Some of you are newer, or may not have a tendency to go back occasionally and re-read the rules, and therefore might be unaware - not too long ago, we had a LOT more rules. There were rules, subsets of rules, delineation of extreme and extenuating circumstances... it became unweildy, and whats more, the more rules we had, with more specificity, the more it ended up actually giving some troublemakers wiggleroom to flout things and then complain that it wasn't EXPLICITLY verboten.
It was a pain in the ass, and was making all the admin staff very, very cranky. Have you seen me when I'm cranky? Have you seen TRIESTE when she's cranky? Combine that, and then multiply it by a cranky Elandra and exponent to the power of an irritated Vekseid, and you've got an idea of what a problem this was. Therefore, for our sanity and to let the whole site breathe better, we took a big shiny hatchet to the rules and pared it down to the true essentials. For the most part, we have all the rules we actually NEED - pretty much any issue refers back up to what is laid out.
Even our insistence that people keep the SB PG-13 has unfortunately kind of failed - it led to people attempting to use the false veil of a "PG-13 curtain" or "censored boxes" to indulge in things that they knew were not okay behaviors. That led to Trieste's post here
And even still, we are having issues.
We are limited, as staff; would that I had truly goddessly powers - I would be able to stop problems in the SB before they begin, and most of us would be happier creatures for it. We cannot police the SB 24/7, and what's more, we should not have to
. The shoutbox is a public area of the site, perhaps the singlemost visible part of it to anyone who comes to these forums, whether a member, an Applicant, or an unregistered guest.
I strongly encourage everyone to go reread the Rules
, and in particular, I will here copy the two that most directly relate to the issues of misbehavior in the shoutbox:
2. Just because we do not say something is forbidden, does not mean it is welcome here. Be civil, be polite, and be respectful. If you are constantly rude, inconsiderate, or otherwise act like a jerk, we will smack your privileges around until you get the hint and behave. If you can't behave, you will be directed elsewhere.
6. Explicit content stays in the private forums and channels - for the forums, this means the right two columns of the site, and for the chat, it means outside of #Elliquiy. In general, keep the material on the public part of the site appropriate to a teenage audience. This includes signatures, avatars, and possibly other things in your profile. A slight exception is made for the various Wanted boards, but things should be talked about rather than explicitly described.
The second requires just a little extrapolation to understand its relevance - the shoutbox is a public area of the site as well, and should be kept appropriate. It should be a place for civil chat and discussion.
We have an application process on Elliquiy for the purpose of accepting members who are capable of mature and responsible behavior - and therefore we expect people to display mature, responsible behavior. We should not have to police the shoutbox, because, quite frankly, we believe in our members' ability to be capable adults, aware of and responsible for their own behavior and the impression they are projecting.
So ultimately, the rules of the shoutbox already exist, and are painfully simple: It is public space. We have all promised to be mature, civil adults. Behave like one, or risk losing privileges.