Growing Pains: A few bad apples (Sep 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM)
Gang, we’ve got a problem.
We have become really big, really fast — and that’s great! But some big, ugly problems are cropping up that conflict with the charter on which this Free Company was founded.
It came to our attention yesterday that some people had been using incredibly inappropriate language in chat; language that is horribly offensive to very many people.This is unacceptable. There is never a time that demeaning or derogatory language is ever acceptable within the virtual walls of the Espers United free company — not on Free Company Chat, not on Mumble, not anywhere.
We have a few founding philosophies: inclusion, tolerance, and comfort. We are trying to build a community where everyone can be themselves, and no one has to worry about being made to feel uncomfortable by others. These philosophies are paramount to the operation of Espers United and must be upheld at all costs.
Unfortunately, it seems we have we have a few people in our ranks who don’t share those values. To those few we suggest that Espers United is not the free company for them.
What do we do about it?
So, here’s the thing: the few of us who founded the company cannot police all of our communication channels all the time — nor do they want to! We have to work together to stop anti-social, exclusionary and bigoted behaviour dead in it’s tracks.
Please help everyone in the company by speaking up against behaviour that is against our principles. If someone says something misogynistic, and an entire channel/chatbox full of people say nothing against it, then we are telling them that that behaviour is okay. If we let it slide, it will keep happening, which opens the doors for others to start thinking it’s okay. Eventually our community degenerated and collapses under the same weight that so many other online communities suffer. We don’t want that. That’s not why we started this group.
Unfortunately, dealing with inappropriate comments in public chat can be difficult. To address this, we have written a post outlining a suggested approach for dealing with these types of problematic situations.
How did we get here?
When we started the Espers FC, we placed trust in our members to invite people who they thought were cool. We assumed, maybe incorrectly, that the new recruits would share the same ideals and values on which Espers United was founded.
It seems that this may have been a mistake in the founders’ judgement. It seems apparent that many new recruits have joined our crew without regard for those ideals.
So, what now?
Effective immediately, we have indefinitely removed invite privileges from all members. If a new player needs an invite, please get in touch with an Officer, a Specialist, or simply type “Anyone online who can invite?” into Free Company chat.
Additionally, we will be more zealous with enforcing our zero-tolerance policies: There is never to be any sort of offensive behaviour within Espers United. For those who need a definition, this means: No language that denigrates, demeans, or is hostile towards any group, regardless of reason. Nothing that will make our members feel uncomfortable is ever acceptable. To that point, the argument ‘my <x> friend doesn’t care if I say <y>’ holds no merit. Other people do care, and saying those words are not acceptable. So don’t do it.
What happens if someone breaks the rules?
If someone is breaking the rules, please get in touch with an Officer. You can message us by Moogle Mail (in-game), on the website (Espers.net) or on Reddit. We are also adding Specialists to our leadership hierarchy too. More details will be released about those roles in the future, but they include people who are online often and can take appropriate actions.
Warnings will be issued.
We are considering this everyone’s first, public warning.
A second warning will be serviced in private, via in-game message or on the website. A leader will discuss the matter — what happened, why it happened, and explain why it was offensive — then the issue will be resolved.
Beyond that second warning, everything depends on member behaviour.
Please understand: none of this is arbitrary; we require proof of offence before taking action, we catalog the event and discuss it with the steering committee, etc. Heck, we don’t even like enforcing these rules; it detracts from the enjoyment of the game, but Espers United has been an amazing success and we aim to keep it that way.
Dan – Lulu Lemon
Nick - Lundara Epochan
Andy - Charizar Mander
Mike – Dash Riprock