www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2002 Weekly Issue

Silence, Please

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Silence, Please

Times Writer

Oh man! Why do I commit to things that I end up regretting? (Right now it is handball.) I wonder some days. And speaking (or not speaking) of things I wonder about, I have decided to write an article that I have been putting off (like I do with other things). Each day when I log on, I see it all over again and I have decided that enough is enough. I think that it is time to review the Safety Tools in Whyville (with an emphasis on SAFETY!).

Well, now, I've had a few run-ins with these tools lately. No, I haven't been taped or vaporized, or even warned (although I have been close to being taped... but don't judge too quickly!). I want to explain to some people the uses of these tools. THEY ARE NOT THERE TO BE ABUSED!

We've all seen lots of people taped; these can include guests, potty mouths, and everyday people who are just being rude. Heck, I've even seen people who haven't visited Whyville for even five days that have been taped! Isn't that a little pathetic?

The other day, I was in the Sportplatz and there were these two girls playing soccer. I was talking to another girl about games she could play to raise her salary and where to find them, when I accidentally caught the ball. I didn't know who to give it to, so I asked, and then my computer froze, which meant I had to restart my computer. So I did.

When I got back to the Sportplatz, about five minutes later, the two girl were still there and one came up to me. "I'm going to report you!" she declared. The only reason I had come back was to give them their ball. So I gave them back their ball and left.

Then, my mailbox light started flashing. I went to check it and found that a new citizen had said some pretty harsh things to me, including a few swears. She'd written me and told me that she wanted me to give her some clams, or a few face parts. I wrote back very politely and told her that I wouldn't give her anything, I never do, but I would be very happy to help her raise her salary.

Well, when should you use the safety tools? There are a lot of people who just don't get it. And I admit, there will always be people who don't understand. To help reduce the number of those people, I want to do a bit of a review.

Using the Warn tool was very popular when I first joined. I used to see like 10 people that were warned everyday. Now, I'm not saying this is a good thing, but I am just making an observation. I hardly ever see anyone that is warned around Whyville. This may be because, though it's still listed in the tools, we can no longer used Warn in Whyville! City Hall says this is because citizens were constantly abusing the tool, so it no longer had any worth in helping citizens protect our community. People let it become just something to fight with!

If some one is bugging you, just being a pest, but not being very serious, silence them. You can do it briefly or permanently. (If a person is ever following you around, asking you for personal information, or anything very serious, you should 911 report them. Otherwise they can keep harassing other people, even if you silence them.)

Silence is the most common tool lately (that isn't necessarily a good thing, it's just another observation). If a person is swearing, or being rude, racist or discriminatory, tape 'em. This way that person can't talk to you, ALTHOUGH other people still see what her or she says! Assuming that his/her words get caught by Whyville's filter, this person may get a fine, and the duration of their taping may vary, depending on what City Management decides.

If you are going to tape someone, think about if it is really worth it. Do you think it would just be easier to leave, or do you think that it is just wrong that they are allowed to say something like this?

If you are really sick of a person, if they keep following you around, swearing, being rude, and you can not stand them anymore, then the best thing to do is Vaporize them. This way they are zapped away by a magical laser. You won't see their face, their words, or their why-mails. I don't see a lot of people like this, because I don't vaporize many people. Again, this is JUST for you -- no matter how permanently you vaporize someone, everybody else can still see them.

One of the main reasons I am writing this article is to discuss the 911 report tool. Some people need to understand the use of this. IT IS ONLY FOR THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENSES!!! Don't report someone for stealing your ball or telling you that you are ugly or because they won't go out with you. You should, however, report someone for asking you for personal information. This is very serious -- don't take it as a joke.

For all of the people who take these tools as a joke, let me tell you, you have never met a stalker. You have never met some one who tracks you down from what you tell them. Maybe someday City Hall will just say, "Forget it, no one uses these tools right, so we'll just get rid of them." Think of all of the freaks out there that our using these tools protects us from! Remember that Whyville, in their twisted minds, is just another chat room.

(A very paranoid)



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