• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 3 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes, 54 seconds, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Year End Policy Updates and Community Affairs

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
User Banned (Permanent): Doubling down on severe infractions.
As stated in the OP:

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.
What are "inflammatory" points of view is incredibly subjective, though. And what I was defending was the right of the medium as an art form to explore underage sexuality which is something countless books and films have done. Celebrated books and films, I might add. I was not defending the specific game that was being talked about in that thread (I haven't played it but I assume it was more pornographic in nature than anything else). I tried to explain that to your mods via email but never received a reply. (In fact, my ban was lengthened because I dared standing up for myself and questioning a mod's decision. In private. Via email.)

As for the blackface thing, I'd try to explain why I think that post was perfectly fine but knowing this place, even just the (perfectly harmless) explanation would land me a ban so I'll refrain from doing so.

Does this mean you're leaving?
Just because I don't like how this place is moderated doesn't mean I hate all of it. I like the community and, like I said, it's great as a news site.
 

Palette Swap

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,847
What are "inflammatory" points of view is incredibly subjective, though. And what I was defending was the right of the medium as an art form to explore underage sexuality which is something countless books and films have done. Celebrated books and films, I might add. I was not defending the specific game that was being talked about in that thread (I haven't played it but I assume it was more pornographic in nature than anything else). I tried to explain that to your mods via email but never received a reply. (In fact, my ban was lengthened because I dared standing up for myself and questioning a mod's decision. In private. Via email.)

As for the blackface thing. I'd try to explain why I think that post was perfectly fine but knowing this place, even just the (perfectly harmless) explanation would land me a ban so I'll refrain from doing so.


Just because I don't like how this place is moderated doesn't mean I hate all of it. I like the community and, like I said, it's great as a news site.
Imagine seeing a thread about how moderation is gonna try to make the place feel safer for minorities and immediately jumping in to defend your history of shitty hand waving takes on these issues.

The lesson should probably have been to read and listen more to what others have to say and reflect on why it’s not always a good idea to jump in with shitty, uninformed, half baked takes and make it all about you. Looking at this thread, that didn’t really work out, I guess.
 

Jam

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,813
Imagine seeing a thread about how moderation is gonna try to make the place feel safer for minorities and immediately jumping in to defend your history of shitty hand waving takes on these issues.

The lesson should probably have been to read and listen more to what others have to say and reflect on why it’s not always a good idea to jump in with shitty, uninformed, half baked takes and make it all about you. Looking at this thread, that didn’t really work out, I guess.
I mean wasn’t Harlequin initially talking about the general processes and procedures of the moderation team; an open discussion which they have welcomed with recent events? And a mod then brought Harlequin’s personal posting history into it as a way to shut them down?
 

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
Imagine seeing a thread about how moderation is gonna try to make the place feel safer for minorities and immediately jumping in to defend your history of shitty hand waving takes on these issues.

The lesson should probably have been to read and listen more to what others have to say and reflect on why it’s not always a good idea to jump in with shitty, uninformed, half baked takes and make it all about you. Looking at this thread, that didn’t really work out, I guess.
I'm not the one who tried making it about me. I merely commented on why I think immediately reaching for the ban hammer every time a mod finds something mildly offensive isn't a good strategy. Other people then made that about me, forcing me to defend myself. (I'd also argue that, in the cases mentioned, I'm not the one with the half-baked, uninformed opinions because I've thought my stances through very well.)

That being said, I agree that this thread should not be about me, my past bans (or anyone else's individual past bans for that matter), etc. It should be about general moderation practices, the atmosphere of the site and how to best address actual problems with bigotry. I don't and never did mean to derail it but I kinda did have to reply to that post by Mist, I'm sure you'll understand.
 
OP
OP
Mist

Mist

Scourge of the Furies
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,813
Doubling down on your bans, especially for serious matters such as child sexualisation and racism, will result in a much more severe infraction, and likely a permanent ban. Hijacking a thread about the concerns of minority members in relation to how bigotry is moderated is especially inappropriate.

For the record, Harlequin's prior ban was extended because the ban was placed into ban review. Lengthy bans are personally overseen by moderator captains and then updated after further discussion. The fact that the ban length is pending is made clear in the ban message.
 
Nov 11, 2017
2,356
I would like to propose that similar considerations be given to Black/Asian/Latin communities as well.

As well as an improvement in the overall way discussions of Palestine and China are handled.

Thirdly, I’d like to see some more nuance when it comes to subjects that require intersectionality, as I’m sure we’ll have a lot of butting heads, even as minorities.

Lastly, I would generally like a LOT more transparency. In regards to how this manifests, it’d be too long to and would take up most of my post. But there’s lots of work that can be done.

I genuinely have very low standards for anything changing, and this is because I’ve been talking about about a lot of these issues for the past two years. At first you’re sort of expectant and want to cooperate, but after all that time (and certain questionable incidents), you just either leave or accept that things are gonna stay the same. It took far too much blowback for the team to take a step back and reevaluate.

I appreciate some individual moderators, who during the turmoil, decided to be open and understanding. And a lot of them whom I’ve interacted with have been responsive and involved in the past, but I want to see the change.
This is a great post , as a member of the minority communities above I have felt for some time that era has increasingly become an unsafe space for minorities and poc.
 

Ahsoka

Member
Oct 20, 2019
1,384
I’m happy to see a big chunk of this plan talking about micro-aggressions, bad faith behavior, concern trolling, drive-by dismissiveness, etc. That has always been a really significant part of the problem. Those are the exact people that make things so exhausting and frustrating, and that make some queer people not want to go anywhere near threads about queer issues.

Very sincere thanks to everyone involved in these changes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,082
It's really good to see the engagement of the staff and their willingness to recognize their faults, change and improve to make the forum a better place. Just wanted to say thank you for that.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,164
I mean wasn’t Harlequin initially talking about the general processes and procedures of the moderation team; an open discussion which they have welcomed with recent events? And a mod then brought Harlequin’s personal posting history into it as a way to shut them down?
Their initial response is about as clear an example of concern trolling and bad-faith as you could get in response to a post about meeting bigotry and bad faith with severe and swift action. Which itself is in response to a large issue brought forward around lack of moderation in sensitive threads, which was flipped as soon as it broke into being an overactive amount of moderation in sensitive threads by people that would rather play the victim than show a modicum of tact when approaching sensitive issues. Something the majority of the forum manages without issue.

  • Justifying blackface.
  • Speaking to the ‘artistry’ behind underage sexuality.
  • Worrying about the ramifications of bans for bigotry on ‘diversity of opinion’
  • Equating saying “Fuck Blizzard” to homophobia.

Come on. You can “I mean” what you like but this is one of the most brazen examples of bad faith agitating around sensitive issues you’ll get and you’re there attempting to skew it into the moderation shutting down discussion.
 
Last edited:

Pirate Bae

Sexy Chess Afficionado
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
4,132
??
This is a great post , as a member of the minority communities above I have felt for some time that era has increasingly become an unsafe space for minorities and poc.
We hear you, and this is partly why we’re creating a community relations team so that users may reach out to us more effectively, and so the issues may be handled faster. That, and increasing the ban lengths for bigotry.

Obviously, we can’t be everywhere at once. The report system is incredibly effective in letting users have a way to communicate with us about posts that are problematic, but it is an anonymous process. You make a report but you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes. With this team, we want to create an environment where members feel comfortable coming to a dedicated team about their communities and any problems they may have. We want to improve the relationship between staff and the general populace.
 

corasaur

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,625
Just chiming in to say that more transparency would be bad. Old Gaf/era's policies of actually banning people instead of being 4chan-tier chaos has long pissed some people off enough that dedicated hate threads or spin-off forums spring up. The last thing we need is to make it easier for a bitter psycho to dox mods

It kind of feels like the level of transparency we already have sometimes gets used as a weapon by shitposters. The problem with Gaf wasn't authoritarian moderation, it was the sexual assailant.
 

Fanto

Is this tag ok?
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,055
When I see staff members, both former and current, talk about how much time they spend moderating the forum and how much of a toll that is or was on them, it does make me wonder if maybe you should have more staff members than you do? Mist mentioned earlier in here that some staff spent their entire day yesterday going through reports, and I feel like if you had more people, then that load could be lightened and perhaps it wouldn't cause you all to spend hours and hours of your day going through reports.

40 staff for over 48,000 members seems like a really low number to me, less than 0.1%, and when I see people saying that they spend most of their days helping to moderate the forum, that makes me worry that you are all burning yourselves out really fast trying to keep up with everything you need to deal with here on a daily basis. This forum is big, tons of posts and threads are made each day, and you're all doing great work keeping up with it as is, but it still doesn't sound healthy to me in the long run, it just seems like a disproportionate amount of stress is being placed on you all to me, and that makes me worry about you.
 

The Kree

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,547
When I see staff members, both former and current, talk about how much time they spend moderating the forum and how much of a toll that is or was on them, it does make me wonder if maybe you should have more staff members than you do? Mist mentioned earlier in here that some staff spent their entire day yesterday going through reports, and I feel like if you had more people, then that load could be lightened and perhaps it wouldn't cause you all to spend hours and hours of your day going through reports.

40 staff for over 48,000 members seems like a really low number to me, less than 0.1%, and when I see people saying that they spend most of their days helping to moderate the forum, that makes me worry that you are all burning yourselves out really fast trying to keep up with everything you need to deal with here on a daily basis. This forum is big, tons of posts and threads are made each day, and you're all doing great work keeping up with it as is, but it still doesn't sound healthy to me in the long run, it just seems like a disproportionate amount of stress is being placed on you all to me, and that makes me worry about you.
This should be less of a problem if they excise the problem users more swiftly, which they appear to be doing going forward.

I agree that there should probably be a bigger team, but finding even more levelheaded and trustworthy people to do it on a volunteer basis is an endeavor onto itself.
 

Aomame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
343
I think this is a great first step in beginning to make this site a more inclusive place, though I echo the calls of many that I hope to see these dialogues being opened with multiple minority groups who have been driven or nearly driven away from this site. I admire the bravery of TransERA in drawing attention to these issues and being able to work with the staff to heal some tensions. I am looking forward to seeing these changes in policy take place.

I do have a question about issues that were raised in some of the threads started by TransEra, specifically transparency. I feel folks have requested moderators signing off on their infractions and bans, but I think the explanation that these disciplinary actions are decided by a team is sufficient. I also understand not wanting to open the deciding mods to harassment. However, I did see folks asking for a public record of a user's past infractions, akin to what you see here. I understand not wanting to shame people for their past behavior (perhaps you could hide actions older than a year old or something?), but it's also helpful to know if you're interacting with someone who has a history of bad faith posting or bigoted behavior.

Also, are any changes planned for responding to reported posts? I do usually get responses when changes are made, but even if the mod team decides the report is unwarranted or they want to file it away for future reference without taking immediate action, I at least would appreciate an acknowledgment that the report was seen and discussed.
 

Parsnip

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,356
Finland
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.
Sounds good.
 

regenhuber

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,715
Sounds fine to me.
A lot of posters here are just rude as fuck. Entering threads without doing even the tiniest bit of research (talking about 12second Google searches).

Maybe the mods could keep an eye on a somewhat related issue on Gaming side.
There are two type of threads that keep clogging up the front page and I don't get why they aren't auto-closed like list threads.

A) "I just bought a Switch/PS4/PC/X1 please recommend me some games!"

These kinds of über-broad threads have zero value IMO
I get that community recommendations are valuable but these type of threads lead to a list of recommendations, not a discussion.
If someone buys a Switch and wants to know which games are considered "good", there is a ton of helpful content freely available online (although it seems strange that people on ERA don't know about BOTW, Mario Odyssey, Kart etc.).
Threads would be a lot more interesting if the OPs at least narrow down their choices to two or three specific games.

B) Worthless speculation based on zero verified information
There was a thread yesterday where people speculating about how well PS5 will do next gen compared to PS4 this gen..... Can we at least hold off on that fanboy bullshit until prices, specs and dates are known?


It’s really unfortunate that interesting threads with intelligent discussion get bumped to Page 3+ because of this stuff.

If people disagree with me that’s fine, just giving my personal feedback.
 

bluexy

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
3,995
Hey y'all, I think what you've expressed in this post is both positive and constructive. I very much want to see how the team's plans bear fruit. To that effect, one big question I'm left with is what the team is planning with regards to transparency, tracking, and accountability. To put it simply, I think the plans expressed in Mist's post are great. I trust the words are sincere. But based on my experience even the best and most sincere of intentions demand oversight. How does the team plan to turn these new views and pursuits into measurable, actionable tasks and goals, and how does the team plan on conveying that information to ResetEra members so as to instill confidence in the effort?
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,232
I mean wasn’t Harlequin initially talking about the general processes and procedures of the moderation team; an open discussion which they have welcomed with recent events? And a mod then brought Harlequin’s personal posting history into it as a way to shut them down?
Not really?

You may not be aware of this context, but it is not at all uncommon for users who were banned for legitimate reasons to piggyback off these ongoing issues to say “Yeah, the mods are terrible! They ban people for every little thing! They banned me just for asking a polite question or offering a differing opinion!” etc. Despite that the issues are literally that people get away with shit cause that’s their excuse for it. And it’s why the OP specifically warned people doing that of the consequences:

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.
And this is a policy I’m pretty happy to see in action, because it’s a lot harder for users to dig up someone’s ban history even if they actually saw the ban happen and remember what it was really for. People getting called out for this helps clear up what’s really been happening rather than letting people wonder if they really were punished for nothing. This can be misused - ex: if a history of legitimate criticism of the staff is treated as a history of bad faith infractions - but as long as the history is posted openly like this, people can counter that.

So assuming Harlequin actually read the OP, they should have known exactly what they were in for.
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
4,319
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.
Yeah, it got to a point where every sub-community is on a warpath against each other because the trolls are flooding the threads, which makes the targeted community defensive and closed.
if there would be a harsher moderation on thread derails or riling up communities, it would help to calm down the passive aggressiveness of the current Forum.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,760
a sunken pirate ship
Once again not hard to tell who folks with real concerns are vs. the people coming in here sad they might not get to post about blackface. Some of y'all ain't slick.
 

Nothing Loud

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,836
First of all, thank you for the new updates and transparency. I know you guys work hard.

I’m sorry but I want to bring this up. I don’t know if this is the right place to state this, but I’ve also noticed a big issue on this forum with toxic cravings for controversial threadbackfires against OPs asking for advice. Why is this a problem? Because the last two times I’ve seen it happen, it’s involved mental health issues. This affects people’s safety. I think when a thread involves mental health issues it warrants some tact and careful moderation and ive been seeing a lack of that.

Last week someone posted that they have borderline personality disorder and their girlfriend left them and they were feeling suicidal. Some posters, instead of offering consolation and deeescalation of suicidal tendencies, decided to interrogate OP about why they broke up, which led to more personal details, which turned into a snowball of people attacking OP and summoning a thread backfire. OP had them admitted he started dating his girlfriend when she was 16 and he was 19. People then started implying he was a predator, even though he explained he lived in a part of Australia where age of consent was 16 and it was irrelevant anyway to the fact that OP was suicidal and this was years later. Now I’m NOT defending any inappropriate physical contact with a minor, it’s just seemed like he appropriately explained that he did nothing wrong and the main priority of the thread was that someone with BPD was suicidal and asking for help *now*. People showed gross ignorance and lack of tact for the OP’s borderline personality disorder. I tried to intervene and defend OP and they thanked me later via PM, but the thread ended up getting locked.



The second time was this week where a frustrated OP announced his friend tried to commit suicide and he was grieving with anger and frustration. Some posters proceeded to call the OP a shitty, selfish friend, and derailed the conversation when OP said from the get go that it was just his personal feelings. Those comments from backlashers were not helpful or relevant, just petty petitions for a thread backfire.


Is there something we can do regarding the toxic culture of people attacking OPs who are mentally ill or looking for help? It’s honestly getting dangerous IMO
 
Last edited:

Servbot24

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
21,491
Is this ban a result of the new rules?


The OP was banned for pointing out that The Office uses racism to show what a bad person Michael is while simultaneously being awkwardly funny. Should we restrain from acknowledging any media which contains an element including racism or sexism? And if so should we have an official list of "cancelled" properties? That way we can avoid people claiming ignorance.
 
Last edited:

Maximus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,190
Is this ban a result of the new rules?


The OP was banned for pointing out that The Office uses racism to show what a bad person Michael is while simultaneously being awkwardly funny. Should we restrain from acknowledging any media which contains an element including racism or sexism? And if so should we have an official list of "cancelled" proprties? That way we can avoid people claiming ignorance.
There’s this and the example below of two questionable warnings/bans that don’t make sense.

 

FenninRo

alt account
Banned
Nov 13, 2019
84
Is this ban a result of the new rules?


The OP was banned for pointing out that The Office uses racism to show what a bad person Michael is while simultaneously being awkwardly funny. Should we restrain from acknowledging any media which contains an element including racism or sexism? And if so should we have an official list of "cancelled" properties? That way we can avoid people claiming ignorance.
Maybe don't be an insensitive white dude posting shit like, "this is golden" in regards to blatant racism? Maybe he thought it was OK because it was only offensive to Asians? Crazy to see people defending that guy in there.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,760
a sunken pirate ship
There’s this and the example below of two questionable warnings/bans that don’t make sense.

Eh seems like a decent enough way to address drivebys
 

mnz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,286

This ban is absolutely ridiculous and closing the thread with that statement is cowardly.
OP literally got banned for liking The Office, the most watched show on Netflix.
 

B-Dubs

Oh well, what the hell?
General Manager
Oct 25, 2017
17,788

This ban is absolutely ridiculous and closing the thread with that statement is cowardly.
OP literally got banned for liking The Office, the most watched show on Netflix.
He wasn't banned for liking The Office. He was banned for dismissing the racism in the scene as just "no filter." A thread in which we are discussing how best to handle bigotry isn't the place to talk about how certain kinds of bigotry aren't so bad. Do not hijack the thread over a single ban, given this is not what this thread is about.
 

mnz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,286
Then maybe we should have a thread for that, because there is no place for it currently. Make that a policy. There are like 20 people in that thread not understanding the ban, are you aware of that?
 
Last edited:

Ashlette

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,016
This is excellent news. Hopefully this will stop "curious observers" from posting in sensitive threads with garbage like "I can't see why trans people are upset when they read transphobic jokes. People are just too sensitive nowadays. I support trans rights btw".

But I noticed that some users are abusing their status to relay member-only content to hate sites. Such individuals should be banned. Is it possible to track them down?
 

SleepSmasher

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,753
Australia
He wasn't banned for liking The Office. He was banned for dismissing the racism in the scene as just "no filter." A thread in which we are discussing how best to handle bigotry isn't the place to talk about how certain kinds of bigotry aren't so bad. Do not hijack the thread over a single ban, given this is not what this thread is about.
Please don't shutdown people over valid concerns regarding ResetEra's ban policy. Of course a big part of what this thread is about is directly co-related to ban reasons and how to (and not to) post here by following this website's guidelines as "safely" as possible. It isn't rocket science to conclude that there's a clear confusion in how moderation works and the linked thread clearly exemplifies that.

On a side note, did you ever think of an official way to allow banned users to reply to a ban reason, even if via PM, to hear from them in a more thoughtful manner? Again - and this has been said here several times before - sometimes bans feel unnecessarily harsh because there's a clear view from most of the user base that the offending user acted out of ignorance, was being naive or joked about sensitive matters when the situation clearly didn't allow it. It could be one way to minimise RE's tarnished "brand" of being overly moderated, often to the point of unfairness.

An just to make sure I don't hit a nerve with the mods or admins, this is absolutely my opinion and feel free to completely disregard it.
 
Last edited:

Violence Jack

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,401
While we're on the topic of moderation and providing a safe space, I'd really like to see something be done about certain posters attacking parents whenever a thread about kids is created. Usually someone has a question or looking for opinions about possibly having children only to have said thread swarmed with posters posting anti-natalist comments, or flat out insulting parents by blaming climate change on us and repeatedly calling us selfish. It borders on bullying at times, and my repeated attempts to report posts to a mod about it gets ignored. That being said, parents are far from being a marginalized community on this forum, and I don't want to take the focus away from the groups that need them. I just wanted to bring this up for the mods to take notice of in the future.

Finally, maybe it's just me (or there are more serious infractions that have been occurring) but I don't see warnings used very much anymore, and I think it would be helpful to understand what constitutes a warning vs receiving a ban for posts that aren't egregious violations of the TOS.
 

Servbot24

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
21,491
He wasn't banned for liking The Office. He was banned for dismissing the racism in the scene as just "no filter." A thread in which we are discussing how best to handle bigotry isn't the place to talk about how certain kinds of bigotry aren't so bad. Do not hijack the thread over a single ban, given this is not what this thread is about.
I feel it is on topic to ask if this is an instance of the new rules in practice.