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Official Health & Safety | Information, Guidance & More

Discussion in 'Rules & Information' started by Im6, May 1, 2020.

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  1. Im6

    Im6 United Kingdom Level 250 Owner Senior Administrator

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    Health & Safety

    INFORMATION
    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.

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    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.


    Personal Information
    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
    What you should be cautious in revealing is more private information belonging to you such as:

    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 therapist. 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.


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    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?”)
    Pressure comes in many shapes and forms. How can you tell if you’re being pressured? If you feel uncomfortable or don’t want to do something and the individual continues to try and get you to do it, it’s pressure.

    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.

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    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

    Resources Available for you to access:
    https://www.internetsafety101.org/
    https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/...eople-dont-do/201911/does-online-therapy-work
    https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/cyberbullying-tactics
    https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it



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  2. Im6

    Im6 United Kingdom Level 250 Owner Senior Administrator

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    Cyberbullying, a term quantifying online harassment and volatile behaviour patterns, is ever prevalent as an issue amongst the wide-web.

    We here in the Roleplay-Hub Administration do not tolerate these acts and behaviours whatsoever. Our goal in this portion is to spread awareness regarding the topic whilst providing guidance and counsel on what to do in case it is encountered. As a result, much of the following information will be drawn from a reliable government site which covers the topic.

    Furthermore, we will be establishing our interpretation on what toxic and poor behaviour is. This is so that you, the player base, are able to properly distinguish and avoid these red flags as we apply these concepts to aspects in our community.


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    Bullying is intended aggressive behaviour directed towards an individual that may involve a real or perceived imbalance of power. The behaviours are typically repeated and result in dire ramifications for both the victim and the offender.

    Bullying is usually considered as malicious behaviour and involves the following:
    • Repetition: Bullying behaviours and harassment happens more than once or have the potential to happen more than once. It may not happen very frequently, however, it does recur. This is confirmation of malice through the offender.

    • An Imbalance of Power: Individuals who bully may use their power—usually considered as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
    Occasionally, bullying may occur without the offender explicitly knowing of it. An overly apathetic view of others or a lack of productive morals may also result in a lack of empathy. Bullying may also occur as a result of bandwagoning onto a popular opinion and thus focusing on someone who has contrasting opinions. Thus, bullying is far more prominent in younger audiences without enough experience in their lives as to establish tactful behaviour.

    It is usually easy to tell the signs of bullying and there are resources available to most victims in their presence.


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    Cyberbullying, however, is an issue that’s a bit more abstract.

    It’s not so simple as to say cyberbullying is just bullying on the internet.
    Of course, very bluntly, it is true. However, It involves different bullying methods along with different ramifications due to its intangible nature. Cyberbullying is also, in some cases, harder to address because it is not so easily discerned as to what it is, and what can be classified as cyberbullying.

    As a result, the RPH Administration seeks to set a definition for cyberbullying and a precedent as to ensure that we grow alongside our community to be safer and more productive as a whole.

    Cyberbullying, like physical bullying, involves repeated malicious acts intended to cause humiliation, embarrassment, or subjugation. This takes place most commonly on social media platforms, forums, and gaming communities. Cyberbullying is usually in tandem with in-person bullying, however it is entirely possible for cases of cyberbullying to be isolated.

    The ramifications to cyberbullying are numerous but mainly involves three key concerns known to be:
    • Persistent – Digital devices and widespread chat systems offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for people experiencing cyberbullying to find relief. In online communities, this comes at the cost of their enjoyment in whatever the community has to offer, ultimately causing them to ostracise themselves.
    • Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact their other areas of life.

    • Hard to Notice – Because trusted authority for people may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognise and punish.
    Many who engage with unproductive online behaviour act this way because they feel detached from it. Seeing the internet as separate from reality is a detriment as it leads to the individual failing to recognise that real people still exist beyond the screen.

    We have a responsibility as a community to be mindful of this and to be aware that there are very real people alongside us. Some of these people may be avid players while others are entirely new and looking for a new experience amidst our platform.

    Ultimately, you must remember to hold respect and decency for one another and to encourage productive attitudes yourself.

    Remember, Cyberbullying / Bullying is not limited only to the youth. It is entirely possible for people who are older to experience this as well. If you are in such a situation, there is no shame in speaking up and reporting it to the RPH Administration.


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    It can be difficult to point out when someone is a victim to harassment if you are unaware of the tactics bullies use. This portion has been provided so that you, whether you are an onlooker or a victim, are able to properly identify the common harassment tactics that are used by offenders.

    Remember, many of these tactics are generalisations that may overlap onto each other.

    Be sure to look out for your fellow players and to make sure that we as staff can help you to make your community safer overall.

    Doxxing Dangers

    Occasionally players may share something personal of themselves to a friend or to the community, whether it’s their current home situation or a picture of themselves.

    Those who seek to harass the player may ask for and use this information for ridicule or other nefarious purposes. However, players who may not think much of it may also mindlessly share what you posted to parties you are completely unaware of. These parties may be people you would not want knowing about you.

    Some players may be fine with sharing their personal information and we can only hope you understand what comes with that. Any information you release can be used against you or be used in an unpredictable way so you should be wary of what you reveal.

    If another player reveals something unwittingly sensitive, give them a friendly warning of what may happen.


    Direct Harassment
    Utilising slurs, blackmail, threats, or general insults are all popular forms of direct harassment. Many bullies and cyberbullies may use surface-level details about a player in order to create an insult about them and may attempt to disguise their malice as humour as to prevent removal from the community they are in.

    Please be aware of the kind of humor that is acceptable and unacceptable. Bullies may engage in horrid conduct as a group, so be aware of your own connections and who you’re associated with. Set boundaries on what you are comfortable with, and if a player refuses to acknowledge these boundaries, report this to staff.


    Deceptive Practices
    Fabrication of information is common on the internet, especially on the subject of people. People can create wild lies and damning claims about an individual that may be taken as truth by the unassuming masses.

    Rumors and stories told about an individual, even if false, may shift the perception someone else has on the individual.Make sure you take what you hear about someone and fact check it. Do not spread something unless you have first-hand experience with the topic or individual. Even then, inciting conflict is not something desired amidst our community.


    ~ Mythweavers, Hobbits
     
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