Sonic Stadium Community Rules
Last Updated: 19 February, 2024
We want you to have a great time making friends and interacting with the latest news and community chat on the Sonic Stadium. In order to make this a pleasant experience for everyone, we have a list of Rules that all Sonic Stadium account members must follow.
The following Rules apply ‘Globally’ - to ALL CONTENT and all sections on the Sonic Stadium where Members can interact or create content. That includes, but is not limited to; SSMB Forums, Clubs, Status Updates, Wiki Edits, Direct Messages, Sonic News Comments, Community Blogs, Media Galleries and the Events Calendar.
Some areas of the Sonic Stadium may have additional rules (called ‘Sub-Rules’) applied. Please make sure you read and adhere to any Sub-Rules, in addition to the following Global Rules.
Some user-generated areas of the Sonic Stadium, such as Clubs, may also have additional sub-community rules applied by the Members who create or own them. Although these are not official Rules that are proactively actioned by the Sonic Stadium Moderation Team, we recommend adhering to them in order to maintain the community peace. You may be ejected from a Club if you disrupt their sub-community.
No sub-community rules (within user-generated areas such as Clubs) made or enforced by non-Moderator/Admin Members can overrule, negate or otherwise ‘loophole’ any of the Global Rules outlined below, and any sub-community rules can be subject to change or removal from the Sonic Stadium Moderation Team at any time, for any reason.
The Rules factor in the following prerequisites of having a Sonic Stadium Account:
1. Members must be over the age of 13 years old, in compliance with COPPA guidelines.
2. In order to post content on the site, Members must be able to understand and communicate in fluent English language.
These rules are subject to change at any time; please make sure you check this page regularly so you are always on top of any newly-introduced guidelines.
1. Be respectful of others at all times
Disagree on a subject, sure, but insulting, trolling and aggressively addressing users (either directly or via subtext) will not be tolerated. Specifics may be further outlined in other Rules below.
2. This is a socially progressive space; inappropriate or offensive material will not be tolerated
We have a Zero Tolerance policy on content that harms or demeans others - including but not limited to: conspiracy theories, extreme political views and propaganda, regressive/offensive attitudes or language towards protected and minority groups, and discrimination of any kind towards said minority social groups.
Individuals - be they public figures or otherwise - have the right to privacy. Absolutely no doxxing (posting of someone’s personal information), or any organised ‘dogpiling’ of any persons is allowed.
Genuine, good-faith criticism of a public persons’ activity (i.e. a celebrity, or a well-known personality) must be limited to one central place of discussion, must be relevant / related to real and established facts, and must not include ad hominem attacks.
- This is not a space for political discourse (we recommend you seek a community specially tailored for this kind of conversation), but we do allow some political discussion as long as it reflects our socially progressive environment and community. Such discussion must be limited to the General Discussion forum, and may be heavily moderated - content deemed inappropriate by the Moderation Team will be removed.
3. Posting or linking to any adult or illegal content is forbidden
Posting legal adult material, such as porn or gambling content, is strictly not allowed and may result in severe warnings or outright bans depending on severity and repeated offences. We also do not allow the posting of ROMs or torrents of copyrighted material, and offending users will be given similar penalties.
ILLEGAL CONTENT: It is our mission at the Sonic Stadium to ensure that our community enjoys a safe and lawful online environment at all times. To this end, to the best of our ability the Moderation Team complies with applicable laws (and with the EU Digital Services Act [DSA] specifically). Illegal content refers to any material that violates the laws of the EU member states, and includes but is not limited to: malware, abuse, child exploitation material, incitement of violence, fraud, viruses, IP grabbers and general cybercrime activity.
Any illegal content posted may be subject to having that content and user information passed on to the relevant authorities for further investigation.
Please report any illegal material you see on the Sonic Stadium by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with information on the content, where you found it and any details relating to the user that posted it.
- In case of immediate threat or harm, we recommend contacting local law enforcement directly.
4. No Spamming. Make meaningful content; don’t disrupt things for others
Constantly posting short, low-quality content severely undermines the community environment, makes discussion look cheap and generally isn’t allowed here. Make sure you put effort into your posts, and that your point is understandable (in clear, well-written English language).
Making the odd typo is fine (it’s a fact of life), but we recommend you check grammar and punctuation from time to time so that you can be sure your content will be easily understood.
This rule applies to all kinds of user-generated content, not just forum posts. Constantly 'Reacting' to other user's content in an attempt to increase your Sonic Stadium User Rank will also be seen as Spamming, as it will constantly send unwanted notifications to other users.
Upon first joining the Sonic Stadium, your initial posts/content will be subject to screening/approval by the Moderation Team before it can be seen publicly. If your attempted post is removed or deleted, it means that we are trying to guide you to put more effort into your contributions, and we encourage you to try again.
Short posts/comments and image reactions are okay, as long as it is strictly relevant to the discussion (for example, making a short witty joke) and isn’t seen as entirely random or disruptive/derailing. If the size of your intended comment amounts to the length of a decent tweet/social media post, you are generally fine to post it in a topic or News Comment.
Be mindful of potential spoiler content and how you post this on our community. Always wrap any material or information related to newly-released or unreleased media within a “Spoiler” tag to avoid ruining things for others. Topics intended for spoiler discussion should be marked ‘Spoilers Inside’ or similar within the Topic title.
Some topics were made a long time ago. Please do not “necro-bump” topics that have not had any user interaction for over 1 year, unless it is for an important reason. Try making a new topic instead.
- You may create a “signature” that can be automatically placed underneath all of your forum posts. These should not be higher than 500px and not exceed 400kb in size.
5. No Trolling
Trolling is the act of constantly posting controversial content or opinions with the sole intention to generate a negative reaction from one or more people in the community.
This is not the same as simply expressing a contrary opinion that others may not like or agree with you on - we are talking about content deliberately made to ‘bait’ people into arguing or getting upset with you.
Trolling is not allowed in any form on the Sonic Stadium - this is not the place to tease others, and you won’t be welcome here.
6. ONE account per Member. No duplicate accounts
Your Sonic Stadium account is personal to you; we do not allow members to run more than one account at the same time. We will be able to check - offenders risk having both their duplicate/s and their real account banned and deactivated.
If you’re Banned, you’re Banned. Anyone who has been justly punished by the Sonic Stadium Moderation Team is not allowed to engage in any activity that may circumvent those punishments. This includes, but is not limited to, creating new accounts to evade a ban or getting other members to post on your behalf (members who help in this way also risk getting their account banned - so don’t do it!).
- Fake, spam or bot accounts will be marked as such and banned on sight.
7. No Advertising or Affiliate/Commerce Links to Products
Only the Sonic Stadium is allowed to conduct any affiliate, commerce and other revenue-based activity on this website. It helps keep this website running, for your enjoyment. This is not a place for you to generate income from our community.
Additionally, representatives of products or services (including those from SEGA or SEGA-affiliated licensing partners) must be publicly transparent with their position, and not use the forum solely as a means to outright sell their products to our users (with the exception of general community engagement).
- Blatant advertising or promotion of your own (or your favourite) community 'channel' (website, forum, social media account, Discord server or similar) is not allowed, nor is it allowed to outright try and get Sonic Stadium members to visit/follow/register to your channel. You may promote your own/favourite channels via a text link or banner within your forum signature. Beyond this, you can only create topics, blogs or other user-generated content that outright promotes your off-site channel in areas of the site where the sub-rules explicitly allow you to do so.
8. Please follow important Mod/Admin directions
The Sonic Stadium Moderation team (Moderators and Administrators) spend a lot of their own free time making sure that this is a fun, inviting and safe space for everyone. They have to deal with a lot of spam, rule-breaking offenders, community drama and other issues on a daily basis. Please understand that they have a job to do, to keep the peace - if a Moderator or Administrator makes a decision on a particular matter, it must be followed and respected.
No backseat moderation. If you see any content that crosses any of the Rules stated above, your duty as a Sonic Stadium Member is to use the Report function to let the Moderation Team know (please see detailed instructions below). They will investigate and take appropriate action.
We sometimes make mistakes. If you feel that a Moderation Team decision has been unjust and not in keeping with the Community Rules, you may escalate the issue with one of the Administration staff - please see the "Appeals Process" information at the bottom of this page (underneath the section "Moderators & The Five-Strike System").
- Only users assigned to the “Moderator", "Super Moderator” and “Admin” usergroups have the appropriate authority and responsibility regarding community/membership matters. Please do not contact anyone within the “Sonic News” or any other special usergroup regarding a community issue.
9. Please seek appropriate outside help if you need it
We are a welcoming and understanding community, but unfortunately we are not appropriately equipped to deal with discussions or questions concerning serious personal issues, or issues relating to mental health. Please look after yourself and seek the right support with real-life friends, family and/or professional care.
Similarly, please refrain from directly asking members/the community (in any medium) what they think of you, if you’re disliked, cared about, etc. This puts other members in an unreasonable position, and directly asking for validation in this way is not considered a healthy thing to do. We recommend you work through such feelings with the help of an external support network.
- If you need confidential advice or help related to a serious personal issue, please reach out to one of the services listed on this page (covers UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Philippines and South Africa).
10. Just Don’t Be A Dick
If you ever get stuck, take a moment and think: “What Would Sonic Do?”
…Not that smarmy Fleetway Sonic though, that would be a bad example. Any of the other Sonics.
How to Report Violations of Community Guidelines
You can help flag content that breaks any of the above rules by reporting it to the Sonic Stadium Moderation Team. Here's how you do that.
On almost every piece of user-generated content, there will be a link allowing you to send a Report. On the Forums, you will find this link within the dropdown menu next to a post's metadata (time of post, etc):
In other areas of the community, you may find a link at the bottom of the content area, such as this example:
When you send a Report, you are given the opportunity to provide additional information. We recommend you include as much information as you can as it will help give us context about the alleged infraction, and may speed up the time it takes for the Moderation Team to come to a decision on what actions should be taken.
Please DO NOT use the Report system simply to highlight posts that you personally find disagreeable, as we will see this as an abuse of the system and your account may be penalised. Always be clear in your Report as to which specific Community Rule is being broken in the content you are reporting (we have numbered the rules to make it easy for you to do so!)
Moderators & The Five-Strike System
The Sonic Stadium Moderation Team is here to ensure that the community remains a peaceful, friendly, safe space for all. As such, they are required to take action if they determine that a user has broken any of the rules outlined above. Moderators are trusted to use their best judgement, and may take a specific action immediately upon coming across any Rule-breaking material. However, some decisions may come as a result of a wider discussion between the whole Moderation Team (or, in extreme circumstances, the Moderation Team + Administrators).
If you have been seen to have broken any of the Rules outlined above, you will receive a formal Warning from the Moderation Team. This Warning will include information on the specific Rule you have broken, and a reminder to read our Rules in full above. The Warning may also come with an additional note from the Moderation Team, specific to your particular case. The Warning must be acknowledged before you are allowed to access the site and post again.
Some Warnings will come with one or more Strikes, depending on the severity of your infraction. We work to a FIVE STRIKE system. Once you hit Five Strikes, you're "out" - your account will be permanently restricted from posting content on the site. Your access to the site will be limited depending on the number of Strikes assigned to your account:
- Strike 1: No action - consider this a Warning!
- Strike 2: Posts will be moderated for 14 days
- Strike 3: Post restriction (Post ban) for 14 days
- Strike 4: Indefinite moderation of content, post restriction for 30 days
- Strike 5: Indefinite post restriction, complete site ban for 30 days
Strikes may be removed from your account after a period of good behaviour.
We rarely overturn bans, but we may consider appeals after a time (at least six months), if we believe a user will be able to participate in our community while respecting the Rules. You can do this by writing an appeals letter to email@example.com. Please let us know your username, any relevant user history and make a detailed case to us for reinstatement.
If you feel that a Warning, Strike or other disciplinary action was unfair or made in error, you can also file an appeal by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide as much detail as possible as to the Rule you were told to have broken, why you are contesting it, and provide evidence where applicable.
The Sonic Stadium administration will consider all valid appeals made in good faith, but reserves the right to maintain its decision if it finds no error in judgement was made. We do not consider appeals made by or on behalf of users that are reasonably believed to be non-human (bots, spam accounts, etc) or reasonably believed to have registered to the platform with malicious intent.