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Thread: Chatroom concern

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It concerns me that some of our younger members readily open private messages in the chatroom to people who are, in effect, total strangers to them. I know the channel is moderated and anything outside the channel is not within PT's domain but is it possible to post a warning somewhere that not everyone who appears in the channel is a member of PT and cannot necesarily be vouched for, and that private messaging should be used with care or words to that effect?
Are you talking about a message on the chatroom itself, ie in the topic, or a message on the webpage the applet appears on, or a message somewhere on the website?

A channel topic message is easy, and if required, a chanserv autogreet could be configured. An autogreet is where chanserv sends somebody a predefined notice as they join the room. Any channel moderator can set a topic message, only taz can set an autogreet message.

In my opinion, a website or applet message are not really viable, as they are only seen by people coming from the website. People with dedicated clients such as xchat or mirc or even trillian won't see them. A topic is often ignored, so if the choice was mine, I'd go with an autogreet. Perhaps an autogreet AND topic. I suppose even barliman can be programmed to autogreet them with such a message.

Also Note
If you get a private message or a notice requesting you click on a link, don't click on the link. The chance is that it will take you to a webpage which uses an activeX exploit to install a virus on your PC. The network operators are aware of these, and try to stop them at the network level.

If you do get one, please report it to an IRC Operator, NOT a chatroom operator. Below is a list of IRC Operators who will be able to assist:


Anyone opped in the channel #darkmyst. To report it type /query nick, then type the report in the window that opens. nick os one of the above nicks. If you are told "No such nick or server", that means they are not currently around, so try one of the others.
The same rules of caution apply to the chatroom that apply to email.
Do Not Open anything from someone you do not know.
You also have the option in the chatroom to ignore anyone who is bothering you. If you are using the chatroom link on Planet-Tolkien, you will notice a little box at the bottom of the private message screen which says "Ignore". Just click on it and problem solved. If using irc, right click on the person's name and select control, then click on ignore.
Any problems with the chatroom should be reported to the channel op, one of those people with the @ in front of their name or the smilies wearing the sunglasses. If you are not sure on what should be done, we can relay any information which should be taken care of by Darkmyst staff, Milambar, Ryan, Taz or Foo.
We want your chatroom experience to be a pleasant one and if you have any concerns, please contact me by private message in chat or on the website.
OK, let me be more specific - your comments make sense but it is not quite what I meant. I have been messaged by several 'young' people (as young as 12) who, without knowing who I am, ask me age, sex, location almost immediately. I know I am safe for these kids to talk to but they don't and there are people who appear in the chatroom who are either not a regular there or do not post on PT and as with any chatroom their integrity is not known. I am concerned that kids are putting themselves in a potentially uncomfortable situation and as it is private messaging or MSN or Yahoo or whatever, the chatroom moderators have no jurisdiction over it. I realise that PT is not responsible for people's use of the internet but as the chatroom is connected to PT, a caution could be added somewhere.

Dittos, Vee, I once had a 11 year old kid open a private chat and start asking questions about me, I closed it down as quickly as I could.

I think we need to be careful of who gets in the chat in the first place, we don't need total strangers or website lurkers going in there and chatting with our youngest members. I am not saying this to point fingers, it is out of genuine concern for our younger members who are not yet fully aware of what nasty stuff the internet has.
The question still remains, where do you want the warning showing?
I don't think we can exclude people from using the chatroom but the users need to be aware of the potential dangers. As to where...... I have no idea...... I leave that to the PTB.

Most of these people who come into the chatroom and immediately ask 'asl' have chatted in other channels. The media is full of warnings, their parents tell them and their teachers tell them of the dangers that can be encountered in chatrooms. Personally, I do not think a warning as a greet message or in the topic will make any difference because if they are using private messaging then they know the moderators have no way of controlling it anyway.
As a moderator, I do watch for lurkers and monitor their activity. In the past I have acted quickly when anyone in the chatroom felt like they were being stalked. I have had private conversations with some youngsters warning them of the dangers of chatting privately with someone I felt was suspicious. I have told them that they should not be giving out any personal information. Sometimes, my advice was not welcomed.
I think the best way to handle it is to address each situation as it arises. If someone comes in asking for 'asl' then someone should politely say that we do not like to give that information out in our chatroom as it is not wise to reveal any personal information.
That being said, the majority of people who come into the chatroom are good people and I don't really want to create an atmosphere of mistrust.
I agree that with you Nell, most of the youngsters know about chat but that doesn't stop me worrying about them.... And yes, I know we can't police everything and I wouldn't want that - I certainly don't want to put the young 'ens off chatting in #tolkien. I also wouldn't want to exclude passers-bye - after all it is a chat room and we have snared several into joining PT on the spot. Perhaps I should have faith in the moderators - not that I don't of course.
I dont have Faith! In anything.


*kicks moderatorz in the shins & flees*

Moderator Smilie Very Evil Smilie Jumping Flame Smilie

{i can say shins...right?}