Best Practices Checklist
While different networks, systems and sites have different needs and models mandating different best practice standards, this is typically what a general audience game site would need if it does not specifically target to preteens in the US.
- Create a law enforcement policy that determines what information is available to law enforcement and under what circumstances.
- Create, and share with law enforcement agencies, a dedicated phone number, fax number, and email address to be used for law enforcement inquiries.
- Appoint a law enforcement liaison to oversee law enforcement inquiries.
- Articulate information along with sample forms and instructions in a “Law Enforcement Investigators Guide.”
- Create a data map of all information collected, stored, and utilized by the company.
- Appoint a “data czar” to oversee all data management issues.
- Store data with the requisite level of security and regulate access to that data.
- Determine data retention policies that comply with legal requirements and your business needs.
- Inventory contractual data management obligations as well as outward-facing policy disclosures and tag data appropriately.
- Match privacy policies to user data practices, articulate the policies to staff, and enforce the policies internally.
- Ensure international data management legal compliance, as applicable.
- Properly vet, train, and supervise moderation staff.
- Create escalation policies and procedures and appoint escalation managers.
- If using volunteers, appoint a volunteer management supervisor.
- Provide written instructions for moderators on how to respond to the most common abuses that occur on the network.
- Monitor moderators’ activities on third party sites when they have identified themselves as moderators.
- Create cyber self-defense information and workplace safety policies for moderators.
- Contract with providers of stress management services for moderators.
- Own or control all hardware used in performing moderator services and monitor all communications.
- Ensure a policy is in place to deal with moderators providing services to other networks.
- Determine a policy for terminating underage user accounts based upon the site’s age policies.
- Create systems and policies to address COPPA issues, if applicable.
- Review applicable international laws relating to usage of the online networks by minors (e.g. Spain – users under 14).
- Determine special security measures to restrict communications between adults and minors (optional).
Advertising and Marketing:
- Only permit CARU and EU compliant and age appropriate ads to minors.
- Require all ad suppliers to adhere to your written advertising and brand policies.
- Consider a policy prohibiting the use of sensitive information in profile marketing.
- Ensure the integrity of permitted downloads and require that users be notified of all adware and spyware features in marketed downloads.
- Own and protect all corporate brands, URLs and logos against unauthorized internal or external use.
- Create a policy for celebrity and VIP users and their fans.
- Manage any outward-facing statements by agents or employees of the networks.
- Create alerts for use of the brand name and track known troll groups and competitors.
- Purchase and control all brand bashing URLs, Twitter accounts, etc.
- Purchase and control misspelled versions of the URLs to prevent cybersquatting and typosquatting.
- Create policies for enforcement of brand logo or name usage on fan and bashing sites.
- Protect founders and key executives’ reputations by tracking their names.
Terms of Service:
- Provide effective date and advance notice of changes.
- Game sites should include a separate code of conduct.
- Articulate all other material policies within the Terms of Service.
- Explain consequences of Terms of Service violations.
- An abuse report link must appear on all pages.
- The abuse reporting system must triage abuse reports for efficient handling.
- Users must be informed what to report as well as how and where to report it.
- Terms of Service violations and disciplinary actions should be articulated.
- Provide procedures to address commonly encountered and high-risk issues.
- Create pre-approved language for responding to commonly encountered and high-risk abuses.