Rules & Guidelines
In order to make your and everyone else's experience on Gaia Online a pleasant one, please follow these rules that outline what is acceptable behavior. We have designed these rules in order to minimize conflict and maximize your enjoyment of the site. Our Moderators have the authority to enforce such rules and act on behalf of your and Gaia's best interests.
Interacting with Other Users on Gaia:
- Never Ask for Passwords, or Give Anyone Else Yours: Gaia staff members will never ask you for your password. Any attempt in asking for other people's password is strictly prohibited.
- No Spamming Outside the Chatterbox Forum: Spam, or posts that are nonsensical or irrelevant to the forum in which they're posted, should only be posted in the Chatterbox forum. Users are encouraged to stay on topic and be relevant to the theme of where discussions are held. Being informative or entertaining are also good ways to get a good conversation going.
- Be Courteous: Please be civil and courteous towards your fellow Gaians. We have a very liberal policy regarding language, but overly abusive language is not permitted. If your post is excessively vulgar, insulting, explicit, or hateful, it may be removed and disciplinary actions may be taken on your account(s).
- No Trolling: Posting material that is inflammatory or intended solely to offend or provoke other members is called 'trolling', and is not permitted.
- No Stalking: Persistent harassment of an individual or group of individuals against their wishes (commonly known as 'stalking') is not permitted. If someone asks you to stop, please leave them alone.
- Respect the TOS: Encouraging or endorsing violations of our Terms of Service, or illicit activities in general, is not permitted.
- Be Constructive: When commenting on artwork or reviewing web links, please try to be constructive in your criticism or balance criticism with praise. If your comments are excessively insulting or vulgar, action may be taken against your account.
- No Cybering: Soliciting or engaging in cybersex (exchanging descriptions of sexual experiences) or mature content role play is not allowed on Gaia Online. Making sexually suggestive or explicit posts can result in them being removed, and action being taken against your account.
- No Child Abuse: Discussion, depiction or promotion of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation and/or related topics that may be harmful to or threaten the security of a child or minor is not allowed. Submitting any content or utilizing language or terms meant to imply or insinuate these situations may result in action being taken against your account.
- No Pirating: Requesting or sharing material you do not own the copyright to or have permission to share (such as music, software, and anime) is not permitted.
- No Banking Services: User-run banking services, such as those providing interest, pawn shop, or other investment and loan services, are not permitted for security reasons. Any banking services found will be removed and may result in your account being banned.
- If In Doubt, Ask: If you are submitting content to Gaia Online and you are unsure whether that content violates our Terms of Service or other rules and guidelines, it is best to check with a Gaia Moderator before submission.
- Signatures: Please keep signatures less than 500 pixels in size in both width and height, and a total kilobyte-size of less than 500 kb. Your ability to post signatures may be removed if you do not comply with this standard.
- Mature material: Any material that is sexually explicit or pornographic, or depicts excessive violence or gore is not permitted. Tasteful nudity in the art forums is allowed on a case-by-case basis, but on the whole, it is a good idea to cater to a range of audiences. Keep in mind that some members may be as young as 13.
- Harmful Images: Certain types of graphic images may contribute to or otherwise cause viewers to experience an adverse physical reaction, such as migraine headaches or seizures, and are not permitted. Should your post or signature contain such an image, it may be removed.
- Copyright Violation: Posting images that you do not have the rights to may be treated as copyright infringement or art theft if the owner of the image makes a complaint. Claiming art that you did not create yourself, either in the art arena or on the forums, as your own work will be treated as art theft, which can result in legal prosecution in real life. Attempting to use stolen art for profit is considered to be scamming. Additionally, art that you have made yourself, but that was heavily copied or traced from the work of others, or includes images or graphics you did not make yourself, may also be treated as art theft.
A Message About Hate Groups and Hate Speech on Gaia
Part of the fun of being a member of Gaia is expressing yourself in creative ways, to your friends, and with larger the community. Gaia is committed to providing users with a fun and positive experience.
We understand that our community is diverse and that users hold differing opinions -- and conversations can sometimes become heated. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, however, if those beliefs promote the harm, violence or abuse of other individuals, then they will not be tolerated.
We have always identified and moderated abusive content based on the following criteria:Gaia Online separates abusive behavior into three major categories: flaming, trolling, and harassment.
Involves directed hateful, abusive, or, insulting, offensive, or inflammatory statements towards another member of Gaia.
Involves making statements through threads, posts, or other submissions intended to insult, offend, cause disruption, provoke negative reactions from others, or attract negative attention toward yourself or other members.
Involves one or more members engaging in a severe or persistent targeted abuse against another member or group, including, but not limited to: sending constant or continued abusive messages, repeated unwanted contact such as by circumventing another member's ignorelist or stalking, making statements intended to negatively affect the reputation of another member within the community, actions or statements which threaten another member's safety or security, posting information which personally identifies another member, and blackmail or extortion.
But we would like to extend and clarify our definitions, and our stance, on hate-motivated behavior, and how such behavior will be handled by the Moderation and Administration teams.Our Definition of Hate Speech
We are defining hate speech as 'expressing sentiments that are meant to exclude, threaten, dehumanize, intimidate, bully, promote or incite hate, violence, or abuse against people or groups on the basis of their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, gender, religion, orientation, or ability'. We are including white supremacism/neo-nazism, racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, etc, in this definition.
We are defining a hate group as 'any group of people who perpetuate, advocate, or promote hate-inspired language or activity', as defined above. If the sole purpose for your presence on Gaia is to represent these harmful ideologies, then you are not welcome on the site.Unacceptable Conduct
As mentioned above, there are three main categories that we use to define abusive behavior: Flaming, Trolling and Harassment.
We are distinguishing hate speech from regular trolling because it is much more harmful and insidious. While hate speech and general acts of hate fall under the trolling/abuse umbrella and are things Gaia already acts upon, we do want to be more clear that we consider these offenses as particularly grave. Users who choose to post content as outlined here, beyond what is already considered abuse/trolling, will be treated more severely.
Hate speech is not only applied exclusively to threads and posts made or to the use of overtly offensive slurs and language. This means that the use of covert, suggestive, and implied forms of hate speech including harmful stereotypes, biases, and unfounded conspiracies about different groups of individuals that are often rooted in hate speech or co-opted by hate groups are not permitted on Gaia.
- Our Terms of Service covers all areas of Gaia including, but not limited to;
- Posts / Threads
- Guilds / Clans
- Live social spaces (such as Towns)
- Profiles / Profile Comments
- Avatar creations
- Images / Artwork / Memes / Videos
- Submissions into any contests or galleries
In addition, linking offsite to any of the above is considered a Terms of Service violation.
On Freedom of Expression / Speech
Freedom of expression/speech applies only to governmental censorship. As a private social media company, Gaia may limit and moderate content as it sees fit in relation to our Terms of Service and Rules and Guidelines. Our moderators will remove any content, and act upon any user, deemed in violation of our Terms of Service.
Gaia welcomes members of all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences, and we recognize that disagreements will arise due to varying opinions on different topics. Some of these topics will be sensitive to our members, but we ask that you continue to follow our rules of discourse and avoid harmful/malicious speech while engaging with others. We want our users to feel comfortable expressing their points of view, but there is a stark difference between disagreeing with users on certain topics civilly, and using inflammatory, hate related speech toward others. While you are allowed to discuss controversial topics, you are not allowed to advocate for or glorify harmful ideologies.
We want to be very clear that explicitly trying to inflame or threaten others in this way will not be tolerated. This behavior will always be unwelcome and considered to be in violation of our Terms of Service.Our Moderation Policy for Hate Speech/Affiliating with Hate Groups
In cases where you come across users engaging in hate related activity, we ask that you please report the content/user using the 'trolling/abuse' tag, and do not respond to - or quote - the user (as this only serves to bump up the content and instigate/give attention to the offender).
If you wish, you may place the user on your ignore list to avoid seeing their content in the future. Please PM a moderator to alert them to a situation that you feel is in need of immediate attention. A list of current moderators can be found here.
As Gaia welcomes members as young as 13, and takes the safety of all of our users very seriously, we will also deal with users who refuse to follow our guidelines in relation to hate speech, express affiliation with hate groups, or post hateful imagery and content more severely. This behavior can result in an immediate permanent ban, and account holders that continue to return to the site to behave in this way will continue to be removed.
Of course, we need your help to handle these offenses, and report them as you find them -- we cannot keep the site completely free of this kind of content, or monitor or limit who joins the site. Your reporting helps the moderation team act more swiftly to remove these kinds of offenses.Resources for Further Reading on Hate Groups/Speech
If you would like to learn more about the various groups (both in the United States and abroad) that are tackling hate, we have provided a list of organizations below:
- Information on Hate Groups:
- Southern Poverty Law Center's FAQ about Hate Groups
- Organizations tackling inequality:
- Souther Poverty Law Center - Fighting Hate
- Anti-defamation League
- Stop AAPI Hate
- Interfaith Alliance - Combating Hate
We are committed to making sure that everyone is welcome, regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, ability, identity, etc. The diversity and uniqueness of this community is what makes it so special, and we want to make sure that we continue to celebrate it.
Failure to follow the rules above may result in your account being banned from Gaia Online. In some cases, the ban will be temporary, with repeat offenders receiving a permanent ban, and some cases may result in a permanent ban immediately. The following offenses are also grounds for an immediate permanent ban:
- Botting. Using an automated script, macro, or refreshing feature to post or surf web pages in order to generate Gold/Platinum is forbidden. The use of any software or codes to generate Gold/Platinum without the need for you being in front of your computer is generally considered to be botting. Anyone suspected of botting will have their account banned.
- Scamming. We reward our users with Gold/Platinum and hard-to-find rare items, but we have no tolerance for people who try to take other users' assets with get-rich-quick schemes or promises of rare items. Running any kind of scam - including but not limited to lottery scams or trade scams - is strictly prohibited.
- Hacking. Hacking is defined as "unauthorized access to another user's account". This includes accessing an account that does not belong to you, or profiting from items taken from a hacked account. Attempts to hack, such as trying to obtain another user's password, will also lead to your account being banned.
- Impersonating another user or Gaia Staff Member, including Administrators and Moderators.
- Gold/Platinum Buying/Selling. Buying or selling Gaia Gold/Platinum for real-life cash, whether on Gaia Online or on other sites, is strictly prohibited. Attempts to buy or sell Gaia Gold/Platinum may also lead to your account being banned.
- Offsite trading. Trading, or attempting to trade, Gaia Gold/Platinum for non-Gaia related accounts or items (or vice versa) will result in an account ban.
- Exploiting site glitches for personal gain. No site is perfect, and you will (rarely) run into a glitch while using Gaia Online. When you do, please report it by posting to our Bug Reports and Technical Support forum. However, intentionally exploiting obvious glitches in order to gain more items, Gold/Platinum, or other benefits can result in your account being banned.
Please be aware that if your account is banned, you will no longer be able to access your Gaia Gold/Platinum or items that you licensed from the site, or any Gaia Cash that you have purchased.
Failure to comply with these rules and guidelines may result in disciplinary action and ultimately the termination of your Gaia Online account. Your use of GAIA Online is also subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Terms of Service.