We know our forums are an important place for the Episode community to feel safe and heard. To make sure we continue to be a welcoming space for Episode authors, creators, and fans, we wanted to clarify how and why we moderate the forums. The guidelines below are what our moderation team follows when flagging, hiding, and closing posts and threads. Making sure you’re all informed of these rules as well is important to all of us contributing to a positive forum experience!
In the coming weeks, you’ll see us referencing these rules and the updated guidelines as we continue to moderate the forums. If you have any questions or need clarity, please feel free to reach out to @Jeremy or @Sydney_H via DM.
Participation in the Episode Forums is a privilege happily granted to any person willing to play a positive role. All forum members are expected to follow our community guidelines. Badges, custom titles, and special forum categories are granted in recognition of achievements and positive contributions, but we want to make sure every member has a good experience on the Episode Forums. If you are ever treated less than that by any member of the forum team, it is imperative that this is escalated to @Arlene or via ticket https://episodesupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
Note: This is a living document and will be updated based as needed.
Moderation Process: Each infraction has a different degree of severity depending on the context, tone, post history and previous rule violations, flags, deleted posts, and suspensions, etc. In some cases, based on overall context and history we may make a decision based on the spirit rather than the direct letter of the guideline.
More serious offenses will result in more severe penalties outside the process below if called for.
Guideline Violations Definitions: Below is a list of the most common guidelines that are broken, and general definitions of what those behaviors look like.
Creating Off-Topic or Spam Threads: As our community has grown, we want to make sure we’re sticking to the initial mission of our forums, which is to discuss Episode, story writing, and other relevant topics. With that in mind, here are the thread types we do not allow:
- Threads that advertise outside stories or apps.
- Threads that have no topic of discussion (“Hey” “Chat here!” “i’m bored lol”)
- Dating, personals or matchmaking threads.
- Threads that include giving out personal information, including non-Episode social media accounts.
- Threads announcing you’re leaving the forums.
- Rant/”Unpopular Opinion” threads.
- Threads that are created with the sole intention of “calling out” other community members or Episode staff.
Harassment/Name Calling/Bullying: Seeking to harm, annoy, hurt or intimidate other users with insults, threats, putdowns, abuse, or aggressive behavior is not permitted on our forums. If you feel like someone is engaging in these behaviors, please PM @Sydney_H or @Jeremy.
Hate Speech: We will not tolerate any kind of hate speech towards any group. Hate speech expresses an abusive or threatening prejudice towards any group of people.
Hijacking a Thread: This is purposefully trying to drive the conversation of a thread away from the stated topic.
Inappropriate or Sexual Content: This kind of content isn’t allowed on our app or our forums. We do our best to keep things rated 13+, and we expect you to uphold that on the forums.
Multiple or Shared Account Holding: We do not allow players to have more than one account on the Episode Forums. Shared accounts are also not permitted.
NSFW (Not Safe for Work) Content: This kind of content isn’t allowed on our app or our forums. NSFW content is any kind of content that is graphically violent or sexually explicit in nature.
Plagiarism: Taking others’ creative work and displaying it as your own or without credit is unfair to the artist or author who created it.
Self Harm or Suicide Discussion: We want to make sure our community feels like a safe space and these kinds of discussions can be triggering for some. We’ll remove any threads or posts on these topics, but this is not something we would reprimand you for. If you need any kind of help or mental health resources, we have a list in the Safety Concerns section.
Threats of Physical Harm: Threatening another user or our staff in any context will not be tolerated, even as a joke.
Trolling/Baiting: Posting just to anger or offend other members doesn’t positively contribute to any discussion, and creates a negative atmosphere for everyone.
Vulgar/Obscene/Offensive Username/Avatar/Bio: We don’t allow this kind of content on our app or our forums, and will ask you to remove it.
When you violate our Community Guidelines, our goal is to let you know what post or comment broke which guideline and how to avoid repeating the same behavior in the future. Repeated or multiple offenses will lead to more severe consequences.
Excluding the more severe offenses (physical threats, hate speech, or multiple offenses across Episode’s platforms), if you violate our Community Guidelines three separate times, you will be warned by a moderator that you will be banned on your next violation.
More severe behavior like physical threats or hate speech or repeated, persistent negative behavior in our community can lead to your removal from the Episode platform on the whole, including the app, the Writer Portal and our social media.
Below you can find a table of our most common Community Guideline violations, along with what you can expect from our moderators if they are violated.
|Guideline Violation||First Offense||Second Offense||Third Offense||Fourth Offense|
|Creating Spam Threads||Warning via PM and thread removal||24 hour silencing and thread removal||7 day suspension and thread removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Evading a Ban||Banned from Episode Forums||Banned from Episode Platform|
|Hacking/Cheats||Warning via PM and post-removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Harassment/Name Calling/Bullying||7-day Episode Forums suspension||Banned from Episode Platform|
|Hate Speech||Banned from Episode Platform|
|Hijacking a Thread||Warning via PM and post removal||24 hour silencing and post removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Inappropriate or Sexual Content||Warning via PM and post removal||24 hour silencing and post removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Multiple or Shared Account Holding||Private message sent with option for use to keep one account and have other suspended||Banned from the Episode Forums|
|NSFW (Not Safe for Work) Content||Warning via PM and post removal||24 hour silencing and post removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Plagiarism||Warning via PM and post removal||24 hour silencing and post removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Platform|
|Threats of Physical Harm||Banned from Episode Platform|
|Trolling/Baiting||Warning via PM and post removal||24 hour silencing and post removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
|Vulgar/Obscene/Offensive Username/Avatar/Bio||Warning via PM and content removal||24 hour silencing and content removal||7 day suspension and post removal||Banned from Episode Forums|
Signed by the Episode Forums Staff: