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Zero-Tolerance Concerns


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1 minute ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I'm not trying to tell the mods how to do their jobs

When you keep insisting what the "right" punishment should be...you kind of are?

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Ryannumber1gamer
Just now, Diogenes said:

When you keep insisting what the "right" punishment should be...you kind of are?

Yes, because in my opinion, that would be the right punishment for this kind of rule breaking. That is a concern, that I personally think it shouldn't be as harsh as a ban. Considering for the record, you said the exact same thing Dio, I think you're being rather hypocritical. I honestly don't know why you're now trying to make it seem like I'm intentionally trying to tell mods what they *must* do.

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4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Nep, would you please stop placing words in my mouth in regards to this to justify your point? First off, I've never told the mods how to do their job, even during times where I felt they've gotten too involved with certain debates, and other things that caused other members to leave SSMB for good. I've never said they're too strict until now. I've never said they're ineffective. I haven't said any of this. On top of that, your explanation of infractures, warn logs and such are overall irrelevant when the entire purpose is being one emotional outburst is enough to have a member threw out. First Timer or not. You're changing my viewpoint entirely to attempt to make it look like I'm saying repeat offenders should be getting three strikes, which is something I've outright disagreed with multiple times, in which if you look back to my arguments, I've said multiple times, "the exception being repeat offenders".

I never said you said any of this (sans telling us how to do our job, because you have right here in this thread, by telling us about what you would do in certain situations) so talk about placing words in people's mouths. I was merely illustrating our work environment without outright giving away private information in the hopes that you would better understand what the job really entails and why just about every staff who's posted here is done to some degree.

4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Tell me something Nep, What if wasn't a member who was in trouble before. What if it was someone who's been on years, and end up doing something by mistake? Should they be told to get out? Despite following the rules for years? Because of one slip up? Because of one mistake? You said it yourself Nep. We aren't robots. We aren't perfect.

Sometimes making a mistake comes with high consequences. You want to be treated like an adult; well, this is how adults are treated. Again, ignorance is not an excuse, particularly right now since in this topic the issues people had with the initial topic Zaysho were clarified several times over, so now everyone has even less of an excuse.

4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

As for your claims that I don't understand about dotting, coddling, and such doesn't work, and having no choice but look the villain? Let me tell you now Nep, I probably know that better in anyone, because I've been placed in the exact same position as you and Sean. Where I have to play the villain. Not in a mod sense, but helping fellow members with emotional problems? I've been in multiple group PMs where something didn't change until someone stepped up to play the bad guy and snap at the behavior. Take a wild guess who had to do it? Me. So this discussion about how I don't get you and Sean's situation? I get it better than most. I fucking hate being stuck in that situation, and yet every time it comes up, I'm still the one who plays the bad guy regardless. 

The bolded is where you should've understood that your situation still isn't directly equivalent to what it is like being a staffer of this particular forum, mainly in several big ways-- PMs are private, while most moderator decisions and the subsequent blowback we face is public. PM conversations are not directly governed by peers and another presiding body while staff decisions are. PMs are more easily opted out of by anyone than staff decisions are by staff members, because the former is a courtesy and the other is an actual responsibility. PM responses aren't held to any reasonable standard of "professionalism" while staff decisions are. I can go on and on with why these situations aren't equivalent due to the context that precedes and establishes them, mainly because it stems from the fact that I've been on both sides of the line here and elsewhere.

4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

In that same regard Nep, we aren't saying any of this because we want to belittle you, or make the mods feel like they never do anything right. We're discussing reasonable concerns because we as members were fearful of this. Again, you said it. You weren't perfect. No mods are. No members are. No human being is perfect, so it's seems unfair that we can explain any concerns we may have over a new rule coming into place, and considering the OP alone has gotten a good share of likes, it's a good number of members having the exact same worry. 

Honestly? If you didn't want to do this, you could've not said we're playing the victim card because we're exasperated with the endless stream of conflicting criticism we get from the community in general (not just you) when we try to clarify new or old rules, especially when said community simultaneously paints all of their concerns in these topics as reasonable and worthy of listening to, partly because posts are getting a lot of likes (despite the fact that at least three members here nonetheless get it). All this really makes us think is that we are indeed shitty staff and we shouldn't ever complain about any ill-treatment or repetitive suggestions and demands we receive.

4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Nep, I haven't had issues with the mod team. I said multiple times that I have a respect for them, and I respect what they do for SSMB, and I even said it in this exact thread. I'm friends with a few of them for goodness sake. I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job. I'm trying to explain my point of view. A point of view that spent that last 10 hours worried to even post much on SSMB because of this new rule being under-explained, under-clarified, and in my opinion, overly strict. I'm not saying there should be no punishment. I'm saying there should be a reasonable balance, something that the three strike rule was all about. I've even said that a strike/warning in terms of emotional outbursts wouldn't be the worse idea either, but I think going straight into a ban is going overboard.

This is where I will step out to argue that your fear isn't reasonable. You said that you spent the last ten hours afraid to post anything at all on SSMB, presumably because the original topic wasn't clear about what would and would not result in a ban. However, it is specific enough to outline a general idea of what we don't want to see:

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passive-aggressive attitudes and general pot stirring that instigates in-fighting between members. This includes vague-posting in places like the personal discussion or even the status updates to complain about something another member said. We will no longer tolerate this sort of drama stirring from members' petty differences and passive-aggressive behavior, and if we see anything of this nature from now on, it will result in an immediate ban.

Even if you were nervous because you didn't know what specifically constituted any of these things, the only way you could be nervous overall these past 10 hours is if you come to SSMB with the express intent of generally posting passive-aggressive, pot-stirring shit and fighting with someone else- things that are already against the rules anyway. In other words, the only way your fear would be reasonable is if you came here with the express intent of breaking rules that were on the books long before Zaysho made the topic, to which staff only have to ask: why do we want a person who was intending on breaking the rules before we said they're ban worthy to even stay here? This is what we mean by the people who are the most worried about this should choose to examine their own behavior first and foremost. We are not going to be banning anyone for "mistakes" (a word I'm tired of because it dissolves blame) or arguments about Sonic or anything else. We're banning for passive-aggressive, pot-stirring shit and infighting between members which causes unnecessary drama to the forums, which is something already against the rules in the first place. Even if you didn't know that before, you know it now.

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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

...this was supposed to be a small post but wall of text happened and I'm sorry in advance. Anyway.

I can understand the concerns. To expand on what some other staff members have said, allow me to give some of my personal experience.

First, the worry of bans being handed out like candy. As mentioned, it is common to discuss any banning that falls in a gray area (e.g. was the member being legitimately, inappropriately aggressive?). This is where the checks and balances lie: we raise points for consideration with each other, and come to a group decision. Here’s an easy way to demonstrate the good intentions in our discussion: while there is a staff Skype chat, we still discuss many disciplinary actions in the staff forum. In other words, we go for the medium for more staff to participate, which helps us make the right decision.

I don’t know what background everyone has in Political Science, but the common wisdom is that the more people involved in making a final decision, the less chance for error. As has been mentioned, all staff members are human beings, with our different ideas and opinions… but that’s why we frequently discuss and come to a group decision. I can tell you personally that barring an extreme case such as racism or spamming advertisements, my first action when I feel a member should receive a ban is to discuss with the rest of the staff; I want to be sure to make the right decision given how significant it is. Ultimately though, we are not a hive mind, and this needs to be emphasized.

And, as discussed, if by some chance we did make a bad decision, there is an appeals process that has worked in the past. Between the staff discussion and appeals, we have checks and balances here.

Secondly, on the nature of bannable offenses themselves. I’m not entirely convinced on some of the excuses given. The case of children was mentioned. I don’t feel the person’s age matters; if they are able to handle themselves maturely, they are welcome. If they are unable to do so, they are not. Bans are not necessarily permanent; if a person’s youth does in fact play hand in their inability to be well-behaved, they can always make an appeal to come back when they’re a little older. A ban isn't the staff sending a member into the depths of space, so much as taking their privileges for an extended time until the person can make a good case that they deserve to be here again.

As for any other excuse: at the end of the day, it is our job to promote a positive environment for discussion. If you are feeling, say, angry at something going wrong in your life, you are free to express it in Personal Discussion. Don’t let it taint your interactions with the rest of the board. Overall, though: we quite possibly are sympathetic to you personally, but our first duty is to keep discussion positive; if you take out your feelings on other members, we have to punish you accordingly. It’s just how it has to be to have a semblance of order here.  

Finally, on the subject of discussion as the essence of our forum and how this sort of approach could restrict it. I’m… not really convinced. If you take a look at various threads here, you can see that (as an example) sometimes myself and other members (even fellow staff members) disagree on subjects we care deeply about. Sometimes the discussion can get tense, I won’t deny that.

And yet, we still maintain basic courtesy and respect for each other.  I want to try and run this point home with my personal experience: I actually have a really bad temper, not to mention my Asperger’s sometimes harms my ability to know the correct social response. In spite of these weaknesses, however, I am able to maintain my composure no matter how deeply I am drawn into a debate. The more you practice remaining calm and polite while disagreeing, the easier it becomes.

At the end of the day, remember there is a human being with feelings writing those words you disagree with. I understand the text-based medium with lack of emoticons goes a long way to desensitize discussion, but that’s more reason to try and keep in mind that you are talking to an actual person. This is the ultimate idea: no matter how strongly two sides disagree, you can still sit down without resorting to ad hominem tactics as a basic measure of respect. No matter how hot the debate gets, when you leave the thread, the debate stops there; you do not drag it somewhere inappropriate. No matter how strongly you disagree, no matter how angry you become, you give the other party the dignity you both deserve.

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1 minute ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Yes, because in my opinion, that would be the right punishment for this kind of rule breaking. That is a concern, that I personally think it shouldn't be as harsh as a ban. Considering for the record, you said the exact same thing Dio, I think you're being rather hypocritical. I honestly don't know why you're now trying to make it seem like I'm intentionally trying to tell mods what they *must* do.

Because you won't let it go. You're in here continually hammering on this point, I can only assume in the hopes of the mods changing their minds and doing things your way.

Yeah, I did say that going straight to banning seems excessive. But I also recognize that, not being a mod myself, I don't have the full picture, and that I'm not in charge of the decision anyway. On top of that, it seems what I would do has already been tried, and proven to not work. So I've got no reason nor inclination to say that I know how to handle this better than they do.

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12 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

If that's the case, fair enough. But you have to admit yourself Tara, that isn't what we were told with the topic. We were told any and all examples of that behavior would be bans. At this point, the only things I'm simply trying to state my opinion, which is the following

  • The original topic wasn't as clarified as it could have been
  • Not every in-fracture of the rules should be a ban (As said, a warning/strike would suffice, unless it seriously went over the line)
  • I'm not trying to tell the mods how to do their jobs/trying to paint them as villains. I just wanted to bring my own concerns up, and very clearly, due to the existence of this topic, and lot of other people wanted to as well.

And I've already said that I can understand where the confusion lies.  Just as a lot of members find it hard to understand the context of our actions because they don't have access to the behind-the-scenes stuff, sometimes our wording may not be up to par because many of us have forgotten what it's llike to not have that additional context.  We appreciate you voicing your concerns, but I do feel like many posts went completely out of the line of simply addressing concerns and onto immediately assuming the worst.

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Ryannumber1gamer
33 minutes ago, Nepenthe said:

I never said you said any of this (sans telling us how to do our job, because you have right here in this thread, by telling us about what you would do in certain situations) so talk about placing words in people's mouths. I was merely illustrating our work environment without outright giving away private information in the hopes that you would better understand what the job really entails and why just about every staff who's posted here is done to some degree.

Fair enough, but I wouldn't say I'm telling you how to do your jobs. There's a difference between telling you how'd I personally deal with a situation, and how you should deal with it. You invited me to explain how I'd handle certain things when you began giving me extreme scenarios to deal with, in which I gave you your reply, and explained my own opinion on how I think the rule should've been carried out. I don't know why we are now confusing giving an opinion for out and out saying you must do this, this and this. I'm sorry, but you can't just invite someone to explain how they'd handle certain situations and then try to use it against them as a method of "telling you how to do your job". 

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The bolded is where you should've understood that your situation still isn't directly equivalent to what it is like being a staffer of this particular forum, mainly in several big ways-- PMs are private, while most moderator decisions and the subsequent blowback we face is public. PM conversations are not directly governed by peers and another presiding body while staff decisions are. PMs are more easily opted out of by anyone than staff decisions are by staff members, because the former is a courtesy and the other is an actual responsibility. PM responses aren't held to any reasonable standard of "professionalism" while staff decisions are. I can go on and on with why these situations aren't equivalent due to the context that precedes and establishes them, mainly because it stems from the fact that I've been on both sides of the line here and elsewhere.

Nep, the point was to sympathize with the situation of playing the villain here. Different situations in which that outcome has happened surely, but I've still played the role of villain before, and I know how it feels having to play the shitty role. Considering there's times I did have to do it publicly, specifically issues with Game Night, and other examples, so yes, I've also had to play the bad guy in front of the forum as well.

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Honestly? If you didn't want to do this, you could've not said we're playing the victim card because we're exasperated with the endless stream of conflicting criticism we get from the community in general (not just you) when we try to clarify new or old rules, especially when said community simultaneously paints all of their concerns in these topics as reasonable and worthy of listening to, partly because posts are getting a lot of likes (despite the fact that at least three members here nonetheless get it). All this really makes us think is that we are indeed shitty staff and we shouldn't ever complain about any ill-treatment or repetitive suggestions and demands we receive.

Nep, exactly what was I meant to think when we were told that we were calling the mods, and I quote: 

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And now as soon as we're giving the heads up that we're going to be doing our jobs as intended, it's seen as crazy, corrupt or too strict?

Except no one called any one corrupt, or crazy. I said maybe this was a bit too strict in my opinion, but that was after this was said. How else am I meant to see that line? No one ever said any of this. I pointed out the posts getting likes to show examples that it wasn't just me having these concerns, that clearly other people were having them, and I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe that an unreasonable concern would get a number of people agreeing with it due to having the very same concern.

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This is where I will step out to argue that your fear isn't reasonable. You said that you spent the last ten hours afraid to post anything at all on SSMB, presumably because the original topic wasn't clear about what would and would not result in a ban. However, it is specific enough to outline a general idea of what we don't want to see:

Because at that point, the original topic did a very good job of breaking in the point that mods weren't putting up with any more shit like this. So how was I meant to know what the line was now? The original topic spent more time saying that these kinds of posts had a insta-ban coming, rather than explaining the context in which it would count as too far. I'm currently in a debate about Scourge in the Archie thread. If I was sarcastic over one of my points, would that count as passive-aggressive, and therefore worthy of a insta-ban? What if I got too angry? Would that be worthy of an insta-ban? What if I called out the fact the person keeps trying to twist my points to suit them? Would that count as passive-aggressive, and therefore an insta-ban? The original topic failed to clarify any of that, so there's your answer.

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Even if you were nervous because you didn't know what specifically constituted any of these things, the only way you could be nervous overall these past 10 hours is if you come to SSMB with the express intent of generally posting passive-aggressive, pot-stirring shit and fighting with someone else- things that are already against the rules anyway. In other words, the only way your fear would be reasonable is if you came here with the express intent of breaking rules that were on the books long before Zaysho made the topic, to which staff only have to ask: why do we want a person who was intending on breaking the rules before we said they're ban worthy to even stay here? This is what we mean by the people who are the most worried about this should choose to examine their own behavior first and foremost. We are not going to be banning anyone for "mistakes" (a word I'm tired of because it dissolves blame) or arguments about Sonic or anything else. We're banning for passive-aggressive, pot-stirring shit and infighting between members which causes unnecessary drama to the forums, which is something already against the rules in the first place. Even if you didn't know that before, you know it now.

I know it now after it's been clarified. As for your statement about specifically coming to post passive-aggressive shit, see the above explanation.

23 minutes ago, Tara said:

And I've already said that I can understand where the confusion lies.  Just as a lot of members find it hard to understand the context of our actions because they don't have access to the behind-the-scenes stuff, sometimes our wording may not be up to par because many of us have forgotten what it's llike to not have that additional context.  We appreciate you voicing your concerns, but I do feel like many posts went completely out of the line of simply addressing concerns and onto immediately assuming the worst.

Admittedly, some things was going a bit to the worst, but still, the wording of the topic meant a lot of these what ifs were possible, and with the indication of the anger in the topic, it also gave off an element of "We're done putting up with this shit". I'm not saying that was the intention before anyone jumps on my back to say I've said this that or this. I'm just saying that's the impression I got out of it.

25 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Because you won't let it go. You're in here continually hammering on this point, I can only assume in the hopes of the mods changing their minds and doing things your way.

Yeah, I did say that going straight to banning seems excessive. But I also recognize that, not being a mod myself, I don't have the full picture, and that I'm not in charge of the decision anyway. On top of that, it seems what I would do has already been tried, and proven to not work. So I've got no reason nor inclination to say that I know how to handle this better than they do.

I won't let it go because I keep getting replies from you, Wraith, and others claiming I'm trying to tell mods what to do, and that they have to do this or that. What else am I meant to do Dio other than try to clarify for the hundredth time that I am talking about my own personal opinion. You are talking about things like not having the full picture when I've already said more or less that if it's a repeat offender, as in someone who these strikes and warnings will not have worked on already, then yes, full banning would be the best thing, Otherwise, for first offenders, all I'm saying is for unintentional pot stirring, maybe a warning or strike. That is my opinion, from the current information I know/have. I'm not telling the mods what they need to do. I'm not forcing them to do anything, or telling them how they should be doing things. I am simply stating what I think the new rule should entail. That's it.

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I try to keep from arguing with people if possible unless its a friendly banter on differing opinions. But I still love the fact I had a warning point for nearly 5 years lol XD.

WAR.JPG

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4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

What else am I meant to do Dio other than try to clarify for the hundredth time that I am talking about my own personal opinion.

Just...stop posting it, then? You've made your opinion known. Many times over, now. What more are you trying to accomplish?

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Ryannumber1gamer
Just now, Diogenes said:

Just...stop posting it, then? You've made your opinion known. Many times over, now. What more are you trying to accomplish?

 

7 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I won't let it go because I keep getting replies from you, Wraith, and others claiming I'm trying to tell mods what to do, and that they have to do this or that. What else am I meant to do Dio other than try to clarify for the hundredth time that I am talking about my own personal opinion.

Maybe I'll stop posting when you stop making replies to say I'm trying to tell mods how to do their jobs. What I'm trying to "accomplish" is to show evidence that wasn't what I was doing. That wasn't my intention at all, and why you still feel the need to keep bringing it back up despite having clarified it multiple times now.

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Rey Skywalker-Ren

At this point it has become a giant merry go around. We posted concerns and while it was warranted, we also misunderstood the intention of the thread itself.

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1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

 

Maybe I'll stop posting when you stop making replies to say I'm trying to tell mods how to do their jobs. What I'm trying to "accomplish" is to show evidence that wasn't what I was doing. That wasn't my intention at all, and why you still feel the need to keep bringing it back up despite having clarified it multiple times now.

That wasn't your intention, but that ultimately doesn't matter because that's how you are coming across.  You are, again, making the same mistake you were complaining about to begin with. Consider how your posts read to other people before you psot them so this isn't an issue in the future. Don't keep this going just for the sake of being stubborn.

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Ryannumber1gamer
7 minutes ago, Wraith said:

That wasn't your intention, but that ultimately doesn't matter because that's how you are coming across.  You are, again, making the same mistake you were complaining about to begin with. Consider how your posts read to other people before you psot them so this isn't an issue in the future. Don't keep this going just for the sake of being stubborn.

If it was the first time, maybe. But considering this is the third time I've had to clarify that exact point, what else am I meant to do? Even if I did make that mistake, both you and Dio still decided to start claiming that my full intentions was to keep telling the mods what to do. I concede the point that I might have typed it wrong, and gave the wrong impression the first time, but exactly why would anyone feel the need to keep going on about it after I had already clarified twice after the fact?

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  • Tara locked this topic

And this is getting a little bit vexsome, honestly, so in the interest of keeping things civil, I've decided to lock this topic.

We've made our stances, you've shared your concerns, and we have answered your concerns, and when Chris sees this, he will probably add his own two cents to the topic.  Thus, there is no need to continue the current conversation.  If you have any further questions or concerns, I suggest waiting for Chris's response and PMing him if they are not addresed in his post.

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  • Chris unlocked this topic
CrownSlayer’s Shadow

Now that this topic is re-opened, something I wanted to help elaborate on.

Quote

 

Or (and I'd like to emphasise that this is a potential possiblity, and I don't intend to say or imply anything definite about the staff) what if a mod - present or future - happens to hold a grudge against some members and abuse their power to get rid of them at the slightest slip-up they make? Even if it's over something trivial as "this person had an unpopular opinion, and other members blew it out of proportion and muddied up a topic"?

It's been said on a previous announcement that if you feel a mod is abusing their power against you that you should go directly to an admin to deal with it. That rank isn't just them maintaining the forums while the mods maintain the members.

But that's an extreme case. Many of us have been here for a long time, and I'm sure the mods know many of our mannerism enough to know when one is being a dick and when they aren't. And really, that's just the summary of this zero tolerance thing - don't be a dick, or take this final chance to stop if you have been. And given that what they've revealed to us about how they handle strikes and bans, one mod's potential grudge isn't gonna be enough to boot you off the forums - they don't have a mob mentality, as you might (key word here, cuz I *might* be wrong) just have a mod actually stand in your defense by offering their insights.

I can understand concerns, but I'm sure we've all seen so much dickish behavior to know what will likely result in a ban and what won't, right?

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14 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

I can understand concerns, but I'm sure we've all seen so much dickish behavior to know what will likely result in a ban and what won't, right?

Here is something I want to bring up that's not necessarily relevant to the new policy, but I feel it's worth a mention because it's a recurring problem.  The above quote is a good point that to anyone that's been here more than six months, what constitutes a ban and what doesn't should be obvious.  But I feel like even long time members seem to have a problem understanding the difference between being talked to about something and actually being disciplined.  If a mod tells you to stop doing something, that is merely a verbal warning.  Trust me, I think everyone on this forum (including myself) has been given this at least once in their tenure here.  That's to be expected.  When this happens, it is us giving you the benefit of the doubt that you meant no harm in your actions.

If you are given a strike, you will know it. (It has to be acknowledged by you personally before you're allowed to continue using the forums, I think)  There is no grey area between a strike and a verbal warning.  Yet often I have people complaining to me that they were given a strike despite not having a single strike on record.  Or they will take a simple request by a moderator very seriously and act like they are being disciplined when they are not.

The thing is, this modest requests are actually like 80% of all moderating actions.  Which is why it baffles me that when we enact slightly more strict provisions, people act like we've made a no man's land out of the boards.  It feels like people can't decide if we're too strict or too lax.  It all depends on however we have personally wronged you.  Anyway, what I'm getting at is that at a certain point in time, you should know the difference between when a mod politely asks something of you and when you're actually about to receive some kind of disciplinary action, be it strikes, bans, suspension, or whatever.  And hopefully this post will clear up this little confusion for approximately five minutes.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

If I can be honest, I'm actually more surprised that the mods have been more lax about this sort of thing. In fact, I've been a lot more annoyed about how lenient things were when things got obviously heated for no reason and ended up spiraling out of control over things that I expected mods to step in and quell, because I remember the forums being more controlled and tame when were much more strict about shit-stirring in topics.

I don't mean this as a slight, because I don't know what's going on. But I do think that the lax treatment may have exacerbated the hostile and passive-aggressiveness that has been going on, because it led to a distrust in mods coming in to handle things and felt like you either didn't care or might even encouraged it until it became too much that you had to step in.

Never mind the passive-aggressive use of the like button whenever this stuff happens (and I'm not gonna pretend I'm not guilty of this one myself) - it's like people nowadays use it mostly to say "fuck that other guy I disagree with" without actually saying it.

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8 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

If I can be honest, I'm actually more surprised that the mods have been more lax about this sort of thing. In fact, I've been a lot more annoyed about how lenient things were when things got obviously heated for no reason and ended up spiraling out of control over things that I expected mods to step in and quell, because I remember the forums being more controlled and tame when were much more strict about shit-stirring in topics.

I don't think it's necessarily us being lax and more that nobody is coming to us when they should, because we probably just don't know. By the time it gets worse and we do have to step in (because when the in-fighting breaks out, that's when reports come in), we're probably not even dealing with the source of the problem anymore and instead punishing others that got too heated and personally involved in whatever went down in the first place. It's pretty frustrating for us, too. I think instead of thinking "I expect mods to be here at this point," it should be "I should probably let the mods know about this." That way we can better assess the situation and decide where to go from there.

And, believe me, I've actually thought the same way before, but once I was on this side of the fence, and had to see things from the mods' perspective, I realized how important member cooperation is to the job, because we can't be everywhere at once. That was a large reason we'd decided to make the topic at all, because there's been enough instances where things have gone down like that--someone says something shit-stirring, other members come in and get heated and start fighting with one another, problem blows up into bigger drama--and we want to get to the root of it faster before it becomes a thing.

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Seconding that 100%. I never used the report system, not even once, and never really gave it much thought. Now that I'm actually a mod and see how it all actually works? I regret every single time I thought about it only to wave it off. 'Oh, someone else will report it, I'm sure...' I don't blame anyone for thinking along those lines, but to be blunt, chances are you're wrong.

I think we'd rather get too many reports than none.

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52 minutes ago, Nepenthe said:

Komodin used to report things. A lot. Any inkling of trouble that could've been brewing and was in his sights was reported by him. While it sometimes amused us or we disagreed that any particular report was problematic, we never told him to stop or do anything to alter the behavior because we appreciated the extra vigilance. Many times it led to us cutting off an argument at the root versus letting it fester and leading to the kind of shit that would happen in the 25th anniversary threads where strikes, suspensions and bans, and thread closures occurred. Komodin made the forum a much better place in that regard by being an active and unappreciated extension of our eyes and ears. So if nothing else, at least continue that part of his legacy and actually let us know when shit is or might start going down so we can actually do our jobs more thoroughly.

Damn it, Nepenthe, I didn't come here to FEEL.

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Rey Skywalker-Ren

I only used the report thingy once or twice but it was for the dumbest reason such as someone saying the C word. It is hard to know what constitutes a report and what doesn't. 

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PickleBrows
47 minutes ago, Mikyeong said:

I only used the report thingy once or twice but it was for the dumbest reason such as someone saying the C word. It is hard to know what constitutes a report and what doesn't. 

It really comes down to what level things are at in a situation; whether it's an opinion, debate or an argument we're dealing with.

EDIT:  I should probably say that these examples are entirely off the top of my head and aren't referencing any actual posts, topics or users on the forum. Sorry for any coincidences that might crop up!

Opinion

"I think Sonic should have sung Peruvian love songs to calm the whale down in SA1 rather than running away from his problems".

That's just a statement, it's someone's personal perspective on a subject. It is what it is and it's not doing anyone harm. No problem.

Debate

"I think the 25th Anniversary game will be this because of A, B and C"

"No, I disagree. It'll be THIS because of X, Y, and Z".

Now we've got a clash of perspectives. Two users have different stances on a subject and are having a debate because of it. Debate is fine, it's good. It can get ideas going, offer insight and all that good stuff. Everything that's being said is entirely in relation to the game and both users are backing up why they're saying what they're saying.

Argument

"You're an idiot if you can't see this for what it is"

"Mate, I know an idiot when I see one and right now it's trying to lecture me on what an idiot it".

Now we're in trouble. The point of the conversation is completely gone and it's now a free-for-all of insults and trying to one up each other. There's nothing productive going on here, the topic isn't progressing, it's completely stalled. In situations like this, other members may well try to cut things off by making a proper post that in some way contributes to the subject of the topic but it can often be the case that this attempt gets drowned out by the following posts which just continue the argument.

It's time to hit the report button.

 

Now that's a very serious example. Sometimes a topic just needs nudging back on track rather than a mod fire extinguisher so here's a nice little thing to look out for.

Any of us can get into tangents now and then and it might well cause the topic to completely break away into another subject entirely. For example, you open a topic about Sonic's gameplay evolution and find that the past few posts or pages have actually turned into a debate about writers. It's not an unsuitable discussion, but it's not what that particular topic is there for and so things need to get focused again. A report in this case is just a simple heads up to the mods that a topic has gotten off-track. Nobody's in trouble and nobody's done anything wrong. The mod can jump in, "back on topic guys", and the world keeps turning with no feathers ruffled.

Basically, if things are either hostile, or off-topic, and have been for a while then it's time to jump in. You don't have to wait for something to happen first though. If you have a feeling that a topic is on the verge of breaking into an argument then you can use the report button to give the mods a heads up that there's something they might want to be aware of.

 

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