Year End Policy Updates and Community Affairs

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,060
Hiding threads being a victory for them in what way? If they can't view the threads while lurking, they can't harass / doxx people off site. If you want to call that a victory for them, I guess go ahead, victory for every single poster who wants a space where they aren't potentially threatened for sharing their opinions as well. This is why so many Era sub communities exist in verified Discords.
On onehand I get what you mean, on the other hand, I think it can be good that non registered users can view and read debates.I have the feeling that if you hide some kind of threads it gives a feeling that they think they can harass people so much that they force them to hide. I don't know if I am wording it clearly enough, but people shouldn't be forced to hide to talk peacefully, that's what I mean.
 

Antrax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,053
A good step, but hopefully just the first one on the road to a central feedback thread. I cannot overstate this: there should be a place where site matters can be discussed openly and freely. This does not even have to include ban appeals, which I understand is something you wish to avoid, especially when it concerns bigots. But thread locks, staff posts that miss their target, general site feedback... Reach out to the community, give them a place to talk about these things with the mod team. I can't help but feel the community and the staff distrust each other in equal measure and I hope we can change that.
This will not go well. It'll be people raging about their bans within a week.
 

Shanaynay

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,248
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.
I agree, that's one of my main gripe with moderation here.
 
OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.)

No, of course it doesn't. I just didn't want someone assuming I didn't know what being part of a minority was like. And yeah, fighting actual bigotry is a noble cause. I'm just wary of what's laid out in the OP due to what I've explained above.
As stated in the OP:
We must also advise that if you choose to publicly misrepresent the reason you were banned, we may need to respond with links to the actual post(s) for which you were banned.
You were banned for defending games that sexualise minors and defending blackface costumes. The fact that your posts are politely worded does not change that. Politely worded bigotry or inflammatory points of view are still just that: bigotry and inflammatory points of view.

These bans are in line with our ToS. Enforcing our policies does not make the team trigger happy. Your bans were the result of discussion and consensus. I know this because I was personally involved with the moderation of that blackface thread, as I am a black woman. As we've stated time and time again, our moderation is a group effort, and we spend a lot of time deliberating reports, to the extent that new moderators are always surprised by the effort that goes into it. I myself was also surprised by this when I joined the team back in January 2018. Just today the report count was at an obscene number for over 10 hours, and we carefully reviewed each report together despite that. Many of us dedicated our entire day to this.

My point is, you were not banned because a specific moderator read your post a certain way. That is highly reductionist and not at all in line with our moderation practices.
 
Sep 14, 2018
947
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.)
Enforcing our policies does not make the team trigger happy.
I somewhat agree with this, I specifically remember the Ooblets thread where I saw someone post something that I knew was a ban and immediately asked the mods to not ban them cause I was pretty sure I could talk them down, they were instantly banned before I could say anything else, this all happened in the span of 90 seconds, so yes the mods are trigger happy if you ask me. That time I could have handled it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,920
Great, the one thing this forum needed was more authoritarianism and more ban-happy mods. This is coming from an LGBTQ+ individual, btw. You can create an inclusive environment without stifling any kind of diversity of opinion, civil debate or open-minded out-of-the-box thinking. At this point, I already view this website more as a news site than a proper discussion forum because of how it's being moderated.

That being said, if you're actually serious about unpacking the ban hammer at every instance of sexist and homophobic speech, I expect to see a ban every time someone says "Fuck [company XYZ]". I can't stand that expression. (I wouldn't actually ban people for using it if it were up to me but if that's your methodology of choice, I'd like to see it applied fairly and across the board.)
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.)

No, of course it doesn't. I just didn't want someone assuming I didn't know what being part of a minority was like. And yeah, fighting actual bigotry is a noble cause. I'm just wary of what's laid out in the OP due to what I've explained above.
Does this mean you're leaving?
 

JayC3

bork bork
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,316
I somewhat agree with this, I specifically remember the Ooblets thread where I saw someone post something that I knew was a ban and immediately asked the mods to not ban them cause I was pretty sure I could talk them down, they were instantly banned before I could say anything else, this all happened in the span of 90 seconds, so yes the mods are trigger happy if you ask me. That time I could have handled it.
It's our responsibility to handle violations of the ToS. You can certainly try to steer the discussion in a positive direction, but backseat moderation is also against the rules.
 

Vimes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,681
Among the most important of those changes is that bans for bigotry will be significantly longer going forward. Users who engage in such behaviour will also be given fewer chances before being permanently banned. We will also be making greater efforts to identify and take harsher action against subtler bad faith behaviour, such as: speaking over marginalised voices, concern trolling in sensitive threads, and dismissive drive-by posting. This is something that we have already started to implement, and will be further enforced and made routine as we close out the year.
Another recurring concern that has often been raised is the process by which the community gives feedback to staff. Our policy has long been that individual posts should be reported, and larger issues should be directed towards Moderator Captains via PM or the 'Contact Us' form (which can be found at the bottom of the site). While this will still be our general policy, we realise that not every public discussion about feedback needs to be shut down immediately, and we will do our best to engage openly whenever there is an opportunity to clear up misconceptions or address specific and constructive criticism.
These sound like exactly the changes I've personally hoped for, even speaking as someone who is the complete opposite of marginalized. Thanks for listening, and for y'all's hard work.
 

jviggy43

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
17,665
I have a question about this

This does not mean that members should publicly litigate past infractions, especially in unrelated threads. There is a formal ban appeal process detailed in the General Guide, and we encourage you to utilise it. Every appeal is reviewed by multiple members of staff. We have already further streamlined and improved the process we use to review appeals in recent weeks. We must also advise that if you choose to publicly misrepresent the reason you were banned, we may need to respond with links to the actual post(s) for which you were banned.
This process doesn't work. At all. Or if it does it gets ignored. I sent several requests to review my most recent ban and never got anything back regarding it. This isn't the first time this has happened either.
 

luffie

Member
Dec 20, 2017
459
Indonesia
Yeah that's me the backseat mod copy that. Literally don't even know why I bother.
Agreed. If they have actually bothered to read and check, perhaps they wouldn't be so trigger happy.
So its a personal thing then in some cases, I guess is the question. Because Ive used that method 3 times now and have never heard anything back. The most recent time I even sent two in case the first didn't go through.
I've also sent my case with them, and they did not reply. So I don't see why I should try to take any of their word seriously, because it felt more like a nicely worded PR.
 

Sophia

Phantasmal, like bubbles.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,004
Hey all, just wanna let you know I hear you on the emails. I'm going to look into it a bit over this weekend and see if I can sort some stuff out. Keep in mind, it's not realistic for us to reply to every email simply because of the volume of emails (it's always in a perpetual state of catch-up by nature) and the fact that we're working on a volunteer basis. I myself have been swamped with schoolwork for the past four days.

However, going forward we're going to be streamlining the process and bringing more people onto the email team to try and get these handled in a more timely manner. Hopefully, this will result in fewer emails not getting a response. If you need any personal concerns addressed, feel free to send one of us mod captains a PM too.
 

jviggy43

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
17,665
Hey all, just wanna let you know I hear you on the emails. I'm going to look into it a bit over this weekend and see if I can sort some stuff out. Keep in mind, it's not realistic for us to reply to every email simply because of the volume of emails (it's always in a perpetual state of catch-up by nature) and the fact that we're working on a volunteer basis. I myself have been swamped with schoolwork for the past four days.

However, going forward we're going to be streamlining the process and bringing more people onto the email team to try and get these handled in a more timely manner. Hopefully, this will result in fewer emails not getting a response. If you need any personal concerns addressed, feel free to send one of us mod captains a PM too.
Hey no worries. I know it isn't reasonable to go through everything on a position of a volunteer mod job. I was just wondering since I hadn't had it work and was kind of irked by my last ban. Thanks for responding.
 

luffie

Member
Dec 20, 2017
459
Indonesia
Hey all, just wanna let you know I hear you on the emails. I'm going to look into it a bit over this weekend and see if I can sort some stuff out. Keep in mind, it's not realistic for us to reply to every email simply because of the volume of emails (it's always in a perpetual state of catch-up by nature) and the fact that we're working on a volunteer basis. I myself have been swamped with schoolwork for the past four days.

However, going forward we're going to be streamlining the process and bringing more people onto the email team to try and get these handled in a more timely manner. Hopefully, this will result in fewer emails not getting a response. If you need any personal concerns addressed, feel free to send one of us mod captains a PM too.
Nice to hear that, because it's kinda frustrating to make up a detailed report and all that only to feel like you are sending to thin air. Glad to hear the response, thanks.
 

SleepSmasher

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,867
Australia
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.)
Pretty much this. It feels like sometimes mods will ban using a post’s number of reports as a benchmark, rather than looking at the post and interpreting / judging it thoughtfully.
 

Riversands

Member
Nov 21, 2017
4,555
User banned (5 days): Inflammatory point of comparison.
Does this mean you're leaving?
Huh? What kind of conclusion is this? Someone pours out her concern, and you suddenly ask her to leave? Who are you? North korea leader?? It is very ironic though, you oppose nk's government system, and you act like one.

If one is at fault, it is better to point out the mistakes hoping she will be better in the future rather harrassing her
 

Ferrs

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
10,338
Thanks for the update!

Huh? What kind of conclusion is this? Someone pours out her concern, and you suddenly ask her to leave? Who are you? North korea leader?? It is very ironic though, you oppose nk's government system, and you act like one.

If one is at fault, it is better to point out the mistakes hoping she will be better in the future rather harrassing her
Really? comparing a private forum to NK?

Kree may have been rude, I wouldn't say that to anyone, but he has a part of truth in that some people just want to shit on this forum and staff and reminding us how much they hate this site in every staff thread. You won't see me in other forums telling them how much they suck but here it's seen as something normal.

With this I don't mean people shouldn't talk about issues with moderation, we already had examples of this happening and working like the recent Transera case, but it's tiring that a lot of bad faith posters get mixed with this. As you can see here some people will never accept their bans were justified.
 

Riversands

Member
Nov 21, 2017
4,555
Thanks for the update!



Really? comparing a private forum to NK?

Kree may have been rude, I wouldn't say that to anyone, but he has a part of truth in that some people just want to shit on this forum and staff and reminding us how much they hate this site in every staff thread. You won't see me in other forums telling them how much they suck but here it's seen as something normal.

With this I don't mean people shouldn't talk about issues with moderation, we already had examples of this happening and working like the recent Transera case, but it's tiring that a lot of bad faith posters get mixed with this. As you can see here some people will never accept their bans were justified.
Huh? A private forum to nk? No no no darling, you misunderstand. I dont compare this forum to nk, but i compare that Kree guy to nk. There is a difference.

I agree with the rest but not that final statement. Because i mostly owned up my ban, in fact i sent a little bit message to mod that it wouldnt be the last time they gonna ban me. That cobra mod guy knew it of course, not a big secret
 

xJavontax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
991
Illinois
Hopefully the moderation actually responds. I’ve used the contact us form on numerous occasions and haven’t received a reply from it. Until that changes, I don’t believe it
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
10,213
Between this and the summary thread it's often not exactly surprising who turns up to show 'concern' when mods speak of giving out swifter and more severe bans for bad faith and/or bigotry.
 

Shanaynay

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,248
EDIT: Bah, I don't wanna fuel some fire or anything.

I look forward to see how moderation changes next year.
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,385
I somewhat agree with this, I specifically remember the Ooblets thread where I saw someone post something that I knew was a ban and immediately asked the mods to not ban them cause I was pretty sure I could talk them down, they were instantly banned before I could say anything else, this all happened in the span of 90 seconds, so yes the mods are trigger happy if you ask me. That time I could have handled it.
It's our responsibility to handle violations of the ToS. You can certainly try to steer the discussion in a positive direction, but backseat moderation is also against the rules.
JayC3 this is exactly the kind of attitude that rubs people up the wrong way. I don't know this specific example but you have someone who says they could defuse the situation and you're here talking about violations of ToS. This kind of corporate speak reinforces the impression a lot of people have on here that mods see themselves as some kind of detached body rather than members of the community helping keeping things civil and social.

This is a really large forum made of up loads of different cultures and nationalities, no matter how diverse the mod team are you won't be able to cover everyone's background. What is the harm of letting people try to defuse things or even mods actually engaging before throwing out 3 and 5 day bans?
 

JayC3

bork bork
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,316
JayC3 this is exactly the kind of attitude that rubs people up the wrong way. I don't know this specific example but you have someone who says they could defuse the situation and you're here talking about violations of ToS. This kind of corporate speak reinforces the impression a lot of people have on here that mods see themselves as some kind of detached body rather than members of the community helping keeping things civil and social.

This is a really large forum made of up loads of different cultures and nationalities, no matter how diverse the mod team are you won't be able to cover everyone's background. What is the harm of letting people try to defuse things or even mods actually engaging before throwing out 3 and 5 day bans?
Here's the thing. If someone makes a bigoted or inflammatory post, do we wait every time for someone to try to educate them? What if there are dozens in a thread, which can happen if there's a fast-moving, controversial thread. Do we wait for users to try to engage each and every single one before we decide to ban them?

If we do this for each and every bigoted or inflammatory post, what does that mean to the minorities who have to read and endure these posts? Are they also expected to go out of their way to engage and educate these users, even though many may not be receptive and are there just to troll?

The truth is that it's simply not possible or practical to reach and engage every single person who posts something bad. And many minorities are sick of being expected to carry this burden, as it primarily falls upon them regardless. So at the end of the day, we're going to err on the side of making the forum a safe space for minorities over one where they have to justify their existence and humanity as we wait on banning bigoted or inflammatory posts. If someone does engage them and they do learn and retract their positions, then great, we'll take that into account. But unfortunately, that's just not possible to do for every single case on a forum of this size. So that's where we're coming from on this.
 

Parsnip

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,418
Finland
Considering recent events, understandably the first post is very focused on minority communities. Very curious to see if these changes actually matter in other communities, or if trolling will continue to go unchecked elsewhere on the site.
Feels like gaming side toxicity is at an all time high and it's not even console launch year yet.
 
Sep 14, 2018
947
JayC3

I said specifically the Ooblets thread where I was talking people out of being mad at the devs for their blog post, which was apparently backseat modding, good to know.

I didn't say a word about stiffer moderation for issues affecting minorities, I was one of the users trying to reason with people in those threads until I gave up (also backseat modding?).
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,385
Here's the thing. If someone makes a bigoted or inflammatory post, do we wait every time for someone to try to educate them? What if there are dozens in a thread, which can happen if there's a fast-moving, controversial thread. Do we wait for users to try to engage each and every single one before we decide to ban them?

If we do this for each and every bigoted or inflammatory post, what does that mean to the minorities who have to read and endure these posts? Are they also expected to go out of their way to engage and educate these users, even though many may not be receptive and are there just to troll?

The truth is that it's simply not possible or practical to reach and engage every single person who posts something bad. And many minorities are sick of being expected to carry this burden, as it primarily falls upon them regardless. So at the end of the day, we're going to err on the side of making the forum a safe space for minorities over one where they have to justify their existence and humanity as we wait on banning bigoted or inflammatory posts. If someone does engage them and they do learn and retract their positions, then great, we'll take that into account. But unfortunately, that's just not possible to do for every single case on a forum of this size. So that's where we're coming from on this.
I'm coming at this as someone who's used forums for a long time, so I'm used to the idea that you sort it out between yourselves rather than constantly asking mods to adjudicate. I get that's not how everyone sees it, particularly with sensitive subjects, which is why I was addressing that specific point.

I don't think that minorities have to either justify our place in online forums or have to go out of our way to educate ignorance. I'll never argue for that. What I'm saying is that if someone is already willing to do this and it's not especially egregious, there's no harm in letting the community handle the discussion - fast paced or otherwise.

I got banned recently in the UK politics thread because I kept saying straight up there was Tory apologism and shy Conservatives in the thread. It was pretty aggressive and I know people complained. Pretty soon after that though, there was an increase in posts that at best were sympathetic to the Tories and at worst outright defended them. I'm not telling you that my approach was justified, I'm aggressive on some topics - whatever.
But myself and other regular posters had a feeling of who was coming from what place and that bore out. There are a lot of people on here who can see how threads are going, some can do with locking for cooldowns and warnings, others just need bad faith posters banned straight away. Regular posters can see that and if someone thinks they can nip it in the bud by posting rather than reporting, surely that's a win-win situation for everyone?

I know moderation is a thankless task, it's pretty much been the case since forever. Not every thread is derailed by posters taking some opinions to task. Feel free to ban the outright fascists by all means, just let the communities manage themselves in the lesser cases - even if they are technically ToS violations. If the discussion doesn't bear fruit, then fine - they tried, they failed, hand out the ban.
 

Llyrwenne

Hopes and Dreams SAVE the World
Member
Oct 26, 2017
996
What is the harm of letting people try to defuse things or even mods actually engaging before throwing out 3 and 5 day bans?
Pardon my bluntness, but this is a silly and entirely impractical idea for a lot of reasons. If someone breaks the terms of service or posting guidelines in a way that merits a ban, they should be banned. Period. That's not 'being trigger-happy', that's enforcing the rules of the forum. Adding arbitrary waiting times on top of that only serves to lengthen thread derailments, increase hostility, and burden the communities most directly affected by the behavior. This "I'm sure I can convince them to stop engaging in the ban-worthy behavior they already engaged in!"-idea is silly. How long should staff have to wait before banning someone who engaged in a ban-worthy offense? How many people should 'get the chance to convince them' before staff can finally ban them? One? Two? Three? As many as you deem it necessary for each individual case? What if nobody shows up to 'defuse the situation'? Now think about how all this immensely complicates moderation on the staff side, necessitating moderators to monitor one specific thread for an arbitrary amount of time to see if anyone shows up to 'convince' or 'defuse' the one specific user in question, thus diverging their attention away from the rest of the forum. How long should they let these types of discussions play out for? What if the user does not respond? Should the user be banned only if they explicitly and harshly double down, or should they be allowed a third chance to retract? What if one user's ban-worthy behavior feeds into another user engaging in similar ban-worthy behavior in part due to an apparent lack of moderator action? Should staff just allow threads to be derailed to be entirely about this one person's behavior? Should one person's determination to 'defuse' the situation overrule all other participants of the thread? Should staff burden vulnerable communities with having to 'defuse' behavior that harms them before they ban the user engaging in that behavior?

There's absolutely been times where people have been engaged by others by the time staff got their eyes on a situation, and in those situations, that engagement is absolutely taken into account in weighing how long - or even if - a person should be banned, but it is entirely impractical to expect a blanket policy of a mandatory and arbitrary waiting time for each and every ban, not to mention that it makes the communities most directly affected by the behavior feel less safe and secure on this forum.
 

dreams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,092
Thank you all for the changes you are implementing. I'm going to remain optimistic that things are going to improve. It's clear that you're honestly working on the issues that have been raised.

But also I'm disappointed (but not surprised) to see that this is probably just going to turn into another WOW ERA IS TRYING TO CENSOR FREE SPEECH thread.
 
OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
Considering recent events, understandably the first post is very focused on minority communities. Very curious to see if these changes actually matter in other communities, or if trolling will continue to go unchecked elsewhere on the site.
Feels like gaming side toxicity is at an all time high and it's not even console launch year yet.
Yes, we will be looking to crack down on toxicity as a whole. We realise that this is a concern in the gaming section, especially as the new generation approaches. It's something that has come up in recent meetings, and we want to keep an eye on this.

This thread is more focused on bigotry, because that is what the overwhelming amount of feedback we've recently received is about, and it's also an issue of great concern. The community relations team however will serve to identify concerns from all over the community. Our initial focus however will be to reach out to various marginalised communities.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,818
JayC3

I said specifically the Ooblets thread where I was talking people out of being mad at the devs for their blog post, which was apparently backseat modding, good to know.

I didn't say a word about stiffer moderation for issues affecting minorities, I was one of the users trying to reason with people in those threads until I gave up (also backseat modding?).
I mean, I don’t think the issue here is you trying to reason with people or point out how they’re being hurtful.

It’s just that “don’t ban them, I’m going to handle it” is a different thing entirely. Trusting random users to defuse situations instead of actually applying the rules, while others have to wait for that to play out, would be kinda ridiculous.
 
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SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,385
Pardon my bluntness, but this is a silly and entirely impractical idea for a lot of reasons. If someone breaks the terms of service or posting guidelines in a way that merits a ban, they should be banned. Period. That's not 'being trigger-happy', that's enforcing the rules of the forum. Adding arbitrary waiting times on top of that only serves to lengthen thread derailments, increase hostility, and burden the communities most directly affected by the behavior. This "I'm sure I can convince them to stop engaging in the ban-worthy behavior they already engaged in!"-idea is silly. How long should staff have to wait before banning someone who engaged in a ban-worthy offense? How many people should 'get the chance to convince them' before staff can finally ban them? One? Two? Three? As many as you deem it necessary for each individual case? What if nobody shows up to 'defuse the situation'? Now think about how all this immensely complicates moderation on the staff side, necessitating moderators to monitor one specific thread for an arbitrary amount of time to see if anyone shows up to 'convince' or 'defuse' the one specific user in question, thus diverging their attention away from the rest of the forum. How long should they let these types of discussions play out for? What if the user does not respond? Should the user be banned only if they explicitly and harshly double down, or should they be allowed a third chance to retract? What if one user's ban-worthy behavior feeds into another user engaging in similar ban-worthy behavior in part due to an apparent lack of moderator action? Should staff just allow threads to be derailed to be entirely about this one person's behavior? Should one person's determination to 'defuse' the situation overrule all other participants of the thread? Should staff burden vulnerable communities with having to 'defuse' behavior that harms them before they ban the user engaging in that behavior?

There's absolutely been times where people have been engaged by others by the time staff got their eyes on a situation, and in those situations, that engagement is absolutely taken into account in weighing how long - or even if - a person should be banned, but it is entirely impractical to expect a blanket policy of a mandatory and arbitrary waiting time for each and every ban, not to mention that it makes the communities most directly affected by the behavior feel less safe and secure on this forum.
You know that the terms of service isn't a legal document, right? This is a community, not a transaction, some people make mistakes, other people clumsily misphrase their posts since English isn't their first language and some people are just shitposters looking to do damage. You wouldn't expect all three to be treated the same. I'm not asking for arbitrary waiting times either, if you read my post and the one I was replying to, it was a specific case where there's a discussion happening in a thread or community and the posters themselves are handling. There's no one answer to this, some people are obviously trying to derail while others are simply ignorant.

I've been careful to use the plural because one person might be satisfied with seeing the discussion play out while the rest of the thread are either going in hard or have already reported the user en masse. I shouldn't have to explicitly state that because it's currently taken care of by the existing system.

Your last line is important because where you say "not to mention that it makes the communities most directly affected by the behavior feel less safe and secure on this forum", it also works the other way. Part of the reason we're even having this conversation is because the moderation has impacted some communities.

It's interesting that you don't even entertain the idea that situations can be defused, I don't think it's outlandish that people posting in a thread can handle some situations without the need for mods to get involved. You can still have moderation without reaching for the ban hammer.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
10,213
Your last line is important because where you say "not to mention that it makes the communities most directly affected by the behavior feel less safe and secure on this forum", it also works the other way. Part of the reason we're even having this conversation is because the moderation has impacted some communities.

It's interesting that you don't even entertain the idea that situations can be defused, I don't think it's outlandish that people posting in a thread can handle some situations without the need for mods to get involved. You can still have moderation without reaching for the ban hammer.
The reason this conversation came about was because of a severe lack of moderation in Trans/NB threads. If you’re ignorant on a sensitive subject and wish to learn, the onus is on you to set yourself apart from those posting in bad faith. People have had their posts answered throughout this, even at the most heated of times.

I will continue to educate and spend more stamina than it’s likely worth responding to people that are questionable at best in the future. Not everyone has that stamina though, and we’re at the point where members of communities don’t even post in threads related to them and their issues as a result. I’d rather people show a little more tact and consideration and we keep those people than pander to people who can’t offer that much and lose more.
 
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JayC3

bork bork
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,316
SubvertedTrope , I want to say sorry for being curt earlier. We were juggling a lot of different things at the time, so I didn't realize my post came across as dismissive, but I apologize.

To clarify the point about backseat modding, it was more about asking to personally handle rulebreakers instead of staff. It's great if you want to post positively and/or try to reason with them, but ultimately the mods have to make the decision on what to do. I think Llyrwenne and deepFLAW's posts do a good job explaining why it would be impractical having to wait on bans. Anyway, sorry again for my tone earlier, and I hope this clarifies things.
 

Ferrs

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
10,338
I feel like people don't want to be aware that part of what happened and made this situation is that so much agressions to minorities were left unbanned, not the other way around.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,818
I feel like people don't want to be aware that part of what happened and made this situation is that so much agressions to minorities were left unbanned, not the other way around.
Hah, well, it’s not like knowing’s ever stopped them from trying to frame things like that anyway. People were already posting that kind of thing in the threads directly about what was happening, while it was ongoing.
 

Llyrwenne

Hopes and Dreams SAVE the World
Member
Oct 26, 2017
996
You know that the terms of service isn't a legal document, right?
I do not recall claiming that it was, and I fail to see how this is relevant to this discussion.
This is a community, not a transaction, some people make mistakes, other people clumsily misphrase their posts since English isn't their first language and some people are just shitposters looking to do damage. You wouldn't expect all three to be treated the same.
I wouldn't expect them to be treated the same, because I know from experience that they aren't treated the same.
I'm not asking for arbitrary waiting times either, if you read my post and the one I was replying to, it was a specific case where there's a discussion happening in a thread or community and the posters themselves are handling. There's no one answer to this, some people are obviously trying to derail while others are simply ignorant.
The post that sparked this discussion did not restrict itself to 'a specific case the posters themselves were handling' and in fact outright argued people are being banned for bigotry too quickly. Moderation should not be dictated by whether you as an individual member feel like you or others are 'handling things well'. Enforcement of site rules should not simply be suspended to indulge individual users' desire to 'defuse' a situation.
I've been careful to use the plural because one person might be satisfied with seeing the discussion play out while the rest of the thread are either going in hard or have already reported the user en masse. I shouldn't have to explicitly state that because it's currently taken care of by the existing system.
Yet you are arguing that this existing system should be changed, no?
Your last line is important because where you say "not to mention that it makes the communities most directly affected by the behavior feel less safe and secure on this forum", it also works the other way. Part of the reason we're even having this conversation is because the moderation has impacted some communities.
This thread and policy update exists as a response to complaints from vulnerable minority communities about what they perceived as a lack of moderation in sensitive threads about issues that affect them. In that context, the idea that users should not be immediately banned for ban-worthy offenses but instead 'defused' by the community puts an enormous burden on the members of those vulnerable communities.
It's interesting that you don't even entertain the idea that situations can be defused, I don't think it's outlandish that people posting in a thread can handle some situations without the need for mods to get involved. You can still have moderation without reaching for the ban hammer.
I literally stated that there have been situations where members defused a situation before staff got their eyes on it and that this influenced ban length or even whether a ban was needed at all. What I am arguing against is the idea that this should be extended to a site-wide policy in the form of temporarily suspending enforcement of rules to accommodate individuals who believe they can 'defuse' a situation or 'handle it on their own' - which is how I understand your argument in the context of this thread and the posts it was a response to.

And to be clear, I absolutely think that people should try and defuse a situation if they feel able and are willing to. It is a great good that we have members who are willing to engage others in such a way and I am extremely grateful for each and every one of them. But I do not believe it is to anyone's benefit to let that overrule timely enforcement of this site's rules, especially not in the context of what this thread is about.

Apologies in advance if I misunderstood your argument or any part of it.
 

Biestmann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,116
I'd like to congratulate you on a good message, but at the same time feel we have these kinds of announcements every other month. And in the end, the hoped for positive changes remain amiss. Here's to hoping this time will be different.
 

Palette Swap

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,128
Among the most important of those changes is that bans for bigotry will be significantly longer going forward.
Good, and in line with what The Kree suggested (and that articulated most of my gripes) in the other thread.
I don’t really care that one time someone got banned because they defended their shitty blackface tradition or whatever, cry me a river, and I don’t really care that this has a chilling effect on these folk.


I feel like people don't want to be aware that part of what happened and made this situation is that so much agressions to minorities were left unbanned, not the other way around.
Exactly. If people were expecting as an outcome a more hands off moderation on these issues, they weren’t following these conversations at all.
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,385
The reason this conversation came about was because of a severe lack of moderation in Trans/NB threads. If you’re ignorant on a sensitive subject and wish to learn, the onus is on you to set yourself apart from those posting in bad faith. People have had their posts answered throughout this, even at the most heated of times.

I will continue to educate and spend more stamina than it’s likely worth responding to people that are questionable at best in the future. Not everyone has that stamina though, and we’re at the point where members of communities don’t even post in threads related to them and their issues as a result. I’d rather people show a little more tact and consideration and we keep those people than pander to people who can’t offer that much and lose more.
I do not recall claiming that it was, and I fail to see how this is relevant to this discussion.

I wouldn't expect them to be treated the same, because I know from experience that they aren't treated the same.

The post that sparked this discussion did not restrict itself to 'a specific case the posters themselves were handling' and in fact outright argued people are being banned for bigotry too quickly. Moderation should not be dictated by whether you as an individual member feel like you or others are 'handling things well'. Enforcement of site rules should not simply be suspended to indulge individual users' desire to 'defuse' a situation.

Yet you are arguing that this existing system should be changed, no?

This thread and policy update exists as a response to complaints from vulnerable minority communities about what they perceived as a lack of moderation in sensitive threads about issues that affect them. In that context, the idea that users should not be immediately banned for ban-worthy offenses but instead 'defused' by the community puts an enormous burden on the members of those vulnerable communities.

I literally stated that there have been situations where members defused a situation before staff got their eyes on it and that this influenced ban length or even whether a ban was needed at all. What I am arguing against is the idea that this should be extended to a site-wide policy in the form of temporarily suspending enforcement of rules to accommodate individuals who believe they can 'defuse' a situation or 'handle it on their own' - which is how I understand your argument in the context of this thread and the posts it was a response to.

And to be clear, I absolutely think that people should try and defuse a situation if they feel able and are willing to. It is a great good that we have members who are willing to engage others in such a way and I am extremely grateful for each and every one of them. But I do not believe it is to anyone's benefit to let that overrule timely enforcement of this site's rules, especially not in the context of what this thread is about.

Apologies in advance if I misunderstood your argument or any part of it.
Sorry, I wasn't referring to the lack of moderation and the bigotry. I would never excuse bigotry or bad faith posting. I was referring to the fact that many people struggled to be heard about their concerns, as threads were locked and people were getting banned for calling out the moderation. It took a lot of perseverance for people to be heard and I respect that. I also think it shouldn't have reached that point but I don't want to start offering my opinion on the matter because I'm not part of the community affected and I don't want to speak on their behalf.

What I am saying is that some of those issues are common throughout the forum, such as there being little or no communication from or between users to the mods. I'm not suggesting an avalanche of reports should be ignored because someone might be able to talk the offender down, I don't think anyone is complaining about the extreme cases that warrant permanently or lengthy bans.

I don't want anyone to feel like I'm hijacking important issues, I'm absolutely not suggesting my opinion should be heard over other minorities. I'm only talking about the lowest end of the scale.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,920
I feel like people don't want to be aware that part of what happened and made this situation is that so much agressions to minorities were left unbanned, not the other way around.
It's pretty remarkable that they've made it 100% clear that they're trying to address site-wide minority treatment on the forum, and we still have people coming into the thread trying to make it about trivial personal bullshit and wanting to micromanage the site staff.

WHAT ABOUT MMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
 

Taker34

QA Tester
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
966
Earth
Nice, it’s good to see improvement in regards to creating a safe space for minorities. Sure this forum isn’t perfect but it’s by far my favorite place to discuss really anything. There’s no other place I want to be. If we all work together it’ll stay that way, as long as we want. Implementing stricter bans for trolls and racist remarks is also good for ensuring a better discussion climate - these “muh free speech” trolls can’t be serious to begin with. If you want to say “controversial“ stuff then don’t hide, stop being a coward and show your true colours, saving everyone a lot of time.