PaganPaths IRC Network

Rules and Regulations

See also the PaganPaths Legal Statement.

General Network Rules and Procedures

PaganPaths is a friendly pagan IRC network where everyone should be welcome and be able to feel at home. In accomplishing this our Admins and Opers will play a great part, and will have to act accordingly. Opers and Admins should therefor always try to be helpful, and try to solve all problems that arise as smoothly as possible. Be polite and respectful. No harassment of any individual, whether in a channel or in private message, shall be tolerated on the PaganPaths network. Abuse of another PaganPaths patron or official whether Pagan or Christian, gay or heterosexual, black, white, etc., is unacceptable.

Claiming to be a PaganPaths official; or using one's relationship, real or otherwise, with a PaganPaths official, or in any way stating or implying that one will soon become a PaganPaths official to threaten, intimidate or taunt any user in any way for any reason may result in an automatic k-line.

No form of electronic attack on another person's system is acceptable, nor are war bots, malicious scripts, etc.

No spamming. Spamming users, including but not limited to mass and/or private message and/or invite spamming, could result in an automatic k-line.

PM / PrivMsg's. It's generally a Good Idea, and generally consistent with polite IRC behavior to ask a person in open channel if they wish to engage in a private dialog. IRCops and Chanops, in the normal course of ensuring the proper operation of the Network are exempt from this, as well as one patron experiencing fractious behavior from another.

Lurking. Lurking is discouraged as a general breach of 'Netiquette. If a new user joins a channel full of lurkers and attempts conversation, he or she will doubtless feel snubbed at the lack of response. This does not conform to our stated goal of providing a friendly atmosphere. Unfortunately, some popular IRC Clients do not properly mark people as "away," which can make it appear that you are lurking - please use the /nick command to add 'AFK,' or 'Away' to your nickname. Further, some perceive lurking as a form of Stalking, in order to go thru logs and retrieve personal information about chatters. While 'Lurk before you Leap' is a good thing in determining a sites' overall culture before you join in the general Convo, staying connected 24/7 with no indication of your status is a Bad Idea. Thus, habitual lurkers will be removed.

"Real Life" issues. From time to time Users may wish to meet "in real life." It is no longer unusual for "'Netizens" to meet their 'signifigant other' online, and is beyond the scope of any Policy to dictate what one does with their personal life. Unfortunately, it is also possible that upon such real-life meeting, one may find that they do not particularly like the other person for whatever reason. Should this latter situation occur, keep it OFF the Server. Derisive comments about a user you have met in person, in either open channel or in pm over personality conflicts, perceived behavioral deficits, etc. is generally non-conducive to a friendly atmosphere and will be dealt with as set forth in these policies as regards Personal Attacks. If you have a "Real Life" problem with another User, take it up with them in Real Life.

mp3 "auto-announces:" Please refrain. What if you were in a channel of 15 or 20 people, all announcing their mp3... Think about this :)

Ignore. The "ignore" command of your chat client is your first line of defense against any behavior that you consider annoying or obnoxious. Just as PaganPaths' Administration advocates Freedom of Speech, "ignore" is the advocacy of your Freedom to Not Listen. Consult your IRC clients' documentation, or ask for help on how to use this feature.

The purpose of server personnel, the Admins and Opers is, as described above, to ensure an environment conducive to a pleasant chat experience. Should a User feel that any infraction of these policies, ie: a personal attack; ad Hominem, racist, sexist, anti-sectarian or homophobic statement has been levelled against them, it is up to that individual to call this behavior to the attention of an available Oper. A User may also file a formal complaint to the admin-board email address, along with the relevant logs.

If a formal complaint against any individual is filed, the procedures listed below in section 10 must be observed by all parties involved.

PaganPaths is an IRC network for pagans by pagans. We reserve the right to deem a channel unacceptable, in which case the channel owner will be notified and it will be removed by a PaganPaths administrator. An appeal may be sent to admin-board[youknow]paganpaths[samehere]org and will be discussed with the channel owner. Some examples of channels that may be unacceptable on this network are: Warez, pornography, hate groups, etc. Also, no User channel is to serve to circumvent or contravene these policies generally.

The nick or name of another user or organization should not be registered with Services (e.g., ChanServ, NickServ, etc.) for malicious purposes. If it is the judgement of the Admin Board that such has taken place, the registration may be re-assigned or removed and disciplinary action may be taken toward the registering party.

Guidelines and Procedures For Complaints

The person who has complaint against another shall file a complaint with the PaganPaths Admin Board by emailing admin-board(hello)paganpaths{:}org. This complaint MUST include a log of the incident in question, and should state all relevant facts in a concise manner.

  1. Once the board has been notified of the situation, one of the Admins will be assigned as liaison to the party who has issued the complaint, in order to ensure relevant details have been included.
  2. A different admin shall be appointed as liaison with the accused party, and will inform them of the accusation. This admin will provide a copy of evidence, and may collect a statement in defense, as well as any documentation which may aid in clarification of the situation, i.e., logs and so forth.
  3. If the logs submitted by both involved parties do not agree with each other, a third party log must be presented as corroboration in order to determine which log(s) are reliable, and which log(s) are in error or have been tampered with.
  4. Evidence of malicious log tampering with intent to cause harm to another individual shall be grounds for permanent akill/k-line of the offender.
  5. Once all evidence has been collected, the Admins shall meet in the #opers chat room to discuss evidence. Involved parties will be invited in, and may give, in turn, their own version of events. The accuser shall go first, and may be required to answer questions from the admins. When finished with the accuser, the board will similarly interview the accused. If either party interrupts the rightful speaker, or otherwise causes disruption of proceedings, the following steps shall be taken:
    1. On first offense, a warning shall be issued by an Oper.
    2. On second offense, the offender may be kicked, but may return immediately, provided they refrain from causing further disturbance.
    3. On third offense, a kick and 5-minute ban shall apply. Proceedings will continue in the offenders absence.
  6. Once all evidence has been examined, and all parties interviewed, the Admins shall ask the parties to leave the channel while deliberations take place. These deliberations are of a private nature, and by default are not automatically disclosed to all parties. However, if any party should feel that the decision is unfair, the logs of the proceedings may be made available to them upon request.
  7. Upon completion of proceedings, the third admin will prepare a statement outlining the nature of the charges, the parties involved, and the decision reached, as well as any immediately pertinent details which it is apparent at the time must be included, and this statement shall be emailed to the parties involved where possible.
  8. Decisions made in this manner are considered final.
  9. k-lines/akills which are handed down by the Administration Board for serious infractions of Paganpaths policy shall follow the following pattern:
    1. For the first infraction, a 7 day k-line/akill shall be applied.
    2. For a second infraction, a 30 day k-line/akill is applied.
    3. For a third infraction, a permanent k-line/akill is applied. This ban may be reviewed after 6 months.

Policy For Official PaganPaths Channels (i.e., #paganpaths, #help, #mysticrealm, etc.)

Patrons may engage in normal debate, but altercations which become irritable to those in channel are not tolerated. Once a warning has been issued regarding such behavior, action may be taken based upon persistence which becomes irritating. Please remember that children may be present and act accordingly these channels are open to all users regardless of age. Also note that we have several "18+" channels where you may be asked to produce some verification of age, either through proof of maturity through description of life experience or actually faxing of relevant documentation to the Administration.

No intentional abuse or malicious talk which might constitute an affront to any individual, religious, gender, racial or ethnic group, regardless of whether the target of such speech or "humor" is Pagan or Christian, gay or heterosexual, black, white, etc.

Procedures involving infractions of misconduct for official PaganPaths channels:

  1. Any Oper may temporarily kick and/or ban someone who has committed a violation of these regulations. These temporary kicks/bans follow the following procedures:
    1. For a first infraction, a warning should be issued.
    2. For a second infraction, the offender should be kicked, but not banned.
    3. For a third infraction, the offender should be kicked and placed under temporary ban. A temporary ban shall be removed the next day.
    4. A log of the incident should be sent to admin-board{att}paganpaths[.dot.]org, along with a brief note from the acting Oper, detailing briefly why action was taken, and under what circumstances. The network Admins shall keep this record on file in case there is a dispute over the decision.
    5. If the situation has been serious enough to warrant a temporary ban, the Oper may choose to file a formal complaint against the individual in accordance to the rules stated above in section sub-titled Guidelines and Procedures For Complaints.
  2. Bans which are handed down by the Administration Board for infractions against policy as it relates to official channels shall follow the following pattern:
    1. For the first infraction, a 3 day ban shall be applied.
    2. For a second infraction, a 7 day ban is applied.
    3. For a third infraction, a permanent ban is applied. This ban may be reviewed after 6 months.

New Servers, Admins and Opers

Anyone who wants to run a PaganPaths IRC server needs to have at least a 128 kbps ISDN connection online 24/7. As well he needs to be friendly and accepted by the PaganPaths Board.

All Administrators and IRC operators on the PaganPaths IRC Network will have same status on all servers. As a difference from other IRC networks that have local IRC operators on every server, all PaganPaths Opers and Admins will be global. The reason for this is that we want to have a close group of good IRC operators and administrators that if it is necessary will have the ability to do as much as possible for the PaganPaths Community.

For new servers connecting to PaganPaths the only new Admin for the net should be the one who runs the new server. Exceptions to this can be made if any special reasons should appear.

If the Server connecting to PaganPaths has been running for awhile before connecting to us and already has a few administrators and Opers, most Opers and Admins other than the one who runs the server (who will remain an admin) can be accepted as Opers on PaganPaths under the circumstances that they accept the changes and follow PaganPaths Guidelines as listed in this document in it's entirety.

All decisions, including the appointment of a new Oper will be decided by the PaganPaths Board.The board consists of the 7 first appointed Administrators that have the possibility to spend time and attend in the board's meetings.

This means that the Administrators in the board should be able to spend at least 1 hour a day, 5 days of the week on decisions concerning the PaganPaths IRC Network. Of course with exceptions for vacations, special holidays and other things that can show up in real life at times. :)

A board member might be removed from the board if the remaining board members determine that the admin in question is on rarely enough that it is significantly slowing down decisions.

For a decision to be made or a new Oper to be appointed at the majority of the board members should be in favor.

If a big decision that could be of great importance for the whole PaganPaths IRC Network should have to be made, all PaganPaths Administrators that can be reached in a reasonable amount of time should have a Vote in the matter.

Give the users the benefit of the doubt. If you have had a complaint about a user, ask them to tell you what the problem is themselves before you confront them about their reported behavior and always get logs if possible.

Do not abuse your operator privileges, you should view all users as equals. Operator privileges such as /kill and /kline are not to be used for fun or to brag about. /Klines or /kills are NOT to be used for personal reasons.

If an Oper or Admin is being harassed by a user he should talk about this with other Admins and Opers who if necessary can give the user a warning, and if absolutely necessary perform a /kill command. Placing a /kline or performing a /kill should always be seen as a last resort! Logs should always be kept of events leading up to and including the /kill or /kline. /kill /kline or /kick and when placed the board should be notified about this as soon as possible by emailing admin-board[a@t]

The user should be messaged by an Oper or Admin and asked to explain, and if doing wrong should be asked to stop doing whatever he/she is doing. If the user continues with the activity after being warned a /kick or /kline may be placed upon him/her.

If a problem should appear and there is more than one Oper or admin online the Oper or admin that has noticed or been informed of the problem should notify the other Admins and Opers about the problem and together try to solve the situation.

Everyone has bad days, and moments when one is perhaps not able to act in the best ways for the PaganPaths community. At these occasions Opers and Admins as representatives of PaganPaths you should stay away from the #PaganPaths channel, deoper, and point users that turn to you to another oper or admin.

The reason for the above way of making decisions, instead of letting all administrators take part in all decisions made, is that we need to be able to make decisions in as short period of time as possible in order to be able to expand and offer the best network possible for the pagan community.

All new additions to PaganPaths are considered to exist only on a trial-basis for the first 30 days, including all new servers, board members, Admins, Opers, and so on. After the first 30 days, the admin board will vote on whether or not to add them on a permanent basis. After the first 30 days, any Opers and Admins who act inappropriately will be given 2 warnings; after their third offense, they will be disciplined per the decision of the admin board unless the infraction is serious enough to warrant immediate discipline. Note that warnings are considered null and void once a year and a day has passed for each offense; e.g., if someone received two warnings, once one year and a day has passed, these rules will apply as if they have only one warning against them, and after two years and two days, as if they have none. Opers or Admins will not be promoted while they still have one or more warnings counted against them.

Disciplinary actions will generally depend on the severity of their offenses and their current position with the network. This may mean removal from the board, demotion, temporary suspension, permanent removal of their o:line, or even banning them from PaganPaths in the most extreme cases.

New IRC operators will be chosen by the PaganPaths Board, and will be chosen among users that have shown to be a great asset to the PaganPaths IRC Network, are friendly and helpful towards other users and spend some time online at PaganPaths. An IRC operator should be able to handle all situations with calm and patience, and make an effort to solve everything as smoothly and in the best way possible, as well as adhering to and enforcing the rules and regulations stated in this document.

Oper/Admin Candidates will not be notified that they have been or will be considered for a position. A candidate will be notified if they are accepted to the position in which they were nominated.

Once a new IRC operator has been chosen by the board there will be a 1 month trial period. After this period the board will meet again and decide if the Oper should be made a permanent Oper.

If any Oper or Admin should misuse his/her privilege of being a operator or administrator on PaganPaths or in any way fail to follow the Guidelines, the board shall meet for a discussion and the Oper in question shall be notified about what he/she has done wrong and be given a warning. If the act should be repeated or if the Oper/Admin by his/her actions are causing the PaganPaths IRC Network great damage his/her privileges will be removed. This will be decided by the board.

All Opers are welcome to recommend someone that he/she thinks suitable for being an IRC operator to the board. However we do NOT accept applications for these posts! Only recommendations by Opers/Admins. If you do think you would be a suitable IRC Operator on PaganPaths and think that you have something to add to our network, you should try to help users in #PaganPaths channel, and in all ways try to be of help in the PaganPaths IRC Network Channels. This way we will notice you if we are in need of more opers and think you suitable, if so you will be notified after the board has taken it into consideration.

New administrators will be chosen among the IRC operators if the need for more should arise. Everyone who is accepted to run a new PaganPaths IRC server will automatically become an administrator on the whole PaganPaths IRC Network.

The PaganPaths Administrators have a very low opinion of ultimatums, and have unanimously agreed that they will not bow down to the pressures of such tactics. If anyone feels the need to issue an ultimatum to the board, they are almost guaranteed not to get the response they were hoping for.

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