dEvery community has its rules. Even deep-net chans do. Sometimes these rules are short, some times they are long, long walls of text. This question is inspired by online role-playing communities which frequently use a long list of pretty complicated rules, as there are really a lot of possible mistakes a user can make.
The rules are long, and it is OK if those who have actually read them forget about something, it doesn't take a long time to subtly remind them. But some of the new users do not read rules at all.
Those problem users can be divided in four main categories:
- New users who don't know that those rules even exist, or didn't find them. Unless they did something really awful, actually telling them to read the rules normally helps.
- New users who lack appropriate language skills to understand the rules. I attempt to have the rules translated when I can, but I cannot cover all of the languages. But it is OK to lose those users most of the time, as role-playing itself requires good language skills, and if they cannot read the rules, they cannot role-play either.
- New users who didn't read the rules because they don't bother. They are probably the most problematic.
- The users who make me type "probably" in the previous paragraph. Old users who have role-played a lot before, and who don't bother to read the rules because the latter are frequently reprinted without any changes from one community to another, and if your rules are different, those veterans just don't notice. If you punish them, they will most likely just leave, but they are valuable, because if they fit in the community, they can lead by a very important example of good role-play.
So we come to a conclusion. If someone cannot be made to read and learn the rules by any means, this person is not needed in the community.
But what can I use to force make as many users as possible to read the damn rules?