Year End Policy Updates and Community Affairs

Annoying Old Party Man

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 29, 2017
966
User banned (2 months): mod whining, doubling down on previous infraction
Hey everyone.

I don't want to derail the thread but since it's the only place I can speak about it, I want to post about my ban here. Well, not my ban, but its consequences. I was banned for two weeks in the thread about gender and ethnic diversity in games. My opinion was that we should not try to "force" diversity on creators, but especially I wanted to focus on the fact that it is - for better or worse - the fight should be given on the creator's turf. This means finding a way to give voice to creators that represent those people. This will ultimately be more effective than anything. Celeste was a perfect example for me, because it was a creation of transgender people, featuring a beautiful transgender character, and narrating a story about actual trans issues.

I got banned after I engaged with a couple of members who seemed to be overly aggressive towards me. I was attacked for my opinion, while I never even said I was against them - on the contrary. I can understand that minorities need to be protected, but this didn't seem to me like protection, rather than imposition. You either agree with them, or you are imposed to shut up about it.

A member quoted my post some time before or after I got banned. This was his/her post: https://www.resetera.com/threads/why-is-there-so-much-blowback-from-people-when-asking-for-more-gender-ethnic-diversity-in-games.155361/post-26902194.

I wish I could engage with this person because some of the things he/she said I would like to extend on, discuss about and clarify. Heck, I can mostly understand, agree and relate to what is being said, and I would glad to contribute in productive dialogue.

This will never happen, and in fact, it will never happen in another topic about anything that might be deemed sensitive to this forum. And whenever I realise a person who is considered a minority takes a stance, I'm out - I don't want to be part of it, read or converse about it.

I might be nothing and my voice might mean nothing - in this forum or elsewhere - but there will be people that have something to say, and might be silenced or choose not to speak because of this climate. Dialogue should always be the desired outcome in a public forum, otherwise it is not a conversation, but an echo. It doesn't matter if it comes from a minority or a majority, it is still an echo. This makes for a poorer forum, as simple as that.

Thanks and apologies if I offended anyone or derailed the thread.
 

Aomame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
350
This has been something we've discussed at length when the community raises these concerns and suggestions, but every time we come to the same conclusion. As you note, the reason we do not make infraction histories public is so that users don't abuse the information. Part of what we're looking to do is cut into toxicity on the site. A gigantic part of that is harsher bans on those engaging in bigotry, but part of that is also individuals who would weaponize prior bans in order to attack people they simply do not like. This is something we have seen occur from time to time already, people taking unrelated bans into threads in order to dismiss someone's argument or position (for example someone gets warned for trolling on gaming side and it's used to attack them in other threads), and it's something that isn't really healthy for the site. We would essentially be making it easier for users to bully each other. We don't want to propagate things like this, so while it might be good for some users, we believe it will be a net negative for the site as a whole.
Got it, thank you. Just wanted to know the thought process behind it. I've managed a large-ish community before (nothing on this scale but not peanuts either) and I can definitely see this creating more problems than it solved. As you've said, if known bigots are properly dealt with, we don't really need a system that lets us know their infraction history prior to engaging with them.
 

Skyball Paint

Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,241
You came in to say a post was so good you 'couldn't have typed it better yourself' when they were equating saying "Fuck Blizzard" to someone posting something homophobic, taking moderators saying they will moderate bigotry more severely and suggesting we should be concerned about reducing 'diversity of thought' as a consequence.

Their post was around moderation, your point seems to be toward the community and less hostility from it. Which is fine, though it would be useful to clarify. More often than not talk of moderating tone has been directed to minorities throughout this, and ongoing. Situations where people should really be assessing what provoked the reaction than pearl-clutching around the reaction itself.
If the rules around civility are going to be applied unequally, the wording in the guidelines should be changed to reflect that.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,835
If the rules around civility are going to be applied unequally, the wording in the guidelines should be changed to reflect that.
A homophobic comment and someone saying “Fuck Blizzard” because of their stance around China and Hong Kong are not equal. Which section of the OP or part of the guidelines were you concerned about in particular? You could @ or PM a staff member to enquire.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
12,449
a sunken pirate ship
As you note, the reason we do not make infraction histories public is so that users don't abuse the information. Part of what we're looking to do is cut into toxicity on the site. A gigantic part of that is harsher bans on those engaging in bigotry, but part of that is also individuals who would weaponize prior bans in order to attack people they simply do not like.
The problem is that this already happens (a certain, ah, tropical fruit grower's commune is rather notorious for collating these bans). The idea that making this information harder to access so that can't be or isn't weaponized is pretty silly, because as it stands right now it's available enough to empower bad actors already. One of the reasons everyone is at a hair's trigger on responding to JAQoffs is that they can't tell if the posters have a history of derailing threads, and these issues could be stopped a lot sooner and the derailment stopped if this information were accessible to regular posters.

This is why basically every sensitive community is angry and thinks you're not doing enough to protect them.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
8,521
Hey, not sure whether this is the right place to suggest it but what would be the staff's feelings on greater moderation surrounding the use of the term "triggered" when referring to innocuous things?

It seems that there have been more and more people using it for increasingly petty reasons (for instance someone referring to fan complaints as 'pissbabies getting triggered' in a recent SW thread) despite the knowledge that it both fundamentally devalues the actual importance the term has to many people and, on a lesser scale, drives toxicity throughout the forum. However I've noticed that the few times I have reported the usage haven't seen any moderation so I was just wondering how the mods and such felt.