Mush news:Harassment

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Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive.

Harassment Policy

While people have a right to play their characters, harassment is a serious offense on SHH. It is highly actionable when such behavior is brought to staff attention, with logs demonstrating the behavior. Persons engaging in this kind of behavior will be disciplined according to our policies: first the offender will receive a talking-to by staff, explaining the problem and asking them to please modify their behavior. If that fails the offending party will be warned and placed on probation; during the probationary period any re-offense will be taken as deliberate and corrective measures will be immediately applied. The next level of correction is the Break where the player is asked to not log in to a particular character or role for a period of time - this allows those involved to get some space and approach the situation in the future with less immediate emotion and stress. If the person asked to step back refuses to do so, the timeframe may lengthen. Breaks can run from one to four weeks. The most serious punishment available to Staff is the Ban. Someone being Banned is asked to leave and never return; this can mean the loss of a character and removal from a certain Sphere, or it can mean the total and permanent revocation of the right to play on the game.

What is Harassment?

  • Paging someone repeatedly after being asked to stop doing so.
  • Using code or an alt to get around someone's pagelocking you because they do not wish to talk to you.
  • Using @mail or +comm to communicate with someone who has asked you to leave them alone.
  • Using Comsys Channels to continually badger, annoy, insult or call out another player if the behavior continues past a request to stop. This can result in a Channel Ban of a week or more.
  • Verbally abusing another player about IC or OOC situations past a request to stop.
  • Acting in a way that seriously disrupts another player's enjoyment of the game and right to play their character, beyond a request to stop.
  • OOC sexual harassment.
  • Paging someone death threats directed at their character if they do or do not do something. This is *not* a 'friendly warning'. This is a threat and attempted intimidation.
  • Paging any threats about affecting someone OOC/RL/Off the MUSH - their job, their living situation, their family and friends.
  • Harassment can also include situations where the harassing player takes their behavior to others, bad-mouthing the target and proclaiming them to be a generally horrible person. When this happens with new players or people who do not know the accused player well it can create a situation where the accused player cannot find RP because 'everyone knows' that they are awful. This is a more subtle form of attack then a torrent of verbal abuse, but it is still an attack.

Handling Harassment

As you can see, this hinges on the player feeling affronted to take steps to protect themselves. Say "No!", say "Stop!". Make it obvious that you are uncomfortable and you want the problematic behavior to stop immediately. If a group of people are upset by the actions of one person, sometimes asking them as a group to please moderate their behavior can help. Don't 'just put up with it' until you explode and the only thing you can think of to do is to file a +complaint. Pagelock the offender. Gag them in your client - you'll never see another word from them. (This will include scenes, but if you're already gagging someone do you want to see their poses in any case?)

And if nothing else helps: +complain. Staff will investigate and do their best to deal with the matter.