consistently. On the other hand, anyone who's been on the internet for more than five minutes knows what NSFW means, and that's a much easier rule to apply fairly and consistently, so we're going to be enforcing it from the first of January 2021. Again, we're letting you know before we start enforcing it so everyone has a chance to catch up. Posting NSFW stuff will still be allowed in Places.

The new Code of Conduct doesn't really change anything else, but talks in more detail about the culture and norms we have now. It also clarifies some edge cases that have popped up over the years, both so that players are all on the same page and feel welcome, and to help the mods make decisions with fairness and consistency.

Expect the new CoC this week, and have fun,

~CMJ
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