General Community Guidelines
DICE – the four pillars upon which the Kodiak community rests.
- Kodiak is more than a mock government simulation. It is first and foremost a community of members.
- To best ensure a quality and enjoyable environment, we follow four central tenants to guide the interactions
- between members, staff, and visitors. They will be explained in detail below.
E – Equality
All members are expected to treat one another equally with respect and empathy. Within a rich and dynamic political simulation, our community must embrace the reality that members will often have nuanced and varied opinions that are influenced by their experience, background, culture, religion, and education. These opinions are all equally valued and equally necessary to maintain a healthy mock-government community. While these situations may rise tensions in some debates, it is expected members will always be considerate of the human on the other side of the screen. Specifically, while some many metres of print have been spent on the ‘paradox of tolerance’, we stand firmly that intolerance cannot be accepted. An educational example may be on the point of homosexuality. It is expected and probable that a member will consider homosexual conduct a sin in their religion. It would be expected that member would both, 1) be able to respect the personal decisions and debate points of a person who has a different opinion on sexuality and 2) feel safe to voice their religious reasoning in a religious context without being attacked. Perhaps another similar example would be the witty quip, “if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.”
C - Community
Kodiak does not exist without its community. When a service Kodiak provides (national simulation, inter-discord relations, dedicated gaming) begins to experience a degradation towards toxic interactions, the safety and enjoyment of the members of the community will always come first over the minor specifics of a service. We are all eachothers’ Kodiak neighbours, and it is expected some members may not always get along. It is also probable that two members who do not get along well will both be equally committed to their place in our community, which may prolong an unhealthy social conflict. It is expected that all members will, especially in circumstances like described above, consider the effect their actions take on the health of the community, and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Our moderation team includes members who are trained in conflict resolution and counselling, and while it is always the responsibility of a member to ensure their behaviour is aligned with these four values, help will be given if help is requested. Lastly, it is important to understand that the rules of our community are written by and approved by our community and therefore it is expected that members will do their best to interact in a way that is positive and compliant to those rules.
I - Integrity
The strength of our community and the ability to participate in good faith in political or other discussion will rely entirely on the strength of character of our members. Members are expected not to lie or to use excessive logical fallacies to force their positions. While there will always be opportunities for well meaning individuals to use poor logical argument to support a position, it must always be in good faith. Replace straw-man with steel-man arguments, and never use ad-hominem. If a position seems ridiculous, try to ask questions to learn why someone thinks that way. You may be surprised how often a person did not mean an argument to sound the way they typed it. And if you treat others this way, you will find your mistakes are treated with respect and compassion as well. It should also go without saying that fraud and sock-puppetry is unacceptable conduct.
D - Democracy
The root of our community is its foundation on its democracy. The decisions we make and the opportunities to participate are all rooted in the belief that fair and good faith debate within a respectful forum, followed by a fair and transparent acceptance process like voting, are essential to the healthy functioning of our community. While not every moderation decision can be (or will be) debated ad-infinitum, the way our moderation team operates should always be as near as possible to the rules and procedures agreed upon by the informed consent of the community. Opportunities to appeal moderation decisions to an impartial arbiter should always exist, but actions which result in banishment because they jeopardise the strength of these four pillars do not often find themselves successfully appealed.
I want to finish by saying that these descriptors aren’t here to scare you, and they aren’t even necessarily important to study and memorise. The crux of the point is; don’t be a jerk. These four pillars exist to make you feel safe - safe that you can expect to be treated with respect and to be treated fairly in as many of your interactions in Kodiak as possible. I cannot guarantee that all members will always effectively follow these values and there will certainly always be trolls that try to push the boundaries. What I can guarantee though is that every time you choose to do the right thing, it almost always encourages others to make the same choice, and that this is what will always make Kodiak strong. I am excited you are with us, and I am excited to see what you can bring to our community. Every member, big or small, makes Kodiak a better place and if you want to be a part of something great then you are always welcome here in Kodiak.