To ensure that the metaverse functions as a sustainable “space” where people from around the world can accelerate their creativity while respecting one another, we believe that the following actions and qualities are necessary:
- Openness and freedom
- A spirit of creativity and challenge
- Praising one another for successes
- Respect for the diversity of others
- Protection of safety and comfort
- Condemning malicious acts
To create such a space, we would like to share the following principles.
Free expression and communality
Avatars, worlds, and the comments each person makes are valuable because they are free expressions of their identity and emotions. On the other hand, we realize that representations or remarks of a grotesque or sexual nature can cause discomfort, distress, and even fear.
If the representations or remarks are within the bounds of the Terms and Conditions of Cluster, we will not police individual cases. However, we may issue penalties if other users report it as troubling or offensive. Especially for public spaces, please be sensitive to the diversity of opinions and age groups that will access the communal space.
Safety and Comfort
We hope that the metaverse will be a space to encourage free expression that cannot be achieved in the physical world and enable users to accelerate their creativity comfortably and safely.
At times, however, freedom can endanger other people’s safety and comfort.
Using the qualities of the metaverse, users can take the following steps to increase safety and comfort within Cluster:
- Creating new Spaces
- Separating Party and Private Spaces
- Moving to a different world
- Relocating farther away, where you cannot hear someone’s voice
If you feel troubled by another user, please take these steps to protect your safety and comfort in the virtual environment.
Prohibited conduct in Cluster
In Cluster, users can enjoy relationships of a romantic nature within the metaverse and roleplaying games, such as combat-based roleplay, without affecting the physical body.
At the same time, many people experience the communication mediated by an avatar similar to in the physical world. The following behavior will be subject to penalties in Cluster if reported by users. For events, this may include banning.
1. Acts of Harassment
1-1 Discriminatory expressions, attacks, and threats based on identity that are outside of your control, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, and inability, country of origin, ethnicity, appearance
Attempts to chase away or attack specific community members based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability/inability, country of origin, ethnicity, and appearance are harmful to both the individual and the users who witness it. Such acts can cause grief, fear discomfort, and distress, and therefore are prohibited in Cluster. When reported cases confirm discriminatory expressions, users will face consequences including but not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
1-2 Inappropriate, obscene expressions and acts
Inappropriate expressions and acts are generally prohibited. When reported cases confirm inappropriate or obscene expressions, users will face consequences including but not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
- Examples of prohibited acts
- Attempting to peek into hidden parts of an avatar (e.g., undergarments)
- Molesting or touching an avatar without consent
- Actions that simulate or imply sexual acts
- Using the chat or voice chat to make explicit sexual comments or sexual innuendos
1-3 Stalking behavior
Stalking, such as the act of continuously following around another user against their wishes, is considered behavior that induces discomfort in people and is, therefore, prohibited. When reported cases confirm stalking behavior, users will face consequences. These include, but are not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
- Examples of prohibited acts
- Following others around in worlds against their will
- Following others across different worlds against their will
- Implying that you are watching or monitoring their behavior
- Repeatedly sending friend requests
- Repeatedly sending join requests for a world
1-4 Avatar contact
Many users experience contact with their avatars similarly to the body in the physical world, necessitating the need for personal space and respect when communicating. For this reason, the following examples of avatar contact are prohibited. When cases are reported and confirmed, users will face consequences. These include, but are not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
- Example of prohibited acts
- Violence, such as hitting an avatar
- Violent acts, such as thrusting an item towards or into an avatar
- Pointing strong light at an avatar
- Repeatedly moving to an overlapping location as another avatar
- Sitting or standing on top of an avatar that is on the ground
- Abruptly bringing an item into another person's field of vision
(Sudden visual stimuli can be particularly alarming and distressful for many people)
- Other acts that are considered distressing or disturbing for other users
- Not all forms of avatar contact are indiscriminately prohibited because contact such as shaking hands or high fives can be part of friendly communication. As with physical contact in the real world, please be mindful of the pre-established relationship and location when engaging with other users.
1-5 Actions and avatar use that intimidates, humiliates, causes fear or distress for another user
Actions and avatar use that intimidates, humiliates, causes fear or distress for another user are prohibited. Even if warning them against certain actions is in their best interests, words and actions that one-sidedly shut down another person’s arguments or mocks them are similarly prohibited. When cases are reported and confirmed, users will face consequences, including, but not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
- Examples of prohibited acts
- Crude, unrefined behavior towards others
- Avatar use that causes others discomfort
1-6 Acts for the purpose of dating or having an intimate relationship
When relationships have already been established between users and both parties are consenting, we do not prohibit actions such as exchanging contact information. However, if the other party is unresponsive, repeatedly pressing for contact information or seeking an intimate relationship is prohibited. When reported cases confirm inappropriate behavior, users will face consequences, including, but not limited to a temporary ban of features and a temporary ban from Cluster itself.
- Examples of prohibited acts
- Using messages, comments, or voice chat to hit on other users
- Messages attempting to coerce sexual relationships
1-7 Other actions that can be considered as harassment towards other users
2. Inappropriate behavior
Even if acts do not constitute harassment, if they threaten the comfort or safety of other users, they are prohibited. The following examples indicate such behavior:
- Not following the rules indicated in the world or on descriptions of the world
- Playing large sounds through the microphone, repeatedly sending identical chat messages
- Interference with the course of an event or a game in worlds
- Aggressive speech and acts, including abusive remarks, intimidation, and slander
- Judgemental or negative remarks that go beyond the exchange of opinions and advice
- Acts and expressions that go against public order and morals
- Attempts to remove certain users from worlds or events (without justification based on indicated rules)
- Unjust blocking, muting, or encouragement of such acts
- Expressions that go against the rules of the world or community
- Solicitation for chain sales, information product sales, or religious/faith groups
- Other acts which may trouble fellow users
3. Exchanging advice between users
In some situations, chiding other users for a violation of the Term of Service or the Community Guidelines can be considered a violation on your part. This is true if the way you warn them goes beyond the established trust between you and the user in question.
We greatly appreciate that many of our users have acknowledged and adhered to the Community Guideline to ensure that Cluster is a comfortable and safe space for everyone. At the same time, we recognize that new users are entering the community, and users with various circumstances may not yet be fully aware of the guidelines. Singling users out for their nonadherence to the guidelines may induce feelings of shock, fear, and embarrassment.
For this reason, we recommend that users be careful in the way they advise fellow users. Please take advantage of other options, such as directing them to the existence of the Community Guidelines or reporting directly to Cluster instead of a confrontation. In Cluster, we continually strive to protect the comfort and safety of our users.
Respect of intellectual property
In Cluster, you can interact with various user-generated content (UGC). For instance, this may include images, videos, sounds, text, and 3D data such as avatars and worlds.
To accelerate creativity and enable everyone to appreciate the process and product of creations by respecting one another, we prohibit any actions that infringe on others’ intellectual property (IP) rights.
About the use of game and character images
Although game and character images are made public they cannot be used for icons and avatars because their IP rights rest with the creators and/or the game companies. On the other hand, some data have been explicitly approved for use. For these copyrighted items, they will only be allowed for use in Cluster if the copyright holder gives their permission.
Playing and Performing Music
Music has composers and performers who hold IP rights. In Cluster, you are only permitted to use music that has been approved for use by the people who hold or manage these rights.
For events, you will be allowed to apply for music use through Cluster perform, and/or play your music creations. (This application is not available for worlds.) However, please be aware that the master license (e.g., the right to play the music as-is from the CD/music file) will not be granted even with the application process (refer to Registering Music)
Some music and songs have been distributed along with the permission to perform or broadcast it. The extent of the use rights are often laid out in its license, and it is up to the user to ensure that playing/performing it in Cluster would fall within the permitted use.
Determining IP Rights Infringement
In principle, we do not conduct investigations into IP rights infringement nor contact users individually about it at Cluster. However, if rights holder report cases of misuse or infringement, we will take appropriate measures. Note that, upon reports from fellow users, we may still ask users whether they have obtained from rights holders.
Consequences of Violation