Chat rules

Discussion in 'The Undercity' started by hoarmurath, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Okay, we need to discuss what the chats are meant for and what the rules in each are, because the lack of defined rules is making people upset and hurt each other, and I am for one tired of watching that happen when we could do something about it and head most of these off.

    The main thing is that what is main meant for? What are the things that are okay to discuss and what are not? What are the rules if someone feels upset and triggered by a certain topic? How much veto power do they have? How do we handle meltdowns when they happen (and they have been happening)?


    My personal problem with not being able to discuss stuff in main is that I don't want to go to After Dark since people discussing their past abuse and such can be fairly unpleasant to me. So, if every interesting topic gets shunted off to there, that also sucks.

    I put this on the forum because it needs to be discussed and I would please ask people not to take it personally that we need to discuss it.
    • Like x 1
  2. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    I guess my main two cents is that we are going to have flipouts and triggerings because we are a community with lots of people with lots of sometimes conflicting needs.
    So I'd rather have protocols for dealing when things go to shit rather than rules to try to prevent things going to shit, because I don't think those sorts of rules will actually help.
    • Like x 3
  3. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    I did actually mean that, but it needs to be something else than what is currently being done.
  4. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I'm not actually participating in any of the chats because they go too fast for me, but if someone needs individual support and attention during/after a meltdown or needs to vent I'm available on skype for that. My skype name is beidaran, as long as people let me know they're kintsujin I always accept contact requests.
    • Like x 1
  5. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    You kept bringing up a "you must leave if triggered" thing last night, hoarmurath, and I didn't really have the spoons for it then, but -

    I am viscerally, angrily against that. If Kintsugi is supposed to be a relatively safe space, then it needs to have at least one chat where people can say "hey, enough." I will pitch a mighty fit to protect that. I'm frankly amazed that "hey I'm triggered, please stop" is even coming up as a thing that needs rule (though I agree that there need to be general flipout rules). Because to me it's basically saying, "our right to discuss whatever we want trumps your right to be comfortable, in every single chat," and I think that's really inappropriate both on a personal level and for Kintsugi as a community.

    And I really dislike the characterization that all the "interesting" chats go into after dark because someone gets triggered, too, because that's very clearly not the case.
    • Like x 2
  6. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    Here's some things that have been really helpful in my social groups for large Skype chats:
    Safe Word - if someone invokes it, that means the subject needs to be dropped because it is hurting someone
    Sidechats are a group saver for both topics that are triggering some member and when a few people get really into a thing and others in the chat are sick of hearing about it.
    There's nothing in leaving a chat for whatever reason and coming back later. But that's up to the individual.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    • Like x 1
  7. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    I agree that there needs to be at least one chat where people can say 'hey, being triggered, can we not'. But I think hoarmurath's made a good point that that chat does not have to be the main chat.

    Right now, afterdark has had a lot of scope creep - it started out as the 'talk about abuse' chat, but we've been pushing anything that might upset anyone in there, including stuff like talk about religion. And some folks have been doing general chat in there, like talk about Minecraft, which isn't triggery at all.

    I know that there are at least a few people who specifically do not read afterdark because they can't deal with reading about people's abuse histories, but they're interested in chatting about stuff like religion - things which are indeed triggers for some kintsugijin, but which are not triggers for most.

    I'd like to vote for a 'abuse/violence' chat for the really heavy shit, a 'trigger free zone' chat that sticks to light topics and has that 'hey, being triggered' safeguard, and a main chat that's a little less locked down?

    I think afterdark is way less useful if people feel pressured to be in it so they don't miss out, and I think that's what we've been getting to now.

    Also... there've been these big, cascading meltdowns lately. Where one person triggers another person which triggers two or three more, and it's just like, a couple hours of yelling and splitting. This seems really not good, and I am not sure how to fix it. Does anyone have any thoughts?

    That's my main trouble right now - I'm super overloaded and avoiding skype right now because mediating has fried out all my spoons.

    (And yes, you are all fine, I love you all, it's just really tiring and I can't do it all the time.)
    • Like x 5
  8. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I can say from experience that a safewords tends to work fairly well. And giving people the option to want a subject dropped rather than having to leave would also eliminate the need to move topics to afterdark. It might help with some of the splitting, but I´m not sure.
  9. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I think a trigger-free chat would be really nice to have as a safe space for people - even just people who are feeling momentarily fragile and don't want to participate at the moment in other stuff.
    • Like x 1
  10. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Hm well, we can make a light topics chat, but I doubt we could actually make a trigger free one considering the kinds of things that can be triggers. (This may seem pedantic, but I do feel trigger free is not an avhievable goal.)
    • Like x 2
  11. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Yeah, that's fair. I was being flippant in my language, but yes, I agree in principle.
  12. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    The trouble I have with safewords is that then, everyone else has to drop the subject - I think there should be some way for folks to continue a conversation that's been safeworded if they want to. And I think hoarmurath made a good point that afterdark is not really a great catchall for ALL of that.

    There's also the fact that folks read the chat backlogs, after sleeping/work/being offline, and safewords won't help if someone's getting triggered several hours later. Less immediate, but is that a concern?
  13. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    The thing is - what happened yesterday kept fucking me up too.

    Clearly I don't do well with watching stuff like that happen.

    So I was angry too. I was angry enough that whoever was upset and slightly meltdowny next would have been cruelly and unjustifiedly raked over the coals. And I don't want to do that. But like albedo said, watching all this meltdown stuff is getting sort of tiring and unpleasant. And there's no way to moderate in skype.

    Who is the moderator? We just don't know.

    Is it so bad of me to want to have a chat where I know if people start flipping out, they'll be asked to leave rather than all the rest of us having to engage in calming them down, something which is actually an emotional and fairly tiring job and one that nearly none of us are trained for?

    I am not saying there's a possibility of avoiding anyone being triggered ever again, because that's not how the world works, but I would like there to be some opinion about chain meltdowns? I don't want to brace for them. I don't want to have this happen that I go off to do something for a bit and then I come back and people are crying and saying how they are hurting themselves, because what happens to me is that I start wanting to hurt people. And maybe the solution is I stay off chat so I won't have to risk something like that happening again, but tbh, why is it that all the chat spaces need to have that?

    Maybe the solution is starting some other people and moderating it. I am not saying I want to take over kintsugi chat, because who the fuck am I to say that?

    But: I am tired of bracing for meltdowns and I am tired of seeing them happen and how things are going in chat is not working for me. Nor does it seem to be working for everyone else.
  14. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I think I wasn´t making my point clearly. I don´t mean we can´t try and have a chat that is more or less safe, I just did not want "No triggers, ever" to become a goal, because I think it´s a dangerous one. As for chain meltdowns, they suck, but I really don´t see any way to prevent them directly, since the mental state in which people have meltdowns, or split, or are triggered, tends to include loss of the self control needed to stop it.
    However, I have a suggestion:

    We have a light topics chat, in which people can request a topic be abandoned or taken elsewhere if it bothers them.
    We have the main chat, where such topics go, as well as anything and everything else.
    And we have afterdark, where abuse, gore, and similar dark stuff go. (And NSFW, where things that could get people fired and/or prosecuted for discussing with minors, go.)

    This way, at least people have both as safe a space as we can make, and a place where they are free to discuss whatever they like.
    • Like x 2
  15. albedo

    albedo metasperg

  16. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Another hing re: safeword. The thing is, with out without the safeword, the triggery topic is there. It´s impossible to foresee everyones triggers, but having the safeword gives people the opion of heading off lenghty and triggery discussion of it. So, if there´s the main chat and afterdark to go to, I still think it might be a good idea for the safe chat?

    Also @hoarmurath I, at least, don´t think you´re a bad person for wanting to avoid meltdown chains. I just want to make sure we end up with a system for migitating their occurence that actually works, and does not punish people for being triggered.

    Edit: Would anyone object to pointing seebs at this thread for advice?
  17. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Definitely agreed; I don't think a safeword is a complete solution, but I do think it's a good one.

    Please do; I haven't wanted to ping her because she didn't sign up to moderate chat, but she has good thoughts.
  18. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Yep. @seebs Thoughts? Advice?
  19. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I don't know much about Skype. Is there a mechanism for moderation or control over chats?

    Apart from that, I am not sure what to suggest. In general, we've done moderately well, but perhaps not well enough, with just watching out for each other and paying attention when people say things like "hey, you're splitting".
  20. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I don´t believe there is. But even if there is one, there´s a very short list of people I personally would trust with that control, and I´m not sure they would Want o take on that work.

    On the other hand, do you see any glaring flaws in the measure suggested?
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