Anonymity is your friend. On most sites people are made to let everyone know who they really are. Here are RPL, the site is the exact opposite. You are here to play a role, a part, and write and/or read as a fan. You do not have to provide ANY real life information to the admins, the staff, or any other user. This is to protect you as well as us. If anyone is hassling you for real life information or to reveal your other accounts, please report them.
ADS & ANTIVIRUS
Always keep your software and anti-virus software up to date. RPL doesn't use 3rd party advertising, our ad platform isn't even set up, it's completely disabled. If you are seeing ads, popups, links, etc that aren't supposed to be there, please take care of the threats immediately with scans and checking for toolbars that were maliciously installed. And NEVER EVER click on the popup links. Hit ctrl-alt-delete if you have to, just don't click them.
The topic of disclaimers has been brought up a few times and the RPL staff wanted to make an announcement about it. Your work is your own. Roleplaylives does NOT take credit, responsibly, or ownership of your work. The site and the RPL staff are solely here to make a safe, easy to use place for role players. These terms are stated in the Terms of Service agreement which is located at the bottom of any RPL screen under the link "terms". We know many of you have heard of other sites that just use their members but this is not one of them. The RPL staff are role players just like you, who wanted a safe place to write. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can use the "contact us" link and we will do our best to allay your fears.
If you check http://www.roleplaylives.net/about/ you will see that we are DMCA compliant. This means that for the last time, NO ONE here can steal your work. Your work is your own. We cannot protect most photos however, as most of us use models and actors/actresses, we can't copyright what isn't ours. But the writing content itself cannot be taken from you. Neither can photos that you have substantially edited (more than just slapping a name on with a new texture). Hopefully this will put these pesky rumors to rest. YOU own your content, we have no need for it. If you see someone stealing your original content, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the original copy of yours.
Remember that RPL is NOT a friends-only community feed-wise. If you do not use your privacy settings, anyone can see what you post. You can limit who can see your blogs, posts, photos, profile, and other aspects of your presence on the site. Please note, admins can see everything. This is so we can accurately moderate the site. If you are posting something against the TOS and set it for friend's only, we can still see it. If you post stolen content, you are liable for the consequences once you are reported or admin see it.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Many people pitch fits online when a business/company kicks them out or removes some of their content, crying that it's against their freedom of speech. Let's go back to high school Civics class for a moment. Freedom of speech ensures the government cannot stop you from writing or saying things against them. This does NOT translate to privately owned businesses. You cannot walk into a store, strip off your clothes, and start shouting obscenities at the customers. You will be kicked out. You will likely be barred from re-entering that store. Chances are, you'll probably get the cops called on you too and spend the night in a drunk tank for being disorderly and disturbing the peace.
"That said, Twitter can do what it wants. Banning these tweets is not a problem or a violation of rights. Twitter owns the tweets. It owns the service. The tweet did not come from a personal blog run from a privately owned server. There is no free speech protection. But this also means that Twitter is responsible and liable at some level for what gets posted and is subject to getting sued, as is the case right now. All the social networks must ask themselves how liable they are. And if a universal anti-hate speech edict is reached, then what?"
So far, we've managed to squeak under the copyright laws by a safe harbor edict, but that means that every single other thing we do has to be above ground legally. And the safe harbor edict can change at ANY time. Yes, all photos go to the storage server and are lumped in together. You can see this because when you add a photo, the exact link says "storage.roleplaylives.blah blah blah". This isn't hidden. When we realized they all got lumped in together, we posted so people would be aware that YES, those photos aren't separated due to being in the messages, it's still going to the storage server like all photos. It is up to the users to read the admin posts and debate how much they are willing to post where someone else may see.
Not only that, but "real" freedom of speech is different in different places. YOU may be in the US and technically could be an asshat. However, the person you are bullying could be from the UK, where laws are stricter. And since our host is in an altogether different country, his laws apply too. See what I'm saying? Our TOS is up to the admin judgement based on a whole bunch of things that if we DON'T follow it could get the site shut down by any number of people for any number of reasons that are laws in THEIR jurisdiction. This is our private business and being here is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to refuse service to you.
So no, us telling you to knock it off or deleting your bullying, inflammatory post that was flagged isn't infringing on your free speech. Neither is us obeying the law by allowing your messages to be written to a database/cache server and deleted every 6 months "just in case" you're the asshat. It's simply us exercising the TOS of the site which you agreed to follow when you joined.
PEER TO PEER MONITORING
On large sites, admins simply cannot see everything going on at every minute of every day. Taking shifts, we can see a lot, yes. But the risk of missing something important is too great to ever ignore. On social networking sites, active users are the greatest weapon we have against issues. Our users are our biggest asset. If you see things that go against the TOS, and it's NOT just a personal vendetta, gripe, or something that bothers only you, then we truly appreciate you helping to make the site safer, for all of us. Please note, admins DO NOT NEED a report in order to act if WE see something that is against the TOS or gives us cause for concern.
Be SAFE and responsible for yourself and use your own judgement. People believe they are safe online. At RPL you are as safe as the admins could make you. We routinely check into things and make sure everything is still going fine. Sometimes we may even step up to protect someone who didn't ask for our help. Some see it as overstepping bounds. We see it as protecting those who won't or are unable to protect themselves. If someone asks you to do something you aren't comfortable with, to give them information you don't want to give, you have EVERY right to say no, to tell them not to contact you, to block them, whatever you need to do to make yourself feel safe. People are dying. Words hurt, and actions come to be regretted. RPL never wants to face losing a user to cyber-harassment because we couldn't protect them. We step in when we feel we have to on an ethical level. But in general, you NEED to let us know when there is an issue and when something is going on that goes past the TOS.
Private messages on all sites are logged. This is so, say user A attacks and bullies user B, then deletes their account. Normally there would be zero proof that user A did anything. They could then reopen the account or start a new one and continue harassing user B. Sites now log all of it, according to privacy laws. It can still be found even after deletion, if needed in case of official law enforcement inquiries. Like all social networks, RoleplayLives will cooperate with authorities in any cases where there is a clear instance of laws being broken.
Underage users are not allowed on this site. We're not trying to be "mean" and it doesn't matter how mature they believe they are. It's not up to us to decide that, the government says "No" and so that is what we all must abide by. If you know of an underage person using the site and you don't report it, you yourself will get a ban when it comes to light. We are deadly serious about this, and we cannot risk the entire site and its staff for a few people that have decided the laws of the US and the rules of this site don't apply to them. If you have proof that a user is underage, please report it to the admin email, email@example.com including screenshots.