• Minecraft Middle Earth is a Minecraft community that recreates the world described by JRR Tolkien and his writings. Everyone can participate in organized events in which we collaborate to create major landmarks, terrain, caves, castles, towns, farms and more.

    To get started, visit The New Player Guide

Regarding Locked Channels


Hardcore MCME-er
To preface my argument, I would like to get the community’s feedback on their thoughts on this matter. While the sharing of opinions and ideas is welcome, please remember that we’re are here to discuss ideas, suggestions, and issues. Let us remain cordial and respectful to all members of the community.


Locked Channels appear to be an issue of confusion and misunderstanding within the community. Locked Channels carry a certain stigma, that is cast from the perspective of some in the community. Whatever beliefs some have regarding this issue, the Rules and Terms of Service state this in regards to Teamspeak:

A. Social

The following rules should be followed when using the chat, forums, teamspeak and other communication methods:

  1. Promoting or discussing religious or political views is prohibited.

  2. Spamming or flooding the in-game chat is prohibited.

  3. Playing music on Teamspeak in the wrong channel is prohibited.

  4. Excessive and unsolicited use of sound clips or music on Teamspeak is prohibited.

  5. Posting links in the game or on the forums with adult or shocking content is forbidden (gore, pornography ...).

  6. Creating accounts in name of MCME to use on other forums, Facebook accounts, other social platforms, Minecraft server listings, or creating accounts that act as if they are affiliated to Minecraft Middle Earth, or registering on other services is prohibited unless you have a written permission from the founder.

  7. Attempts to impersonate yourself as spokesman of MCME, or as an official representative talking solely on the behalf of MCME is prohibited.

  8. Distributing the Teamspeak password is not allowed.

  9. English must be used on all public communication channels. Other languages can be used in private messages or private conversations.

  10. Spamming chat repeatedly with the same questions that can be answered by reading the faq, searching the forums or new player guide, will result in a ban.

Nowhere in these Rules, that we all accept by entering the server, does it prohibit or detail the use of locked channels. Now, in conjunction with that, there have been guidelines presented by member(s) of the community attempting to set up certain social protocol(s) regarding this specific issue. These guidelines are as follows:

  • inappropriate language
  • inappropriate conversations
  • inappropriate channel names
  • locking channels with the intention to exclude specific members of the community
  • false names
  • and impersonating other members of the community.
Some of these we can be a little lenient on when conducting in a small channel with one’s own friends, but it will not be tolerated in public channels.

While their intentions may be backed by the rest of the Vala and Enforcer team, it is not present in the Rule or Terms of Service, which we require all players, new or old, to abide by. If we are expecting players to follow these Terms, then we are presenting them with incomplete information, and expecting them to follow these guidelines that are buried on the forums. The question then, is what standards are we going to enforce? While the Rules and Terms of Service are an obvious choice, do we enforce a user's submitted guidelines without updating the Rules and Terms of Service to match? If these guidelines are our official policy, then why haven't we updated the TOS and Rules? Can an Enforcer enforce things that are not stated in the TOS or Rules? The Enforcer's responsibilities are:


The Enforcer falls under the supervision and responsibility of the Vala of Lore and Order. Their tasks are to enforce the Terms of Service and Rules, and moderate various communication channels.

  1. Welcome players and point them out in the right direction if they have questions.

  2. Enforce the Terms of Service and Rules, and deals out punishments by using the Infraction Table.

  3. Actively search for grief on the servers by using our logging Tools.

  4. Process bans by collecting evidence and making a report about the ban.

  5. Moderate Teamspeak.

  6. Moderate Forums.

  7. Moderate in-game chat against too profane language and offensive language.

Enforcers are here to Moderate and Enforce the Terms of Service and Rules. If Enforcers have the ability to impose new guidelines and rules, then there is an issue in the fact that the New Player Guide has not been updated with these things. Moderating is defined as:

"make or become less extreme, intense, rigorous, or violent"

By this definition, imposing new guidelines and rules is not apart of their roles and duties. With that being said, if Enforcers have the ability to institute new guidelines, then there needs to be some form of official posting that announces the changes, and update documentation to match, including the ranks and responsibilities page. These things create a level of fragmentation across how the server operates, as each Enforcer may have a different perspective or interpretation of the Rules. Are players responsible for topics that are buried on the Forums? How are Enforcers able to create guidelines without creating an exacting document that creates a standardized precedent for the community to follow? If Enforcers are solely responsible for moderation, can an Enforcer enforce guidelines that are not laid out for all players to follow by including them in the Rules? If an Enforcer can enforce guidelines that they perceive as being correct, what is stopping them from making amendments to whatever rule they see fit? How is moderating Teamspeak any different from the Forums and in-game chat? This in turn raises issues in these self imposed guidelines.

1. What is a Public Channel?

Do we define Public Channels as the following: Lobby, Jobs and Projects, Other, Music Channel, Staff, Valar, and Away? Or do we define any unlocked channel that is made by users? Starting with the latter, if a user creates a channel, is it bound to the guidelines of: no inappropriate language and inappropriate conversations? If I would like to create an 18+ channel, and it is public, can I be held responsible for the two terms listed above? In conjunction with that, who gets to define what is and is not appropriate? By what definition are we placing upon inappropriate? If a channel is marked 18+, is this guideline valid, so long as the tag is in place? How then, are we able to follow a standardized guideline, if it lacks the ramifications to define the basic ideas it is attempting to enforce? Following this train of thought, the very next sentence provided creates an exception to these very guidelines:

Some of these we can be a little lenient on when conducting in a small channel with one’s own friends
2. What constitutes as a small channel?

Is a small channel limited to one, two, three, six friends? Who gets to make this distinction. If myself and eight friends want to discuss a particular subject without the interference of others, am I not able to create a locked channel because the given definition of a small group is not specified? Again, I raise the question, who gets to set this definition? Without defining what this means, small could range from two to one hundred, depending on the perspective of the person. If these guidelines are so easily exempted by an unspecified definition, how can we be expected to know the circumstances by which we’re are questionably required to follow? To say that the guidelines listed above, haven't been enforced, would be a flat-out lie. Within that, these guidelines have been instituted by some members solely for their own benefit and justification.


If an Enforcer is a moderator, should they able to institute their own rules and definitions on what is and is not acceptable without consent of Server Administrators? Can we hold players responsible for following the Rules and Terms of Service, and then for some obscure guideline that has been created by some members of the community? Which is, in essence, it is no different from these members hiding out exclusively in the Staff Channel. There is the glaring double standard that has spawned within the community, which is why I bring this issue up, in the hopes of starting a discussion to benefit the server as a whole. This has been an issue for quite some time now, and I believe that it is the time to iron out where we go from here. If we're going to set up a guideline that the community as a whole is expected to follow, then it needs to be officially created by the Server Administrators and posted publicly within the Rules and Terms of Service. Until then, it is nothing more than hearsay, as it is not officially recognized aside from the players who seek to implement it.


Please share your comments, thoughts, opinions, and ideas below. Remember, this is a discussion, dialog. Be respectful of others ideas and comments. This issue will not be fixed unless it is addressed, which is why there is a need of the community's thoughts. A well informed plan is better than an assumed generalization. So, please share your thoughts below.
Last edited by a moderator:


Hardcore MCME-er
I think the biggest problem is the fact that someone can say "fuck" as much as they want in front of some staff and they won't care, yet other staff members will give you a warning for saying "shit"

I'm not a fan of censorship at all, but I understand why it's there.
All im saying is that if a rule is there, then enforce it, but not to the point of extreme.


Hardcore MCME-er
I think the biggest problem is the fact that someone can say "f***" as much as they want in front of some staff and they won't care, yet other staff members will give you a warning for saying "s***"
That is an issue, and depends on what channel you are in. The issue here is whether or not Locked Channels are allowed, and what guidelines are going to be instituted to create a standardization across the board. Again, can an Enforcer enforce an unofficial guideline in a private channel? That is an answer we cannot define until we define what is and is not a Public Channel.
Last edited by a moderator:


Hardcore MCME-er
That is an issue, and depends on what channel you are in. The issue here is whether or not Locked Channels are allowed, and what guidelines are going to be instituted to create a standardization across the board. Again, can an Enforcer enforce a rule in a private channel? That is an answer we cannot define until we define what is and is not a Public Channel.
Oh sorry dude, i think I got lost in your long post lol
I'd say a public channel is any channel that isn't locked.

If you are in a public channel with just a couple friends then, likely there will not be an enforcer present.

I don't see the harm in locked channels, because obviously if you are with a group of friends, and you are all familiar with each other, any kind of conversation topic is appropriate, and no random person can join and get offended.


Hardcore MCME-er
I don't know very well how things are in TeamSpeak, but I agree.

I think an enforcer once said that public channels are the Jobs and Projects channel and tour channels. But as you said, maybe other Enforcers have different opinions. It would be good to have an universal definition.

And yeah rule enforcing in this community could be a little less subjective. I've seen Enforcers enforcing some rules that don't seem to be in the Terms of Service, and other Enforcers don't enforce these same rules.

Universal rules - and an universal definition of what is a public channel - clearly stated in the ToS, would be good.


Hardcore MCME-er
I see this going down one of two paths :)

During my time here in the past month I've heard some staff members, one of which I will name, say "but Phe, Staff doesn't mean we are any different from normal players!" (shen, an enforcer)

Working off of this statement up above, I would like to see the following discussed or implemented on the server;

  1. Enforcers and ALL staff members are subject to the rule Created up above that Speedy is having this discussion about. (Locked Channels in the public area are not allowed)
    • This means no creating locked or private channels, even if you want/seek privacy to play historical world powers for hours on end.
    • This also means no sitting in staff channels all day and driving an even further wedge between the community and yourself.
  2. Staff would be allowed an exception to the rule to account for certain events
    • Like a staff/guide meeting
    • Reprimanding a player
    • Conversing with a player that is having an issue on the server/teamspeak.
  3. Enforcers are not allowed to invent rules or create them
    • This power in MCME's history has always, until recently, been allocated to the Valar or Q alone; and it should remain that way.
Now I can unequivocally say that those new rules I thought up are going to rustle the jimmies of about 99.9% of all staff members, but again if you say "Staff doesn't mean we are any different from normal players" Then there shouldn't be any problem adhering to these rules.

The 2nd path I see this going down is;

  1. Staff can create / sit in locked channels with an undefined number of players for any amount of time they like because they're staff and they're given leniency to their own rules (which they seem to create at any time it suites their purpose and if you call this into question you are reprimanded and/or threatened with a harsher punishment if you do it again)
  2. Anyone who doesn't agree with Rule #1 is going to get laughed at and ignored.

That may be a bit harsh, and a bit mean, but I can pretty much guarantee anyone reading this that 1 of 2 of those paths would be put into effect after this discussion is inevitably locked because it rustles too many jimmies.


p.s. and to any staff members that probably will more than likely get offended by what I posted, I say sorry but its true.

Teamspeak is a means of extending the communication between yourself and others of the community. If you come on teamspeak just to sit in a staff channel for 4 hours then logout, or create a private/locked channel just with the sole intention of doing something without having interruptions by other players you are nullifying what Teamspeak is meant to be.

Now "the enforcers" I hesitate to say that because its pretty clear who "invented" the locked channel rule, but they seem to be hellbent on preventing locked and or private channels from existing. Which is fine with me, all good.

But if you are going to create this rule, you are a part of this community and are subject to those same rules. Therefore I think its perfectly reasonable to say that you can no longer sit for hours on end in a staff channel or create a private/locked channel just to exclude people from communicating with you.

Nobody is above the rules or laws of this server, especially the staff. So if this is true, why are we seeing staff members login and just sit in the staff channel most of the day then logout. OR a staff member login, create an OPEN but secluded channel in teamspeak and then whenever they feel like playing a game or whatnot, they exclude themselves from their own rule and make a locked channel. And to justify this, they think up an exception to their own rule of "private or locked channels are allowed as long as the players inside the channel don't exceed 6 people" Which in-and-of-itself is a crummy exception because I've seen this same Enforcer 3 TIMES interrupt a private and locked channel with people under the 6 limit, and have it change itself to a public channel.


Hardcore MCME-er
I wholeheartedly agree with all the suggestions and statements made above. In reflection of the Terms of Service, all users are must abide the Rules set out to them within the MCME Network and that's including Staff Members.

I just want to take the time to start a topic with regards to the Locked Channel issue. The reason I label this as an issue as its been prevalent for quite sometime that within the community, the concern regarding locked channels has brought out to be either contentious, bemusing and in some aspects detrimental in terms who was involved or what had happened.

I just want to take the opportunity to outline some current perceptions we current have in terms of Locked channels in Teamspeak (I believe I have a reasonable idea) but also state my standpoint in the paragraphs that follow.

Firstly, I just want to be honest, we currently do not a have a specific guideline into locked channels let alone TeamSpeak at this current moment. As the Terms of Service provides us with a baseline on how we moderate the MCME Network (if you don't know MCME Network is defined as the collection of Minecraft servers, teamspeak servers, websites hosted, and other services ), we the Enforcers & Valar follow this by using discretionary power and the resources supplied to us to enforce the Rules. I will use resources as this encompasses the Enforcer Manual but I'll get to that later. In order to fuse this discretionary power towards the TeamSpeak servers, we must be just (and impartial) within our power to enforce the rules that are outlined in the TOS/Community Rules and nothing else.

It has been put out there as a hypothetical rule that anyone in a locked channel must have a specific reason to starting a locked channel. Although I somewhat agree with this, it is hard to distinguish what the main purpose is after awhile and what can and cannot be regarded as legitimate reason into having one. Even if there is a reason or not, I do not see a compelling argument towards not having one unless.

I'll be frank and reiterate that it is because we do not have an entrenched guideline for TeamSpeak other than what is supplied to us in the current TOS, but as some people may find hard to realise is that rules located in e.g A. Social Rules can be applied to B. Games, so on and so forth. This might be a communication problem so I reiteration in some regard could help (and I am currently working on)

Below I will list some things that were put forward to me (paraphrased) regarding NOT having private channels;
  • Users are not able to enter (straight forward)
  • Staff have their own Locked Channels, why cant the general public
  • It shuts users out from entering, especially if you're not part of a particular clique and the group of people have a certain channel made that is locked
  • It may attempt to exclude a certain individual
Following this, I will list some the reasons why players want locked channels.;
  • They are able to discuss topics, play games, watch movies etc. without interruption from other users who aren't part of it in the first place
  • Some Topics are subjects that should not be spoken about publicly i.e Adult-Related Subjects, thus in protection of minors if locked
Note that these enquiries were put forward to by various people from the community and some staff members. These issues I've either seen dealt with by Enforcers and other staff members without particular premise other than they feel the need to remove them on reasons that are either;
  • refection of their own agenda and not on the reflection of the overall perception of the community
  • impulsion due to a matter that has not been deliberated/agreed with or in consensus with the person who made the channel in the first place
If any of this is the case (anywhere in the MCME Network) I encourage players to explain to the Staff member why they did it (and what was wrong), make a Report in the Anonymous Report Thread or send me a Personal Message on the Forums if there is any instance they are not complying within their Rank Description.

Now to introduce my standpoint on the Locked Channels, I like to encourage a safe and friendly environment for all users who are on our network. Having locked channels, I do understand people do want privacy but we must weigh into what extent should we entitle everyone to that and when is it the case they may abuse that privledge. What constitutes the abuse of making locked channels if it was interpreted as ill-fated by only a select few people? This is where the Set Rules come in and anything that is regarded as harassment, bullying or any of the other Prohibited Rules must be followed.

Remember I don't want a place where things are run with a double-standard and I'm sure you all don't either. Getting back to point, if its not demonstrated in the rules or outlined the Enforcer Manual and I don't see a morally/ethical valid argument into removing it, than I'll leave it. If players want to make lock channels so they can continue playing their games without interruption, or they want to make it so they can watch a movie or their is a discussion they'd like to have between a few people than so be it. But I'd rather, as Phe put it, where there is less Locked Channels and more open communication with the general community.

Speeder made some good points and I just want to say that there should be more emphasis put on identifying the purpose of a locked channel. If there was a rule that stated that people must identify their channel as playing a game or watching a movie channel than so be it. I'd rather more discussion on this as, at the end of the day, we're all using it so I encourage more opinions/suggestions.

In order make TeamSpeak a user friendly environment within the MCME Network, we must find the balance of what is acceptable for all the users using our Teamspeak , what is in the best interests of MCME (for all users who use our Service) but also keeping in mind the checks and balances to regulate it all. This may mean introducing new guidelines or rules.


Hardcore MCME-er
If locked channels are from henceforth continued to be used; what is to say about the amount of users in that channel? I have seen some enforcers delete locked channels because it exceeds 6 people; which in my opinion is somewhat silly, when all one has to do to join the conversation if they are interested in the topic is to ask.

Locked channels shouldn't be prevented from use, as it stops those who deem anything political, historical or religious that comes under debate as foul to their ears to not have to heed to it.


Hardcore MCME-er
I feel as though this thread as a whole is a personal attack on me, from what I can tell some of the messages I sent to lizzy may have been exaggerated and warped through transmission as people seem to be under the impression that I said that locked channels are not allowed and that the lock had to be removed. What I said was "Is there a reason for the locked channel, lizzy?". To which lizzy responded "Is it against the rules to have a locked channel?" to this I stated that "there are limits" and explained the risks and and problems associated with players being in locked channels all the time and channels growing to exceptional size. The growing concern is that were are beginning to see locked channels as the social norm, this could lead to all/most channels being locked in the future which isn't very welcoming for new players. The other concern is when channels get really big and people begin to feel like they're excluded because they're not allowed in, I have seen in the past people with locked channels who pick and choose who they let in their channel resulting in anyone except one or two members of the community which certainly isn't something we want and could be seen as breaching the TOS.
  • Harass, bully, intimidate or abuse users of our Network.
With that in mind, it is recognised that it is often appropriate to have locked channels, when locked channels approach or exceed 6 people I inquire into the channel to see why it's locked, a lot of the time the players acknowledge that the lock is no longer necessary and they remove the lock, the rest of the time people respond with things like "we're doing karaoke" or "we're watching a movie" or "x player is talking about y dictator" this is absolutely fine. What isn't fine is when you have a channel of 20+ people with the sole purpose of excluding x player(s).

I should also clarify that the staff channel exists so that staff members can discuss staff matters that we don't want to make open to the public, we recognise that it occasionally gets abused but for a good chunk of time it's used appropriately.


Hardcore MCME-er
For clarification purposes, this thread is not related to anything you said. However, with that being said, I may have referenced a previous post you made to highlight the fact that 1. There is an issue that needs to be addressed. And 2. That you had good intentions, but requires further defining in order for it to be a viable solution.

And amongst that, this is neither a personal attack toward you on my end. If you feel that way, I'd happily discuss it with you in a private channel so that we may discuss the ramifications of what sort of changes/clarification we are seeking to be made. In addition, this has not relation to what you said yesterday or any day prior. The only correlation between this and yesterday, that that what occurred yesterday finally pushed my resolve to get this issue sorted out. Again, if you would like topic in addition to the other, I am more than happy to do so.

In regards to my post, I took deliberate actions to not name names, and focus solely on what facts are presented on forums. You elected to reveal that I was making to something you posted, which I used as an example. My purpose and intentions were not to pick a fight toward you, nor were they out to create an enemy of you. I want to avoid the very things you and the rest of the Staff and community want. This discussion seeks to get community feedback, concerns, ideas, and thoughts on how we can clarify, improve, or change the way we handle Locked Channels. If you feel as if I have personally attacked you, I apologize and would like to discuss that matter privately too, so you may point me in the direction in which I possibly could have changed my wording as to remove any perceived slights or personal attacks. I will address some of the ideas myself and others have come up with to improve the community as a whole.



Well I just finished reading this novel and it made me think of a recent discussion I had with Iru.

Don't throw snowballs (if you have 5 people spamming snowballs while someone else is trying to build something) and other such 'rules'.
I said that it might be a good idea to put something in the rules that states enforcers, bounders at the time, could do that. Iru managed to convince me that this was not necessary with the following argument: 'at the point something becomes a problem it is already covered by our other rules'.
If 5 people are spamming snowballs at someone who is trying to build it is covered by rules against trolling/harrasment. If however they are not causing any problems, they are not causing any problems. So why would you prohibit throwing snowballs then? This goes for pretty much any situation I can think of.

So that is in regards to the question: 'can enforcers create or modify rules at their own discretion?'.
No they can not, but they do have to decide at their own discretion whether something breaches the already existing rules.
Cef, Klem and Ma5 were spamming fireworks at Ma5' freebuild in the plotworld. There are no rules against using fireworks, though there are rules against harrasment/annoying other players.
Though the noise was annoying, and for some reason the firework spam caused me to dc, I realised I could just move 50 blocks over and not be bothered by it. Since nobody else was around I let them happily spam their fireworks.
If they had been spamming fireworks at a job where people were hindered by this spam I would have stepped in.

Now about the disparity between the rules and these guidelines you speak of:
About the first three guidelines you mentioned:
  • inappropriate language
  • inappropriate conversations
  • inappropriate channel names
They are in some ways covered by the terms of service where people agree not to:
Harass, bully, intimidate or abuse users of our Network.

And rule A1:
Promoting or discussing religious or political views is prohibited.

If someone in the channel is not comfortable with swearing: don't swear. If someone in the channel is not comfortable with a conversation don't have it. (I will further adress this when talking about locked channels) If everyone in the channel is fine with certain swear words I think it should be fine to use them, the same thing goes for conversations. Though it is up to @Iru to decide wether that indeed is the case.

  • locking channels with the intention to exclude specific members of the community
I believe this one is also covered by the terms of service where you agreed to not:
Harass, bully, intimidate or abuse users of our Network.

I believe exclusion is a form of bullying, and as such I would remove the lock from the channel. Keep in mind it is up to the Enforcer/Vala to decide whether or not someone is being inentionally excluded and whether or not to consider that as bullying.

  • false names
  • and impersonating other members of the community.
In the terms of service we all agreed not to:
Impersonate any members in the game or on any other web site.
I think we'll just have to add teamspeak in that sentence to make it official but it is a logical conclusion that also on teamspeak you can't impersonate other members of the community.

When it comes to false names, I think we have to expand rule C1:
You have to register on our forums with your in-game Minecraft name. This is the name how other people see you within multiplayer.
Or add a new rule stating you need to have your ingame name in your teamspeak name, or perhaps have it so your teamspeak name needs to be very similar to your ingame name.
For example: in the first case I would have to use MaDIIReD as my teamspeak name (which I do), in the second case I could use MaDReD as my teamspeak name.
In both cases you could add other stuff like: Arkengard [whoisAvery?]
In my opinion this would cover all these guidelines in a suitable way.

Lastly I'll have a little go at locked channels:
This is how I think channels should be handled (Keep in mind these are my opinions on what I think things should be like, not how things actually are. Don't quote things said here as actual rules):

When it comes to swearing or iffy discussions, I think an open channel could be made for that purpose, with a name that indicates what is happening in the channel. For example making an 18+ channel, you could go ahead and swear and link NSFW pictures. If someone were to complain you can simply point to the channel name and tell them to leave the channel if they don't want to be exposed to it. Of course there would be certain limits to this, as I'm sure people can understand -.-
Same goes for discussions. If you make a channel called: 'discussing Stalins rise to power' you can discus Stalin in there and anyone that doesn't like it simply shouldn't join that channel.

When it comes to not wanting to be interrupted, because you want to karaoke or play a game in quiet. That's what we have rules for. If someone goes in a channel you made specifically for karoake and messes up your karaoke or two people enter your historic world powers channel and start talking about something else with the two of them hindering your discussion, just tell them to leave. If they don't you can ask an enforcer to remove them and if none are present make a report on the forums.

The only use I see for a locked channel is discussing things like promotions, staff meetings, ranger meetings and other things that need to stay private. Therefor I don't think there is a need for people to have acces to locked channels, additionally I think the Staff area should be used just for this purpose.

If this were implemented there should be a small explanation on the rules page and guidelines for enforcers on how to handle infractions.

And there ya have it. My opinion on all of this. I do think they're well thought out and a good solution to things.


Hardcore MCME-er
Here are some of my ideas of clarifying and addressing this issue.

First, we define what is and is not considered a public channel:

I see Public Channels as the following: Lobby, Jobs and Projects, Music, Other, Staff, Valar, and Away. These are permeant channels created for the purpose of server related usage. Therefore, any permeant channeled created by staff for the purpose of server related use is what constitutes as a Public Channel.

Non-Public Channels: Non-Public Channels are any sub channel created in the Other Channel. These channels must follow the Rules and Terms of Service, and are subject to Moderation of Staff. These channels are not permeant, and regardless of whether or not it is server related in content are non considered Public as they are not official forms of communication. This does not mean that these channels are subject from exclusion from the Rules and Terms of Service, they are just not viewed as Official Server Channels. Sub-Channels in the Job and Project Channel are exempted, as there are times, such as Build Days, that teams are broken into smaller groups. Ergo, sub channels in Jobs and Projects are then considered Public, as they pertain to Server Related usage.

Now, when Non-Public Channels are made by users, I suggest the required addition of Channels Tags in the Channel Name similar to the example presented below:

[General] [Discussion] [Gaming] [Movie] [15+] [18+]

These tags will assist on clarifying the type of content a player might come across within a particular channel. If a channel is tag [General] these it is an open channel that is safe for anyone to join, and should not be subject to being Locked. However, this concept needs more thought and input before it is of functioning use.

Locked Channels: in and of themselves is an acceptable practice that is a good tool for all players to have. In light of that, there are acceptable times to use them, examples being: a group watching a movie or television show together, or gaming together on a non-MCME related game. There too, are unacceptable times for a channel being locked, such as having a nondescript channel: [General]. This is where Staff come into play. Enforcers are tasked with enforcing the Rules and Terms of Service, and I believe language needs to be added to show in what capacities Enforcers are able to moderate. This in turn creates a system of Checks and Balances, as general players can have a better sense of where power is being abused. In conjunction with this, this also gives players the task of self moderating channels they are in. By having more clarity about what Staff Members can and cannot do, and, hopefully, creates a uniformity between different Staff Members. That way, Enforcer A and Enforcer B are consistent in how Moderation is handled, they're personal opinions are set aside and the issue is looked at objectively according to how the Terms of Service and Rules are worded. While some Staff Members may see this as a challenge to their abilities or personalities, this is create uniformity and a subject of review as they're actions are witnessed by the general public. This is to alleviate the opportunities for any Staff Member to overstep their bounds.

Please remember that these are only ideas, and more community feedback and ideas are needed! So please, if you have any opinions, comments, concerns, or general ideas, please provide us with feedback!


Manual Treebuilder
This might be a long rant, so bare with me. I'll outline some of my points as to the reason why locked channels should be allowed for whatever purpose:

1. Why are there even locked channels?

This is important to ask. Why are people even locking channels in the first place? People don't lock a channel for kicks. They do it because they have a reason. They are playing a game, watching a movie, or having a private discussion. Some people have suggested that people shouldn't lock channels and instead label them clearly so others understand the purpose of the channel. This has never worked and will never work. Many of you underestimate the respectfulness and social competency of people on MCME TS. This isn't said in a rude way, it's just a simple fact. You can label your channel "L4D2", "Watching Movie", or even "PRIVATE KEEP OUT", and time and time again you will find there are people who have no courtesy and will without fail always join your channel and interrupt what is going on. This is why I lock my channels.

2. What should locked channels be for?

Everything. If I want to watch a TV show with a couple people without disruption, I should be able to lock the channel. If I want to play a particular game without being disturbed, I should be able to lock the channel. And, if I want to talk with a particular few people I should be able to lock the channel.

This is the thing that annoys me the most. Some people seem to think others shouldn't be allowed to go in a locked channel and have a simple general chat. Believe it or not, some days I come on TS and just want to talk to a particular person, Shmattins for example. People do this in real life all the time, grabbing lunch with a particular friend in private. This is the same thing in TS. However in real life people usually have the courtesy not to disturb you, whereas here I am usually required to lock the channel to get it through people's heads I am having a private conversation. I also find it funny people appose general chat in a locked channel yet they will go in a locked channel to discuss graphic, adult, sexual, and political content which is clearly against the TOS.

Please note. I never do this to exclude people. I don't hate the people who I'm not talking to. I simply just prefer to talk to that particular person at that particular moment. I should not be required to have to speak with every person on TS at every moment. This doesn't always happen, but it occurs frequently enough to where I lock the channel to be safe.

The only reason anyone shouldn't be allowed to lock a channel, is when they are doing it to specifically exclude a particular person.

3. What would not allowing locked channels do?

If I can lock my channel, I never have to worry about being disturbed. There is no conflict with people barging in and disturbing the channel, and I don't have to take time to complain to a staff member. If I can't lock the channel, I'm going to constantly get interrupted. It is infuriating being engrossed in a game, and having a bunch of people join and start talking. I have to tell them to leave, or minimize my game to make a new channel or complain to someone. Coupled with that some people just don't listen when you ask them to leave. Some people will even continually join these channels simply because they know they are annoying the other people. You could leave your safety deposit box unlocked and assume everyone who goes by will be kind and not steal anything, but doesn't it make sense to lock the box to prevent theft in the first place? The best way to solve a problem is to prevent it from ever happening.

4. What's the harm in having locked channels?

Lets be clear with something: Removing locked channels will not eliminate cliques. They will not stop people from being excluded. With that said let me address complaints people had that Iru mentioned:
  • "Can't join straight away." Who cares? What is the issue with not being able to join every single channel right away? If I want to join a locked channel I simply ask. If they don't respond or say no I move on. If someone is so insecure and desperate to be included in every single discussion it seems like the issue isn't the locked channel.
  • "It shuts users out...if you are not part of a particular clique." People congregate in cliques because they have something in common. If you are not included, they either don't know you or have nothing in common with you. Some people have cliques in locked channels and I don't care, because I don't know those people and I don't have anything in common with them. If you aren't part of the group or have nothing in common, why would you want to join anyway? And like I said, you will not eliminate cliques by removing locked channels.
  • "May exclude certain individual." This is the only real valid concern. It is definitely true people sometimes make locked channels particularly because they don't want a certain individual to join. However believe me, if I don't want to include or talk with a certain individual, I don't need a locked channel to exclude them.
I also find it funny and a little annoying with the amount of people bashing those of us who discuss HWP in a channel, as if it's any different from people playing LOL or discussing politics. It's even worse that many of these people feel the need to enter the clearly labeled HWP channel and tell each of us out loud how HWP is stupid and boring, proving and reinforcing the need for locked channels in the first place. But I digress...

Anyway, like I said sorry for the long rant. I just wanted to throw in my thoughts on the matter since I have many of them. Bottom line is I think locked channels should stay, and I don't really think they cause any problems. Along with that, some of the cliques and exclusion will not disappear with open channels.
Last edited:


Hardcore MCME-er
I'd like to make a small comment on Bevs' well articulated and deep post about locked channels. We as long standing members of the community understand the different personalities that abound throughout MCME and understand when certain people want to make locked channels just to be in a isolated place where they wont be bothered unless a friend or authority needs them. The point of talking about exclusion comes from certain people making locked channels with the main purpose of talking with a bunch of friends while keeping select people outside of the channel.

This is what we are trying to address but really is a quite difficult issue as it is entirely subjective and requires the person's specific information that the enforcer/staff member might not know or quite fully understand at the moment. Personally, I have no issue with locked channels outside of certain extenuating circumstances. I tend to sit in Staff channels (usually locked), or my own channels just to relax after school. If I want to talk with people I go and join a regular unlocked channel where people have gathered. In short, there is no problems with locked channels, but there needs to be an understanding that they are not to be used in certain harmful ways like exclusion, spreading hate speech, making extremely offensive channel titles, etc.


Hardcore MCME-er
While we love reading everyone's opinions, as @Ghundra said, it is a difficult topic. The purpose of this thread, is for the community as a whole to share their ideas on how we can address this topic. I want to read everyone's opinions, but there also needs to be input from community on how to address this. How can we fix something, if there is no brainstorming happening? I'm positive that everyone has a stance on this topic, and I'm sure that the everyone can share some ideas on how to address it. So please, help us by sharing your ideas. Brainstorming is a great way to jumpstart the processes of reform and reconstruction.

To reiterate what has been said before: We need you! To help come up with ideas to address this.


IMO an enforcer should not question the channel owner or delete a locked channel unless a player voices a concern about that channel being locked. I think there is an important distinction to make between blind enforcement and reasoned enforcement. As mad said above, if something isn't hurting anyone, why try to stop it.

I think that there also needs to be less bias in how enforcers go about enforcing the rules. Just as it is part your mission is to protect form bullying, you need to be aware that by using bias in you enforcement, you are bullying and targeting players that are simply here to have a good time.


Manual Treebuilder
...there also needs to be input from community on how to address this. How can we fix something, if there is no brainstorming happening?
My question is, what is there to fix? What is broken? I don't think we really need to address anything. The one big issue comes in trying to prevent people from excluding others with locked channels. There really is no way to find out if a particular locked channel is there to exclude a particular person(s). If you ask the people in the channel, they won't just say "Ya, we made it to exclude (person)." So obviously you have two options:

1) Keep locked channels
2) Remove locked channels because you can't prevent exclusion

One option ruins it for people using locked channels properly, the other option keeps people excluded. It's really a lose-lose situation if that's the way you want to look at it. But here is the thing. As I said in my previous post, I often come on and want to talk with particular people and have a conversation without interruption. What happens if I can't lock the channel to prevent this interruption? I'll simply tell the person to leave, which will make me sound like a jerk. Or I'll just make a new channel or mute them. As harsh as this sounds, the point is people don't need locked channels to exclude members of the community. Certain members gravitating towards each other into groups has always existed, it's just the natural thing that people do, seeking out those who they have things in common with.

I don't think talking with particular people is excluding, though I know others will disagree. I know for a fact there are people who for some reason hate that people like me or Shmattins frequently talk in private in locked channels. Why people don't like this, I will never know. All I can really say is we aren't trying to exclude people. Usually what happens is people start asking to join, so we start letting people in. Eventually the channel gets big enough to where we decide the lock isn't needed anymore or we don't feel like chatting in private anymore.

Also as a finishing note, I like what dallen just said:

IMO an enforcer should not question the channel owner or delete a locked channel unless a player voices a concern about that channel being locked.
The safe bet is if people don't complain, the channel seems fine. However, at this point you would have to determine which complaints are valid and which aren't, and that would be a whole different discussion.