Greetings one and all to a simple lesson on Social Etiquette! You are in a public space. BEHAVE like you are in a public space. In real life, when you go to a grocery store, church, mall, night club, family's house you have in public manners. These same manners apply on Iwaku. When interacting with a large international group of people, social manners are important. These "common sense" things are universal. But for the help of people that were raised by naked barbarians, we have this quick etiquette list. Not all of these things are rules, because there are many exceptions, but they are guidelines to give you a general idea of what might be crappy behavior out in public. Type in your best English. That means fully written words, no chatspeak, 1337, or internet shorthand. Use punctuation and capital letters. No one expects you to be a perfect grammar nazi. However, in a community where we have people from all over the world, it's really important that members are able to READ what you are writing. You will not be able to express your personality or opinions to the best of your abilities without writing out proper English. You have the freedom to express your opinions or point of view, but you DON'T have the freedom to do this at the expense of other people's feelings. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But because you are in a public place, there is a right and a wrong way to express these opinions. Don't force these topics on people when they do not want to discuss them, and if someone happens to disagree with you, do not keep trying to change their mind. People get really frustrated when they can't have a casual conversation without someone ramming their opinions in their face. There are designated areas for roleplaying, make sure you play in those areas! Members are allowed to be in a Persona and do a little light playing while chatting in the Cbox, but we ask all members to take more serious and plot ridden playing to our actual roleplay sections. The Cbox is a place so people can chit-chat and talk to other members -out- of character, so having people roleplaying in the midst of that is a little rude. Sexual conduct and extreme displays of public affection aren't appropriate in the public areas! Topics about sex, flirting, etc happen all the time and we don't mind this at all. But when you're over-snugglie, kissing, and being overtly naughty, we ask everyone to head over to the Steambox or the Mature areas. No one wants to watch their friends making out right next to them, this is the same in the Cbox too. Do not be a public downer with too much ranting, emoing, sulking, or whining. People go to the Cbox to relax and chat with friends. Where the occasional rant about something real life of forum is okay, it's HUGE downer for the public when someone blows in, mentions something really sad or awful and then makes the Cbox awkward for everyone. If you need to have a rant or emo session, we have the Counseling Forum, the Blogs, OR you can kidnap your Iwaku Friends to IMs and discuss it in a more private setting. Advertising is allowed, but don't SPAM your links too often! We totally promote people advertising their roleplays in the cbox, but please make sure you aren't spamming your link to same group of people. That's annoying and is not going to help gain more attention to your roleplay. If you're talking about a potentially offensive topic and someone mentions it's making them uncomfortable, be polite and change the topic. If you friend says that talking about dead puppies is upsetting to them, you don't keep on doing it right? Don't do that in the cbox either. If someone asks to change the subject, be polite and do so. We do not censor the kind of topics you can discuss in the cbox, but we DO recognize that some subjects are incredibly offensive to other people. The right thing to do is switch subjects when someone is getting upset. On the opposite spectrum, if there is a large group of people discussing a topic you don't like or aren't interested in, don't bitch and moan. Try to start a new subject or just LEAVE the room and come back later. Unless a topic is a little offensive or people are starting to get angry, there's no reason to force a whole group to change their discussion just to cater to you. You can leave the Cbox and come back when there's a new topic. When you don't like talking to someone, or if someone is annoying you and they are NOT breaking any Iwaku Policy USE THE /IGNORE FEATURE. Sometimes we just flat out hate someone. They aren't breaking any rules, but something about them just annoys us. That happens. You don't have any rights to start fights with them, be rude, or cause trouble just because you hate somebody. That's a jerkass thing to do. USE /IGNORE. You don't have to talk to them or even look at them! Don't pester your roleplay partners for new posts more than once! It's okay to remind them to post offhand if you catch them in the cbox, but it's annoying and rude to sit there and constantly badger them to go post in your roleplay when everyone is trying to have a conversation. Use the Visitor Messages, Private Messages, or even IMs if you really need to poke at them. Avoid having "private" conversations in the public chats, or have heavy one on one conversations that other members will not be able to participate in. It's totally cool if you're just talking to one person in the public chat. However, if you're having the kind of conversation where you say "This is not any of your business, I'm talking to ___." or "This is a private roleplay, no one else is invited." that is a little rude. The chat is a public space for everyone to chat. If you need to discuss something with someone, we have additional rooms you can step in to. When a Staff Member asks you to stop doing something - they are asking for good reason! Stop doing it. Staff Members are tasked with keeping Iwaku safe and fun for ALL members. They are trained to know what topics might be problem topics, and encouraged to know our members personalities and habits so they can effectively moderate. When one asks you to stop doing something in the Cbox, they are not trying to push their power around, pick on you, or take away your rights. They just see something they know might become a problem and are heading it off before you or other members get in trouble.