This is the updated version of the YCM rulebook that deals specifically with the forum.
Please make sure you have read and understood the following before posting content on this site.
LAST UPDATED: 8/24/2017
1. Staff have the final say in matters
While we will be open to input from the rest of you in regards to what sort of changes YCM should undergo, either section or overall, ultimately the final decision rests with us on how to address them, given the feedback you provide.
Additionally, section moderators have the final word in areas in which they are assigned to.
You may advise other users on what is acceptable conduct under the rules, but not outright tell them to do / not do particular things. (See notes on mini-moderating)
2. Forum issues are to be resolved in a civil manner
Each section should have a set of rules posted as a sticky thread, and any punishments that would be incurred by rulebreaking. If you have an issue with a particular punishment that you have received (either a warn or ban), then calmly take up the matter with the moderator responsible for handing you that punishment over PM. If that fails, then contact either one of the co-moderators (if applicable) or one of the Super Moderators (evilfusion, Flame Dragon or Night).
If you have an issue with a particular set of forum rules (in terms of fairness), you may post a thread in Comments & Suggestions and request that they be changed. As stated in rule 1, the final decision on any changes will be at the moderator's discretion, based on input and the desired goal for the section.
For simple clarification, you may PM the moderator in charge of the section or ask in Questions & Answers. The former is usually better.
3. Minimum age
If you are found to be underage w/out consent, we are required by law to suspend your account until you are of age.
4. Inappropriate content
Content that is found to be explicitly sexual and/or graphic will be removed on-sight. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Discussions of sexual acts/favors (e.g. kinks, sexual positions, intercourse)
- Overly risque / nude images
- Animal genitalia
- Gory/disturbing images (e.g, decapitated bodies, burning alive, excessive blood)
As a rule of thumb, keep content to the PG-17 level, meaning anything that isn't too risque or graphic by nature can be posted. There are exceptions, which are to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Talks about sexuality are acceptable.
If you are unsure if an image/discussion you wish to post is forum-appropriate, please PM one of us.
We have a zero tolerance policy for the following:
1. Explicit pornography and graphic content.
Will be penalized with a permanent ban.
2. Posting/modifying links to/advertising Pornhub or any site that is known for sexual content, even if it does not lead to an inappropriate site.
Will be penalized with a strike (usually a harsh warn increase or a temporary ban); three strikes and you will be permabanned.
5. Illegal content
You may not post content that violates any laws. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Information and resources relating to hacking and/or obtaining works illegally (includes torrents / streaming sites)
- Promotion of terrorism (including cyber-terrorism)
You may not post any real-world information such as addresses, SSN, etc, without the written consent of the member in question; additionally, you are forbidden to solicit members for it.
6. Account usage
Membership to YCM is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.
It is prohibited for any member to abuse any part of their account or other feature of the site and/or utilize these privileges in order to break any rules or mess around and cause trouble. If you are caught abusing your account privileges, your privileges will be revoked and/or you will be suspended/banned.
Members are not allowed more than one (1) account unless under the following circumstances:
- Inability to access your old account due to retrieval failure (i.e. your original email no longer works and cannot remember password.)
- If you need to make a new account, mention your case to us over PM; we may be able to help you regain access to your original account or work something out in the meantime.
[*]Participating in a forum event that mandates another account, such as the Halloween event.
- For off-season events, you must obtain permission from the moderator team to make a duplicate account and explain your reasoning for it.
- If you need to make a new account, mention your case to us over PM; we may be able to help you regain access to your original account or work something out in the meantime.
Any alternate accounts found without a valid reason for its existence (which includes account sharing) will be permabanned and a severe penalty will be given to your main account. Evading a forum punishment will result in a harsher punishment given to your main account, which can/will include temporary/permanent/IP bans.
Necrobumping refers to posting a thread which no one has posted in for a certain amount of time. This time period varies from section to section, but anything off the first page of a section is likely too old.
The general standard is usually a month (30 days) from the last post, but as noted above, some sections have tighter/looser restrictions on what constitutes a necrobump. Please consult the individual sections for their policies on necrobumping and/or PM a moderator in charge of the section(s) in question.
8. No flaming or malicious behavior
Flaming refers to the intent to disrupt or defame without substantive content (meaning ad hominem attacks and being disrespectful towards other member's opinions)
If you feel that a user is inciting this sort of major behavior (this includes racial slurs, direct attacks on a user's character) or is otherwise bothering you, then please PM a moderator and we will look into the matter immediately. However, this is only to be used if it is adversely affecting the way you utilize your time on this site.
Do not retaliate, or else you will be subjected to forum punishments as well.
While we will take the necessary steps to ensure that you can hold a forum conversation without being subjected to flaming/trolling, YCM is not a "safe space". You are expected to be respectful of people who do not have the same opinion as you, and not force your ideologies on them.
9. Do not backseat moderate.
What is mini-modding / backseat moderating?
It is defined when a forum member acts like a moderator or administrator without having the authority to do so. This can include making any kind of “helpful” correctional comment that would normally fall to a moderator, such as informing people that they are violating site / section rules, saying what they would do if they were a moderator or otherwise stating that a thread is off-topic (or violates the Advanced Clause).
If you wish to help us, please use the Report button (or PM if that's broken) to notify us of any posts that break either the rules in this thread or specific rules written for particular sections. Mini-moderating is not something that should be done. If you don't have the staff icon under your name, then you are not a moderator so don't act like one.
10. Member drama.
There is no excuse for you to create member drama, either as a result of a dispute between you and another member, or a disagreement of a policy / decision instituted by the moderator team.
Do not create threads or statuses to stir up drama on this board, nor participate in any dramas that come about. Doing either of these makes it harder for the staff to resolve things quickly, and will result in severe punishments for those of you who instigated / took part in said drama.
11. Do not bring up offsite issues to YCM.
Many of you are still on the Discord channel which has been officially renounced by the moderation team as of the beginning of August 2017. Therefore, if you have any issues with a member here that either stem from Discord, another forum/community and/or social media platforms, resolve your issues over there.
Do not bring them here and do not make a public spectacle out of them; otherwise, you will be penalized for starting drama (see rule 10).
That's not to say you can't talk about a bad day you've had, how you're upset over your favorite sports team losing the big game or so forth. You can vent about these things without consequence.
Bottom-line: If you have issues with another YCM user(s) off this site, you are expected to resolve those issues elsewhere. Don't bring them there.
12. Do not change your avatar/profile details to mimic another user.
Deliberately changing one's display name and/or avatar to appear similar to that of another user is not acceptable. Users caught doing this will have their name and/or avatar changed and may be subject to further punishment if this behavior is repeated. These types of offenses will be handled on a case-by-case basis, so as to avoid unfair punishment in the case of a legitimate accident, the user that is being mimicked consenting to such, name/avatar fads, or other cases that may cause exceptions to this rule.
13. Signature size
The maximum allowed signature size on YCM is 500 px in height. At 500 px, it more or less covers the entire browser page on a typical laptop screen. If your signature is found to be too big, a mod is free to edit to make it smaller (you should be notified about these changes via a PM or status message).
To err on the safe side, please keep your signature 400-450 px in height or less.
If you have a large signature, try placing it in spoiler tags.
14. Spam posts
While the specifics for what constitutes as spam is listed in individual section rules, the general definition of spam is "posts that have little to do with the topic in the main post, and otherwise serve to derail discussions".
For specific examples, both Custom Cards and Roleplaying have the Advanced Clause, which serves as a general standard as to how you are to post. Custom Cards requires 30 / 60 words minimum with details on potential interactions/design. RPs have 100 words or more for in-character posts.
Examples of spam posts include, but are not limited to:
- Short posting outside Miscellaneous (defined as less than 10 words, unless bumping a thread)
- Meme/reaction pictures
- Blatant rehashing of the topic without your own thoughts on the matter
- Posting in a spam[bot] / troll topic
- Rating a topic w/out appropriate feedback in Custom Cards and Showcase.
- Copy/pasting another member's welcome post in the Introductions forum, or otherwise writing it (near)-verbatim.
- Trolling other users in threads/posts.
Spamming has a default warning of 4 points, however it will be modified depending on the severity/circumstances of the post(s) in question.
Warns (as well as bans) are our way of informing you that you have broken a rule on this forum.
Newer members and those who are returning after a long absence will receive a verbal reminder the first few times (either in-thread, PM or a combination of both). Older members who've been here for a while are expected to have looked over the rules, and will be penalized more frequently.
Each section has its own set of guidelines and what sorts of punishments can be given for infractions. Please consult them in the section rules.
When you are warned, you must acknowledge the warn by clicking on the button that tells you to acknowledge a warn when you go to make a post. Until you do so, you will be prevented from posting. In addition to a verbal warning, a warn may also give you warning points; the number of warning points given by a warn varies.
You can see how many warning points you have by looking beneath your avatar on any of your posts or going onto your profile. Warning points generally expire after 7-14 days, but others may last longer or be permanent. If your warning points have lasted for an unusually long amount of time (e.g. a few months), please contact a moderator so they can be manually removed (if the warning they were given for was not permanent)
Normally, YCM does an automatic warn point check at midnight GMT to remove expired WP if your punishment lifted. However, if you were given a penalty after midnight GMT, your warning will expire but the points will remain on your profile until the next check.
HOWEVER, because the warning system is currently broken at this time, if you are penalized, you will receive a PM from one of us explaining why you were penalized, the penalty you have received and when it will lift. Any warn points will have to be manually given / removed by us in the Admin CP.
When you accumulate warning points, you will be automatically given punishments depending on how many warning points you have.
7 warning points - You will be prevented from creating content on the forum (threads/post/statuses) for 3 days.
10 warning points - You will be banned for 1 week.
20 warning points - You will be banned for 2 weeks.
999 warning points - You will be permanently banned.
Keep in mind that we also can adjust any preset warns to adjust to a particular situation (meaning that punishments accrued may either be more lenient or harsher, based on the circumstances and severity of the offense committed).
You should be told the reason why you were given any warn points, unless it's obvious.
1. Warn point increases will be handed out in lieu of verbal reminders
As mentioned in the overview, many of you have been here for a while, and should be aware of our policies. Therefore, if you do break a rule, then depending on the circumstances, you will receive a warn increase as opposed to a verbal warning.
Newer members and those who have been on extended hiatus will still receive verbal reminders first, then warn increases.
2. Repeat offenses
If you have received a warning for misbehavior, you are expected to have learned from that mistake and to not intentionally repeat it. Therefore, if we have to penalize you again for the same offense, then you will be subjected to longer and harsher punishments.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary / permanent bans (explanation on temporary bans listed below)
- Post moderation/restriction
- Higher warn increases (enough to locking your posts/statuses or result in temporary bans.)
- Permanent warnings (which will NOT expire)
Specific punishments given will be determined based on the offense itself and the frequency that you have broken the rules prior to that.
Certain offenses are weighted more than others, and will result in harsher punishments than usual. Repeated offenses will result in a temporary, and eventually, permanent ban.
Punishments for sexual/graphic content will result in a permanent ban at minimum.
3. Permanent bans
As mentioned above, this will be given either for repeated infractions after a temporary ban or directly, depending on the circumstances that warranted it. Once you are permabanned, that's it.
There will be no second chances.
What are temporary bans?
Bans are generally used to bar a member from accessing YCM through their registered account. A temporary ban (suspension) is a ban that restricts a member's site usage for a limited, predetermined amount of time.
How are temporary bans issued?
As of right now, they are issued based on the following.
1. If a user accumulates 10 or more warning points, they will be temporarily banned as per the overview.
2. On a case-by-case basis.
What does "case by case basis" mean?
Not every user who gets suspended will accumulate ten warning points. Some users may purposely cause a disturbance, and be asked to refrain from further activity. Typically, in the event that a moderator finds a member is consistently creating problems in a short amount of time after being asked to stop, they may issue a temporary ban to the offender.
How long do temporary bans last?
They will have a scaling effect.
This means, as members accrue more temporary bans, the duration of the temporary ban will increase. Below is a (rough) reference table.
Minimum Temporary Ban: 3 days
Second Temporary Ban: 1 week
Third Temporary Ban: 2 weeks
Fourth Temporary Ban: 30 days / 1 month
Following four temporary bans, offenders will be subjected to a permanent ban. This means that there are five tiers of increasing possible punishment, if a user cannot cooperate and correct their behavior.
If behavior is corrected, will there be forgiveness or reduction in ban time?
Yes, there will be.
If users can correct their behavior for an extended period of time without offense, ban time will be reduced by one tier. As time goes on, it may further be reduced for cooperation and corrected behavior.
What if a member goes back to their original behavior?
Punishment will resume from the last notified tier of ban time (if a temporary ban is warranted for the offense).
User A was previously temporarily banned for two weeks. Over one month's time, they appeared to correct their behavior without problem. However, they later caused a minor disturbance. The offense was not great, and not worthy of a ban. Due to the last offense, their temporary ban time is subject to start again at two weeks minimum, should the offense be great enough.
These rules will be subject to change as deemed necessary, though you will be notified of such a change when it happens. You may also access these rules via the announcement tab.
If you have any questions or concerns about the following, please PM one of the moderators and/or use the rulebook discussion thread. (It will be updated whenever a rule is made)