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dahanese
10-07-2013, 02:23 PM
Hey guys,

As you know, we’re incrementally changing the way the forums work. Today, we’re introducing what I call “visible infactions.” Before I go into what’s happening, first I want to explain how things are changing.

Historically, when a mod or community team member gave out an infraction, we would delete the post. After spending a lot of time redoing the forum rules, I decided to do away with this automatic deletion. Why? Because you guys are smart and responsible people. Sure, sometimes there’s a bad apple, but overall most infractions happen because people make mistakes or don’t understand the forum rules. So rather than deleting the posts that don’t adhere to our Code of Conduct, we’re going to leave them up. By doing this, you guys learn through example. It will also help with transparency on the forums which, in my opinion, is always a good thing.

We will still be deleting specific posts: egregious violations (including but not limited to personal info, threats, slurs and other offensive comments) will go away. However, 99% of all infractions will remain, albeit with a tag noting that moderation happened.

What does this mean for you guys? Not a ton, functionally. Please still report posts as usual, and please continue to post awesome content (and not talk about moderation.)

Thanks – and please let me know if you have any questions!

Carnak
10-09-2013, 01:51 PM
It will also help with transparency on the forums which, in my opinion, is always a good thing.

Most definitely. And this sounds like a good scheme to me.

I've been impressed with the way these forums are moderated. When games start eliminating every trace of criticism it reeks of both desperation and dishonesty. Some of the criticisms that can be found in these forums make me wince and I think are expressed in an unfairly harsh manner. But the fact they all don't just vanish into thin air re-affirms my view of TRION as one of the most honest companies in this industry. These changes also speak to that.

Martin
10-09-2013, 08:48 PM
Wow, that's a much more reasonable policy than I've seen on any other game forum. Great Job.

Holy Bahamut3
10-09-2013, 08:54 PM
I like it. I'm glad things are going to be out in the open.

Xaearth
10-09-2013, 11:37 PM
I'm going to tap into my vBulletin 101 class notes for a minute and analyze things from the user perspective, playing devil's advocate in a sense...

Unless you specifically e-mail the infraction to the user, this potentially has the opposite effect of obscuring the reasoning behind any bans that are a direct result of incremental infractions.

That is unless you have the forums setup in a way that allows banned players to still log-in and check their notifications/PMs while revoking posting privileges, which in my decade or so experience with vBulletin I have yet to come across (that I'm aware of).

Seeing how the community team has a lot on their plate already, I'm skeptical that they would be able to take on the additional workload required to notify each potential trouble-maker individually why they might be locked out of their account.

Though I suppose you did mention:
However, 99% of all infractions will remain, albeit with a tag noting that moderation happened.

- It also has to be considered to what extent such a tag would/should/can denote moderation.
After all, because moderation is not to be discussed, you don't exactly want to make it obvious (with perhaps exceptions for the already obvious - like inappropriate images and deliberately bypassing the filter in an otherwise coherent, well-mannered post).

When all is said and done, maintaining post integrity is certainly preferable to automatic post deletion (whenever possible), but you have to consider the side effects of the practical implementation of this change, particularly in regards to the fact that the community team seems to have been spread thin between the communities since the closure of the old studio.

dahanese
10-10-2013, 12:09 PM
Good points, X. I am guessing you haven't ever had a warning or infraction but you do get notified on the back end now. That system doesn't change. What's changed over the past few weeks/months is that we have scaled back what we delete when we moderate (but we still moderate things). Now, we're adding the visible tag. That will help with transparency, teaching folks what the moderating team does, and hopefully all around bring the quality and morale of the forum up.

Martin
10-10-2013, 03:20 PM
Seeing how the community team has a lot on their plate already, I'm skeptical that they would be able to take on the additional workload required to notify each potential trouble-maker individually why they might be locked out of their account.

I would hope that the number of infractions is not nearly so much that it imposes that much of a burden on the CSR team. Most of these sites have the ability to send the notification with the press of a button. Perhaps with a pulldown menu that allows them to state a general reason for the moderation. I'm sure it isn't as difficult as you make it seem, unless they are dealing with major infractions by a significant number of people. I'm talking over 5% of the population which seems highly unlikely.

Atticus Batman
10-10-2013, 07:16 PM
I would hope that the number of infractions is not nearly so much that it imposes that much of a burden on the CSR team. Most of these sites have the ability to send the notification with the press of a button. Perhaps with a pulldown menu that allows them to state a general reason for the moderation. I'm sure it isn't as difficult as you make it seem, unless they are dealing with major infractions by a significant number of people. I'm talking over 5% of the population which seems highly unlikely.

Once you are banned you are kicked out of the forum, with the message telling you that you were banned and for how long. When the ban is lifted then you can log in, and look in your forum inbox to see why you were banned. That is unless they are changing that with this new policy.

dahanese
10-10-2013, 08:59 PM
Once you are banned you are kicked out of the forum, with the message telling you that you were banned and for how long. When the ban is lifted then you can log in, and look in your forum inbox to see why you were banned. That is unless they are changing that with this new policy.

We will be changing that, but not quite yet (need to do some back end work for it to work the way I want it to). I think it makes sense to be able to see that information when it happens - I bet you agree. :)

Beck
10-10-2013, 11:46 PM
Couple of comments. This violates the Code of Conduct you set out in a number of ways. Naming and Shaming, as the tag on the post will / is intended to shame the poster. Secondly this is making public moderation/punishments.

In effect you are in violation of your own code of conduct which to me now reads as, do as I say and not as I do. The position of a community manager is to lead by a good and positive example and I think this does none of that. It is more likely to cause people to not post comments that are thoughtful and well put for fear of being publicly labeled and shamed for their comments.

If someone is a troll you deal with them by removing their post and sending a PM. Leave the infractions private. Do we really want people following other posters and pointing out to everyone not to take a poster serious because they are an infractor?

Atticus Batman
10-11-2013, 12:42 AM
We will be changing that, but not quite yet (need to do some back end work for it to work the way I want it to). I think it makes sense to be able to see that information when it happens - I bet you agree. :)

Definitely, and it's good to know. It is bad to get the boot and not know why.

Atticus Batman
10-11-2013, 12:46 AM
Couple of comments. This violates the Code of Conduct you set out in a number of ways. Naming and Shaming, as the tag on the post will / is intended to shame the poster. Secondly this is making public moderation/punishments.

In effect you are in violation of your own code of conduct which to me now reads as, do as I say and not as I do. The position of a community manager is to lead by a good and positive example and I think this does none of that. It is more likely to cause people to not post comments that are thoughtful and well put for fear of being publicly labeled and shamed for their comments.

If someone is a troll you deal with them by removing their post and sending a PM. Leave the infractions private. Do we really want people following other posters and pointing out to everyone not to take a poster serious because they are an infractor?

I get what you are saying, but at the moment I can think about several forumites that currently brag about how many infractions they get and even put it in their signatures. They wear it as a badge of honor. How is that better than their bad posts getting marked so we can ALL see that most of them aren't as great as the let on by robin hooding the infractions, like they currently do?

Beck
10-11-2013, 01:34 AM
I get what you are saying, but at the moment I can think about several forumites that currently brag about how many infractions they get and even put it in their signatures. They wear it as a badge of honor. How is that better than their bad posts getting marked so we can ALL see that most of them aren't as great as the let on by robin hooding the infractions, like they currently do?

If they have received infractions or punishments and they brag about it then they need to start scaling up the pyramid-o-punishment. It is against the Code of Conduct which Sonic and Jester work hard to enforce. If someone is bragging about infractions they did not get, that is still a violation and they will get 1 and so on.

People brag because they do not feel there is any real punishment. An infraction is just a warning. Maybe they need to mean something more and as they add up they turn to official punishments and eventual banning. This system is only going to encourage people to argue more, or work towards getting a new tag when they post. How long before most of the forums has people with the red box as a badge of pride? What is that going to say to new people who join? I am sure they will wonder who is power tripping and likely not post anything.

What about those people who will make it their life goal to point out every inconsistency in the application of these infraction notices? In the end it is going to be more work and a bigger hassle for the mods and create even more negative and bad blood with the community towards Trion.

Codex
10-11-2013, 08:31 AM
There's two reasons why I think this is a good idea:

1) I've experienced it, and really it's better than deleting/locking threads for "seemingly" no reason. The community, in general, adjusts to the changes and you can actually see the rules that may be complained about being too vague in action, thus making them more concrete

2) It is just better practise than being an invisible hand behind the curtain.

If people make it their life's goal to be a pain in the butt about their infractions, it's the mod's jobs to deal with it. That's what a moderator does, guide and support the conversation.

Beck
10-11-2013, 03:25 PM
There's two reasons why I think this is a good idea:

1) I've experienced it, and really it's better than deleting/locking threads for "seemingly" no reason. The community, in general, adjusts to the changes and you can actually see the rules that may be complained about being too vague in action, thus making them more concrete

2) It is just better practise than being an invisible hand behind the curtain.

If people make it their life's goal to be a pain in the butt about their infractions, it's the mod's jobs to deal with it. That's what a moderator does, guide and support the conversation.

Codex I would agree with this if the moderation of this forum was consistent this might be ok. This is not the case, as Dahanese has participated in threads that were clearly way off topic or even trolls and there have been some posts that may be close to the line but had great well thought out content that were "moderated". The lack of consistency is an issue and it has been recognized by many people on the forums.

My points still stand, this is a violation of the Code of Conduct that was laid out by Dahanese. Moderators are not above the same code of conduct if they want to lead by example. This is not positive community building in my opinion.

MacDeath
10-12-2013, 06:41 AM
I have never thought that nameing and shaming was a good idea by any poster on any forum. Now that Dahanese has proposed that it's not only OK, but part of the job for mods to name and shame I am taking a break from these forums.

hey u
10-12-2013, 08:57 AM
Good points, X. I am guessing you haven't ever had a warning or infraction but you do get notified on the back end now. That system doesn't change. What's changed over the past few weeks/months is that we have scaled back what we delete when we moderate (but we still moderate things). Now, we're adding the visible tag. That will help with transparency, teaching folks what the moderating team does, and hopefully all around bring the quality and morale of the forum up.

I got 2 warnings from Trion but you guys locked my thread but moved it into the developer tracker and gave me 2 infractions. So if I were to mess up again and make a thread with a crap tittle will you warn me on it but leave the thread open and not a lock put on them?

dahanese
10-15-2013, 10:17 AM
Couple of comments. This violates the Code of Conduct you set out in a number of ways. Naming and Shaming, as the tag on the post will / is intended to shame the poster. Secondly this is making public moderation/punishments.

In effect you are in violation of your own code of conduct which to me now reads as, do as I say and not as I do. The position of a community manager is to lead by a good and positive example and I think this does none of that. It is more likely to cause people to not post comments that are thoughtful and well put for fear of being publicly labeled and shamed for their comments.

If someone is a troll you deal with them by removing their post and sending a PM. Leave the infractions private. Do we really want people following other posters and pointing out to everyone not to take a poster serious because they are an infractor?

Good points here. The infraction tag is not naming and shaming: instead of doing what many have felt is censorship (deleting posts) we're leaving them up: it helps everyone feel like they understand what's going on in the forums and their voices are being heard (as well as learn what is right and what's not - that's very difficult to do when you can't see what's wrong.) Also, a lot of times a post has broken a rule but has good content: leaving it up is better than nuking it entirely.

There's no shame in getting an infraction. Everyone makes mistakes. If we, as a community, can come together and learn from them and grow, then that's a good thing!