I was once at a site where the admin banned any negativity in their out of character sections and chatbox. Admittedly there had been some oversharing but this admin, in response to others voicing some negative things that had happened in their “real life” demanded that all members show nothing but happiness when in ooc areas. And I don’t just mean positive, I mean happy, chirpy, sunshine coming out of your ass happiness. Needless to say my brand of sarcasm was out of the door.
This kind of rule on sites is misplaced and ill judged. For unless a user breaks site rules, like those regarding common courtesy, a “no negativity” rule is entirely redundant. People kill the conversation all the time with negativity, that is actually part of a unique community, its quirks, its ups and downs. You cannot moderate “happiness” as much as you may try, people are people.
It is a waste of time trying to moderate moods, be it in the cbox or any OOC space. You create a positive atmosphere by being positive and productive. In my experience people who bring positive energy are just as effective as those who bring negative, so if your site has 1 Neg and 10 Positivo’s then the +’s outshine the -‘s every damned time. No need for rules
As with online communities this is also true of life – positivity breeds positivity.