The Problem with PMU's Rules

Currently, a suggestion went up asking for a salt/rant channel, which split off into another discussion that I thought I would bring up: the problems of the rules.

It’s been mentioned in the thread that PMU’s rules are a bit too unclear, which means staff can take on any interpretation of the rules if they wish. However, looking closer at the rules, I’m sorta at how bad some of these rules are written and how easily abused they can be.

Let me take a couple of rules and pick at them.

Rule: Insulting via public chat, or private messages is not allowed. Depending on the severity, punishment can be given without a warning.

This rule feels extremely unsettling, especially the line “Depending on the severity, punishment can be given without a warning.” So, how severe of the problem would it be before you are given the punishment without warning? And more importantly, how are people supposed to know what they did wrong? I know of a few banned people who were banned without warning, but never given any explanation. Some people tried to ask, but they were ignored by a staff member. I won’t sugarcoat that there have been a few bad apples in staff that have abused their power, so making vague of a rule like this allows for that abuse.

Rule: Exploiting and doing other things deemed against the rules by a Staff Member will result in an insta-ban. Report all bugs/exploits to the Staff Member team via PM Immediately. (Exploiting: Abusing a bug in the game for self gain.)

The phrase “doing other things deemed against the rules by a Staff Member” is also prone to easy abuse. What “other things” related to exploits could be deemed against the rules? This is only about exploiting the game, so I feel like “doing other things” could be removed from this and just be phrased “Exploiting will result in an insta-ban.” It’s to the point, and there’s already a small explanation of what exploiting is: “Abusing a bug in the game for self gain.” Straight and simple and to the point of what exploiting is and the punishment that comes with it.

Rule: Ultimately it’s up to the Staff Member to decide what is/isn’t harassment.

Do I even need to pick apart why this rule is prone to abuse? Basically, it states, “Hey, this staff member can decide if you’re harassing someone even if you’re just having a normal conversation with them!” While I’m sure it hasn’t been taken to that level, it can be taken to that level.

Of course, these are only a few of the many rules that feel off, but if I went on nitpicking at each of them, this thread would be several pages long. However, I will note there are a lot of rules that are vague and are prone to abuse. Not only that, there’s some rules that are so unclear that there’s a chance that, if staff disliked a user, could use in “technicalities” to punish another user (aka: if you’re friendly insulting a friend in public chat, they could use that as evidence to punish you).

Also, there’s some rules that are outdated, such as…

Rule: Constant and or repetitive swearing is prohibited. There are children who play.

But if I recall correctly, anyone under 13 were banned from play due to COPPA.

And then there’s this rule.

Rule: If you were gullible enough to share your information or trust someone’s program that gives you unlimited items/poke, that’s your own fault.

This could definitely be worded differently so it doesn’t sound like you’re saying “haha, you’re stupid for giving up information”. I would re-write it as:

Suggested Rule: Be careful of those that ask for your information or sends a download link to make the game easier. Eg. “I can help you with that dungeon. Just give me your account and password!” or “Look at this program that gives you unlimited items/Poké!”

Anyway, the rules need to be re-evaluated for future purposes; not only for clarity, but also for abuse. A lot of the rules seem to be a bit on the iffy side and some don’t really give a clear description of how you’ll be punished. That’s just my thoughts on this though. If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment below.

If you want to read the other topic about “Dealing with the Negativity in the Community”, click here!


All pretty good points I’d say.

I think this is for people who are just saying really stupid things like racial slurs. Just so they’re banned immediately but I can definitely see how it being so vague allows for abuse.

I wasn’t even aware of this, odd how younger players got banned but it’s whatever I guess, also did they change the rules on cursing? Last I checked (like a decade ago) cursing as a whole was prohibited. Did something change?

But overall I definitely think that those rules could use some rewording, especially that last one. It comes off as very rude.

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I am going to elaborate further off something I said in Dealing with the Negativity in the Community I think favoritism has been a big issue for the last few years, but I don’t think it is conscience favoritism, which did exist without a doubt a few years ago, but I don’t believe is a big issue these days. I think that vagueness’ biggest flaw is this sub-conscience favoritism, if the rules are so open to interpretation it’s very easy to punish people you don’t like and spare the people you do, even if it’s completely unintentional, this has lead many players in the past, as many of us veterans know, to be banned as an “accumulation of things” and no specific reason nor warning, which isn’t very fair to them, even if they are guilty, I am not arguing to remove the ban on them I am simply using this as an example of why this vagueness has failed us so, and why it should be changed to prevent it. Players should get a warning first, and punishments, in set intervals, the fact that it is so vague that each player receives punishment in adaptive ways, is just asking for favoritism, even in the most morally sound staff, that’s just how human sub-conscience works. The rules should be as strict as possible in order that everyone, no matter who the current most active staff is, is punish fairly and that the rules aren’t in a constant shift as they have been in previous years.

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Going to give you a contrary view here on this - most games have a ‘‘catch-all’’ rule that is something along those lines. The reason for that is there might always be the possibility of a threat or danger to the game’s community which does not exactly check any specific rules, but staff still needs a way to deal with it. With the rule you quoted, the premise of it is that it’s going to be vague. There’s no consistent definition of the term ‘‘harassment’’, just try to google definitions of that term. While yes, it is ‘‘prone to abuse’’ in that sense, I feel that’s largely just a question of letting the right people into staff. A staff member who blatantly abuses their power won’t be respected by their fellow staff or the community, I’m sure.


I think the best and simplest definition of Harassment is anything that personally involves another player that is unpleasant or has repeated despite multiple “please stops”, as I mentioned earlier in Dealing with the Negativity in the Community

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While I do agree for having a “catch-all” rule, I feel like the wording could be a lot better. Instead of “up to the staff to decide”, it should be more on the player in this instance. While there’s many “ways” to define harassment, I feel like it can be defined easily of what to do to avoid harassment. If I were to reword this, I would do the following:

Suggested Rule: Ultimately, be considerate of others. Mind your manners and be polite.

It’s more direct, instead giving a better idea of avoiding harassing others. A lot more inviting than “if you do anything that staff considers harassment, you’re getting punished!” And while the above does leave room for interpretation as well, it’s still ultimately a “be good” rule that doesn’t have much room for misinterpretation.

Edit: Though, I’ll admit it’s still interpretive and could be abused, so… Yeah… '>.>

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Which is why I repeat that it should be anything that personally involves another player and that the victim has told them to stop, since ultimately it’s what is offensive depends on the victim not the witness, sure this shouldn’t apply to things that are obviously offensive to everyone, but this is to prevent the “rule skirting” that bullies in pmu have gotten away with in the past. For example, using the word “Furry” is allowed nothing inappropriate implied, but using the word furry to insult players playing a specific pokemon with sinister connotations and derogation tone, and repeated after told to stop (This is bullying I have seen go unpunished in the past) shouldn’t be permitted.

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Well, for me the rules are pretty clear as they are already.

At the end, why state the cause of warning/not-warning/muting/banning directly to the player? Are people not conscient enough to know what they done for deserve it? I can tell I got warned twice for swearing, and guess what will happen if I do it again?.

Well, Weekly events are a pretty CLEAR example, people most of the times doesn’t follow directions or do stuff to ruin the event, like not listening what staff team says, using moves, spamming moves, harass staff team, being toxic, Joy Killers. I remember a guy who used safeguard in stadium weekly event and created a huge drama.

That rule also mentions bugs, IN ANY GAME: Any type of bug abuse is punished.

Even and most importantly, each player has to understand something about gaming life, nothing will be perfect, and that doesn’t give you the right to ruin and talk bad about the game because of your bad luck or because you didn’t hear directions or advices from others. By the same, this game is +13 years, we are not children anymore and we have to start being more conscious about our actions, and be respectful with others despite your personal feelings isn’t even that hard.

And again, everything you do IN the game, is under your own will. Staff team or anyone else isn’t responsible of what you decide to do with your information. Like any other type of data service (Even google have it state it like that) tells you: “[Service or Company Name] doesn’t take responsibility for allowing permissions to 3rd party apps or for sharing information to other people outside the application”. Technically, how staff team stated that rule, is the “Merciful” way to explain why you don’t have to.

I think I have to post something similar in the Negative topic.

I’ll admit there are quite a few rules that are pretty clear as they are already. However, there are still some rules that seem a bit iffy to me, which is why I made this thread.

So, you know what you were warned for. Good for you. Pretty much ignoring my point that people can be “punished” without warning. Which punishment? Is it a mute? Kick? Ban? There’s no clarity there whatsoever. And how are people supposed to learn from it if they’re not given any warning, or given any feedback of what they did wrong in the first place? That’s the real problem. While it’s slim that there might be some misunderstanding of what they did, there are people that could take certain messages out of context (or forge, in some cases) and make it appear like they said something extremely horrible, thus getting punished for something they have no idea about.

Again, you missed my point. It’s true that the game is 13+ and that players should be held accountable. However, you avoided the fact that “other things” is connected to the “exploits”, which brings up the question I stated. What “other things” are they talking about? What “other things” are deemed against the rules within that rule itself? “Other things” is too vague as it implies there’s something else relative to “exploits”, but is not defined. Reading my post on this, I can see that I probably wasn’t clear enough on that, so I’ll update that after finishing this reply.

All the things you listed are under other rules, but none of those things are really “exploits”. Not listening to staff or harassing staff team? “Keep in Mind>Staff Members: Kindly respect and be courteous to the Staff Members and listen to them.” Spamming moves? “General Interaction & Communication>Spamming: Do not excessively use moves in areas with vast amount of players in-game - it may cause lag to other players.” Being toxic or joy kills? Both of these are kinda vague, but there’s a lot of rules under “Public Chat” that cover a few of those situations. But the “other things” are connected to “exploits”, which is completely vague on what it’s pointing out.

Merciful my butt. I stated it above. It sounds like it’s mocking the player. Google states it doesn’t take responsibility, but at least they’re not mocking the user for making a mistake. Though I do appreciate that you did point out a flaw within my suggested rule which I’ll remedy right now!

Suggested Rule: Be careful of those that ask for your information or sends a download link to make the game easier, as PMU cannot monitor these types of messages sent privately and as such are unable to take responsibility. Eg. “I can help you with that dungeon. Just give me your account and password!” or “Look at this program that gives you unlimited items/Poké!”

If you see any suspicious people taking these actions, report the message to PMU Staff immediately.

See? Worded in such a way that’s not insulting the player, but encouraging them to stay safe and also at least providing help by letting players know they can report these people. Just because it seems like a “merciful way” to you, it’s damaging to other players that did fall victim to these traps and pretty much insults their intelligence and self-esteem.

Your responses have little to do with my actual arguments. You just took sections of my argument and tried to make your argument off those. If you’re going to make arguments, at least read the whole thing instead of nitpicking smaller details and ignoring the rest. Take a better look at the big picture. If rules are vague, they can be abused by staff to punish players without full reason. Some of the rules are clear, yes, but there are some that are vague as heck that could be clarified with more concrete language. If concrete rules are put in place, there are less chances for abuse and loopholes for both player and staff to take. That’s why I made this thread: to point out the flaws within the rules that could be taken advantage of. If you’re going to make arguments, actually debate against my points instead of trying to take the argument elsewhere.

Like you just did and everyone does here to give each point of view?

Don’t focus only on exploits, is ALL the rule, there is already topics related to specific exploits, don’t generalize if you don’t know HOW TO steps to make one, and if you know one, make a topic explaining it, other players already post topics about how they can be one. so, with that, you are saying ignoring staff team directions and warnings shouldn’t be taken seriously? really?

thanks for agree with my point of view. Staff team will take action based on your action, but don’t worry, I won’t report it, I’ll let other user do, because I want you to experience it. said that, I accept your apology in advance for that unrespectful sentence against me. I won’t say anymore if you are not willing to hear other points of view. Good night.

I responded to each of your arguments with the full comment while you’re splitting parts and pieces of my sentences out of context without even respecting my own. Maybe I seemed disrespectful, but I’m highly passionate on clarity within rules as I have more experience with users who were unfairly banned or punished by staff back in the day. That’s why I feel like the rules need to be more concrete than they already are.

I will admit maybe I was a bit aggressive with my response, and I will apologize for that. However, I attempted to at least debate each of your points based on my points above, and once again, you only pulled out parts of my argument and ignored the rest. Or maybe I misread and didn’t realize you were just talking about the rule in itself, but because my name was on it, I felt you were tackling my points, so I responded.

I still feel passionate that these rules are prone to abuse. This isn’t about “agreeing with your point of view”, this is about “sharing thoughts”. So I gave my thoughts as constructively as I could. You pretty much took my statements out of context to make it seem like I’m a bad person, which, might I add, is what other users have done in the past to get other people kicked or banned. While I believe staff has improved on making better judgments nowadays, I still fear that, if a bad staff comes in, they can do what other bad staff have done in the past and kick/ban people with only the smallest of evidence.

Also, I still feel strongly against your “merciful” comment. I feel the rule was degrading, not merciful, so I felt like it was highly uncalled to call the rule “merciful”.

Where did I even suggest to “ignore staff team directions”? All I stated was that the “other things” in the exploits make no sense. Yes, we already have a “catch all” rule, but this other rule could also count as a “catch-all”. Why hide another “catch all” rule in another section that connects to insta-banning? If we removed “exploiting” out of this rule, it would be “Doing things deemed against the rules by a Staff Member will result in an insta-ban.” That’s why I feel the “other things” aren’t needed in this rule.

The rules have recently been reworded and rewritten for the most part to better reflect current stances and policies, and to improve the intonation of the rules. Threads such as these were of course taken into account. The new rules can be found at PMU | Rules and Guidelines.