The following are guidelines for #hol, #quidditch, #grandstand, and other HOL-related channels, including house channels (for a more comprehensive list, please check the Handbook.)
HOL is not responsible for any conversation outside these channels.
- Use a variant of your HOL name as your only nickname when you first begin chatting. Offer it freely when asked by the channel operators.
- English is the official language of the HOL chats.
- Do not use netspeak.
- Do not spam channels.
- Do not share any personal information--your name, phone number, address, school or town. Countries and states are fine.
- The HOL chatrooms also include members in the 9-12 age group--keep your content tasteful and appropriate.
- Links must be approved by a channel operator before they are shared. Do not advertise private channels in public chats.
- Your HOL name
When you first join the HOL Chatrooms, you will often be prompted for your HOL name usually by a person with an @ next to their name (this is a channel operator, or simply an "op"). Offer it freely and without hassle -- it is an ordinary step in a procedure to get to know you better.
For the first few weeks on IRC, please use a variant of your HOL name as your ONLY nickname. (NEW!) This includes members returning after a hiatus. If an aop asks you to use your HOL name because they do not recognize you, you should use a variant of your HOL name as though you are new.
(NEW!) Any use of contentious nicks will not be tolerated. These include but are not limited to ones that deliberately imply trouble or disruption of some sort, aren't g-rated and/or poke fun at the channel rules.
Although HOL is an international community and we celebrate our cultural diversity, the official language of the HOL channels is ENGLISH. You may have conversations in other languages in a private chatroom or in person-to-person chat. There are two reasons for this rule:
- You alienate other chatroom members.
- The channel operators do not comprehend the content of the discussion, which could steer into inappropriate territory.
Netspeak is the shortening of words and replacing of letters to (supposedly) make the typing process shorter. For instance, "u hav 2 go c it!" is interpreted as "you have to go see it!"
As aforementioned, a large percentage of HOL'ers do not speak English as their first language, and netspeak would make it difficult for them to follow. Even for native English speakers, netspeak is also unsightly, inane and annoying. You will also be notified for constant misspellings of words, which are not mere typos after three or four times (l-i-e-k for like, for instance).
Netspeak should not be confused with INITIALISMS, which are common abbreviations, such as: BRB (be right back), GTG (got to go), LOL (laughing out loud), BBS/BBL (be back soon, be back later), AFK (away from keyboard) and so on.
Spam is the consistent use of meaningless characters, letters and words, strung together with no real purpose. Some examples are, but are not limited to: a string of random characters (AERWK@#:l!), excessive exclamation marks (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), repeating the same word or line over and over again (badger badger badger badger badger badger), and pasting a large amount of irrelevant text (example omitted for obvious reasons).
(NEW!) You may have color enders only. Enders containing text are considered spam and are no longer allowed.
Autoresponders and other kinds of similar remotes are also considered spam.
- Privacy and Security
The HOL chatrooms also follows the general HOL guidelines in regards to personal information. You may not share your full name, address, telephone number, school or town. This is for your OWN SAFETY, and people are particularly vulnerable on IRC since it can easily slip out. States and countries are fair game.
- Appropriate Content
The main HOL website, according to the ICRA, is labelled:
- No nudity
- No sexual material
- No violence
- No politics
- No religion
- Mild expletives
- No potentially harmful activities
- User-generated content such as chat rooms and message boards (moderated)
- This material appears in an educational context
As mentioned, profanity is not appropriate in public HOL channels, but as HOL adopts a cosmopolitan view, it is impossible to name a list of words that are considered "profane." For similar reasons, informal language (slang) is also discouraged. Keep in mind that HOL also includes younger children as well as non-native English speakers and use suitable judgement.
The use of explicit innuendos or otherwise inappropriate implications as stated by this handbook is also not tolerated.
- URLs and Private Channels
URLs may not be shared in public HOL channels until they are approved by an operator for content. You may P2P an operator with the request for approval.
Private channels should not be advertised in public chat -- you may ask members to P2P you and vice versa for the channel name. This is because channel operators are not responsible for the conversation in a private chat.
- Chat Operators (those with @ by their name) are selected as the discretion of the Ops Committee (Professors Zoki Phantom and Kyrie Adderholt). Non-operators may sometimes be op'd when needed and are expected to adhere to all rules.
- The channel operators exist to maintain a safe, friendly environment in the chatrooms, adhering to the guidelines above (no netspeak, spam, languages other than English, inappropriate content, etc). Please keep this in mind and remain cordial when they speak to you.
- The channel would cease to be a "friendly" environment if everyone were constantly reminding newcomers of the rules. Leave that to the operators--if you see something go unnoticed, or if something makes you uncomfortable, feel free to contact the ops in a p2p chat.
- Operator decisions are final. If you do not agree with an action an operator has taken, p2p them. It is poor taste to strike an argument in the public channel. If the operator does not respond and explain his or her reasoning, contact another operator. If you still fail to receive a response, contact the Ops Committee.
- First infraction, you are issued a warning
- Second infraction, you are kicked from the room and lose 5 points
- Third infraction, you are banned from the room and lose a further 10 points