2018-10-29 14:16:17

Hi all,
I suggested the idea of a head admin, although arqmeister does not like it being called that name.
However, me and him are considering ideas for forum reform of sorts.
He would like to take on a more active role, and he liked some of the ideas that I had.
One of the ideas I had, would be a closed topic where us as moderators can post saying who got warned, how many warnings they've had, and who's been banned and why.
A second idea, offered up by Sebby, is a sort of ban timeline. After 3 warnings, a 3 week ban. If the offender comes back and persists, 6 weeks. Happens again, 12 weeks, etc.
The question I now have is this:
If something like this were implemented, and an offender comes back, would you all want the offender to keep their warnings for, say 24 or 48 hours, or should their warnings be reset instantly?

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2018-10-29 14:23:37

Hi,
No resets, and sebbys idea seems to be quite sencible to me, and something that would benefit a few people on here from getting out of hand entirely.
As to head admin? what's In a name is all I would say, let all the guys that are mods admins what you will, do what they do in a manner that is open to all the other moderators, and no, not to the public, that would generate too much friction.
Grryf

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
Follow me on twitter

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2018-10-29 14:53:34

Hmm. I like the ideas, actually. The closed topic thing you proposed actually allows things that are already public knowledge be consolidated. This way, no one has to go digging through pages and pages of history to try and figure out who said what. Also, this means that warnings carry more wait now. Doubly so now that there is a hard limit. A warning would actually seem like an actual punitive action by the mods. Furthermore, that ban continuum just makes things a lot more clear. On the matter of resettings of warnings, I'd be fine with them resetting after 48 hours. I think if you can't stay out of trouble in that time, especially after a ban, you probably deserve the next stage up to drive the point home, I suppose. As for the matter of head administrator, I agree with 2. It really doesn't matter too much to me at this stage. My concern is clarification of rulings and the rules in general. That rules page really needs an update...And a hug...But mostly an update. Poor rules page.

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2018-10-29 14:55:26

That's exactly why i didn't like the idea of head admin, as i think we are all capable mods and admins. However, i don't mind taking that position if it's decided. Also i was hoping that some members could provide games that they want to see added to the database, and we can hopefully have a much faster turnaround with that.

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2018-10-29 15:19:56

I think one admin being head admin is what got us into this mess in the first place: when all admins are equal, one admin can not make a hasty decision they might regret later. Furthermore, in my opinion the forum would benefit by admins checking each others bans and possibly warnings. Getting approval from one more admin besides your self when using admin abilities will avoid personal friendships, biases etc from impacting moderation.

Roel
golfing in the kitchen

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2018-10-29 15:29:02 (edited by JaceK 2018-10-29 15:34:29)

EDIT: Okay since FF's behaving now....

or the closed topic, agree but make it super easy to find

or the ban timeline, after that 12 week ban, if you screw up again, perma ban. And, on the subject of warnings....I'd say if I got banned for the first tiem, unbanned, I'd come back with 0/3 warnings, but just one warning would get me banned for the next length.

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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2018-10-29 15:51:26 (edited by flackers 2018-10-29 16:04:15)

My view on head admins is that no mattter how reasonable you think your team is, you usually need someone with greater authority to have the final word to prevent people debating indefinitely. . As for warnings, my view is that once you've used up your three warnings for a particular infringement,, they're gone forever. Coming back from a ban for posting links to cracks and then starting up with the same behaviour shouldn't require any further warnings because you know full well that behaviour is unacceptable. But with the personal attacks rule, it's not going to be so simple and clear-cut. I mean, if someone says a person is being naive, it's not too different from saying they're being foolish, which isn't too different from saying they're acting like a dick. I grew up in an area where very coarse language is normal, and when I was younger and moved to a different area where people were brought up differently, I was often bemused as to why they were taking offence over things I thought were no big deal. So that aspect will be tricky to police. If you have hard and fast rules in this area, people could be getting bans for stuff that seems quite innocuous to others.

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2018-10-29 15:53:56 (edited by Jayde 2018-10-29 15:58:05)

Righto, so here's my two cents' worth.

First, I like a slightly more rigid warning/banning protocol. While I am not a hundred percent sold on how vital it is, it's useful, and means we as moderators can cite specifics if and when called upon to do so. The reason that I'm not its first cheerleader, however, is a simple one. Basically it is asking a higher level of accountability from us than has ever historically been asked of mods and admins before. This is not altogether a bad thing, but I have unfortunately seen this thing turn into a slippery slope before. First the mods have to follow a warning/banning protocol. Next the mods have to qualify and quantify exact reasons for warnings. Then you get the people who will invariably waste a lot of time and effort on nitpicking details. In other words, this first step is a great one, but I don't want to see, in three months or a year and a half or whatnot, ninety-eight instances where we have to defend, with paragraphs of text and innumerable text citations, the exact specifics as to why so-and-so was banned. I support it, then, but with a few reservations.

Next point: not all infractions are created equal. If you lose your temper once or twice, that may be warning-worthy, and everyone does it from time to time. I'm okay with warnings fizzling out over time, depending on what they are, because otherwise good people can misstep, and they shouldn't have to live with that for life. On the other hand, however, doing this sort of thing means that if people know their warnings are going to expire after x time, they may learn to dance around the restriction (again, I've seen it before, lots of times). That's another potential downside of more clearly delineated punishment protocol. Some people are just hell-bent on having their say, in whichever manner they choose, and if that means jumping through a hoop or two in order to stay unbanned, that's what they'll do. We need to be careful with this one.

Next is the idea of what I'm going to call a community failure clause. While I think that a solid framework will go a good distance toward ensuring that people have a firmer grasp on what should and should not happen, I also think that there may sometimes arise a case where a prescribed punishment structure simply doesn't make sense. If you give someone a warning and they respond with extremely vicious personal attacks, or if you ban them the first time and they immediately get up to mischief the instant they get unbanned, that's something I think that we, as mods, should discuss and potentially act upon instead of just automatically and without thought proceeding to the next step in the discipline structure. Some of you probably don't like this idea, because we might decide to come down hard on someone for what amounts to cumulative behaviour (this has come up before). But here's the thing. In 999 cases out of 1000, roughly, we are probably going to do the right thing, and will probably be able to ensure that no single one of us is going to let anger, hurt feelings, personal relationships or other drama cloud their judgment. In other words, this is a two-way street. If such a thing is implemented and made clear, give us a little trust, in that you won't instantly jump down our throat if we decide we have to hop to a higher level of punishment for cumulatively bad behaviour on the part of a given user. We, in turn, will obviously do everything we possibly can to be reasonable and impartial in this matter, acting in the best interest of the community as a whole.

Now, rather than just analyze and float opinions around, I actually have a structure, which I'll paste below, that I think works. it's a touch more complicated than what we have now, but it may be able to cover for most eventualities we're apt to see.

Explanation:
This system works using colours and warning levels in order to meat out needed discipline.
Green status: Default. User has little to no current behaviour issues. Green status extends from 0 to 4 points (see below). A user who rises above 4 points moves to yellow status.
Caution (given for something like a partial personal attack, mild to moderate spamming/whining, etc): 1 point
Warning (given for more serious infractions, such as much more blatant personal attacks, attempted character assassination): 2 points for first offense, plus 1 point for every subsequent offense
Critical Warning (given for the discussion of cracks, the support of illegal behaviour in a way that does not provide links/access to said illegal files, etc): 10 points for first offense, 15 points for any subsequent example
In green status, points go away at a rate of 1 every 72 hours.
Yellow Status: User is essentially on watch for several behaviour violations, but is not necessarily in imminent danger of being banned. Goes from 5 to 12 points.
Caution: 1 point for the first, 2 points for every subsequent caution while in  yellow status
Warning: 3 points for the first, 4 points for every subsequent warning in yellow status
Critical Warning: 15 points
While in yellow status, points go away at a rate of one every 14 days (336 hours)
Red status: 13 points and above. A player has reached a point where punitive action must take place. Any player who has ever gone into red status has a permanent "trouble" flag, which effectively doubles the point penalty for any cautions/warnings.
While in red status, points go away at a rate of 1 every 60 days.
First red status: ban of 14 days, and subsequent re-entry into the forum at 2 points (green status)
Second Red Status: ban of 60 days, subsequent re-entry into the forum at 5 points (yellow status)
Third Red Status: ban of 365 days (1 year), return to the forum at 9 points (yellow status)
If at any point a player reaches 25 points or above, they are immediately banned permanently, pending appeal.

This system would also let us assign specific point values to specific behaviours if we wanted. We could, for instance, ascribe 20 points to making death threats, 15 points to threats of bodily but nondeadly physical harm, 20 points for cyberstalking, etc. If we did this, we would, of course, post it in the rules.

This might be a little on the firm side, but the aim here is to demonstrate that once you've demonstrated that you're going to keep pushing the envelope, you get shorter shrift than the occasional screw-up from an otherwise level-headed forum member. I'd love to hear what you folks think though. It should go without saying that the moment, this is nothing more or less than my unsolicited idea. it doesn't have any support yet, as I write. It's literally just me tackling the issue head-on and providing a solution which might work.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2018-10-29 16:34:22

lol @aaron this is confusing me a little. I find these changes verry important, but the thing is, wgo will put up a fight about this? Just asking, please don't ban me, for i'm with you all the way.

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2018-10-29 16:42:26

wow changes to the forum? @elliot grow up, admins ban him. As for michul and rachel, they don't belong heer.

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2018-10-29 17:01:14

@9 and 10, who gave you mod powers? I don't remember that happening...
@8, I do agree with you. However, I do like the topic idea in 1; if someone then gets banned for cumulative behavior, it makes the usage of the term far more clear and makes it possible for us as members to go and look at that topic and say, ah, that's what they mean.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2018-10-29 17:07:45

That topic discussed in post 1 is closed, I think. I might have misunderstood, but I saw it as a place for mods/admin to discuss things, not as a repository for members in general to look up what we're saying about specific indiviauals.
That said, I'm pretty transparent much of the time.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2018-10-29 17:14:48

Uh? What have i done? I didn't want to upset anyone. @areyen sorry, i feel bad now.

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2018-10-29 17:22:18

@12, I wasn't suggesting that members should be able to discuss it; but members will be able to see it. It will make bans far less ambiguous if an ambiguous reason is given for a ban, such as cumulative behavior. Which will make communication between the moderators and the members far more transparent, which clearly is a very good thing.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2018-10-29 17:24:52

Wow Jayde, I like that system or at least something like that though I lost you at some point. But if we do implement a system like that, it would provide structure to a desperately unstructured system.

Personally I think such a system is too confusing, however if it is explained in the rules, and if a simple overview of your status is represented in your profile, eg. current points: 4, next ban at 15 points for 2 weeks. Or whatever the figures are, then that status will speak for itself. The user can look at the rules to see how the point system works if they don't understand how the bans work, and they can see the warning/bans topic to know what they have been warned for. Only issue with such a topic is how to keep it current, especially when it comes to people who like to go out with a bang.

Another idea: on a web site I was on, there was a warn status for your profile that would say warned: 0 percent or something. I can't remember if it showed for everyone or just your own profile, but maybe warnings could be percentage-based. Maybe Jayde's point system could convert to percents at least in your profile display. Understanding that your warning status is 60 percent is easier to understand than keeping points in mind.

Part of me worries that any complicated system will be technically difficult to enforce, and even more difficult to enforce unanimously with a clear consideration of how the system was designed to work. Not saying it's a bad idea or that it won't work, I'm just asking what balance is necessary between simple and complicated. At first complicated seems more fair as it can account for more circumstances that come up, but where's the line that says it's too complicated? I'll be interested to see what the mods come up with in any case.

Make more of less, that way you won't make less of more!
If you like what you're reading, please give a thumbs-up.

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2018-10-29 17:38:32

Heh. You begin to see the dilemma, it seems. If you nitpick and get super-complicated, you may confuse people. if you don't, then when situations come up as they have before, people will howl because there's not enough detail given.

Ethin, we're still going to disagree vehemently on "cumulative behaviour", but I can tell you that these are not the words Ironcross sees if/when he tries to log into his account. I don't know what I am liberty to divulge and what I'm not, but I checked that out, and no, that's not what he sees. Generally, if you're being punished for cumulative behaviour, you don't have the excuse of ignorance.
As stated before, however, I personally tend to be very transparent. If I feel I have to step in and do something with a member of the forum, they will know exactly what, where and why.

The system I set up in a prior post would not be particularly hard to code, I don't think. The issue would be in hammering out the details; I just provided a framework, did it in about four minutes, so it's by no means ironclad and free of oversight.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2018-10-29 17:54:03

Hi,
The topic discussed in post 1 will be a public topic that is closed, and by default, a closed topic means that mods are the only group aloud to post in it. So it's publicly viewable, and acts as a sort of warning list, not a place where issues are discussed. So it might have a heading with stuff like:

warnings

aaron: 1
etc.

For an example of a closed topic with mods only posting, see "changes to the site" topic whereby at one point, I ended up replying to one of Semdermen's changes and that's how I suddenly realized hold on, as mods, we can post stuff to closed topics.
@areyen you are reminding me of the exact actions a certain user by the name of Anthony12 took several weeks back, asking to ban people in a very critical manour. Not only that, but the format seemed identicle.
Also, when checking you and Eliot's ips, they were identicle. I do not know if you are circumventing a ban or trolling us, but enough is enough.
A message has been sent to the mod list, and a ban is under consideration. As for how long, that has not yet been decided, but it seems like Araine and Eliot are using the same IPs and the tactics seem familiar to the Anthony12 situation.

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2018-10-29 17:58:20

Speaking of, Aaron, could you reach out when you've got a minute? I've heard of this mod list but I haven't seen it. I think I have a handle on almost everything else.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2018-10-29 18:02:54

Sure.

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2018-10-29 18:05:41

i won't be band though will i aaron? I'm just wanting to make friends, talk about games and try and help out. Please don't ban me.

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2018-10-29 18:15:08

If I may ask, can the topic instead be something like:
Warnings:
Aaron: 1
Reason: <reason>
Associated topic: <topic URL>
I know, I'm requesting more details, but I think this will stop people demanding answers when that counter rises, and they forgot the topic, or something else weird happened. It would also prevent the problem of readers unfamiliar with the topic in question browsing this closed topic, seeing the warning number and going, "Huh? X has two warnings? For what?"
@jade, I wasn't talking just about ironcross32; if we're going to use the reference of cumulative behavior as a reason to band someone then we need to outline just what behavior constitutes as 'cumulative'. As the system stands right now, thee is no such definition, so any form of behavior counts, which is an incredibly large quantity of data to measure and keep track of, which is what caused this entire situation, or at leas, one of the factors that caused it.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2018-10-29 18:23:09

@Jayde: me and Sebby have tried to email you using  the email address in your forum profile, and we are not sure if our messages have gone through. Since the mod list is an email list we are going to need your correct email address.
@Ethin: from what I understand it, the cumulative data probably refers to number of warnings, which is why it will be very important to be able to track this information properly.

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2018-10-29 18:29:35

that areyen guy is a threat to me. I'll do anything to not put myself in the wrath of utter scary banning, i'm sorry if i did anything to upset areyen, but i show my warm feelings for people, and if they don't want me with them, i just tell them that i tried to help out, give them a little hug and then do whatever i was kind of doing.

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2018-10-29 18:43:56

Jayde wrote:

The system I set up in a prior post would not be particularly hard to code, I don't think.

I'm curious, can it be coded at all? Would the forum software accept custom scripts? I'm completely ignorant of how it all works, but was under the impression that you were restricted by PunBB or whatever, and the extensions that were installed to keep the forum running, and any further functionality would require a massive process to get implemented. I meant to ask about it in my last post but forgot about  it.

aaron wrote:

@Jayde: me and Sebby have tried to email you using  the email address in your forum profile, and we are not sure if our messages have gone through.

I tried to use forum e-mail once and never got messages, and I've heard that others have problems too. I did have to change my e-mail once, but I remember double-checking way back when it failed, and it being correct in my profile. I don't think it ended up in spam either, but this was at least a year ago so I don't remember the details. I'd suggest asking Jayde for his e-mail address via some other method before panicking smile.

Make more of less, that way you won't make less of more!
If you like what you're reading, please give a thumbs-up.

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2018-10-29 18:44:05

Hmm. I also do like Jayde's proposal as it does cover a lot of the issues that did come up over the course of this incident. No set of rules will ever necessarily fix all misunderstandings, but minimizing the risk of large scale misunderstanding would be nice. It's true, that it now seems that both sides are concerned that the other will be corrupt and take advantage of the system, but that's always going to be concerning no matter what. The best we can do is minimize the impact of either side's corrupt behavior. I guess all that would remain is if the forums could be designed to work with it, and give some way of being able for at least the individual in question to see their status. As for the topic, it would be nice to have things like reasons for each warning and what not as 21 had suggested. On the other hand, I can also see where that would be a lot of work to  maintain, but it would give the mods something to cite if something like this comes up again.

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