5 Things absolutely not to say in a Community

5 things not to in a communityToday I’d like to write a small advice from a CM to users

There are things you should not, under no circumstances write in a community. No matter how upset you are, how high your rage level is, there are some things that will get you instantly banned – or worst case imprisoned.

It does not matter that you “don’t mean these things”, that you were “not serious” or “just kidding” or that you think you are anonymous. There are things that will never be funny and that will be taken serious, no matter the intention of the person that wrote it.

The following 5 things are all things that I’ve read several times during my time in Community Management so far, ordered by observed frequency.

  1. Do not be a racist/discriminating douchebag. Writing that all french people suck at playing, all poles like to use hacks, all gays like to backdoor your basis,… etc. are simply generalizing, stupid, untrue and will in nearly all communities get you banned for at least a week. And yes by writing that I assume that the large group of community members that can’t hold back to spill their discriminating slander into the community are all douchebags, what is generalizing as well. However I never found someone who could explain to me why it would make sense to discriminate a group of people with one thing in common (e.g. being french). If you have one, let me know.
    In the communities I work on, talking like that will instantly get you permabanned. If you afterwards contact me/staff and apologize, I might lift the ban to a time limited one. But if you contact me/staff, insulting us, telling us you were no racist, you did not discriminate anyone because it would be “normal to say that all french people suck at gaming / etc” you’ll keep your perma.
  2. Do not write that you’re going to kill youself (unless you need help) – it does not matter if you add that you’re just kidding, or irony tags or whatever. As a CM I don’t have a psychologic practice background. I’ll never ever judge a suicide threat as joke or irony. I’ll always inform local authorities. In germany normally police will track you down, call you and make sure you’re allright. If they can’t reach you via phone they’ll visit you. And if they see, that their help was not needed but you joked about it – you’ll have to pay. And a full suicide-rescuing team is not cheap.
  3. Do not say that you’re going to find someone and do (whatever) to him/her. If this is a single time thing and the user/staff you threatened is okay with it you’ll most likely just get a ban. If s/he is afraid of you, it’s just another phone call to the police. No matter if you say you’ll rape someone, stalk someone, find him and murder his family, find him and give him a big kiss on his forehead,… it is a violation of another persons private sphere. And you don’t belong there, if you were not invited. It is as simple as that.
  4. Do not ask minors if they’d like to touch you/had sexual experiences already/what they wear/… . Simply don’t. It is disgusting, that I have to point this out here, but even if the minor is 16 already and you know him for a while and even if you are really just joking – it is just not funny. And I’ll not judge if you were just kidding. And if you’re serious – go get help (as a german person e.g. here:https://www.kein-taeter-werden.de/)! There are no children that like to see what you got between your legs. If the staff does notice such behavior you’ll get banned for sure, and most time police will be informed.
  5. Do not make terrorist/killing-spree threats. The same applies as for suicide threats. I’ll not judge if you were just kidding. You’ll get a visit from the police and maybe they’ll even take you into custody. Luckily the amount of people writing shit like that is not as high as the amount of people that write they’re going to kill themselves (because of a new feature they dislike or similar reasons). Actually I only faced killing spree threats two times during the past 12 years. And I hope that I’m not going to face more.

I think it is kind of strange that I felt the need to write something like that but actually as a CM in the gaming industry one faces such behavior on a daily basis.

You might have noticed that I pointed out something here very often: I’ll not judge how your behaviour was meant. That does not mean that I don’t understand irony, that I can’t see things look like a joke. It means that I simply want to be on the safe side. And I rather have 99 people that are not serious paying for their misbehaviour than not helping that 1 person that actually was kidding when he said he was just kidding, and really tries to kill himself (or fill in any other of the above named things).

I have no clue how people come to press on the send button after writing such things.The internet, even though many people think it is, is not anonymous (and really guys? on Facebook? With your real full name?)

Can’t you just ask yourself before posting “Would grandma give me a cookie for that post?”

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