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  1. Conduct and Behavior

 

1. The Golden Rule: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself..." -- If you keep to this you will go far here and be a real asset to the community and fandom. We are a community; we are together, not alone together. We interact, converse, and socialize. Antisocial, self-absorbed comments and narcissism will be not be tolerated long. Great feedback and group involvement will be rewarded with trust and merit. You are not entitled to members attention, you are expected to instead attend with them.

 

  1. We here at SoM take threats to someone’s person, friends, family, and/or property very seriously as well as threats of terrorism and illegal activities. If you feel that you were threatened by another member, contact a mod or admin immediately and make sure to have proof such as screen captures or links to forum posts. We have absolute zero tolerance for such behaviour and will report such illegal activity to the proper authorities as well as the immediate dismissal of offenders from site.

  2. Talking about times you got in trouble and stories and anecdotes about such instances are fine, but glorification of such activities isn’t what this site is about. In other words, we want to hear about and see the great works you’ve created then hear about “how high” someone got the night prior.

  3. If you are  in a private message report any any violent or scandalous behaviour immediately.

   

2. No Gossip. No Backbiting. No Melodrama. -- If you have a non-serious problem with another member please take the issue up with them personally and in private. If they persist or the problem continues and/or escalates, please take it up with a mod or admin in private. You must provide proof of the offense through screen-prints, etc. If the problem persists it will be dealt with. Likewise, there will be no witch-hunting or pettiness whatsoever; we don't like tattletales.

This rule also applies to moderators, and admins; moderators and admins are not above the law, in fact they are bound by it more than general members of the site, but again, the burden of proof is on the accuser.

 

3. One Account; One Member -- You are only allowed one account per member. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you have an old account, be sure to mention to us; we'll merge them for housekeeping purposes. If you do make an alternate account and it happens to be a joke account, the joke account will be banned and the creator of the account will face punishment. Furthermore, making a new account to circumvent punitive action is not tolerated in the slightest and will result in immediate banning.

  1. There will be no relaying banned people's message onto the board (e.g. copy and paste). That means no sharing accounts with banned people and/or facilitating banned people to dodge the ban. Helping unauthorized people to gain access to the board, underage people to gain access, those in Pending Approval, or under 18 members access to R rated material is considered as a security risk, and violators will be removed from the site.

 

4. Keep it work safe (SFW). -- Any posts you make on the boards should, as a general rule, be safe to view at work, school, or any other type of public terminal. Any posts, images, or whatnot that are not safe for work should be clearly marked as such with a "NSFW" warning. Any posts that violate this rule will have the offending images removed, with the potential for a suspension based on the severity of the offense.

 

A) When posting a joke, comment,  or a meme if you are in doubt as to its nature and decency, then you should not post it; this is a great rule of thumb.

 

B) If you do post video-content please give warnings for jump-scares, screamers, some foul language, ect.

 

5. Off site activities when representing SoM -- Members will respect the authority and rules of the frequented sites in which this group has staked claims. Don’t be the “ugly tourist” when you are allowed to represent us.

 

6. Use your brain; be a freethinker -- This board does not exist to cater to people looking for hand-outs: people who don't think and work for themselves. We discourage bandwagon thinking, and we also discourage reactivism over rationalism; when it comes to your projects and ideas we're not going to hold your hand every step of the way, so don’t forget to be there when the brains are handed out! If you are stumped or clueless on something, save face and ask for advice and material so you can learn on your own. We will certainly never tolerate know-it-all behaviour either, so listen to advice and accept instruction and you will gain in knowledge and wisdom. However, most of all we expect you to be a creator first and foremost with originality; this can mean helping others with their works, not only your own original ideas.

 

7. Know the difference between verified fact and half-baked theories -- Since the earliest stages of the Sonic community's inception, there has been speculation regarding the development of all sorts of Sonic-related media. As a result, many members would make "theories" to try and explain what could not be backed up by any sort of concrete evidence. Continually time and legitimate journalism has debunked such false leads or hoaxes. If you wish to post any speculation on the board, please post it in the “Sonic Conspiracy Theorist Thread.” All theories and ideas that are posted elsewhere must be supported by facts and elaborated with reason. The burden of proof is on you; you must support your theories and claims. Generally, opinionated theories are obsolete as they've been replaced by fact-oriented research. Do not start a topic outside of the Conspiracy Theorist thread unless you have hard evidence ready to be shown to the public.

 

8. Be open minded; be soft spoken -- Everyone is allowed express their opinion, even when others think that someone’s opinion is erroneous, misguided, or absurd. Through open dialogue, we hope to work together create better ideas and various creative projects. We, The Scribes seek insight and or conversations to be a converse sensation. When arguing your opinion be sure to keep it on topic and do not let it degrade into childish name calling. What we don't want are people who behave like jerks when the conversation doesn't go their way or who hijack the conversation with their outrageous statements. While things might get heated, they should always be civil. That said, if anyone says something stupid, we expect all the smart ones of you out there, especially those on the site longer, to answer them back and explain in a diplomatic, detailed, and objective manner just how and why that person’s assertions are incorrect. Bottom line: we can do this without hurting each others' feelings or being complete miscreants to each other. We can have good discussions and a really fun party, too.

 

9. Write well and with the best English you can -- It is expected that basic spelling and punctuation will be evident in all of your posts. If you type in all lowercase, use "txt talk" and other various incorrect English conventions, and slap ten emoticons into each of your posts, expect to be corrected. If English isn't your native tongue, then don't worry too much, but still try to put effort into typing properly. There's a difference between not knowing English and being a lazy typist. When it doubt, ask for a proofread.

 

Bottom line here: lazy writing skills will make an otherwise great response, comment, or story look like a mess, cause misunderstandings, and derail conversations. So again, listen to advice and use it to hone your skills. We are all about wanting to improve the Sonic lore here, not looking like we don’t care.

 

10. Spamming is not tolerated -- On the Internet, there is generally a very fine line between messing around and spamming. If your post adds nothing to a conversation, says something completely off topic, is written poorly on purpose, or contains anything else that can be commonly identified as spam, it will be trashed; the author may face corrective action as well. Take a look at topic XXXX for examples of what spam generally consists of, and most of all, please don't play around with us. We will not hesitate to take out people who do nothing but spam the boards, intentionally or not. Please be a creator, not a headache.

 

11. Be a Trendsetter -- Again, memes are OK every once in a while; after all, who doesn't like to laugh every now and then? However, it is expected that you will be mature in your meme use and not start bandwagons consisting of using the same phrase over and over again in rapid succession. As with spices in cooking, the best way to preserve a joke is to use it sparingly and in the right amount.

 

12. Backseat Administration/Rule Mongering -- Though we encourage self-restraint and self-censorship when people deem such necessary, our officials do not tolerate unqualified members officiating in their stead on the open forum. Please do not impersonate or behave as if you have any form of authority if that authority is not officially given to you. Instead be involved with the moderators and privately report disturbances or discrepancies in person. If you exercise good judgement and report incidences responsibly, the quicker we are to trust you and listen to your case.   

 

13. Posted Content ownership -- Ownership of any work that is posted will fully remain the property of the artist who created it, however, in posting an original work you are agreeing to have it displayed on the site to be seen and critiqued. An artist is free at any time to remove any or all of his/her created material at any time as he/she sees fit.

 

  1. We understand that sometimes you get inspired by someone else’s work, (beit fan or official), and would like to add your own creative talents to it; but there are strict guidelines for this:
    i. When posting a work that is not solely your own make sure to give credit where it is due. This can be anything from an edit or a recolour to a piece of art; furthermore, if you are posting something that is not solely created by you, you must have the other artist’s permission. If we receive a “cease and desist” notification the work will be removed and depending on the circumstances may result in punitive actions against the poster.
    ii. Of course, we will be fully understanding of extenuating circumstance such as permission being revoked or someone falsely claiming authorship of your work; we will do a full investigation to resolve the issue in a fair manner should such a problem arise.
    iii. In the best case, if at all possible, if you want to add to someone else’s work, we here at SoM would wish to have you invite the creator of the work to join our site and/or for the two of you to collaborate and make more new and great original material.

  2. Plagiarism -- We here at SoM view the act of plagiarism in the same context as piracy and stealing someone else’s work, if a user tries to pass someone else’s work off as his/her own it will not be accepted and that user will be given a warning. Continued attempts at doing so will bring harsher punishments including suspensions and even banning from the site. To reiterate: in the event that the plagiarism has been discovered after the fact the user in question will suffer much harsher punitive action.
        i. Criteria for plagiarism: To reaffirm what is posted above in subsection “A; i, and ii:” A member using all or some of someone’s original work in any medium and calling it wholly his/her own is plagiarism. Tracing a picture, slightly altering it, and calling it your own original work would be considered plagiarism. Copying some or all of the text from a story then altering it and calling it you own work is also plagiarism; this is the same for other media too. If you try to take full or even partial credit for something someone else has created by definition is plagiarism. However, as stated above, if you get expressed permission from the original artist and give him/her credit for what he/she did, then the above is perfectly permissible.

  3. Being that our main focus here is original creations concerning Sonic the Hedgehog, we are using the intellectual property owned by Sega-Sammy, DHX Media (DiC/Cookie Jar Media), Archie Comics, Egmont Group (Fleetway Comics), etc… everyone on this site is bound to acknowledge and adhere their rules and all copyright law.
        i. Many of our works are based on and inside SatAM, Sonic X, Sonic Underground, etc… universes/cannons as well as many of the video games, comics, and shows owned by them. Thus we must always give credit to the owners of this media within our work as no less than a footnote acknowledging their copyright and ownership. Where the line is drawn is when someone tries to write an “original work” based on an episode, video game, or character design that already exists. If you are wanting to “re-imagine” a story arc from the Archie or Fleetway comic, an episode from SatAM, draw a picture or redesign an official a character, or making your own interpretation or mod of one of the many video games, it is fine as long as you state the work as such; just give credit to the appropriate creators/owners, and above all; adhere to copyright law.

  4. The bottom line here: do not steal work that belongs to someone else, that constitutes piracy; piracy is wrong and not a victimless crime and hurts us all in the end. Which leads us to rule 14:

 

14. Posting of pirated copyrighted material is strictly forbidden. -- This includes software, roms, music, videos, movies, comics, and other media that is protected under national and international copyright laws.

  1. Posting of such material will result in a warning and you will be asked to remove it; if you refuse and/or ignore the warning then it will be removed for you and punitive action against your account will result. Likewise, repeated offenses will not be tolerated and increased punitive actions will result.

 

15. This site is is rated as PG-13 (see the Motion Picture Association of America for definitions of the ratings we use; we basically follow their criteria), so all created material posted must fall at or below this rating. A 2/3rd majority vote by respected members of the site will accept or deny a work. However, if you have been denied do not be discouraged, this only means that your work needs some polish. Those who give your work a thumbs down will give you a well-written reason as to what he/she finds wrong with it and will help you make your story not just “fine” or “good” but “Absolutely great!” So please take a thumbs down as an opportunity to improve, not as a rejection.

 

16. Signature size -- The signature on your page should be no taller than XX and no wider than XX. If your signature is larger than this you will be asked to change it; this is to accommodate varying internet speeds of users and to keep the site looking tidy.

 

17. Dealing with administrators and mods -- Please listen to their advice and warnings; they have your and the site’s best interests in mind and are there to keep a safe and creative environment. They are not here to oppress the members of the site, but remind us if we step out of line and/or forget a rule. Be polite and courteous when corrected and if you need to explain your actions, but remember the moderators and admins have the final say.

 

18. The proper way of reporting misconduct by another member -- Always be the bigger person and do not engage someone in exchanges of childish behaviour such as: bad language, name calling, and dishonourable actions on the boards. As mentioned in the first Bylaw above: when someone has broken the rules of the site, has become threatening to you or anyone else, and/or threatens illegal activities report it immediately to a mod or admin along with proof of the misconduct. This will be sent to the entire administrative and modding team for review and action will be taken. You will not be named personally and any attempts by accused user or other users to exact any reprisal upon the accuser will be dealt with immediately by the administrative team.

  1. Reporting misconduct of a moderator or admin -- In the rare instance of abuse of power or misconduct by a member of the moderating team, like mentioned above, you must have proof of such misconduct and use the same report function as with a normal member. This complaint will be viewed by the entire administrative and modding team, so there is nothing a moderator or admin will be able to do to cover up his/her misdeeds. Again, any attempts by the admin/mod or by his/her acquaintances to exact reprisal upon the accuser will be dealt with immediately  by the administrative team.

  2. Public discussion of misconduct -- No member or members of SoM are allowed to discuss any instances of misconduct by any member, mod, or admin on the public forum for all to see; we will deal with the issue in a private and in a professional manner.
    i. It’s against our policy and rules for a single member or for a mob to take punishment for a perceived wrongdoing into their own hands. If a person decides to forego the rules and  make the situation public, cause a ruckus, and/or start harassing another member for a perceived wrong, that individual and all those involved will be subject to full punitive action no matter if they were wronged or not. It is our duty to keep this a safe and creative environment; aggression and vigilantism will not be tolerated.

  3. Discussion on public boards about punitive measures taken by the administrative/moderation team --  Likewise, it is also against our policy for anyone to have any public discussion about banned or suspended members or any punishments that have been handed down by the administration team. Once the issue and punishment has been taken care of and behind us we would rather our members move on and focus on more proactive issues and respect the privacy of persons involved as well as the sovereignty of the admin/mod team; further slander and/or liable will not be tolerated in the slightest. See Conduct and Behaviour-Rule Two above for further details.

 

19. Privacy -- Note that if you have been warned, suspended, or banned your screen name and information, including all of the IP address you use will be logged for moderation/administration purposes; other than that we do not collect data on any users.

  1. At the request of a user we will provide for you the information logged at any time, but will refuse any requests for information on any other user. Continued attempts on gaining access to others information will result in punitive action including the permanent ban on the offender’s account.


20. The Leaders of SoM withhold the right to deem if some act or work from a member violates the spirit of all these laws. Again, if you follow these guidelines and are deemed as a benefit to this site and the community as a whole, you will go really far here.

  1. If you have a problem with certain aspects of this board, then you're free to bring them up in a mature manner in the “Site Affairs” forum; however, remember that while we are understanding and generally open to any suggestions, once we have made a decision our word is final. We expect you to be mature and respectful when exercising this right.

 

III. Donations and Transparency:

 

  1. We strive to make SoM the best it can be on the leanest budget possible. We want it to be free and open for every member. However, there are costs to maintain the site and specific community projects and that means we deeply appreciate donations. To show that donation revenue is well spent and to abstain from any appearance of misappropriation of funds, there will be a monthly ledger of income and expenses all members can readily see in the Metaforum sub-section.

 

 IV. Additional Amendments:

 

[You will be updated for possible amendments.]
 

Group Chat Rules

1. Group Skype Meetings - While Private Skype Texts/Chats/Calls can continue as is, large group meetings should be planned out ahead of time and posted here. Again, remember we are also an exclusive club so we discourage adding outsiders into our calls and chats. If you need help setting up a meeting, contact a Moderator or Admin dedicated to such. If needed, you can schedule a chat room meeting by corresponding with a leader in the group.

2. Don't Forget The Thread - Try to keep something of your work on SoM even if you host it on other sites such as DeviantArt or FanFiction.net. A link or and update schedule or any form of reminder. If you're not updating here SoMers won't notice your story updating at all. No one will have an idea who is on what chapter or what project anymore because those posts aren't here on SoM. Keep the rest of the site in the loop by posting here, even if it is just in a single thread.

3. Forum Based Stories - If SoM is hosting your story, make sure there's an out of story thread to also post in. Many SoMers don't like posting directly in the middle of someone's chapter. Create a secondary topic for updates. Also try finding a secondary host like DeviantArt. It helps spread the story.

4. Scheduled Updates - While you can't rush art, and life schedules get in the way, members should update the status of their works regularly. Your individual topics should be updated at least weekly or biweekly. Even if you don't have a new chapter, you should post a status update to keep your fellow Scribes in the loop.

5. Cooperative Publicizing - The Scribes are all about helping everyone's topics and stories get noticed (that and improving them when we can). Make suggestions, ask questions, or just comment on if you liked the current chapter outside of this thread as well. The more replies, the more people notice the topic. Help your fellows succeed in spreading quality content beyond these halls. Be an evangel for their quality literature and artistic vision. Such encouragers will be greatly rewarded.

6. Stay in The Loop - Please keep informed of the news within the thread, reading newsletters, new posts, and etcetera. Give at least monthly status updates. If you are gone too long your story way be archived to save on space and to give more attention for more active members’ work.

7. Peace-of-Mind Clause-  If you have been here for some considerable amount of time, your fellow Scribes humbly ask you to inform at least two of your close friends and/or kin about your friends you have made here on SoM. If something happens to you, we would want them to inform us. Please, please do not have your friends suffer through the apprehension of wondering if you are okay or have abandoned them for some unseen offense. Many people have been set on edge as their friends disappear for long periods of time or never return to this site. If you are found to be doing this on purpose, coming and going to upset people you will be blocked from this thread. As stated in the prior amendment, you will also suspended from this thread if you are quiet for too long. Any position or power give to you will be bequeathed to a more prolific and productive person on the thread.


All questions, comments, and suggestions concerning the rules should be posted here.

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