Terms of Service and Rules

IWAKU'S GOAL & MISSION STATEMENT

WHAT IS IWAKU? WHAT IS ROLEPLAYING?
Iwaku is a roleplay community. We don't just write stores - we live them! Roleplaying is the art of playing a role or pretend. It's stepping into the life of a character and experiencing what they experience. Here on Iwaku, we're all about developing stories, designing characters, worlds, and amazing plots through the arts of writing; while giving you a community of people to hang out with in a safe and friendly out of character environment. Our site contains forum roleplay, chat roleplay, group roleplay, private roleplay, as well as other methods for living your stories.

IS IWAKU RIGHT FOR YOU?
Every roleplay community is different, and we understand that some people will like us and some people won't. Our community atmosphere is designed with keeping a relaxed, fun, and friendly tone in mind! We welcome roleplayers of all skill levels, styles, habits, and interests. We do not like the term "literate", enforce word counts, or believe there is a "right and wrong" way to roleplay. Iwaku encourages members to play for the sheer enjoyment of playing, while also providing tools to help members improve their writing skills, exercise their creative muscles, and find other players who match their styles or interests. If this sounds like just the thing you need, register and give us a try!

ALLOWED CONTENT IN IWAKU ROLEPLAYS?
Iwaku feels freedom of expression is important. No restrictions. That means we allow cursing, violence, and sexual material in roleplays. If you are 13 or older, you are old enough to understand and be exposed to these things. However, we have strict policies on how and where that content can be posted. Roleplays with extreme explicit content and violence must be rated. Sex scenes must be under spoiler tags if they occur randomly within a roleplay. Sexual content roleplays must be in the correct age-restricted forums. We do not allow adults and teenagers to do sexual content roleplays together. Iwaku allows teenagers to explore this kind of content only within their own age group.

SITE MECHANICS
  1. You must be 13 years old or older to be a member of this website.
    Iwaku is not an appropriate place for children. By joining this site, you consent that you are at least 13 years of age.

  2. You must use your REAL AGE on your account.
    Iwaku allows ALL members to participate in mature content only if they are in the same - and legal - age group. You are automatically given access to your correct age group when you register. If you need to correct your age, you may contact Security Staff to fix your birth date. However, if you are caught lying about your age, your access will be blocked. We do not recommend trying to circumvent age restrictions by roleplaying mature content in groups or over Personal Conversations. People caught abusing this may end up banned.

  3. We do not allow multiple accounts or shared accounts for any reason.
    Multiple accounts and shared accounts are not allowed. If there is something wrong with your account, please contact the Security Staff through Private Messages or the Contact Form to have your account fixed. Multiple accounts are merged when found; the staff does not delete accounts. Accounts being used for malicious or deceptive purposes will be banned.

  4. Do not steal content or plagiarize from Iwaku members or other websites.
    Plagiarizing is copy-pasting content word for word or taking artwork and claiming it as your own. Stealing content is taking someone's plot or character and changing the words around to try and get around the "plagiarism" rule, or it can be taking artwork or pictures without permissions. We understand that often people want to revive dead roleplays or are inspired by other plots. And we understand that sometimes it is hard to source images. Make sure you get permissions or give credit where it is due and when it is possible. Accidents might be a slap on the wrist, but willful plagiarism of writing or artwork will earn you an immediate ban.

  5. Avatars & Signatures Size Requirements
    Avatars should be no more than 200px width. Only .jpg, .gif, and .png formats are allowed. Signatures are the text or graphics under a users post. Please keep signatures SMALL. Incredibly large images, or lots of text in a signature causes the messages to load extremely slow. We recommend 10 lines to a signature as a guideline, including all text and pictures. We do not allow "Not safe for school or work" content in avatars or signatures.

  6. Threads older than 1 month are archived.
    To keep the forums organized, all threads and roleplays that have not had a new post within 4 weeks are moved to the Archives. If you need a thread moved back to the active forums, you can use the Request Thread Moderation Form and they will move it for you.

  7. Inactive Chat rooms are deleted after 10 days of no activity.
    To prevent us from having hundreds of unused member create chat rooms, all chats that have had zero activity within 10 days are automatically deleted. You will not be able to retrieve logs.

  8. Chat logs are deleted after 1 month.
    We do not keep chat logs indefinitely as they can add up very quickly. All chat logs older than 1 month are automatically deleted, and that includes roleplay chat rooms and member created chat rooms.

  9. Do not spam or flood the forums or Chat.
    "Spamming" is the posting of anything of a senseless nature, inappropriate content, or misplaced content in a place it does not belong. (Examples: Posting fifty time in on day just to boost your post count OR repeat posting of a message to try and get attention.) This can also be called "Flooding", or filling the room/board with the same content over and over again. Posts such as "Bump!" are also considered spam. Spam is only allowed in the Asylum.

  10. Advertising of sites outside of Iwaku belong in the Advertisement Forum.
    Advertising is allowed if it is done in the appropriate way! You may post a link to a website outside of Iwaku in the advertisement forum. Please don't "mass spam" members with Private Messages. You are allowed to post your link in the Chat, but you are not allowed to constantly post it every five minutes and annoy the same group of people.

  11. Post Likes, Loves, and other Post Ratings.
    The Post Ratings System is a handy way to discreetly give someone props or let them know there is typos in their post. All members can alter points in the system. These ratings absolutely do not matter and have zero affect on anything in Iwaku, they are purely for fun. However, this does not mean you can use ratings for spiteful reasons. (Example: "Cat Like Typing" rating all of a member's posts.) Abusers will receive warnings.

  12. Use Spoiler Codes to hide risque content outside of the proper forums.
    Iwaku allows roleplays and stories to develop naturally, and that will occasionally include sexual or violent content. When you are posting a scene, story, or image that has questionable content, please use the (spoiler) code to hide it with a content warning. That way people will be prepared. If you are running a roleplay that is purely filled with sexual content, it must be posted in one of the Redstar or Bluestar Bedroom section.

  13. We are an English speaking site.
    Iwaku has members from all over the world, but we require all members to speak in English while using the site. We are unable to moderate content in multiple languages. You are allowed to create other language roleplays, or chat in other languages on the public forums/chats as long as you also post a translation.

  14. A Game Master's Word is Law. Please have respect for the owner of a roleplay.
    A "Game Master" is the owner, creator, or thread starter of a roleplay. It is THEIR roleplay. They have a vision they want to accomplish. When you join their roleplay, you are agreeing to adhere by their rules and participate in a manner that accomplishes their goals. A Game Master has every right to kick a player out of their roleplay if a player is not following their rules.

  15. We do not allow pornographic images, even in our age-locked areas. All images need to be "Safe for Work/School". Many people use Iwaku from public locations. Images are VERY easy for people to see over a shoulder. If you can see a penis, vagina, lady nipples or cum shots - that image is not allowed on the site. Hentai and other hyper-sexually suggestive images should also not be posted. Mild nudity and foxy images that fall in to the "grey area" should be hidden with a thumbnail or with spoiler tags just to be safe.


COMMUNITY BEHAVIOR

The Golden Rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Respect your fellow members and they will respect you in return! We wish for all members to be content in their stay here, and that requires every individual to use good manners when they participate in forums or chat.

  1. We follow Flexibility of Speech not Freedom of Speech.
    The U.S. laws for Freedom of Speech do not apply here. You have the freedom to voice your opinions, HOWEVER; you do not have the freedom to force your opinions on others, say malicious comments (such as racism, bigotry, sexism, etc), or attack another member and their opinions. Just as you wish to be respected, others must be respected. Iwaku may be a public forum, but we are not a public service or business. Thus all members are expected to follow the rules of our home. We will put a stop to any behavior we feel is being disruptive or damaging to the mood of our community.

  2. What is Harassment?
    Harassment is the badgering of a person for ANY reason, even after they tell you to leave them alone. If you continue to bother a person after someone asks you to stop, that is considered harassment. Harassment includes things such as pestering a person in Personal Conversations, Visitor Messages, constantly being rude in chat or forum, sexual harassment, and deliberately causing fights. This also includes "airing dirty laundry" by ranting about a person in any public area of the site. If we receive complaints by more than one citizen of your behavior towards them, you will be warned and possibly even suspended for an undetermined period of time. Different types of harassment will receive different time frames of punishments. Extreme harassment can result in banning from the site altogether.

  3. REMEMBER: We have thousands of members. We do not expect all members to get along. Personalities will clash.
    Sometimes you just HATE someone. But that someone may not be breaking site rules at all. You just have conflicting personalities. In these cases, we implore members to use the ignore features and avoid interacting with other members they do not like. You will be happier for it, and other members will not have to deal with arguments that could have been avoided. However should you suspect another member of breaking any Iwaku rules, we encourage members to utilize the Report a Member function. The report will immediately be sent to the Security team who will then review the report. Using the report feature for any reason aside from its intended purpose is frowned upon.

  4. Writing your personality.
    Our community has a very big focus on writing. Online, the only way you can show your personality is the way you type. With your typing in the forums or chat, members will form opinions whether you are immature, smart, silly, or "beyond help". Think of your typing as the way you dress. Do you look like a homeless slob, the gamer geek, or the Shakespearean poet? Please do not use 1337 or internet shorthand as your regular form of typing. Keep in mind that we have members from all over the world and they may not know or understand your chat speak. You are not expected to have perfect spelling/grammar/etc, but we expect your posts to be readable English.

  5. Use "in public" manners when it comes to risque topics of discussion.
    Iwaku is aimed towards teenagers and adults. Know that the content and feel is at a general PG-13 rating. (That means content is only viewable for those 13 and older. NOT FOR KIDS!) Cursing is allowed. Sex and related subjects are bound to be discussed in forums and chat. However, please use decorum and common sense! Not all members are comfortable with this sort of conduct, so respect the wishes of others if they ask for you to tone it down.

  6. Helping Newbies and Inexperienced.
    Newbies and Inexperienced users are members of this community just like you are. Remember, you too were once brand new to Iwaku, and not everyone can pick up things at the same pace. Instead of picking on these people, please be a good citizen and help these people get acquainted with the rules and ways of Iwaku. They won't learn unless you teach them! Becoming a mentor is an excellent way to help them along.

  7. Do not "Spite Delete" your roleplay threads or posts.
    This means deleting an entire roleplay thread that contains the content written by other members, or deleting all of your roleplay posts from another member's thread. Roleplay is a COLLABORATIVE effort. Once you share your content with the group, it's part of that group-effort and you cannot take it back. People can't claim it as theirs, repost it, etc, without your permission - BUT you cannot revoke it once it's up or you'll be destroying other people's work as well.

  8. Respect the theme and tone of Discussions and Stay on Topic.
    Be it a topic in our General Chatting area, the Content forums, or chat, please stay on topic and refrain from hijacking a thread to an unrelated subject OR from trashing a thread you do not like by spamming it. Everyone has different interests and style of discussion and they would like the chance to have them. If you do not like a thread simply do not participate. If you feel a topic has gone off the rails, becoming toxic, or is inappropriate for Iwaku, please use the Report button to alert staffers to the problem. Those that make a habit of topic hijacking may receive warnings or have their privileges revoked.

  9. Iwaku is not a dating service, booty call, or masturbatory tool.
    We allow mature content in roleplays as a tool of creative expression. We do not allow "cyber sex" or "child porn" under any circumstances and members who exhibit behavior that suggest they are only after masturbatory tools instead of creative writing will be removed from this site with extreme prejudice. Sexual roleplays with characters under the age of 13 will be locked as this constitutes as child porn. We are not a dating site or sex hookup site.

  10. Impostering is bad.
    Impersonating or "Impostering" other members of Iwaku, be they past, present or a "fake" member by logging in with their name to the forum or chat will not be tolerated. This is an act that can ruin reputations, break friendships and hurt a lot of people. You will be warned first, and potentially suspended if caught impostering members.

  11. Iwaku is a place of entertainment and socializing. We are not here to handle your life problems.
    We understand that members need to occasionally vent or get some basic advice on an issue. We encourage people to use their blogs or the Counseling forum as a healthy way to work through simple problems. What we are NOT here for is constant ranting or melodrama. Nor are we capable of helping you through or serious emotional issues. Please do not use Iwaku as a constant sounding board for general complaining. If you have issues like suicide, depression or abuse SEEK A PROFESSIONAL or support website that trained to offer you educated advice.

  12. Respect of Authority.
    It is important to note that both the Administration and the Staff divisions work with each other to ensure that Iwaku remains a place where anyone and everyone can enjoy spending their time. It is their responsibility to ensure everything runs smoothly and that the integrity of the community is upheld along with general decorum. These individuals are unpaid volunteers and strive to ensure your experience here is the best it can be, so treat them with respect when engaging with them in and around the site. That being said, neither the staff nor the Administration are above the law. If you have any issues or feel mistreated in any way, we advise you to send in an official report via the Report a Staffer form. If you're having an issue with one of the Administrators, then it is recommended that you report directly to one of the other Administrators who will then assist you. Reports are taken seriously, so it is ill advised to use the report function for anything other than it's intended purpose, abusing it will land people in trouble.



IWAKU'S DISCIPLINARY TECHNIQUES

Staff Members handle every situation on a case by case basis. Each issue is looked over based on the individuals and the incident at hand, then it is decided what to do about any bad behaviors. Immediate threats and violations to major rules might be met with swift punishment, but most issues are discussed and members involved contacted for information before things are decided. You might receive a warning notice or have your account suspended or banned depending on the situation and previous infractions.

MOST COMMONLY ISSUED WARNINGS:
  1. Age Circumvention (Account Age) - Putting the wrong age on your account.
  2. Age Circumvention (Sexual Content Outside of Age Group) - Soliciting sexual content outside of your age group.
  3. Art Theft/Plagiarism - Taking someone else's work and claiming it as your own.
  4. Avatar/Signature Issues - Avatars or siggies that are too large or contain inappropriate content.
  5. Bump Spamming - Bumping threads with spam posts.
  6. Disruptive Behavior - Miscellaneous disruptive behavior that creates drama or issues.
  7. Harassment - Harrassing or stalking of another member even after requests to leave them alone.
  8. Inflammatory Hate Speech - Racism, bigotry, sexism, or other sorts of hate speach directed towards members or being disruptive.
  9. Multiple Accounts - Use of more than on Iwaku account.
  10. Out-of-Character Content Spam - Posting repeated OOC comments in the middle of In Character threads.
  11. Rating System Abuse - Using ratings to spite rate other members.
  12. Spam Content - Miscellaneous spamming.
  13. Spiteful Deletion of Content - Deleting of posts from roleplays to damage the roleplay or harm another member's content.
  14. Trolling - Deliberate hassling of members or threads to get people riled up.
  15. Underage Characters/Content - The use of characters under 13 in sexual roleplays.
  16. Unflagged NSFW Content - Forgetting to warn people about Not Safe For Work stuff.
  17. Unsolicited Advertising - Sending or posting advertisements where it is not appropriate.


CONTACTING US ABOUT PROBLEMS

We realize that not everything can be perfect all the time. Sometimes a member has a problem. Please use the follow forms of contact when you need help!