#Humanism OPs Guide v 1.0

Don't Be Annoying - Don't Be Easily Annoyed


This document is meant as a guide for everyone who has operator status on the Undernet #Humanism Channel. It does not contain any rules set in stone, but is meant as a handbook to advise channel OPs on their authority and responsibilities. It contains a brief description of the purpose OPs serve on the channel, the behavior that may be considered inappropriate, the actions OPs should take to solve problems, and a brief tutorial on the X bot.

The Function of OPs

OPs serve a specific purpose on the #Humanism channel. It is our duty to protect the channel from outright attacks. It is our duty stop people who are being intentionally abusive. And it is our duty to stop the sort of exchanges that are contrary to the channel's essence. #Humanism is intended to be a channel as free as possible to open discussions of just about any nature, but there offenses which are deemed unacceptable as well.

OPs have been trusted to wield powers that others on the channel have not, but OPs are not a caste of aristocrats set above the others. OPs should never forget that they have been granted their power to act as sheriffs and to help foster a humanistic environment, not to set them above anyone.

What Behavior Deserves OP Action

This section lists a number of abuses that are grounds for an OP stepping in and taking action against the abuser:

  1. Obvious Attacks on the Channel - This should be self evident to anyone. If someone is blatantly flooding, disrupting, or attempting to gain control of the channel, it is grounds for immediate and severe action by the OPS.
  2. Manner of Expression - Everyone on the channel is given great latitude to express their beliefs and opinions. Hopefully we have created a channel where just about everyone will feel free to speak their mind. This does not, however, give anyone the right to be intentionally mean spirited or belligerent. Making personal attacks, sexual attacks, intentional insults, being harassing, or utterly disrespectful are all manners of expression that must not be tolerated by #humanism OPs. Please bear in mind though, that this in no way precludes simple ribbing, flirting, or use of poopy-words. It means no one is allowed to be malicious or cruel.
  3. Content of Expression - This needs to be handled with the greatest discretion. Being overly sensitive or restrictive to the topics that can be discussed is the surest way to destroy the open environment that characterizes #Humanism. This channel, however, is not the proper forum for every topic. It was created in large part to establish a place that was free from religious jihads and aggressive diatribes that are acceptable in other channels. When discussions of a religious nature becomes proselytizing, preaching, or atheist-theist debates, they are best taken elsewhere. Politics can possibly reach the level of "preaching" as well, but OPs should be most reluctant to intervene in those cases unless. CyberSex is best performed somewhere private. Aggressive sales pitches are not welcome. We do not wish, nor are we obligated, to provide a home for every topic under the sun, but we not want to turn this channel into a knitting circle either. If discussion of RAM upgrades, for example, make you a bit squeamish, it may be better to leave the channel until the topic has shifted to sex, for example, than to chill the free flow of ideas for the rest of the channel.

What Action OPs Should Take Against Abusers

OPs have a number of tools at their disposal for dealing with problems on the channel, but the same action is not appropriate for every circumstance. OPs must consider what is the most effective way to deal with each situation.

In the case of outright channel attacks, floods, or take over attempts, OPs need to kick/ban the offenders as quickly and as fiercely as possible. Simple mode bans may be used in the name of expediency, but they should always be followed up as soon as possible with a proper X ban. In the face of a concerted attempt to take over the channel, it might also be advisable to OP all legitimate channel OPs and trusted friends of the channel, but always be sure they not just pretenders using a nick.

For the other offenders who are just being general pests, a less aggressive stance should be taken. One principle to consider is the least punitive option under the circumstances. For example, if an OP can achieve the same end with a warning as a with a kick, the former is preferable. Here is a general progression that may be best to follow:

  1. A Warning - Many people who come to humanism may not know or understand the nature of the channel. Informing them of our standards or directing them to our FAQ is often all the action that needs to be taken. A privately messaged warning can convey the same meaning as publicly announcing it, and is less likely to piss someone off. However, public warnings let the other OPs know you are handling the offender so they don't deluge the offender with 20 warnings. And you can also inform more than one person at once with a public warning. OPs should use their discretion as to whether a public or private warning is more appropriate. When a warning is not sufficient, OPs must deal with offenders with more forceful means.
  2. Kicks - Kicks can let the offender know that you are serious, but they generally prove counterproductive. People who have been kicked can come right back in the channel, and more often than not, they come back angry. It is probably better to use Kicks sparingly.
  3. Bans - Bans are often the only way to deal with unresponsive offenders. When someone continues to misbehave despite being told to stop, OPs may need to remove them from the channel. If the person just became unreasonably angry, exhibited very poor judgement, or simply did not understand the nature of our channel, a short duration ban (a few hours) may be appropriate, and it will give them time to cool off. While the offender is off the channel, OPs should explain why they were banned and how they must act if they wish to return. More odious offenses and people who's only intention is causing trouble should be treated to longer duration bans. And remember to make the bans with X and include a reason for the ban.

Other OP Issues

Logging - If there is trouble (if you even suspect there may be trouble), start logging the session. There is always the chance that another user or OP will be unhappy with the way you exercised your power. If you log what took place, it will be obvious who was right and who was wrong. In addition, logs are very handy for later use in identifying flagrant offenders so that their providers can be notified in cases where their actions could warrant in termination of their accounts.

OP Wars - Kicking your friends and fellow OPs as a joke might be amusing when it is done once. When it is repeated, back and forth between OPs it is an annoying flood to everyone who has to watch it. Moreover, it is a "Members Only" game that encourages an OP - NonOP caste system.

This page was last modified on Apr 26th, 2018