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Arocalypse Terms of Service


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1. Liability

While the administrators and moderators of this forum (collectively the Admod Team) will attempt to remove or edit any generally objectionable material as quickly as possible, it is impossible to review every message. Therefore you acknowledge that all posts made to these forums express the views and opinions of the author and not the administrators, moderators or webmaster (except for posts by these people) and hence will not be held liable.

You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should they see fit.

The IP address of every post is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. As a user you agree to any information you have entered above being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent the webmaster, administrator and moderators cannot be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.

2. Behavior

These rules apply in all parts of Arocalypse.

Controversy is fine, getting frustrated and even angry is fine. At their discretion moderators will communicate with users not because those users are in trouble but because they want to keep a situation from getting out of hand.

The following are general rules to be followed:

a. Generic rule about content
You agree not to post anything abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful or threatening; additionally, you agree not to post any material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). Posts which might be considered to encourage or indicate an intention to commit activities which might violate applicable laws will be removed immediately.

b. Personal insults
Personally insulting other users in any way is unacceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, using a person's race, sex, gender identity or expression, creed, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation as a way to insult any member.

c. Offensive and bigoted content
Arocalypse does not tolerate racist, queerphobic, or sexist bigotry, as these create an environment that is hostile to the reasonable exchange of views. You may not post hateful, abusive or disparaging content about people's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, romantic orientation, age, or mental or physical disability. This includes, but is not limited to, anything bigoted against 'asexuals', 'allosexuals', 'aromantics', ‘alloromantics’, ‘ace-spec’ or ‘aro-spec’ as identifiable categories.

Posting offensive content, or bigoted propaganda, may result in an immediate and permanent ban from the forum. Offences judged less serious by the Admod Team will be dealt with under the Warning system outlined below.

d. Sexually explicit material
Because many users find sexually explicit material offensive we request that posts which contain sexually explicit material contain a warning in the subject line. Please refrain from using sexually explicit subject lines.

e. Personal Information
Posting personal information about another user without their express permission is a serious offence. Such posts are subject to deletion at the request of the exposed party. This extends to posting private conversations.

f. Judgements of other users
Making judgments about other users, especially about the validity of their sexual or romantic orientation or their choice of labels, is strongly discouraged. We are here to figure ourselves out, not to put each other in boxes.

g. Suicide content
The admods value your right to privacy but content with references to contemplating suicide will be taken seriously, and we reserve the right to contact your ISP or any other authorities in your area if we find it necessary. Topics which contain any references to contemplating suicide may be removed immediately.

h. Donation requests
Members must not send unsolicited donation requests using the personal messaging system. Solicitation for direct donations or other fundraising is not allowed on Arocalypse, with an exception for Vis/Ed projects that have been reviewed and granted permission for posting by the Admods. This permission should not be taken as endorsement; members should still exercise necessary precautions, and avoid contributing to requests if they feel it is not safe or legitimate. Any requests that have not been granted permission for posting may be taken down in order to protect Arocalypse members.

i. Trolling behaviour
As a general rule, trolling, flaming, spamming or insulting of any kind is off-limits. Acting as a troll is grounds for an immediate ban. A troll is defined, not exclusively, as someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the intent of provoking other users into an emotional response.

j. Members' security
Stalking, bullying or harassing of any kind will not be tolerated. Should any account be used or created for this purpose, the account holder will be subject to official warning or outright banning from the site.

k. Vigilante Modding
Vigilante Modding is not allowed. Vigilante Modding is harassing, attacking, or otherwise antagonizing members you believe are acting inappropriately and/or you believe have violated the ToS. The proper procedure in such cases is to report what you know to the Admod team so proper action can be taken with all the information at hand. Please refrain from engaging in direct confrontation, or attempting to take forum justice into your own hands. If you must disagree, do so calmly and with dignity, no matter how outrageous the provocation. To report a post, simply click on "report post" above the offending post.

If you suspect that a post or a user is bending the rules of the forum then PM a moderator or an admin. Do not feed trolls, and do not flame other users no matter how badly you may think they deserve it.

A note with respect to the Admod Team: Admods, as individuals, are protected by this rule. This does not mean criticism of the team or its actions is disallowed, just that those criticisms should be directed to the team as a whole, and should not make reference to individuals. We both allow, and encourage, constructive criticism. If you feel the need to address the actions of a specific member of the team, this is not a matter for the open board. Either address that team member directly, or contact an administrator. Such communications should be dealt with using the site's PM system, or if the situation is severe enough to warrant it, the report system.

l. Private Messages remain private
PMs from one Arocalypse member to another should not be posted in the public fora. In certain pertinent cases, PM's might be discussed by Admods, especially when the PM itself is a question raised to the Admods outside of the public fora. But sharing PMs or their content on the public fora without permission from the originator and recipient is not permitted.

Please realize that it is very difficult to nail down exactly what types of words, actions, and behaviors are warnable. This is done on a case by case basis. The Admods are very careful when reviewing these issues and do not issue warnings haphazardly. However, by agreeing to the ToS, members acknowledge the right of the Moderators and Administrators to make these decisions.

3. Sock accounts and Proxy IP addresses

As a member, you agree to register and maintain one account only. Multiple accounts are not allowed unless under circumstances requesting approval by the Admod Team for Vis-Ed. Sock accounts created outside of this process will be subject to merging or deactivation. Members discovered to have multiple accounts may be issued with official warnings or banned from the forum. Furthermore, the following shall also apply to sock accounts: should any member account be used to flame, bully, antagonize, insult, threaten, stalk or harass the members/staff of the site, the account holder will be subject to discipline potentially leading up to banning and informing the user's ISP and/or the proper authorities as the law permits.

Blatant abuse of proxy, dynamic, or otherwise hidden IP addresses (collectively known as proxy IP addresses) will not be tolerated. Proxy IP addresses are used to hide the identity of the poster. Usually, this is done by spambots, trolls, and sock puppet accounts. Although usage of proxy IP addresses is highly discouraged, there may be legitimate reasons for doing so; such usage will be judged on a case-by-case basis. An account using a proxy IP address without a legitimate reason will not be eligible to run for an Arocalypse office.
 
4. Other Policies

Researchers and Students requests:
If you want or need to make a survey, research or a study recruiting Arocalypse members that is hosted outside the forum, please contact a member of the Admod team.

Deletion of accounts:
Except under extenuating circumstances, we will not be accepting requests for deletions. However, at the users request, we can suspend the account indefinitely. We can also strip the account of identifying information including emptying any fields in the profile section.

Display Names:
All display names must be at least three (3) non-white-space characters. Furthermore, to facilitate search functionality, we would ask that any display name contain at least two (2) consecutive non-white-space characters. Users may change their display names once per 30 days. Names found to be too short or otherwise inappropriate may be changed without warning though the Admod Team will attempt to contact the user in question before any changes are made where it is not considered urgent.

New Forums:
Ideas for new forums or changes to the board are discussed in the Admod forum to nail down ideas and a plan, and then introduced to the board for members to discuss and put to a vote. Suggestions or comments on the matter, as on any other topic, should be posted in Site Suggestions forum.

5. Complaints and reports from members

If members have concerns regarding matters on Arocalypse, they are encouraged to inform either a Moderator or Administrator of their concern. If they encounter a post or a member they think breaks the rule of the forum, they should contact an Admod or use the Report function and not engage in direct confrontation. To report a post, click "report post" above the post.

Any requests and complaints to Admods via PM are kept private in the Admods forum. If possible, identities are not revealed to other Admods, just the complaint itself.

6. Warn and Ban System and other official notices

The Admod Team has every right to issue the following disciplinary measures as they see fit:

  • "Play nice warning" -- Unofficial warnings that are not directed at anyone. They are posted in a thread that seems like it might escalate into flaming.
  • "Nudges" -- These are unofficial warnings that are usually given for minor offences, or a person’s first offence, rather than warning right off the bat. This is done to give a member a chance to understand how they have violated rules.
  • Official Warnings and Bans – Official warnings last for 6 months. The second active Warning includes a two week suspension from the site. A third active Warning will lead to a ban from all activities on the site indefinitely. Trolls and spammers receive an automatic ban.

    When a member is warned, a private message will be sent to the member with a detailed explanation of why the warning was given. The private message will include a quote and explanation of what was warnable in the member's post, a thread name or link, as well as any other information that the Administrator or Moderator wishes to include.

    When a member is banned, if it's not a troll or a spammer, a post will be made in Mod Forum with a short description of the reasons for the ban.

Moderators follow a “four-eyes policy” when issuing warnings. All warnings are issued based on reports and the report may not be handled by the reporter. In the case of a report from a regular user, a Moderator may act on their own or may bring the issue up with the rest of the Moderator team.

Appeals

If you feel that you have been warned or nudged unfairly, you may bring your concern to the Moderator or Administrator for discussion. This will begin a review process, where the Admod Team will address the concern in question, ultimately resulting in a decision to keep the warning or nudge in effect or to repeal it. This decision is final and cannot be appealed further. Response posts or threads, made with the intent to instigate the actual publication of the review materials or argument about the review itself, will be deleted from the board. Consistently doing so may also lead to further disciplinary action.

Note on private messages: It is difficult for warnings to be issued for offences that occur in private messages, because of the risk that these might have been forged. However, members are encouraged to inform an Administrator if they are being harassed in any way by another member via private message. There is a report button on every PM, and members are encouraged to use it. This will allow an administrator to request access to the private conversation where the offence took place.
Probation Terms (for members with successful appeals to a ban from the site)

If a previously banned member of Arocalypse makes an appeal and is allowed to return to membership there is a six month probationary period. During this time, the following are the terms of this probation:

  • A reinstated member comes back with 2 active warnings, one lasting 3 months and one 6 months. The terms of reinstatement also include a possible permanent ban if it is earned (that cannot be appealed).
  • The returning member will be permanently banned under the following circumstances:
  • If a nudge is received at anytime in the first six months
  • If a warn is received in the first 3 months
  • If two warns are accrued in the following 3 months, as, after the first 3 months, one warn expires and one is still active
  • If 3 active warns are accrued after the probation period has ended
  • If the returning member socks, trolls, flames, or similar, at any time

7. Admod Team

The administrator is the person who runs the technical aspects of the server.  The moderators are the people who moderate the content. The “Admod Team” refers to the combination of moderators and administrators.

Becoming a Moderator

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You cannot have any current, active warnings.

Eligible forum members who have interest in becoming a mod can contact us by email or join our Discord to discuss further.  Members will be reviewed by the existing Admod team before being approved to become a moderator.

The Admod team uses a Discord server to coordinate so members interested in being a mod should be willing to use Discord for this purpose.

Moderator Removal
If a member of the Admod team receives a warning, they are automatically relieved of their position.  When they no longer have any active warnings, they can express interest in becoming a mod again.

If a member of the Admod team is found to be irresponsible and removed from their position by the rest of the Admod team, they cannot be a mod again until 6 months after their removal from the position.  If a member of the Admod team resigns from their position, they must also wait 6 months until they can become a mod again.

A formerly banned member who was reinstated is ineligible to become a moderator.

Moderator Conduct
Moderators are also members and their posts as an individual should generally not be interpreted as reflecting on the Admod team.  When moderators do make posts where they are speaking as a mod, they will use green text rather than the default black text in order to make this distinction.

8. Bots

Running a Bot and/or automated operating script, that is deemed harmful to the security and operations of the Arocalypse website, without the expressed permission of the Webmasters and/or the Admod Team will result in an immediate and permanent ban. The decision of whether or not a Bot, and/or automated operating script, poses a threat to the security and operations of Arocalypse lies exclusively to the judgement of the Admod Team. The threat of Bots and/or automated operating scripts will be determined independently of any precedent cases with the exception of past situations pertaining to a specific program and/or script.

All Bots and/or automated operating scripts, both currently in operation and in future operation, that do not impact the operations of the Arocalypse website and exist for the sole purpose of assisting and/or benefiting the user have been approved by the Admod Team in advance. In addition visible and registered 'Spider Bots' (Such as Google, Bing, Alexia, etc) have also been approved and are immune to this clause.

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