www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2003 Weekly Issue

Times Writer & City Worker

City Hall & Duct Tape

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Ever wondered exactly how City Hall deals with crimes in Whyville? Have you already read the Callbox Instructions and your user agreements back and forth, studied my previous articles, and asked every other citizen in Whyville Square, and yet still wondered just how it all works?

Obviously, I can't go through every single case that could happen in Whyville, but I will break down my explanation into a few articles covering these parts: how City Hall decides, taping vs. fining, bad language, password exchange, personal information, inappropriate behavior, and banishment.

How Does City Hall Decide?

Not everyone realizes this, but City Workers thoroughly review every 911 report you submit to City Hall. No one is punished unless we find evidence in chat, y-mail, or the city record you report. Speaking of that, please make sure you report at the right time and in the right place. Reporting someone's city record when there's no crime in their blurb, face, or username won't help anybody. If they did something wrong in chat, report them then and there using the right tools, okay?

Taping vs. Fining

So, I've been hearing a lot of people say (and petition) that no one should get duct-taped (or muted), but instead citizens should be fined for infractions. To start, you should learn why City Hall uses muting as a punishment. The main reason to punish with duct tape for something like bad language is almost like the "time-out" idea that a lot of parents and teachers use. It gives the citizen some time to think about what he or she did wrong and learn from the experience. One of the ways you grow up is through mistakes, but you need time to reflect to truly understand your behavior. For example, there might be a word that your group of friends say that might be a joke to you, but can actually be very offensive to other people. Because you only hear it in jest, you may not think it is a bad word. However, if we come across it, we want you to see that the word is inappropriate and should not be used in everyday conversation. The duct-taping allows us to do that so that we all can grow from the experience.

Now, some of you may ask, "Well, I can grow from a fine too!" The fact is, for a lot of you guys, fines probably teach the same lesson. However, what do we do to a person who only has 50 clams versus someone who has 50,000 clams? Clearly a 5 clam fine does not have the same affect on both. When we decide a punishment, we try to make it as fair as possible. That's pretty difficult, since everyone's case is unique, but we try our best, and fining does not let us do that the same way as duct tape. Fines really grew out of a need to have something a little less harsh than muting, but one that would still make people not want to curse. We settled on them as something for the occasional curser, and muting for folks who just won't stop cursing (or who don't have any money). Either way, each form of this type of punishment is ultimately so that the user can learn from his or her mistakes.

Remember: this is all to keep our town clean, safe, and beautiful!

Click here to read more about what bad behaviors we try to keep out of Whyville.



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