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Official WoW Harassement Policy
Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience." -- Julian S. Huxley

Words are indeed tools, powerful tools. Throughout your travels in Azeroth, you will be using these tools to achieve your goals, whether those are finding the perfect group to help you with a quest or getting a great price on that dagger you've had your eye on. As anyone who has hit their thumb with a hammer well knows, tools can cause great pain when used incorrectly. Words are no different.

As stated in the World of Warcraft Terms of Use, Blizzard reserves the right to evaluate each incident on a case-by-case basis. The action we take may be more lenient or more severe than those listed under each category. One major factor in considering what action to take is to consider the number of people who are exposed to the language. We have broken this up into three categories.

  • Public
    We consider language to be public when said in the "General" and "Trade" channels as well as with the "yell" command. Since comments in these forums are visible to the largest number of players, we take harassment in these channels very seriously. Abuse of language in these mediums will receive at least the penalty listed below, if not additional repercussions.

  • One-to-one or One-to-few
    This group includes private "whispers", player-created chat channels, and the "say" command. Though we enforce all rules in these forums, the number of people affected will be taken into consideration, and penalties may not be as harsh as stated below.

  • Guild Chat
    Since your participation in guild chat is "at will," we take a much more lenient stance in these forums. Only the most severe harassment (i.e. Racial/Ethnic, Extreme Sexual/Violence, Real-life threats) will be considered.
Below are guidelines detailing what language we find to be inappropriate and the action we will take for abuse of that language. We have tried to encompass all manner of offensive language; however, there may be inappropriate language that does not fit into any of these categories -- this will be left to the discretion of the Game Masters.
Racial/Ethnic

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Promotes racial/ethnic hatred
  • Is recognized as a racial/ethnic slur
  • Alludes to a symbol of racial/ethnic hatred
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she will:
  • Be temporarily suspended from the game
  • Likely be given a final warning; any further Terms of Service violations will result in permanent suspension
While these repercussions may seem harsh, we feel very strongly that this language has no place within Azeroth due to its extremely offensive nature.
Extreme Sexuality/Violence

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Refers to extreme and/or violent sexual acts
  • Refers to extremely violent real life actions
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she will:
  • Be temporarily suspended from the game
  • Likely be given a final warning; any further Terms of Service violations will result in permanent suspension
While these repercussions may seem harsh, we feel very strongly that this language has no place within Azeroth due to its extremely offensive nature.
Real-Life Threats

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Refers to violence in any capacity that is not directly related to the game world
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she:
  • May be temporarily suspended from the game
  • Depending on the severity, further action may be taken
Obscene/Vulgar

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Is an inappropriate reference to human anatomy or bodily functions
  • Is pornographic in nature
  • Is otherwise considered objectionable
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she may:
  • Be temporarily suspended from the game if the language is directed at an individual or group; or
  • Be given a warning if the language was used as an exclamation
Major Religions or Religious Figureheads
This category includes both clear and masked language which:
  • Negatively portrays major religions or religious figureheads
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she will:
  • Be given a verbal warning
National

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Promotes national hatred
  • Is recognized as a national slur
  • Alludes to symbols of national hatred
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she will:
  • Be given a verbal warning
Illegal Drugs or Activities

This category includes both clear and masked discussions of:

  • Abusing illegal drugs
  • Performing illegal activities
If a player is found to have had such discussions, he/she will:
  • Be given a verbal warning
Harassing or Defamatory

This category includes both clear and masked language which:

  • Insultingly refers to other characters, players, Blizzard employees, or groups of people, be they in the game or external
If a player is found to have used such language, he/she will:
  • Be given a verbal warning
Spamming

This category includes:

  • Excessively communicating the same phrase, similar phrases, or gibberish
If a player is found to have been spamming, he/she will:
  • Be given a verbal warning
It is important to note that repeated offenses for any area detailed above will often result in temporary suspension from the game.

Other Categories

There are two other categories of harassment that are not necessarily dependant on the language used; these are listed below.

  • Physical harassment
    We have taken great strides to ensure all physical harassment (i.e. stealing resource nodes, kill stealing, training) is addressed or being addressed by the development team. Forms of physical harassment in the game will not be addressed by the GM staff, but instead with a development resolution, if warranted. This, however, does not include abusing game mechanics/exploiting to cause another player grief or distress.

  • Ongoing harassment
    Harassment takes many forms, and it is defined not only by a person's use of language, but by that person's intent. Repeatedly targeting a specific player with harassment, either physical or verbal, can lead to more severe action. The idea behind this is to prevent any one player from consistently being uncomfortable in Azeroth.

The bottom line is that we want World of Warcraft to be a fun and safe environment for all players. World of Warcraft is an MMORPG, and the key words are "Massively Multiplayer." In playing this game, you will encounter thousands of other players who share different experiences and come from vastly different backgrounds. While certain language may not be offensive to you, consider the fact that that same language may have a completely different effect on someone else. We've done everything we can to make this a great game but now it's up to you, the players, to breath life into the world. Choose wisely my friends.

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