Global Forum Rules

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antemortem

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Welcome to Smogon.com, the preeminent site for competitive Pokemon on the Internet! We hope you find your time here enjoyable and informative, but we must lay down some ground rules to help maintain the high level of quality of our forums. We cannot stress enough that Smogon's rules and expectations are a bit different from those found elsewhere on the Internet, especially in the sub-forums. The Smogon moderation staff assumes that you have thoroughly read the general rules and those specific to the sub-forums in which you choose to post. Full compliance is required; loss of privileges will result if your posting habits are not up to scratch. The following are general rules which are enforced in all sub-forums. Be aware that moderator discretion is supreme in all cases.

THE RULES
  • No open proxies. If you are using an open proxy, you will be IP banned.

  • Do NOT organize trolls here. If you post here about how you've been trolling a forum, you will be infracted. You aren't safe in "Firebot Development Lab" either.

  • If you get an infraction, and you want to reply to it, think long and hard about that reply. If you respond with flames, sass, etc., you will get a harsh infraction. This applies to harassment of staff outside of the forums for performing their moderating duties.

  • Do not disrespect the hard work of Smogon's site contributors. Suggestions are encouraged, but keep it constructive and polite. Further, though it should go without saying, insults and condescension are included under the umbrella of "disrespect", so be careful in your discourse with the staff.

  • Do not talk about whether or not something should be banned outside of designated Suspect Test discussions.

  • No staff impersonation. This includes any attempt to appear to have certain abilities not possessed, such as using badges as an avatar, using a similar name or other earmarks of staff, or claiming verbally to be staff.

  • Do not be a junior mod. This means that you are not to make posts like: "In before lock" "Ban this guy!" "This is a bad thread!" "Off to Trou with this one!" The Smogon moderation staff is more than capable of maintaining these forums; please let them do so without your interference.

  • Do not blatantly advertise other sites, especially those related to Pokemon. We are not interested in learning more about your upstart clan or anything else of that nature. There is a line between linking to another site for convenience or humor and making an attempt to promote another site; we know the difference.

  • Outside of "Firebot Development Lab", trolling is not allowed. This means keep purely joke posts and one word replies out of the serious forums. If you do not have something substantial to contribute to a thread, do not bother posting. Just think to yourself, "Does my post add something to this thread?" If the answer is no, think twice about hitting that submit button.

  • This is an English forum. Post in English. Unless your topic is specifically about posting in Spanish or something similar, there is no reason to not post in English.

  • Employ the conventions of standard written English. Nobody is going to jump down your throat if you make a spelling mistake or split an infinitive, but please, your posts MUST be readable. As you might imagine, l33t 5p34k and other intentional misspellings (u, liek, etc.) are expressly banned. Spell out "you" and "your" instead of typing "u" or "ur." Don't be lazy!

  • Do not bump old threads. Making meaningless posts in threads that have long since died is strictly prohibited. If you have something of consequence you'd like to add to a thread that has fallen off the front page, feel free to do so. All "bump" "to the top" etc. posts will be infracted and deleted without exception.

  • Do not register multiple accounts, ever. This is self-explanatory. If you create an alternate account when infracted or banned, your ban will be extended or made permanent.

  • Do not flame or abuse other members. The anonymity of the Internet does not give you a license to treat the users of this forum disrespectfully. Of course, posts in Firebot may be an exception, but please refer to the rules of that forum. This rule goes at least triple if the member in question is a moderator or administrator, as alluded to above.

  • Do not try to circumvent our word filter. By default, we filter out certain slurs.

  • Do not post illegal stuff here! This includes links to ROMs, warez, or anything of the sort. If it's illegal, do not link to it here.

  • General stupidity is banned. This includes linking to memes, "lol cats", or anything else in that vein. Similarly, we'd ask you to keep discussions of anime or in-game events within the "Orange Islands" forum. The discretion of the moderators is supreme in the enforcement of all rules, this one especially.

  • Do not create threads that do not support discussion. Creating an entire thread to ask a simple question is not acceptable; every forum has their own dedicated Simple Question / Simple Answer thread. All thread starters are required to provide a good basis for discussion in their opening post.

  • Do not disparage other Internet sites here, especially other Pokemon communities. We are not interested in your trolling episodes- we are above that here at Smogon. Please keep all negative comments about other sites to yourself.

  • Do not flood or double post. If you have something more to add to a post you have made, please edit it rather than creating a second post.

  • If your post or thread is edited, locked, or deleted by a moderator, do not remake it. Also, do not make a thread asking why your thread was edited, locked or deleted. It was altered for a reason, and if you disagree you can discuss that with the moderator in question, either by posting on their profile or PMing them.

  • Post all threads in the correct forum. The topic of your thread determines the most appropriate location. For example, you would not post a serious political debate in OverUsed or a discussion of Starmie's prowess in "Firebot Development Lab". It is fairly easy for us to move threads, but it would be nice if you would be conscientious enough to make your threads in the correct places. If you are unsure where a thread should go, ask a moderator.

  • Do not send mass PMs for advertising. Please forward any such PMs to a Super Mod or Administrator if you receive one so that the offender can be dealt with.

  • Because of COPPA, we strictly enforce our age policy. If we somehow determine, or if you announce that you are under the age of 13, you will be banned immediately. No exceptions.

  • Do not link to shock sites, rick rolls, or other sites designed to scare and/or annoy the person accessing the site. This goes also for signatures.

  • No nudity or porn allowed. This includes linking to it, too. In most cases, you will be banned for 6 months minimum, but we reserve the right to ban you permanently for the first offense without prior warning.

  • Read the rules of the sub-forum in which you would like to post before posting. Some sub-forums don't have specific rules threads, which means they don't have any special rules outside of these global ones. In that case, be sure to read the pinned threads to understand the purpose and posting style of that particular forum.
SENSITIVE SUBJECTS

Doxxing and Personal Information
Don't post people's personal information without their consent. This includes photos, social media accounts, the social media accounts of their friends/family, phone numbers, pretty much anything that can be found somewhere other than Smogon that the user(s) in question have not shared on their own behalf. We at Smogon recognize that many of our users are on friendly terms with each other offsite, whether that be in another Internet community, on a social media website like Facebook, or in real life.

While we understand that during the natural progression of friendship personal information is bound to be exchanged, we caution our users to be selective with whom they share their information. Even if you trust the person not to spread your information or likeness to everyone, chances are they'll still show someone. Can you trust that unknown variable not to spread it around? If the answer is no, don't share; once it touches the internet, it's never going away.

  • Users who purposefully post or link privileged information* about another user without permission in an attempt to harm, discredit, embarrass, or otherwise identify that user will receive a permanent, 4-point Malicious Doxxing warning, which will ban them from our websites. No exceptions.
  • Users who accidentally post or link privileged information about another user without permission not knowing the information wasn't shareable (such as revealing a name on the Smogon Discord) will receive a stern, verbal warning. Further slip-ups may result in actual warning points against their account.
* Privileged information can be defined as names, addresses, photographs, or other personal details that may identify a person and that are not widely accessible.

Lastly, as much as Smogon is committed to safeguarding its users' information, we cannot be held responsible for damages resulting from anyone getting hold of information that you've shared with another user. Be smart.


Sexually Explicit Content
Pokémon Showdown has a wide and varied userbase, with people of almost all ages enjoying the site. It is therefore against the rules to discuss anything sexually explicit, anywhere on the site. This includes private messages, even between two consenting adults. Any attempt to elicit sexual interactions with another user will absolutely not be tolerated and will be punished harshly. If there are suspicions that such behavior is taking place, we can and will check PM logs to investigate. Furthermore, linking to or discussing websites that contain sexually explicit content in chat rooms will result in a lock.


Harassment
The social interaction on this site runs on a rather wide variety of mediums, across the forums, PS and Discord. With that comes a web of private messages, power structures, and different environments. And with all that comes a whole host of other issues, two-faced users who show a different persona in private, and users who gain power and abuse it. Senior Staff would like to continue to make this site a great place to play pokemon and develop relationships.

So, if you see something, say something. If a moderator is abusing their powers, let someone (preferably a Super Moderator or Admin) know. If a user is harassing you in PM, take a screenshot and let someone know. This includes verbal and emotional abuse, no matter what the capacity. If you contact a member of Senior Staff, they will take it into their own hands and punish the offending users accordingly. No user on this site, especially one in a position of authority, is untouchable, and no user is immune to the consequences of their actions.



THE PUNISHMENTS

Smogon's punishments are called Warnings/Infractions. Warnings are given for various rule-breaking offenses. They can be worth 1 to 3 points and last 21 to 90 days depending on the offense and severity of each case. If someone is caught repeating the same offense, a 90 day Repeated Offense warning is given. Note that except for Spam and Illegal Activities, Firebot posts are usually not warned.

If you receive 3 points total at any time, you will be moved to the "I could be banned!", or ICBB, usergroup, which will entail reduced posting rights, in addition to a visible title showing your decreased status in the community. If you receive 4 points total at any time, you will be banned until one of the 4 points expires.
Wi-Fi Blacklist: (0 Points, indefinite) This is given to users who are placed on the Wi-Fi blacklist for hacking, scamming or disconnecting in battles. There are no points for this warning; however, you will have a large red custom title announcing that you are blacklisted.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: (1 point, 21 days) Although some smack talk in tournaments is certainly allowed, it's important to keep your cool. There's a difference between friendly dissing and being outright demeaning, and if you're not sure which one your post falls under, just don't post it.

Illegal Activities: (1 Point, 21 Days) Linking to ROMs, Warez, etc. is forbidden. Discussions of ROM hacking and patching and emulators are allowed. It's just piracy that isn't.

Posting Violation: (1 Point, 21 Days) Do not bump old threads. Making meaningless posts in threads that have long since died is strictly prohibited. If you have something of consequence you'd like to add to a thread that has fallen off the front page, feel free to do so. All "bump", "to the top", etc. posts will be warned and deleted without exception. Similarly, multiple posts in sequence (or flooding) fall under this infraction and will be deleted or merged. Use the edit button if you need to add anything to the thread in such a short time frame. Note that Contributions & Corrections is an exception to this rule. Keep in mind that mods can see deleted posts, so no stealth bumping either.

Profile Violation: (1 Point, 21 Days) A certain decorum must be maintained with profiles on the forum. Users do have the ability to hide signatures across the board, but that is not a free pass to put whatever you wish in yours. Inappropriate content found in signatures or avatars will usually receive a fair verbal warning by a staff member, especially if other users don't flag it first. However, refusal to remove the content or the repeated exhibition of such content will result in an infraction.

Lurk More: (1 Point, 21 Days) If there was a vague definition of this, it would be "he just doesn't get it". Usually, this is someone breaking a Smogon-wide rule that is not covered by another warning. A good example of this is someone making a thread in Smeargle's Studio asking about a Pokémon's versatility or posting with excessive "leetspeak" or hard to read colors/fonts, etc. This warning is oftentimes similar to Forum Specific Rule. If you get this warning, you should take a step back and read more posts on the forums to get a better handle on the posting style and quality of Smogon.

Junior Modding: (1 Point, 21 Days) This one has some fine lining to it. People commanding the moderators in any way (such as "move this to Trou", "this thread should be locked") is usually what this warning is for. "In before lock", or anything similar is surefire Junior Modding. Telling other members that they've broken a rule in a civil manner is acceptable, but the better option is to just PM a moderator and politely alert them.

Forum Specific Rule: (1 Point, 21 Days) This warning is given for breaking a rule that only applies to the forum the post is in. This is one of the most common warnings in the Competitive Discussion and the Contribute forums. Good examples include someone giving a bad team rate with no battling experience to back it up, posting a Peer Edit without proper format or not listing an entire team in RMT. Please read the Rules Sticky in each forum to understand what these rules are. When you are warned with this, a moderator will tell you which rule you broke.

Trolling: (2 Points, 60 Days) The general Internet definition of trolling tends to be "trying to lure a negative reaction", generally done by playing Devil's advocate in a really extreme and annoying way. Stupid RMTs with 6 Wurmples fall under this too. This one is hard to draw an exact line for, but generally the moderators will know it when they see it, and their decisions are final.

Repeated Offense: (2 Points, 90 Days) If someone was warned for something before and he or she does it again, this warning will be given out.

Insulted Another Member(s): (2 Points, 60 Days) Someone insulting, insinuating, or otherwise calling out a member in a rude way. Insulting includes calling names, telling someone to shut the fuck up, saying he sucks, etc. Note that saying a set or a move is stupid is not insulting a member, merely their ideas. Also note that there is an exceptionally thin line between "trash talking" and "insulting" and if you think you're doing the former outside of the Tournaments forum you'll likely get infracted for insulting another member.

Disrespected Staff: (2 Points, 60 Days) Same as above, except it is directed at Moderators+. This warning is usually reserved for people who send dumb and disrespectful replies to warnings.

Creating Multiple Accounts: (2 Points, 60 Days) If you create another account to actively use on the forums, for whatever reason, it will be banned and your main account will be warned.

Advertising: (2 Points, 60 Days) This one is simple, as long as you know where to put the line between "this site has the answer to your question" and "this site is awesome, check it out, www.otherwebsite.com".

Plagiarism: (3 points, 90 days) Submitting creative content to the site (writing, art, etc.) that is not your own original work is strictly against the rules. Those with this infraction might also be banned from contributing to Smogon in the future.

Malicious Account: (4 points, never) If you're actually bothering to read the rules, odds are you won't be getting this infraction. It only exists to permanently remove completely toxic accounts (spambots, shock site spammers, those created just to post constant "FUCK YOU SMOGON" threads, etc.) Users who dox someone else will also receive this infraction.

Custom Warning: (? points, ? days) While the other infractions cover most of what you shouldn't do on Smogon, there's always some gray area involved with rules. The amount of points and length of time for custom warnings are left up to moderator discretion. Essentially, just don't be a dick.

Pokemon Showdown Cross-Site Punishments
Pokemon Showdown and Smogon's punishments are mirrored. These punishments ensure users proven to be a poor presence on one site don't simply get away scot-free on the other. Behavior across the community should be congruent. Currently these cross-site punishments will be enforced for the more serious offenders:

PS bans -> Smogon​
  • Users who are permanently locked on PS for spamming or trolling will be given a 3 point (ICBB), 6 month infraction on Smogon.
    • Users who are permanently locked on PS for posting porn, shock sites, doxxing, etc. will be permanently banned from Smogon.
Smogon bans -> PS​
  • Users who are banned for 6 months or more on Smogon (with an expiration date) will be locked on PS for the duration of their forum ban.
    • Users who are permanently banned on Smogon will be permanently locked on PS.
While in most cases this policy will not be acted on retroactively, cases falling under the second bullet point will be individually considered for a permanent ban from Smogon.

By following the rules on both sites these punishments are unlikely to affect you.


And that is all you need to know about the rules of Smogon! We also invite you, however, to read this wonderful thread on The Philosophy of Smogon as it may provide additional insight that will make your stay here more fruitful!

Thank you,
The Smogon Community
 
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These warnings have been updated, mostly to cut down on redundancy:

*New* Posting Violation, (1 Point, 21 Days): A merger of Thread Necromancy & Multiple Posting

*New* Profile Violation, (1 Point, 21 Days): Was Signature Violation + added bit about avatars

Lurk More, (1 Point, 21 Days): Absorbed Incoherent Post
 
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