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Changes to our Forum's punishments

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Hello all,

Many of you will be aware I am very much a free speech advocate, and want to, as much as is possible, have a free and open forum, for people to discuss ideas, and give feedback about Forge of Empires, as well as just have fun. I am a staunch opponent of overzealous enforcement, and like to allow people to just "get on with it" whilst their posts are within the confines of the pre-existing rules.

However, lately, this stance has proven to be challenging. I'm grateful to my team for dealing with some difficult interactions of late, whilst upholding the sometimes impossible task of finding a balance here on the forums. With this in mind, some really specific changes are coming to how we handle specific instances of rule breaches.

To begin with, the ability to send and receive private messages on these forums is a privilege, not a right. If as a user of these forums, you abuse that right, your ability to utilise that platform will be removed, first temporarily, and then permanently should you choose to continue to abuse this privilege.

Secondly, we currently don't have in place a system of "view only" which some forums employ as a form of enforcement. However, I deem this also to be a similar privilege to private messaging, and if you're not able to follow the rules, or the specific wishes outlined by my team, then I will place you in to "time out" for a short time, where you will be unable to post, and only view.

I hate to be doing this, I don't want to treat people like children, but I have the welfare of my team members, as well as the welfare of the forum as a whole to think of. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the instances leading to these changes are not dictated by the actions of one person, but of many, and on both sides of the argument. There isn't one individual causing all these issues.

Lastly, I want to briefly touch on something which is important for everyone to understand. This forum is intended to be free and open (again, as much as it can be whilst adhering to it's rules). Just because you don't like a specific post, or even a specific person, doesn't mean you are entitled to dictate to either myself or my team on what you deem to be the appropriate action to take against this person or post. We have standardised rules, and standard punishments for most infractions. Additionally, you are not entitled to dictate who is entitled to respond to your posts. If you are looking for a place to de-platform and silence dissenting views from your own, then this forum is not the place for you.

Thank you all,
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