Hello everypony! Thank you all for your attention. Your Ponyville staff has been hard at work thinking up ideas on how to improve the site after considering your feedback, both in individual discussions, and through our recently posted poll.
We'd like to share an initial set of suggested changes for your consideration! Please take a look below:-Start-Ponyville Administrative Consistency and Transparency ActI. The Rules Board
A new board will be created that is not open to public posting. It shall contain the Rules, mirrored from the frontpage, but contain previous site mandates and policy changes as well, such that a clear record can be easily accessed and reviewed by the userbase.
This shall also allow the staff to build a history of decisions to base new decisions on, and allow the userbase to see the consistency in the staff's actions from a much clearer perspective. II. The Moderator's Hoofbook
We are working on a comprehensive Moderator's Hoofbook that outlines all the duties and responsibilities of a Ponyville moderator. This Hoofbook will go over our enforcement policies, our typical means of response, and give a transparent look at how we go about handling reports, issuing warnings, and interacting with the community.
It is my hope that by making this resource available to the public, you will be able to see just what the thought process is behind our decision-making, but also know that we are being held accountable to a consistent standard.
The Hoofbook is a work in progress at this time. You can observe the current progress of the Hoofbook, give your feedback, and watch its progress, here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/16JC305hFhpl6hepFw69fhDW17LP8p366DYxH9bO6tp0/edit?usp=sharingIII. The SFW Switch
Our esteemed Administrator Developer, !!Thorax, has proposed what we feel is a useful tool for both users who prefer slightly more raunchy content and those who do not. The SFW switch works thusly: First, a user who wants to post something slightly raunchy, perhaps content that is not quite at the level of breaking the rules but might be on the line, simply clicks a little box as they post their image that says (NSFW)
Upon posting this post, everything functions as normal: there is no big SPOILER cover that comes up, nothing like that. However - if a user elects to go to their options and flick the SFW switch, posts that have been tagged with the NSFW tag will disappear.
This system puts the onus on both parties, both those who prefer more adult content, and those who prefer less adult content, to put in to the effort to adjusting the site to their tastes.
The UI design for this switch has not been finalized yet, but !!Thorax has confirmed that this SFW switch is very possible to do. IV. Revisions to Penalty Policy
Ponyville's policy has always been lenience, and it shall remain this way. It has been made clear to us, however, that the current system of warnings, forgiveness, bans, and guidance is a perplexing system that remains inscrutable to the userbase. Frankly, it hasn't been very clear to the staff, either. This creates the appearance of favoritism for some users that can seem, and even sometimes be, very unfair. As such, this proposed revision to the Penalty Policy has strict guidelines:
Behavioral Rules shall be sorted into three tiers of enforcement
First Degree: the most serious offenses, including malicious spamming, raiding, doxxing, malicious impersonation or sockpuppeting, illegal behavior, will be met with a ban for the first offense. Users with no notable history with the site may be met with a permaban immediately, depending on the circumstances (i.e., live raid).
Second Degree: lesser offenses that shall be met with a warning, followed by a ban if, 1. the behavior immediately continues within a reasonable time after the warning [i.e., warning must be seen], or; 2. if the behavior stops, but has a second occurrence within the time span of a week.
2nd Degree offenses include incredibly offensive speech, sh*tposting, and extreme hostility in conduct, baiting or goading users into conflict
Third Degree: least serious offenses, including rude statements, thread derailing against OP's wishes, advertising without staff permission, and disrespectful conduct shall be met with multiple warnings, and shall be escalated only to bans if the behavior immediately continues again, or if the behavior occurs multiple times from the same user over a reasonable period of time, or if the behavior causes enough disturbance on the site to warrant substantial staff attention (i.e., more than once a week).
As more rules are added, considered, and discussed, they shall be organized into the degree system as is necessary. V. Order of Bans
Excluding First Degree rule violations, bans shall generally escalate in this order. If a ban is given that does not escalate in this order, again excluding First Degree rule violations, that ban must be thoroughly explained by the issuing staff member such that the public can understand that reasoning.
1st Ban: 2 Hours - 4 Hours
2nd Ban: 1 Day - 3 Days
3rd Ban: 1 Week - 2 Weeks
4th Ban: 1 Month - 1 Year, or Permaban, depending on circumstances and potential discussion with user
5th Ban: 6 Months - 1 Year, or PermabanVI. Report Escalation and Increase Scrutiny
A major issue the staff has had concerning political drama or threads full of user insults is that the staff does not tend to receive reports concerning these issues until the dispute or drama is already well underway. To incentivize reporting, and encourage reporting sooner rather than later, a system of report escalation and increased scrutiny shall be implemented.
The increase scrutiny standard shall be taken and modified from the 3P1 Political Drama policy currently found on /arch/ - if you report, the post you reported shall be weighed more heavily against that poster than if a staff member had stumbled upon that offending post on his or her own. VII. The Revised Rules of Behavioral Conduct
Rule 1. Please keep posts generally respectful towards others;
Rule 2. Do not post in a thread for the purpose of being rude or inciting trouble;
Rule 3. Do not derail a thread intentionally. Please generally be respectful to the current topic and atmosphere of the thread. If an OP asks you to stop derailing, please do so;
Rule 4. Please do not engage in advertising or promotion of any kind without first contacting site administration. Pony fanart, stories, music are generally acceptable.
Rule 5. Please do not act with extreme hostility towards any user, this includes all manner of insults, threats, and name-calling;
Rule 6. Do not bait or goad another user into engaging in rule-breaking content. In the event of such an occurrence, both the baiting user and baited user shall be found in violation of this rule. The baited user has a responsibility to not rise to the bait, as well;
Rule 7. Do not post content of an aggressively, ironically, or trollishly poor quality, designed to derail discussions, or otherwise make the site unusable or intolerable to our regular community;
Rule 8. Do not post threads or posts that are deliberate provocations to certain users, or deliberate provocations concerning the topics of Race, Religion, Nationality, Political Opinion, or Membership of a Particular Social Group;
Rule 9. Malicious spamming or raiding, on and off site, are disallowed. Do not encourage spamming or raiding any other community;
Rule 10. "Doxxing" and sharing of others' personal information against their will is disallowed;
Rule 11. All content that is illegal under the law of the United States is expressly and absolutely prohibited on Ponyville.us;
Rule 12. Malicious impersonation, or sockpuppeting, is strictly disallowed, i.e., pretending to be another user to manipulate a discussion or hurt their credibility.
Why are these organized backwards, from Third to First Degree? The First Degree rules are something that any community would do. The Third Degree rules, however, highlight the character of Ponyville as a website, and as such should be placed first in order to convey that sense of impact and importance, even if their degree of punishment might be lesser.
Why not ban evading? Ban evading is either done by accident, or on purpose. If it is done by accident, a permaban to follow seems unduly harsh. If it is done on purpose, a permaban to follow is useless. The staff will use better tactics in both situation than to just follow up with a permaban. VIII. The Revised Rules of Adult Content
Rule 1. Posting risque and suggestive content is permitted in moderation;
Rule 2. Please do not post content depicting anatomic genitalia, either real or imaginary, gore, extreme violence;
Rule 3. Content that concerns sexual fixations that differ from those typical to the general populace and is also offensively obscene to the reasonable person is disallowed;
Rule 4. Posting of sexually charged content, designed for and appealing to a predominantly sexual interest, that involves people or imaginary characters under the age of 17, or assumed to be under that age by a reasonable person, is prohibited.
RULE SUMMARY: Sexy things fine. Underage sexy things, not fine. Fetish stuff, not fine if gross to non-fetish having person. If SFW switch system adopted, much more leeway. -End-
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. After one week's time, at this time next Sunday, we shall be holding a community vote for another period of a week, in which we shall choose whether or not to ratify these propositions: each one will be independently voted on.
Some of the propositions maybe minced into sub-propositions to be voted on, or substantially revised, pending community joint discussion, and the incoming poll results.
The community poll can be found here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdmf0EefVyOtfeMz5lcRO2dNxlKLemym-PExdk8wlmXfyjj3A/viewform?usp=sf_link
Results will be posted on Wednesday of this coming week.
Please let us know what you think of these proposed changes, in the thread below!