Guidelines

Guidelines for Chat Moderators

This page has been developed to assist moderators in understanding chat room rules and enforcement policies. By accepting the voluntary position as a chat moderator you agree to abide by these policies. You may submit any questions, suggestions or comments.

Vision Statement

Vision Statement: We have designed this chat room to be a place where transgendered people, community friends and admirers can come together to benefit from socializing in a moderated, but nonjudgmental chat room.


Chat Network:
The TV/TS/TG & Friends Chat Network is a number of participating web sites with each providing a login page to enter our common chat room. A few examples of login pages are;
There are many other sites feeding into the TV/TS/TG & Friends Chat Network. Some of these sites are from transgender support sites. Some are from transgender dating sites and some are from more adult oriented sites. We generally do not restrict membership in the chat network, but we do expect all chat users and members to abide by a simple set of rules.


Registered Members and Unregistered Guests:
The chat room is available for use by anyone who self-identifies as transgendered. This includes but is not limited to crossdressers, male to female transsexuals, female to male transsexuals, intersexed individuals, drag queens, transvestites, gender queers and even those who refer to themselves as shemales. The chat room is also available for family members, transgender community friends, researchers and admirers. All registered members and unregistered guests must abide by our rules.


Usernames:
We do not have any rules prohibiting chat users from logging in under, or even registering multiple chat usernames. Members may use any reasonable username they desire as long as it is not demeaning to others. A common problem involves use of the term “shemale.” Some people in the transgender community consider themselves to be shemales. We have placed an instruction on the registration page not to use this term since it is offensive to some members of the transgender community.  We have also added the instruction not to use terms such as boy, girl and other terms that might give the impression of being underage. These instructions have been included due to your (moderators) suggestions based on the fact that they are suggestive terms (possibly related to pedophilia) and offensive to some people in our chat room. Please be careful not to ban someone simply because they choose a username like “christy_tgirl” or “KenFtMboy.” These terms are frequently used without any reference to pedophilia or being underage.

Chat Forums: We have created various chat rooms as a service for our different visitors. Presently these chat forums are;
Lobby (PG Rated): This is where most people tend to go. The PG rating is to provide general guidance to our users.
Crossdressers: This room is for the crossdressing community to discuss relevant issues.
Cybersex: Those wishing to engage in adult oriented chat such as role playing, sex talk, etc. should use this room.
Transgender FtM: This room is for the female to male transgendered people to discuss relevant issues.
Transgender MtF: This room is for the male to female transgendered people to discuss relevant issues.
These chat rooms are subject to change at any time based on the needs and desires of our chat community.

PG Rating Defined: The designation of PG Rated is used as a general guideline so chat users may better understand the behavior we expect from them in the lobby. Chat about sexual acts would generally be X rated and that type of chat belongs in the cybersex room. Children’s cartoons are examples of G ratings, where there is no profanity and all content is child safe. Our chat lobby is somewhere in between X rated and G rated. We cannot allow open talk of a sexual nature such as cyber role playing of sex acts. The fact that this is a transgender chat room makes it unsuitable for young children. The PG rating indicates that X rated chat is not allowed, but does allow for chat about adult oriented transgender issues such as how to tuck the penis for a male to female transgendered person. The presence of the “PG” term must not be mistaken as permission to allow underage minors (under 18 years of age) in the chat room.


Moderators:
Chat moderators are necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone in the chat room. The purpose of moderators is to actively chat and encourage discussion of relevant topics, to offer understanding and support when possible, to assist members with technical issues related to the chat features and to watch for violations of the rules. Upon seeing rules infractions, moderators are to take appropriate action (see “Enforcement Actions” below). We all must strive to achieve consistency in our interpretation and enforcement of rules. Moderators should be viewed as friendly and caring facilitators rather than heavy handed enforcers.


Moderator Conduct:
Your selection as a chat moderator is based on your demonstration of active participation in the chat room and a belief in your even temperament and ability to exercise sound judgment. Moderators are expected to follow all the rules we enforce. We must conduct ourselves in a professional manner, remaining “above the fray.” We must not participate in arguments in the chat room and must not display favoritism toward certain chat users. Any enforcement action should be conducted quietly, strictly between you and the violating chat user, without any appearance of your being angered or emotionally involved. It is usually not a good idea to post threatening messages in the main chat room such as “Tranny_Lover if you IM anybody else without asking I’ll ban you.” Instead, send a private message directly to “Tranny_Lover” to politely explain the rule and request their cooperation. If they do not respond and continue violating the rules then you can quietly take appropriate enforcement actions without involving the entire chat room in the disturbance.


Chat Rules:
Moderators are asked to confine any enforcement action to actual violations of rules. These rules are pretty simple. Please be familiar with these rules.
1. You must be 18 years of age or older.
2. No abusive or profane language. Please keep it civil.
3. No flaming, personal attacks or abuse against others.
4. Do not advocate any type of illegal activity.
5. No excessive unwelcome private messaging – Ask first.
6. No scrolling text, excessive audio emoticons or other disruptive
activity.
7. Do not drop web addresses or links in the chat room for commercial sites
or products.
8. Cybersex is not allowed in the main lobby. Take it to the Cybersex room.
9. Disrespect of staff members/monitors will not be tolerated.
10. We may restrict or ban anyone who creates a disturbance of any type.
We’re very friendly, so please just be nice!

Violations of Rules: Some rules violations are very serious and others are not so serious. The following may be used as a guideline for determining how serious a violation is and what enforcement action is most appropriate to take. Some discussion of possible moderator actions is included.
1. You must be 18 years of age or older. We have zero tolerance for violation of this rule. We take the safety of our members very seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of transgender discussions and the presence of a cybersex chat room, we must not allow minors under the age of 18 years in the chat room. The mere use of a username such as “young_tgirl” is not proof of being underage. In fact, we frequently will not have proof since this is an online chat room. We must investigate. You might simply question the suspected user or log in as an anonymous user and engage the suspected user in conversation to determine their age. Upon learning that a minor is in the room the appropriate response is to ban the user.
2. No abusive or profane language. Please keep it civil. Chat users may not use profane language, particularly when referring to other chat users or moderators. The severity of this violation depends on the nature of the violation. The message “I’m gonna go get me a piece of a s s” is a very minor violation and probably requires no enforcement action. The message “Kelly, kiss my a s s” is a moderate violation. An appropriate action might be to send a private message asking the user to refrain from using language like that in the chat room. The message “Kelly I’m gonna kill your a s s” is much more serious. This would probably warrant an immediate ban provided the context of the message is a serious tone.
3. No flaming, personal attacks or abuse against others. Chat users will not always get along with everyone in the chat room. That is the nature of people, particularly when you have various niche groups present together in a chat room. It is ok to disagree in the chat room and to discuss differences in opinion. These conversations may even be allowed to get heated, however, no chat user may launch an outright attack against another member. An example would be a heated conversation that deteriorates with someone saying “Kelly you’re nothing but a faggot” An immediate private message to ask the user to refrain from this sort of attack would be proper, followed by a kick if there is no response. In extreme cases of repeated attacks escalation of enforcement up to a permanent ban is appropriate.
4. Do not advocate any type of illegal activity. We cannot allow anyone to use our chat room to promote any illegal activity. This could take many forms including solicitation of minors which would be a very serious offense requiring an immediate ban. Other offenses might include propositions for the purpose of soliciting prostitution, offers to sell hormones without prescription or invitations to Botox injection parties. We cannot discuss all possible violations of this rule. You may user your discretion depending upon the severity of the violation but we cannot allow our chat room to be used to promote illegal activities. If it’s illegal in the real world then it’s not allowed to be discussed in our chat room.
5. No excessive unwelcome private messaging – Ask first. This is the most frequent rules violation we have. It
is also the most troublesome for moderators and for many of our chat users.
Notice the word “excessive.” We must understand that some people will send private messages without first asking permission. This is a minor violation of rules, however, multiple infractions will warrant counseling and progressively more severe enforcement action. Users in the room will complain to moderators that a user is sending them private messages without asking. The moderator should first educate the user who is complaining that they may use the ignore button at any time when another chat user annoys them. Next we may want to contact the violator to politely ask that they review the rules and refrain from sending private messages without first asking permission in the lobby. If this resolves the problem there is no need for further action. If the violator ignores your request and continues then a kick is warranted. Subsequent violations by the same user may warrant disabling or finally a permanent ban.
6. No scrolling text, excessive audio emoticons or other disruptive activity. This refers to anyone who intentionally inserts row after row of text or an excessive amount of emoticons to the point that it disrupts the normal chat. We haven’t seen this much in our chat room, but we have seen it in other chat rooms. We have seen a user inserting text hundreds of times in rapid succession. This type of extreme scrolling shows a clear intent to disrupt our chat room and would be a major violation requiring an immediate ban.
7. Do not drop web addresses or links in the chat room for commercial sites or products. The severity of this would depend on the who is inserting the web address in the chat room and the nature of the commercial site or product. A registered member of our chat room who suggests their personal web site would be a minor offense. A simple caution against doing this should be sufficient to gain their compliance. An unregistered member should generally be cautioned for a first offense. Any further violations may be dealt with using a progressive escalation of enforcement actions.
8. Cybersex is not allowed in the main lobby. Take it to the Cybersex room. Anyone attempting to engage in cybersex or chat of a adult nature should be directed to the cybersex room. We do have a chat room where that is acceptable, but it is not acceptable in the main lobby. Users with adult oriented usernames or those who attempt to engage others in adult oriented chat should be politely directed to the cybersex room and reminded that such chat is not allowed in the main lobby (or other rooms other than the cybersex room). This is a moderate offense. A first time offense would usually warrant a private message to the violator informing them of our rules and the presence of a cybersex room where they can engage in adult chat. If they either ignore or do not comply with such a request they should be dealt with using a progressive escalation of enforcement actions.
9. Disrespect of staff members/monitors will not be tolerated. We can allow others to have their own beliefs and to state those beliefs even if they are in disagreement with our own. We must not censor members who are engaged in free expression which is not otherwise in violation of our rules. Examples might include a chat user expressing their views on politics or religion. Simple disagreement is not disrespect. Outright disrespect of chat moderators should be dealt with quietly, between the moderator and the chat user. An example might include a user who has violated rule 5 and after being politely counseled by the chat moderator, the chat user responds by saying “Who the hell are you? I’ll hack this room and shut it down.” This is an extreme example that would warrant an
immediate ban. Lesser examples of disrespect may be dealt with as you believe necessary. We would prefer a progressive escalation of enforcement actions but we have clearly stated that “disrespect of staff members/monitors will not be tolerated.”
10. We may restrict or ban anyone who creates a disturbance of any type. We’re very friendly, so please just be nice! This is a catch-all, common sense rule intended to gently persuade users to abide by our rules and moderators’ instructions. We do expect our moderation team to be friendly and our users to be nice.

Enforcement of Rules: Whenever possible, chat moderators are asked to exhaust other options prior to kicking, disabling or banning a chat user. Chat users will frequently respond in a positive manner to polite counseling. Some are just having a bad day. Others will realize their errormand will correct their behavior when it is pointed out. At other times chat users will not respond and enforcement actions become necessary.
  • Major violations of rules require an immediate ban to stop their detrimental actions. It is appropriate to do an immediate ban without any counseling or intermediate enforcement measures when major violations of rules are committed.
  • Moderate violations require an immediate stern warning or possibly a kick or disable to stop their detrimental actions. The next step would be a permanent ban if the intermediate measures do not achieve compliance with our rules.
  • Minor violations of rules warrant a polite warning for a first offense, followed by progressively escalating enforcement measures such as stern warning (privately), kicking and disabling.
The following is a listing of possible escalation of moderation enforcement options;
  • Polite counseling in the chat room or in private messages
  • Stern warning in private messages (this should be a warning rather than a threat)
  • Kicking
  • Disabling
  • Permanent ban
Banning or public rebukes of other moderators is not permissible except under the most extreme of circumstances. In our history such a ban by another moderator has never been necessary and it is unlikely that it ever will be. Any concerns with the behavior or enforcement actions of another moderator should be submitted for administrative review.

Administrative Commands: All chat moderators have various administrative controls. First, by right clicking on a username you can access the following administrative tools;
IP Query: Shows a users IP address.
Silence: Silences a user for 30 seconds. During this time they cannot post messages.
Voice: Restores a user’s ability to post messages if they have been silenced.
Kick: Kicks a user out of the room. They are able to sign back in right away.
Kick and Disable: Kicks a user our of the room. They must restart the chat room in order to log back in.
Ban: Permanently bans a user from coming back in the chat room from that IP address.
In addition, chat moderators may use various administrative commands by typing them into the chat box;
Note: You do not type in the brackets.
Example:  /fnick shemale_lover tgirl_lover changes the name of the user “shemale_lover” to “tgirl_lover” for the chat session.
/fnick [username] [new_username]  Forces a username change for specified username
/cloak Simulates a log out and puts you in stealth mode to monitor the chat room
/decloak  Simulates a log in and makes you visible in the chat room
/silence [username] [time]  Silences a user for a specified amount of time in seconds
/voice [username]  Restores a user who has been silenced
/anotice [message]  Sends a message to all administrators who are online
/kick [username]  Kicks a user from the chat room
/kill [username]  Kicks and disables a chat user
/ban [username]  Permanently bans a user’s IP address
/banip [x.x.x.x IP Address] Bans a specified IP address
/speak [message]  Speak as system
/query [username]  Displays a username’s IP address


IP Information:
An IP address identifies a particular user’s computer. IP addresses may be static
(non-changing) or dynamic (changes with each login). Users who use cable modem generally have a static IP address, however, users who sign on using AOL get a new IP address each time they restart their AOL software. Static IP addresses are useful for identifying the geographic location of a user while dynamic IP addresses are of little use in determining geographic location. For example, an AOL user in Tempe, Arizona may log in and be assigned an IP address from Long Beach, California. AOL software assigns IP addresses from blocks (called subnets). Two users in different parts of the country might have similar IP addresses with a user in Dallas, Texas having an IP address of 207.200.116.200 and a different user in Las Vegas, Nevada having an IP address of 207.200.116.199. Those IP addresses are both generated by AOL and resolve to Los Angeles, California yet neither user is actually in California. This is important to understand if you are attempting to track users by logging their IP address.


Lifting Bans:
A user who has been banned may request reinstatement. Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Questions or Suggestion: If you have any questions or suggestions please submit them for consideration.

 

 

Internal Use Only: Moderator E-Mail