Harassment is taken very seriously by the staff of this game. Harassment has a fairly strict series of definitions in order to prevent this rather strong term from being misused and misapplied to situations.

What it is

Harassment is unwanted OOC contact that persists even after its cessation has been requested. It can be unwanted either because of content, or because of who is making the contact.

Put another way, something may not be considered harassment unless it meets the following criteria:

1. It is of a nature that is offensive, AND
2. The contact persists even after the victim has requested that it stop, AND
3. The contact is not accidental or incidental in nature.


This is probably the most difficult of the categories to adjudicate. Things which may be considered offensive are: spam or excessive paging, sexually explicit messages, threats, sarcasm, or even repeated requests. Any form of contact may, given the proper circumstances, be considered offensive. This category is highly dependent on context.

The following items are not, however, considered to be offensive content in and of themselves:

1. Roleplaying poses, unless the poses are insulting or degrading OOCly. In other words, if your character *says* something obnoxious, it's not harassment. The exception would be if you have requested not to roleplay with a character, and yet they persist in forcing their roleplay upon you, individually.

2. Messages from Admins of an official nature.

3. OOC communication for the purposes of coordinating roleplay and/or delivering consent warnings.

4. Public messages unless said messages are specifically targeted toward the individual. This includes channel chat and bulletin boards.

Not Stopping

Unless you ask for the offensive contact to stop, then you can't claim it's harassment. You can't assume that somebody else knows what you find offensive.

You can request a temporary cessation of all contact from the other party. This will apply to OOC contact sent directly *to you* or targeted at you. This doesn't mean that the other person has to 'avoid' you — if you want this sort of thing put into place, contact staff with your justification. In this case, a simple, "Please stop paging me," would be sufficient. Or even, "I don't appreciate being insulted like this. Please stop." You must specify a time duration, and it cannot be more than a few days. But you must inform them that you find what they are doing/saying objectionable *before* contacting staff to complain.

Please note that the other person may page you back with an acknowledgment of what you are saying, or even an apology. That should not be construed as a violation of the request unless it persists. However, if you request a cessation of contact, you must abide by it, too. If you continue to page them, you are inviting them to reply. Also, you should consider a page-lock if someone's pages to you are creating problems. See 'help @lock' for information on how to set up a pagelock.

Not Accidental

Sometimes, you accidentally page somebody. It happens. Just because it happens, it's not harassment, even if you've asked them not to page you. Mistakes happen, and just because they happen doesn't make it a violation of policy. Just something to remember.

Harassment Policy Abuses

There are some players that are oversensitive, and regard any OOC contact that they don't like — even perfectly innocuous contact — to be a good reason to invoke harassment policy. While it's not our intent to tell people what they should and shouldn't accept, please keep in mind that harassment is a *big deal* on an online environment. Please don't invoke it lightly.

People who *do* invoke it in situations where it is not warranted, or who try to use it as a weapon against other players, will find themselves subject to warnings and potential penalties similar to those outlined for harassers.

Things You Can't Insist On

First, harassment is an OOC situation. You can't insist on somebody taking a different IC course of action in order to avoid 'harassing' you — except maybe to just leave you alone.

Second, you can't insist on a player avoiding a certain IC location unless you 'own' or 'control' the location. For example, you can tell somebody to stay away from your bar, or from your apartment, but you can't tell them to stay away from a bar owned by another PC or by NPC's. If you truly feel this level of 'restraining order' is justified, please contact Staff.

Likewise, you can't demand that somebody leave a given channel or refrain from posting to a bulletin board due to them harassing you unless you control the channel in question (or it is a private channel). The most you can legitimately insist upon is that they cease objectionable remarks.

Fourth, somebody expressing an opinion publicly, unless it *specifically* pertains to your character or to you as a player, cannot be considered harassment.

Harassment And Auto-Consent

Attempts to claim harassment against a player with whom there are open auto-consent issues will be scrutinized carefully. If you're auto-consented to someone's actions, claiming harassment against them isn't a valid way out of the IC consequences of your actions.

Penalties for Harassment

If a player does not cease and desist after you have requested that they stop some action, as above, then you have several choices. First, you may implement a pagelock. If they persist even past the pagelock (i.e. logging on as other players, sending @mail of an objectionable nature, etc), then you may report the violation to staff. Please note that staff only deals with violations on this game; we do not deal with situations that arise on other MUSHes (though violations via E-mail may constitute actionable offenses).

This game has a Player Advocate; this person may be found via +staff. The Player Advocate is an Admin whose job is to resolve disputes between players, and between players and admins. In many situations, the Player Advocate can help adjudicate and determine the best course of action.

Penalties for Harassment (Continued)

If a player is found to be guilty of harassment, the following steps will be taken.

1. A warning will be issued by staff, indicating that the behavior is unacceptable and indicating that it must cease and desist. If the behavior is blatant enough, this step may be skipped.

2. The offending player's character(s) may be +jailed for a period of time.

3. If the behavior persists, the player's character(s) may be removed from the game permanently.

4. If the behavior persists, the player may be sitebanned from the game.

Admins may skip any of these steps at their discretion if the behavior is bad enough, or in the case of a player creating repeated offenses with different other players.

To summarize: Harassment is bad, m'kay? You shouldn't harass people.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License