KGS Issue - Banning Policy

    Keywords: Online Go


KGS is intended to be a place where people can meet, talk, play Go but only if you talk about what the admins like. You can review Go games, study Go, etc., in a friendly environment. People of all ages and from all countries are welcome at KGS. Always keep in mind that the other players on the server could be anybody - perhaps they are very young, or much older than you, and they may or may not even speak the same language as you. Try not to take offense too easily if somebody seems rude, but at the same time try to be as helpful and friendly as you can. In addition to this general guideline, there are certain behaviors that are absolutely not tolerated ["read: get a BOOT fast"] at KGS.

Inappropriate Behaviour

  • Discriminatory, offensive, or abusive speech of all kinds including racism, sexism, etc.
  • Pornographic text (including URLs of pornographic web sites)
  • Swearing
  • Abuse directed at other KGS members
  • "Flooding" (filling a chat area with text)
  • Using KGS as an advertising medium:
    • Setting up "ad games" (games where you don't want to play, but you just want the game's info line to appear in a room's game list)
    • Using rooms, games, private chats, or messages to promote a business
  • Transferring copyrighted material to KGS (e.g. doing a live replay of a non-KGS game without the permission of the players or the organization hosting the game)
  • Using modified or otherwise unauthorized clients
  • Dishonest play during rated games: Rated games are meant to be serious games where player's strengths are tracked; if you want to just fool around and play, this is fine, but please make sure the game is "free" so that it won't affect the rating system. To be more specific, these are not allowed:
    • Intentionally losing rated games
    • Setting up rated games against yourself to boost an account's rank
    • Having other people play rated games for you


The KGS admins attempt to enforce these restrictions. Usually a warning will be given before any action is taken, but depending on the severity of the offense, the past history of the people involved, and the current situation, action may be taken with no warning.

Please note that while the KGS admins try to enforce these rules, we cannot guarantee that they will always be evenly enforced. KGS is operated by volunteers, and sometimes they will make up rules capriciously. At times there will be no admin present. If you see somebody behaving in a way that is inappropriate, please check for admins (their names are marked by a golden star in the user lists for senior admins and a silver star for an admin in the users lists) and report the situation to them. If you cannot find an admin, please email a description of what happened to

Privacy Policy

KGS does not give email information to any outside company without explicitly getting permission from you. If your email address is non-private, then other people on the server may get your email address and use it, but even in that case KGS itself will not provide the information to outside organizations. While you are on KGS, there is no guarantee of privacy. All conversations on KGS are logged. Admins may check these logs when there are accusations of improper behavior; in the process of checking these logs, they may see conversations that are unrelated to the accusations, so even when there is no reason to look at your conversations, an admin may read anything you write. As a rule, if something must be kept private, do not say it on KGS.

Defense Someone should make a "lawyers", a group of people that can defend the banned. I say this because I observe that sometime Admin's decisioin is ignorant and absolute. With this "lawyer" group, a banned person can still appeal and maintain his innocent status

  • There already is one: e-mail if you think you were incorrectly booted. DrStraw ~ not any more: "rejected by the server for the recipient domain"
  • My observation is that route leads only to more frustration. There is complete bias in favor of the admins.
  • My experience is that communicating (at least in the case of KGS) makes for a better environment, clears up issues more quickly and accurately, and develops a report with the admins (especially wms). In fact, if you learn to communicate in both a pointed and respectful way, the admins will start working for you. They actually become your defense attorneys to a certain extent. Try not to think of KGS in terms of "regular players" and "administrators." Think of KGS as a population of just people. Talk to everybody like they are just people.

mike111? well i just got banned for no reason at all, this guy was swearing and flooding the whole chat, but then i got banned,the reason was "inapropriate sentence" but i didn't say one bad word or flood or troll. though right now im just going to think the admin "misread" the username

"Usually a warning will be given before any action is taken"

A warning MUST be given first, not "usually" given.

  • But for repeat offenders that warning does not necessarily have to be during the current session. Persistent violators of the TOS have been warned in the past and know the rules - they can be booted without a warning during the current session. DrStraw.
  • Having logged on, after a bottle of Pinot Grigio, with a mildly (I checked with two native speakers) profane guest nickname directed at myself, having no previous history of trouble, I was not warned, not kicked; rather on the next day I could not log on anymore, with my regular account. The guest nickname was indicating I would be easy to beat, as I am sure after some alcohol someones Go will be worse. When it says "temporarily blocked" what kind of time-frame does that mean? Is the point of such a ban to rehabilitate the offender, or to keep the 'public' safe? Having observed other fast bans, it sometimes seems as if these are occasionally being issued just for the sake of it.
  • yeah they don't have any "warning" they just ban you. I got kicked for something my friend did... he was on his own computer, and his own account and i was banned because i was at his house, thus they assumed i was just being on two acccounts. how lame. they don't say hey, blah blah. no they just kick and ban>.< i even tried making a guest account at my house, but nooo they ip banned my house for no apparent reason. How rude.

I performed some investigation to try to figure out exactly how these bans propagate, since it's clearly not simply a ban to a user/IP. It appears that when a ban is made, there is some sort of viral mechanism which can "infect" further accounts, IPs and clients - once a ban has been placed, there is a tag applied to the user's client (I presume each install has some sort of unique tag associated to it; I'm not sure if this changes upon restart of the client - however, as my tests were via port forwarding it may just be the client's outward-visible IP, and it may even be that connecting IP has no bearing), IP and username. It appears that whenever an attempt to log in is made which intersects any of these three tags, the ban is reapplied to the values which differ. For example:

  • Player logs on with username 'foo' from PC 1 and is banned.
  • Attempts to log onto username 'bar' from PC 1 now result in bans to that username. (and a link between username foo and bar. So in future if one of the username is banned, the other gets banned too. - to be confirmed)
  • Attempts to log onto username 'bar' from PC 2 now result in PC 2 being banned.
  • Attempts to reroute the connection through PC 3 from PC 2 and connect to username 'baz' will result in both PC 3 and username 'baz' being banned.

All bans retain the same reason and expire at the same time.

Potential malicious uses for this mechanism ("is it bad?"): It appears the login must be otherwise successful to propagate the ban - you can't use this method to infect a your ban upon other people without knowing their password (although you can of course infect a guest!). The ban also does not propagate automatically over all of your previous logins on the same machine, so you also cannot infect a ban upon someone by logging onto a banned account on their PC unless they subsequently attempt to log in.

However, if the attacker does know the target will be attempting to log on to KGS via a specific machine which they have access to (or perhaps is already logged on), they could potentially cause the target's account to be banned by propagating their ban onto that machine before/while they use it -- and they will have no idea how or why they were banned. Not only this but the ban will propagate to that user's home PC, and potentially all of their housemate's accounts. With protocol knowledge, assuming the login is predictable one could spoof logins from any machine on the internet and propagate the ban to users on known IPs. Of course, this is likely to mean one can get an entire ISP banned by just running through whole netblocks using this method.

KGS Issue - Banning Policy last edited by prolepsis on November 20, 2016 - 20:24
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