#theforce Channel usage terms of service

Last Updated 18th October 2008 by the Technical Team

1.0 : Definition of parties

Novatech and Southport Web are companies which provide hosting services to the Force Academy such as website, email, webboard and live chat functionality.

The Force Academy is the entire entity represented by the website (http://www.forceacademy.co.uk), its webboard and the live chat channel #theforce.

Operators are those endowed with administrative powers over the chat channel, either directly as Channel Operators, or derived from being a Server Operator (IRCop).

Users are any other people gaining access to the channel. A person is only classed as a Channel Operator when they have 'Channel Ops’; server operators do not need Channel Ops to perform administrative tasks. This means that an operator may choose not to perform administrative tasks by 'de-opping' him or her self.

At no point will any Channel Operator give administrative privileges to an unauthorised person, any Channel Operator found doing such will be subject to disciplinary action and risks being removed from duty. This includes but is not limited to ensuring that your username and password are kept private and that no un-authorised person, be it a friend or partner, be allowed to use your account.

2.0 : General Rules

Usage of Southport Web servers and participation in all Force Academy services is a privilege, not a right. By using the live chat channel supplied (either through the Webboard, website, or by logging in through IRC) you agree to abide by the rules set out by the Force Academy management and the relevant server administrators. Furthermore you understand that enforcement of the rules is left up to the discretion of any operators currently in chat and may be subsequent to further action by non-present operators should they deem it necessary.

All usage of #theforce may be logged. This does not include private messages (One to One Chats). The server administrators and its operators themselves have the right to alter any setup without warning. This could affect channel bans, server bans or logging. The IRC server upon which the live chat channel #theforce is based has functionality which enables the logging of One to One chats however this is currently turned off (18th October 2008).

The primary function of #theforce is to act as a live discussions aid to the Force Academy. Secondly, the channel acts as a recreation ground for members to interact with each other. In accordance with this, general tomfoolery is permitted; however must give way to more topical discussions should they arise. If you are asked to cease any of your current actions by any member of the community so that they may engage in active discussion you are obliged to do so. Non-discussion activities should then take place in the channel #lounge (type "/join #lounge" without the quotes to enter).

Moderation of channels other than #theforce and the chat server itself remains sole discretion of the relevant server administrators and its operators. Should these parties elect to perform any maintenance which renders you unable to use #theforce, you must take this up with them yourself (this includes termination of service, permanent server bans etc).

3.0 : Inappropriate behaviour

Certain actions are herewith deemed inappropriate for #theforce. These include, but are not limited to:

3.1 : Personally abusive behaviour directed at any one person or any group of people.

3.2 : Technically abusive behaviour of any form. Active scripts (those that perform a task which directly affects others) are not permitted on the server. By utilising the chat server, you agree that you will not use any information obtained (IP addresses for example) to engage in unlawful or damaging activities including but not limited to Denial of Service attacks.

3.3 : Deliberately provocative behaviour (including gratuitous use of foul and abusive language). If you are deemed to be causing unnecessary disruption (by present channel or network operators) then you will be subject to disciplinary action. It is acknowledged that decisions based upon these circumstances are subjective however any decision for disciplinary action will stand unless overruled by an appropriate governing body (Chat Operators, the Inner Council or Server Administrators).

4.0 : Disciplinary Actions

A channel operator should do their best to ensure that they have all relevant information and that they have done their best to diffuse a volatile situation before resulting to disciplinary action. It is acknowledged that, from time to time an operator may not be aware of all of the facts surrounding a situation. If such occurs, the operator must undertake to put right any wrong actions in accordance with the appropriate guidelines.

Should any person be deemed contrary to acceptable rules, they will first and foremost be issued a warning via a private message stating what action has been deemed unacceptable and a warning to cease said action.

In the event that no response is received to the first warning, the warning will be repeated in the main channel (#theforce).

If the user in question continues with their disruptive actions, a Level 1 ban will be placed upon said person. The user will again be contacted via private message. If they agree to cease their disruptive actions, the ban will be removed. If it is event that they will not cease, the ban will become Level 2 (see definitions for level explanation) and said user will be removed (kicked) from the channel. If any individual user is subject to three or more Level 2 bans in recent succession, the case may be taken before the Chat Operators forum for consideration of a Level 3 bans.

5.0 : Ban-Level Definitions

Level 1: The sole function of this ban is to prevent the person from being able to send messages to the channel; however they will be permitted to remain in the channel and will not be kicked. A level 1 ban will last for no more than 10 minutes

Level 2: A ban enacted upon sole discretion of present operators. This ban involves revocation of a user's privileges to access #theforce for up to four days.

Level 3: An extension to a level 2 ban. Should an offence be deemed necessary, it will be taken before the Chat Operators forum to request an extended period of access right revocation. The duration of revocation will be decided by the Chat Operators agreement.

6.0 Removal of Bans prior to expiry

A level 1 or 2 ban may be removed by the person who initiated the ban at any point before the expiry period arrives. Should another operator wish to challenge a Level 2 ban, they will be required to take their case before the Chat Operators forum for decision.

A level 3 ban may only be removed upon approval by the Chat Operators forum, by decision from the Inner Council or a Server operator.

7.0 Challenging an Operators decision

If you disagree with the decision of an operator, please consult them in a mature manner and explain your discontent. If they are unable to satisfy you query and you feel further action is necessary, please ask the chat operator to raise your query with the Chat Operators forum. Upon receipt of any such request, a Chat Operator is obliged to pass it on to the Chat Operator forum.
Failure to do so will result in a warning at any time; failure to do so without a reason deemed valid by the Chat Operator forum will result in disciplinary action and may result in a dismissal of the operator in question. If you believe you have raised a query with an operator and it has not been passed on to the Chat Operator forum, you should seek another operator to raise your query.

Upon any form of disciplinary action being taken by a Chat Operator, a log must be entered into the Chat Operators forum. Any Operator found not reporting their actions will be issued an official warning by the Chat Operator forum. Repeated offence (three or more failures to log disciplinary action to a satisfactory level without extenuating circumstances) will result in consideration of said operator for dismissal from duty.

Operator logs must include a date and time of occurrence (with time zone specified), an explanation of what the operator believes justifies disciplinary action, a record of any disciplinary action taken and logs of the main channel and any private chats that have taken place during the dispute.

8.0 Complaints of Conduct

If any user has a complaint of conduct of an operator, or any other user when an operator is not available to resolve an issue, they should first and foremost prepare an informative report. Failure to do so may result in an extended investigation period or inability of the Chat Operators to make a decision due to lack of information. Reports should always include times (with relative time zone information), dates, details of the actions that are being queried and an explanation of why the complainer feels the complaint necessary. If at all possible, include your own logs, or seek logs from other members of the channel who may have logged the conversation themselves. We cannot act upon what we cannot see. We maintain our own limited logs, however searching for specific incidents is not always the easiest of tasks.
Complaint reports should be submitted to an operator, or to the technical team as specified above.

It is not the policy of the governing bodies of this facility to become involved in personal disputes. These should be resolved in private if possible. It may however become necessary for the governing bodies to intervene in a personal dispute to prevent disruption to the public facilities and aid in the movement of the academy.

This document is not formally prepared and it is accepted that there may be errors/omissions. It is also accepted that there may be technicalities which a person could exploit to bypass the system. If any such incident occurs, the Chat Operators reserve the right to make any necessary judgements and enforce disciplinary action. Amendments may be made from time to time; it is the sole responsibility of all users to ensure that they are aware of any changes; however the Chat Operators will endeavour to announce all changes on the webboard.