Hello Iwakuvians! 2016 is all about us doing some serious thought and work about what we want for Iwaku and it's future. We've already started the process by curbing registration and repairing our roleplay system! The next logical step is to make sure our site policies are up to date, followed by rethinking how we invoke these policies. We want to make sure all our members know what our rules are and understand them, as well as making sure that our staff members know how and when to enforce them. The GOOD news is that our rules are very straight forward and cover most topics, however we've adjusted the content on a couple current rules to make them more clear, and added two new rules. THE ADJUSTED RULES UPDATED rule "Post Likes, Loves, and Smiting" under Site Mechanics This rule has been updated to remove references about smiting, and added content about punishments for abusing the system. We want to remind people that these ratings are here FOR FUN AND TOOLS. A way to give someone props, a boost, or in the case of some of the neutral ratings, a way to let them know there's typos in their post or to rethink what they posted. If you go ratings-spamming someone out of spite you can be reported and suspended. So don't be a shit. ADDED rule "Do not "Mass Spite Delete" posts from roleplays, even if they are your own." to Site Mechanics In the past we've had problems with people who drop out of a roleplay and then mass delete all of their in character posts from the roleplay. And situations where a GM deletes an entire roleplay thread, even though it has other people's content in a thread. This is NOT cool. 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. UPDATED rule "We follow Flexibility of Speech not Freedom of Speech." under Community Behavior We've adjusted this rule to make it clear that hate speech, racism, sexism, bigotry, etc is NOT COOL and falls under "malicious comments". We're not sure how that was confused either. ADDED rule "Respecting Discussions and Staying on Topic." We thought this kind of stuff was covered under the "No Spamming" rule, but with recent trends of thread hijacking, we felt we needed to add something more specific under Community Behavior. RESPECT THE SUBJECT OF THE TOPIC. People want to talk about their favorite shows, have smarty pants debates about morality, or friendly chit chat without things getting derailed in to unrelated gifs, videos and trash talk. CAN you still have shitpost threads? YES. The RANDOM thread tag is there for your silly no-topic threads. If you DO NOT want a topic derailed, DON'T use the Random prefix. We want you to be able to have fun, but not at the expense of other people's topics. REVAMPING OF THE WARNING SYSTEM AND STRICTER RULE ENFORCEMENT With our rules updated, we want to regain control of some of the sections before we start promoting new people to full staff. The old warnings points explained on the site policies was out dated as fuck, and because of our case by case method of handling reports, they rarely came in to play. We will no longer be using the points accumulation BUT we will be having Staff more aggressively using the official warnings system when acknowledging bad behavior on the forums and enforcing policies. We have updated the Policies page to include a FULL LIST of our most commonly issued warnings and things that people get in trouble for. In fact, if you see @Asshole Dave around, that is the staff testing out moderation features! Feel free to interact with Asshole Dave at your leisure, just remember that he IS NOT a real person. He is a fake account for testing purposes! And well, he's an asshole. Over the next couple of weeks while staff are being retrained, Iwaku Policies are going to be more strictly enforced especially in our Non-Roleplay areas. THIS GOING TO INCLUDE MISTAKES BY NEWBIE TRAINEES. Moderators may be seen placing warnings on posts (so you know EXACTLY where the problem lies), temporary suspensions, thread bans, forum bans, and even site bans if someone is being a huge shit and didn't get the hint the first few times. It will not matter if you have had an account for 6 years, are a donating member, or someone we like very much. Right now our top priority is making sure we have a solid and consistent method of handling problem people, so when we start mass hiring new staff, we can train them faster and more efficiently. We don't expect this to be an issue for anyone, but we wanted to GIVE YOU A HEADS UP just in case you're one of those members that really likes to toe the line of being a pain in everyone's ass. 8D IWAKU'S COMMUNITY ATMOSPHERE, WHAT WE DESIRE AND HOW -YOU- CAN HELP US Every site you go to has a different kind of "feel" to it. The personality of the site, the kind of people in it, etc. Iwaku has three points to it that is VERY important to us: We want our community to be friendly an inclusive. When a new person registers they should feel welcomed and immediately part of our Iwaku family. They should be able to join roleplays, post topics, and be greeted by members without feeling like they are being judged by their writing skill, their account age, the real life age, beliefs, interests, or otherwise. We do NOT like elitism and discourage this kind of thing. New people (or even older people) should not be getting talked down to just because they are not yet aware of Iwaku Rules, Culture, or even know how to roleplay yet. We want to encourage members to help each other learn and grow. We want our community to be relaxed and not to be taken TOO seriously. We're not a business. We're not trying to be the best. We're all here to PLAY and to enjoy time with our friends. When you come to Iwaku it should feel like you're coming home and your buds are here to hang. Your stay here should never be causing you stresses or drama. We're not the place to cry about troubles, we're the place that helps you get distracted from them for awhile. We are lovable jerks. Not politically correct, but always respectful. Be who you want to be, say what you want to say. If you're an asshole, be an asshole. If you're an adorable moe blob, be the cutest you that you can be. But always be respectful of Iwaku's members as well as the site policies, and understand there are consequences to your behavior should you cross the line. We do not want to be a hugbox for over-sensitive people, but we also don't want everyone being sarcastic dickbags without regards to other people's feelings. The important part is RESPECT and learning when and where it's appropriate to be rowdy and when it's better to reign it in. With those things in mind, we cherish all the members who help us realize this vision for our community! It takes the community working together to make it a reality. Help us create a better Iwaku! You can HELP US achieve these goals with a few simple tips: Don't be a dick about the things you don't like. Greet newbie members, offer help and answer questions. Have high expectations but don't be a jerk about those expectations. Share helpful and interesting content with the community. Use the IGNORE features for members you have personal issues with and the REPORT features if they are breaking site rules. Help maintain a positive attitude about Iwaku and it's future. ROLEPLAY FOREVER. THE GREAT AND POWERFUL VOLUNTEER AND STAFF HUNT We are ready to start grabbing people again in large quantities! We accept pretty much ANYONE for Community Volunteer work (as long as you've been here long enough and haven't been in trouble). And from our active members and Volunteers we promote people to full staff. We choose people based on skills and personalities we are missing from the team along with who seems to be most active and regularly available on the site. If you are interested in helping with the daily maintenance of Iwaku and would like to be a future staffer, send in an APPLICATION! If you already sent one in, but haven't in the last 4 months, send in a new one so we have an up-to-date copy! ....I always feel like I am forgetting something important when I make these big ones. c____c OH WELL, ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU HAVE ANY.