Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Location: USA - KS
|Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:42 pm Post subject: Harassment: What to do?
This is a guide to help guide the user community in dealing with harassment issues. As a rule, if you think you are being harassed, report the incident using the appropriate reporting mechanisms (See How do I report Harassment below). A lot of this information is based on IMVU's own Safety page. Additional information can be found there.
The Web Safety page will contain the most up-to-date information available, so refer to it often
What is harassment
Harassment is defined as being repeatedly irritated or tormented by another user. This can take the form of threats, intimidation, blackmail, or personal attacks. Harassment can take place in Homepage Messages, in client, through pulse, groups, forums, private messages, and even off-client.
What do harassers do?
Harassers tend to do anything they can think of to mess with you. They can do this in chat, in groups, in product reviews, through homepage or forum messages, pulses... on or off IMVU.
Harassers generally threaten, attempt to intimidate, curse, and any combination of the above.
A good rule of thumb is that if it is not allowed at your school or place of business, it's a good chance that it is not allowed on IMVU.
What is not harassment
When you are mentioned by any sort of grouping, for example "Bacon Lovers", or "People who like computers", or "badboy's roleplaying group".
Unfairness in role-play, or during role-play activities.
Revenge for a real or imagined slight.
How do I report harassment?
The most important thing to consider when reporting harassment is that to prove your harassment claim, you have to provide IMVU with information that they know cannot be altered. This means using their tools.
Keep in mind... you are trying to influence IMVU staff to see things your way. When you're presented with an opportunity to type in something, be professional. Don't be demanding. Do put as much detail as possible to help IMVU see where the problem is, such as links, or describing the text that is offending you.
In-Client Chats: Click the little flag by the name of the avatar in the text chat box, where they said something (this can also be done after that person left the room).
Homepage Messages: Messagebox is the easiest way, click on "Report Abuse".
Pulse: Hover over the offending pulse, and click on "Safety" when it appears, Then click on the "Report" button.
Groups: Click on the "Report Abuse" on the header page, then click on "Yes" to report the group. Complete the entry form with as much detail as you can about the offense.
Product Reviews: Create a help ticket include a link to the product, and which review you are disputing.
Forum Private Messages: Create a help ticket, documenting what was said, leave the PM in your inbox.
When harassment happens in the forums, any forum moderator can be contacted to address the situation.
Screenshots, cut and pasted log files, and anything not coming from IMVU or the forums, cannot be acceptable to IMVU as proof. Neither are things said by your friends.
IMVU takes harassment seriously, and they do review every flag, and every report. Understand that they have thousands of reports to go through, some real, and some from griefers. Obviously, pulse and homepage messages are small, and easily reviewed, while hours-long chat logs will take a bit more time to go through. Expect that it will take some time to address your reports.
Report every incidence. You have to take charge. You're building a case, bit by bit. The report of every incident is important. If you are lazy about reporting, don't expect much action from IMVU.
When IMVU has completed addressing the reports, do not expect much more from them than "this issue has been addressed". Whether you are the harasser or the person being harassed, you're not going to get details. Be happy that the issue has been resolved, revenge isn't what you're after, you're after the harasser stopping what they were doing.
What the person is looking for is to intimidate or control you in some way. The important thing is to deprive them of the satisfaction that they get from seeing you frustrated, upset, ranting, and losing control.
It's time for you to take control. You may have to change your habits.
Chat privately with friends, or in public rooms that you or your friends control, so that you can boot / ban the harasser from those rooms.
Consider settings on your homepage... perhaps set panels or the whole page as buddies only, or not viewable at all. Think.... A harasser probably wants to see your special someone, your messages, your buddies, your recently visited panel, your blog, your picture gallery... anything they can use to harass you even more.
Block, Report, and block. Block offending users. Report their activities using IMVU's tools, and block their alternate accounts if they use them.
Keeping a low profile deprives your harasser of what they want most... your reactions. This also means not responding in kind. If you threaten them, if you curse at them, you not only make your case that much more difficult to prove, but you also give them a way to report you. IMVU doesn't care whether someone is harassing you or not... it doesn't give you an excuse to break the rules either. Take the high road, ignore... and report.
Your friends can be a great source of moral support when you are going through a harassment episode... but they can also be another venue for your harasser. Friends talk to friends... and the grapevine is huge in IMVU. If you let your friends know that you're upset... you can almost bet that it is going to get back around to your harasser somehow... and that again gives them what they want.
What does IMVU do?
When IMVU reviews a report, they have a lot of options at their disposal.
They can warn the user, cautioning them that further violations of the TOS can result in temporary or permanent disablement.
They can temporarily disable the user.
They can permanently disable the user.
No matter what they do, you'll only hear that the situation or issue was addressed. IMVU won't tell you what they did, so don't ask or demand anything. They have their own rules, that they won't share with you.
If you have further questions about harassment, what is or is not harassment, how to report, etc. Feel free to contact a moderator, who may be able to help, or submit a Help ticket and ask your question. We'll do our best to help explain.
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