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How do you deal with Doxing and Cyberbullying?


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For those that don't know Doxing is where a member shares personal/private/identifying information with others, especially with the intent to harm them. Cyberbullying is just that.

 

When you identify these behaviors, what do you do about those involved.

 

For me while I will investigate to make sure the claims are true, the end result is banning/removal from my site(s). Its an intolerable offense. In the age of 2020 we really only have each other and the Internet and this sort of behavior is just and nasty and violent as someone getting beat up in school or fliers being posted everywhere about something you did.

 

So, thoughts, opinions?

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Cyberbullying has no tolerance in our server and community. We've only had this instance happen once, thankfully, but multiple people were involved so it was a little complicated. Getting to the botto

One thing that has become really important in our (quite large) community is that people report things via the proper channels. Our rules are very clearly laid out regarding bullying and harassment, a

Agree with above two posts.  There is little I can add save we are adults. There are tools to utilize. Zero tolerance, evidence and using the block button for DMS.

Cyberbullying has no tolerance in our server and community. We've only had this instance happen once, thankfully, but multiple people were involved so it was a little complicated. Getting to the bottom of what, exactly, had happened was important, so pulling everyone aside and getting their insight/versions of the story was step one.

 

After that, we skipped penal steps. Usually, first offences are met with a warning or a server-wide mute for a day. However, we immediately temp-banned all members who offended for 72 hours. After that, they were allowed to come back, but one of the offenders continued acting up so we had to parma-ban him.

 

Ultimately, I think these situations are a little delicate and need to be handled as such. Being too aggressive or heavy-handed in your reply could have adverse reactions, so like most rule violations that happen on your site and server, I recommend you consider as much as you can before you implement a punishment.

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"For You Are An Architect; A Worldshaper."
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One thing that has become really important in our (quite large) community is that people report things via the proper channels. Our rules are very clearly laid out regarding bullying and harassment, and part of that includes making sure that we have a paper trail when things do happen - so we expect everything to be reported via PM, not via social media, or any chat software etc. People can always come and talk about it with a mod or admin that they trust offsite, but we will always ask them to PM us with the relevant information on site if they want us to follow up in any official capacity.

 

Members are also expected to take some responsibility for their own interactions and block/unfollow/mute etc in places that aren't site itself, rather than inviting further interactions with anyone that makes them uncomfortable.   Likewise, we do not go on witch hunts, so to speak, so if we get wind of something but it hasn't actually officially been brought to our attention, we aren't going to punish the person on site or ban them etc unless we see them doing it on site, or its been reported appropriately if it happened in a peripheral space.

 

I mention this because there have been several instances over the past... going on 20 years since the site originally opened, where said bullying happened offsite, though it was regarding onsite things and a direct result of that community connection. As a result we had to make a blanket policy regarding reporting bullying and harassment in the first place . For us, identifying the behaviours isn't enough. It would take something pretty intense for us to ignore the policies that we've had to put in place in that regard. 

 

When something is reported and we've found that we need to do something about it, the ultimate consequence depends on the severity of the offence and the member may get an infraction against their account, or if its severe enough or is a repeat offense, be banned outright, (though this is rare). We used to do temporary bans back in the day but haven't really needed to use this function in a long time, I think its partly because the fandom has grown up quite a lot so the types of offenses are different - either they don't happen at all or they're much worse.

 

I'm of the opinion that its really important to have whatever procedures and policies you have in place outlined really clearly so the member base always know where they stand and that any situations that arise will be handled in a consistent way. They also then know what their own responsibilities are when they find themselves in those kinds of unwanted situations.

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This is a slippery slope to be on. I've seen in my time that some people will cry these just to remove someone that they aren't happy with or feel their own personal sleight. Just as much there is those that have actual issues with this. Largely both my sites are 18+ for a reason. Outside the site we are all adults and can generally handle things in an adult manner. If someone is doing something you don't like it's your right to close it and block that person. Sounds crass, but let's face it we all have to own our own actions. If it's directly on site then yes I do ask to see a "paper trail" of pm's/dm's/et al because I would like to see it before I decide anything.

 

When it is proven then it is handled through the staff. The punishment generally fits the crime to be blunt. I have in the past dealt with this towards not only my staff but myself. In that case there was a ban handed down. The matter was handled. I guess that I have lucked out and we have not had many cases that have to be dealt with. I blanket things with treat others how you would want to be treated. Again, I've been lucky in that things could be handled in house. I do have an open door policy that any of the members are welcome to come and talk to myself or a member of staff they are comfortable with for any range of topics. 

 

I want to touch on one thing though. I will not witch hunt either. I don't see the need to go all over and explain what was wrong with a person on site with others. I don't go hunt down folks since I don't have the time or patience for that. If someone from another site comes to tell me something about a member it dies there. I deal with my own and go about my day. Many times I have seen someone not fit in somewhere and be called "toxic" then be a peach at another site they do fit in with. It's not up to me to police the entirety of this large hobby. If it affects my site or members I will deal with it. It really is that simple to me. 

 

I fully agree with In Red and appreciate that someone else has the same views as myself. While my sites have not been open nearly as long, I am glad to see that I am not the only one that thinks the way I do. My staff as well is able to handle things and knows how things are even if there isn't direct rules that state things. It's the nature of the beast at times that Admins don't always make the "popular" call. We have to make the ones best for our site, members, and sanity.

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Agree with above two posts.  There is little I can add save we are adults. There are tools to utilize. Zero tolerance, evidence and using the block button for DMS.

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I think it's important to have rules in place to address harassment of all kinds, with the method for reporting harassment clearly stated. It's one way to let members of marginalized groups, and players who have experienced harassment in the past, know that they are safe in your community.

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Sprite (tiny fey, neutral good)

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On 4/22/2021 at 12:41 PM, DivineRabbit said:

Agree with above two posts.  There is little I can add save we are adults. There are tools to utilize. Zero tolerance, evidence and using the block button for DMS.

 

 

Now that I have more time:

 

First I absolutely agree with what was stated-  I also wanted to add that the dilemma becomes -

1.  We need screen shots- I m sorry but who said what said does not work for me or my crew

2.  While we WILL speak to that person -  YOU the victim of any of this have to take personal responsibility and block them.

 

There are limits to what we can do - and if said harassments become OOC-  ( because YOU the adult chose to share personal information) That is a legal matter handled best by cops.

 

 

I despise Online bullying. But within the bounds of our forums we only have so many tools at our disposal and we have to have that person also take those steps to remove this. It suck, I know but we are not without limits as Admins too.

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I've been in this hobby for way too long, and adminning for way too long, to have anything but zero tolerance for people not being mature and respectful to each other. While I know it's not an option for everyone, and definitely not a fail-safe, this is part of the reason why I'll only run 18+ games. I just cannot abide by that sort of foolishness or cruelty at this point.

 

I've seen people I know get doxxed because of RP, and I still can't fathom getting so upset about something so trivial -- Because it always is. I've seen over and over again people have personal info and conversations shared publicly just because others were petty and didn't like them or how they played. I've seen people ripped to shreds for the stupidest reasons you can imagine.

 

In my opinion, while you do need to do due diligence to ensure the information is correct, you cannot let this stuff slide, ever, even if it's off-site. Being a terrible person off-site and then being super sweet on-site doesn't give you a pass; it's about following the spirit of the law, not the letter of it. We're not in a courtroom where you can wiggle through on a technicality. Being anything but firm on this stuff just opens a door for more bad behavior and poor morale. Most important, I think, is doing everything you can from the outset to establish a culture that encourages friendliness, kindness and maturity, and makes clear the opposite will not be tolerated.

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If someone is literally doxxing on or off the site and I have screenshots to prove it, then they’re out. No questions asked. I don’t have time to wait for that toxicity to show up on my board. If they’ve done it to others, chances are high they’ll do it again. I also don’t have time for second chances when someone is potentially putting a fellow player’s life or career in danger. 
 

If I don’t have irrefutable proof, then I’m going to investigate and decide from there.
 

If that person is being a jerk and I haven’t witnessed it myself, then I’ll get both sides. If it’s something horrendous, like racism, stalking, trying to force smut on someone (especially an infamous surprise r*pe thread), then it’s an automatic ban. If it’s just two people who can’t seem to get along, then things probably need a bit more finess.

 

Ultimately, it’s my job as admin to make sure myself, my staff team, and our members feel safe when they’re on my board. If they’re constantly on eggshells because of someone else, then that’s a problem that needs to be fixed. I try to encourage people to come to me if anything happens. I can’t help anyone who doesn’t come to me.

 

 

 

 

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