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Moderationpolicy

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General Rules

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

If there is any possible doubt, a player should be considered not guilty.

Conflict of Interest

Moderators must not process reports if they know the involved parties (accuser or accused player). Having played online with the involved parties does not necessarily mean to "know" them. In this context,"to know" means: knowing them personally or playing with them online regularly.

Appeal

Players have the right to appeal the moderation decision by using the appropriate section in the Contact Form.

They MUST explain why the moderator failed to apply this Moderation Policy.


  • If the message contains attacks/insults against anyone and/or trolling/spamming/disparage of the moderators, it will be ignored (= no reply) and you may get an additional penalty.
  • If the message is asking us to also give a penalty to another player, it will be ignored. The correct way to do this is by reporting this player, not by appealing your own moderation.
  • If the message is complaining without referring to our Moderation Policy (example: "this penalty is too harsh"), it will be ignored (= no reply).
  • If the message is not convincing in any way, it will be ignored (= no reply).
  • If the message is clearly abusive (multiple emails or appeal while the player is obviously guilty), it will be ignored (= no reply) and you may get an additional penalty.
  • If none of the previous points are valid and if the moderators made a mistake, you will receive a reply and the penalty will be changed (or cancelled).

It is worth noticing that 99% of the emails we receive on the Appeal procedure are not relevant messages (not convincing / contains insults) coming from angry players, this is why we have to set this strict "no answer" policy.

In all cases, do not expose your case publicly, for example on BGA Forums. See why here: https://forum.boardgamearena.com/viewtopic.php?t=26665

Penalty Grid

Moderators should follow the Penalty Grid as much as possible. However, they have the right to adjust the penalty depending on the gravity of the case. The following situation can lead moderators to increase the penalty:

  • the player has been reported several times for the same kind of misconduct.
  • the player's wrong action can be qualified by one or several of the following terms: racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, or any type of discrimination against a particular category of people.
  • in case there is provocation, the penalty may be be reduced a little; however, everyone should remain polite even if they are provoked. Important: the provoker will not be punished if he/she is not reported.

Relapse

In case there is a relapse, the penalty may increases exponentially.

It is the moderator's job to determine the correct penalty in this case, considering the fact that the player had been warned by the first penalty.

Moderators should consider a relapse only if the new wrong action occurs AFTER the previous penalty has been applied and the associated moderation email has been sent.

Considering that it is a lot of work to analyze reports about players who do the same offence again and again, a "ban" penalty can be applied to any case if the player continues to relapse.

Special Urgency Ban Procedure

Whatever the case type, moderators have the right to ban a player from the website if this player creates a situation that is out of control and must be stopped quickly. This special procedure should only be used if there is an immediate danger for the community (ex: site vandalism, pornographic content, massive spamming in the general chat, ...).

Private jokes

If questionable content is restricted to a private circle (ex: at a game table, with no spectators or in a private chat), and if none of the players reported the behavior, the moderator should consider this a "private joke" and should not apply any penalty. On the contrary, if the inappropriate content is public (ex: post/comment on a wall), the moderator may consider this as an offence even if there is no report.

Note: If a moderator decides that this is not a private joke, and that something must be reported, the moderator should create a report for the case themselves. However, in this case, this moderator is not allowed to judge the report.

Timing

For operational reason, a report that is older than 12 weeks may be closed by moderators because it is too old.

As a rule of thumb, every report should be judged within 4 weeks.

Player Profile Influence

The player's profile IS taken into account when determining if a player is guilty or not guilty. Moderators give more credit to players with a good profile than those in poor standing.

The player's profile is NOT taken into account when choosing the penalty if the player is found guilty.

Good profile elements are:

  • A good thumb up / thumb down ratio.
  • Player is registered for a long time / has a lot of games played.
  • Players is involved in the website (ex: validated translations).

The fact that a player is Premium or not is not taken into account when judging/applying the penalties. To say it differently: moderators do not judge Premium players differently than the others. Reports from Premium players do not benefit any kind of priority.

Moderators also take into account the profile of the reporting player (report author): a bad reputation and/or an important number of reports already judged as "not guilty" should incite moderators to be very careful with this players report.

Incomplete Reports

Analyzing reports takes a lot of time, and many reports are received. If any relevant information is missing in the report, moderators may close the report.

Penalties and Premium

As stated in our Terms of Services, being moderated is not a valid reason to ask for a refund of a Premium account. We do not refund Premium players that has been banned or that have chat restriction.

The reason is simple to understand: it would encourage all players that need a refund to deliberately be moderated.

Penalty Grid

Insults or inappropriate discussion

We moderate insults and inappropriate chat discussion everywhere on the website, wherever they happened: at a game table, in private messages, in group discussion, in the global chat, ...

If the incident concerns the BGA Global chat or a very visible space, the penalty is higher.

Concerning insults and aggressive attitude, we are particularly intolerant about relapse: if the player has already been moderated for insults or aggressive attitude in chat in the last 2 years, the moderators can apply a penalty from the next line. If there are multiple moderations already, moderators can applied the most severe available penalties.

Titre
Level Title Details Standard penalty
0 Rudeness with no insult no real insult: "zzzzzz", "faster!", "hurry up!", "play!" Simple warning (with no penalty)
1 Little Provocation, swearing without personal attack, obvious sarcasm Examples: noob, fuck, freak, shit, "geez, really great play", "shut up" -10 karma penalty
2 "light" insult Examples: stupid, idiot, loser, dumb, imbecile 1 day no-chat
3 Insult Pussy, motherfucker, fuck you, go fuck yourself, trash, dick, any kind of threat, whore, slut, asshole, dog, rat, pig, goat... 10 days no-chat
4 Major insult Insult with racism, xenophobia, sexism, discriminatory against a certain kind of people. Example: nigger, gay, faggot, insults against a certain country or origin... 30 days no-chat
5 Insult against BGA authority Insulting moderators, BGA team members or BGA as a whole 30 days ban
SPAM Spam or advertisement Publishing the same message many time, to advertise for anything. Advertising for other online gaming services is strictly forbidden. 10 days no-chat

Inappropriate avatar or username

Details on Policy concerning Avatars and Usernames

What is strictly forbidden is basically everything that may hurt a minor child or is forbidden by the law:

  • Sexually explicit content (ex: porn, pictures of genitalia, ...).
  • Extreme violence or shocking images.
  • Explicit reference to drugs.
  • Offensive/vulgar content.


The following categories are also forbidden, but we may tolerate some of them depending on the context (see below):

  • Advertisements:
    • As a rule of thumb, advertisement is forbidden.
    • However, if it refers to a "cult brand" with no intention to provide a real advertisement (ex: football team), or if the reference to the brand is not obvious or is discrete (ex: joke on Apple logo), it may be tolerated.
    • Advertisement for board game publishers / board games in general is authorized.
    • Advertisement for another online gaming service is strictly forbidden.
  • "Sexy" images:
    • If the main purpose of the image is "to be sexy" or "erotic", it is forbidden.
    • However, if the image is a fictional character that is considered sexy (ex: some heroic fantasy character, super hero, ...), it may be tolerated.
  • Politics / Religion / opinions:
    • Images that refers to extreme positions / provocative ideas are forbidden (ex: nazi or other racists symbols).
    • For the others: as a rule of thumb, players should avoid using their avatar to advertise for politics/religion or any other opinion. However, if the image is clearly not shocking for the vast majority of BGA players, it may be tolerated.
  • Text on image: our policy is also applied to the text on avatar images.

Penalties

Moderators immediately remove the inappropriate avatar or username.

For Avatars, the penalty is the same as the corresponding "insults" (ex: if this is a racist image, it should be a Level 4 penalty).

For Username, the penalty is also the same as the corresponding insults (see insults grid).

Inappropriate table description

The penalty is the same than the "insults" grid.

Kingmaking

You cannot report a player for Kingmaking.

The best way to fight against Kingmaking is to give a "Red thumb" to the corresponding player ("public red thumb").

If many players give this player Red Thumbs, his reputation will decrease and players will stop playing with him/her.

Bug exploit

To be moderated, a Bug Exploit should met these conditions:

  • the bug must have been reported in the BGA bug system
  • the accused player should use it often and deliberately
  • the report's author must prove that there is a benefit for the accused player

The standard penalty is the removal of all the points (ELO, Arena) obtained by using this technique. If it has been used many times, a complete reset of ELO/Arena points and awards removal can be done.

Giving red thumbs without explanation

You cannot report a player for this reason.

Players have the right to give Red Thumbs to any player they do not want to play with anymore.

Private information give in the chat / slow to play / ruin a game

We totally understand that this is painful, however, you cannot report a player for these reasons. There are many ways to play each games, and this is almost impossible (and consequently risky) for our moderators to understand the full context and do the right thing.

The good way to handle this is to give the player a "Red Thumb" ("public Red Thumb"). If many players are doing this, this player reputation is going to decrease and nobody will want to play with him/her.

Multiple accounts

BGA is fighting against multiple accounts used for cheating the competitive system (rankings, tournaments, ...), or to harass players and avoid moderation. Moderators only take actions in the previous cases, so this is useless to report a multiple accounts case for another reason.

For Multiple accounts cases, Moderators expect to have quite a lot of information and proof from the report's author. Reports that only contains accusations without proof will be ignored. It is very difficult to find out if different accounts corresponds to different person. For example: BGA accepts that multiple players plays from the same IP address, to allow people from the same family to play at the same table.

Proofs can be:

  • List of games where the accounts are playing together to cheat the system
  • Statistics (ex: taken from "player games history" page) showing an abnormal number of victories between 2 opponents
  • Game+moves references that shows that a player is deliberately losing a game or making a move that is abnormal considering the level of this player.

It happens frequently that the level of information required by our moderators is not reached. In this case, the report is closed, waiting for more reports from other players to help the case.

Penalties:

  • Removal of the secondary accounts
  • Rank reset (ELO/Arena) and awards removal

Translation corruption

Deliberately corrupting translation is a very serious attack on BGA.

Standard penalty: 10 days no-chat + forbid player to do translation