Post Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:53 am

Suggested Steps for Solving a Disagreement

Disagreements happen. This is an inevitable fact for any collaborative Role Play site. However, there is a proper process for handling such disagreements. Any disagreement should be handled with patience and respect on both sides. The Whills have made a list of steps that we recommend you follow if you are faced with a disagreement. This is a suggested list only, and thus is not a rule that you must follow. It is designed to help you through the process.

Step 1: Private message (PM) or contact the other party via the "IC Disputes Settled OOC" thread - This is the best way to begin to work out a solution. If you do post in the planetary IC disputes Settled OOC thread, be sure that the other party is aware that you have done so. Since most planetary writing teams discourage OOC on their boards, alert the other party via PM. Be respectful and do not insult or accuse the other party of any rule-breaking or GMing. Simply state why you are concerned and that you want to try to sort out the issue. Do not threaten them! This includes threatening "to go to the Whills or the PGC" or with an Infraction Report. If you threaten someone, there is a much higher chance that this step will not work because they will likely be unwilling to work it out. It might also help to step back from the situation for a time and get away from the computer. This will ensure that you have a sound mind and are not clouded by anger.

Step 2: Wait for their response and reply to it with respect - After you have sent your PM, wait for their response. Be patient, as they could be very busy in RL. Give them a couple of days to reply to your PM. During this time (and after), do not trash talk the other party! Ex: the OOC boards, Chat, MSN, Facebook, etc. When they do reply to your message, always reply respectfully. No matter what they might have said in their message, do not insult or threaten them. Continue to try to work out a solution via PMs. If it becomes clear that you or the other party is unable to solve your disagreement via PM, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Ask a PGC Councilor to mediate - PGC Councilors are ready and willing to help you as an impartial party, but you have to ask them for help first. When considering which councilor to ask, consider their possible conflicts of interest. While they will tell you that they have a conflict of interest if they have one, you can save time by simply asking one who does not have one and is not involved. Please only message one PGC Councilor at a time. When you seek a mediator, be sure to PM the other party and let them know that you have sought mediation from a PGC Councilor. Remember to respect the other party and keep things civil. The PGC Councilor may ask a fellow councilor to step in if they are unable to continue mediation for any reason. They might make a topic in the PGC to discuss the situation as well and will tell you if they have done so. If the PGC Councilor is unable to sort out a solution, proceed to step 4.

Step 4: File an Infraction Report - This step is the last resort. When you file an Infraction Report (IR), you are sending your disagreement to the Whill Tribunal for discussion and review. When you file it, be respectful and courteous to everyone involved, including the Whills, and any PGC members that have mediated thus far. Infraction Reports are not to be undertaken lightly. All IRs are reviewed critically and impartially. When you file an IR, limit yourself to a single post. Detail which rule you believe the other party has broken and give a brief summary of the situation. In your opening post, include links to the page where the problem arose, the exact time and date if you are able (for Chat disputes), the name of the PGC Councilor who mediated for you, and any other relevant information. After you have made your single post, PM the other party to let them know that you have filed an Infraction Report and send them a link to the IR. Do not reply if they respond in an insulting or threatening manner, but do send their reply to a Whill.

Step 5: Whill Tribunal Review - Once you have filed the Infraction Report, all you can do is wait. The other party is allowed one post in which they can defend themselves. This post should be respectful and courteous to everyone involved. In it, the other party will state why they believe themselves to be in the rights. If there is any bullying, insulting, or threatening by either party at any point in these steps, it should be listed in their post or PMed to a Whill. The Whills will lock the IR thread and then discuss in private. Be patient as this may take some time to do. After the Tribunal has reviewed the situation, they will release a ruling.

Step 6: After the Whill Tribunal Ruling - The Tribunal ruling is final and is the consensus of the Whills. After they post their ruling on the IR page, the subject is considered to be dropped. If a new rule is thought to be required, the Whills will handle it and open a thread if necessary. The Whills may, if they deem it suitable, delegate the discussion regarding the new rule to the PGC. An IR may result in punishment for one, both, or none of the parties. If you feel that you are unable to continue RP with the other party, then you should tell them this respectfully in a PM. Do not respond to threats or insults and forward all such messages to a Whill.