JoyFreak is an independent gaming forum with a goal to provide a space for gamers and industry professionals to chat about video games of all kinds. It's an all-inclusive forum where members of every gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation are accepted. Respect for one another is important and users will enter into discussions in good faith.
Moderators are tasked to keep the peace on the forums. The following is intended to provide a guideline so members can become long-term successful posters. We have included as much detail as possible here, but it is impossible to cover every topic that could require moderation.
- New Members - New members must not try to inflate spam or low-quality posts into their post count. New accounts may be subject to more strict moderation.
- One Account Only - Every user is only permitted to have one account. If several accounts are found, all of accounts will be subject to an immediate permanent ban. Sharing of accounts is also forbidden and will be dealt with in the same way.
- Security Precautions - We strongly recommend that you do not share any personally identifying information or details about your personal life that might compromise your real identity. We also suggest that you enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) under your password and security settings to ensure your account remains safe, and that you use a strong password unique to this site.
- Verified Members Program - We offer a Verified Members program for professionals with expertise which may be of interest to our community. A verified account can be easily recognised by a "Verified" banner appearing on your profile and on every post you write. For more information please check the link.
- The Team - Our staff consists of dedicated individuals who maintain the forum; this is a responsibility they undertake because they care deeply about the community and want it to be the best it can be. We aim to expand our team to represent a politically diverse group. A list of active Staff Members is available to the public.
- Moderators - All moderator actions are recorded and accessible by the rest of the team; thus, it is unlikely for a specific staff member to abuse their power. We are always seeking insight from other staff members who know the most about any given issue. Moderators review all reports, provide feedback by written warning and continue to make contributions as posters.
- Our Approach - When a user is warned or banned for a post, a public banner attached to that post offers the explanation for this. These banners are for transparency and to help other members understand where the lines are. All members of staff are expected to follow the same rules as the rest of the members. We are doing our utmost to make sure moderation is unbiased, objective and not emotionally motivated.
The Report System
- Reporting - The report system is an integrated system that allows for the community to flag posts for moderator attention. You can report posts, profiles, and private messages. Every user has the ability to access it by clicking the little bell at the bottom left of each post or message. There will be a little window to provide some more information about the report - this is optional, but highly recommended. The most common use of the report system is to report posts that are believed to be breaking the rules. However, you can also report your own post if you need a thread locked, a thread title changed, a double post deleted, etc. Misuse of the report system can result in a warning or a ban.
- Warnings - Warnings are given when a member needs guidance — these are cases where a ban is considered unnecessary. Before you can post again you need to manually acknowledge a warning.
- Bans - Bans are used for more serious cases like when a warning is ignored, or a recurring pattern of misconduct. The length of the ban depends on the severity of the offence and the record of the member. The more offences a member has, the more likely longer their next ban will be. A permanent ban will be issued in cases where we determine that a member is either unable or unwilling to correct their behaviour.
- Appealing a Ban - The administration team allow for members to appeal a ban. The administration team decides everything on a case-by-case basis to ensure fairness. All appeals are deliberated by the staff members but it is the administrators who make the final decision to accept or deny the appeal. Use the contact form at the bottom of the site in order to appeal a ban.
- Be Respectful - It's important to treat every member with respect. Remember, treat everyone how you would like to be treated. JoyFreak is an all-inclusive community. We have members from all over the world with different nationalities, cultures, ethnic groups, gender and sexual identities. Respect among members is mandatory. Don't make fun of accents, cultural names or languages.
- Use Text Responsibly - Currently, we allow members to access various text options including size, colour, and font. Emojis are also fully supported. Please don't misuse these tools to make replies visually distracting. Do not make posts which are nothing but emojis.
- Do Not Argue in Bad Faith - Debates are encouraged. However, we do not welcome disingenuous arguments or arguing for no reason other than to upset others.
- No Trolling - Trolling or posting with the intention of provoking a negative response from other members, is prohibited.
- Rumors and Leaks - It is appropriate to post rumors and leaks from external sources as long as the source of the leak or rumour is included. Make sure all rumors and leaks are clearly labelled.
- Spoilers - If you are in a thread about a newly released game and want to share details that could only have been obtained by playing it, please hide the details behind spoiler tags. Do not include those spoilers in the titles of threads. Threads intended to include a discussion about spoilers should be labelled as such in the title. If a thread title indicates that the thread contains spoilers, then there is no need to use spoiler tags in that thread.
- Credits - Credits are JoyFreak's on-site currency. You earn credits by creating threads and making posts throughout the forum. Credits can be used for purchasing items and account features with more to come in the future. You can also use your Credits to purchase goods or services from members in the marketplace.
Thread Creation Guidelines
- Show Some Effort - To be the original poster (OP) of a thread means it is up to you to provide the basis for successful discussion. A thread should follow some criteria - it should be something that can be discussed (and potentially, debated), an open-ended question, statement, or idea, and something that will ultimately contribute to JoyFreak as a whole. You should write as clearly and accurately as you can with more than one or two sentences, ensuring there's enough substance to hold an interesting conversation. One-word posts, yes-or-no questions, spam, and purposely inflammatory posts do not contribute to JoyFreak. Thread creation privileges can be revoked or suspended if a member creates threads that are of low quality. Low quality threads include poorly sourced threads, have obvious clickbait titles, are created to troll members or staff, or otherwise fail to provide content that encourages good discussion.
- Pick a Good Title - The title should summarise the first post of the thread with good grammar and punctuation. Do not use any caps or emojis in headings. Do not post clickbait — these are titles designed to draw attention by deliberately withholding relevant information or misrepresenting it. If you need to change a title, report your own post and let the staff know what new title you would prefer and why. Moderators may independently change a title to reflect an update or otherwise improve it.
- External Content - Do not create threads which include scans of magazines or illegal links to copyrighted materials. If you are creating an article-based thread, please do not copy and paste the whole article — instead use excerpts and link to the full text. If you're making a video-based thread, please include a detailed description of the video.
- Duplicate Threads - When there's a duplicate thread, moderators will typically select the one with the most accurate and complete information when assessing which thread should prevail. Make sure you provide as much and as reliable details as possible. Duplicate threads are locked or merged.
- Thread Prefixes - Thread creators can pick a prefix that matches the thread topic best to help users find the content easy. This is optional but encouraged.
- Communities - Members can build a community of their own but will require 100+ posts before being able to do so. A thread that has built up a community of regulars can also be moved to the Community forum. We give members in those threads a little more leeway with each other in relation to banter and similar behaviour. However, please be aware that the forum rules still apply and that newcomers must be welcomed by every thread.
- The Rules - Members can buy, sell or trade their gaming goods or services in our marketplace. The administration has no authority over any transactions facilitated and cannot be held responsible for whatever results from buying, selling, or trading goods or services within the marketplace. We advise caution and common sense. Remember, the same forum rules apply in the Marketplace too. All listings should include a price for the item(s). Do not bump the thread within 24 hours.
- No Off-site Sales - The marketplace is for private transactions and not for advertising your company. The marketplace is meant for members on this forum to buy, sell or trade within the community. It isn't a place for people to promote off-site sales.
- No Illegal Activity - Do not sell stolen goods; do not sell pirated goods; do not sell illegal products; and do not sell anything here that could cause trouble for the forum. If the moderators are made aware of a listing that violates any of the rules, you will be banned and the listing(s) will be deleted.
- Check Feedback - You should always check a user's feedback via the feedback tab on their profile before entering into a transaction with a fellow community member. Always remember to take the proper precautions in any transaction, whether a member has 0 feedback or 1,000+ feedback. While not required, it is recommended that you leave feedback any time you have a transaction with a user here on JoyFreak.
- Disruptive Behavior - We do not allow attacks or discrimination against users based on race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability or any marginalized minority groups. All members deserve some kind of courtesy. Don't commit personal attacks or insults against other users. Challenging a poster in a civil and positive way is perfectly acceptable, but fallacy should be avoided and depending on the situation it may get you banned.
- NSFW Content - Our members may be browsing from work or school, in settings where the wrong image on the screen can potentially have serious implications. Consequently, content which is 'Not Safe For Work' should be avoided. If the option exists, try to be tasteful and considerate. You are encouraged to use spoiler tags to hide images or other material you may think is borderline. These spoiler tags should be marked clearly as 'NSFW' so other users know what to expect.
- Child Welfare - Don't attempt to rationalise child violence. Advocating or defending child abuse of any kind is not tolerated. An attempt to dismiss or to condone the sexualization of minors will result in a ban.
- Advocating Violence - We don't allow violence to be advocated. This policy may include postings with a wide range of severity, depending on the post's context and content. Therefore the penalty for breaking this rule can vary considerably, all the way up to a permanent ban. Advocating murder will always result in a permanent ban.
- Intellectual Property - JoyFreak respects intellectual property and the hard work put in by game developers, studios, and software companies. To facilitate this, there is a zero-tolerance policy on piracy itself. The sharing of pirated files and links leading to pirate or torrent sites are forbidden throughout the entire site. Discussions about piracy are OK to talk about as long as no actual pirated content is shared or linked to. This rule is not only for games - it applies to books, movies, TV shows, art, software, or any pirated media is forbidden.
- Homebrew and Emulation - While software piracy is never acceptable, homebrew and emulation are legal and discussions about it are welcome.
- Self-Promotion - Self-promotion is allowed and encouraged (within reason). If you wrote a review, insightful blog post, made an informative video, created or are creating a game, have a crowdfunding campaign you'd like to promote, created a short movie, composed a music track, or have some breaking news - absolutely feel free to post your stuff! Just try to be reasonable about it - don't post a thread each time you go live on Twitch, use the Promote Streaming Channel & Videos thread instead.
- Spam - Spam of any kind is not allowed. This can include malware and phishing content, referral links, URL shorteners, and abuse of the reply or private message system. Do not send unsolicited messages promoting any product, service, or website to other members.
- Doxxing - Doxxing which refers to the publication of personal information (address, place of work, private telephone, etc.) as a means of retribution or to encourage harassment will not be tolerated and is grounds for an immediate permanent ban. Posts which contain dox will be immediately deleted in order to safeguard the well-being of anyone affected. Encouraging others to do so could lead to a ban, too.
- Offsite Drama - We will not take action against any events that occur offsite, which also applies to members who may have engaged in bad conduct offsite - regardless of the type of conduct. In the event that a member on JoyFreak is involved in drama that occurs offsite, we will not take action unless they are violating the forum rules.
- Avatars and Profile Covers - Members can select both an avatar and a profile cover for their profile. These images must comply with our policies regarding ToS and NSFW. Do not use the offensive or otherwise inappropriate images. The staff will remove inappropriate avatars and covers, and bans may be issued in extreme circumstances.
- Custom User Title - While browsing the forum you may notice that some users have titles below their usernames. Members with verified accounts will have a title underneath their name identifying their role in the industry. Premium members also have the option to change their titles as frequently as they wish. All user titles must adhere to the forum rules and sites polices. The staff also reserves the right to remove a title if the title violates a rule.
- Signatures - Members are able to use signatures that will appear below their posts. Signatures can be used to include things like favourite quotes, link to a blog or web page, or anything else that adheres to our forum rules and polices. Signature privileges can be revoked or suspended if a member abuses the feature or violates a rule.
- Changing Your Username - Username change can be done via the Credits page under User Features. Once the "Username Change" item is purchased, you may change your username as frequently as you want. If, however, the username chosen is a slur, obscene, or not indicative of someone willing to contribute, the username change will be rejected.
- Hide BB Code - The hide BB code allows for posters to restrict information only to participants in threads. Any text in the BB code will be automatically revealed to participants who have posted at least one message in the thread. Most commonly, this feature is used to hide matchmaking information, Discord invites, or codes for giveaways. While members often find it useful to filter out guests and lurkers, the sharing of truly sensitive or personal information is always recommended with greater caution.
- Bugs and Technical Issues - Your feedback is important; unless we experience a technical problem ourselves, the only way we'll know about it is if members report it. You can find the Bugs thread in the Announcements forum. Our team will review this thread regularly for vulnerabilities.
- Suggestions and Feedback - We always welcome suggestions and feedback and take them into consideration if we feel it would benefit the community. If you have a great idea you would like to share then please post it in the Suggestions thread in the Announcements forum.
- Account Deletion - We usually grant requests for deletions of accounts. Deletions of accounts are always permanent and can not be reversed. We do not recommend deletions for this reason. Please let us know if you are applying because of a privacy concern; we may be able to provide further assistance. Alternatively, we can grant a request for bans of accounts. You can apply for bans of any length, all the way to permanent ones. You can send us an e-mail at any time if you wish to return. If you wish to request an account deletion or ban, simply use the Contact Us form while logged into your account.
- Research Projects and Surveys - We allow for members to promote or recruit additional members for their research projects. Research projects may include surveys on and off-site, written, audio, video interviews, and focus groups. The research project must involve video games. To promote your research or survey project then please do so in the Promote Research & Survey thread.