Announcement On the recent groupchat changes

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We face the heat as we are fighting until the dawn
is a Programmeris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Hi all!
I'm posting here on behalf of the Pokemon Showdown moderation team to provide some clarity on the recent change restricting the creation of groupchats to "trusted" users (any user with room driver [%], global voice [+], or higher).

At the heart of the issue, groupchats are extremely difficult to moderate, requiring a report from a user within the groupchat before we could become aware of any problems. This lack of moderation led to many people abusing them on multiple occasions. Such abuse included, but was not limited, to grooming younger users, the glorification of suicide, and various forms of sexual misconduct that do not belong on Pokemon Showdown in any form.

Overall, groupchats are a risk to the safety of our users, and user safety is crucial to us. By limiting the creation of groupchats to only trusted Showdown users, the chance of such behavior occurring in groupchats is greatly diminished.

We understand that many groupchats were made for legitimate purposes, such as creating custom tournaments to enjoy with friends. Don't forget that custom rules can still be applied in challenges with friends (type /battlerules on Showdown for more details on how to use custom rules - everything you could do in a tournament can be done in a custom challenge). These legitimate purposes unfortunately do not outweigh the risk of groupchat abuse, as the Pokemon Showdown moderation team knows from direct experience.

We currently have no plans to adjust this new permission level in the foreseeable future, and requests made in the Suggestions forum related to groupchats will likely be denied if it is ultimately related to this.

Thank you for your understanding.
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