Note: this is not a complete list of rules, just a good list of suggestions for how to best keep out of trouble.
Don’t be a jerk. Embrace this concept, young grasshopper, and the rest of life’s difficulties will fall into place. We know it’s a bit Golden Rule-y, but treating others the way you’d like to be treated is a pretty good recipe for a pleasant chat experience. We know you can’t keep everyone happy forever and ever, just don’t purposely set out to disrupt chat.
Don’t harass others. If you find yourself harassing another user based on race, sexuality, religion, or nationality, just stop for a moment. No matter what you believe or what has happened to you, it’s never okay to insult others. No, not even self-defense justifies it, or the fact that the object of your harassment “really is a total poo face, I swear.” If what you have to say is not civil, just don’t say it.
Keep it (relatively) clean. Because everyone using Kongregate are 13 and over, the language throughout the site should be approximately PG-13. Some swearing can be allowed (we here at Kongregate are no saints), but it should not be directed at other users (see “Don’t harass others”). We’re all gamers here so nobody’s going to ban you for life for something like, “Damn, I suck at this game” or even, “I like boobs.” Extreme profanity will automatically be censored by our chat filter, so please allow the filter to do its job. Even so, both swearing and overly-sexual language anywhere on the site may get you silenced by a moderator.
Don't feed the trolls. If someone is acting in an inappropriate manner, please leave the situation up to the moderators online. Please do not "fight back" or get drawn into an argument with them. If you do you risk giving that person the satisfaction of trolling your pants off, and you also risk getting yourself in trouble. What if moderators aren’t available, you say? If the misbehavior occurs in the forums, flag those posts! Otherwise, every user’s profile page is equipped with a ‘report abuse’ link where you can report inappropriate usernames, avatars, chat behavior, and more. Administrators check those reports and flags daily, so go ahead and use ‘em! Even more than that, we strongly recommend ignoring the problem user. It’s a time-tested solution to trolling, since it’s no fun to troll when nobody’s paying attention. Trust us, we’ve tried! If you have a hard time doing so, you can make any user’s words disappear entirely from chat by using the “mute user” link that’s found either when you hover over the person’s username in the chat list, or when you visit the person’s full profile.
Don't spam. And no, excessive caps aren’t okay either. In chat, spam can mean all sorts of things, including repeatedly sending the same message over and over or large chunks of completely irrelevant text, so think about the relevance of what you’re posting before you post it. And please, don't spam in game comments or forums, either. We know you’re happy you got the first comment and we know that quote pyramids are strangely entrancing, but there’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s really not here or now. We promise.
Don’t link to inappropriate material. Linking to pornography or shock sites in chat, in the forums, or in game comments will result in an instant week ban. We consider them srs bsns, so please: just don’t post them. Remember the PG-13 approximation? Porn sites sure ain’t.
Don’t litter the site with referral links. We at Kongregate know that there are other websites out there, and some of them are pretty awesome. We have no problem with users sharing links to outside websites in chat or the forums, as long as they're not pornographic or otherwise obviously inappropriate. We're also fine with outside links posted in game comments, as long as they somehow relate to a discussion about the specific game. However, spamming referral links for other sites across games, threads, or chat rooms on Kongregate will likely result in a silence or ban.
Pick your username and avatar wisely. Offensive usernames and obscene, pornographic, or seizure-inducing avatars will be removed, and in some cases the accounts will be banned. If your account has been banned because a moderator or administrator felt its name was inappropriate, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a username change. Account names that are created purely to antagonize another user ("GregSuckslololol") will be banned permanently without warning.
Don't role-play in non-role-playing chat rooms We know it can be fun, but seriously, it's really annoying to the rest of us. It's fine if you want to briefly convey an idea with a pseudo-action ("hugging" as a greeting, "exploding" as expressing excitement, etc.), but going into elaborate, novel-length descriptions of how you're wielding your bazooka against another member while dodging his onslaught of ninja shurikens and rubbing your body against the only female in the room can really get on everyone's nerves. We have two chat rooms on the site designated for role-playing (Role Playing #1 and Role Playing - Serious); please use them. (Note that members must actively switch to these rooms, and they will never be automatically placed into them.)
Repeat after us: “My account is my responsibility.” This means that your account will be held responsible for all of the things it says or does, even if you are not the person saying or doing those things. Keep your password safe and secret, do not deliberately share accounts, and log off when you can’t be at the computer. These precautions may sound extreme, but we don’t want you to miss out because of something your little brother, your friend, your neighbor, or that mean old stranger in the public library has done - so please take them.
Speak the designated language for the chat room you are in. Kongregate is home to gamers from all around the world, and we have many chat rooms for speakers of different languages. Please be aware that each chat room on the site has a designated language and when in that room, you may only speak its language. Moderators may ban or silence users for ignoring a room's language setting, so be forewarned. An important note: Multi-player chat rooms are all Any Language rooms, so any language is of course acceptable. This goes for the forums as well, though the majority of our forum-goers use English so as to be understood.
Hacking is bad, don’t do it. Even if you consider yourself 1337 H4XX0RZ, please refrain from bragging about it in chat or the forums. If we find out that you have indeed cheated in any way, you risk losing your points and your account. That being said, we know various things can happen that look like cheating but are not. Because of this we wait until we are certain before taking action on someone’s account for hacking. If you are sure someone is cheating and can prove his or her scores cannot have been achieved another way, you can make your case by emailing email@example.com.
What to expect from your moderators. Our moderators are volunteer workers, and we don’t pay them for their time. As such it would be pretty wrong for us to require them to be in any particular place for any particular amount of time. They keep our chat rooms clean out of the goodness of their hearts so if you call a moderator and they’re unable to help you, please don’t get angry with them.
We do ask our moderators to be lenient, but please don’t count on this policy to save you if you’re going out of your way to cause trouble. On the other hand, we do ask moderators not to act on anything they haven’t seen, and we do not accept screenshots as evidence since they can be so easily altered. Know that moderators will not always make decisions with which you agree. Berating them for a decision is very unlikely to get them to change their minds, and may even get you silenced for harassment. Mods are people, too, so please treat them as nicely as you would treat anyone else.
It is entirely up to the discretion of the Kongregate staff and appointed moderators to interpret and enforce the guidelines above. We believe that oftentimes whether or not a wrongdoing has occurred depends a lot on context, and so we trust our moderators and administrators to put events into context and make judgment calls. The beauty of this is that we’re all human, and more able to make such decisions. The downside of this is of course that humans sometimes make mistakes. If you feel that you’ve been wronged by a moderator, feel free to report him or her using the "report" link on his or her full profile. We can’t always respond to every single report, but a real live administrator does read each one.