Health & Safety
This has been re-posted! If you haven't read this document, we strongly suggest doing so.
The following document is created with the sole intention of providing the player-base with guidance and a general resource to learn safe & responsible internet etiquette. Because we have a large and diverse player-base, we believe it is imperative to do what we can to protect our players. By being a part of the Roleplay Hub communities, you agree to follow our encouraged etiquette and to act with a level of decency. If you feel as if a player is acting in a suspicious or volatile fashion, do not hesitate to contact staff.
Though we in the RPH Staff Team encourage safety and wariness on the internet, that’s not to say you should be paranoid of every stranger or unfamiliar person you come across.
Part of the joys in engaging with such a diverse online community such as ours is meeting new people and making bonds. There are, however, precautions you should take, and responsibilities to account for before you delve in.
Socialising with fellow players and making friends is welcomed, but please recognise that there should be a filter on what you reveal or spread.
As roleplay community representatives, we understand that through the joys of sharing information about your character, you may want to showcase yourself in a similar way, your own history and favored aspects. There are things you should refrain from sharing, and other things that are alright to talk about.
It’s certainly okay to talk about:
- How your day went
- How you enjoyed or did not enjoy a new movie or show
- Roleplay Topics
- Passions & Hobbies
1. Pictures of self / Description of self
If you wish to display your love of a particular fashion or how you look, finding examples online would do. However, giving out how you look may warrant for worrisome behavior or ill intent from questionable individuals.
For whatever reason you may want to post a picture of yourself, we highly advise against it. We understand you may wish to showcase how you look with a certain fashion, or how you think others may see you, but giving out this information may warrant for worrisome behavior or ill intent from questionable individuals.
2. Personal Social-Media Accounts
Separation of professional and personal lives is common amongst the workplace and school. The same principles should apply to online communities, unless you are very acquainted with someone, you should not bring your own personal media up.
3. Real names or names of relatives or friends
IGNs provide anonymity and a name for players to call you already. Letting someone know your real name is an invitation to be more personal. This can spark an issue with viewing characters and associating it with the person playing them.
4. Deep Personal Complications & Issues
Digital friends, even friends you have in the real-world, are not there to serve as your personal the******. If you are in a complicated situation or are grappling with other personal struggles, we advise you to reach out towards a professional rather than venting to someone online.
We understand with the separation / screen it may feel easier to do and better, but it may still affect the other person in an adverse fashion.
5. Age & Age Gap
Revealing your age is an incredibly risky endeavor that is ultimately unnecessary. Even if you reveal your age to feel more comfortable around other players, they can just as easily lie about their own age. If you feel you must do so to please someone or if someone is attempting to coerce you into revealing it, please be wary and set your boundaries. If they press the topic further, do not hesitate to contact staff.
If someone asks, please do not lie about your own age as well. This can create unforeseen consequences for both you and the other player. In this situation, we simply advise you remain strictly anonymous with your age.
6. Address / Place of quarter
Self explanatory. Do not reveal to people online where you live. Basic Internet Etiquette 10.
7. In-depth Sexual Preferences
We have no qualms with the discussion of sexuality, however discussing physical preferences and raunchy topics is strictly not permitted. RPH is not a place for you to explore your fetishes. Please be aware that even if you are joking it can discomfort others.
──────────────────────────────────────────Certain examples and definitions here may overlap as there are overlaps in various malicious behaviors. Please tread about lightly as one aspect may tie into another.
1. Pity Principle
When someone takes advantage of another’s capacity for empathy to get what they want. In many cases in questionable friendships or relationships, one party may claim an adverse effect as a result of another party to get what they want. (“Because you didn't do . . . I’ve been feeling really down.”)
Threats against the self may also be prevalent for attention but know what you are able to grapple with, if someone has issues you are not equipped to deal with you are not responsible.
2. Familiarity Boundaries
At times, players may pressure other players they are familiar or friendly with into doing something or revealing something questionable or personal.
(“Come on, I’m X, you can tell me X.” )
Players may also make statements they believe are acceptable around other familiar players without acknowledging how they may actually feel regarding it.
(“Oh, because you’re X you must be an X.”)
Knowing what is acceptable to say so it may not be mis-interpreted is essential, therefore a certain sense of tact is necessary. Please understand that whatever intentions you have when you say something on the internet, these intentions may not be relayed correctly or received comfortably by other players, even friends.
3. Character Boundaries
If a player projects themselves onto their characters, they may often view the player they roleplay with as their character. Understanding the boundary between a player and their character is important, for even if a player does use their character as an outlet for their OOC emotions, treat them as separate entities. This is especially important in in-character relationships and anything that comes about in an in-character relationship should not be tied to the player.
(“What should we name OUR child?”)
4. "Humour Me"
Players may also make certain questionable statements because they feel as if it will be interpreted as a joke. However, in certain cases, some players may disguise their inappropriate intentions behind the interpretation that it’s only a joke.
In many cases, the targeted player is warmed up to this questionable conduct through these pseudo-jokes.
(“Haha, what if we did X, wouldn’t that be funny?”)
5. More than one
When staying safe know that there could be other victims involved. Note that if you are not giving what the perpetrator wants, then they will more likely get it from someone else and not contact you again.
6. Know the signs
If someone reaches out to you about a specific relationship detailing manipulative tactics, understand and listen to them, they are more likely telling the truth. Understand the age of the two individuals and contact staff about the situation.
7. Covering their tracks
Another tactic often incorporated by inappropriate players is using phrases such as "I can't wait until you're (insert age of consent here)." This is usually followed by an inappropriate comment, typically sexual in nature. This is a manipulation tactic to attempt to reinforce the idea that the player isn't suspicious or engaging in predatory behaviour as they're attaching the concept of relationship/sexual acts to the age of consent.
8. Inappropriate Messages
Conversations are often sexual in nature when dealing with certain predatory people. Sexting (sending sexually explicit photographs or messages) is frequent. This is almost always followed up by a request or threat for photos, which ties into the next point.
9. Peer pressure
Coercion is the unwanted consequence that happens when you are pressured, tricked, threatened, or forced in a nonphysical way.
Victims are pressured in many different ways.
- They may use threats: (“If you don’t do X I’ll share these photos/messages with Y and Z”)
- Bring up past actions: (“You did it all these other times, why not now?”)
- Trying to make you comfortable (“I want to get you out of your shell. It’s good to try new things!”)
- Use an existing relationship as justification (“I’m your boyfriend/girlfriend/bestfriend... why can’t you just do X?”)
Being forward and putting humor aside is a good preventative measure first. In the case saying no isn’t enough, measures such as blocking them, or confiding in a friend or trusted adult about the matter, may need to be taken.
We urge you to report your experiences, even if you believe the perpetrator won’t get caught.
10. Practice good hygiene!
Grooming.. what is it? The act of grooming is becoming close with an individual, making them comfortable with your presence, and then exploiting that relationship for nefarious means. This is how many players could possibly be exploited, or in this case, targeted by players to extract explicit photos. A rule of thumb is generally, if you’re a minor, don't go into deep conversation with someone without knowing their intentions.
──────────────────────────────────────────This document has covered many different points of guidance and red-flags that you, as a player, should be aware of. However, it is not enough to be simply aware of something, you should incorporate our tips and warnings into your involvement in any online community, not just ours.
Remember, if you are uncomfortable with something, please speak up! If someone is bothering you, please let them know first before you report to staff.
In certain cases, they may not be aware of your boundaries if they are not explicitly stated. Make sure you set your boundaries and if someone persists, please don’t hesitate to inform a RPH Staff Representative. Do not feel pressure to fit in if you are discomforted by something.
We are here to make sure your experience on RPH is a safe and fun one.
~ Im6, Hobbits & Mythweavers
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