Let's restore trust in the moderation team. It is often said that x number of people voted to have this person banned, well, I'm suggesting that the names of everyone who voted and the position they voted for be provided instead. If you can't publicly stand for what you're voting for, then you shouldn't be voting for it. To avoid disrupting forum flow, this could be handled in the same way that the warnings topic is.
#3 (edited by Ethin 2019-07-08 06:17:01)
This... is a very slippery slope. I advise caution when attempting to role this out; it would be incredibly easy for this to seem like a viable solution, only for it to blow up in your face in a few months when the mods agree that someone is being a troll, that troll gets banned, and the community -- or the kids at least -- get outraged because said troll got banned. Doing this would allow people to point fingers and make baseless accusations of nonsense. To me it would only serve to cause even more drama, something we *do not* need.
let me say that when ever a decision has been made so long as it isn't something that is super disruptive to the forum, us as staff had had time to sit down and talk it over. If there is not complete agreement by everyone then we discuss what the problems are.
A few thoughts:
First, I'm not actually all that opposed to this. I don't think it's strictly essential, but I don't object to it on the surface of things.
I will point out that with basically every large decision so far, at least during my tenure, everyone has been in agreement with it, or at the least, we've been in agreement on what is going to happen, if not the exact methods. When this has not been true, we've been quick to speak up (Arqmeister deleting that thread, for instance). In other cases, since as when the community failure clause has been invoked, or people have been banned, it's either 1. been straight-up obvious that a breach of rules is in play, and there's not a lot of deliberation needed, or 2. it's been agreed upon by the whole team. The whole team was in agreement about the need for a change regarding piracy, for instance, but we did not discuss exactly what was going to be done and how. I took initiative there because I was frankly sick of waiting, and thought with new admins this would be a really excellent time to step up and do things. Aaron later suggested a method which, although it would've led to the same thing, might somehow have ruffled a few feathers, so more effort will be made going forward about the execution of plans.
Now, with all that said, here's my only qualm.
This was never really an issue before, and it's not an issue now. No one is having their voice muffled, and the idea that we have to "win your trust back" is a little slippery, as Ethin pointed out. If we do this, it is easy to continue making demands, with the end result being that nothing satisfies you. We are already pretty damn transparent, and again, I don't object to this newly proposed practice, but where does it stop? Are you going to ask for transcripts of everything said on list? Are you going to ask for read-only access to a forum where we discuss things instead of having us deliberate via mailing list? Are you then going to suggest that above certain karma levels, maybe you get to weigh in about things and get to vote? And then where does it stop?
That's my main concern.
The only reason I have not been providing names when saying the number of votes, is out of respect for the privacy of those people casting the votes. There have been times where I've wondered about saying which members voted for what, though.
To be fair to the moderators, on most forums, you would not get this level of transparency. Things would *just* happen, and that would be the end of it. Staff role out changes with little to no notice, and you can either go along with it or leave.
multiple reasons I made this suggestion.
1, in the case of recent issues like the copyright discussion, it makes it very clear to the users that it wasn't just one person in agreement with the change. Saying we had a unanimous vote vs saying Aaron, Jayde, Liam, Carter, and (there's a moderator iI'm forgetting), all voted yes on this issue just helps spread out the blame for unpopular decisions, hopefully cutting down on the frankly ridiculous dictator stuff that's been going on.
2, if something needs to be done, and it's not happening, take the appointment of new moderators earlier this year or the changing of the rules, it shows the user base that either a, the mods are doing the best they can, or b, specific people are dragging their feet.
3, whether you think it's justified or not, a lot of users have been jumping down the throats of moderators because they have no trust in them recently. I imagine that seeing this kind of information laid out would cut down on the more charismatic troll posts, and so give the kids less to run with.
Again, only a suggestion made in the hopes of cutting down on post#92323 about how Jayde is a dictator, because I'm kinda tired of seeing them.
I appreciate the spirit with which you meant this. At worst I'm just not seeing a benefit, because I feel like at this point, most of the people who are going to say shit like that are going to ignore pretty much everything, as they're already doing.
Am I a firebrand sometimes? Sure I am, and I'll work on it. But people turn that into laying every single problem this forum has squarely at my feet, which is just ludicrous. I feel like, for those people, there's no pleasing them, and ultimately no point in even trying. Fatalistic, maybe, but there it is.
That said, I don't like throwing people under buses, but I do like accountability. In the case of the forum stuff recently, we'd all agreed something needed doing; I just went ahead and initiated it because there had been as yet no real discussion on how. I figured my way would work, and it has, but it rocked the boat pretty hard in the doing, too. I just got sick of all the foot-dragging and acted.
With the number of times that the phrase "more transparency" was promised, I had actually assumed this exact idea would be the main focus.
The push for more transparency gave us better defined rules, but I never really saw that as an issue of transparency. Having rules that are unclear is more of sloppy rule writing, not a normally hidden thing that would now be shared openly with the public. There is also a record of warnings and such, so that people can see the trail leading to anyone's banishment, which is certainly in the "more transparency" category, but not something I personally find beneficial.
When the mod team (I'll generalize it to the whole team) began the push for "more transparency", it came following a problem where a small number of mods/admins were taking it upon themselves to just act on their own. I suppose this is why I misunderstood and thought that the call for transparency was literally the call to have moderator decisions publicly linked to the moderators who pushed for them. Clearly I misunderstood what the mods meant at that time.
Because the new "transparency" did not actually have anything to do with linking mod decisions with the moderators who supported them, the forum continued to have the very same problems it had then. When changes are being made, people have no idea who is actually pushing for the changes, and it has led to Many claims that only a single person is running the show. I can easily think of reasons why the mods would not like to have their names linked to their decisions, but this to me is a no brainer.
Even if everything is completely on the level, it looks very fishy to have admins/moderators choosing to hide who are in support of the various decisions that are being made, especially when faith in the team is already low. This is just something that looks bad, and I personally think it looks bad that it's been continuing on this way ever since the team was overhauled. The lack of transparency, while the mod team waves a flag marked "more transparency!", is very likely a reason why trust in the team is at an all-time low.
Transparency, to our way of seeing this, largely meant discussing things rather than just trotting out new things. When new rules were drafted, the forum was invited to chime in. When further new members of the team were sought, the same thing happened; we wanted your opinions and were happy to field them. We have since made it a point to engage as much as possible, in the sense that we explain ourselves, sometimes falling on deaf ears and sometimes leading to greater clarity. This is a fairly stark contrast to the past, where stuff just sort of happened. I am not spitting on the past, but I generally prefer more accountability and openness.
The thing is, as I pointed out, I'm not hard-and-fast against this. But it foes feel like a slippery slope to me, and I feel like there's some really slick rhetoric being used in the post prior to mine. To wit, the phrase "choosing to hide". This makes it sound as if our mindset is aiming for secrecy, as if we have discussed this and deliberately chosen not to share this part of the process. This is, in fact, not the case at all, and the reason I'm settling such a potentially small thing straight is because words are powerful little beasts. Historically, this forum has not engaged in the practice of publicizing its moderator/administrator votes. It is not a decision we rolled back, and not even a decision we really made. It is something that has never been done, and something we have consequently not thought much about. As such, I will not have this characterized as a conscious choice, where said characterization makes it look like our aim is to keep information from you. That is simply inaccurate.
On its own, publicizing staff votes doesn't bug me, but the underlying precedent is worrisome. First we're publicizing votes. Then we're having to show you the entire deliberative process. Then we are allowing you to invalidate votes based on your subjective interpretation of the facts. Where does it stop?
I'm going to say this next bit with full realization that some feathers are going to be ruffled, so just hold on.
Trust in the staff team is shaky among some of the forum. I get that. But guess what? Trust in the users, at least speaking personally, is at an all-time low. Many of you are perfectly good people who bring up good points and who, even when they disagree, are pretty polite about it. many of you - I'm not naming names or pointing fingers - seem hell-bent on making trouble, acting in bad faith and generally making this as hard as they can, in pushing as often as they're able in order to get their voices heard or to settle whatever agenda they might be set upon. All things being equal, I have no problem explaining myself to someone, or making concessions if it really is for the greater good. But what I'm trying to say here is that this trust thing goes both ways; it's not just a one-way street. You are asking for more transparency than we've yet given you. That's fine. But we also asked for more understanding when we chose to intervene, and look how that's turning out. Claims of dictatorship, blatant character assassination, personal attacks, the whole bit. How can either side trust the other to be better if that apparently isn't happening? To my way of seeing it, in a big-picture sense we've done a lot of what we said we would, and the forum itself has not. More drama, more backbiting, more character assassination, respect fading and due consideration not given. I feel like this has begun to resemble the slippery slope I alluded to. We wrote out a post after the Dark situation where it was basically suggested that there needed to be work done on both sides. Well, we're doing our part fairly well (not perfectly, not by any means, but fairly well), and you guys...well, to my eye, you're not quite there yet. And I think any negotiation has to work on both sides.
Honestly, if you can't stand by your decision publicly, that's a mark against you that you're fully qualified to be making them. I agree that this type of public stats based on voting certainly wouldn't hurt, but what would be the gain? I don't think they're lying when they say that everyone agreed, though I do consider the possibility that they're being manipulated into agreeing. I think the top priority should be learning how to work as a team. A few days ago, Jayde stepped in front of Liam's atempt to calm things down. Either yesterday or today, Aaron essentially complained about Liam's decision to close the emulation topic so soon. Then you have Argmeister who deleted that troll topic off the cuff a while back. These are signs that the team are acting as a loosely bound organization, rather than a close knit team. Fixing this ain't gonna happen over night, but it also ain't gonna happen unless some effort gets put into working on it. You don't talk shit about your team members' decisions. You don't cut in on them without damn good reason.
I'll give you an example of how our place in the mountains works. We call it camp, even though it's pretty much a house with running water, two bedrooms, sleeps 20 people with bunks etc. So, the initial 7 people who built it and their sons are all members. Women are always guests, and are not allowed up at hunting season. Now, before you go full Karen on me, that was the way it was back in the early 90s and I didn't make the rules, though I don't see a lot of reason to change them at this point. After all, it's not like we're saying you can't hunt, it's just that you can't stay at our place and hunt, but if you want to buy some land and get a group of ladies together and build your own place and tell us we can't come there, fine, do it. Anyway, a while back, before all the cell phones and shit, a vote went around on whether or not to get a TV plus satellite services. My dad was among the ones who voted against it. It passed though, and we've had a TV up there ever since. Now, my dad doesn't go around bitching every time he goes up there about the TV that we put in 15 years ago. He accepted it, because he built the place along with 7 other guys. There have been things put to the group in the meetings that don't meet with everyone's approval. You deal with it though, because you are in this as part of a group of people.
I get the sense that Aaron didn't want to step in on the audio vault and the emulation topics. He got to have his say though, and whether or not he actually agreed in the end is irrelevant, because enough people did agree so that it could swing into action. So, it is in poor taste that he would complain, or throw jabs, or whatever you want to call it after the fact, just as it would be in poor taste for my dad to go up to camp and bitch about there being a TV there because he got outvoted. So all the staff are allowed to hold their own opinion on what to do in a situation. They're allowed to vote yes or no, but when a decision is reached, they need to check their personal opinions at the door and support the team. Good parents are like this. They talk about things with each other and make compromises where they have to, but don't let kids play one off the other. And when a punishment needs to be met out, they both support the other, they put on a united front. That is what is needed here.
Bear in mind that Liam was actually supportive of me issuing that caution to MasterOfDeath. He had just come back and was simply unsure; he wanted to be tentle because the situation was volatile, but agreed the dude needed some fort of dealing with.
In general, however, I agree with you. No jabs after the fact, and as little throwing people under buses as possible.
I'll also point out that the whole copyright thing really gets up my nose as an anti-capitalist, but once the points were made and I realized what was happening, I decided to check my leftist biases at the door (so there's one example, Ironcross, where I did -not use my politics to influence a choice). To wit, I've never gone the other way, never punished or used staff authority to pick on someone because they're not on the left, BTW, but yeah, there's an example of where I actually went the other way and went away from my own personal feelings on the business of copyrights and such.
@Jayde, this topic has nothing to do with this, but I feel obligated to say this as constructive feedback.
Absolutely no one has called you out by name in this thread, with the closest anyone has gotten being my second post where I said I was tired of seeing a million posts a day making baseless accusations about you being a dictator. Yet, every single post you've made has been about you trying to justify your actions in some way (the jab about leftist politics aimed at Ironcross specifically). This is why you rub people the wrong way. Not everything is necessarily about you, but you can't have a conversation about anything without making yourself the main focus.
Back to the topic at hand: Where's the downside here? If the last few changes around here were about making this forum more presentable to devs, and this would have even the slightest chance of cutting down on drama topic 32452, then what's the problem. If it isn't working in a couple months, you can talk about not doing it anymore, trying it out doesn't mean it's set in stone.
I, like Aprone, thought this kind of thing would have happened months ago after all that was said about Dark and Walter.
#15 (edited by Aprone 2019-07-08 19:37:49)
I used the phrase "choosing to hide" because I seem to remember multiple posts regarding the copyright decisions, where names were not given when it seemed like listing them was the obvious thing to do. I don't have exact posts memorized to go back to, but I feel like in several recent posts you Jayde were accused of being the driving force behind the new way copyrighted material will be handled. At times you did say that it wasn't only you, but during the absolute perfect time to be transparent and end the accusation, it was not. As the same theme came up over and over, eventually I do remember either you mentioning another name, or another admin jumping in to add their support. I don't remember which it was, but it seemed very crazy to me to have it dragged out for seemingly no reason.
Even though it was not a policy to tell everyone how the mods had voted on the issue, once someone showed concern the names of the people supporting it should have been listed without any need to withhold it. There's nothing to hide, so choosing in those moments to not share perfectly harmless yet helpful information is strange.
If I release a game and don't specifically explain how to change which key cycles through screen readers, it's not a big deal. Perhaps I just assumed it was self explanatory, or that it didn't seem like important information to type out in the instructions. If someone happens to ask, then by all means I'll just rattle off how it's done without a second thought. It wasn't something I was hiding, I just didn't think to explain it. If someone asks if that key can be changed and I don't explain it, then I am now choosing to withhold that information. I know it, they asked about it, so my options are to share or withhold.
People have expressed concerns that you were making changes without the support of the entire mod team. Assuming they were wrong, then you knew the list of names who were also standing behind those decisions. Your choice was to share that information or to withhold it.
I've read many posts lately where people go off the deep end with their conspiracy claims. This "where does it stop?" argument is, to me, just as ridiculous and hollow as many of those have been. Clearly it stops where you decide it stops, otherwise why did you make any of the "transparency" changes that you've already implemented? This same worry would have applied just as well back then. I'll just slap those things on to the front of the sentence, and bam, we are already on the slippery slope.
"First we're clarifying rules and displaying warnings. Next we're sharing information about why changes are being made. Next we're publicizing votes. Then we're having to show you the entire deliberative process. Then we are allowing you to invalidate votes based on your subjective interpretation of the facts. Where does it stop?"
Rashid, chock that one up to being under a lot of fire lately, some of it undeserved, some of it from Ironcross himself.
Aprone, your situation has a simple explanation:
The driving force behind the copyright discussion was Liam. Liam, who at the time had left under circumstances people weren't a hundred percent clear on. Liam, who even at that time was thinking about coming back. When it comes to my own decisions, or the decisions of people who are on the team/historically open about their choices, I have zero qualms just explaining things. In this instance, however, I erred on the side of caution. I did not necessarily think it was fair to toss Liam out that way, so I wanted to just say "guys, it wasn't just me" and hope that stood for something. Because look, if you aren't going to believe me when I say it's not just me, then you are probably going to think I'm just sniping someone if I give you a name...or so it looks to me. Either I'm trustworthy or I'm not. And, as stated, I did not think it my place to out Liam in those very specific circumstances. As it turned out, I'm pretty sure he came in and just outed himself, or Aaron did - I misremember just at the moment - but yeah. That still does not represent a choice to hide. A choice to protect, maybe, or uncertainty, sure, but again, it's in the slant one puts on words.
I am also going to add that Jayde is right that I don't like offending people. I did not want to out Liam for the longest time because I didn't know if it would be fair on him.
One of the things that a lot of people are noticing about me is that I'm a much softer admin. It is a constant learning process for me. There have been times where I've sat on stuff, and some if it was due to busyness and others were due to, at one point, forgetting to do something as time ran away with me.
One thing that's been happening lately is that whenever I've made a point on list, Jayde has said to act. I'm now realizing what that means. Sometimes, rather than going to the list first, perhaps try to act instead and see what happens. At the same time, I would rather as many people as possible knew what was going to happen before it happened, at least on my part. Case in point, for a while, I was simply wondering if I should create a community topic asking, outright, if people wanted Carter as an admin, and Liam back as a mod. It's not about a popularity vote. It's about listening to the community. I was told to simply act. So, in the end, I just acted without creating that topic. I do wonder if next time if there's something I'm interested in the community's input on, to just... go for it that way instead without involving the list first. Yet that would mean the staff might suddenly see stuff happen and then be thrown into something that might not have been intended, without any warning. Is that right? It's a delicate balancing act and it's something I can not currently answer.
I am going to end the way I started. I do not like offending people. I want to do what I think can satisfy most people, including staff.
When I've been encouraging you to act, Aaron, it's not so much been my intent to get you not to consider others. It's more that instead of waffling back and forth, pick something and try it, especially if you're just going on list first. I don't like the idea of one person - any person, self included - just running away with everything and making all the choices. That's not okay with me, not for a hot second. But what I also don't want, and didn't want when you were the main admin, is someone who can't make decisions or put his foot down.
In the case of promoting Carter, if I've earned it then so has he. In the case of bringing Liam back, the community did not appear to foster any really bad blood, except a few members who for the sake of this thread will remain nameless here. Generally there hasn't seemed to be any huge outcry at either of those choices, and I expected none. That's why I basically said "Just do it. It will probably help". The rest of the team had generally said they were okay with things being done as well, so rather than then bringing it to the community to vote on and potentially cause drama over, I feel this was absolutely the sort of choice where we can say "Hey guys, this is what we're doing. Let's see how it goes". And then we monitor it, see if it blows up. So far so good on that front.
I don't like offending people either, believe it or not. I just do it a hell of a lot more than Aaron does.
#19 (edited by Aprone 2019-07-08 20:15:15)
Well to you it was a choice to protect, but no one else was going to be able to make that distinction. You do realize that to the rest of the world, it was you choosing to hide something... not choosing to protect someone. You have to look at how your words or actions will be seen by the people who are not you. I still stand by my wording, because until you explained the situation well enough, no one else can see it as protecting someone.
The thing is, unless the mod team was only composed of 3 people at that time, Liam wasn't the only one supporting those changes. You could haven't left Liam's name out of it (though I still don't see why you would, since he was an active mod when he put his support behind it), and still listed off the other mods and how they had stood on the issue.
Looking back on things now that the information is out, sure, you don't come across as someone doing your own thing without the mod team agreeing first. I honestly can't understand how you don't see the reason behind so many people's distrust over the past few weeks. You've been vague or hiding information that would have put most of the conspiracy claims to rest as soon as they were suggested, yet you sat on information. That looks shady, and gave people every reason to suspect things weren't being handled right. If something isn't a secret, don't treat it like a secret.
The trust in the users comment was pretty silly to me. There is always going to be a small group who push and shove at the mod team no matter how great things are. I can't see into your head, but as an outsider seeing only the posts people type out here on the forum, those people get to you. Your posts play right into it almost every time, inviting more, and often giving them even more ammo to use against you. Usually when they seem to be getting to you the most, you'll write about how thick your skin or that you won't let them get to you. I've lost track of the number of times I've seen someone post a message that was critical of you, and then rolled my eyes when I saw your reply. You have fed the fires against you from day 1, are still doing it today, and presumably did it during all the months I was away from the forum. I can honestly say you are not good with people, at least not on this forum.
That was very critical of me, but I can't help but say it after your "trust in the users" paragraph, ROFL! It was exactly the type of thing I would have expected from you, and yes, it did make me roll my eyes like always. You just, can't, see it.
@Aprone I have a genuine question, what are your thoughts about, well, me? Have I been doing right? Been doing wrong?
You're free to hold whichever opinion suits you on that last bit, of course.
As for the rest, I'll just reiterate what I've said. I pointed out almost right away that I was not alone in this. Just saying that, on its own, allowed other mods to either come in and support me, or come in and claim I was lying. They did the former. I made that claim knowing that, one way or another, I'd get backup from those who wanted to put themselves forward. I wasn't going to make that choice for them, and doubly not for Liam, given the details. Since I knew I was telling the truth, I knew it would come out in the wash. And given that the rest of you knew that the rest of the team would see what I'm saying, you'd have to think me pretty stupid to believe I'd make a claim that could so easily be destroyed if it were false. Say what you want about me, but I don't lie. That would be tantamount to professional suicide in a venue like this.
Let me spell it out logically.
Jayde: I am not alone in this. This was not originally my choice but now I'm backing it.
Scenario 1: Jayde is lying outright. The user base does not believe his claim at face value, and when one or more staff members refute his claims, he is nailed in very short order; Jayde loses a ton of respect for no reason because he spoke out of turn and lied
Scenario 2: Jayde is telling the truth, and waiting for others to substantiate the claim. This happens, and since proof is furnished, the statement is eventually believed
In both cases, others were needed in order to confirm Jayde's original word, which was apparently insufficient on its own
If you weren't going to believe me when I said what I did, then you weren't going to believe me if I provided names. In both cases, you were going to need someone else to actually substantiate what I was saying. As such, I think we can drop the sophistry at this point. It's kind of served whatever dubious purpose it might once have had. Clearly this is not about whether or not I "withheld" information, and never was; if I was going to be doubted no matter what I said, then my choice to not divulge everything, regardless of my reasons, is virtually irrelevant. People who are going to just doubt me at my word whenever I say things are really not in a great position to be dictating the terms by which I should be divulging information. This is a great example of changing the goal-posts, and past this point, I'm simply dismissing it as another bad-faith argument. The alternative is to think that people really were shortsighted enough to have made assumptions without considering the scenario above. Forgive me for presuming foresight, I suppose.
Jayde, dismissing everything as a bad faith argument is pretty much standard at this point. You never fail to come across as the most arrogant person in the room. Oh my bad, as the person with highest self confidence. I don't actually think this is high self confidence. A person with high self confidence is basing that off of a high history of past successes, which makes it more likely that they will succeed again. An arrogant person feels like they will succeed even when there is no past history of success. You've displayed arrogance from the very start, even when you were putting your foot in your mouth or starting fires with every post you made. I have not seen a trail of success following along behind you for the past year, but you have constantly viewed yourself as something special.
You talk down to people and hurl around "character assassination" and "bad faith arguments" whenever things don't seem to be going your way. You have been completely blind to how you come across to this community, and you have been causing many of the current problems. Shift the blame, dismiss with highly subjective phrases, rinse, repeat.
Aaron, I usually forget that you are an admin/mod. I'm not sure if that falls into the good or bad category, but I suppose information can be pulled from it. I don't really have an opinion on how you're doing in your current position.
Oo Oo. Summarize me next. 3
I said this sarcastically in another thread, but might we not blame all the issues causd lately squarely on Jade? Because that's ridiculous; the issues that the forum hassuffered have been caused by various indivdiuals. Jade may or may not have contributed to that fire; but my point is Jade certainly wasn't the only one.
Well there's no "may" about it. I have definitely contributed to some of the troubles here. As to the guilt I bear? That depends on the individual viewing it, I suppose.