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.