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Dealing with Harassment

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Posted by Kinch on 12/05

I put a suggested method of alleviating the harassment issue as an append on the welcome board. This is probably a more appropriate forum, so I'm reposting it. Sorry for the duplication:

I know this is addressing the symptom and not the cause, but would it be possible to implement a command that works almost as an opposite to "befriend".

Players could elect to refuse to receive tells or mail from people they specify (ie people who are tell/mudmail spamming them.)

This would give players more control over the level of harassment they were willing to tolerate.

After the player typed "refuse ", the offending person would receive a message along the lines of "Kinch does not want to talk to you. Take a good long hard look at yourself."

In all fairness, a warning should be given first.

All subsequent tells/mail would not reach the player (until he/she specified that he/she was willing to talk to the offender again), but the offender would continue to get the "Kinch does not want to talk to you" message, and would in effect be spamming themselves. -snicker-

If you wanted to get really nasty, all subsequent tells could be redirected to an immort-monitored mailbox/tellcatcher and used in evidence.

I realise that the offender could simply switch to another character, but you'd only need one tell/mail to realise you should bar that player too. In the end, the offender would get sick of creating character's just for flaming.

The option would have to be able to handle people brave enough to go invisible before harassing and hence turn up as "someone tells you..." This would probably work in much the same way as the "reply" command.

You'd also have to have a blanket option to refuse tells and mail from guests.

All that's left is face-to-face harassment, and I suspect that this is the most infrequent method (why does the phrase "gutless" pop into my head at this point in time -ponder-) If you wanted to be really thorough, you could introduce an "ignore" command, so that if you type "ignore " that person will get a message along the lines of: "Kinch pointedly turns his back on you. You sure are running out of friends today." From then on, from the player's point of view, it would be as if the nuisance was not in the room.

I'm not sure of the ramifications of this for pkill... maybe the "ignore" command would not be available if you were pkill enabled.

I hope I've thought this through thouroughly enough before going public with it...it would seem to address some of the issues raised in other posts on the welcome board.

I also hope that I'm not reinventing a previous suggestion.

At this stage, it's just a suggestion, but I'd appreciate feedback.



From: Sandra Thursday, November 27, 09:39AM

This is an interesting idea. A few questions though. Would the command that is used to refuse tells(Lets just call it 'ignore'), also be used to ignore socials and emotes and says from the offender? Sort of like a #gag command for the mud. Or would it be better to limit it to tells, and if the person is dumb enough to go face to face with you, you can just get up and leave or something? Also, if the ignore command were used against a player, it would be used for harassment purposes(They're harassing you, you 'ignore' them), so would it then send a command or such to the Administration department?

I really like this idea its sort of like something that a few of us had discussed yesterday. IMO, I would have the command send something to the Admin staff, and I would warn the ignored person for harassment, unless(Yep, had to be one :), the person using the command is just doing so to be a smart ass, in which case they'd get yelled at.

Anyway, I'd appreciate some further comments on what this type of command should/shouldn't do.


From: Daer Monday, December 01, 01:41PM

good idea. The only thing I can see it being used negatively for is ignoring newbies when they tell you. I supposed as long as it is sent to the Admin dept and there is a record there that misuse won't be very prevalent

From: Firefly Monday, December 01, 02:51PM

I think it's a good idea, and i honestly don't think people will abuse it towards towards newbies, unless they don't take no for an answer

From: Nym Tuesday, December 02, 10:43AM

I think its a very good idea, especially after seeing people leaving the mud more or less due to being spammed with requests of help and insults.

In my opinion, the command should be limited to ignoring tells, since you can in most cases walk away from the person in question. And if you cant, log your session and send it to an adm imm. I dont like the concept of completely gagging someone. It rather scares me...

Regarding "ignored" tells being forwarded to the admin staff, wouldnt this mean quite a lot of work? Or there would have to be very strict rules for what constitutes harassment and when it would be proper to use the "ignore" command. Personally, Ive never received any really aggressive tells, people have never been really rude, even if they often fail to be polite. Therefore I wouldnt be certain when it would be proper to start "ignoring" someone. Maybe some people would "ignore" someone repeatedly (and not very politely) asking for help, maybe some people wouldnt. There might be a big "ignored tells" file to look through for the admin staff, with lots of borderline cases.

Just a few thoughts,


From: Kaige Thursday, December 04, 09:37AM

You guys may want to check out HELP GAG and UNGAG. This is the first installation of these commands and may be expanded in the future.


From: Kaige Thursday, December 04, 09:40AM

OOps... forgot to update the helpfiles with the code... Here's what it says:

Syntax: gag             Lists people from whom tells will be ignored.
Syntax: ungag           Clears the list of people ignored.
Syntax: gag       Adds a name to your list, online or not.
Syntax: ungag     Removes a name from your list, online or not.

If you feel you are being harassed by another player through tells, you can choose to ignore any and all tells from that player until you remove them from your list. The list saves when you rent. The administration still welcomes any and all reports of harassment, but this command was added so players could take some defensive action themselves.

Repeated use of these commands against a particular player or character will result in an investigation by the admin department as all uses of these commands are logged.

Immortals cannot be ignored, nor can they use this command against players. If you feel you are being harassed by an immortal, contact either the head of administration or send email to [email protected]

See also: HELP HARASSMENT and HELP RULES for more information.

From: Tancred Friday, December 05, 04:21PM

One. Fast action, fast coding, good solution. This almost -has- to cut down seriously on the harassment reports, since a lot of annoying tells bordering upon harassment can simply be rejected. Way to go!

Two. Even if people do gag newbies - they wouldn't do so without reason. After all, no one sits around watching who enters the game for the first time so he can gag them. Newbies who get gagged will usually be the ones who won't take no for an answer.


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