These guidelines were initially written for when our chat was in IRC. We have now moved to Discord, though the general guidelines still apply. We are in the process of updating to give rules that are more specific to Discord
A word about the Guidelines
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a casual environment in which Tower members may chat with each other in a generally relaxed manner. It is important, however, to keep in mind that this informal setting does not authorize members to act in any manner which would not be allowed in the forums, unless otherwise indicated by official Tower guidelines. By entering the official Tower chat channels, members agree to abide by these guidelines.
At times, there might be additional guidelines needed to be followed in IRC than these listed here specifically, due occasionally to either new or further-clarified policies being developed when the need might arise. It will be up to the discretion of the channel operators to effect these guidelines in the chatrooms.
These guidelines apply to the official Tower chatrooms; namely: #wheel, #oldewarderandhen.
The Tower holds a high importance in respecting the privacy of its members. Please refrain from giving out someone else's private information, such as addresses, phone numbers and/or specific details which others might not wish to be given in a public channel. Please exercise discretion when giving out your own information as well.
To ensure that operators have a good idea of who is in a chat room at any given time, chatters should use their Tower name (or a recognizable variation thereof) as their chat nick. Brief changes to something different for the purpose of fun is acceptable, but the majority of one's interactions in our official chat rooms should be made with your Tower pseudonym.
The channel operators, or 'ops,' are indicated in most chat softwares by an @ sign in front of their name. They are listed at the top of the member list of those present in chat. Operators are there to help, and to ensure that chat remains a friendly place for all. If a situation arises, the operator is obligated to aid the matter from an objective viewpoint.
The operator does not necessarily make the policy; they are in chat to make sure policy is carried out. An op will let an individual know if any behavior of his or hers needs to be changed in order to comply with chat guidelines, and the individual must then abide by these instructions. Any directive given in the capacity of their role as a channel operator is to be followed, as it has the full backing of the Tower administration's regulations.
The channel operators endeavor to give support where it is needed, but at times might need attention of a situation brought to them. In order to assist a member, the operators need to be contacted as soon as possible with an explanation of what happened, and (if applicable) logged transcripts of the situation. Once an operator is aware of the matter, he or she is then able to carry out subsequent actions toward a positive resolution.
If a Senior Member observes a situation in chat which they feel might need to be corrected, the administration prefers that they privately bring it to the attention of an operator rather than endeavoring to step in themselves. The operators are in chat to perform this function, and have the necessary resources at hand in order to most efficiently manage these matters.
Honorifics to Senior Members in Chat
In the forums, it is policy for a Junior Member to use a Senior Member's honorific of 'Sedai' or 'Gaidin' at all times, excepting in the Current Events forum (and also, at times, in personal correspondence through PMs - and, at times, in Ajah forums - if the Senior Member has already made it known that the honorific may be dropped). The policy is slightly different in chat.
Senior Members may decide whether they, personally, wish to have Junior Members address them with an honorific in chat. They will designate their choice by their 'nick,' the name by which they go in the Tower channels.
If their nick does not use the honorific (i.e. 'Bela'), a Junior Member is not obligated to use that Senior Member's title in chat.
If their nick has the honorific in it (i.e. 'Bela Sedai'), this indicates that all Junior Members (regardless of how well they know the Senior Member) should address this specific Senior Member with his or her title. If a Senior Member has previously told a Junior Member that they do not need to use their honorific, yet still have the title in their nick, the Junior Member is to still use the title. This guideline has been resolved so as to help with both clarity and fairness.
Using a member's 'real-life' name when the honorific is indicated in the Senior Member's nick will be considered the same as using their Tower name without honorific.
The main chatroom (#wheel) is intended to be a family-friendly environment for members of all ages. The channel operators will use their discretion in monitoring chat, and might at times request that a topic change to accommodate this aspect.
The Tower chatroom for games and entertainment (#oldewarderandhen) is intended for members aged 13 and older. At times during specific radio shows, there might be songs or discussion by the radio DJ which could be thought of as more adult. It will be the responsibility of the DJ to specify at the beginning of his or her show that adult topics or language might take place within the show. This will also be indicated in the topic.
Blatantly adult topics are not allowed in #wheel or #oldewarderandhen. Members age 18 and older may discuss these topics in the chat room provided specifically for this reason, #wanderingwoman. It is Tower policy to not tolerate such interactions from members under age eighteen while they are in the Tower chat rooms.
The decision as to what constitutes a 'blatantly adult topic' is up to the discretion of the current channel operator(s).
Truth or Dare
If a game of Truth or Dare is to be played in an official Tower chatroom, it must be in #wanderingwoman, and all members must be at least eighteen years of age.
Swearing in Chat
Because we wish to create a family-friendly environment in the chat rooms, we ask that you please not swear in the chat channels #wheel and #oldewarderandhen. Swearing is permitted in our adult-only channel, #wanderingwoman. Channel operators will use their discretion to determine when any specific word might be offensive to another member. Any request made by an operator to not use a specific word which some might see as a swear word is expected to be followed.
This policy has been instituted out of respect for our fellow members, who have diverse viewpoints on what constitutes a 'swear word.' The ultimate objective is to make chat a friendly place where people are comfortable among their fellow members.
We utilize a chat bot, Bela, to perform given commands for both utility and entertainment. Among other things, she logs everything said in chat and remains today the same faithful, hard-working mare that left the Two Rivers.
A member who is away from the computer for an extended period of time is expected to log out of the chatroom. If there has been no activity from a member for a while, he or she might be contacted by a channel operator. If there is no response in a timely manner (approximately five minutes), the idling member risks being kicked from chat. If this happens often, the member risks being kicked and banned.
The matter of 'lurking' is different from 'idling.' A lurking member stays at the computer and is logged into chat. Though he or she has no activity in the chatroom, the member is able to respond readily when contacted. This is fully allowed. The administration only wishes to keep chat free of members who are logged in and are not there at all.
Policy when guidelines are not followed
If a member of chat does not follow the Tower chat guidelines, there will first be a warning. If it happens a second time, the member might be kicked from the chatroom. If the circumstances repeat themselves again, the op on duty is authorized to kick and ban the member.
If one has a question/issue about chat
If the individual disagrees with the actions of an op, he or she may contact the Master/Mistress of Chat either by PM or email, and s/he will resolve the matter. Individuals are not, however, allowed to place an operator on 'ignore,' or otherwise disregard what the operator says. Our chat rooms fall under the Department of Moderators.