Incremental Nickname Policy Revision (Summary list can be found at the end of this post)


Opening Notes and Comments:

Many of you are probably aware that nickname policy for #GaySA has been identified as a key area that needed to be addressed extensively.  This has been a top priority, fundamental to the administration of the channel and strategic efforts aimed at protecting and developing the long-term future of #GaySA.

We’ve been looking at this ser
iously behind the scenes in the last few months.  Various initiatives have been undertaken to
encourage input from all our users during this time this time, which at the very least has been a positive indication that there would be a definite shift on nick policy – albeit with no indication of when or how exactly.  This is a fundamental area for us, so no guarantees or expectations were set to outline when an outcome would be established.  Not even internally.  Initiatives aimed at assessing administrative matters are first and foremost done to gather information, not to commit to change.  In this case however, it has been.

Implementation of revised nickname regulations should be done gradually, phased in as awareness needs to shift on the new status quo.  Transformation of nickname policy is ongoing, with revisions such as this one being established gradually and gently.  This is to ensure that we keep our regulations in step with our current user base and channel culture – which over time will slowly evolve.  Our core principles are still centered around being a socially geared platform first and foremost.  We need to re-align with these principles, whilst taking into account the reality of this day and age – to succeed in our mission we need to evolve slowly and slowly enough that our user base evolves with #GaySA and grows with #GaySA.  This is the logic behind incremental regulation revisions – over lengthy periods of time.

Revised Policy:updates-post-it-note

The nickname clause in our rules will remain as is.  There is no reason to modify this clause at all.  Instead, this revision provides clearer definitions for identifying the extremes that not appropriate nor allowed.

Users are expected to choose appropriate nicknames, alter inappropriate nicknames accordingly, and assist #GaySA operators in communicating this to other users before they get in trouble.

Operators should enforce regulation sparingly, moderately, consistently, with an open mind, aiming not to resort to extremes too quickly.  We want to educate and retain user rather than lose them – this however completely within reason, operators are there to inform, assist and enforce rules and corrective measures where necessary.  

Do not enforce at full capacity until the general awareness of what is no longer appropriate seems to have manifested with general user population.

Exceptions, exemptions and other exclusions are set out at the end of this post – operators MUST know what these are, so do not skip it!

Regulations:

Nicknames may not be in ALL CAPS if the nickname is a word or a phrase.  If a nickname clearly looks out of place in this sense, it needs to be revised.  Include lowercase letters and use of numbers/dashes/underscores to space out letters in all caps.  If successive caps in a nick are also standard practice (eg. JHB21 CPT40 etc.) this is not an issue.  The point of this rule is to eliminate nicknames that are distracting to eye in the flow of the chatroom feed.  If it doesn’t bother you, or anyone else, then it isn’t a problem.  With regards to the above examples, try to avoid fully generic nicks like that, and when choosing a nickname of a similar caps nature, it is better to include a dash or underscore to ‘soften’ the nick visually.  This is just a suggestion – not a rule.

Nicknames may not include sexually explicit terms of bodily fluids, nor denoting this indirectly as an attempted workaround to this rule.

Nicknames are considered inappropriately offensive, or overly explicit and crude when directly or indirectly including terms which consist of or clearly implies:

  • Specific sexual acts which are graphic, abhorrent, considered to be extreme or hardcore.  If your nickname is unmistakable as being smut, hardcore, graphically specific in a way that comes off as pornographic, you will be required to change it.  This includes nicknames referencing sexual crimes, “cocksucking” (as opposed to bj), “bareback”, “cumslut”, “rimjob-addiict”, “ass-licker”, etc.  There will be grey areas on this rule, in which case fair and logical-to-common-perception discretion applies.  If a nickname is obviously going too far – it should be addressed.  Grey-areas are generally allowable in context.
  • Deliberate or obviously offensive phrases, including explicit curse words (in a nickname – not applicable to cursing in chatting), as well as any phrases that are discriminatory, prejudicial, racist or deliberately offensive on highly sensitive issues not mentioned here.  Again, this applies to obvious and extreme instances.  
  • Nicknames advertising another chat service, including and SPECIFICALLY mentioning Skype, or a different chat service whatsoever.  The chatroom is not a shopping cart, and nicknames form part of the main room optics, thus public and considered advertising and user-poaching.

Please be mindful of appearing reasonably appropriate in our chatroom when choosing a nickname.  Try to put some variety, creativity or thought into at least part of it, or how you express what your intentions are.  Remember, if you’re looking to attract a specific type of chatter, odds are they will include what they want or can offer in their nicknames.  Such as ‘top’ ‘bottom’ ‘nsa’, location, interests, preference, stats or other personal statuses, physical features, etc.  Understand rules like an adult, this is an adult chatroom.  If you can’t leave your dick for half a minute to comprehend our rules and rights of admission, get castrated please.

TIME OF DAY:  Operators and users alike need to be aware of what time it is, what day it is and what time of year it is, as it exists and applies to South Africa.  If it is late, or the dark AM hours, dead quiet in the early morning daylight AM hours, there needs to be a reasonable allowance for what is allowed in #GaySA.  In the same manner, considerations on what is appropriate should be in line with ‘normal usage hours’ during the day and peak chatting times.  If you’re interested in the art of water paints but everyone else is horny at 3am, you should probably adjust your presentation and tolerance accordingly.

Exceptions, Exclusions, Exemptions and Objections:

Excephow-to-change-nicktions to the above rules may be considered and established where the nickname is already a regular nickname, especially if it is a registered nickname and not new.  Registered and known users will generally enjoy the benefit of being excluded from these rules.  Users may raise objections and certain terms and criteria related to the above may be exempt, especially when the exempt terms are used more generally and widely in the context of our community and current channel user base and the resulting culture within the room.

Objecting and Process to Appeal:

Users who are identified as being required to change their nickname, and instructed to alter their nickname for compliance of these rules by an operator – BUT – disagrees that the nickname is against the rules, are permitted to object this and lodge an appeal.  THIS MUST BE DONE IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:

Any user instructed to change their nickname to comply with the rules and policies as set out above, MUST acknowledge this instruction and comply or leave.  Users should react to the enforcement of channel rules and guidelines in a civil manner – it is their job and their job description specifically allows the application of discretion when needed.  Please respect this, or your objections and welcome will be scrapped – no matter how valid your case is.  Once you set an appropriate nickname following the instruction by an operator, you may – in a civil manner – state that you disagree and intend to appeal the determination of the operator that your original nickname is not allowed.

Users may not be harassed or suffer for exercising the right to plainly state intent to appeal this.  Anything nastier than a plain statement however is grounds to disregard the user’s current presence at that time.

Please submit your objection/appeal for your nickname via the contact page on this website, or via email to
gsa-irc@outlook.com, or attempt to appeal it on chat with either JayJay or Raven – an appeal is not considered as ‘received’ on chat if the appeal is not responded to in real-time by the person on chat.  If there is no response in real time on chat, try again at a later stage until successful or make use of the other contact options instead.

You need to include what the nickname was EXACTLY, date and an estimated time of day, the enforcing operator’s nickname, any indication given to you as to why you were reprimanded should be conveyed in the appeal and finally at least one reason why you disagree and on what grounds you would like to object or seek exemption for the nickname in question.  Also indicate the nickname you changed to afterwards, and in the case of non-live-chat appeals, your preferred method of being contacted regarding the matter.

Appeals will be dealt with swiftly and the implications communicated to operators as needed so there’s no repeat of the issue.

Final word:

If you have any feedback, questions, thoughts or suggestions, or anything else – feel free to email gsa-irc@outlook.com or submit it via the contact form on our website.  

***  N I C K   R E G U L A T I O N S   S U M M A R Y   L I S T  ***

  • Implementation to be phased in gradually for general user awareness to establish.
  • DO NOT MAKE WHOLE NICKNAMES IN ALL CAPS OR WHOLE WORDS IN ALL CAPS.
  • No bodily fluids allowed in nicknames.
  • Specific graphic highly explicit, crude, hardcore pornographic smut terms not allowed.  
  • Explicit swearing not allowed within a nickname.
  • No reference to performing a specific sexual act directly allowed.
  • No nicknames related to anything that is sexually illegal/criminal.
  • No hateful or prejudicial terms allowed.
  • No terms indicating external chat services by name or intent to find someone for external chat services allowed.  
  • Extension of the previous:  No advertising-related nicknames allowed.
  • Be mindful, choose appropriate nicknames befitting a SOCIALLY centered community atmosphere that is public – within reason and context of being an 18 restricted gay chatroom.
  • Consider what day it is, what time it is, and what time of year it is (in South Africa) as well as how busy the chatroom is and choose nicknames appropriately.  If it’s daytime, peak hours or general chatting activity is peaking for any reason, appropriateness of nickname is considered accordingly.
  • Relaxation of nickname and other regulations does apply within reason during ‘the witching hours’ when most people online are horny.  Treat users with this in mind.
  • There are exceptions, exemptions and a proper system and procedure is in place to deal with certain nicknames and to allow users to appeal a judgement that their nickname is against the rules.  Please read the sections in the detailed version regarding these elements.
  • Objections and appeals MUST follow the process exactly as it is set out in the detailed version of these rules – any appeals that do not follow the instructed procedure will be ignored.
  • Finally – nick regulations specified here are for clarity and to address EXTREME occurrences of these transgressions.  These rules are not to clamp down rigidly – users have reasonable flexibility and operators need to operate within reason and attempt to enforce rules in extreme and very obvious cases.  Avoid enforcing ‘grey area’ issues if possible.

THESE RULES SHOULD AFFECT FEWER THAN 5 PEOPLE/DIFFERENT NICKNAMES FROM A TOTAL MONTH’S TRAFFIC (GUESSTIMATE) – MOST USERS WILL GO UNNAFFECTED, THIS REVISION IS TO CLARIFY OUR POLICY.  IT WOULD BE HELPFUL FOR USERS TO HELP CORRECT A TRANSGRESSING-NEWBIE VOLUNTARILY SOMETIMES TO HELP THEM AVOID GETTING INTO TROUBLE WITH AN OPERATOR! 🙂