www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2003 Weekly Issue

Times Writer & City Worker

Banishment: The Final Frontier

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Banishment is where the buck stops. To find out where it started, first read "City Hall & Duct Tape", followed by "What's Bad Behavior in Whyville?" And make sure you read the Callbox Instructions and your user agreements, too.


Finally, we come to one of the most serious punishments of all: banishment from Whyville. Banishment means you can never return to Whyville on that account; never get your clams, salary, or face parts back! I get really hurt when I heard from a recent Times submission that the author believes City Hall unfairly banishes people. Every banishment takes a lot of time and thought, and is ultimately done to secure the safety of the community.

The fact is, do you want someone who is constantly asking for passwords -- despite repeated warnings -- to stay in Whyville? I'm thinking most of you do not because you realize that its unsafe and someone who is always asking for passwords knowing its wrong can only have so many chances. Or, what about someone who asks for personal information many times? We have to wonder if that person is a predator or not -- to protect you!

Yes, there have been some complaints about banishments over usernames; we don't allow a lot of bad names, but some slip by sometimes and we have to deal with them when we can. However, why did those people choose an inappropriate username to begin with? Were they thinking about the little 8 year old sibling watching over the computer? Well, we are. People who continuously break the rules and laws at Whyville don't always seem get the idea: we need to keep Whyville clean and safe, and folks who break the rules are preventing us from doing that!

We always reserve the right to banish people (you should read your user agreements!) for whatever reason that we see fit -- which will always be about keeping our citizens safe -- and I hope you all remember that. If someone gets banished, they are always free to email city-management@whyville.net from their original parental address to inquire why they got banished. The funny thing is that most banished users rarely do, since they almost always know they've done inappropriate things to earn a banishment.

Keep in mind, harassing City Hall by sending us an excess number of emails or using threatening language gives us the right to contact your email service (like Hotmail), Internet Service Provider, etc. (You wouldn't like getting your inbox flooded with redundant emails -- so why would we?) Actually, for a lot of the offenses that we banish for, we can contact the ISP to warn them of what type of activity originates from their service. If they ignore it, they're actually legally responsible -- so it's a pretty big thing! We take it seriously, and so should you.

Anyway, I hope these articles help everyone understand a little better about City Hall's worst job. None of us like giving out punishments, but we all have to. After reading these articles, the Callbox Instructions, and your user agreements, and thus being more educated in the way Whyville does things, I hope you have sympathy for what this job involves, the severity of the job, and the mind-set we have about doing it. It's a pretty serious task -- just like the law enforcement in your hometown. We don't have to be like policemen, but we do have to run a decently tight ship.

If everyone does his job, and that includes you citizens, we can all make Whyville an even *better* place to be!



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