Several years ago, our chats were being inundated with "will someone adopt me??????" posts, older players jumping all over new firstyears with questions like, "Do you have a mom or dad yet???" or "Do you want to be adopted????" and pages and pages of players discussing who they were related to, how they were related , when they became related, etc. Most of these discussions would take place multiple times every day with (frequently) the same participants.
When it wasn't a family trying to figure out all the snarls and twists and turns in their family tree, it was a family arguing over some family issue. Not just members of a family RPing together, and not even a real RP to be honest since it was more of a discussion than "acting," but people arguing over why they wouldn't recognize a certain family member or some other sort of drama that was strictly family-related.
These discussions and arguments would disrupt RPs already taking place and/or conversations taking place with players just chatting.
To help keep chats a bit more tidy, we installed Godric's Hollow with the intent of that being the "family village" (see original post here http://www.hogwartslive.com/blog/post/469/godrics-hollow ). All requests for adoptions, whether it be someone looking for a family or someone looking for a new member to their existing one, would take place here, as well as all discussions of family trees, family arguments that were about family-related topics, and anything else that came up within a family.
In the time since installing Godric's, this has worked well as most players have moved their conversation to Godric's or owls or to a dwelling when asked by staff. It has only been recently that players have been ignoring multiple requests and warnings by staff, hence the NOTICE that was posted on every page (until this blog post).
This does not mean that players cannot address a family member in chat by their title, i.e. "Hi mom!" or "WitchyWoman waves to her sister." It does not mean that players cannot refer to being related to another player in cases like, "Oh you know SamSpit? He's my brother." It does not mean that you cannot ask someone if they are related to someone else, as long as you're not asking for that person's entire pedigree. "Hi, SaraSugar. Are you SallyMay's sister?" It does not mean that family members cannot RP together.
All we are asking is that if you are going to start a discussion about who your relatives are or have an issue with your family about your family, please do it either in owls, a dwelling, or in Godric's Hollow. If you are looking to be adopted or see someone that you would like to adopt, post in Godric's or owl them. And if a simple comment about a family member unintentionally turns into a discussion about your family and a staffer asks you to move it out of chat, MOVE it. Simple.
In cases where players ignore a staffer's request to move out of regular chat or players that keep having to be asked (as in multiple instances), staff can and will mute.