Escapist Forum Code of Conduct

About Us

The Escapist forums are different than most. We want our forums to be a place where everyone can gather to socialize and talk with like-minded people in a safe and welcoming environment. In order to make that happen, we have certain rules we ask all members of our community to adhere to. These rules will be vigorously enforced so that a handful of bad apples don't spoil it for everyone else.

Rule Zero

Above all other rules is Rule Zero. D&D fans will likely appreciate and understand Rule 0, which states that the DM (Dungeon Master) is always right. In the case of the forums, the moderator or staff member is always right. Any other rule that appears to have a gray area will be subject first to Rule 0, then to other aspects of the Forum and Personal Conduct rules below.

If for any reason you feel you've been wronged by moderation or staff, you are entitled to appeal their decision if they imposed an infraction on your account, but you are not allowed openly argue with them about it. This is a privately owned forum that's open to the public. Whatever right you feel you have to speak your mind is a privilege here. Don't abuse it.

Personal Conduct

Have respect for each other

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to attack others for that opinion. If you can't communicate without using combative, aggressive, or passive aggressive responses, then consider that these may not be the forums for you. Focus your response on your disagreement with a person's opinion, not on the person.

As it pertains to discussion, disagreement is unavoidable. However, this is not a license to misbehave - you must provide reasoning and justification for your statements. If you don't like a thread, the people in it, or anyone involved, don't post in it.

Have respect for the moderation team and Escapist staff

The moderation team is made up of the ever present volunteer guardians who work very hard to keep the forums clean, according to the Code of Conduct. The moderators and Escapist staff are here to make the website a place you want to visit. While we will listen to your complaints and give you what information we can, please understand that there are just some things we simply cannot discuss.

Neither the Escapist staff nor moderation team is to be used as a punching bag for you to vent your frustrations. If you have a problem with moderation or the rules, there is an appeals system in place for that.

Forum Conduct

Content and communication

A well-made thread or a well-written comment engages its audience and facilitates discussion. We do ask that posters take just a little time to make their posts as readable as possible and keep their responses on topic, and also take a moment to check spelling and grammar.

Our forums are not a place to advertise your blog, webpage, YouTube channel or commercial enterprise. Similarly, posts including, advocating, or linking to illegal or adult material are a very quick way to end your time as part of The Escapist community, which should generally be kept to a PG-13 standard.

Zero tolerance offenses

This section of the Code of Conduct also includes special circumstances that overrule any other type of warning and result in immediate removal of your posting privilege. Note: These circumstances cannot be appealed and will not expire.

  • Ban Jumping
    If you attempt to post on multiple accounts, circumventing a ban or any level of discipline, you and any other account you use will be automatically banned.
  • Targeted Harassment & Bullying
    Following a user from thread to thread, insulting and harassing specifically them, or sending repeated harassing private messages. Any incident of personal harassment or bullying of another will be met with an immediate ban.
  • Illegal Acts or Materials
    Posting, admitting to, or advocating any illegal act or content, such as footage or images of any crime, will lead to immediate ban and forwarding of any and all information to the appropriate authorities.
  • Advertising / Referral Traffic
    The Escapist forums are not a place to advertise your website or a place to spam referral links of any kind. We consider any such post to be Spam, and will remove it and your access as necessary.

Infraction offenses

Infraction Offenses are just as the name suggests. Any violation of the following rules will result in an infraction being placed on your account. For more information on how penalties work, please see the Penalty System section below. Note: Those who are incorrectly banned under this level may appeal the decision and have it overturned.

  • Inflammatory Comments / Trolling
    You may not post anything that is reasonably considered discriminatory towards other members. (i.e. homophobic, prejudiced or any other comments that would be deemed as hate speech)
  • "Extreme" Content / Offensive Posts
    No extreme content ('shock' images, obscene videos, text, and anything else that the moderators see as extreme or offensive are also not permitted)
  • Piracy, Illegal Narcotics, or Ad-blockers
    Do not link sites for piracy, drugs, or ad circumvention, nor advocate or admit to the use of any of the above. While discussions of these topics may come up anecdotally, the proliferation of material is disallowed on these forums.
  • Pornography
    Bear in mind any discussion of pornography will still be subject to the PG-13 standard, and linking to any pornographic material will be in breach of that standard.
  • Sexist, Racist, or Perverted Remarks
    As it pertains to the comfort and safety of other posters, please keep sexist, racist, or grossly perverted remarks out of your posts.

Minor issue offenses

Minor issues do not carry an infraction as a penalty for any of the below listed types of offenses on their own. However, repeated offenses will carry an infraction as punishment. The "excessive use" will be determined by a moderator and may vary depending on the situation/topic at hand. Keep it classy.

  • Pictures, Links and Videos
    Pictures, links and videos are permitted as long as there is a context to why it's posted. Purposeful use of jokes, images, or videos are allowed if it serves to enhance the thread, whereas posting random meme images unrelated to the topic does not.
  • Topic-less Thread Creation
    We encourage our community to make posts that help nurture a healthy discussion or debate. Posting a thread without any discussion value, or with a deliberately misleading title, is discouraged. This includes creating a poll without an accompanying discussion or beginning a thread with an original post that does not sufficiently explain the topic.
  • Excessive Profanity
    Swearing is permitted on the forums, but only in moderation within posts, and never within titles of topics.
  • Backseat Moderating
    Please allow our moderators to do their jobs. If you encounter someone breaking the rules, please click on the flag in the top right corner of their post for our team to review. It's not up to you to enforce the rules, only to obey them.

Your health bar explained - the penalty system

Any breaches of the above rules may result in penalties on the account. The Escapist uses a strike system that grants you a maximum amount of 8 penalties to learn how to adhere to forum policies. Here is the breakdown of all 8 stages:

  • Warning (Green)
    Warnings do not negatively impact your account but will stack against you for penalties. You may accrue up to 4 warnings before it automatically becomes probation.
  • Probation (Yellow)
    This is your final warning. All penalties after this will be suspensions, and all badges for good behavior will be negated.
  • 3-day Suspension (Red)
    You will be unable to post in the forums for three days, and all badges for good behavior will be negated.
  • 2-week Suspension (Red)
    You will be unable to post in the forums for two weeks, and all badges for good behavior will be negated.
  • Permanent Ban (Red)
    Your posting rights on the site, as well as other methods of community participation, will be revoked permanently.

This health bar serves as a danger meter for accounts. The higher the bar becomes, the more red the strikes and the higher the risk of major infractions.

After every 6 months without any warnings, you will drop down one level on the Forum Health Meter. After 2 years without any warnings, your meter will be returned to 0, regardless of where it was before. These adjustments don't apply to any users that have been permanently banned, and they don't remove the history that the moderators can see on your account. Anyone that is found "gaming the system" will be held accountable for it.

Appeal System and Communication

Appeal system

When you receive an infraction, a message will appear in your inbox with a link to the appeal system. This goes directly to a staff member and will use the email you registered your account with, so please refrain from abuse (and check your spam or junk folder).

Replies to appeals may usually take up to 2 days. If it takes a little longer please be patient.

Official staff group discussion and communication

Official Staff Groups are groups are monitored by the staff and an easy means to communicate with the Escapist staff and moderators. While other groups are not officially monitored, the groups below follow the same rules as any forum post. These groups are specifically meant to discuss site related topics with those that can assist you with your inquiry. They are not meant for arguments or other off-topic banter.

  • The Moderator Team The Moderator Team group is meant specifically for community members to report issues to our moderator team that they may have otherwise missed or request clarifications on misunderstood rules. It is NOT a place to argue regarding decisions they've made, or lack thereof.
  • Ideas for The Escapist This group is a place where you can share your ideas for The Escapist. If you have ideas you wish to see on the site, rules you wish changed, added or removed, or any other similar content, this is the group to post it in.
  • The Tech Team The Tech Team group is the place to post any bugs or other technical issues you discover on the site. Please be as descriptive of your issue as possible. While the Tech Team thinks they're miracle workers on their own, they still need a little help to ensure that your issue is fixed.

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