These are the guidelines when providing support to users on Discord.
Table of Contents
Summary: You are not obligated to help anyone and can stop helping for any reason without judgment. Notify a Moderator or Trusted if you encounter problem users. Only offer advice in areas you are knowledgeable and comfortable in, as giving bad advice is worse than giving no advice. Your interactions with users reflect on the community, so be respectful and create a safe space for all.
You are never required to help anybody. You are more than welcome to not help or stop helping anybody at any time for any reason, and nobody here will think worse of you for it. You are fully allowed to refuse to help someone because it’s “rainy on a Tuesday.” However, if you are going to stop helping someone suddenly, avoid ghosting them and instead respectfully let them know you are no longer helping (this is not always possible, of course, but do it when you can).
Let us know if you have any questions. We’re all a team here, and we’re all here to help each other, and others. You will absolutely run into problem users. Let a Trusted/Moderator know or message ModMail if you need help with someone.
Please avoid attempting to assist users in areas where you are not knowledgeable and comfortable. Giving bad advice is ALWAYS worse than giving no advice at all. Please be aware that how you interact with users when they come here for support reflects on the community. We want to ensure a safe space for even the simplest of questions. Nobody should feel they can be made fun of, talked down to, or attacked because of the questions they ask.
Summary: The channels are SFW and professionalism is important, especially in public channels. It’s okay to make mistakes, but be polite when correcting others. Report malicious advice to mods/trusteds in hidden channels. Users can be difficult, so take a break if needed or let a moderator know. Avoid leaving the server if possible. Remember there are real people on the other end of the screen and take a break if you are feeling frustrated.
Remember that all of the channels are SFW. Keep all crude and dark jokes out of the channels, don’t link inappropriate content, and try to keep some form of professionalism, especially in the public channels.
Nobody is infallible, everyone will make mistakes. If you notice someone giving incorrect advice, let them know nicely. Don’t be aggressive or make fun of them for not knowing something. Don’t be afraid to be called out yourself either. Just because someone’s troubleshooting steps aren’t the same as yours doesn’t make them bad. If the advice is malicious, please report it to a Trusted/Moderator in hidden channels.
Users are users, be them at work or a stranger on the Internet. Users can be panicky and not know what they are doing. Take a step away from the machine, close the tab for a few minutes, take a breath. Someone else can help them when they get to be a bit too much. If you believe a user is beyond difficult, please let a Trusted/Moderator know so we can handle them as needed.
Everyone has rough days, and it’s easy to forget that there are real people on the other end of the screen. If you find yourself in a bad mood, frustrated, or about to say something that may be viewed as uncalled for, take a break. We will be here tomorrow. Just turn off your computer. Try to avoid leaving the server, as that creates a lot of overhead and you may not get your permissions back.
Dogpiling is when many people give the same advice to users. Please do not dogpile on someone. If you aren’t going to add something substantially different to a conversation, it’s better to say nothing. This applies to both support and rule enforcement. We don’t need five people saying nearly the same thing to one person. This can cause confusion or frustration and doesn’t reflect positively on us.
Remember that we are here to help others, not argue and enforce arbitrary rules.
Summary: “We” in factoids usually means the majority of staff, but personal opinions can be a reason to not support an individual, not the whole server, with a few exceptions. Recommendations for hardware, software, or services are not allowed. PUPs do not necessarily warrant a reinstall of the OS, but you can advise users to remove them. Piracy is not supported, but a “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” model should be used.
There is a difference between “we don’t support something” and “I don’t support something”. A large portion of our factoids says “we”; however, this really means “the majority of the staff on the server”. In most cases, a factoid saying “we” is not ground for outright denying support from the whole server. That said, you can deny supporting anyone for any reason; say something like, “I am choosing not to support you, but you may get help from someone else”. This reason doesn’t have to align with any policies we have; your reason can be “It’s raining on a Tuesday”, and that is fine. Your personal opinions are a valid reason not to support someone individually but not a valid reason to deny supporting someone on the entire server.
Some cases where “we” really does mean “we”:
- Business support
- Any factoids that directly reference rules
This is not an exhaustive list. If you have questions, please ask. But if the factoid doesn’t directly reference a rule we have, it’s likely that it is not a server wide ban.
We have rather strict rules on what can and cannot be done, the most complicated rule revolves around recommendations. We do not permit recommendations for hardware, software, or services, nor do we send people somewhere that does. This includes “Go to PCMR, they can help pick a headset.” Instead of that, you could say “Please seek out a PC building community,” which doesn’t point to a specific place but still informs the user how to get the help they need.
The tools we do have users run are vetted, trusted, and get us information required to diagnose a users existing issues.
We want to refine our handling of various “badware”/PUPs that can exist on users machines. Very few of these products are “terminal” in nature to the OS simple by existing. Unless the software is known to cause issues that are being experienced, these can be disregarded for the present issue and do not warrant a reinstall of the OS.
We encourage advising users to remove these products but we ask that you refrain from condemning an OS simply because of their existence.
We do not support pirating anything, including Windows. However, a “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” model should be used, because piracy is usually not the reason for a Windows issue. However, do not support any other software if it is known to be pirated.
While we discourage the use of activation scripts (MAS) or black-market keys for activation, these will not be grounds for reinstalling Windows or denial of support. If a KMS Script is used, while it falls under the same idea prior, it is of concern due to the different issues and risks KMS Scripts can bring.