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Sonic News Network:Chat policy

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The Sonic News Network Chat is a feature on the wiki where users can talk in real time with other users.

The chat is designed to give members of the community a place to discuss anything, even topics not relating to Sonic the Hedgehog or the wiki. It serves as a social hub and allows users get to know each other better.

Primary rules

As with the rest of the site, the chat feature has its own rules and guidelines. All of the main site policies remain in effect on the chat, including:

  • Practice open-mindedness and assume good faith
  • Be nice
  • Don't feed the trolls
  • No personal attacks
  • Listen to what the administrators or moderators tell you to do.

In a social setting, these key guidelines are even more important.

Other rules

While you are on chat or on the forums, you must follow all of the rules on this page. These include:

  • If an administrator or moderator warns you to cease doing something, then adhere to their order.
    • Do not disrespect or backtalk to an administrator or moderator as this may lead to further conflict and could potentially result in punishment (a kick or ban).
    • If you feel that an administrator or moderator is unfairly warning you, then contact a different administrator about the situation.
  • No personal attacks. No accusations, insults, or threats.
    • As a rule of thumb, if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say it at all.
  • Avoid controversial topics (e.g., religion, politics).
    • If you do discuss controversial topics, do so in a polite and respectful manner. Do not berate someone for their opinions.
    • When stating an opinion that could cause controversy, then it's best that you do not say anything at all. This includes but is not limited to stating personal affiliations and beliefs. When requested to drop the subject, do so immediately.
  • Keep the chat appropriate. Deliberately avoid discussing sexual or profane topics.
    • Inappropriate topics include, but are not limited to: sex, drugs, excessive violence, and vulgar language.
    • Keep discussion PG-13. Per the Wikia Terms of Use, all users on the wiki are at least thirteen years of age. All discussion in the chatroom should be kept PG-13.
  • Speak in English. This is an English wiki, and thus English will be the only language tolerated in the chatroom.
    • Typing short phrases or sentences from other languages may be tolerated, as long as you are not excessively doing so.
  • Do not use the public chat for role-playing. Roleplaying restricts the ambiance and conversation flow in the chat. If you would like to role-play, take it elsewhere or use the private message feature of the chat.
    • Role-playing is defined as the acting out or performance of a particular role or participating in a role-play game. Refrain from role-playing in a sense that starts an issue on the chat
    • Do not falsely identify yourself as another user.
      • Do not pretend you are another user, and do not speak for another user. This can be considered sockpuppeting, which is a major offense against the wiki's policies.
  • No spamming, which is defined as excessive posting of the same message multiple times, or posting numerous messages of gibberish with no legitimate meaning. This can also include song lyrics, repeating the same word numerous times, and hitting the enter key after every word typed, as this floods the chat and prevents users from reading other messages. Spamming is considered a nuisance and will not be tolerated.
    • Do not use uppercase excessively. This indicates shouting, a rude gesture of language. As a rule of thumb, four lines is the limit, though this is up to moderator discretion.
    • Do not use emoticons excessively.
    • Do not post ASCII artwork. This is an example of what ASCII artwork looks like.
    • If an large piece of text is in a message, please add a disclaimer prior and afterward the message.
  • Refrain from giving away personal information, such as phone numbers or your home address, in the chat. Do not pester or ask other users into revealing personal details about themselves.
    • However, it is acceptable to reveal certain aspects of yourself at your own discretion (i.e your name or what city you live in).
  • Foul and profane language is forbidden to use on the chatroom. Mild profanity (damn, crap, piss, hell) may be tolerated so long as it's used sporadically and is not directed at another user.
    • This also includes any words that plays a role in human sexual activity, or declared otherwise.
    • If you feel the need to use vulgar language, please censor the entire word using symbols (!@#$*).
  • Do not use the chat for advertising. If you want to share links with the community on chat, give a description about what you are linking to, making sure it accepts all things listed on the policy. The chatroom is not a media dumping ground.
    • Refrain from sharing links that contain vulgar language or images.
    • Do not advertise other wikis.
  • The chatroom is not an emotional dumping ground. If you're having emotional problems outside of the internet, do not use the chat to vent. If you do share real life troubles, keep in mind you may be asked to change topic if it becomes disruptive.
    • Occasionally discussing unfortunate events or asking for advice on something (relationship, argument with a friend, etc.) should be allowed, so long as it isn't brought up to be disruptive. Serious issues that should be brought to a counselor (self-harm, major depression, abuse, etc.) should be forbidden.
  • Lastly, Do not enforce these rules on chat. This is commonly referred to as "mini-modding". Administrators and chat moderators are appointed for a reason. They are able to identify when the rules are being broken and know how to respond. Enforcing the rules yourself can result in confusion and miscommunication to moderators and administrators.
    • If you a feel a user who is breaking rules is going unnoticed, message a moderator or administrator. Do not take the matter into your own hands.
    • If there are no moderators or administrators on chat and a user is breaking the rules, contact one immediately, and provide screenshots of the user committing the act.

Rules in regards to private messages

Private messages are messages between two or more users on chat which cannot be viewed publicly by other users present on chat. As such, some or all of the chat policies, excluding the primary rules can be ignored whilst in private message provided all users involved are comfortable with it.

Chat moderators and disputing bans

These rules are enforced both by the wiki's admins and specially-appointed users called chat moderators (often referred to as "chat mods"). In the chat, administrators and moderators are distinguished in the sidebar with an emerald next to their names.

Admins and chat mods have the ability to ban users on chat, making the user unable to use the chat for a temporary/permanent amount of time. Users who break the rules will be warned in the first instance and may be 'kicked' if they continue to break the rules after warnings. A kick will cause the user's window to close and refresh.

If you wish to dispute a warning you have been given, do so calmly and politely. Arguing is counter-productive and may lead to the ban you're trying to avoid.

If you've been banned and you want to oppose the decision, you can still contact an admin or chat moderator on their message wall. Here is a list of the administrators and chat moderators to contact.

Do not involve other users, but explain to an admin/chat mod what happened and why you feel the ban should be overturned. The admin/mod will consider your case and respond in due time. If not, feel free to contact another admin/chat mod.

If you witness rule breaking when no admin or chat mod is present, take screencaps of the incident onto the message wall of an administrator or chat moderator. From there, the admin/mod will get ample proof to investigate the issue.

Chat Moderation

Appointed at Sonic News Network:Requests for User Rights, chat moderators are experienced and trustworthy users who are assigned to moderate the chat. These users, along with administrators, have access to the kick and ban features to help moderate the chat. Chat moderators and administrators are signified by a Master Emerald image on the user list in chat. They can also unban a user from chat. To see a list of all chat moderators, including inactive chat moderators, see Special:Listusers/chatmoderator.

Emoticons

Emoticons are images that are used on the chat to express emotions and various other purposes. The Sonic News Network has a system where anyone can request for an emoticon to be added to the chat. Only administrators can add emoticons, so that if an emoticon is deemed too inappropriate for chat, they will not add it. Emoticons also have certain restrictions.

Rules

The following are additional rules regarding chat emoticons:

1. Emoticons must be in a square format, 19x19 px or similar.

Images that move as an animation may be exempt from this rule.

2. Emoticons must comply with our art policies: For more information, see our policy page.

3. Emoticons may not have above five triggers dedicated to it: This reduces variety of emoticons.

4. Emoticons that are of poor image quality will not be added.

5. If the users on chat feel that an emoticon is being used in a fashion that breaks our policies, it will be removed.

A list of emoticons can be found at MediaWiki:Emoticons.

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