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Abusive Language/Spray Rule Changes


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#1 Cheese

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 08:13 PM

We've updated some of our game server rules to more accurately reflect how we've been moderating our servers for several months.

 

Abusive Language

  • The "Abusive Language Used as Slang" rule has been removed from the Tier-3 section.
  • The "Abusive Language" rule has been relocated from the Tier-2 section to the Tier-3 section.

Although we've been operating this way for several months, we've collectively agreed that the word nigga can often be used in a non-bigoted way, and that we should not punish for it. An example of this would be someone saying, "what's up my niggas?!". If a player uses the word nigga to target other players, harass others, or if they use the word in a bigoted context, the rule breaker will be reprimanded as normal.

 

Sprays

  • Inappropriate Sprays are now classified into two categories: Tier 2 (Shock, gore, & sexual acts) & Tier 3 (Nudity)

The update to our spray policy allows us to be more fair with how we handle spray reports. Sprays that incorporate genitalia will fall under the tier 3 category of our tiered-ban system. Sprays that incorporate sexual acts, shock, or gore will fall under Tier 2. If a person sprays a picture that does not include genitalia but does include a butt or breasts without nipples, they will not be reprimanded as long as no other rules are broken.

 

Although our policy is updating, we still expect our members (official members and server regulars) to set an example for other players. This post is not a license to freely use "nigga" in every line of chat on the server or to push the boundaries for sprays either.

 

Thanks!


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#2 Savage

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 08:16 PM

I'm going to repeat something that Cheese said because I think it's really important:

 

We've already been enforcing these rules for many months. We realized we needed to update the written rules to reflect how we enforce them on the servers. That's the only change that's happening.


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#3 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 08:41 PM

I respectfully disagree with these rule changes.  Being someone who is white, I still find it offensive whether the suffix is -a or -er.  It means the same thing and is equally as offensive to people on the servers that I know (and yes, some of them are black).  Hell, it's bad enough that I get called 'cunt' every other day (where I dont mind the word, dont call me that).  Nor do I appreciate ass being sprayed in my face every time I walk out of spawn.  Something is wrong with that.  Call me 'grandma'.  Call me 'unrealistic'.  I don't care.  But I am entitled to my opinions and morals.  And they are strong.  If someone doesn't stand up for them, then who will?  Where I realize that you are not wanting to shut out parts of the gaming community, you are just enabling more people and drawing them to believe that this is Okay.  If this was going to be a decision that was made, maybe the Community should have been able to give opinions and/or vote on it.  


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#4 UberActivist

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 09:18 PM

I respectfully disagree with these rule changes.  Being someone who is white, I still find it offensive whether the suffix is -a or -er.  It means the same thing and is equally as offensive to people on the servers that I know (and yes, some of them are black).  Hell, it's bad enough that I get called 'cunt' every other day (where I dont mind the word, dont call me that).  Nor do I appreciate ass being sprayed in my face every time I walk out of spawn.  Something is wrong with that.  Call me 'grandma'.  Call me 'unrealistic'.  I don't care.  But I am entitled to my opinions and morals.  And they are strong.  If someone doesn't stand up for them, then who will?  Where I realize that you are not wanting to shut out parts of the gaming community, you are just enabling more people and drawing them to believe that this is Okay.  If this was going to be a decision that was made, maybe the Community should have been able to give opinions and/or vote on it.  

On the part about the word, I'd like to paraphrase something George Carlin said. The words themselves are innocent. It's the context that makes them good or bad. No word is 'bad' on it's own, it just takes a racist/bigoted asshole to make it racist.

 

I believe many of the bigoted words banned are just. When's the last time you saw someone use a certain word to describe a bundle of sticks unironically? However what we have in the original post is a word that's used as slang in both bigoted and non-bigoted ways, and we don't really need to be lumping friendly average TF2 players into the same category as racist assholes.


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#5 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 09:45 PM

On the part about the word, I'd like to paraphrase something George Carlin said. The words themselves are innocent. It's the context that makes them good or bad. No word is 'bad' on it's own, it just takes a racist/bigoted asshole to make it racist.

 

I believe many of the bigoted words banned are just. When's the last time you saw someone use a certain word to describe a bundle of sticks unironically? However what we have in the original post is a word that's used as slang in both bigoted and non-bigoted ways, and we don't really need to be lumping friendly average TF2 players into the same category as racist assholes.

I get that.  But, you can't prove intent.  And intent is how you're going to define that.  You may as well say it's okay to use 'gay' or 'fa**ot" too then.  Because both of those can be used in bigoted or non-bigoted ways as well.  It just depends on how you use them, right?  Ignorance is just ignorance to me.  Say the words...words are words.  But, I still have the right to respect my fellow players and friends by speaking up, while being the person who isn't afraid to speak up for others at the same time.  If you can't expand your vocabulary beyond those few things, I'm really sorry.


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#6 Brudda

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:02 PM

It is very important to realize that, no matter what you think, "nigga" and "n****r" [the n-word] are not the same word.

Let me repeat that. They are not the same word.

 

The n-word came into existence as a slur used to degrade Black individuals and ensure white supremacy. Unfortunately, anybody who still uses the word today uses it for essentially that purpose. As time went by, and Black individuals gained freedoms and came to step into their own, they decided to reclaim the word for themselves in a slightly altered form, and from this, nigga was born. Nigga, for those who are unaware or don't feel comfortable investigating its use in modern English, is a very complicated word. It's quite honestly understandable that people have issues realizing that it's not the n-word. That said, linguists who study African American vernaculars do not consider nigga and the n-word to be the same word because they are intended to be used for different reasons. As I said, the n-word is intended as a tool to degrade Black folk. Nigga is usually used in a positive sense, as in "what's up, my nigga?" but just like how some women will use "honey" or "sweetie" in derogatory ways to other women, some Black individuals will use nigga in such a way as to warn other Black individuals to stop their annoying activity: "nigga, you better watch yourself."

 

If you don't feel comfortable saying nigga, you certainly don't have to use the word. But ultimately, anybody who wants to use bigoted language to be racist against Black individuals is probably going to resort to the actual n-word, and therefore, I believe we should allow "nigga" to stay within our community.


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#7 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:05 PM

It is very important to realize that, no matter what you think, "n****" and "n****r" [the n-word] are not the same word.

Let me repeat that. They are not the same word.

 

The n-word came into existence as a slur used to degrade Black individuals and ensure white supremacy. Unfortunately, anybody who still uses the word today uses it for essentially that purpose. As time went by, and Black individuals gained freedoms and came to step into their own, they decided to reclaim the word for themselves in a slightly altered form, and from this, n**** was born. n****, for those who are unaware or don't feel comfortable investigating its use in modern English, is a very complicated word. It's quite honestly understandable that people have issues realizing that it's not the n-word. That said, linguists who study African American vernaculars do not consider n**** and the n-word to be the same word because they are intended to be used for different reasons. As I said, the n-word is intended as a tool to degrade Black folk. n**** is usually used in a positive sense, as in "what's up, my n****?" but just like how some women will use "honey" or "sweetie" in derogatory ways to other women, some Black individuals will use n**** in such a way as to warn other Black individuals to stop their annoying activity: "n****, you better watch yourself."

 

If you don't feel comfortable saying n****, you certainly don't have to use the word. But ultimately, anybody who wants to use bigoted language to be racist against Black individuals is probably going to resort to the actual n-word, and therefore, I believe we should allow "n****" to stay within our community.

 

...and that's your opinion, and you're entitled to your opinion.  just as much as im entitled to mine.  but when you have black players who are feeling like it's not okay, the history lesson doesnt mean much to them.  it's again intent.  you still can not prove that.


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#8 UberActivist

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:06 PM

I get that.  But, you can't prove intent.  And intent is how you're going to define that.  You may as well say it's okay to use 'gay' or 'fa**ot" too then.  Because both of those can be used in bigoted or non-bigoted ways as well.  It just depends on how you use them, right?  Ignorance is just ignorance to me.  Say the words...words are words.  But, I still have the right to respect my fellow players and friends by speaking up, while being the person who isn't afraid to speak up for others at the same time.  If you can't expand your vocabulary beyond those few things, I'm really sorry.

You're missing the point of what I said but OK.

 

You can prove intent. If someone comes into the server using the n word as an insult, then there's a problem. Example: http://stats.firepow...ries/chat/49690

 

However if someone says "What's up my niggas?" or "Jesus Christ is my nigga" it's very obvious their intent is the form of the word is the synonym for "friend". This word is also a culture-related word for black people.

 

For other words, there's almost NEVER a way they can be used in a non-bigoted way. A cartoony wacky FPS game doesn't involve bundles of sticks, or vaginas, or calling things happy in a pre-1970's fashion. Derogatory words related to Jews/Asians/Latin Americans have no non-bigoted intent.

 

Finally, I'd like to touch on your "expand your vocabulary" point. Slang words are valid words. Just because they're not official parts of the English dictionary doesn't mean they can't or won't eventually be a part of the English dictionary. And new and informal words are a healthy part of any living language, and using more words to convey the same meaning doesn't instantly make your word better.

 

This was being typed before Brudda posted his reply, and what he said is probably something I should've also mentioned too.


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#9 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:18 PM

Just because I'm the only one arguing this right now, doesn't mean I'm the only one that believes in what I'm saying.  You might wanna revise the rules so that 'gay' and 'fa**ot" are okay, too, then?  Because people will be people.  They will come on a server and be like "hey, what's up fa**ot?"  Does that make it right?  It's where you draw the line.  And that's one blurry line, and the blurrier it gets, the harder it's going to be to have those kind of speech rules at all. I already resigned my membership to support this.  I think no one opinion is wrong.  I'm simply saying it's sad.  And that it's a lot of gray area.  And the fact that no one else got to share their opinion on the matter sucks...because we are supposed to be a Community.


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#10 Join Shoepowered today

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:26 PM

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Yo but real talk tho. Its just a word. You can pretty much take any word and say it with malicious intent. For instance I call bagel a "canadian slut," and i mean it in the meanest way possible when i do. It doesn't mean that canadian or slut are terrible words. The admins/mods have decided that niggas is ok and they clearly stated that people would be reprimanded if they used it in a bigoted way. They're pretty good at their jobs, so just trust them to do what they do and chillax. Also, as a black man i could not care less. 

 

Stay fly mah niggas


Edited by Join Shoepowered today, 19 August 2015 - 10:30 PM.

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#11 Turret

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:30 PM

Warning: The following is my personal opinion and does not represent the opinions of all or any other staff members.

 

We have very specific rules about what we mods and admins consider punishable offenses and we enforce those rules well (if I may say so myself).With that said, language is a difficult thing to moderate at times. We want to allow people to express themselves freely while still maintaining an environment where people are comfortable. Certain words are against the rules no matter what the context is. Certain words that are normally harmless can be against the rules if the context is bigoted. The use of the word “nigga” is a topic that us admins and moderators have spoken about on several occasions. It is important that we are all on the same page and we have decided as a group that “nigga” will not be a punishable offense unless used in a bigoted context.

We moderate the servers, but we can’t protect people from everything that might offend them. It’s a mature rated game and people should be able to make crude jokes and say bad words if they want. People are allowed to say “cunt” and spray pictures of mild nudity if they so desire. People are never allowed to bully or harass other players, but it’s also impossible to shelter everyone from words they don’t like. Personally I hate the word “retarded”. Makes my blood boil when it’s used incorrectly (which is most of the time). But as long as it’s not being directed towards another player in a harassing way, it’s not against the rules. I still reserve the right to stand up and ask people not to use that word if I so desire, but I wouldn’t punish someone just for saying or doing something I don’t like.

Our rules are stated clearly for everyone to see. If you don’t like the rules because they are too strict, you can find another server to play on else be punished for breaking the rules. If you don’t like the rules because they are too lenient, you can find a Christian or family-friendly server to play on.

 

As a side note: If you have a problem/question/concern with any of our rules you can talk about it with a staff member you trust. Personally I will talk to anyone that wants to talk and will even bring the topic up the other admins myself if a member is not comfortable. I value the opinion of everyone and your voice will be heard if you go about it the right way. This doesn't mean I will agree with you, but I will listen and you will be heard.


Edited by Turret, 19 August 2015 - 10:32 PM.

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#12 Schellep9

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:42 PM

and spray pictures of mild nudity if they so desire.
 

 

Since you brought it up I figure I will chime in on this one. I have played most servers with most major groups, and yes this is a mature game. I personally watch porn; I do I am not gonna lie. The zero tolerance porn spray policy works well for me on the servers. I understand context but Porn is a private affair. If I wanna be in a Porn Crowd Circle Jerk I would sign up for one. Just laying it out there. I start seeing a plethora of Teenie bopper PG 13 kiddy Porn popping up I am gonna wear a revised FP tag [FP(Skial)]. Not a threat or anything I just stand against public porn shows.

 

And @Turret I <3 you dearly but you did bring it up so needed to let this out


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#13 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:43 PM

Getting a little off topic I think now with the argument.  If I could have a dollar for the number of times that I've been personally harassed on an FP server and nothing be done about it (except for maybe another friend in the community telling them to fuck off), regardless if I've said something or not, I'd be rich.  Not applicable -- mute the person and be done with it.  I don't care about the word "cunt" either, I just dont care to be called it literally over and over again.  I'm not Christian.  I'm talking about the gray area in which has been created.  And the intent/context within that gray area.  I'm one person arguing for a group of people who aren't or won't back me.  But, they believe the same thing.  Context goes along with intent.  Meanwhile "Fa**ot" and "f*g* go punished...


Edited by Deyanira, 19 August 2015 - 10:57 PM.

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#14 Brudda

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:51 PM

Meanwhile "Fa**ot" and "f*g* go unpunished...

 

While I personally have never had an opportunity to ban somebody for these words, if ever the opportunity arose, the offender in question would most certainly be punished, and any other member of the staff would do the same. Let's not go throwing around obviously false accusations.

 

I'd like to emphasize something which was said previously: we're not encouraging people to just throw around "nigga" like there's no tomorrow. You still need to use the word tactfully, just like swears sexual innuendo, or other more controversial words in our language.

 

I would also like to add to my previous post that I am not encouraging "sucking it up." If you are offended by something which somebody says, you have the right to ask them not to use those words around you, and if they are unreasonable about it, that warrants admin intervention, and potentially even being muted. We do not tolerate harassment of other players, and continuing to be rude/offensive after being asked to stop constitutes harassment.

 

So, let's say that I'm playing TF2 on Dustbowl and the server is full. A friend of mine joins, and I say "my nigga." Another player on the server requests that I not use the word because it makes them uncomfortable. I apologize that they felt that way, make it clear that I didn't want them to feel uncomfortable, and refrain from saying "nigga" (or any other offensive word which they asked me to stop using) until they have left the server, and maybe even for a little while longer. That's the way this should work: you are free to use language which our rules don't restrict, but you also must respect the wishes of your fellow players.


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#15 UberActivist

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:01 PM

Harassment rules are hard to get right though. Too strict and people can use it as a weapon against you. Too lenient and serious cases can be ignored. Harassment rules might be something the community needs to address in the future.


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#16 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:03 PM

While I personally have never had an opportunity to ban somebody for these words, if ever the opportunity arose, the offender in question would most certainly be punished, and any other member of the staff would do the same. Let's not go throwing around obviously false accusations.

 

I'd like to emphasize something which was said previously: we're not encouraging people to just throw around "n****" like there's no tomorrow. You still need to use the word tactfully, just like swears sexual innuendo, or other more controversial words in our language.

 

I would also like to add to my previous post that I am not encouraging "sucking it up." If you are offended by something which somebody says, you have the right to ask them not to use those words around you, and if they are unreasonable about it, that warrants admin intervention, and potentially even being muted. We do not tolerate harassment of other players, and continuing to be rude/offensive after being asked to stop constitutes harassment.

 

So, let's say that I'm playing TF2 on Dustbowl and the server is full. A friend of mine joins, and I say "my n****." Another player on the server requests that I not use the word because it makes them uncomfortable. I apologize that they felt that way, make it clear that I didn't want them to feel uncomfortable, and refrain from saying "n****" (or any other offensive word which they asked me to stop using) until they have left the server, and maybe even for a little while longer. That's the way this should work: you are free to use language which our rules don't restrict, but you also must respect the wishes of your fellow players.

I meant to say "punished" there, @Brudda.  Sorry about that.  lol.  I can see ;how that would be confusing.  And that last paragraph is 'theoretically' how it SHOULD go and I could respect that; however, that's NOT what happens.  When you ask someone politely on a server not to say something (and Im really not offended by much, let's just get that clear), they will 99% of the time go out of their way to say it, spam it, and rub it in as much as they can.  Respect is not something many people give in a video game because of it's anonymity provided by the internet.  Most people think of other players as pixels on a screen, they don't care how someone feels about it.  That's why we have rules to begin with.

"Be kind.  Everyone is fighting a battle that you don't know about."  That's what I try to live by.  


Edited by Deyanira, 19 August 2015 - 11:04 PM.

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#17 Schellep9

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:14 PM

WARNING: Do not read this if you have no sense of imagination, you won't get it.

 

"Imagine a hill that you stand in the middle of. As you stand there you look up as see a beautiful sunrise that could kill by sheer presence. At the bottom a muck pile filed with pig shit that reminds you of death with a side order of old person smell. Next to you on the right is stone steps that lead up and down. On the left is a slick mud drenched slide. You may now choose how to climb. Left or Right."

 

Words work like the choice above some lead to the steps, some to the slide. Sadly most words are slippery slopes that only lead to a world of shit. As you take one step you inevitably slip down. I won't say its a fast slide down but no one see's Sunrise from the bottom and once and the bottom well shit is shit. Walking on the steps is hard since most people hate walking and would prefer to sit at the bottom.

 

Metaphors suck cuz you actually have to think when you read them, but I hope this one helps in some way.

 

Sadly, I realize the point of this will be lost on many but as my father actually lived through this and didn't avoid the bad stories. I can say without a doubt "don't walk on a slide."

 

Well the Warning has been given. I am sure it will be ignored.

 

Also on a side note I don't have 'n****'s', I have "Friends". Call me culturally insensitive, but I don't use the word as I have never dressed in "Black Face", I don't like the word because I am a white guy who can't say "Hey You" without being called a racist prick. So it may be server rules now but if you say "sup n****" to me you better pray your black so at least you can have me sent to Jail for 25 to life for a Hate Crime, because I will beat your ass. (Go ahead try me)

 

Also to the admin staff as a long team member I do understand with the F word as I have been seeing more and more unpunished acts. I don't ask for perfection just Zero Tolerance


Edited by Schellep9, 19 August 2015 - 11:17 PM.

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#18 baby_eater

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:29 PM

Personally I hate the word “retarded”. Makes my blood boil when it’s used incorrectly (which is most of the time). But as long as it’s not being directed towards another player in a harassing way, it’s not against the rules.

 

Mine boils hearing aspy or saying people are acting like they have asperger's. If you know me then you know what someone with Aspergers is like... We're fucking weird, but we aren't that fucking weird.

 

@Deyanira if people are calling you a cunt daily, that's harassment. Report them, we don't want them on our servers. It's not the word that's important, it's the attitude.


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#19 Deyanira

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:39 PM

lol @baby_eater  it's great fun, ive just learned to mute them and V or someone usually defends me.  I don't like when people are demeaning towards anyone.  But, hey,not everyone is as nice as I can be.  

It's all about that 'gray area' and how much is too much.  That's what I'm worried about.  Tits without nipples, Ass in the air without vajayjay, and context/intent....what makes what okay?  Acceptable to say 'what's up N*gg*' but not "what's up F*gg*t" ....it's NOT OK.  Neither of those should be acceptable in a community environment.  That's the point.   What makes one worse than the other in context?  Equality!  Please.  No one sounds cool saying either of those things in any context, imo.


Edited by Deyanira, 19 August 2015 - 11:39 PM.

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#20 Fridgeraider™

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:42 PM

I dislike this change. 

 

You're setting yourself up for a sticky situation that has been avoided this entire time by disallowing the word. You're now going to have to judge things based on context rather than if a word has been said or not. Each admin will have their own personal view on context, and it turns into a mess when this happens because you'll have competing ideas on what is ok and what is not. 

 

You're going to now get reports from 3rd party people who are offended by the word, even though the two people saying it to each other are not. How do you plan on handling things when other people are upset, even though the two who are using the word in conversation are not? Do you let it slide and just ignore the other people in the server, or do you punish those who are feeling like they are doing nothing wrong?

 

What are you going to do with all the people who have been previously banned over this words usage?

 

Why is this word acceptable form of slang, when other slang words (mostly homosexual related) are not?

 

Asking people on TF2 to stop harassing you hardly ever works, and only tends to draw more bad behavior.  When someone asks another player to quit using a specific word that bothers them, their defense now is going to be "it's allowed, I can say it if I want to".

 

I see no good coming of this change. What good does the Admin team see coming out of this?


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