Harassment in Ultima Online

Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong, UO’s Associate Producer, earlier this week posted an article about harassment on UOHerald.com:

By GM Acheren

Verbal Harassment is almost by definition a frustrating experience for those affected. Unfortunately we continue to see a few mistakes that turn many potentially valid harassment reports into situations we cannot assist with. As your glorious GM overlords we suggest following the steps below to avoid these problems:

1. Do not exchange insults or taunts with the harassing player. This is by far the most common mistake we see. If both parties are involved in harassment or the reporting player instigated the situation then it becomes mutual harassment and a GM will not intervene for either side.
2. Ask the player politely, by name, to stop. For example: “Please stop insulting me Acheren.”
3. Stop talking to the player. You may also want to leave the area.
4. Add the player to your ignore list (In Options under Filter Options.)
5. Wait a few seconds and if the harassing player still does not stop then you should immediately report them. Do not wait more than a minute or two after this point to report them and do not log out of the game before reporting them. Open your Help menu, choose “Another player is harassing me”, then pick “VERBAL HARASSMENT”.
6. You will be prompted to enter some details about who and what you are reporting. Keep this short and to the point. For example: “Acheren will not stop calling my llamas fat”.
7. Select the harassing player as a target. There are a number of ways to add targets, the most common methods are “Target Involved Players” which allows you to simply click on the character you wish to report and “Type Names of Involved Players” which allows you to type in the character name even if they are no longer online. You can always include a target, even if the other player has left the area or gone offline. This is the second most common mistake because with no target included the GM cannot see the chat logs and may not even be able to determine who exactly you are reporting. As a result the GM will not be able to investigate your report in any way and your petition will be closed.

Disruptive Behavior:

Be aware that in addition to the Verbal Harassment policy there is also a seperate Disruptive Behavior policy. Disruptive Behavior applies to the use of Vulgarity, Racism, and Objectionable Content in public chat channels such as the General channel. Unlike Verbal Harassment you do not need to ask players to stop or take any other additional steps prior to reporting this behavior. Unlike the default channels we do not tolerate the use of profanity in public chat channels so for Disruptive Behavior you may simply witness a player using vulgarity a few times in a public channel and skip straight to reporting them. For rather obvious reasons this means you should avoid responding to such players with more vulgarity in those same public chat channels lest you both end up in jail.

You may find a great deal of additional information on harassment in the following links:

* What is Verbal Harassment
* Harassment Policy

I have some ideas as to why this was posted, but regardless it’s always good to see the harassment policies mentioned every so often.

I found this line to be particularly interesting: Unlike the default channels we do not tolerate the use of profanity in public chat channels so for Disruptive Behavior you may simply witness a player using vulgarity a few times in a public channel and skip straight to reporting them..

I see that all the time in general chat, and I’ve heard that the reporting and enforcement between shards differs. I doubt enforcement differs all that much though, I have a feeling that it’s tolerated more on some shards by players than on other shards. It’s good to see it out and in public and publicly supported.


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