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Single post in Off-site chats no longer allowed to be advertised

Forum Index > Core > Announcements > News Archive > Off-site chats no longer allowed to be advertised >

Garthic's AvatarGarthic
Garthic's Avatar
Hi there. Not the best news today for off-site chats, I'm sorry to say. Also, I apologise in advance. This is going to be quite lengthy - there will be a tldr
(too long, didn't read)
at the bottom, so if you're short on time, there's that for ya :) They've been around for quite a long while now. Primarily Skype, to begin with, and then as Discord rolled around and grew in popularity (reasonably so, it's great!) that seems to have become peoples' primary go-to. With the rise of off-site chats that people started to make and advertise, we had to make some rules regarding them. We do run a "kid-friendly"-website, after all. Some things just don't belong on a website such as this, you know? Unfortunately, even after having placed these rules in stone, there's not been a day in the staff chat where we haven't had to discuss a Discord chat of some sort, in some capacity. There's been a fair share of some Skype drama, too, which just means this isn't an isolated issue... There's just less of them. The thing with that is simply... Our volunteers are brought on to moderate our website. Not the things that are going on off of it. I can pre-emptively hear "So don't moderate off-site chats, then", the thing is, we can't do that. If something is being advertised publicly on our website then we have a moral obligation to apply our rules to it - and if they don't fit what our rules require then it doesn't belong on our website. The specifically mature chats that people made were largely exempt from these issues... Aside from when people found ways around it. You didn't need to click a link placed in the mature forums to get to a Skype/Discord group... You just needed a friend who could get in to that room and then they could invite you. And sadly, it was found that there were people who weren't properly screening those who wanted access to mature chats. Or there were people who were already underage and were partaking in those chats themselves. Or they were just allowing discussion of things that our rules are distinctly against because they're just not suitable topics for an un-rated chat that anyone could join or they would instantly have access to upon joining. I'd also make a quick note that advertising is typically something you pay for - we allowed it freely. A privilege we now, sadly, regret. It would be better stated that we're not banning skype/discord or whatever, we're just revoking the right to advertise for free basically due to our trust being abused... And it's not just about people not following the rules, either. We're aware of a lot of things that certain people have said in those chats - of which have been rude, disrespectful, underhanded and cowardly (These things haven't just been about staff either - but also other members of our community). If you have issues, bring them to us - otherwise we can never make an attempt to resolve these issues that you supposedly have. If these people were at the very least respectful (whether or not they came to us / the people they had issues with) then we wouldn't have this issue. The amount of sheer disrespect, hatred and bile that we've seen is horrible and we expect better from people who are a part of our community. Note that in saying the above, I'm not entertaining the idea that it's everyone. It's not everyone that's ever run one of those rooms and it's not everyone that's ever been a part of those rooms - but it's become a big enough problem that we're pulling the plug. To those people who did nothing wrong. I'm sincerely sorry. To those who did, you know who you are. As a result of this being constant, we've decided that that last straw has been taken. It's no longer worth us attempting to allow these chats. It's hit the point where any backlash that we wind up receiving for no longer allowing these chats is more worth it than continuing to allow them to exist... That's the sad truth of it. Note that none of this applies to staff-run chats - at that point, we/they are the ones who have made an active choice in the matter. Additionally, staff are trusted to not do any of the things that we have taken issue with which has resulted in the non-allowance of off-site chats. That said, just to be safe, if you should see a staff member behaving inappropriately in a public place advertised on our site then I request that you report them, either using the report function or through PMing me. There is more to this than just not allowing these off-site chats anymore, however - this is merely step 1. Step 2 and onwards will be aimed more at improvement, something more positive. That's all that will be said about that, at this time, however. While I would, admittedly, like to try and spin this to be something more positive at the end of it all... It just isn't. It would feel disingenuous, in my opinion. And that's the last thing I want when the rest of this is intended to be far more positive than what this announcement is. Step 2 will be posted as a stuck thread in the Discussions forum and this thread will be later edited to link to said thread. We're going to be giving people until the end of Sunday to remove their advertisements - thereafter, if they're still there, they'll be removed by a member of staff and the user will be messaged to explain the removal. Thank you for your time and understanding. tldr: Off-site chats are no longer allowed. There's more to come that is more positive in nature which will hopefully result in useful changes for the site.
Link to "step 2" thread will be here when it is posted
Edit: Note, I never said you have to close the chats / rooms. I said, and I can quote it too, that advertising is no longer allowed. And yes, this was made due to someone doing the exact thing that pushed us over the edge and said "sod it, no more advertising". I legit just made the announcement, guys. Can you stop for 5 minutes? :/
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