Policy - Site Guidelines | Kinmunity: Otherkin Community

Policy Site Guidelines

Discussion in 'Policies & Guidelines' started by Shiro, Sep 25, 2016.

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  1. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    In addition to Kinmunity's Terms and Rules and our Privacy Policy, we have a short list of supplemental rules that should be followed as well. These rules can be found below, and an index has been included to better help you navigate them.
    1. Our Definition Of Otherkin
    2. Otherkin Bill Of Rights
    3. Prohibited Behavior
    4. The Media & Content Sharing
    5. Treatment Of New Members
    6. Packs & Ranks
    7. Kinmunity Is Not A Dating Site
    8. Supplemental Rules for the Media Center
    9. Supplemental Rules for Live Chat Services
    10. Safe Place Policy
    11. The Infraction System
    12. Ignorance Is No Defense
    In addition to the above supplemental rules, please ensure that you read any "sticky" posts for individual forum nodes, as they may contain specific rules to that node. Thank you for using Kinmunity!

    These policies were last updated on Sunday, September 27th at 10:19 PM ET.
     
  2. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Our Definition Of Otherkin
    Definition
    On our community, to avoid any confusion, we use a very specific definition when referring to otherkin. While there are many different definitions of what qualifies as otherkin, we apply the following definition:

    The emphasis on "as" should be noted. There are small fractions of the otherkin community that feel the definition should be expanded to those identifying "with" a non-human entity. The administration of Kinmunity does not take this position.

    Otherkin as an umbrella term
    On Kinmunity, we generally use the term 'otherkin' as an umbrella term which applies to otherkin, therianthropes, and fiction-kin. We do not use the term to apply to the animal-hearted, totems, or other similar concepts. This is because we desire to be a welcoming and all-inclusive community. It is generally considered okay, for example, for a wolf therian to call themselves a "wolf otherkin", but it is not generally considered appropriate for one to call themselves an "elf therian". There are some grey areas, for example Dragons may refer to themselves as "Dragon Therians" or "Dragon Otherkin" and so forth. Generally speaking, proper use of such terminology is simply learned by participating in the community. Don't worry too much about it!

    In our community...
    • It is not appropriate nor healthy to use the community, or your identification as otherkin solely as a coping mechanism for mental illness.
    • It is not appropriate nor healthy to base your otherkin identity off your experiences you had while under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.
    • We do not accept the notion of "objectkin". It is not really possible to identify as an object, unless you are using personification to give that object human qualities, which doesn't really qualify...
    • Fictionkin are generally welcomed and accepted into our community with open-arms. We feel it is possible to identify as a fictional character that has distinct characteristics, personality traits, and behavior.
    • It is not acceptable to make claims that you are physically your kintype, that you can physically shift, or that being otherkin gives you special abilities.
    • It is not acceptable to claim an individual or currently living being as a kintype. How it is possible for you to be your pet dog? It's not.
    • A healthy dose of skepticism is welcomed and even encouraged. You should expect questions on introduction threads, and so forth. It helps people grow to be challenged and questioned.
    With that said, we aim to be a friendly, inclusive, tolerant, and safe community for all. This policy does not exist to exclude or alienate people, but instead to define the purpose and scope of Kinmunity as a resource. We do not tolerate rude or antagonistic behavior against other members for any reason. If a member is violating our rules, they should be reported and then ignored.
     
  3. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Otherkin Bill Of Rights
    Summary
    • You have the right to be who you really are inside.
    • You have the right to be respected for who you are.
    • Nobody has the right to tell you who you are.
    • You have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give to them.
    • You have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims.
    • You have the right to ask questions of others.
    • You have the right to say "NO" to someone trying to exert power over you.
    • You have the right to not participate in things which make you uncomfortable.

    Full Text
    You have the right to be who you really are inside, whether that is a wolf, a dragon, an elf, a demon, a dog, or even a fish. It is no one else's business to say or to judge. Sometimes you really do have to look and act like a respectable adult human in order to be successful in real life. But you don't have to compromise on who you are inside even if you have to control how you look and act on the outside.

    You have the right to be respected for who you are. No one else should be telling you what kind of being you really are if that does not feel right to you, or what your aura really looks like, or what religion you should believe if you don't want to. If someone tries to take power over you by telling you that they know more than you about who you are or what to believe, you can tell them no if you don't agree. It can feel good to have other people tell you things about your identity that you want to hear, but be aware that you don't have to agree with everything they say if it does not feel right to you. You are the sole owner of the real estate inside your own head.

    You have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give to them. If you try to join a group that is disrespectful of you, or that wants you to bow and worship their authority, or that harasses and hazes newcomers, you can tell them no. You can find a community that is respectful to you and treats you the same as everyone else. No one else has the right to treat you like you are worth less than them, not even if they are bigger and older and more experienced than you.

    You have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims. If someone says they can physically change into a wolf, or that green monkeys fly out of their butt, it is normal and reasonable to ask them to prove it. If they offer lots of excuses why they can not show you proof, you have the right to say you do not believe them and go find people to be with who do not feel the need to make up stories about how powerful and special they are. You may really want to believe that people can physically shift, but you need to think hard about whether you would believe a similarly extraordinary claim about something you aren't so emotionally invested in (like, “I own an elephant that can fly”), and what standards of proof would be reasonable to expect under those circumstances. Then apply those standards. Keeping an open mind is good, getting fooled by people who can't back up their grandiose claims is bad.

    You have the right to ask questions. If someone gets mad because you questioned something they said, even in a polite way, or asked for proof of an extraordinary claim, you should consider whether they are being reasonable or mature. Being otherkin does not make you so special that you get a free pass to be a jerk to other people, nor does it mean you have to put up with other people being a jerk to you. The otherkin community is actually a pretty big place, so if you find yourself in a section of it where people are being jerks, you can look for other otherkin to hang out with who aren't jerks. You don't have to stay in a bad friendship, even if you have an important thing in common with them.

    You have the right to say no if someone tries to exert power over you without your permission. No one is your “alpha” unless you want them to be, and you should think very carefully about the maturity level of people who want power over others, especially if they try to demand it or take advantage of it in creepy ways. You especially have the right to say no if someone tries to touch you when you don't want them to, or demands sex when you are not comfortable with that. Be very wary of any group or “pack” that uses power over people in an inappropriate way. You have the right to be respected, and you do NOT have to agree to be submissive to an “alpha” in order to have a close knit group of otherkin friends – a “pack” if you want to call it that - or an otherkin support community. Real wolves don't actually behave that way in the wild. Authority based packs are a very human thing, and not always a healthy thing.

    You have the right not to be pressured to do things you don't want to do, especially if they are dangerous, harmful or illegal. Or even if they just make you feel uncomfortable. Real friends will not pressure you or force you if you say no, you don't feel okay doing something.

    Source
    A Therian Bill of Rights, The Werelist.
     
  4. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Prohibited Behavior
    Double Posting
    This has been mentioned already in our Terms and Rules, but because it has been happening so often it warrants its own thread! We do not permit double posting or multi-posting on Kinmunity. Double posting is when you post two replies in a row, or a new thread and a reply in a row without somebody else's message in between it. We do not allow this because it is considered cheating when earning bones or increasing your post count. If you are trying to reply to multiple messages at once, please use the "+Quote" button to reply to multiple messages in one post. Users who double or multi-post will have their posts merged and they will lose any bones earned from the additional posts. Users who consistently multi-post after being told not to may receive warnings.


    Evangelism
    While we strongly believe all users are entitled to their religious and spiritual beliefs, we absolutely do not allow 'preaching' on Kinmunity. This means that we do not allow people of any religion, spirituality, faith, or belief to attempt to force their beliefs upon others. We also do not allow for any evangelism or allow users to attempt convert others to their own belief system. We consider it rude and disrespectful to behave in this way. This is briefly covered in our Terms and Rules:

    While we welcome the discussion of spiritual and religious beliefs, we do not welcome you to discount the beliefs of others or attempt to push your own beliefs on others.

    Making Extraordinary Claims Without Extraordinary Evidence
    As stated in our Terms and Rules, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This is especially true of individuals who claim they have special powers, can physically shift, or similar things. Unless you have indisputable evidence to back up such claims, please do not make them on Kinmunity. It does not impress anybody and nobody believes that you're telling the truth when you make such claims. Users who ignore this policy will simply receive infraction tickets for their violation, as there is nothing to discuss.

    Over the years, plenty of people have provided examples of grandiose claims including:
    • The ability to physically shift to their Kintype(s)
    • That they have superpowers
    • That their teeth grow, eyes change colors, etc.
    • That they can control the weather, other people, etc.
    You are welcome to make such claims if you have EVIDENCE to back them up. If you do not, then please don't try to make yourself sound special.

    Abuse Of The Rating System

    Kinmunity has a post rating system, which this page describes in detail. The purpose of this system is to reward members who post high-quality content, as to allow the community to "self-moderate". This system, in combination with our report system, also helps keep Kinmunity safe from spammers, trolls, and other bad actors. In order to keep things fair and to prevent misuse of this system, the following guidelines should be observed at all times when using our rating system. Those who abuse the rating system and fail to follow these guidelines can have their access to it revoked by a staff member.

    • Rate posts, not users! - When selecting a rating for a post or piece of content, you should base your rating only on the particular piece of content you're applying it to. Do not use the rating system to harass or "get back at" users you have personal disputes with.
    • Don't ask for ratings! - Don't ask for people to "like", "love", or otherwise up-vote or down-vote your post for any reason. Do not use the rating system as a polling system, we have an actual poll feature for that.
    • Don't harass raters! - If you've been given a rating you disagree with on a particular piece of content you posted, do not act in an abusive matter to the person who gave it to you. Instead, contact a staff member if it violates our Terms and Rules or any of our Policies & Guidelines. NEVER PM or IM somebody asking them to change their rating.
    • Rate appropriately! - You'll want to read this page so that you understand what each rating means. You are free to "dislike" a post you disagree with, for example, but the "rubbish" rating is reserved exclusively for spam and troll posts.
    If somebody is abusing the rating system, or deliberately using it for harassment purposes, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member. On the same token, if you abuse the rating system or engage in "reputation wars" with others, you can also face having your ability to use the system revoked.

    Discussion Of Beastiality and Zoosexuality
    Kinmunity does not permit discussion of any kind regarding zoosexuality, beastiality, or zoophilia. This includes in the adults only area of Kinmunity. If you wish to discuss such topics, you are encouraged to use a search engine to find a more suitable community to do it on. We take this stance for both legal and ethical reasons. While we understand this decision may upset some in the community, we feel it protects everyone's best interest to forbid such discussion.
     
    #4 Shiro, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  5. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    The Media & Content Sharing
    Members of the media are not permitted to hold accounts of Kinmunity without prior authorization from the administration. Reproduction of content found on Kinmunity is explicitly forbidden, unless you have consent from both the administration and the original author of said content. This policy is strictly enforced at all times in order to maintain a "safe place" for our members.

    Additionally, it is against our Privacy Policy to redistribute information that requires a username and password to access. For clarification:
    • It is not permitted to share screenshots of posts or other contents that you must be logged in to access with unauthorized parties.
    • It is not permitted to share the contents of private messages, instant messages, or whispers with unauthorized parties.
     
  6. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Treatment Of New Members
    Kinmunity aims to provide a friendly and welcoming community for all, including those who are new to the concept of otherkin and therianthropy. For this reason, we ask all of our members to "assume good faith" when dealing with people who are new to our site or new to the otherkin community. This means that, in most circumstances, they should be given the benefit of the doubt and not expected to know how our community functions. This does not mean that you're not permitted to question new members or engage in rational and healthy debate, in fact, we encourage you to do so, but there's a way to do so that is civil and healthy and a way to do so that is unfriendly and rude. We expect you to take the civil and friendly route

    Additionally, please refrain from using the reputation system to scold new members for minor things. You should give people the chance to get acquainted with the community before expecting the same from them that you'd expect from long-time users. And as always, if a new user violates our terms and rules, report them to the staff and do not try to handle them yourself. This policy is in place to ensure all feel welcomed and respected on Kinmunity.

    Please see this thread regarding how to respond to introduction threads!
     
  7. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Packs & Ranks
    In order to understand our policy on ranks and packs, it is important to understand two definitions for the word "rank". Below are the two relevant definitions that we will be using for this explanation.
    It is no coincidence that rank refers to both a hierarchal position and a foul smell. In order to keep things on neutral grounds on Kinmunity, we ask that members do not use pack, group, or other rankings while on the site. On a similar notion, all pack/pride/clan/etc related discussions should be kept to an absolute minimum. If you feel you must discuss your pack/clan/whatever affiliation, you may do it in the "About Me" section of your profile only. You are also permitted to mark your group meetup location in KinSpots. Finally, packs can also form social groups on the site. Those three scenarios should be the only times such things are mentioned.

    By mentioning rank, you (even if unintentionally) are claiming to be superior or inferior to other members of the site - and this isn't okay.


    Quoting the Terms of Service and Rules:
     
    #7 Shiro, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2016
  8. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Kinmunity Is Not A Dating Site
    Kinmunity is not a dating website.
    Kinmunity is NOT a dating website.
    Kinmunity is not a dating website!
    KINMUNITY IS NOT A DATING WEBSITE!


    • Using Kinmunity exclusively to find a mate or significant other is strongly discouraged.
    • Users under the age of eighteen who use Kinmunity for the purpose of attempting to find a mate or significant other are violating our Terms and Rules.
    • Users over the age of eighteen who use Kinmunity for the purpose of engaging in romantic, sexual, or romance-seeking conversations with users under the age of eighteen are violating our Terms and Rules and may be violating applicable law.
      • Violations of law in this respect can and will be reported to the appropriate authorities by the administration of Kinmunity.
      • On the same token, minors who knowingly seek relationships with users over the age of eighteen may be violating our Terms and Rules.
    • Because Kinmunity is not a dating site, users who violate our Terms and Rules while attempting to use it as such risk penalties up to and including, but not limited to, permanent removal from the site.
     
  9. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Supplemental Rules For The Media Center
    1. All media submitted to the media center must be the original content of the submitter, or the submitter must hold rights authorizing them to submit such content for public display in our media center.
    2. The following types of media are prohibited
      1. pornographic material
      2. media which is obscene, defamatory, vulgar, or an invasion of another user's privacy
      3. media which depicts illegal or violent behavior
      4. media which is copyrighted or trademarked
      5. media that otherwise violates our Terms and Rules
    Users who repeatedly violate the rules regarding our Media Center will have their ability to upload suspended or disabled. Depending on the severity of the offense, additional sanctions may also be applied to their user account.
     
  10. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Supplemental Rules For Live Chat Services
    Kinmunity provides a live chatroom for users to communicate with each other in real-time. Although the chatroom is moderated, our staff are not able to screen messages in the chatroom before they are posted. Therefore, the following rules are in place to keep our live chatroom a safe environment for all users.

    Global Rules (Apply in all chatrooms, including user created rooms)
    1. Kinmunity's Terms and Rules apply at all times within all chatrooms.

    2. The use of "curse words" does nothing to enhance conversation, and is therefore strongly discouraged.

    3. Flooding (rapidly posting lines of text, often nonsense, in succession) is not permitted. If you have a large block of text to paste, please use a service such as pastebin.

    4. Spamming is not permitted, nor is advertising of any kind.

    5. If you are having conflict with another user in the chatroom, please utilize the ignore function and do not engage the user.

    6. If objectionable material is posted in the chatroom, please report it. You can report content by hovering over the message and clicking the icon that looks like an exclamation point encased in a triangle.

    7. The room owner of a user-created room has full control over that room. Staff will likely not intervene if you are kicked from a user-created room.

    8. Don't feed the trolls.

    9. Follow the directions of the staff team at all times.

    10. Have fun!

    Supplemental Rules (apply in all "official" chatrooms)
    1. Please contribute to the topic at hand, if a large group of people are discussing something, do not disrupt their discussion with entirely unrelated conversation. If there are a large number of users in the chatroom, and you and one or two friends are dominating the conversation, please take it to whispers or create a room.

    2. Please do not abuse the chat colors or other available text formatting options. Kinmunity has both light and dark styles available, and your text should be easily readable on all styles.

    3. While light venting is understandable, please keep in mind that neither our staff nor users are mental health professionals. The chatroom is not your therapist's office. Please don't use it as such.

    4. Discussion topics that could potentially alienate new users who may stumble into the chatroom are discouraged. If your discussion topic is inappropriate, a staff member may ask you to take it to whispers or create a room.

    5. While intense discussions and debates are permitted and encouraged, if a controversial topic or debate is making people uncomfortable, please move it to a thread in the "Defending Your Territory" section.

    6. The official chatrooms are drama-free zones.

    7. The official chatrooms are moderated by Kinmunity staff members. Bad behavior in an official room can lead to banishment from all rooms within the chat system, or action being taken against your account.

    8. Please adhere to a "PG-13" rating while in official rooms. Content should be suitable for all users thirteen years of age and over.

    9. Kinmunity is not a dating or pack forming service. Please do not use our official chatrooms for these purposes.

    10. If you want to gamble with your own mental health, that's on you. Do not mess with another user's mental health; even with consent of the said user.

    11. Please be courteous and respectful to all users.

    Users who violate the chat rules will receive a verbal warning, followed by a kick, followed by a temporary ban. Users who repeatedly violate the chat rules may be permanently banned from the system.
     
  11. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    Safe Place Policy
    Kinmunity defines itself as a safe place, but not in the modern sense sense that is commonly commonly interpreted by the Tumblr and Vent communities. Kinmunity is a "safe place" in the following regards:
    • We do not tolerate harassment and abuse towards our users.
    • We do not tolerate people violating the privacy of our users.
    With that in mind, we are not an "intellectual safe place" and we will not inappropriately prevent our users from from engaging in meaningful debate, or asking and answering questions about one's identity. We do not support or provide "trigger warnings" and we do not allow individuals to request censorship of ideas that are different or opposing to their own.

    While on Kinmunity,
    • You can expect light to moderate questioning in your introduction thread regarding your identity and how you discovered it. We have a policy which explains this in depth.
    • You can expect to encounter discussion and debate on a variety of topics, and you can certainly expect to encounter users who believe differently from yourself. In this instance, you are expected to be have in a mature and rational matter. We do not and will not censor somebody for expressing their opinion if it is different from your own.
    • You can expect an entirely different environment from Tumblr and Vent. Users will not blindly believe everything they read, nor are they expected to. If you are not comfortable with the atmosphere on Kinmunity, you are welcome to discontinue using it.
    While this may seem "harsh", we are committed to allowing the free exchange of ideas on our site without any unnecessary limitation. If you are uncomfortable by this prospect, Kinmunity may not be the site for you.
     
  12. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
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    The Infraction System
    Kinmunity generally uses a standardized infraction system in order enforce its Terms and Rules. Users who violate our Terms and Rules will receive infractions which carry a certain amount of points. Restrictions are automatically applied to accounts depending on the number of infraction points the account has. The purpose of this post is to explain how this system works, as well as give a refresher on what types of actions are against our Terms and Rules.

    List of Violations
    The following violations are against Kinmunity's Terms and Rules and can result in infraction points being applied to your account.

    Class D Violations

    Class D violations are given for very minor offenses and only result in a maximum of fifteen infraction points which expire in three months after being issued. It's also important to note that receiving a violation marked with a "*" will result in your access to the feature being revoked until the associated infraction points expire. The following offenses are considered Class D violations:
    • Poor spelling & grammar
    • *Misuse of signature
    • *Misuse of avatar
    • *Misuse of the rating system
    • *Misuse of the chatroom
    Class C Violations
    Class C violations are given for minor offenses and only result in a maximum of twenty infraction points which will expire in six months after being issued. The following offenses are considered Class C violations:
    • Not staying on-topic
    • Swearing outside of the adult areas
    Class B Violations
    Class B violations are given for serious offenses and they result in a maximum of twenty four infraction points which will expire in one year after being issued. The following offenses are considered Class B violations:
    • Hijacking a discussion thread
    • Rude behavior towards other members
    • Preaching or evangelism
    • Backseat moderating
    • Refusing to follow the directions of a staff member
    Class A Violations
    Class A violations are given for major offenses and result in a maximum of forty infraction points which will expire in two years after being issued. The following offenses are considered Class A violations:
    • Harassment towards another user or staff member.
    • Posting content which is sexually explicit, overly violent, or otherwise obscene outside of our adult areas.
    • Making false or grandiose claims without the appropriate evidence to back them up.
    • Encouraging or recommending that another member engages in unlawful activity.
    • Posting content which violates the privacy or safety of another member.
    • Recruiting members for a pack/family/clan/rank.

    Capital Violations
    Capital violations result in an automatic permanent ban from Kinmunity. The following offenses are considered capital violations:
    • Flagrant trolling or large-scale abuse of of Kinmunity's services.
    • Registering on Kinmunity for the sole purpose of posting spam or advertisements.
    • Posting pornography or links to pornography anywhere on Kinmunity.
    • Posting content which is illegal under US Law anywhere on Kinmunity.
    Restriction Application
    • 40 Infraction Points = 1 week ban.
    • 48 Infraction Points = Placed on probation until you have below 48 infraction points.
    • 80 Infraction Points = 1 month ban.
    • 110 Infraction Points = 6 month ban.
    • 120 Infraction Points = Permanent ban.
    Additional Notes
    • Infractions can be given to users by Guardians of Kinmunity.
    • Generally speaking, one or more verbal warnings are issued to users via Private Message before infractions are given, especially for minor offenses.
    • When a user receives an infraction, an automated private message is sent to the user from the staff member who issues the infraction explaining why.
    • Consequences for violating our Terms and Rules are not "set in stone" and occasionally, staff members will deviate from this system. Failing to follow our Terms and Rules can result in consequences up to and including permanent removal from Kinmunity.
     
    #12 Shiro, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  13. Shiro

    Shiro The foxy wolfeh ;p
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
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    Ignorance Is No Defense
    Not knowing the rules is no excuse for not following them: if you break any rule, all staff will assume you know them. Using that as argument will be punished as "Backseat Moderating" because you'd be insinuating that staff cannot punish you because you didn't know that what you were doing wasn't allowed.

    Things we expect every member to read before registering:
    If you want to use our chat services, don't forget to read the chat-specific rules before using it.

    Be responsible and have fun!
     
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