The Reason Behind the Guide

Hey there! I'm sunshinechelle or Adrianne or Adri, and I frequent the HC. I noticed something that really irks me: many people on neo have many misconceptions about what the word harassment means. Some would have you believe that EVER posting ANYONE'S username is a freezable offense which simply is not true. Then I got to thinking that having one single petpage that compiles everything TNT has to say about harassment would help... and What is Harassment was born.

I tried to break the guide up into sections to make it more manageable. However, the guide in its entirety is most useful for fully understanding how TNT defines harassment--just because you don't roleplay doesn't mean that you can't learn something from the section on roleplays...

The Biggies

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=218

On the boards, when someone makes a board containing someone elses username in the title, is that harrasment? What if they aren't saying anything bad about the person? Or what if they are saying nice things about the person or whatever? I think it's annoying when on the boards, if someone has another username in the title, people start posting "reported for harrasment". ~ crazy_cat86

We're in the same boat as you! We find it quite annoying as well, especially since most of the harassment reports are simply the result of petty arguments and do nothing but prevent the Monitors from responding more quickly to real complaints. Simply posting someone's username is definitely not harassment. NOTE: Read the next question for more info about posting someone's UN. This question was in the editorial FIRST but was then revised later.
To help those who are confused, here are some examples of what is and isn't harassment:
- NOT HARASSMENT: Someone simply disagrees with something you've said and you don't like it.
- HARASSMENT: Someone disagrees with you and begins to berate you and insult your intelligence.

- NOT HARASSMENT: Someone posts a warning that a particular user may be a scammer and to be wary.
- HARASSMENT: Someone posts that a particular user is a scammer and that everyone should report him and send him nasty Neomails until he is frozen.

- NOT HARASSMENT: You post a newbie question like "Where is the Paint Brush Shop?" and someone replies "lolz n00b."
- HARASSMENT: You post a newbie question like "Where is the Paint Brush Shop?" and someone replies "OMG U R SUCH A MORON N00B!! Go home where stoopid people belong!"

- NOT HARASSMENT: Someone Neomails you with "can u give me items i need them!"
- HARASSMENT: Someone repeatedly Neomails you asking for items, even after you've asked them to stop.

- NOT HARASSMENT: Someone calls you a n00b.
- HARASSMENT: Someone threatens you or continually insults you.

There may be extenuating circumstances to every case, of course, but you get the idea. Try to use common sense. We're not demanding that everyone has to be all happy and nice to each other. People disagree and argue all the time. But really, uncalled for insults and threats are NOT appropriate. If someone makes you angry, go take your Neopet on the Mysery Island tour and relax. No need to risk your account by doing things you know you'll regret, like responding inappropriately or falsely reporting someone out of spite.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=464

HOLA, TNT! I've noticed on the boards that, when a person makes a topic about how they've been scammed and that the scammer hasn't been frozen yet, a lot of people will tell the board maker to report them and send in screenies to prove that they were scammed. Honestly, though, can't you guys just check the logs? Do screenies really matter or help? This has been on my mind and I'd really like to know, in case I ever get scammed. :P Please remove my username. *throws chocolate muffins* ~username removed

Screenshots can easily be faked and are not solely used to make decisions regarding accounts. If scamming occurs on the site, we check our own logs to verify what occurred and use that information to make our final decision. Giving us detailed information about what happened is much more helpful. This is also why it is very important to stay on our site when trading or dealing with other players. We cannot help you if the deal was made offsite, leaving no evidence in the accounts as to what has occurred. If you make a deal on the boards, it's good to verify and confirm the agreement via Neomail so you have solid evidence if someone scams you.

On a related note, we'd like to give updated information with regard to the posting of usernames on the boards. Please do not post threads that portray a username in a negative light. While many are sincere warnings or questions, too many times this has been abused as a way of maliciously attempting to tarnish someone's reputation, or is often the result of a misunderstanding that results in a player getting labelled as a "scammer" and harassed. Basically, people are being judged before the Support Department has time to investigate the situation, which can make Neo-life miserable for people who could very well be innocent of any wrongdoing.

Unless it's a friendly hello or howdy to your friend, or "____, your inbox is full!," it's best to avoid calling out to other players, especially if your intent within the topic is to harass the player in any way. Monitors have and will be enforcing this by deleting topics with usernames in them to help players understand what is and isn't an appropriate thread directed at another player.

As always, if you need to report a player, please do so using proper site forms, and we'll look into the situation!

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=402

I know you guys have answered this before, but it's still unclear to a lot of users: can we possibly get yet more clarification on what's harassment and what's not? Some people say harassment is only when you've asked someone to stop saying / doing something and they continue. Others think you can only get in trouble if you actually swear. I would think the line would be drawn at personal insults (i.e., actually attacking you, rather than, say, your Neopets, opinions, or shop layout). There are still others who think that, if it's harsh enough, bashing your customization, art, or other work could be considered harassment. Could we get yet more clarification here, or do we just have to go by instinct and possibly risk making false reports? ~breakingchains

We can't cover all aspects of harassment, but we'll try to put some examples here to help you guys get a better idea of what is and isn't harassment.

Not harassment:
I think _____ stole my Meowclops. Be careful." (Assuming the statement is true. If you're trying to frame someone, you'll be the one in trouble.)
I rate your gallery 1/10. The colour scheme is awful." (Not exactly a tactful way of offering a critique, but not quite harassment either.)
Ugh, the customization winners are terrible this week." (Terribly rude and insensitive, but not harassment.)
Can we trade my yellow Xweetok for your Darigan Draik?" (Annoying, yes, but not harassment unless they continually don't take "no" for an answer.)

Harassment:
________ is a scamming jerk! Spam him with dung!" (You're looking for revenge or to defame this person, not to warn people.)
That's the lamest idea ever. Your gallery stinks." (This statement is in no way helpful, and is only meant to hurt the person.)
I can't believe _____ won custom spot this week. They always have terrible outfits." (Direct attack at someone meant to hurt them.)
You think blocking me will stop me? I'll spam you on every account I have!" (The person has made it clear your negative attention is unwelcome, yet it continues.)

If your situation can't quite relate to any of these, and you can't seem to de-escalate or shrug off the situation yourself, please use your best judgment as to when it's time to make a report. Also, please keep in mind that these examples aren't cut and dry rules. Every situation is different, and our monitors have the final say as to when someone has pushed the line.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=304

I know I have asked several questions in the past, and you have answered a couple of them, but I need to ask this one and I truly hope you will answer it. There is a certain player who (in my opinion and that of several others) acts like she is a part of TNT. For example, last night she claimed this player had cheated and said, "No, your account will be frozen." This is something she posts all the time. That's against the rules, to say "Your account will be frozen for *fill in the blank*." She also says what is and is not a false report, and claims to know what is and is not harassment. She continually tells people they will be frozen for harassment, false reports, or whatever. Can she be reported for this? ~[removed]

Get ready for another edition of "Longest Editorial Answer EVER!"
Anyone who feels the need to "backseat mod" is doing absolutely nothing to actually help the situation. We notice most of the people doing this are merely interested in a power trip and they're just exacerbating things instead of helping to keep the boards clean. What these people should do is simply report the user and move on. If the user they reported is, in fact, breaking a rule, the monitors will obviously notify the user of such in an official capacity. No one besides the monitors can send a warning or freeze a user, and so no one on the boards should be threatening such actions. As such, we consider these posts to be spam, and anyone who does so repeatedly will be warned themselves.

That said, there are some users who do the same thing, but for a completely different reason. For example, if User A posts a chain letter, User B may not report (since it's a very minor offense) and instead post, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know that this is a chain letter, so you're not supposed to post them. I don't want you to get a warning!" User B actually wants to help, not just prove they know the rules better than some others. We think this is fine, and commend those who want to help their fellow users understand the rules so no harm comes to their accounts.

We did look up the board you're referencing, though, and... well, the entire board degraded into one big argument. If you're trying to win that argument by having this question answered, we're afraid you failed. You were just as bad! You replied to her "this is against the rules" post with a "posting that this is against the rules is against the rules" post. You did exactly what you're complaining about, and so did many others on that board. Again, if you see someone doing something you think is against the rules, report and move on. Leave the monitoring to the monitors.

On the Boards

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=252

Recently, I saw TNT delete a board asking if something was a scam. Why is trying to avoid a scam not allowed to be posted? The person just wanted to be safe. Instead of putting up the "this topic does not exist" message, can't you put something up like "this topic has been deleted for the following reason: __" so people can better understand how to follow the rules? ~ happykbnha

Occasionally monitors will lock threads and state what was inappropriate about it, but in this case the warning most likely went straight to the player. While we appreciate Neopians who report scammers, it's important that players don't repost the scams on chat boards. For example, a player gets a scam mail. They go onto the chat and say:
Topic: Dumb Scam Mail
I just got this Neomail that says, "Go to (name of scam site) and you'll get 10 million Neopoints!" Do they really think I'm going to fall for that? Haha!
Now, regardless of whether they were laughing about it, warning others about it, or anything else, it doesn't change the fact that they just also inadvertently advertised a scam site. Less experienced players might be tempted to go to the site out of curiosity and possibly become victims of the scam. Please, when using the boards, use your best judgment and never repeat or quote an inappropriate post. Even if the text wasn't originally yours, monitors must still enforce the rules that those types of things cannot be posted.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=365

Hey TNT ^^ I'll get right to the point. I was lurking a scammer alert board, when I realized how easy it would be to frame someone as a scammer. I'm not going to list how I came about this, but screenies are easily faked, and not everyone can tell the difference. And if enough people believe it, someone could get harassed or innocently frozen. So I ask you, what do you do (or will you do) to prevent this from occurring? Please leave out my username. Thanks ^^ ~[username removed]

Altering screenshots to make someone look like a scammer is a great way to get your own account frozen. Such shenanigans are not permitted. This is also why we have monitors looking into things from the admin half of the site, where we can use hard evidence to figure out what went on.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=238

When you report a board topic on the neoboards, the reporting page only fills in what the person has written in their topic message. It doesn't include the topic title, which is often worse than the message itself. For instance, a person will have a topic with a title that has bad word in it, but the topic's message will only say "hi" or something. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say here... It's really been bugging me! ~taxidermy2

Not to worry! The topic title is automatically sent with your report, along with a slew of other information. You just can't see it. ;)

Also, it should be noted that no matter what is in that textbox, another copy of the original post is also sent. So, contrary to popular belief, no one can change the post portion of the textbox message to try and "frame" another user. It is made quite obvious to the monitors that the two are different and that someone is lying to try and get another user frozen, and the shady user winds up being frozen instead. The post provided in the textbox is simply there so that the person reporting can comment on portions if they wish. (For example, a user reporting harassment might wish to add additional bits of information before sending the report.)

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=338

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=279

There is a user that constantly reports people for everything. Another user had "___ says... (what they say) ...and steals a cookie." The user that reports everything reported this. She also reported somebody for saying "Oh poo" because it was too close to a bad word in her opinion. She has been frozen multiple times, and has admitted that her sister plays on her side accounts. What riles me (and THOUSANDS of other users) is that when she reports you she gets in your face about it. For example, she has said (and I quote) "brb gonna go on my other names and report u again." Is there anything that can be done about this? Most everyone I know agrees that she is out of control. I am not trying to harass her, but I'm asking if this is ok. I'm sorry if this confuzzles you guys since I'm not naming any names. ~lucyandnyuu13

Being a report-happy Neopian is as inappropriate/disruptive as being someone who spams the Neoboards, so feel free to report them. Also, harassing someone and then going on other accounts to report them is NOT appropriate behaviour and will get you a warning or frozen for repeated behaviour. Please note, though, that simply stating your are reporting someone is NOT harassment if they have actually done something that warrants them being reported. It's only when it's taken a step too far that it becomes harassment. Please use your best judgement in these situations. If you are antagonised by someone who is report-happy on a perfectly fine board please just ignore them; confronting them will only escalate the situation. Just report them for false reporting and let the monitors sort it out.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=243

On some boards I see people making "blonde jokes." At first I had no problem with this. Now, I feel insulted because I'm blonde and sometimes, if they see offended people on that board, they treat them like fools. They treat blondes like some sort of miserable, hated species. They make jokes that say that if you're blonde, you don't even think. Please stop this. Once, when I was offended on a blonde joke board, and I told them I was offended, they made fun of me and I said, "Fun is winning the lottery. Fun is going to a luxury resort for a month. Fun is not being cruel to people because of hair colour." They said something like: "IT IS FUN MAKING FUN OF BLONDES. U JUST DONT NO THAT CUZ UR A DUMB BLONDE." That isn't exactly what they said, but it's close. Please try to stop these boards. They're REALLY offending me. ~aisha_luv_r22

Harassment is NOT tolerated on Neopets, especially if it's gone to a level where despite people clearly saying, "This is hurting my feelings, please stop," the abuse continues. If you see this happening on the boards, or to another player or group, please report the offenders. Serious harassment or bullying someone is not appropriate, and is not funny, even if "popular" users are doing it. Please take a stand, and report these bullies. If you do not, you could very well be the next victim of it, and wonder why no one helps to stop it. To anyone that participates in this type of serious harassment, your accounts will be frozen if you continue to mock or harass someone that has asked you to stop in a situation like this.

Also, it is important to keep a cool head if you are on the receiving end of harassment. If you start spewing insults, even if you feel it's in "self defence," it is not appropriate either, and you can also be warned or frozen. Clearly ask them to stop, and if they continue, report them and leave the board. Don't let them bring you down to their level.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=328

Hey TNT... this is a question that has been bugging me for a while. Say you're on the Help Boards, and you ask for someone to help with SSW search(es). I know this is considered rude, but it is not (yet?) against the rules. On almost every board I've seen asking for SSW searches, there are a few particular users who will jump on the board to tell the asker that they are being rude. They don't look up the item or offer to help, they just tell them that they are rude to ask for SSW searches. They've been told that it is pretty hopeless to keep after these users, but they persist every time. Is this considered harassment? By the way, I'm a premium user who doesn't mind doing these types of searches every now and then for other users on quests. ~riddlemethis77

As long as they are not insulting the board maker or falsely claiming it's against the rules, there's no point in reporting them. However, if things escalate and push past annoying and rude to harassment, it can be reportable.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=280

Dear TNT. First, I love Wingoball! It is the best game in the world! I was so happy when I started playing it!!! I do have a problem, though. I have premium and I feel like quitting Neopets altogether because a few people on the Main Hall have decided that a few boards must be a certain way, there should only be one guild board, and when someone does something wrong (like make a board that doesn't fit their "standards") that person gets lectured, flamed, and sometimes dunged. Then those aforementioned people hold it against them for their entire time on premium. Is there anything you can do about that? Or, could you help me so the people who experience this aren't afraid? (Please remove my name. I don't want "those" people to know who I am.)

Ugh, yeah. We're sorry about those folks. We realise the premium board members can be a bit, erm... overzealous sometimes. We can appreciate them wanting to keep the boards organised and clean, but it is uncalled for to harass someone for not following the "guidelines" created by someone with no authority, especially if they are not breaking T&C that was created by the site's authority. You can kindly tell someone, "I think more people would respond to you if you didn't use chat speak. It's not popular on this board." or "Hey, I saw there was already a guild board. You might get a better response if you tried that board." You know, being POLITE and COURTEOUS to fellow users instead of backseat modding. This goes for everyone on every board. There is no reason to shun the person and send dung to their account. That's harassment and you'll only get yourself frozen instead.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=466

Hello, TNT. *dumps bucket of Meepit cookies on you* User A unknowingly traded her unconverted Neopet for a Draik with an account that was compromised. The original owner (User B, a very popular Avatar Chatter) asked for the Draik back, however User A declined (even when User B offered her another Neopet for the Draik). User B then proceeded to make boards about the Draik in question with the title "TNT GIVE ME MY DRAIK BACK" on the Avatar Chat boards because she felt TNT was not doing anything after she had reported the matter. User B's friends then began to harass User A on the boards and in Neomails, further accusing User A of being a bad person, a scammer, a Cookie Grabber user, and a cheater. User A got goaded so much that she GUP'd the Draik. Who is in the wrong here? What is the best solution for this? Should User A have given back the Draik, or was the Draik hers because she legitimately traded a Neopet for the Draik, not knowing it was a compromised Neopet? (Please remove my username, thanks.) ~username removed

User B and anyone who harassed User A is at fault in this situation. While it may have been quite kind for Player A to return the Neopet, they were under no obligation to do so, and they certainly should not have been harassed by a mob backing a popular player. After contacting us with regard to the situation, User B does not have the right to go vigilante because we either did not respond promptly enough to their liking or they didn't like our response. Though there is no perfect solution to this mess, it was handled very poorly by all the players involved. We investigate such incidents on a case by case basis; please give us time to do so to avoid situations like this in the future.

And because someone will ask next week, to "GUP" a Neopet is to use a Green Uni Morphing Potion on them.

Roleplaying

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=226

I roleplay on neopets but I have a friend that Rps with me. She killed my characters and played them with out asking. Is that reportable? ~jayceejr

Among the role-playing community (on Neopets and off) this is called "godmoding" (making your character completely invincible and killing off other characters who aren't able to defend themselves, etc.) and is considered extremely rude. However, while godmoding is rather lame, it is not against Neopets' rules and should not be reported. They'll get shunned from the role-playing community soon enough for their actions. However, if the person begins to stalk your boards, doing this repeatedly after you have asked them to stop, or spams your boards to annoy you, this is harassment, and is reportable. Please use your best judgment in this situation. Making you angry is not harassment, but repeatedly trying to torment you so as to greatly hinder your enjoyment of the site is.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=234

There are these people who go around and ruin inappropriate rps by spamming them and making weird characters. Is that reportable? I sure do think it is. ~removed

Yes, you are quite right in feeling they should be reported. While the roleplays may be inappropriate, that is NO excuse for harassing another member of the site as these people are doing.

The proper thing to do if you have an issue with someone else's board, whether it is offensive or breaks the Terms and Conditions, is to report the offender. Spamming or flinging insults will get you a warning yourself. It does not "help" the monitors in ANY way, which is the excuse most of these people use to try and justify their actions. In fact, it makes things MUCH worse, and NO ONE has a right to tell anyone to leave a chat board, or attempt to force them to leave through harassment.

So, the quick version:
- Don't create inappropriate RPs.
- Don't harass the people who create inappropriate RPs. Just report them.

Screenies

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=282

Er, I have a question regarding screenies. When putting screenies on your Petpage, is it required that you remove the person's username from the screenie? I can't imagine it would be, since it's their words, but I was curious as to if it was a form of harassment. Please and thank you! ^^ ~_october_skys_

If the person has no objections to it, you may post the screenie along with their username. If they contact you (via the message boards or Neomail) and ask you to remove it and you do not, they are perfectly within their rights to report you for harassment. Please note that "playing dumb" and blocking them from Neomailing you and pretending you don't see their posts asking you to remove it is not acceptable.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=219

Last week you had a bit about harrasment and I am still left confused about harrasment in regards to screenies. My Question is. Is it harrasment to have somebodys name in a screenie if they do not want it there and have asked you not to. I have asked around the boards and have gotten many varying answers so I was wondering if you could clear that up once and for all. ~ jade_stone_dragon

Yes. For example, if someone insults you on a "screenie" page and they do not remove your username and/or any other distinguishable features in the screenshot when you ask them to, that is harassment.

We can spend every editorial going over anything that gets submitted for clarification, but we still wouldn't be able cover every possible situation. :) In the end, it's best to just use your common sense. If you *really* feel harassed or threatened, report it. Otherwise, it's best to just take a step back and ignore the people who go a little overboard for no apparent reason. ;)

Avatar Lending

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=324

Haii. Well, I was just wondering if a user could report you for harassment if... okay, example: someone lends someone an item for an avatar, at their own risk, but the person doesn't return it. If the lender posted their username, and a bunch of Neopians sent that user polite Neomails asking them why and to give it back, could that user who didn't return the lent item report them for harassment? I'm confused. D: ~learning_2_unlearn

We see this a lot, and understand why it's a rather grey area. If the person who lent the item posts that the person scammed them and didn't return the item, that's fine. It's not harassment. If they tell everyone to Neomail the person into giving it back, then that's bordering on harassment. If other players Neomail the person on their own accord asking about it, it's not really harassing unless the Neomails are hostile in nature. In any case, the person who did not return the item should be reported so they can be frozen for scamming. If the lender does post a board about it, it should only be to warn others not to trade with the person until they can be frozen.

Guilds

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=340

TNT, there is a user that continuously joins and leaves my guild, posting spammy messages and generally being a pain. No one can block her, though, because she always comes and goes while there are no members online to do so. Is there any way you could add an option so we can keep people like this out of our guild? ~yappydog

We suggest either reporting the player for spamming or harassment the next time this occurs, or making your guild private so that players may only join if invited.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=354

Say certain members of Guild A were on Guild B's recruiting Neoboard on the Avatar Chat. Guild A was constantly flaming Guild B and insulting various members in Guild B on all of Guild B's boards on the Avatar Chat. Would that be considered harassment, and if so, what could Guild B do about this? Unfortunately, it creates a very unpleasant atmosphere on the Neoboards, especially when all the "accusations" are not true. Please remove my username, and thanks so much =). ~[username removed]

The members of Guild B would be encouraged to report the offending members of Guild A so that monitors can look into the situation and warn/freeze any players that were participating in the harassment.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=247

Some people have been joining the –guild name removed-. I know what they are and stuff, but whenever I make a roleplaying board, they always come and "raid" it because they think I'm desperate. I personally think it's annoying, because all we want to do is roleplay and have fun while we're doing it. Can you help us people whose boards get raided? ~anonymous

*headdesk* We've discussed this before, but it looks like we're going to have to reiterate. Anyone that joins or encourages the formation of a group or guild, with the intent to harass or threaten another individual, group, or guild, WILL be frozen! Harassing someone, no matter what the reason, is NOT tolerated. It does not "help" us in any way to harass someone who is breaking the rules. In fact, it is much more a hinderance. Now, not only do we have to properly warn/freeze the original rule-breakers, we have the whole group of harassers to deal with. There is absolutely NO excuse for harassment and you WILL be frozen, regardless of your intentions. We can definitely understand the desire to join a big group and have fun with friends, but please, do something constructive that does not break T&C! If you'd like to join a guild to help keep the boards clean, that's great! But stick to reporting those boards or players that have acted inappropriately and let the monitors take care of the rest.

Key Quest

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=429

Hi TNT, I love to play Key Quest, but unfortunately I run into a lot of players who quit when you're about to win. I generally ignore it, but several people have mentioned Neomailing the person or sending them a Pile of Dung. Is this allowed? ~aquamarine8402

Although quitters can be frustrating, sending them a Pile of Dung, posting their name on a board, or sending them a mean Neomail is considered harassment (and therefore a warnable offence). If you would like to report a user, please fill out the form located here and we will be happy to look into it for you without the use of a Dung Catapult. ;)

Pound Finds

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=351

I have been noticing something interesting lately while reading the Pound boards. We all know that if you pound your Neopet instead of transferring, the Neopet is fair game to Pound surfers. Yet I often see people harassing the Neopian who nabbed their "trade." They aggressively send rude Neomails wanting their pet back. They claim to have screenies as "proof" that the pet is theirs. It makes for an unpleasant experience for the poor sap who adopted the pet. In my opinion, they shouldn't ask for it back at all, even if they are nice about it. It makes the person who adopted feel guilty and put out. Have you thought of putting a disclaimer on the Abandon part of the Pound to not harass anyone who might adopt your pet? Some people don't understand the word "abandon," but if you threaten to sic the Meepits on them, maybe they will listen. Thanks in advance! ~jillian3_3

Asking the person if they'd be willing to relinquish the Neopet, and offering proof that you are the actual owner = acceptable.

Harassing, offering payment, encouraging others to harass someone, repeatedly Neomailing them after they've declined, or generally trying to make the life of the adopter difficult = very bad.

If you've adopted a Neopet fairly from the Pound and were not in any agreement with the owner under any of your accounts, and they have moved beyond polite request to harassment, please report them for their behaviour.

Trading

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=379

Is it a reportable offense to offer less on the Trading Post than either a) the individual requests, b) the current requested price on the Trading Post, or c) what the item is going for on the Shop Wizard? I just wanted to be sure when trying to trade! Thanks so much! ~upsmack2112

As long as you are not attempting to trick the seller or purposely harass them, this is fine.

Random Incidents

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=358

Hey, TNT. *waves* Thank you for the new Petpet games. I was wondering... if a certain group of people repeatedly claim that some users who win creative contests only do so because they're either using some secret method or "favoured" by staff (both being untrue) and continue to insult the entrants at every given chance, is that reportable? One board of late has been victimising regular creative contest entrants and it's rather looking like bullying. (Please leave my username out, lest Vullards are sent after me!) ~[username removed]

Yes, by all means report them for harassment if it is clear that's what they are doing. Contests are chosen by content, not the username. Often we don't even look at the username until we've already decided on a winner. If someone wins a particular contest frequently, it might be because they enter often with quality work. Instead of grumbling at the winners, these complainers should focus on figuring out what that person is doing right and see if they can learn what areas they could improve upon to better increase their own chances of winning.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=261

I received a NM from another user who threatened to report my lookup tomorrow if I didn't change my shield because my shield is covered with a custom shield. You have stated here, in the NT, that this was allowed and I would have told her that, except she has her NM set so that only NFs can contact her. I don't want to be reported for something that is not against the rules but I don't know what to do. Should I report her for harassment because she threatened me? I don't know what else to do. :( ~schoolgirl31782

First off, you're absolutely right! Covering your shield is perfectly fine. So no worries about her reporting you, eh? Just because you've been reported doesn't mean anything will happen to your account. ;) A monitor will look at the report, see that you are perfectly within the rules, and no action will be taken. There's nothing to worry about there.

As far as reporting her goes, while she was extremely rude to you for no apparent reason (especially considering she was quite wrong in the first place) and could probably use a kick in the tuchus, she is not technically harassing you. If she continues to pester you about it and you can't ask her to stop because her Neomail is blocked, that would be the point at which we'd suggest reporting.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=343

TNT... I'm sorry, but it distresses me that, despite this being a kids' site, you are allowing "gossip" pages to be made. In some of these pages, people are being called names, ridiculed, and are being told to be shunned. I believe this is a form of internet bullying (harassing), which should not be allowed. Can you clear this up please, so the silly gossip pages will stop? ~valleyofashes

Umm, stuff like that isn't allowed. Harassment is very much against the site's Terms and Conditions. Please report any Petpage that is encouraging the harassment of a single player or group. Also, when reporting stuff like this to the Editorial, it's extremely helpful if you provide us with a link to such a Petpage so we can better deal with the issue.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=245

Lately, a certain user has been sending all of the Roo Island supporters Blumaroo Steaks and Headless Von Roo plushies. Are we allowed to report for harassment, or do we just have to keep on living with the Steaks clogging up our inventory? ~clare1008

If you block a player, he or she can no longer send you items, bid on your Trading Post lots, or contact you. You can also report the player for harassment if you ask them to stop and they continue.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&week=354

Recently, my Cybunny was featured as a Notable Neopet. Along with the typical Neomails and Neofriend requests, someone asked if I was willing to trade him. I have no interest in trading, so I politely Neomailed him back and said that I wasn't interested. However, he didn't want to take no for an answer, so I blocked him. When I talked about this on the Pound Boards, I was told that I should block my Neomails and I should put something on my User Lookup or Pet Lookup that said I wasn't interested in trading. However, shouldn't a person have to offer a Neopet for trade before people start asking for it? ~tj_wagner

We agree that it is amazingly rude to contact someone out of the blue and ask if their beloved Neopets are up for trade. Right now it isn't against the rules (unless you are being harassed). We think you dealt with the situation quite well. We don't think blocking your Neomails solely because of this incident is worth it, though... unless you think it is.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=321

All right, so I know you can report people for harassment, but normally when you report them, it's because they harassed you not someone else. But I've been seeing a lot of insults directed toward TNT and quite frankly it's irritating (I don't know how you guys stand it! o_o) I was wondering if we're allowed to report people when they decided to insult you, if it's not counted as harassment, couldn't it at least be considered as spam, because I think it's totally pointless and extremely rude. (After all, they're still using the site, so they really have no room to complain, am I right?) Thanks! ~hpiscute400

Ahh, if only more Neopians thought like you! Though no managing body can ever make everyone happy all the time, we do try our best. We're used to the criticism, and we're a big TNT, so we can take it most of the time. ;) (Though honestly, when you spend weeks of overtime working on something then watch people scream and rant about it claiming we "don't care" -- it really does hurt.) Anyway, we'd normally say to let them be. If it's simple complaining in general, we don't really care to delete or warn for it since everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, in some cases, it just goes beyond the norm. If someone is saying something crude in regards to our team members or encouraging others to harass our employees personally, we really need to draw the line.

Also, everyone, please don't take that as an invitation to run rampant around the site. ;) This part is important!!!! It's still our site, and you do not have the privilege of "free speech" here. You agreed to the T&C when you joined, and you have to abide by those rules when posting. If we feel you're breaking those rules, your posts will be deleted, plain and simple. Just because we generally feel that it's alright for you to complain about us doesn't mean we won't change our minds if you're spamming or running amok.

http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=442

So, I'm getting harassed offsite by a user who knows me on here. Can I report them on here also? :( (Remove my username, please please PLEASE!!!) Thank you. :) *gives cookies* ~username removed

Only if the harassment happens on neopets.com. If it is happening elsewhere, please report them on that site (or block them if possible).

In Summary

Although this guide should give you a good idea of how to avoid being warned/sussed/frozen for harassment, you have to remember that harassment is not black and white. It is up to the discretion of individual mods to decide if you crossed a line and how badly.

Basically, I'm not saying you have to be perfect and act like all users are your best friends--that is impractical. However, if a user ever asks you to stop contacting them/discussing them on the boards/joining their guild/using their name in your screenies/etc etc (within reason) if you continue to persist bothering them, you are probably crossing the line into harassment. Note: this does not mean that you can "kick" someone off your board. The boards are public forum. However, that doesn't mean that you can follow another user and post rude things wherever they post.

Basically, don't be foolish. You usually know if you are pushing it, and when it is time to stop. My final two pieces of advice to remember are: just because a person made you mad doesn't mean it is harassment, and when in doubt, report and let TNT handle it.

Note

In some cases I was forced to modify TNT's words slightly in order to get them through their own filter... (You know, general problems such as a singular SSW search and following the word bad by a certain two letter word.) I tried to preserve content at all times. Feel free to contact me if you disagree with a word substitution that I chose.

Contact Adrianne

Was this useful? Did I miss an important definition of harassment (by TNT)? (And if you liked the guide, I love hearing that!!) Feel free to Neomail me! However, please don't spam my inbox as I have enough trouble remembering to empty it!

Spread the Word




Affiliates/Listed @ and other useful pages


This section previously contained links to a page about neopian bullies and a page called locked_topic which contained screenies of where TNT locks a topic but gives pertinent info regarding the rules and links to neopian times articles. These pages no longer exist after an episode of harassment that resulted in the user quitting. During the period of harassment, some very terrible things were said--and not just by the original harassers. I mention this as a word of caution. Many users have groups of friends on the boards. Regardless of who your friends are, you shouldn't let your group or "clique" overwhelm your morals. I myself have said harsh things in a passionate argument. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves if we would be happy if someone said that comment to our grandmother, sister, daughter, neice, nephew, etc...

Thanks to...

Everyone who has helped me with this guide. This has been so difficult and I am so grateful for all of the help I have received. I have so many friends that deserve thank yous, but here's some of the big ones. Number one is always Rachal for your help with the guide, the lovely buttons, and your constant friendship. You are such an AMAZING person, I don't know how you can be so caring and giving. Greg luff, I was so timid the day I uncovered my awful looking guide, your support was so wonderful!! Finally, thanks to Jack for the layout. We may disagree on some points, but I do really appreciate the gift of the layout. You are a kind person, and I love seeing this side of you.





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