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> Moderation on Dumpshock, Should there be an appeals process?
Cain
post Apr 1 2010, 01:00 AM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus4.0 @ Mar 31 2010, 04:13 PM) *
That's pretty much it right there (especially the part about stahls getting it especially;) ). If we let personal bias or let blatant personal attacks slide, it sets a very bad precedent. Do I appreciate Doc putting up a defense for me? Helll yes. Could he have done it without personal attacks .... probably. Should he have. Yeah. But which would you rather post on; a board that enforces the rules evenly across the board (puns again), or one where mods pick and choose who has to follow the rules and who doesn't?

That's exactly what Frank and I are saying, though. Some people (Shadowrun notables) get away with murder, while those who stand against the grain get their heads chewed off.
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fistandantilus4....
post Apr 1 2010, 01:03 AM
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And Doc was issued a warning for breaking the ToS, and Frank wasn't when he didn't.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 1 2010, 01:13 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 31 2010, 07:00 PM) *
That's exactly what Frank and I are saying, though. Some people (Shadowrun notables) get away with murder, while those who stand against the grain get their heads chewed off.

Nothing personal but, uh, I've seen you get into quite a bit of 'arguments' in the past yourself without any repercussions. Same goes for most people who let their tempers get the better of them occasionally. I'm not sure why this particular issue has you so riled, but if you honestly think FrankTrollman didn't deserve a break for the myriad things he's done as of late, you're only fooling yourself. Especially with the very personal and direct threats he's been making against people, Fistdantalus (dammit, you need an easier name) being a notable example in this thread. Which is what personally set me off.
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Cain
post Apr 1 2010, 01:32 AM
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QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Mar 31 2010, 05:13 PM) *
Nothing personal but, uh, I've seen you get into quite a bit of 'arguments' in the past yourself without any repercussions. Same goes for most people who let their tempers get the better of them occasionally. I'm not sure why this particular issue has you so riled, but if you honestly think FrankTrollman didn't deserve a break for the myriad things he's done as of late, you're only fooling yourself. Especially with the very personal and direct threats he's been making against people, Fistdantalus (dammit, you need an easier name) being a notable example in this thread. Which is what personally set me off.

Because Dumpshock doesn't have transparency regarding warnings/suspensions, you might be surprised at exactly where my warning level is at. And since you can peruse the boards even while banned (by deleting all the cookies) I can say that when I've been suspended, if the person I was arguing with was a Shadowrun notable figure, they didn't get a suspension. I'm not defending Frank on this score, but I can say that the rules aren't evenly applied. Even Bull has flat-out said as much.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 1 2010, 01:45 AM
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Eh, favortism is par of the course on and off Internet forums. There's really not much you can do about it. It's not like a forum is some kind of stalwart democracy with champions of good facing off against the tyranny of evil men. It's just a collection of like-minded individuals coming together to share in a common passion. The moderators included.

Unlike a lot of forums, most of the moderation actions here seem to be at least discussed either beforehand or while determining a final verdict for a major infraction. The moderators are also regular, every day people and each action is a personal decision to one degree or another. Some see things more critically than others, or react more harshly on topics that are very personal to them (such as racism or religious persecution). And in some cases if someone is acting particularly riled up in an argument, they often get the brunt of the heavy-handedness despite numerous other people being a part of the argument. God knows I've had that happen to me enough times. And yeah, it does just piss you off all the more. But so what? Did it quell the argument and settle things down? More often than not, yes. Is your life somehow ruined by a short ban? Were you honestly not deserving of a ban? Are you unable to make a living, support your family, or feed your children because you can't post on an Internet forum for a week? Of course not, because neither your world nor anyone else's revolves around a God damned forum. So just shake your fist at the few assholes who pissed you off, be petty and refuse to play in any games with them in the future (<coughs>), and go find something else to do for a bit.

Would it be nice if the moderating team was a group of impersonal robots who waved their mighty ban-sticks with equality for everyone? Yeah. But, honestly, I don't think I'd want to participate in a forum like that. I like the somewhat personal, small, family feeling I get here. It's why I don't post on larger ones like RPG.net or Wizards of the Coast's sites. While I can't stand a good number of people here, I still think its one of the best online communities around and I'll defend that sentiment to the end.
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Caine Hazen
post Apr 1 2010, 03:09 AM
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I don't come off like an impersonal robot? Damn I gotta work on that...
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Cain
post Apr 1 2010, 03:39 AM
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QUOTE
Did it quell the argument and settle things down?

If by this you mean, silencing and ignoring dissenting voices ends arguments, then you are right. If you mean that it makes for a better discussion forum, then no.

QUOTE
Were you honestly not deserving of a ban?

Unless you consider the word "Implacable" to be a serious personal attack, then the answer is yes. Quite frankly, while I've deserved some action, I think there were a few times when some mods were looking for reasons to ban me. Frank feels the same, and is a lot more vocal about it than I am. I have PMs showing that I was taken action upon for criticizing SR4. I don't think I'm allowed to post them, however. Bull even put a gag order on me, so I can't even say the *word* of why I was given a particular warning. And I like Bull.

QUOTE
Are you unable to make a living, support your family, or feed your children because you can't post on an Internet forum for a week?

I'm a disabled single father. I practically live on the internet when I'm not being a parent or gaming. It's about all I can do.

QUOTE
Would it be nice if the moderating team was a group of impersonal robots who waved their mighty ban-sticks with equality for everyone?

I don't want to keep mentioning RPG.net, because it is a different place. But if they can moderate a much larger forum with more evenness than Dumpshock can, there is a problem. And even the mods are admitting there's a serious problem with applying the rules evenly. I think there's a lot of room for improvement here, and I don't think many of the Dumpshock mods would disagree. That's the original point of this thread: how can we improve Dumpshock? I think adding more mods, and adding more transparency, would be a good thing. What do you think would help?
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KCKitsune
post Apr 1 2010, 04:32 AM
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QUOTE (Draconis @ Mar 31 2010, 06:59 PM) *
Really? Then by your logic I could go off on you.

If I was being a true dick, then yes.

Sometimes people get way too big of a head and they need to have someone call them out on it.
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pbangarth
post Apr 1 2010, 04:35 AM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Mar 31 2010, 09:32 PM) *
Sometimes people get way too big of a head ...
In certain beers, this can be a good thing.
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Draconis
post Apr 1 2010, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Apr 1 2010, 04:32 AM) *
If I was being a true dick, then yes.

Sometimes people get way too big of a head and they need to have someone call them out on it.



And who defines that?
You realize you're talking about something entirely subjective?

For instance I personally think you're currently meeting your criteria. Look at that, I just called you out on it. Happy?




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KCKitsune
post Apr 1 2010, 09:04 AM
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QUOTE (Draconis @ Apr 1 2010, 03:45 AM) *
And who defines that?
You realize you're talking about something entirely subjective?

For instance I personally think you're currently meeting your criteria. Look at that, I just called you out on it. Happy?

OK and why do you think I met that criteria? What did I do to merit it? If you can't explain why then you're wrong.

Dr Funk DID explain why and that is why I think he didn't deserve a warning.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 1 2010, 12:48 PM
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I'm pretty sure I deserved one.
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nezumi
post Apr 1 2010, 01:40 PM
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I think it's important to remember that the ToS does not generally limit *what* we can talk about. I think relatively few people have been limited because of their choice in discussion topics (problems with SR4 when it first came out nonwithstanding). The ToS limits *how* we talk about it.

Case in point, the "racist hawai'i background" thread which was recently closed discusses the question of Native Americans successfully overthrowing the UCAS. We have had that discussion dozens of times before, and never in my memory has one been shut down before. Had the OP avoided tossing the racist card quite so aggressively, the thread probably would have stood without any problem. We've seen the same discussing religion. And in this thread, while Dr. Funk's message may have been appropriate, even he agrees the way he wrote it warranted a warning.

So... I don't completely understand complaints like that of KCKitsune. There is nothing stopping anyone from saying "hey, back down, you're getting a big head". People do that without getting warnings all the time. It's the wrapping it up specifically with insults which make it problematic. If people are just nice, I don't think we'd be seeing any more threads closed or warnings, without any loss of topics of discussion.
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KCKitsune
post Apr 1 2010, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 1 2010, 09:40 AM) *
So... I don't completely understand complaints like that of KCKitsune.

My objection was Dr. Funk getting a warning when he was, IMO, not out of line.

Now Dr. Funk says that he thinks he deserved a warning, and with that, finishes the discussion for me.
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Cain
post Apr 2 2010, 01:17 AM
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QUOTE
I think it's important to remember that the ToS does not generally limit *what* we can talk about. I think relatively few people have been limited because of their choice in discussion topics (problems with SR4 when it first came out nonwithstanding). The ToS limits *how* we talk about it.

I'm in the situation where I can't even say the name of what I was warned over, or catch a permaban. The same thing applies for several other topics. I don't know of anyone else who's warning conditions have included so many gag orders. They can at least discuss what got them banned.

Does anyone think that more transparency would help Dumpshock a lot?
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DireRadiant
post Apr 2 2010, 01:47 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Apr 1 2010, 08:17 PM) *
Does anyone think that more transparency would help Dumpshock a lot?


You probably do, I don't.

I believe the kind of transparency you envision will lead to more moderation work with no general reward for the community. That is, I am sure that greater transparency would not change the level or number of warnings issued, nor the change the group to whom the warnings have been issued, and would likely have increased the total number of warnings and people banned. This would be as a result of the moderation process being in and of itself a controversial process by it's very nature and introducing additional controversy and the means to conduct an adversarial and confrontational public exchange would lead to more Moderation required.

Note that this doesn't mean that introducing more consistency and education of the community couldn't improve some matters, especially as far as encouraging the community to engage in more self policing and self moderation.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 2 2010, 02:28 AM
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Yep. I'm happy with the things are for the most part. Improvements could be had, but there's no need for a complete overhaul, let alone an anal retentive one just to satisfy a few people who can't control themselves. And yes, I'm well aware of the hypocrisy there. But I'm also not the one who goes rampaging about how things need to change whenever my temper gets the better of me. I actually do that whole "take responsibility" thing, God forbid.

If you are repeatedly asked to cool down for doing something, you have no one but yourself to blame if you continue to do it. Again: Forums aren't a democracy and you are guaranteed no special rights or privileges as a member. If you do have an issue with something that the moderators are adamant about, approach them privately and try to work out a solution. Constantly fueling public drama isn't going to help your cause one iota. The only thing it will[/] do is worsen your situation. As well it should.

If there's one thing that would be particularly nice, however, it's a hand-written "ToS" that doesn't read like a pregenerated form letter created by the forum's software. I know I hardly ever read those things when they pop up, and I seriously doubt very many other people do either. Mostly because they just come across as an impersonal legal disclaimer. But if someone goes out of their way to write one and publishes it somewhere other than as a user agreement, I bet a lot more people would read and try to abide by it. Or at least acknowledge it more openly when things go awry. Even if all of it is pretty obvious. I mean, do people [i]really
need to be told not to be racist, religious-persecuting, privacy-breaking, insult-throwing asshats (again, yes, I recognize the hypocrisy)?
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fistandantilus4....
post Apr 2 2010, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 1 2010, 10:28 PM) *
If there's one thing that would be particularly nice, however, it's a hand-written "ToS" that doesn't read like a pregenerated form letter created by the forum's software. I know I hardly ever read those things when they pop up, and I seriously doubt very many other people do either.


http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...mp;#entry629616

Or just go to the top left of the page where it says "Terms of Service." Hand written and everything.

A number of our warnings go out from Redjack, who is very good at writing "legal-ese". I'm not so good at it, so I'll usually include the cited ToS section (unless it's blatantly obvious or the cited User has done it enough times to know by now) and a quick little "you did this, don't do that" blurb.
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Caine Hazen
post Apr 2 2010, 03:13 AM
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I'll break the curtain down to address 2 issues here...

1.) The TOS was actually written by all of the mods and admins here. It was not finalized until each of us had a few days to go over, correct, rules lawyer, reject, rewrite,and then finalize all of our rules. It reflected how we would like to see the forums be. We also set down guidelines in what happens when the rules are broke, which require a majority of mods to impliment. There was a hell of a lot of effort to get this place shaped up... so please remember that when you're readin' our form letter (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

2.) Cain's topics that he can't discuss generated 10 different moderation threads, and generated warnings for quite a few people (generally 3 a thread). After review these threads all followed the same format and arguments. The mods decided that because of this same reaction, that theses posts were pretty much in the same league as trollin or flaming... they were going to just keep generating warnings for everyone involved. To be honest, not posting any of those arguments are probably the only reason you are here to discuss these things with us now Cain

So there's today's peak behind the curtain. Tomorrow we'll play the numbers game...
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Cain
post Apr 2 2010, 03:18 AM
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QUOTE
Yep. I'm happy with the things are for the most part. Improvements could be had, but there's no need for a complete overhaul, let alone an anal retentive one just to satisfy a few people who can't control themselves. And yes, I'm well aware of the hypocrisy there. But I'm also not the one who goes rampaging about how things need to change whenever my temper gets the better of me. I actually do that whole "take responsibility" thing, God forbid.

If you are repeatedly asked to cool down for doing something, you have no one but yourself to blame if you continue to do it. Again: Forums aren't a democracy and you are guaranteed no special rights or privileges as a member. If you do have an issue with something that the moderators are adamant about, approach them privately and try to work out a solution. Constantly fueling public drama isn't going to help your cause one iota. The only thing it will[/] do is worsen your situation. As well it should.

Okay, first, insinuating that I don't "take responsibility" for myself *is* a personal attack. Same applies to everyone else who's ever gotten a warning. Gods, this whole mess started because Frank felt he had to take responsibility in bringing dire news to light. So, please, don't give me, or anyone else here, a lecture on responsibility.

I call it like I see it. And yes, I am abrasive at times, flat-out rude at others. I'm not saying I'm completely innocent here. I toe the line, and sometimes I cross it.

But when I stay well clear of the line, I've caught warnings and bans even then. Sometimes it looks as if the mods are actively waiting for me to slip up, even a little, just so they can make an example out of a SR4.5 naysayer. Other times, it looks as if they're perfectly fair and aboveboard. It kinda depends on what side of the argument you're on. And since this is a private board, the *only* thing that can help my cause one iota is public pressure. Public pressure is what got Bull's RPG.net ban dropped from a month to a week, and public discourse was not just allowed, it was encouraged.

While I don't think we need an overhaul, I think we do need to look at other forums and see how they handle these sort of situations. If they do a better job-- and again, I've seen posts by Dumpshock mods that say there is a problem-- then we should try and learn from those boards.

QUOTE
2.) Cain's topics that he can't discuss generated 10 different moderation threads, and generated warnings for quite a few people (generally 3 a thread). After review these threads all followed the same format and arguments. The mods decided that because of this same reaction, that theses posts were pretty much in the same league as trollin or flaming... they were going to just keep generating warnings for everyone involved. To be honest, not posting any of those arguments are probably the only reason you are here to discuss these things with us now Cain

Those aren't actually the ones I'm talking about. I'll shoot you a PM. There's only one gag order I think is completely unreasonable.
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Dumori
post Apr 2 2010, 01:58 PM
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I think some transparency would help as as it stands now moderratinf seams haphazard and arbitrary to the uninformed. I'm not saying it is but the way I've seen it is that the general users only here about any warning if a thread kicks up a lot of issues and a mod posts in it and or locks it. Or if a user posts that the got a warning for X publicly. As to how transparent the system should be I don't know but at the moment is pretty opaque.
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nezumi
post Apr 2 2010, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Apr 1 2010, 09:17 PM) *
Does anyone think that more transparency would help Dumpshock a lot?


Yes. Specifically, banned people are limited to viewing one thread, where we can all throw tomatoes at them.

(Only half-joking (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )

But yes, knowing that a person has disappeared, why he has disappeared, and for how long, would be awfully helpful to me as a poster, if only because I know to stop shouting at him (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) but also because it better illustrates where the 'line' is. The ToS are sort of academic when I see what appear to be violations, but I don't know if they actually are or not.
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ker'ion
post Apr 5 2010, 03:39 AM
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QUOTE (Caine Hazen @ Apr 1 2010, 09:13 PM) *
2.) ... The mods decided that because of this same reaction, that theses posts were pretty much in the same league as trollin or flaming... they were going to just keep generating warnings for everyone involved. ...
Completely off topic: Now I've got an offshoot of Weird Al's "White and Nerdy"/Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone's "Ridin' Dirty" stuck in my head.

They see me trollin', they flamin'...
Try to catch me posting nerdy.


/off topic rant
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augmentin
post Apr 7 2010, 07:10 PM
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I'd like to second, or third, or whatever we're up to the thought that there needs to be some method of contacting a moderator. Currently, the contact a moderator leads to a dead email. I guess I'm regurgitating previously known information.
Also, after beginning my adult life as a grunt I've always believed in the mindset that leaders should be held to a higher standard the the rank and file. In Dumpshock's case, that's the moderators. I'm sorry and I know you're just as human and angry at the current situation as the rest of us. Still, I would like to see moderators held to at a minimum the same standard as members.
Finally, regarding the thought that moderators are biased. As long as some of the moderators are publicly employees of IMR/CGL or remain active contractors of IMR/CGL there's no way to avoid that perception. Whether it's correct or not, it's going to be there. Few would believe that I'm unbiased in a debate about spotted owls if they new I was a registered lobbyist for the Oregon Forestry Products Trade Association. Just sayin'...
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Bull
post Apr 7 2010, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (augmentin @ Apr 7 2010, 03:10 PM) *
Finally, regarding the thought that moderators are biased. As long as some of the moderators are publicly employees of IMR/CGL or remain active contractors of IMR/CGL there's no way to avoid that perception. Whether it's correct or not, it's going to be there. Few would believe that I'm unbiased in a debate about spotted owls if they new I was a registered lobbyist for the Oregon Forestry Products Trade Association. Just sayin'...


Hence why I stepped down, and one reason Adam Jury stepped back from moderating ages ago.

However, do keep one thing in mind... We're a privately owned and run fansite. We're not beholden to anyone, and we're free to do whatever we want with the site. Dumpshock was founded by a handful of individuals over a decade ago, and to my mind, no matter what they're doing, those individuals will always have at least some input in the site and are willing to come play whenever they want to. That includes past, present, and future folks working on Shadowrun. It also includes me, and includes Adam.

It's the internet, never assume anyone is unbiased. Most of the folks that are arguing in the CGL thread or the Loren Coleman thread are biased to some degree. Some because they're freelancers that were hurt by the situation. Some because they have a grudge against CGL and/or some folks working there on a personal level. SOme because they're friends with folks still working there. SOme because they want Shadowrun to survive and are willing to support the company regardless of the situation. Or for one of a dozen other reasons I could list.

Everyone has a bias, somewhere. Just not everyone's upfront about it.

Bull
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