General Forum Rules & Guidelines

If you want to familiarise yourself with how the ShanniiWrites Forums are run, this is where you should start.

As with any forum, we’re going to need some guidelines. Please stick to these and we’ll all have a great time!

You’re free to ask any questions below and we’ll do our best to answer them. However, if you have any suggestions for improvements on the guidelines, please post on in the Site Feedback section.

This is a Civilised Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These rules are simply a springboard for you to get an understanding of the atmosphere we are trying to create. There may be situations in which something is not on the rules, but the Forum Staff decide that it is worthy of disciplinary action. In those situations, the staff members will use these rules as a guide in their decision, and then we may change the rules to reflect this. It is ultimately at ShanniiWrites’s discretion if something is a flaggable offence.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. We will be adding to the guidelines if we feel it’s necessary. Until then, if in doubt, ask a mod.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask the @ForumStaff for clarification.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

We close topics after two months of inactivity. We very much appreciate it when users contribute to old discussions before they get closed. We value every member and every conversation on the forums, so we love it when you show that you do too!

Unfortunately, we have very limited space on this forum, so duplicate threads will be closed and/or merged.

Do Not Create Alt Accounts

An alternate account, or alt account, is when a single person creates more than one account or username on the Forums. Here on the ShanniiWrites Forums, we do not tolerate this. You are not allowed to have more than one account.

This is for the following reasons:

  • We do not want to artificially inflate our user numbers.
  • When the Forums have many users with little activity or traffic can make them appear inactive or dormant, which decreases the attractiveness to new users.
  • Users might be tempted to use alt accounts to back themselves up in arguments, which may result in dogpiling. We wish to create a safe and fun environment for all.
  • Users might be tempted to use alt accounts to evade disciplinary actions. This is very serious. If you are found to do this, you will be subject to severe disciplinary actions.

We have many ways to discover if you have created an alt account, so please don’t. If you were unaware of this rule and you created an alt account, please let us know! You won’t get in trouble if you tell us straight away!

Please send an email to @ChaoticDeluge to let him know which account you would like to keep and he will either delete or merge the other one. If you would specifically like your comments from the alt account to be merged, please let us know and we can sort that out for you!

For users with DID, alters are separate people and therefore it is entirely acceptable for each alter to have their own account. If you have DID or any other extenuating circumstances, please inform @ShanniiWrites as to why alt accounts may be created and we will try to come to an agreement with you.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

We promote free speech on the ShanniiWrites Forums, and we understand that this comes with the freedom to disagree. You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That is fine. In fact, we encourage civilised debate and discussion. It is great for us to speak to people with very different opinions from our own. It makes us better writers!

If you do wish to express disagreement with someone on the forums, remember to criticise ideas, not people. Please abide by the following rules:

No Name-Calling

If you cannot express your point without being insulting and calling people names, it’s probably not a very strong opinion.

Name-calling is completely unnecessary and hurtful, which is what makes it a flaggable offence on the ShanniiWrites Forums. We are trying to create an environment in which people feel as though they can express their ideas and be themselves. When you call someone hurtful names, you ruin that atmosphere and make them feel uncomfortable.

We are not completely unreasonable, though. We understand that some friends express themselves by endearingly calling each other names. If that’s the case with you and your friends, please leave it for the DMs and make sure that everyone present knows that you are not serious. Plus, it needs to be clear enough for the Forum Staff to understand that it is a joke, as they ultimately have the final say in whether it is against the rules or not.

No Ad-Hominem Attacks

An ad-hominem attack is when, in a discussion or debate, you choose to insult a person or talk about their character instead of making points against their argument. This can include insulting their name, personality, looks or anything else about them that has nothing to do with the argument. Examples of this include “I wouldn’t expect a woman to understand” and “you’re ugly/stupid, so what do you know?” This also extends to off-topic attacks on people’s typos, grammar mistakes or word choices. We encourage helping others with their English, but there is a time and place for it. It is not in the middle of a completely unrelated discussion.

That is why we say criticise ideas, not people. We allow debate here. In fact, we love and encourage it! However, if you are unable to address someone’s arguments without insulting or commenting on their person, you aren’t really debating at all. In fact, it actually goes against productive and civil discussions and promotes toxicity. It may even incite a hostile argument/fight, which we do not tolerate.

If your argument revolves around you insulting a person’s character, then this is a flaggable offence and this will result in disciplinary action from our moderators.

No Tone Policing

Tone policing is when you respond to the way someone said something, or their tone, rather than what they actually said. Examples include “that was rude”, “I didn’t like the way you said that” or “you could have been nicer about it”. We do not like this as it ignores the point that the other user is making, derails the conversation and promotes an off-topic discussion about whether or not the comment was rude or could have been said in a better way.

Here on the ShanniiWrites Forums, we understand that we have diverse users from all sorts of upbringings, backgrounds and walks of life. That means that we will naturally have people who speak differently from one another, and different cultures will find different things rude. That is why we ask you to try your best to be civil and understanding of people’s unique ways of speaking. If you dislike the way someone is speaking to you, we advise that you either try to see past it or remove yourself from the situation.

Tone policing is a flaggable offence and we will not tolerate it. It will result in disciplinary action from our moderators.

No Knee-Jerk Contradictions

A knee-jerk contradiction is when you disagree with a person simply for the sake of disagreeing or to annoy or frustrate them. Or, when you change the goalposts of an argument and bring up irrelevant details in order to continue arguing once you have been proven wrong. This can cause the forums to become very toxic very quickly and cause hostile arguments to break out. It can derail discussions very quickly and frustrate other users, taking their enjoyment out of using the forums.

We understand that you may joke with your friends in which you pretend to contradict them. However, if a reasonable person cannot see that you are joking, then we will consider it to be a knee-jerk contradiction. Also, if your friend expresses discomfort or asks you to stop, please stop immediately.

Do Not Misgender Users

We aim for the ShanniiWrites Forums to be a safe space for minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. We have members of our community who are transgender, either binary or nonbinary, and we want them to feel just as welcomed, valued, respected and at home as our cisgender users. That is why we have created the “Pronouns” section of the user card.

If you would like to be a user on the ShanniiWrites Forums, we expect you to respect people’s pronouns and use them when you are addressing them. Understand that misgendering someone can be extremely distressing and detrimental to their mental health. It also just makes you seem like a horrible person. If you are found to be deliberately misgendering someone or mocking their pronouns or gender identity, you will be subject to disciplinary actions.

Accidents happen, though, and we understand that! If you have misgendered someone in the past, don’t make a big deal out of it in public, as this can cause them to become uncomfortable. You may want to speak to them privately to apologise, which is completely up to you. We just ask that you use the correct pronouns in the future. It may also be nice to edit any of your posts in which you misgender them when you come across them, as this will prevent other people from making the same mistake. We aren’t asking you to scour through your activity on the forums, but to be sensitive and respectful.

We do not expect you to agree with our stance on the LGBTQ+ community. You are allowed to have your opinions. However, there is a big difference between saying you disagree with our stance and picking on our LGBTQ+ users. Remember: criticise ideas, not people. This extends to making individuals feel uncomfortable by misgendering them. We will not tolerate it. Don’t let your disagreement with the idea become personal. Plus, save all discussions about your views on the LGBTQ+ community for relevant topics and threads.

No Dogpiling

Here on the ShanniiWrites Forums, we define dogpiling as any of the following things:

  • Ganging up on a user and not letting them make their point or discuss.
  • Mass-flagging a post simply because you dislike it or the user.
  • Dragging someone into a DM/PM and using your friends or other users to gang up on them.
  • Dragging friends and other users onto a thread or DM/PM where you are having a disagreement with a user to make them feel intimidated, uncomfortable or invalidated.
  • Multiple staff members dealing with the same offence and stepping on each other’s toes.

We understand that you may want to help your friends out in an argument to back them up. This is fair. However, we do not tolerate or condone dogpiling! If one person finds themselves in a position where they are being attacked by multiple people at once, unless the circumstances are very specific, we will usually give the single person the benefit of the doubt.

This does not mean you cannot back your friends up, though. We simply expect you to remain civil and courteous and give the other person a chance to respond. This is more important than ever when the situation can quickly and easily devolve into dogpiling, so make sure you are aware of that when you are defending your friends.

Do Not Challenge Someone’s Right to Have an Opinion

One of the best things about the ShanniiWrites Forums is that we have a community of unique people who all have different opinions. We love that! Listening to other people’s arguments and responding with reasonable counter-arguments makes us better debaters, creators and people. We can refine and improve on our own opinions and understand people who are different from us.

So it is extremely important to us that you avoid challenging someone’s right to have an opinion. It does nothing but harm discussion and breed hostility. This includes saying things like “how dare you say something like that” or “if you think that, you are evil”. This is against the rules and will result in disciplinary action.

If you believe someone’s opinion is really that bad or indefensible, it should be easy enough for you to counter it and come up with reasons why they are wrong. You may not change their opinion, but you are much more likely to than when you are attempting to challenge their right to have it. Plus, you may even change someone else’s mind!

However, this works both ways. Do not resort to defending your right to have an opinion simply because you are losing a debate or discussion. This is also a flaggable offence. Plus, the moment you stop defending your opinion and start defending your right to have it, you have already lost, to paraphrase HBomberGuy.

Do Not Use Anonymous Threads to Bully Users

On the ShanniiWrites Forums, we have many amazing anonymous threads, including the Anonymous Confessions Thread. They are for everyone’s enjoyment and they give people a chance to express themselves in ways that they may not feel comfortable to, elsewhere on the forums.

Do not spoil this for other users by using the threads to bully people. Any user running an anonymous thread must make an effort to stop this from happening. At the very least, they must redact any names mentioned on those posts, but we recommend not posting them at all.

If you are using the anonymous threads as a way to hide an attack on other users behind anonymity, then you know that what you are doing is wrong. If you did not know that what you were doing was wrong, you would not feel the need to hide. As such, anyone found to be bullying users on anonymous threads will receive an instant, permanent ban of your account.

Warnings are for people who may not realise that what they are doing is wrong. You will not get the benefit of the doubt if you are bullying people anonymously.

Understand That You Might Get Criticism

When you post anywhere online, you are going to be subject to criticism. The ShanniiWrites Forums are no different. If you post a story, opinions, art piece or anything on the forums, you can expect others to express their opinions on it. These opinions are often positive, but can also be critical.

On the ShanniiWrites Forums, we love criticism! It makes you a better creator and person, as it gives you the opportunity to grow and learn new things. We encourage it and expect our users to engage with it in a productive manner. You may not always agree with the criticism you receive, but we do expect you to be polite to the people who give it to you. You don’t need to take any of it on board if you don’t want to.

However, we understand that it can be tiring to be criticised all the time when you are just trying to relax and have fun. Therefore, we ask that you make it clear when you are not asking for opinions and just want to share. Just remember that you can’t expect the praise without the criticism! You can’t ask for one without the other! If you make it clear that you aren’t looking for opinions in the OP, the ForumStaff will uphold that for you.

We do agree that there is a difference between constructive criticism and hate, though. We allow criticism, but frown upon hate. On the ShanniiWrites Forums, we have our own way to classify the difference:

Criticism is when you are given clear ways to improve; hate is when someone trashes your work without giving any hints on how to get better.

So saying “the dialogue is a little flat” is criticism because it makes it very clear that the dialogue is the thing that needs to be improved. Saying “this story is terrible” is hate because there is no indication on what can be done better next time.

We understand that this can be confusing, though, so please feel free to DM a @ForumStaff member with the link to a thread you are unsure about. They will discuss with the rest of the staff and let you know. This will save you from getting too many disagreed flags and help us to keep the forums tidy.

Remember that while it is your free speech to have an opinion, it is another person’s free speech to disagree.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Let’s leave our community better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

The @ForumStaff are responsible for the day-to-day running of the forums. However, so are you. With your help, the Staff can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behaviour, it is often best not to reply. It encourages more bad behaviour by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

We understand that you may want to help users if you believe they are not purposefully breaking rules, though. It is fine for you to give them a reminder, as long as you make sure you know the rules very well yourself and that you are being polite and kind to them. If you think they need a little help and you don’t think a flag is fair or worthy, please feel free to DM the @ForumStaff to ask and we will do our best to help you and the other user.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Abuse of the flagging system, however, is a serious offence. As flagging is our front-line defence, when someone misuses these systems it can harm not only them and other users, but the website as a whole. Abuse of the flagging system consists of flagging every post of a user someone simply dislikes with the aim of silencing them in some way, or mass flagging a single post.

So, please check that the post is a flaggable offence before you flag it.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Keep the main forum free of profanity and mature themes. If you would like to swear and talk about mature stuff, we have a private 18+ section which you can request access to.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or insult, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalise the forum.

Please abide by the following rules to help us make sure that our forums are a safe and comfortable place to be:

Don’t Bring Drama From Other Platforms

For many, the ShanniiWrites Forums are a place to get a fresh, new start. So, please do not bring any arguments from other platforms. We value giving people a clean slate. Don’t cause negative energy over past grievances.

We are all human, though, and we understand that you can’t just get over any past arguments you may have had with other users. That is fine. In fact, it is often a good idea to remain wary of other users if you didn’t like the way they treated you in the past. You may wish to share this with one of the @moderators. That is fine, too, as we will try our best to remain positive, fair and professional. Plus, it is a good way to ensure that we keep an eye on any disputes so they don’t get out of hand.

However, please do not negatively affect any user’s experience on the forums because of any drama you had in the past elsewhere online or in person. We will not tolerate our users being abused under any circumstances, and we cannot ensure that your behaviour towards them is fair or warranted if the dispute started elsewhere. We do not have the full context.

If you have had a disagreement with another user in the past and you do not like them, stay away from them. You both have a right to be on the forums unless we have concrete evidence to say otherwise.

Do Not Use Other Languages to Alienate or Exclude People

We are a diverse community of members from all over the world and we all speak different languages. We love seeing threads about language learning and speaking in other languages. We love seeing threads setting up communities of speakers of foreign languages or members of ethnic and cultural groups. There is nothing wrong with this.

However, the main language of the forum is English. We are against you switching to other languages that other users in the conversation don’t understand as a deliberate way of alienating or excluding other members of the conversation, or as a way of insulting them without them understanding.

We ask that you please make it clear in the title and/or OP if a conversation may involve other languages, though this is not mandatory. It is simply good practice. We also understand that you may have brief exchanges in other languages with other users. However, we will ask someone to translate and we will find out if you are changing languages in a deliberate attempt to make others feel uncomfortable or bully them.

Our staff team is fluent in an array of languages, from Indian to Romance to Slavonic to Germanic and many others. We will find out if you are hiding behind another language to break rules.

Do Not Defame Other Users

Defamation is when you deliberately lie in order to ruin a person’s reputation. This includes:

  • Spreading rumours that you know are untrue.
  • Starting false rumours in an attempt to ruin a user’s reputation.
  • Accusing users of things you have no proof of publicly or to other people.

We love our tea here on the ShanniiWrites Forums. However, accusing users of doing something they did not do can cause a lot of distress and may even cause them to be abused by other users.

That is why it is against the rules to intentionally defame any user. We all make mistakes, but if Shannii and/or Deluge are convinced that you have deliberately spread a rumour in an effort to distress a user or hurt their reputation on the forums or elsewhere, we will not take this lightly.

The best way to avoid this is to make a public retraction once you discover that the rumour is untrue. Better yet: we suggest not spreading rumours publicly at all! As this may be classed as harassment or dogpiling dependent on the situation.

If you have a genuine, serious concern about a user but you are not sure if it is true or false, please contact Deluge with the information. He will investigate the situation. If you are wrong and you have not spread it publicly, we will not punish you. Speaking to Deluge about concerns will not affect your position on the forums, provided you are not breaking any rules yourself.

Do Not Harass Other Users

Harassment is when you try to constantly gain the attention of someone who has made it very clear that they do not want to give you their attention for whatever reason. It can even become violent or sexual in nature.

Examples of harassment on the forums include:

  • Adding users back to a DM without their consent after they have left it.
  • Constantly @mentioning users who have expressed that they do not want to be mentioned, either by you or in that post.
  • Following a user around the forums to reply to every post they make when they have made it clear that they do not want to talk to you.
  • Sending any user NSFW or 18+ content via DMs without their consent.
  • Constantly, purposefully and repeatedly misgendering users when they have made their pronouns very clear.
  • Continuing actions that are directed at specific users that upset or distress them once they have asked you to stop for the purpose of “trolling” or joking with them.

These examples are only a guide. They do not cover everything which may be considered as harassment on the forums, but they are a very good start. @ShanniiWrites will always have the ultimate say in what is considered harassment. If in doubt, please DM @ChaoticDeluge with any questions or specific cases.

Harassment can be annoying, stressful or even scary. It can significantly affect other users’ experiences on the forums and cause them to become stressed or on edge. Furthermore, it can make them feel unsafe with expressing their opinions and sharing their ideas, or cause them to leave the forums completely.

We would like the ShanniiWrites Forums to be a place where everyone feels welcome to express their ideas, share their work and make friends. Harassment leaves people feeling unsafe and prevents them from being able to experience the forums at their best.

This is why it is not tolerated on the ShanniiWrites Forums and we deal with it very harshly. Harassment is a flaggable offence and will result in strict disciplinary actions.

If someone tells you to leave them alone, listen and do it.

Do Not Reveal Private Information About Other User

When you reveal private information about other users without their consent or permission, it is known as “doxing”. This can include, but is not limited to, any of the following things:

  • Their name.
  • Their pictures.
  • Their address.
  • Their phone number.
  • Their personal details.
  • Where they go/went to school.
  • Their IP address.
  • Their Social Security Number.

This is an extremely serious offence, as it could put our users at risk and cause people to trace or stalk them in real life. If you are found to have doxed any users, you will be subject to disciplinary actions. In some cases, we may even need to involve the police or authorities.

Never reveal private information about other users without their consent, and make sure you consider the consequences of revealing your own private information before doing it.

No Hate Speech

On the ShanniiWrites Forums, we classify hate speech as speech that attacks, mocks or ridicules anyone for the following things:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Skin colour
  • Nationality
  • Religion or culture
  • Sexuality, or lack thereof
  • Sex, gender or gender identity
  • Disabilities
  • Physical disabilities or disorders
  • Mental health problems, disabilities or disorders
  • Neurodivergences
  • Social status

Do not, under any circumstances, attack people for any of those things. We take this very seriously and it will result in very strict disciplinary actions.

This is not a definitive list, but it is a very good place to start. If in doubt, simply do not attack anyone for anything they cannot control. It is ultimately at the discretion of @ShanniiWrites to ascertain what would be considered hate speech.

If you are unsure if a comment is hate speech or you would like the rule clarified, please contact @ChaoticDeluge for more information.

Underage Users Must Not Engage With 18+ Content

We do not tolerate users who are under 18 engaging with 18+ content anywhere on the forums. This extends to DMs.

The Restricted Sections are reserved for the adult members of our forums. It is a place for content that is sexual, violent, or otherwise mature in nature. The rest of the forums are reserved for PG-13 content.

We will not tolerate underage users attempting to circumvent this (or break the rules) by engaging in 18+ content in DMs. While we cannot police every single direct message on the forums, we expect every user to abide by this rule and keep their content age-appropriate, whether we can see it or not.

If you are 18+ and you wish to engage in NSFW or adult messaging with another user on the forums, it is your responsibility to ask for their age and get their full consent before you begin. If they say that they are under 18 or you have any reason to believe that they are not an adult, you must not send them any explicit or adult messages, images, stories or anything else. Safeguard yourself by asking first.

If a user has lied about their age to you and you discover this after you have already engaged in mature messaging with them, you will not be in trouble and we will not judge you in any way. However, it is your responsibility to follow these steps:

  1. Stop the NSFW messaging immediately.
  2. Tell @ChaoticDeluge what has happened.
  3. Flag any offending posts.

If we discover that you knew a user was underage when you sent them adult messages, you will receive an immediate, permanent ban. If you have been found to have been lying about your age in order to engage with adult content, you will receive an immediate, permanent ban.

In some cases, the police may have to be involved, in particular, if any inappropriate images of underage people have been shared. If this happens, @ShanniiWrites may need to access your DMs to give evidence.

Keep The Main Forum PG-13

The ShanniiWrites Forums has a minimum age of 13. Unfortunately, if you are under 13, we ask that you wait until you are the appropriate age before creating an account here.

This is because we have a rule that all of our content everywhere on the forums (apart from in the Restricted Section) must be PG-13. Plus, we would like to make sure that our users are at the right age to understand internet safety and contribute positively to the forums.

Here on the ShanniiWrites Forums, PG-13 content consists of the following things:

  • No graphic descriptions of or conversations about violence or assault.
  • No graphic descriptions of or conversations about drug, tobacco or alcohol use/abuse.
  • No graphic descriptions of sex.
  • No conversations about or descriptions of sexual acts.
  • Keep swearing to a minimum.
  • Do not post nude pictures or artwork.
  • No gory content.
  • No content which promotes or graphically describes suicide or self-harm.
  • No content which promotes gambling.
  • No content which promotes the use of weapons.
  • No content which promotes non-consensual acts.
  • No content which promotes abuse of any kind.
  • No links to content or websites which do any of the above.

This rule does not apply to the Restricted Section. However, all members of the Restricted Section must be over 18. All characters mentioned, depicted or described participating in sex, extreme violence or nudity must be over the age of 18. All sex and sexual acts must be 100% consensual.

Do Not Do or Encourage Any Illegal Activity

It shouldn’t need to be said, but we do not tolerate illegal activity on the ShanniiWrites Forums. We abide by UK and EU laws in particular, which means that the age to participate in drinking games is 18. However, we strongly urge that you abide by the laws of your country. For example, if you are an American citizen, we do not condone drinking before the age of 21.

Any member of the forums who is found to be breaking the law of their country or encouraging other users to do the same will be subject to serious disciplinary repercussions, up to and including an immediate, permanent, site-wide ban. It may also be necessary for us to contact the authorities depending on the severity of the situation.

Do not, under any circumstances, send or solicit inappropriate messages or pictures to minors. Do not encourage people to use illegal drugs, or drink or smoke before the legal age of their country. Do not post about using illegal drugs, or drinking or smoking before the legal age of your country.

Depicting Some Illegal Activity in Stories/RPs/SGs/Art Is Fine

While we do not condone illegal activity by any of our users or Staff members, we are not unreasonable. We do understand that you may create characters who participate in illegal activity. Some of the members of the forums are quite partial to an occasional story about a gang leader, and that’s fine. Your characters are not you and we have nothing against certain illegal activity being explored in stories.

However, there are some rules you need to follow:

  • No underage people participating in sex or sexual acts.
  • No sexual, graphically violent or gory content anywhere but the Restricted Section.
  • Do not promote people under the age of 18 drinking or smoking.
  • Do not depict any characters under the age of 18 taking drugs.
  • Do not create content that promotes any illegal activity or makes it seem fun or good in any way.
  • Do not infringe on anyone’s copyright or plagiarise.
  • Do not name any specific illegal drugs on the main forums.
  • Do not promote the use of weapons.

If in doubt, check with @ChaoticDeluge before posting. Or, if you are making a post or thread for an RP or SG, check with @CrazyCaliope.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. Please abide by the following rules:

Don’t Start a Topic in the Wrong Category

We have many categories on the forums to suit your needs. We understand that it can be confusing, though. That is why we have created the Posts Category Guide so that you can get a better understanding of where things should go.

If you aren’t sure where a post should go, don’t panic! The @ForumStaff are here to answer your questions, so feel free to @ them and ask, or send one of the staff members a DM to ask. You won’t get in trouble if you post in the Uncategorised section if you’re confused, but please help us by making us aware of the post so that we can sort it out for you.

However, please make an effort to add topics to the right category, if you can. Look over the Posts Category Guide and keep an eye on where other topics like yours are going to make our lives easier. It will also help you, as people will be able to find your post easily and participate in the discussion.

Check Category Guidelines Before Posting

Some categories have specific guidelines that we would like you to follow. For example, in the Roleplays and Games section, there is an extra set of rules for you to follow on top of these ones. In the Restricted Section, you will not be required to follow the rules about PG13 content, but it is still important for you to follow the other rules, including remaining civil to staff members and other users.

So when you are posting in a category, please make sure to check if there are any extra rules that you may be asked to follow or if there are any special allowances. This will have an effect on how the Forum Staff deal with flags, so please bear that in mind when using the flagging system.

Follow Post-Specific Rules

In order for some Roleplays, Story Games, Forum Games and general discussions to work, you may be required to follow some extra rules. These rules must be written in the OP, or the reply explaining the rules must be linked in the OP.

If you are the owner of the thread, please let people know if you are going to change the rules at any point. Also, if this happens, you must not flag people for old posts that weren’t against the rules when the user made them. Users will be able to appeal their flag through appeals@shanniiwrites.com or by contacting @ChaoticDeluge if this happens, and we will not tolerate it. Remember that moderators can see when and how you edited your posts!

Users will still be required to follow these General Forum Rules & Guidelines in every post around the forums unless we have specified otherwise. Post-specific rules are an addition to these ones, not a replacement.

Don’t Post Multiple Versions of the Same Topic

We have many great topics on the forums that may spark your interest. If you have an idea for a thread, please check to make sure that there isn’t already a version on the forums before you create a new topic.

If someone else has already created a version of what you would like to post, please add to that instead of creating a new topic. This will prevent clutter and ensure that the maximum number of people can see what you are writing.

We close topics after they have been inactive for two months, or when the original poster (OP) requests for them to be closed. If your topic has been closed and you have something new to add, the Forum Staff are more than happy to re-open it, provided that you give us a good idea of how you will add to the topic. We will not reopen topics for you to simply say “bump”.

If someone else has created a closed topic that you would like to add to, please discuss with the OP to see if they would get the topic re-opened for you. If they refuse, then you are more than welcome to create a new discussion. The Forum Staff may then merge the threads if we see fit.

Don’t Cross-Post the Same Thing in Multiple Topics

Posting the same thing in multiple topics will be counted as spam, which is a flaggable offence. Please do not do this, as repeated offences may result in you being silenced, suspended or even banned for life.

If you believe that a post you made elsewhere on the forums would be useful to add to a topic, please link to it instead. Discourse is a clever bit of software. If you paste the link on a line on its own, it will show a preview of the post for you.

Or alternatively, if there’s a specific section or sentence of a post you made which you would like to contribute, we have the amazing “quote” function to help. Please ask a Forum Staff member for information on how to do this if you are stuck.

Don’t Post No-Content Replies

We need to be able to see at least one word, letter or number in each reply you make. Otherwise, this will be counted as a no-content reply, which is a form of spam. Please do not do this, as it will result in a flag against your account. Repeated offences may result in you being silenced, suspended or even banned for life.

Some threads on the Forum Games are exempt from this rule. However, you need to have explicit permission from @ShanniiWrites on the thread in order to gain exemption. If you think your thread deserves to be exempt from this rule. @Mention Shannii in the thread and ask. An exemption will be granted in the form of a reply with the staff colour. Feel free to link this in the original post.

Don’t Divert a Topic by Changing It Midstream

Please don’t derail topics. On the ShanniiWrites Forums, we allow short exchanges of up to 5 off-topic replies. This is because we understand that conversations change and evolve naturally. However, please do not abuse this or the rule will be removed. We expect all discussions to be moved very quickly back on topic afterwards, or for another topic to be created for you to have your new conversation. You may add a link to the new thread in the original thread if you wish.

You also have the option of taking your discussion to a DM, where the rules about off-topic posting do not apply. It is up to you to decide if a new public topic or a private DM should be created. Please use your common sense.

Don’t panic too much, though! If you realise that you have derailed the topic significantly, please @ the @ForumStaff and one of the moderators will split it for you. It is always better to approach the Forum Staff yourself when you realise you have broken one of the rules so that we can help you to sort it out without flagging you and ruining your chances of gaining Regular status or becoming a Forum Staff member.

Don’t Spam User Groups

We love to promote a community atmosphere on the ShanniiWrites Forums. That is why we have created a way for you to request for a user group to be created. This user group will allow you to @mention all members of the group in a post, rather than having to @mention each individual user.

Some of these groups are for announcements and competitions. Others are for Roleplays and Story Games. You can find a list of the groups that are free to join here. You may also request for ShanniiWrites to create a user group for you here.

User groups are a fun way to keep a large number of people in the know. However, please do not spam these groups, as this can be frustrating to other users and affect their time on the forums.

Non-staff members are limited to one @mention per user group per day unless you get specific consent from @ShanniiWrites. Staff members are exempt from this rule, as we may need to use @mentions more frequently to keep the forums running smoothly.

Overuse of user tags or using them inappropriately will be counted as spam, which is a flaggable offence. Repeated offences may result in you being silenced, suspended or even banned for life.

Use the Tools At Your Disposal

The ShanniiWrites Forums use Discourse, which is very clever. It has many functions to make it easier for you to enjoy your time with us. Please use these tools, as this helps us to keep the forums tidy:

  • Don’t sign off posts with your name. Your name will appear on every topic, DM and reply that you create.
  • Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button.
  • Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, please link a relevant topic and encourage people to join you there.
  • We have created a “pronouns” function on your user card. We encourage as many people as possible to fill this section out, but it is completely up to you. Please see more information on the pronouns here. If you would like us to add your specific pronouns, please DM @ShanniiWrites and she can sort that out for you.
  • Many of our members have come from other communities, such as Wattpad and Episode. That is why we have created the usernames section of your profile to help you. Please feel free to fill these in so that your old friends can recognise you.

Don’t Promote Other Forums

We understand that you may have started a forum of your own. We love your dedication! However, we rely on our users coming back to keep the traffic up, keep us ranking high in Google searches and ensure that potential new users are attracted by what we have to offer. The more that our users are split into loads of other forums, the less time they spend on here and the more inactive our forums look.

The forums take a lot of time, money and effort to maintain, and so we have to put our foot down and say that we will not allow users to use our forums to promote another platform that might take users, views and traffic away from us.

You will never be punished for being on another forum or starting your own. You won’t ever be punished for sending out a link to a specific page or thread on another forum if it is relevant to your discussion. However, if we see that you are making threads that promote other forums or any other ways to take traffic away from us, you will be subject to disciplinary action. This includes:

  • Making threads asking people to join you on another forum.
  • Making threads to teach people how to make forums of their own.
  • Using DMs to ask people to move over to another forum.

Please help us to keep the forums active and fun for everyone by not trying to split our users or decrease traffic. We do not take kindly to people doing things which may cause our traffic to go down, whether this is deliberate or not.

If you make a thread discussing a specific topic from another website or forum, you should encourage people to talk about it on the thread in the ShanniiWrites Forums, not to go and spend their time on the other website instead. We do not allow “check this out” threads, so please make sure that you are asking users to express their opinions, give advice or chat about the topic on the ShanniiWrites Forums.

People may advertise stories on other platforms and recruit for RPs, SGs and games elsewhere on the internet or through private messaging services, but please make sure that you do not break the rules while doing this. That means you must make sure you are only linking to PG-13 content on the Main Forum.

Some users may want to leave the ShanniiWrites Forums for whatever reason. If that is the case, we are sad to see you go and we hope that we can see you again in the future! You are allowed to make a thread explaining your reason for leaving so that you can say goodbye to your friends and ask them to keep in touch with you via social media, Discord, Snapchat or any other means.

However, you will not be allowed to tell people that you are going to another forum and tell them to follow you. If you are going to another forum, we understand and we hope we can change your mind.

All threads about leaving will be closed and unlisted should you change your mind. Please let us know if you have changed your mind so that we can deal with this as soon as possible. We don’t want to confuse people!

Don’t Use the Forums to Advertise Unrelated Goods or Services

The ShanniiWrites Forums have multiple wonderful and active communities of creators and roleplayers. As such, we understand that some of you may wish to ask one another for help, and that some people in our forums may wish to offer their services. This is absolutely fine! We allow promotion of any services related to the forums. These include:

  • Commissions
  • Proofreading and Editing Services
  • Reviews
  • Read-For-Reads
  • Story Requests

If you wish to advertise a service or product on the ShanniiWrites Forums that is not listed here, please send a message to @ShanniiWrites explaining what you wish to do and we can see if we can come to an agreement.

If you wish to advertise what you have to offer on the Forums, you must put it in the Request Services section and make it clear what you are expecting in return for your services.

You may charge money for your services, but you must make this clear in the advertisement thread. While we understand that you may not be able to offer a fixed price for your work, we expect you to make the full price clear when giving another user a quote. Transparency is essential.

You may not include hidden fees or charge extra money without letting the user know and giving them time to think it through and decide if they want to accept your services. If you are found to be bumping up the price for your work after the deal has been struck, your advert will be taken down and you will be subject to disciplinary action.

We advise that you make it clear from the beginning if you are including fees for additional drafts or further changes to their work.

We are not responsible for any transactions made between users. Please be aware of this and keep your money safe. We recommend using PayPal, as this allows you to keep your money safe in event of fraud. However, any users found to be purposefully scamming others will be subject to disciplinary action.

We do not allow the creation of accounts that are primarily for the purpose of promoting or advertising goods or services. If we come across accounts that any reasonable person would assume are mainly about advertising goods or services (either online or in person), they will be immediately suspended, banned or deleted.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

No Copyright Infringement

As a community of creators primarily, we do not take copyright infringement lightly. If you are using someone else’s work, we urge that give the credit where it is due and check with them if possible.

Please bear in mind that all things published online are immediately copyrighted. All the owner has to do is prove that they wrote the idea before you did to claim copyright infringement. So anything you write on here – including ideas and stories – are covered by basic copyright law. However, if you would like to safeguard yourself, make sure you write a short copyright note or put your work on a service such as Wattpad which has copyright notices pre-added.

Do not plagiarise, as this is against rules. If you are discovered to be deliberately trying to pass off someone’s work as your own, it will result in serious disciplinary actions.

Powered by You

This site is operated by your friendly local staff and you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the site feedback category and let’s discuss! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a meta topic or flag, contact us via the moderators page.

Staff Members Are Users Too

Our lovely staff members give up their time to make this forum a safe, fun environment for you to participate in. Staff members are expected to know about discipline and organisation, so they should be your first port of call if you are unsure of how we run things.

However, they are also still members of the community who want to have fun and enjoy their time here. That means we expect you to give them the same dignity that you would any other member of the community. Please do not send them abuse or ad hominem attacks for doing their job or spending time on the forums. It also works both ways, though. If a staff member is breaking the rules or abusing their position, we will take this extremely seriously, so please feel free to speak to Deluge if you have any concerns.

Occasionally, staff members may make jokes about their position on the forums. As long as this is a joke and they are not earnestly abusing their privileges, it is not against the rules. However, if it makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to say so in a polite manner and we will expect staff members to be as respectful to you.

We Recruit New Staff Members Regularly

  • Staff members all come from members of the community
  • If you would like a chance, we recommend you stay productive, active and helpful
  • Staff members are still required to follow rules and have a good understanding of our forum
  • If you would like to be in for a chance, promoting us will help, as we recruit when our population grows significantly.

Terms of Service

Yes, legal stuff is boring, but we must protect ourselves, and by extension, you and your data, against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behaviour and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.

If you’re confused about these guidelines, check out our No-Nonsense Guide to What We Flag for more info.