Smogon Forums Global Rules

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PS Policy Head
Welcome to, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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PS Policy Head
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!" 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.

Here is a list of the different types of warnings that can be given by a moderator:

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.

Thread Necromancy: (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. If someone actually adds something to the thread, they will not be warned for it. Like with double posting, often times this is paired with "I'm bumping this because...". Note that Contributions & Corrections is an exception to this rule. Keep in mind that mods can see deleted posts, so no stealth bumping either.

Multiple Posting/Flooding: (1 Point, 21 Days) People who do not know where the edit button is get this one. Civil double posts (can often be recognized by something like "sorry for the double post, but for emphasis I believe I'm going to have to start a new one here") will often be excused - clearly the poster is aware of what he's doing. Anyone spamming up the forums in a malicious manner will actually be banned outright as soon as possible, so do not mix that up.

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 Pokémon. 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.

Incoherent Post: (1 Point, 21 Days) Generally, this category entails use of chat speak or leetspeak. Other posts that can be warned with this category include posts that use excessive heavy coloring and posts that have to be deciphered before they can be read properly. Accidental typos are acceptable, but intentional mistakes (such as "liek" or substituting numbers for letters) are not tolerated.

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,".

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.)

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.
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