If you remember only one thing from this document, remember this: Decisions on disciplinary action are ultimately left to the judgment of the channel staff. In other words, we reserve the right to take (or not take) whatever steps we see fit to deal with a situation, regardless of whether they’re consistent with what’s on the rest of this page, previous staff actions, or even common sense.1)
Now, that being said, the following actions are consistently frowned upon by ops, and will probably earn a warning, kick, or ban in response:
- Dismissive behavior. Taking an overly aggressive tone doesn’t always lead to open conflict, but it does discourage other users from participating in the conversation. If you don’t actually care for a response, don’t say it — even if you don’t think anyone present disagrees.
- Personal attacks. It’s fine to criticize someone’s actions or beliefs. Insulting the person behind them is unacceptable. This applies even for people outside of the channel. Should you have unresolvable issues with another user’s behavior, contact a staff member.
- Treating the channel as your soapbox. We all need to vent sometimes, but the channel should not be your primary outlet. Long rants belong on your blog, not here. Individual emotional, social, medical, or legal issues are best discussed with a qualified professional.
- Flooding. This includes bot spam, contextless URLs, and large amounts of pasted text. All channel bots support queries through private messages, and there is no shortage of places where you can upload long stretches of text.
If a user is causing obvious trouble in the channel, such as blatant trolling or spamming, and no channel ops are around to resolve the problem, try sending a memo to the staff by using
/msg MemoServ sendgroup !yackfest-staff message text. Many of us have memos forwarded to our e-mail and will respond more quickly this way than with a highlight or private message. Should all else fail, you can contact EsperNet network staff by joining #DragonWeyr.
When you have questions for staff or other channel members, feel free to just ask — there’s no need to confirm whether it’s okay to ask, since the answer is invariably “yes.” This especially applies when your question is directed at people who are away; leaving a note that says “Can I ask you something?” means that they have to wait for you to come back to find out what you actually want from them. (One exception: It’s general courtesy to get permission before sending someone a private message for the first time.)
If you’d like to bring a bot into the channel, please contact a staff member first for approval. Unauthorized bots, or humans indistinguishable from them, will be kicked on sight. Every channel bot, in addition to following EsperNet's bot policy, must identify to its own NickServ account on connecting to the network, and only reply to commands that are clearly addressed to it by name (
botname: command) or with a unique symbol prefix (Omnipresence, for example, uses
@command) unless the staff has approved a use-specific exception.