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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Code of Conduct & Rules [Updated 5DEC2014]
    Posted: 22 Feb 2010 at 12:24
Welcome to the Illyriad community forums. The goal of these forums is to create a welcoming, enjoyable environment in which players can interact with one another as well as the Illyriad staff. In order to foster such an environment, we've instituted a Code of Conduct as listed below. You will also find rules with relation to the forums and in game channels of Illyriad. Please read this thread as well as the Terms and Conditions before interacting on the forums. 

Code of Conduct

In order to create a positive and respectful environment for both the Illyriad players and staff, the following are strictly prohibited both in game (although there is some difference between AC or Private Chat and General Chat) and on the forums:

  •     Players who are under 13 years of age
  •     obscene, racist, homophobic or sexist language and imagery
  •     posts of a sexually explicit, inflammatory or violently threatening nature
  •     abuse, harassment and name-calling
  •     posts with the intent to provoke or disrupt other players aka "trolling"
  •     profanity is forbidden in game and strongly discouraged on the forums
  •     impersonating fellow players or Illyriad staff
  •     discussions and debates of a real world religious or political nature
  •     spamming, for example: repeating information or posts of a nonsensical nature
  •     posting personal information such as address, phone number, real name or other  
        identifying information
  •     use of copyright protected material without express consent of the owner
  •     discussion of illegal activities
  •     violation of local, state, national or international laws or regulations
  •     posting of advertisements
  •     discussion of interactions between players and staff (ie: no sharing of private information)
  •     Do not break these, or any, official rules.


Private chat specific:

System / GM Silences and Private Chat

Being silenced by the system or by a GM in Global Chat will also silence your Private Chat, and will make you unable to reply to or initiate Private Chat requests.  You can still send and receive ingame messages and speak in Alliance Chat, as before.

This Private 1-to-1 channel, like Alliance Chat, is not profanity or spam checked for content; however it is does have spam throttle protection to prevent fast automated spamming (like global) and if you are trigger-happy in Private Chat then system will automatically silence you for an hour, as before.  This silence will also apply to Global Chat.

Moderation of Private Chat

Private chat is not monitored by the GM team.

However... while your first point of call is to "Block in Chat", we will investigate petitions about serious breaches of the Terms and Conditions and Code of Conduct - and we will hand out lengthy silences and/or permabans for serious breaches if we receive a valid petition.

Examples of the kind of things that continue to remain an absolute no-no in *ANY* Illyriad-based communication channel (public chat, private chat, IGM, forum etc that is provided to you by Illyriad Games) are things like:
  • Communications which are threatening or abusive and are intended to harass, alarm, or distress someone on the basis of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation
  • Identifying yourself as under the age of 13
  • Threats of violence or harm out-of-game
  • Sharing account passwords and login credentials
For more details please re-familiarise yourself with the Terms & Conditions and the Code of Conduct.

Current Silences

In celebration of the new private chat we are unsilencing all currently silenced players. However, behave civilly; as highlighted above, silences, whether auto-system or GM, now apply to both global and private chat simultaneously.and being silenced will prevent your ability to use either.


Forum Specific:
  1. Do not post the same topic in multiple areas of the forum. Please familiarize yourself with the different sections of the forums and choose the one most appropriate for your topic.
  2. "Bumping" forum posts by making a short response with the intent of moving the topic further up the list or adding to post count is prohibited.
  3. Please stay on topic and do not attempt to derail forum threads. Create a new topic if needed to continue or expand on a discussion.
  4. When posting game feedback and suggestions, please be constructive and specific. Negative feedback is welcome as long as it adheres to the Illyriad Code of Conduct as listed above.
  5. Public posting of private messages between fellow players or players and Illyriad staff is prohibited. This includes discussions of warnings and suspensions of both game and forum accounts.

In Game Specific:
  1. Character, commander, army, alliance and city names must adhere to the Illyriad Code of Conduct and not be l33tspeak.
  2. All in game player content including player profile and alliance profile must adhere to the Illyriad Code of Conduct.
  3. Each person may have access to only 2 Illyriad accounts. Any account you log in to directly (not using the account sitting feature) counts against this. 
  4. Sharing accounts and passwords is strictly forbidden.
  5. Serial creation and abandonment of secondary accounts in order to exploit the "buddy referral" prestige bonus is an exploit and bannable offense. 
  6. Automated procedures or "bots" used to either capture data or perform actions in game are prohibited. More information regarding use of third party tools in Illyriad can be found here.
  7. Prestige is non-refundable under any circumstances.
  8. Repeated or bothersome begging for resources or prestige in Global Chat is discouraged.
  9. Repeated use of popular memes or "Your MOM goes to college"-type humor will result in immediate sieging.
  10. Public posting of private messages between fellow players or players and Illyriad staff is prohibited. This includes discussions of warnings and suspensions of both game and forum accounts.

Reporting:
If you experience a bug or need technical support in game please first file a petition via the Support & Petitions page. If you are unable to do so for any reason, you may then post about your issue in the appropriate section of the forums. If a player is violating the Code of Conduct while in Global Chat in game you have the option of blocking them by clicking on their name and choosing "block in chat." You may also file a support petition to report the player in game if necessary. If a player is violating the Code of Conduct on the forums, you can report the thread by contacting GM Rikoo via private message with a link to the thread. Outcomes with relation to reports of Code of Conduct violations will not be discussed with the person who filed the report.

COPPA explanation:

I'd like to take this opportunity to explain what COPPA is, and why it is the reason we do not (and cannot) permit people under the age of 13 to play Illyriad.

We don't actually have a choice, except to remove from the game any player who identifies themselves as being under the age of 13.  Whilst we are a UK company, the servers now reside in the USA, and are therefore subject to a law passed by the US Congress, called COPPA - the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

We don't ask players for their age in game - in fact, we ask players for zero private information except an optional, non-verified email address they can be contacted at to retrieve a lost password.  This is precisely because we do not want to deliberately assume legal responsibilities for protecting personal data, and/or enforcing laws such as COPPA.

COPPA makes it abundantly clear precisely how we have to behave in *exactly* these circumstances, in http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/0493-Complying-with-COPPA-Frequently-Asked-Questions under the sections entitled:


"(b)  What happens if a child posts in a forum and announces her age?

If no one in your organization is aware of the post, then you may not have the requisite actual knowledge under the Rule.  However, you may be considered to have actual knowledge where a child announces her age under certain circumstances, for example, if you monitor your posts, if a responsible member of your organization sees the post, or if someone alerts you to the post "

... (for forum you can also read "chatroom").  The legal responsibility falls on us to either seek parental consent from the child's parents (a procedure that we're not willing to do as it introduces an extreme burden of overhead on a very small team.  I'm not aware of any games company out there who does this.  Our only other option is to delete all the person's information (ie their username, account and data), and prohibit them from further accessing the website.

The law is very specific on this, and it doesn't matter whether you yourself are a US citizen or not.

Regarding the "but you would never have known had a particular player not volunteered the information themselves" argument.  This is indeed true, but is not a defence we are permitted to make. According to Section 12:


"I know the COPPA Rule is triggered by the collection of personal information from children, but the information I collect at my site or service is voluntary, not mandatory.  Does COPPA still apply?

Yes.  The Rule governs the online collection of personal information from children by a covered operator, even if children volunteer the information or are not required by the operator to input the information to participate on the website or service. "

So once someone volunteers the information that they are under the age of 13, we are held to "know" this, and must, legally, act on it by removing them from the game.

Regarding the faintly ridiculous "But I was only joking" argument... it might surprise you to know that the FTC actually has a section on the measures that website operators such as us should take if someone identifies themselves as under the age of 13 and then later tries to amend their age if, for example, they suddenly find themselves unable to use the website.  

The FTC website even has a section entitled "Am I responsible if children lie about their age during the registration process on my general audience website?"  to which the answer is "yes" - once we are aware that the person claims that they are under the age of 13: "operators will be held to have acquired actual knowledge of having collected personal information from a child where, for example, they later learn of a child’s age"

I am, of course, sad to see anyone leave the game - but I think many players are assuming that removing players from the game under the COPPA law is something we actually have a choice about, like it's a decision that we've made or that we're choosing to apply rules in a particularly Draconian way.  Whatever you or I may personally think about the law is moot... we don't have a choice.  It's not optional for us, when someone identifies themselves as being under the age of 13 - then that's it - and if they're lying/joking then that's too bad too.

If you don't like this law and you are a US citizen, then please do write to your congressman.  If you don't like this law and are not a US citizen, it may surprise or shock you to know that the FTC have applied it (far outside their jurisdiction, in my opinion) to actually say "The law’s definition of “operator” includes foreign-based websites and online services that are involved in commerce in the United States or its territories.".  So, basically any website in the world that can be accessed from the USA should technically comply with COPPA though I do wonder how the FTC intends to enforce this.  We, however, have to comply, as our gameservers are located in the USA. 

I hope that helps explain a little bit more about the legislation and why we don't have any choice in whether we apply it or not.

Language:
At this time, English is the only language supported on the Illyriad forums and in game. Please refrain from posting in other languages.

Failure to comply with the Illyriad Code of Conduct and Rules may result in warnings followed by either a temporary or permanent suspension of your game and/or forum account per the discretion of the Illyriad staff. These rules are subject to change at any time. Discussion of moderation and disciplinary action is to be kept private.

Any questions about the Illyriad Code of Conduct and Rules can be directed to GM Rikoo via private message on the forums or email at community@illyriad.co.uk.


Edited by GM Rikoo - 10 Feb 2015 at 20:12
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