Rules & Guidelines for #xkcd

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  1. The ops will always try to make reasonable decisions with the goal of preventing channel from sucking. The reason we're ops is that we've been judged to be good at this, and most of the time we are. If you have an issue with the way channel is being moderated, see the last section of this file for what to do about it.
  2. Follow the spirit of the rules, not the letter. If you aren't sure if something is okay, ask.
  3. All rules have an implicit "unless it's really funny" after them. If you think it's funny and the rest of channel doesn't, you're wrong.
  4. These rules will change if a change is called for.
  5. Saying something "ironically" is still saying it. You think you're funny; everyone else thinks you're an ass.
  6. Randall can and will break all of these rules and get away with it.


  1. Clear-cut spam: sending the same line, meaningless lines, advertising lines, etc. over and over to channel. There is no possible valid reason to ever do this.
  2. Statements which are completely hurtful and have no other value. Offensive jokes can be fine (assuming they're funny); being genuinely hateful is not.
  3. Autojoining after a kick. This will normally get you a short temporary ban just to make the kick stick.
  4. Having a misconfigured client which autojoins the channel and then gets nick killed over and over. Either don't autojoin, or make sure your client can ID properly. This is not a punitive ban, it's just to stop the join/part spam until you fix it. Let an op know you've done this to have the ban lifted.
  5. Overwriting the whole topic. Prepend instead. If you don't know how to set up topic prepending in your client, ask bucket about "topic editing" (or, in his absence, ask channel). This is an autoban, because spammers do it, so test in another channel to make sure you can do this before trying it in main channel.

Insta-Kicks (→ Ban if you continue)

  1. Making a big deal about the presence or absence of women in channel. It's not offensive, we're just really tired of it. Same with demanding pics, making a big deal about someone being female, specifically looking for women to talk to, etc. Doing this "ironically" or as a "reference" does not pardon you.
  2. Failing the Turing test. No new bots are allowed, and people whose output is so inane that they can't be distinguished from bots are not wanted. If you bring a bot into channel, both you and the bot will be banned. This includes silent bots and any client script whose output is visible in channel.
  3. Conceiveably accidental or non-malicious spam: pasting more than three lines of anything into channel.
  4. Interfering with other peoples' ability to use the bots. This includes getting them kicked, impersonating them, and shutting them up when people are trying to use them in a normal, non-spammy way.
  5. Posting a lot of non-ASCII. It messes up peoples' terminals, and since you almost never need to do it in ordinary conversation, this is your problem, not theirs.
  6. Misleading other users into thinking you're someone else by means you could reasonably have predicted--that is, either it's on purpose or you should have known better.
  7. Baiting people into triggering kicks or bans from the bots. Whine all you want about how it's their fault for being stupid, you're still a jackass. (Sometimes the bots enforce this themselves!)
  8. Getting on a soapbox in open channel about your disagreement with an op's decisions. We're happy to explain and discuss our choices in private message; don't air your dirty laundry in public.

Warnings (→ Kick → Ban if you continue)

  1. Borderline spam: for example, triggering bots more than a few times in a row, or rambling for a long time when no one is responding or participating. For the former, use #bots; for the latter, use Livejournal.
  2. Advertising another channel. You can mention it if you actually have something to say, but don't just gratuitously bring it up.
  3. Being rude without being funny. You don't have to stay family-friendly or politically correct when just chatting normally or making jokes, but if you're sincerely rude you'll be asked to leave and cool off.
  4. Posting NSFW links without marking them "NSFW." Yes, even when it seems obvious from the URL.
  5. Using chatspeak: "how r u" and the like. You're embarrassing yourself and everyone around you. Similarly, don't censor yourself with asterisks; either swear or don't.
  6. Forcing everyone to notice when you're away and back. Using a script which announces this in channel will get you kicked or knocked out (like any other visible script). If you're going to use your nick for status, do it only for long term changes (e.g. foobar|onvacation but not foobar|takingapiss), and do not talk in channel while your nick says you're not here.
  7. Chatting for more than a few lines in languages other than English. If you want to have a private conversation with the few people who understand, do it elsewhere. Main channel is for socializing with everyone, which requires using the language you know we have in common.
  8. In general, if someone asks you not to do something because it bothers them, stop.

What to Do If You Object to a Kick or Ban

  1. If you want to discuss a decision made by one of the ops, private message the op in question. If that person isn't available, you can message another op, but don't be surprised if the response is "you'll need to wait for so-and-so to come back." We don't like to undermine each other.
  2. If you have a problem with a specific op which you don't feel you can resolve directly with that person, private message another op about your concerns. We might be able to solve the problem or at least clarify the other side.
  3. Most of the time, we confer before making decisions for the channel. You should assume that anything you say in a private message with an op will be seen by the other ops. This has a couple of corollaries:
    1. If you get on one op's case about something, we'll all take it into account when dealing with you in the future. This is especially true when you bug one op about removing another one's ban.
    2. If one of us says no, don't turn around and ask someone else. It's obvious you're just looking for someone to say yes, and it's no more effective than bothering the same op over and over. The difference is that you annoy a lot more of us this way.
  4. Conference notwithstanding, the ops are not automata. Two different ops will not necessarily make the same choices or have the same opinions. We do our best to be clear and consistent, but sometimes a judgment call has to be made.
  5. The important thing in getting what you want is not to make sure we understand just how outraged, important, or even obsequious you are. Those things are irritating, and irritated people are less helpful. You stand a better chance of getting what you want when you stay calm and use courtesy. If you don't believe me, try it; it works in real life, too.