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ADMIN GUIDELINES // must read
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GUIDELINES //

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE SMASHthegenre FORUM TO JOIN THE CHAT ROOM.

Now that that's out of the way... the guidelines we have for members of the chat room are — in no particular order — as follow:
  1. BE NICE TO EACH OTHER. It's literally that simple. Do unto others and that whole spiel. I don't say anything bad about your momma, you don't say anything bad about mine, I'm sure they're both lovely ladies who should meet up for tea some time and discuss their days as little birds sing around them and they are awash in a lovely warm spring glow.  We should all hope to be so content with ourselves and others.
       YES: "You're a cool person, it's been nice talking to you."
       NO: "Go suck a dick."

  2. If you have nothing polite or constructive to say, keep it to yourself. Also known as Don't Start Shit Won't Be Shit. There is literally no reason for anyone to purposefully bring negative thoughts or topics into the chat room for the sole purpose of offending others. It's a dick move, and you're not a nice person for doing it. People are going to have varied opinions on topics that are discussed, and you alone are responsible for how you choose to involve yourself in the conversation. Heated discussions are bound to happen. Witch hunts are not. Negativity for negativity's sake will not be tolerated.
       YES: "I had pancakes for breakfast!" "I'm more of a waffle person, myself." "I'm glad you respected my opinion and were nice enough to state your own in a way that opened us up to a discussion about different meals that can be eaten to start your day with balanced nutrition. What is your take on orange juice?"
       NO: "I had pancakes for breakfast!" "Pancakes are disgusting and you should feel terrible about your entire existence for even vaguely enjoying them at breakfast."

  3. Pay attention. In a setting like a chat room, some social cues can be more difficult to pick up on than they would be in a face-to-face conversation, but they're still there, and you need to be aware of them. Some personalities will not mesh, but that doesn't mean the chat is only big enough for one person. As you get to know your fellow SMASHers, you'll pick up on their cues and quirks, what to say and what not to say when they're around. You'd expect and deserve the same respect from them, so give it in return. 

  4. Common sense is key. There are unspoken rules when it comes to the etiquette that is expected from people in a chat/forum setting. Simple things, like: You don't type in ALL CAPS in every message you send. Enthusiasm is more than welcome, but there's a time and a place for it! Or, you try to be as civil as possible when using vulgarities — face it, sometimes you just really need to emphasize something with the f word, but try not to use it as a noun, adjective, and verb several times in one sentence. If what you want to say would make even the saltiest of callused, hardworking sailors cringe, maybe tone it down. The mods are not afraid of getting out the proverbial soap to wash your tongue.
       YES: "Damn, you would not BELIEVE the crap I had to deal with today at work, AND THEN WHEN I GOT HOME..."
       NO: "&*$! YOU, THIS WHOLE #$@!ING SENTENCE  IS ^%&* AND *&#$ING IMPOSSIBLE TO WRITE COHERENTLY, MY &^#$ING EFFORT IN THIS EXAMPLE WAS SO !*&@ED SO YOU !*$@&%! CAN GO *$@# A &!#%$ WITH A ^&$*ING *&@# BECAUSE I AM &^$#ING DONE."

  5. Respect each other's privacy. Do not give out any personal information that you are not comfortable sharing, and do not ask others for information that they do not wish to share. Common topics of conversation can be first names, pictures of oneself, ages, or even locations. Never feel pressured to partake in these conversations or tell anyone something about yourself that you do not want them to know. Likewise, do not share someone else's personal information unless you have their permission to do so.
       YES: "I've been living in Canada all 26 years of my life."
       NO: "Give me your address so that I can prank order 30 pizzas to your house and make your night and the delivery boy's night a hectic nightmare."

ON THE SUBJECT OF "TRIGGERING" DISCUSSIONS

     Everyone deserves an outlet as much as they deserve a safe space. Finding the balance between the two can be difficult, but it's not impossible. We want everyone in to feel comfortable with being able to openly talk about nearly anything that comes to mind, and want to keep from barring as few topics as we can. We can all recognize that everyone's lives/beliefs/experiences/opinions are different, and what might not bother one person may be upsetting to another.

     A very important factor to remember, is that SMASHthegenre is a community created by and for writers. We are not catering our discussions strictly towards gamers, musicians, base jumping enthusiasts, etcetera... Therefore, topics of conversation will absolutely, without a doubt, fall on a much, much broader spectrum. This is a melting pot of mindsets, imaginations, and genres. A debate on the use of the Oxford Comma could just as easily jump into one about how to write a death scene realistically, or which breed of kitten is the cutest. You never know with writers. We're a funny bunch. Don't look at our search history.

     Likewise, you can never know what someone may or may not be offended by. The easiest way to find out is to ask, or be open and let others know. People are going to get offended sometimes, but the thing is, it's not the end of the world if that happens. You live, you learn. Use discretion when engaging in a conversation, and if you feel that others in chat may not be comfortable with it, but you want to continue it with those who are, consider Private Messaging each other, or finding another way to continue your talk at length. We're not looking to judge or censor anyone's opinions; again, we simply want everyone to feel welcome.

     If you are uncomfortable with a conversation that is happening, please know you have options:
  • Private Message someone on the @SMASHstaff and let them know how you're feeling. They will try to work with you, but know that it doesn't immediately guarantee that they will shut down the conversation.
  • It may be a bit don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out, but if you don't want to be involved in a conversation that a majority of the chat is having, it's sometimes easier to just find something else to do with your time until the conversation is finished.
  • If you're comfortable enough doing so, simply mention to everyone in the chat (politely, please) that you'd like to see the conversation turn to a different topic. It's up to everyone to use their common sense and decency to try and keep the chat room a welcoming environment for one another.
  • Know that if you do get a message from a Moderator, it is not them trying to single you out to slap you on the wrist. Please, respect their decisions, and work with them to bring the conversation back to something everyone can be involved in.


ATTITUDES THAT WILL IN NO WAY BE TOLERATED
- Attacks on: Race, Sexuality, Identity, Religion, Mental or Physical Health
- Glorification OR Shaming of Self-Harm or Self-Destructive Behaviour
- Glorification OR Shaming/Discrediting of Mental Illnesses
- Glorification OR Shaming of Substance Abuse (alcohol, narcotics)
DO NOT COME INTO THE CHAT WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE


TOPICS THAT WILL BE HEAVILY MONITORED WHEN DISCUSSED,
WHETHER FICTITIOUS OR OTHERWISE
- Rape / Assault / Abuse (Physical/Mental/Emotional/Domestic/Child/ANY)
- Race, Sexuality, Religion, Mental or Physical Health
- Sexual/Mature themes
- Self-Harm / Self-Destructive Behaviours
- Violence / Bodily horror
- Politics / Military or Armed Forces / Weapons
- Mental Illnesses
- Alcohol / Narcotics

A Moderator has the right to, by any means they feel necessary, shut down any conversation they believe may cause trouble or is making others uncomfortable.
writing as writing. writing as rioting. writing as righting. on the best days, all three. - teju cole


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