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READ ME Update on Community Applications

Discussion in 'Community Applications' started by Lava, Apr 5, 2018.

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  1. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

    SteamRep Admin:
    Having reviewed our incoming criteria, revised our internal review procedures, updated the application form, and cleared out our backlogged community applications, we think we can answer new applicants on a much faster timeframe moving forward. That said, the requirements for a new community are now a bit different. Some criteria to be aware of:
    • Your community must be demonstrably committed to stopping and preventing scammers.
    • You must have at least 1000 active members in your community, and be able to show that.
    • All community administrators & moderators must have a clean reputation - even those that may not be actively moderating the trade servers.
    • Your staff cannot be abusive to SteamRep staff.
    • The primary purpose of your community must not relate to gambling.
    If you're already an existing Friend Community, you may consider applying to Partner status. Bear in mind, there are stricter requirements for partner communities. Rough overview of difference:

    Friend Communities are affiliated with SteamRep, and have a banner linking to their community on SteamRep.com. They may sometimes have public notes placed on SteamRep profiles, as needed, and receive access to privileged forums and communication channels. Friend communities cannot issue tags of their own!
    Partner Communities have already been a Friend Community for some time; have a sufficiently mature, large, and active community, regularly work with SteamRep in accepting and investigating scam reports, and have been more thoroughly vetted. The requirements are stricter, and admins must be intimately familiar with SteamRep's investigative procedures, but partner communities can issue their own tags on SteamRep.com and have their admins listed as "trusted" in our database. Outside communities may not apply directly for partner status!​

    Change overview:

    In the past, we non-negotiably required communities to use our API to ban scammers on sight, and to have been using it for 90 days. In recognition of different types of communities and infrastructures where it's either impossible or impractical in certain circumstances, this is no longer listed as a firm requirement. However, refusal to run it for anything less than impracticality of doing so is still grounds to deny your application, so you should be prepared to explain why. If you can't adequately explain why you're not banning (or at least labeling, in non-trading areas) known scammers on sight, then we'll assume you're promoting fraud, and that will be detrimental to your application.

    We also added a requirement that your community must demonstrably have 1000 or more active members. This is because the majority of applicants we received were startup server clusters, either hoping for recognition within the trading community simply by hosting a server cluster, or planning to use SteamRep's endorsement as a stepping stone to advertise their community while providing nothing in return. Among these community admins, we sometimes observed they would use green tags as a form of incentive or payment, trading reputation for moderating (and promoting) ad-funded game server clusters. While we do want communities of any kind to filter out scammers from places where their userbase would be vulnerable, like TF2 trade servers, many of these communities would burn out almost as quickly as they started; some even before their application was concluded. Those who became partners would typically leave us with the additional burden of cleaning up the tags they issued in our database before disappearing, and taking evidence with them.

    As with before, having all your staff with clean reputations is crucial to your standing with us. As a community who does not condone fraud, you must also hold your own staff to a higher standard. Any staff with a BANNED or CAUTION tag in our database will disqualify your application automatically, but you should also ensure your staff are not otherwise using their position in your community to take advantage of newer traders, even if it falls outside our own investigative policy. This includes, but is not limited to, sharking, routinely lying, scamming in ways we can't properly investigate (Rocket League, phishing, etc), or promoting sketchy gambling websites. Your staff should be clean all around, which means they also should not be hiding a history of scamming from an alt. If our staff discover sketchy characteristics within your ranks, or negligent background checking, it may be detrimental to your application or standing with us. We are not here to promote or endorse sketchy behavior.

    Until fairly recently, community applications were filled out by posting a thread in our application section, and copying and pasting a set of questions. This was honestly rather silly, so like moderator applications, we converted this to a questionnaire that community owners can fill out. Additionally, with the original questions having been created in 2012, our application form has also been updated to be more relevant for communities today.

    NOTE: If you are an existing Friend community applying for partner status (with tags), you may either create a thread in the Friend Community subforum, or contact the SteamRep admins from the Private Requests forum. While you can still use this form, we recommend using other channels.

    The requirements we hold our own staff to will largely apply to yours as well, where applicable:
    First, the DOs:
    • DO be polite and courteous (or at least professional) to everyone you encounter. If a person is trying to get you riled up, just leave. You don't have to deal with someone being abusive.
    • DO provide honest help when you can. This includes helping people new to trading and helping people understand the actual worth of their items.
    • DO communicate with the community admins. When we pool our resources and work together, there's nothing we can't do! Just like in a real family, if you have a problem with a family member then address it directly with them in a professional manner. If you can't do this, ask for help! :)
    • DO have fun! We all need some time to relax and it's important especially in high-stress arenas like ours. Join each others' servers, forums, etc.
    • DO be aware of the power that you yield. A scammer tag can effectively destroy a person's reputation and trading career. Before you apply a tag, make sure your evidence is solid and an innocent person isn't being wrongly accused.
    • DO ask other SR representatives for advice. We all do this-- there are lots of topics where it's a good idea to get multiple opinions before acting. Never hesitate to ask, we've all been there.
    • DO ensure SR public profile notes are kept professional. Please exclude insults, silly pics, gamer clan tags, or jokes from your profile and others.
    Now, the DON'Ts:
    • DON'T reveal confidential information. We must uphold the privacy of our users.
    • DON'T change your name to someone else's, even as a joke. Some people can't take jokes and it looks bad in your name history. It's just potential drama that no one needs.
    • DON'T openly flame other communities or other members of communities. If you have a problem with someone, just address it with them directly. Let's be adults about it. If you think you need someone to step in and moderate, don't hesitate to ask someone neutral to do so.
    • DON'T react off of rumors or heresay. Approach everything in a neutral manner and just say, "I'll look into it." As some of us know, rumors around the Steam trading community are like a game of telephone and by the time it gets around, the message is completely different!
    • DON'T participate in shady activities, even if they are anti-scammer. It's not acceptable to scam items back from scammers with a promise of payment or for trusted members to perform scammer sting operations.
    Old sticky, for reference.
    Old application format.
    Hidden Content:
    **Hidden Content: Content of this hidden block can only be seen by members of (usergroups: Administrative, Moderating).**
    8voldemar8, Nebras, schmed and 2 others like this.
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