Code of Conduct
How to conduct yourself

Basics

  • By using DebateArt.com, you are bound and agree to be bound by this Code of Conduct and the Privacy Policy, as well as any other rules that may be published from time to time. If participating in debates, you are also bound by the Voting Policy.
  • In essence, treat others as you wish to be treated. If someone makes a wholly reasonable request of you, please try to comply.

User Accounts

  • All users must be a minimum of 13 years of age when creating an account, or older to help comply with any local laws pertaining to Internet usage.
  • You may not use hateful, harassing, or obscene language or imagery in your username or avatar.
  • Multi-accounting and any action indistinguishable from it is prohibited. Dispensation may be granted on a case-by-case basis, such as for multiple users within a single residence; but they will have certain restrictions applied (e.g., never voting on each other’s debates).
  • Users are free to transition a new account or back to a former, so long as they demonstrate no exploitative intent, and inform moderators to ensure only one is active.
  • Account bans may be appealed by emailing: [email protected]

Authenticity

  • You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is either intended to or likely to deceive others. Parody accounts are acceptable, so long it is clear that they are parodies and do not parody other site users.
  • Extravagant lies, not to be confused with mere context issues, may rise to the level of constituting impersonation.
  • You may not violate others intellectual property rights.

Harassment

  • Targeted harassment of any member prohibited, as is inciting others to do so at your behest. This includes wishing or hoping that someone and/or their loved ones experiences physical harm.
  • Creating threads to call-out specific users qualifies as targeted harassment, as does obsessive attempts to derail unrelated topics with impertinent grudges. However, criticizing statements within an ongoing discussion, is fair game.
  • Threats of lawsuits are not allowed, and by using this site you agree to waive any rights to file civil suits against fellow site users for any non-criminal actions.
  • If a member politely requests that you leave them alone, do so. Repeated failure to comply, is a clear aggravating factor regarding the content of said posts.

Violence and Criminal Behavior

  • You may not threaten or promote violence against any person or persons, barring hyperbole against public figures (e.g., “all politicians should be shot”). Advocacy in favor of terrorism and/or violent extremism, especially as related to hate groups as generally defined by the SPLC, is likewise prohibited.
  • You may not promote or encourage suicide or self harm.
  • You may not engage in or promote criminal activity.
  • You may not engage in or promote the sexual exploitation of minors.

Safety and Privacy

  • Doxing is strictly forbidden. Without their express permission, you may not post, threaten to post, nor encourage others to post, anyone’s private or identifying information no matter how it was obtained.
  • You may not share any content from private messages, without the consent of the respective authors; or with moderator approval (such as for dispute resolution).

Objectionable Content

  • You may not post or link to media that is excessively gory or violent.
  • You may not post or link to pornography or other explicit adult sexual material.
  • You may not engage in commercial advertising anywhere on the site.
  • Spam is prohibited, and any overtly repetitive nonsensical posts are considered spam.
  • Unwarranted systemic vulgarity and invectives, which may include off topic personal attacks and/or hate speech, are subject to disciplinary actions.

Consequences

In an effort to promote consistent, fair and even-handed moderating practices across the board, the Standardized Policy Enforcement System (hereafter referred to as SPES) completely systematizes banning practices by laying out specific ban times for specific offenses. Moderators will be required to uphold these standards across the board, except in certain scenarios that are specified below.

Rights Reserved to Users

  • Excluding cases in which privacy concerns take precedence, upon issuing disciplinary action, moderation must cite the transgression the action is meant to address and (if possible or tenable) provide sufficient evidence that the cited transgression has been made in the public ban record.
  • All users are granted unlimited ability to appeal moderation decisions (banned users may appeal by contacting [email protected]). All legitimate, non-spam appeals are guaranteed to be reviewed by moderation.

Rights Reserved to Moderators

Moderation reserves the rights to:
  • Judge whether an offense is severe enough to trigger the next level of punishment in the SPES according to the following tier list:
    • Tier 1: The cited offense requires no action.
    • Tier 2: The complaint is factually accurate, and while mild, it is indeed bordering on rule violations. Moderation will use best discretion on how to proceed. In the event a Tier 2 offense requires action (for example, a user systematically commits borderline rule violations despite mod warnings), the punishment will be less severe than otherwise outlined in the SPES.
    • Tier 3: Clear, actionable violation. Moderation shall follow consequences exactly as outlined in the SPES. Should one user acquire five or more Tier 3 offenses, moderation reserves the right to enact a permanent ban IF deemed appropriate.
    • Tier 4: Unusually vile and/or severe offense. Moderation is permitted to skip level A consequences and take swift action as outlined in the SPES. Should one user acquire three or higher Tier 4 offenses, moderation reserves the right to enact a permanent ban IF deemed appropriate.
  • Delete any content in violation of the CoC.
  • Lock threads with frequent noteworthy violations of the CoC, or as a preventative measure when such are assuredly imminent.
  • Discern whether to revoke any abused privileges preventatively in order to avoid elevating the severity of a given scenario, even if the level of said abuse does not yet cross the line into a ban worthy offense (most often used to prevent Tier 2 offenses from elevating to Tier 3 offenses).
  • Decide to accept or reject ban appeals.
  • Impose restraining orders (RO’s) as a preventative measure.
  • Act outside of the SPES when unforeseen circumstances or abnormal scenarios make the SPES untenable, as it either presents an inappropriate response or does not present one at all for the situation at hand.
  • Interpret and apply all policies in the best interests of the site and users therein. In most cases, a “reasonable person” standard will be utilized.

User Accounts

NOTE: Bots, corporate accounts, and multi-accounts of banned users are not considered legitimate users by moderation and will thus be met with an immediate permanent ban.
  1. 1.
    If a user is found to be below 13 years of age upon making their account on DebateArt, moderation will ban their account until the day they turn 13.
  2. 2.
    If a user has hateful, harassing, or obscene language or imagery in their username or avatar, moderation will:
a) FIRST, request the hateful, harassing, or obscene language or imagery in the username or avatar be removed and instruct the user on how to do so.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again introduces hateful, harassing, or obscene language or imagery in their username or avatar at some later date unapologetically, moderation shall issue a 14 day ban and then repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 14 day ban, moderation will issue a 60 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.
3. If a user is found to be multi-accounting, moderation will:
a) FIRST, request the user to select one account to continue using and close all other connected accounts permanently.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again starts unapologetically multi-accounting at some later date, THEN moderation will select which accounts to close for the user permanently and issue a 21 day ban on the remaining account.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 21 day ban, moderation will issue a 75 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.

Authenticity

  1. 1.
    If a user’s account impersonates individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is either intended to or likely to deceive others OR parodies another site user, moderation will:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again starts to unapologetically impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is either intended to or likely to deceive others OR parodies another site user, moderation will issue a 14 day ban and then repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 14 day ban, moderation will issue a 60 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.
2. If a user violates the intellectual property rights of others, moderation will:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again violates the intellectual property rights of others unapologetically, moderation will issue a 14 day ban and then repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 14 day ban, moderation will issue a 60 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.

Harassment

NOTE: Moderation reserves the right to impose restraining orders as necessary. Should an RO be imposed to prevent harassment, violation of that RO will be handled as detailed in the RO section below. In other words, except as otherwise noted, violation of RO’s will be treated separately from an instance of targeted harassment between non-RO’d users as detailed in this section.
  1. 1.
    If a user incessantly harasses another user by way of creating call-out threads, derailing unrelated topics with impertinent grudges, failing to comply with the reasonable requests of the other user, inciting others to harass, or engaging in any other form of targeted harassment, moderation shall:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again engages in targeted harassment unapologetically, moderation shall issue a 30 day ban and then repeat A.
c) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.

Violence and Criminal Behavior

NOTE: Unlike all other sections, any violation of the Violence and Criminal Behavior policy will result in an immediate ban.
  1. 1.
    If a user threatens violence against any person or persons (barring hyperbole against public figures), moderation will:
    a) FIRST, issue a 30 day ban and impose a restraining order between the two users.
    b) IF the user again threatens violence against any person or persons (barring hyperbole against public figures), moderation shall issue a 90 day ban and reinstate a restraining order.
    c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 90 day ban, moderation shall issue a permanent ban.
  2. 2.
    If a user promotes violence against any person or persons (barring hyperbole against public figures) or advocates in favor of terrorism and/or violent extremism, especially as related to hate groups as generally defined by the SPLC, moderation will:
    a) FIRST, issue a 90 day ban and request the user cease & desist such behavior.
    b) IF the user again promotes violence against any person or persons (barring hyperbole against public figures) or advocates in favor of terrorism and/or violent extremism, said user will receive a permanent ban from the site.
  3. 3.
    If a user promotes or encourages suicide or self-harm, moderation shall:
    a) FIRST and FINALLY, issue a permanent ban. Moderation shall not tolerate the purposeful endangerment of lives.
  4. 4.
    If a user engages criminal activity, moderation shall:
    a) FIRST and FINALLY, issue a permanent ban.
  5. 5.
    If a user promotes criminal activity, moderation shall:
    a) FIRST, issue a 90 day ban and request the user cease & desist such behavior.
    b) IF the user again promotes criminal activity, moderation will issue a permanent ban.
  6. 6.
    If a user engages in or promotes the sexual exploitation of minors, moderation shall:
    a) FIRST and FINALLY, issue a permanent ban.

Safety and Privacy

  1. 1.
    If a user intentionally exposes or threatens to expose the sensitive information of another user (i.e. real name, address, social security, and all other private or identifying information) without express permission from the exposed party, moderation shall:
a) FIRST and FINALLY, issue a permanent ban.
2. If a user shares confidential content from private messages without the consent of the respective authors, moderator approval, or valid justification, moderation shall:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist this behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and the user defies A, moderation will issue a 30 day ban and repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 30 day ban, moderation shall issue a permanent ban.

Objectionable Content

  1. 1.
    If a user posts or links to media that is excessively gory or violent, moderation will:
a) FIRST, issue a 21 day ban and request the user cease & desist this behavior.
b) IF the user again posts or links to media that is excessively gory or violent, moderation shall issue a 90 day ban.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation, they will receive a permanent ban.
2. If a user posts or links to pornography or other explicit adult sexual material, moderation shall:
a) FIRST, issue a 90 day ban and request the user cease & desist this behavior.
b) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 90 day ban, they will receive a permanent ban.
3. If a user engages in commercial advertising anywhere on the site (barring bot and/or corporate accounts), moderation shall:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again unapologetically engages in commercial advertising anywhere on the site, moderation shall issue a 14 day ban and then repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 14 day ban, moderation shall issue a 60 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=4(x2)y=4(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.
4. If a user spams (including overtly repetitive nonsensical posts), moderation shall:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again unapologetically engages in spam, moderation shall revoke user privileges wherever necessary and repeat A.
c) ALL additional infractions after B shall be met with a 10 day ban and then a repeat of A.
5. If a user’s content includes unwarranted (or excessively toxic) systemic vulgarity and invectives, which may include off topic personal attacks and/or hate speech, moderation shall:
a) FIRST, request the user cease & desist such behavior.
b) IF adequate time passes and A is ignored by the user, OR IF the user complied initially after A but again unapologetically engages in unwarranted (or excessively toxic) systemic vulgarity and invectives, which may include off topic personal attacks and/or hate speech, moderation shall issue a 30 day ban and repeat A.
c) IF the user continues to defy moderation after the 30 day ban, moderation shall issue a 90 day ban and then repeat A.
d) ALL additional infractions after C shall be met with bans according the formula
y=6(x2)y=6(x^2)
where "y" equals ban time in months and "x" equals the number of infractions after C.

Restraining Orders

NOTE: SPES will use SupaDudz’s Reform of Restraining Orders on DebateArt.com as a standard for RO policy and enforcement as detailed in the following. Nonetheless, should a user blatantly or unreservedly defy their restraining order, moderation reserves the right to impose penalties according to the SPES Harassment section.
  1. 1.
    If one party comments on the other’s original thread that is of a tame/vanilla topic and their comment is not a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, that user will not be warned or punished.
    a) If one party comments on the other’s original thread that is of a topic of conflict (i.e. religion, politics, etc.) and their comment is not a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, that user will not be warned or punished, but will be reminded to remain cautious of the RO.
  2. 2.
    If one party comments on the other’s original thread and their comment is not a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, but the moderation team discerns that the comment is malicious in intent or constitutes derailment of the thread, that user will receive a warning.
  3. 3.
    If one party comments on the other’s original thread and their comment is a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, but the moderation team discerns that the comment is not malicious in intent or does not constitute derailment of the thread, that user will be notified to remain cautious of the RO but no warning will be given.
  4. 4.
    If one party comments on the other’s original thread and their comment is a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, and the moderation team discerns that the comment is malicious in intent or constitutes derailment of the thread, that user will receive a warning.
EXCESSIVE REPETITION OF WARNS DUE TO VIOLATIONS OF 1-4 WILL RESULT IN A 3 DAY BAN.
5. If one party comments on the other’s original thread and their comment is a DIRECT response to the thread’s author, and the moderation team discerns that the comment is malicious in intent or constitutes derailment of the thread AND violates the CoC, that user will receive a 7 day ban.
6. If one party comments in a DIRECT response to the other in an outside thread, and the moderation team discerns that the comment is not malicious in intent or does not constitute derailment of the thread, that user will receive a warning.
EXCESSIVE REPETITION OF WARNS DUE TO VIOLATIONS OF 6 WILL RESULT IN A 3 DAY BAN
7. If one party comments in a DIRECT response to the other in an outside thread, and the moderation team discerns that the comment is malicious in intent or constitutes derailment of the thread, that user will receive a 3 day ban.
8. If one party comments in a DIRECT response to the other in an outside thread, and the moderation team discerns that the comment is malicious in intent or constitutes derailment of the thread AND violates the CoC, that user will receive a 14 day ban.

Recommended Reading

Special thanks to @Barney, @Virtuoso, and @Drafterman for helping to create the COC, and special thanks to @MisterChris, @SupaDudz, @Barney, and @Whiteflame for helping create the SPES.