by The Founder's Account of The Local Cluster Administrator. . 86 reads.

⚖️ Regional Rules: RMB Etiquette & Policies


Members of The Local Cluster tend to consider themselves a fairly laidback bunch; a history of fairly few bans/ejections tends to prove that as true. Most people can get along with one another just fine, and those who can't have the common courtesy and sense of knowing when it is best to disengage and pull away, rather than barrel head-long into intransigence. This is good, and something we're quite happy with, all things considered. Even so, there are always outliers, and always will be, whom necessitate a rubric by which to enforce decorum and etiquette.

This dispatch contains the complete accounting of The Local Cluster's rule set - including rules for specific enforcement on the RMB, other prohibitions regarding objectionable content in general, and how one may file an appeal in the event a curator ruling has been made in error. Most of these are fairly straight-forward and common sense, and more than a few are outright re-wordings and re-configurations of rules found across NationStates, including in the OSRS itself. Regardless, they require re-stating and additions for the uniqueness of this platform (a region), and the circumstances of its precise moderation protocols.

New members and those looking to possibly join the region are strongly encouraged to read this dispatch. The Local Cluster has a fairly streamlined moderation process, given how infrequently it is needed; it would be a shame to find yourself banned from the region for breaking a rule that was clearly posted, making yourself one of the few "privileged" to experience such a uniquely rare occurrence.

In short: if you get banned because you didn't read the rules, you have no one to blame but yourself. "TLDR" may fly for some; it doesn't here. Consider yourself duly disclaimed.

⚠️ Note! If you see something that you feel may violate the NS Rules or Terms & Conditions, do not wait for a curator to handle it. Please report such to the NS Moderation Staff by filing a Getting Help Request. It does not matter what you select from the dropdown menu, as they all end up in the same place for Moderators to review.

1. Don't be disruptive.
Whether it's listed here or not, if the curators get reports of your behavior causing problems, or see it themselves, expect them to intervene. This is pretty common sense, but it won't go without saying. Don't make yourself a burden to the region or its members, or you're liable to find your invitation revoked. More often than not, something can be solved with a simple post suppression and a "knock it off," but keep it up - or just be an egregious pain - and you'll find yourself in The Rejected Realms sooner rather than never.

2. Use common sense when posting.
Again, it should go without saying, but it won't. Use a little bit of common sense. If you have to stop and think, "Do I think this is okay to post?" just save everyone the trouble and don't post it. Everyone is fairly laidback overall, until they aren't; there's no reason to test the waters, try and play with fire, slowly boil the frog, tap-dance on the line, or any other half-a-dozen ways of expressing "I'm going to see just how far I can push things." You're not fooling anyone, certainly not the curators. Don't bother.

3. Please use English when posting.
While The Local Cluster has several members who are bi- and multilingual, and more than a few for whom English is not their native language, the primary language of the region and RMB is English. An errant word or two is fine, but please do not post entire posts in a foreign (or constructed) language, much less carry out an entire conversation in another language.

If English is not your native language and you are struggling with conversing, you may consider using LinkGoogle Translate to help make yourself clear. While it's not perfect, it is better than not being able to communicate, and will allow you to converse more easily with your fellow region members on a regular basis.

4. Don't spam. Seriously.
Just don't. It doesn't matter if it's saying "BUTTS" repeatedly, quoting the entire script of The Bee Movie, advertisements for (or to join) other regions, or any other such nonsense. Just don't do it. Don't post repeated links to images, or dispatches which contain just images for the purposes of being a nuisance. While everyone can generally get onboard with a bit of light-hearted banter and some... ahem... "fecal-posting" (thanks, wordfilter), don't make a habit of just posting such. Don't post regional/organization recruitment, either.

If you simply must post a long screed or epistle, make use to the spoiler tag. It's your friend. Become well-acqainted.

5. Always post in good faith, and assume the same.
Arguments and disagreements are going to happen, but always try and aim to post in good faith and assume the other participants are doing the same. If you go into a discussion trying to get something over on someone, or assuming they're trying to get something over on you, it's not going to end well for anyone involved. It's fine to have different opinions, beliefs, and convictions - and even to hold them strongly - but we're all here, ostensibly, for the same reason. Try and keep that in mind when someone starts to get under your skin, and at worst, rather than fall into a rule-breaking trap: just step away. Take a break. Have a drink, a snack, maybe go for a walk. Regardless: disengage.

6. Don't troll, flame, bait, or harass others.
Don't make objectionable statements about great swathes of the population, or target individuals based on immutable characteristics. Do not go off insulting people. Don't make statements just begging for someone to come back with a rule-breaking retort. Not nit-pick, prod, poke, grate, and generally make someone else's experience here terrible, and certainly do not make a habit of targetting another person (or group) routinely to harass them.

This includes not posting bigoted content. Transphobic (to include prohibition against deliberate misgendering), homophobic, racist, sexist, classist, etc. content is not welcome here; if you post such, you are not welcome here. A fuller accounting of this specific policy can be found below.

7. Don't be malicious.
Don't sexually harass other players - period; don't dox (release personally identifying information) of another player - period. Don't call for the death of others - individuals or groups. Don't deliberately seek to cause problems or division. Don't contrive circumstances or situations to make other players suffer or inflict any manner of harm on them. In general, don't be malicious at all.

8. Keep things PG-13 or below.
Don't post obscene or pronographic content; not only will you find yourself banjected, but reported to site Moderation. This includes images, ASCII, written word, or any other means by which someone could post something. No one wants to read about another person's fetishes on NationStates; take it to an appropriate venue (and that is not telegrams, as site rules apply there, too). Similarly, don't post gore or graphic content. Children visit this site, especially gameside; keep that in mind when you are posting.

The use of profanity is not de jure restricted, though it is de facto due to the NS wordfilter gameside. Just be reasonable.

9. Plagiarism is strictly unacceptable.
Do not plagiarize other members of The Local Cluster or other players. Come up with your own content. Write your own material. If curators receive reports of plagiarism from another player, it will be investigated - whether they are a member of The Local Cluster or another region. Members found to be plagiarizing another player (member of the region or not) can expect to be banjected and reported to Moderation.

10. Don't post spoilers.
Keep spoilers to yourself for a minimum of one week since the latest release date of the media. If it's a game, book, film, TV show episode, etc., it will most certainly have a Wikipedia (or similar) article that indicates when its latest release was (particulaly for games and films); add one week to that date, then you can more readily discuss spoilers. Even so, if someone makes it plainly apparent they don't want something spoiled, be courteous and use a spoiler tag (or similar) to obfuscate the offending content. No one likes to unexpectedly have something they enjoy spoiled for them.

11. Discussion of current affairs and political discourse is prohibited.
As odd as it may be on a site such as this, The Local Cluster prohibit discussion of ongoing current affairs, events, and all manner of real-world political discourse that is not directly and immediately tied to roleplaying or worldbuilding. Given this region is dedicated to science-fiction based roleplaying, that limits things a fair bit - mostly to nebulous discussion of theory and praxis strictly as applicable in a thread, plot, or worldbuilding concept.

Otherwise, we're not here to discuss whomever the Head of State/Government is of $some_country, what is going down in $some_region, or what the latest political talking point is in the media. If you'd like to discuss that, feel free: somewhere else.

12. Anything prohibited by the NationStates rules is also prohibited here.
Whether it here, in telegrams, or on the forums: the NS Rules and Terms & Conditions apply anywhere that begins with "nationstates[.]net" in the URL. A good rule to live by: "If you think it's questionable, assume posting it would get you banned." It best not to play with that line.

No rule or policy implemented in The Local Cluster is intended to supersede or otherwise override any NationStates rule, when such cover similar occurrences or circumstances; any conflict which may exist is unintended, and should be resolved in favor of the NS Rules and Terms & Conditions at-face-value by all players.

13. Bigoted content is prohibited.
Transphobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, classist, etc. content is prohibited - period. Don't deliberately misgender others; don't use ethnophaulisms (ethnic slurs) or other slurs based on immutable characteristics. This applies not only to the RMB - as outlined above - but to all posted content. Including flags, custom fields, telegrams, etc.

Due to the unique eccentricities and circumstances that arise from roleplaying, it need be noted that The Local Cluster does not de jure ban nations which have fascistic, communistic, authoritarian, totalitarian, homicidal, or otherwise psychotic philosophical and ethical positions; "playing the bad guy" is a time-honored traditon of roleplayers (some to better or worse effects). This is particularly noteable in a community where anthropocentrism cannot be assumed; alien and otherwise non-human civilizations exist, and other civilizations may want to harm them simply for the reason of their difference - or vice versa (non-human vs. human). This means there must be leeway for the roleplaying of political and philosophical ideologies which may otherwise bear some superficial similarities to highly objectionable beliefs found in the real-world.

To say that "art" is not inspired by reality would be a farce.

That being said, players found to be expressing beliefs which inherently call-for, endorse, advocate, celebrate, or glorify such atrocities as ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass murder, extra-judicial murder, forced euthanasia and sterilization, beliefs otherwise noted herein, or similar are not welcome. This includes players whom, by use of their iconography, symbolism, and In-Character behaviors are believed to be using the shield of roleplaying as a thin veneer to write their bigoted fantasies and wish-fulfillment; such players, too, are not welcome.

Beyond this, as is more explicitly outlined in our Embassy Policy, The Local Cluster does not, and will not, open or maintain embassies with regions which have the "Fascist" tag or append it, any region which is believed to have a fascist or Nazi theme, or any region which otherwise tolerates (much less advocates and makes safe a space for) such behavior as otherwise prohibited herein (offsite or onsite). This prohibition is not subject to discussion; players have no "free speech" on this platform.

14. Don't rules-lawyer.
In other words: when you're caught breaking the rules, have some dignity and don't try and pretend you've got "esquire" behind "the Republic of Examplestan." There are no "technicalities" by which a rule-breaker can get off without punishment. "I didn't mean them all" just because you said "$some_group are dumb" and not "All of $some_group are dumb" doesn't fly. At the end of the day, Rules #1 and #2 apply; even beyond that: no one has the universal right or entitlement to be present in The Local Cluster. Per NationStates' policy: you can be banned from the region for any reason, including no reason at all.

Fool around, and you'll find yourself in The Rejected Realms just the same.

! Suppresion.
Half-punishment, half-maintenance, post-suppression is generally the lightest (formal) thwap a curator will apply when someone is acting out of hand or otherwise violating the rules - to the exception of simply saying to change the topic. Usually this does not warrant anything beyond such, and in fact may be done simply to help clean up the RMB. Given that suppression can be bypassed merely by clicking the "Show" button, it hardly constitutes anything severe. Even so, it exists to help curators (and other regional officers) maintain decorum and keep the RMB running smoothly as needed.

Due to its relative lack of severity, post-suppressions cannot be appealed. You can read more about The Local Cluster's appeals process here. Curators (and any other regional officer with the power to suppress posts) are empowered to execute post-suppressions at-will and by their own judgment.

!! Warning.
As is to be expected, formal warnings occur when a player is acting out of hand, requiring a curator to step in and formally direct them to cease with such behavior, or further punitive actions may result. Each curator makes this apparent in their own way, but typically the offending post will be quoted (and snipped) or the player mentioned. All formal warnings will include "WARNING" as seen here in the post; this is simply to ensure said posts can be easily found when made. Alternatively, a curator may choose to warn a player formally via telegram.

Formal warnings can be appealed. You can read more about The Local Cluster's appeals process here. Curators are empowered to issue warnings at-will and by their own judgment.

!!! Ejection or Banjection.
Ejection and, ultimately, banjection (banned from the region and ejected) are the most severe punishments curators can apply. In the case of the former, this is typically reserved for instances where some problem can be corrected (such as a flag, custom field, etc.), and neither the content of the offending material nor the player's behavior might otherwise indicate an ongoing problem or is particularly offensive or egregious. Players who are ejected can return once the offending material is corrected; if they return without correcting the issue(s), they can expect to be banned.

Conversely, banjection are reserved for when a player has made it clear they will not (or are incapable of) correcting their behavior, or has otherwise committed such an egregious offense(s) as to make them permanently unwelcome in The Local Cluster. All banjections are considered permanent once enacted, and have special provisions for appeals as outlined below.

Due to their fundamentally temporary nature, ejections cannot be appealed. Banjections are considered permanent once executed, and may only be appealed no less than six (6) months after their execution (under the presumption the original act was justified). Any appeal lodged after that will be dismissed. Curators are empowered to execute ejections and banjections at-will and by their own judgment.

The Local Cluster intends to have a streamlined moderation and administration process. Curators can suppress posts, issue warnings, and eject/banject of their own best judgment in the event they encounter someone offending the rules, or otherwise have rule-breaking content brought to their attention. Consensus among the curators is not required to do such. Each curator is trusted to know the rules and be able to effectively enforce them using the tools provided. Even so, mistakes happen.

In The Local Cluster, the appeals process consists of mentioning (or telegramming) a curator other than the issuing curator and making it clear you are requesting an appeal. It is up to the mentioned curator to determine if the appeal is frivolous at face value; if it is, the appeal is dismissed. If it is not, both of the remaining curators must agree a mistake was made in issuance of a warning or execution of a banjection; if they do not each agree a mistake was made, the ruling stands. If they do agree that a mistake has been made, the ruling is overturned.

Post-suppression and ejections may not be appealed. Warnings may be appealed. Banjections may be appealed no less than six (6) months after they have been issued (under the presumption the original act was justified), otherwise they are dismissed immediately. Using another account to evade a ban disqualifies someone from appealing their ban in perpetuity.

All appeals are considered final, whether the ruling is overturned or upheld. Players are not entitled to appeal more than once any ruling. Third parties are not permitted to appeal on the behalf of another. Attempting to stir up problems or otherwise behaving as a malcontent due to a ruling constitutes disruption under Rule #1.

⚠️ Note! The Local Cluster Administrator and curators alone are empowered to interpret, amend, and create any rules or policies. In certain circumstances - to include severe rule infractions or instances where the presence of a player is determined to be an undue risk to the region and its members - The Local Cluster Administrator may overrule, veto, overturn, abrogate, amend, and/or otherwise supersede any ruling(s) made by one or more curators; such cannot be appealed. The Local Cluster Administrator may further create, abrogate, remove, amend, and execute any (in)action deemed necessary to ensure the continuity of the region and safety of its members under Founder fiat; such cannot be appealed.