Hi Folks, As a result of our poll regarding our current style and level of moderation, we are going to implement a small change to attempt to improve our moderation. As you all know, we like to be creative with solutions to problems and this will be no exception. We understand that part of what makes our community attractive is that we do not over-moderate and aren't quick on the ban trigger, allowing our members to express themselves openly here without fear of reprisal. We also understand that part of the problem is also that we do not moderate enough and then things can get out of hand and become a detriment to the community. So to reconcile the two, we will be implementing the following system effective immediately: Every rule violation we see will receive a warning with infraction points. To ensure we see them, please report them. (Depending on the seriousness of the rule violation, we may not take action on old rule violations. So, for example, if a member insulted you a few months ago and you report it today to bring it to our attention, we are unlikely to take any action. However, if they doxxed you at any time, we will take action to remove your personally-identifiable information.) Every 3 rule violations in a 6 month period will result in increasing "Punishment" periods where the member's access to our site will be slowed down instead of being temporarily banned. The length of the Punishment periods will be as follows depending on the number of total infractions received in the last 6 months: 3 infraction points = 1 day 6 infraction points = 3 days 9 infraction points = 6 days 12 infraction points = 9 days 15 infraction points = 12 days 18 infraction points = 15 days etc. These periods are lot more lenient than what we had previously with the temp bans, which scaled from 1 day temp ban, to 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, and 4 months. A Punishment period won't stop or otherwise keep a member from contributing and sharing their views, but it will give rule violators plenty of time to think about our rules and to consider respecting them in the future as they wait for each page to load. Temporary and permanent banning will still be reserved for more egregious rule violations (e.g. using multiple accounts, spamming, etc.) Up until now, warnings led to increasing temporary bans, but because we did not want to ban our members even temporarily, we rarely issued warnings. This resulted in things getting out of hand. So to reconcile that, the system above will allow us to issue warnings and infraction points whenever we see a rule violations (more strict enforcement), but instead of resulting in temporary bans where the member can't use the site at all, they will result in a slowing down of service for increasing but shorter periods of time (less strict punishment). Keep in mind that one violation will never result in a member being punished, and that only your rule violations in the last 6 months count (e.g. it takes 3 rule violations in 6 months to trigger a 1 day slow down). So this is meant to target serial offenders. Of course, since we aren't temporarily banning anyone for rule violations such as insults and off-topic posting, now we won't hesitate to give out warnings and infraction points for rule violations. In fact, we'll always try to err on the side of giving infraction points. So if you don't want to be punished with a slowing down of the site, then simply follow our rules and don't test the lines. In short, our stick is getting much weaker, but we will be using it more frequently. For the sake of transparency, we we will also be adding public notices to posts that violate our rules. We did this in our early days and will be doing it again now. You may be wondering whether a slowing down of the service is enough of a punishment to serve as a disincentive against violating our rules again. It probably won't be until a member experiences it for the first time. We won't go into details about how this slow down will function, but rest-assured that it will be frustrating enough to serve as a disincentive, while still allowing punished members to participate so they don't feel left out. Plus, punished member won't know they are in a punishment period, all they will notice is that the site has slowed down for them, and we see that as psychological warfare that makes it even more frustrating. Note that the Off-topic rule won't be enforced in the Lounge, Off-topic Graveyard, and Insults Graveyard, and the No Insults rule won't be enforced in the Insults Graveyard. Furthermore, the Insults rule will only be enforced if the insults are directed at active members as we don't want members to simply sign-up to enjoy the protection of our rules since we want them to be active participatns. The intention of the no insults rule is to ensure active and participating members of the community treat each other with respect so that they debate and discuss in a civil manner. There is no hard and fast rule on what determines whether a member is "active" because we do not want members to meet some bare minimum criteria to claim protection from the rules without actually having any intention of being an active and productive member of the community. So it will be our judgment call. If you don't tend to violate our rules, then you won't experience any difference with this change. If you tend to violate our rules every once in a while, then this won't have a serious impact on your experience here. However, if you tend to violate our rules frequently, then you will notice a significant change. These changes are effective immediately, so please report any and all rule violations when you see them. If after a while we determine that the above is not effective, then we will course-correct as necessary. As a reminder, here are our rules. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please let us know in this thread.