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 stories; we live them! Roleplaying is the art of playing pretend. It's about stepping into the life of a character and experiencing what they experience. Here on Iwaku, we're all about developing stories, designing characters and worlds, and weaving amazing plots through the art of writing while providing a safe and friendly out of character environment. Our site promotes forum roleplay, chat roleplay, group roleplay, private roleplay, and other methods for bringing your stories to life

IS IWAKU RIGHT FOR YOU?
Every roleplay community is different. We understand that some people will like us and some people won't. Our community atmosphere is designed with 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", do not enforce word counts, and do not believe there is a "right" or "wrong" way to roleplay. Iwaku encourages members to play for sheer enjoyment, 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. 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 may be posted. Roleplays with extreme or explicit violence must contain warnings. Sexually explicit roleplays must be in the correct age-restricted forums. Sex scenes must be under spoiler tags if they occur randomly within a roleplay and must be between peers. We do not allow adults and teenagers to write sexual content 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 roleplay sexual content only if they are in the same 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. If you are caught lying about your age, your access to the site may be forfeit. We do not recommend trying to circumvent age restrictions by roleplaying sexual content in the Clans or over private Inbox Conversations. People caught abusing this 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; we do 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. This includes taking someone's plot or character and changing words around to try and avoid detection. We understand that people often want to revive dead roleplays or are inspired by other plots. Make sure you get permission and give credit where it is due. Accidents might be a slap on the wrist, but willful plagiarism of writing or artwork will earn you an immediate ban.

    Taking artwork or pictures without permission from the artist/copyright holder is also frowned upon and it is encouraged that you credit images to the original artist or source when possible. Citing sources can be difficult, we understand, and we do not enforce copyright claims unless an artist/copyright holder complains as long as you do not claim the artwork images as your own. One exception: Do not use professional stock images unless they are free or you have paid license to use them.

  5. Avatars & Signature Size Requirements
    Avatars should be no more than 200px in 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 long segments of text in a signature causes pages to load extremely slowly. We request that you do not exceed 10 lines, including all text and pictures (or 500kB).

    We do not allow "Not Safe for Work" content in avatars or signatures. For a full explanation of what this means, please review our Image Policies.

  6. Thread Archival Policy.
    To keep the forums organized, all threads that have not had a new post within 30 days are moved to the Archives. Roleplay threads are given an extra month's grace period (60 days). If you need a thread moved back to the active forums, you can use the Request Thread Moderation Form and Maintenance Staff 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-created chat rooms, all chats that have had zero activity within 10 days are automatically deleted. You will not be able to retrieve chat 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. (E.g., posting fifty times in one day just to boost your post count.) This can also be called "flooding"- filling the room/board with the same content over and over again to get attention. Posts such as "Bump!" are also considered spam. Spam is only allowed in the Asylum.

  10. Advertisements for other sites belong in the Off-Site Ads forum.
    Advertising outside of Iwaku is allowed when it is done in the appropriate way! You may post a link to other websites or off-site RPs in the Off-Site Ads forum. Don't "mass PM" members with advertisements via private Inbox Conversations, as this may result in a ban for your account.

    You are allowed to post off-site links in the Chat, but you are not allowed to constantly post a link every five minutes and annoy the same group of people.

  11. Post Ratings
    The Post Ratings System is a handy way to discreetly give someone props or let them know there are typos in their post. All members can leave a rating on a post. These ratings have absolutely zero affect on your account status and are purely for fun. However, this does not mean you can use ratings for spiteful reasons. (Like leaving a "Go Home, You're Drunk" rating on all of a member's posts because you're mad at them.) Abusers will receive warnings and may be banned for repeated bad behavior.

  12. Use Spoiler Codes to hide risque content outside of the proper forums.
    Iwaku allows roleplays and stories to develop naturally, and that means occasional sexual or violent content. When you are posting a scene, story, or image that has questionable content, please use the (spoiler) BB Code to hide it with a content warning so that people will be prepared. If you are running a roleplay that focuses on explicit sexual content, it must be posted in one of the Redstar or Bluestar Bedroom sections (depending on your age group).

  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 roleplays in another language or chat in other languages on the public forums/chats ONLY when you also provide 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. Their personal vision is the most important thing. 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 for any reason.

  15. NSFW Image Policy
    Pornography, whether drawn or photographic, is not allowed on Iwaku. Real-life nudity is not allowed. Sexually suggestive artwork of prepubescent characters has not ever and will not ever be allowed. (Nude or sexual photographs of anyone under 18 is illegal child pornography. So is explicit sexual artwork of prepubescent characters. Posting either of these is an instant ban and you will be reported to authorities.)

    Barring the above exceptions, all sexually suggestive images are allowed within the Redstar and Bluestar areas of the forum and Character Gallery. Entering these areas can be considered warning that you may see suggestive images. As these are sections aimed at sexual written content, it is up to you as users to determine where is the most sensible place to access these areas and to establish with your partners whether sexually suggestive images are allowed in your own threads. Other, non-sexual NSFW material is still subject to forum-wide standards, as follows:

    Outside of these threads, use of spoilers and/or clear warnings (e.g., in the title of a thread or as a thumbnail in the Gallery) is advised for anything that is judged questionable by the poster. All members reserve the right to report an image they personally find questionable. If the reported image does not comply with standards for avatars and signatures, the poster will be required to use spoilers, a thumbnail, or a warning. Moderation by Staff will be restricted to removing images that are prohibited and to processing reported images. This puts you, the users, in control of deciding community atmosphere and what is appropriate for our site beyond legal measures.

    Frivolous reports of bare skin/tight clothing or as a means of harassment/trolling another user will be ignored. Do not think that we'll blindly enforce any report made. Please refrain from reporting questionable images in one-on-one roleplays or those marked as Private unless you are a participant.


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 the 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, post malicious comments (such as aggressive or direct hate speech, threats, or calls to violence/illegal acts), or attack another member's character. 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. We are a privately-owned community. 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 and Administration reserves the right to ban anyone for any reason.

  2. What is harassment?
    Harassment is the badgering of another person for ANY reason. If you continue to bother a person after someone asks you to stop, that is considered harassment. This includes things such as pestering a person in private Inbox Conversations or Profile Messages, constantly being rude to them in the Chat or forum threads, any form of sexual harassment, and deliberately causing fights. This also includes "airing dirty laundry" by ranting about a person in any public area of the site (which is everything outside of Inbox Conversations). If we receive complaints about your behavior towards other members, you may be warned, suspended temporarily, or even banned. The time frame for a suspension of your account may vary depending on the situation and will be determined case-by-case by Security Staff.

  3. REMEMBER: We have thousands of members. We do not expect all members to get along. Personalities will clash.
    Sometimes you just HATE someone. In these cases, we implore members to use the ignore feature and/or avoid interacting with other members they do not like. You will be happier for it, and the community at large will not have to deal with the fallout from your arguments. However, should you suspect another member of breaking any Iwaku rules, we encourage members to utilize the Report a Member function or to directly report offending posts. The report will immediately be sent to the Security team who will conduct a review of your complaint.

    Do not use the report function as a joke or a way of putting pressure on another member.

  4. Text as Personality
    Online, the only way you can show your personality is through text. People will form opinions about you based on the way you type- much like in real life, people form opinions about you based on the way you dress. You are not expected to have perfect spelling/grammar/etc., but we do expect your posts to be legible and comprehensible. Keep in mind that we have members from all over the world who may not know or understand your chat speak. Do not use 1337 or other internet shorthand as your normal method of communication.

  5. Use "in public" manners when it comes to risque topics of discussion.
    Iwaku is aimed towards teenagers and adults. Our content is intended for ages 13+, NOT for kids. Cursing is allowed, and sex or related subjects are bound to be discussed in the forums and the 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. Help Newbies and inexperienced members.
    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 them 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 characters or in-character content written by other members, or deleting all of your roleplay posts from another member's thread. Roleplay is a COLLABORATIVE medium. 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 or repost it without your permission, but you cannot revoke it once it's posted or you'll be destroying other people's work along with it.

  8. Respect the theme and tone of discussions and stay on topic.
    Be it a thread in our General Chatting area, the Creative Content sections, or the Chat, please stay on topic and refrain from hijacking a thread to an unrelated subject or trashing a thread you don't like by spamming it. Everyone has different interests and styles of discussion and they deserve 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, is becoming toxic, or is inappropriate for Iwaku, please use the Report button to alert Security Staff to the problem. Those that make a habit of hijacking threads may receive warnings or be banned.

  9. Iwaku is not a dating service, booty call, or masturbatory tool.
    We are not a dating site or sexual hookup site. We are not an "ERP" site. We allow sexual content in roleplays as a tool of creative expression. We do not allow cyber sex or legally obscene material under any circumstances. Members who exhibit behavior suggesting they are only after masturbatory aid 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 an obscene depiction of a child. This rule extends to characters that are labeled as 13+ but are still clearly depicted as prepubescent through behavior or physical description.

  10. Impersonation 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 the 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 and potentially suspended or banned if caught impostering.

  11. Iwaku is a place for entertainment and socializing. We are not here to handle your life problems.
    We understand that members occasionally need to vent or get basic advice on an IRL issue. We encourage everyone to use their Blogs or the Counseling forum as a healthy way to work through simple problems. What we do NOT encourage or condone is constant ranting or melodrama. Please do not use Iwaku as a constant sounding board for general complaining. Do not hash out your interpersonal issues in public.

    Our Staff is not trained for helping you with serious emotional issues. If you have issues like suicide, chronic depression, mental illness, or self-harm, or you or someone you know is being abused, please seek a professional or a support website that can offer you educated advice.

  12. Respect of Authority
    The Administration and its Staff are unpaid volunteers who have devoted their time to ensure that Iwaku remains safe and fun for the community. Please treat them with respect when engaging with them and listen when they give you instructions or make a formal request. That being said, neither the staff nor even the Administration are above the law. If you have any issues or feel mistreated in any way by a member of our Staff, 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, we recommend that you go directly to one of the other Administrators via private message. All reports are taken seriously, so do not make frivolous or vindictive reports.



IWAKU'S DISCIPLINARY TECHNIQUES

Staff Members handle every situation on a case-by-case basis. Each issue is looked over with the individuals and the context in mind, and only then is a decision made. Immediate threats or major policy violations might be met with swift punishment, but most issues are thoroughly investigated and discussed by the entire Security Staff. You might receive a warning notice or have your account suspended or banned depending on the situation and previous infractions. Warning points are for record purposes only and will not directly affect the status of your account.

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 after requests to leave them alone.
  8. Inflammatory Hate Speech - Racism, bigotry, sexism, or other forms of hate speech that is directed towards other members, intended to provoke reactions, or can reasonably be presumed to cause drama.
  9. Multiple Accounts - Use of more than one 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 or harass other members.
  12. Spam Content - Miscellaneous forms of nonsensical, repeated, or misplaced content.
  13. Spiteful Deletion of Content - Deletion of posts or threads to damage a roleplay or make another member's content unavailable.
  14. Trolling - Deliberate hassling of members or threads to get people riled up.
  15. Underage Characters/Content - Depiction or solicitation of sexual content involving characters under 13 years of age.
  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're not perfect. Issues may arise and disrupt your happy RP zone. When that happens, please use the follow forms of contact!