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Stronger Anti-Harassment System

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I don't want to feel intimidated before PMing any user who hasn't explictly stated (in their signature or profile) they want no PMs in general, or on any specific topic.

Not only that - but because of some HUGE images and some you just don't want to see (see TLQ yesterday UGH xd.png !) - many players block sigs, so they won't SEE what you put there. And I admit I don't check a profile if I want to ask someone for a common sibling to something I saw they had bred in a lineage...

 

I had "no hollies" in mine for ages ad still got PMs. It's easy enough to say "please check my sig - not hollies" nicely. And block them if they carry on.

 

I think this is easily handled with a bit of common sense. I think we do have all we need - though I admit that while I've only EVER reported one PM, a button would have made it that fraction faster..

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While yes intentionally ignoring what someone has written in their sig or profile is not good and yes could be classed as harassment....not everyone notices or reads profiles and signatures and may pm someone not intending to be rude.

 

I have actually done that. I pm'd someone and then a bit later read their profile where waaay at the bottom was that they don't want to be pm'd, period. I deleted the pm I had sent which they luckily had not read. But the fact remains that it was an unintentional mistake and I can't help feel it would be overly harsh to call 'harassment' where it may simply have been a mistake. At that point I blocked all sigs because one person's sig and the images in it were causing my computer to slow to a crawl.

 

But the point is that people make mistakes, they miss reading bits, they get over enthusiastic and jump in before doing the 'research' on whether that person is open to being pm'd and many are newbies who don't even realize that they need to look and see if someone doesn't tolerate being contacted

 

IF someone pm's you when you have a line on your profile or sig saying don't pm me, surely it is best to simply pm them back politely pointing out how you do not wish to be contacted. Some will pm back a quick 'sorry' and anything beyond that constitutes harassment. OR just ignore the pm and if you receive more then that constitutes 'harassment'.

 

Which is why I think the current forum security and rules regarding harassment are enough. Before it gets to the point where people are too afraid to contact anyone.

Edited by Dubious

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Bolding is mine. 

 

This makes no sense to me.  If someone has 'Please do not PM me about...' in their sig, wouldn't 2 PMs to that person qualify as  pestering  them as stated in your second quote?  That's how I'd see it.  If they have something in their sig that clearly states 'I DON'T WANT TO BE PM'D' then haven't you been told already that they don't want to be contacted?   

 

'Please do not PM me about...' doesn't..or at least it shouldn't... translate as 'Yes, PM me as long as you're nice about it and if I don't answer the first time, go ahead and do it again in SPITE of me clearly saying not to'.

As Syphoneira pointed out, some people have signatures turned off. These people just don't see what's in your sig (unless they go to your profile, that is). So, in effect, you're trying to punish someone for a friendly "Did you miss my PM?" without checking your profile first. That's the point you should be aware of.

 

@Starscream: I'm just wondering. If you don't want to be contacted at all, why do you even bother with the forums? And are you sure this is the right kind of attitude for a moderator, even if you're "only" a chat mod?

Edited by olympe

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What I still don't get is why so many people think that even the first message should be normal and expected. It's akin to a salesman knocking,on your door, trying to sell you something. More often than not, those are frowned upon, rudely sent away or even the dogs unleashed....

 

Same goes for phone/email-ads/sales,

 

Unless someone has shown that he/she wants to trade, be it in sig, profile or a trade post, I refrain from contacting people - there's no such thing as an implicit permission,to make first contact.

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First contact can also be someone asking for directions to the station. If someone did ask you for directions without being rude, would you call the cops on them for having got lost?

 

In real life, if you don't want to be called by anyone but special friends, you get an unlisted number. On DC, since the unlisted number is not an option, you simply call the cops mods?

 

Imagine someone going through the wishlist of a fellow player, seeing a special lineage request they can breed and send a PM with "GLOMP!" and a teleport link. According to your logic, they might get reported and even warned for that.

 

Do we really want to create an environment that's so incredibly hostile people cannot even PM others without being afraid to get warned for "harassing"? (If so, mods might even get reported for sending out warn messages because they're totally unwelcome. tongue.gif)

Edited by olympe

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What I still don't get is why so many people think that even the first message should be normal and expected. It's akin to a salesman knocking,on your door, trying to sell you something. More often than not, those are frowned upon, rudely sent away or even the dogs unleashed....

 

Same goes for phone/email-ads/sales,

 

Unless someone has shown that he/she wants to trade, be it in sig, profile or a trade post, I refrain from contacting people - there's no such thing as an implicit permission,to make first contact.

Personally I think it's very rude of people to rudely send door-to-door salespeople away or even unleash the dogs. Those people are just trying to pay their bills as well; as long as they're polite, isn't it normal to be polite as well? blink.gif

 

Same with phone salesmal. Email ads are different, there's not usually a person actually involved there.

 

I think it should be possible to contact people out of the blue, politely. Notes saying you don't wish to be contacted should naturally be respected, there's no question about that. But I think it's insane to have to be afraid of being reported for harassment, when you're just sending someone a polite question, offer or message. Is it really so hard to either ignore the message and delete it, or send a quick 'sorry not interested' back?

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I think it should be possible to contact people out of the blue, politely. Notes saying you don't wish to be contacted should naturally be respected, there's no question about that. But I think it's insane to have to be afraid of being reported for harassment, when you're just sending someone a polite question, offer or message. Is it really so hard to either ignore the message and delete it, or send a quick 'sorry not interested' back?

This. I check both profile and sig before writing a PM, but still...

I don't think that stronger system is needed. We have block list we can as well use it.

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While yes intentionally ignoring what someone has written in their sig or profile is not good and yes could be classed as harassment....not everyone notices or reads profiles and signatures and may pm someone not intending to be rude.

 

I have actually done that. I pm'd someone and then a bit later read their profile where waaay at the bottom was that they don't want to be pm'd, period. I deleted the pm I had sent which they luckily had not read. But the fact remains that it was an unintentional mistake and I can't help feel it would be overly harsh to call 'harassment' where it may simply have been a mistake. At that point I blocked all sigs because one person's sig and the images in it were causing my computer to slow to a crawl.

 

But the point is that people make mistakes, they miss reading bits, they get over enthusiastic and jump in before doing the 'research' on whether that person is open to being pm'd and many are newbies who don't even realize that they need to look and see if someone doesn't tolerate being contacted

 

IF someone pm's you when you have a line on your profile or sig saying don't pm me, surely it is best to simply pm them back politely pointing out how you do not wish to be contacted. Some will pm back a quick 'sorry' and anything beyond that constitutes harassment. OR just ignore the pm and if you receive more then that constitutes 'harassment'.

 

Which is why I think the current forum security and rules regarding harassment are enough. Before it gets to the point where people are too afraid to contact anyone.

I agree with much of this.

 

I NEARLY PMed someone, myself once that didn't WANT to be PMed regarding that, BUT I caught it in time and did NOT. The point is that mistakes do happen, and, while we should, people don't ALWAYS read everything.

 

While I DO get that some people do NOT want to be contacted... at ALL.... I am not sure that I would count one PM as harassment. I have set up trades via PM, in fact. I might NOT have what a person is asking for, but I might have something else I'd like to see if they are interested in. IF they say, 'No, Thanks' then that is the end of it. THAT being said, it would be a shame for someone to get warned because they wanted to do something as harmless as gift something to someone, return and auto'd/repulsed eggie or... heaven forbid... make a counter offer on a trade. It would be a shame if people were afraid to PM at ALL because it might be construed as 'harassment' and get them a warn. As it is I sometimes wonder what to do if someone doesn't reply... does that mean they aren't interested and don't want to talk to me and will feel harassed if I PM them further, or have they just not seen my message yet. This suggestion would only make that worse, IMO.

 

I do get that there are some people that harass... especially for those that have something ESPECIALLY valuable... like raffle prizes... but THAT is where the rules and such we already have come in.

I honestly think those usually serve the purpose well enough, as long as people use them.

Edited by Silverswift

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What I still don't get is why so many people think that even the first message should be normal and expected. It's akin to a salesman knocking,on your door, trying to sell you something. More often than not, those are frowned upon, rudely sent away or even the dogs unleashed....

 

Same goes for phone/email-ads/sales,

 

Unless someone has shown that he/she wants to trade, be it in sig, profile or a trade post, I refrain from contacting people - there's no such thing as an implicit permission,to make first contact.

So do you really think that - for instance - finding the PERFECT dragon - a common, usually - to complete a lineage as part of a line in an egg you find when you are AP hunting and PMing the owner to ask if they would breed you a sib is totally unreasonable and tantamount to harassment ?

 

I have to say that I have never once looked at the profile of a user when doing that and all but once they have said yes sure and done it. The once - the PM was never read and I've not seen the player on forum for ages.

 

Not having "please PM me" in a sig is not implicitly saying "DO NOT PM". AS for salesmen - sure they come to the door. I do not have a sign out there saying no hawkers, so I just say sorry, not interested and they go away. What IS the problem with that ? They need to make a living...

 

 

Imagine someone going through the wishlist of a fellow player, seeing a special lineage request they can breed and send a PM with "GLOMP!" and a teleport link. According to your logic, they might get reported and even warned for that.

 

GOD yes ! I LOVE doing that !

Edited by fuzzbucket

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I think this is easily handled with a bit of common sense. I think we do have all we need - though I admit that while I've only EVER reported one PM, a button would have made it that fraction faster..

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Common sense and human decency. To me, it's common sense that people make mistakes sometimes. To me, it's common sense to be polite first, unless seriously provoked. To me, the system we have here works, and would work a whole lot better if people *used* it more.

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Maybe there could be an optional way for people to disable PM's or make their PM address private, if they genuinely never want to receive PM's from strangers.

 

The fact of the matter is, it meets no existing definition of harassment anywhere for a person on the Internet to send a single politely worded message to a publicly available email address. There is NO way TJ could possibly enforce anything like that, even if he wanted to.

 

Anyone who wants to never be PM'd needs to focus on finding a way of making their contact information not be publicly available. Saying that other users need to read the fine print on our profiles before composing a message to us is tilting at windmills. I might as well tell the whole Internet they all need to spell and punctuate their messages properly before sending me email. I could SAY it all I want, but it's still not going to happen. :-)

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@Starscream: I'm just wondering. If you don't want to be contacted at all, why do you even bother with the forums? And are you sure this is the right kind of attitude for a moderator, even if you're "only" a chat mod?

I did not say I don't want to be contacted at all. I do not want to be contacted for Breedings, trades, (as profile and sig indicates) Or Returns of auto abandons/repulses. (as scroll indicates)

 

I have a difference between my game life and my mod life.

 

Game life and real life are very very similar in behaviour.

 

For starts I am a very private person.

I do not want to be bothered by people. Why my phone numbers are on a no call list, and in that case my phone number is under my maiden name as opposed to my married name. I can tell who is not calling legitimately because they ask for my maiden name.

 

I report report those that call me, without my invite if I can get their numbers. I ask others who may be allowed by law to call me to put me on their do not call list. My usual response is "If I need something I will look for you, do not come to me."

 

The only people who call me are those who have reason to. My work, my friends, my family and those I have asked to contact me.

 

My crack down on calls in real life also has a very dark point where I had calls of a scary nature that involved me tracing the call, and contacting the police. To sum it up, the man is in prison for 18 months.

 

Mod Life

 

As a Mod, I take my job seriously. I accept PM's on Forums and IRC. They contact me at all hours with problems, I try to take care of them quickly. Since my PM notification is loud - very loud. It will wake me up. Hearing multiple PM notifications usually indicates to me there is a problem. Just because I do not want breeding PM's does not make me a bad mod. All I have asked is you leave me alone with my scroll.

 

As a mod, by all means ask me stuff. I get game questions, IRC questions, help questions, advice and whatnot. If I can answer, I will, if I can't I redirect to someone who can.

 

In general:

Going back to the line.

"If I need something I will look for you, do not come to me."

 

If I want a trade, I will go to trade threads. Or I just drop an egg in the various gifting threads. If I need people to PM me, I will ask them to PM me - I often do in regards to the take and leave thread. In that case their PM is expected and welcomed. Recently I was informed someone had something I might be interested in by one of my IRC mates. I investigated, and they were welcome to communication at that point so I did so.

 

As for bothering with the forums. I enjoy the threads. You can also ask that stuff in my ask a mod thread too.

 

I do not contact anyone (for trades) unless they have invited it and I expect the same of others (for trades). It's a golden rule.

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What I still don't get is why so many people think that even the first message should be normal and expected. It's akin to a salesman knocking,on your door, trying to sell you something. More often than not, those are frowned upon, rudely sent away or even the dogs unleashed....

 

Same goes for phone/email-ads/sales,

 

Unless someone has shown that he/she wants to trade, be it in sig, profile or a trade post, I refrain from contacting people - there's no such thing as an implicit permission,to make first contact.

Well, without reading this thread I would never have thought about placing "PMs are okay" in my profile / signature because it seems so totally obvious to me.

And I'm not a very social type.

Maybe it's a cultural difference? Is America different from Europe in this respect? I'm accustomed to strangers greeting with "good morning" in the street, people asking about time, people asking the way, people commenting on the weather, on our dogs etc. None of this bothers me in any way.

I don't see why a game should be any different, especially when you have a choice to delete the PM, to ignore it, or to report it if you find it inappropriate.

 

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So in your opinion we should have to be given express permission (how, when most avenues are blocked by this?), in writing, before we should be allowed to contact another member on this forum at all. Otherwise, we'll presumably be banned or warned. It's really obvious how that's going to make this a hostile and unfriendly place if that's the attitude.

So much this.

 

Too often, both here and in the real world, people fail to assume a basic level of human decency / intelligence and instead throw a nasty net of overly complicated, often stupid laws over everything, which makes for a very unpleasant environment.

 

There is a VERY big difference between harassing someone and sending a friendly PM to someone with nothing in their signature if they'd like to trade. Just as there's a big difference between bombarding someone over and over with the same demands versus sending a polite PM to someone without noticing their profile stated they don't want to be asked. I trust most members to go about their communicating with common sense and courtesy, and I trust our staff to handle those cases where people don't. Anything much above that is overkill.

 

 

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You can place "Don't PM me about..." in your signature or in your profile, but you should remember that someone can simply fail to notice that. It's not very hard since many texts in signatures are written in small font or are hidden between pictures, banners etc.

 

I understand that receiving messages regarding breeding or trading can be annoying. However, I think that there's a huge difference between "annoyed" and "harassed". Receiving one or even two polite messages regarding "Don't PM me about..." topics can be annoying or even very annoying, sure. But "annoying" don't enter - and shouldn't enter - into the definition of harassment, at least for me.

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Well, without reading this thread I would never have thought about placing "PMs are okay" in my profile / signature because it seems so totally obvious to me.

And I'm not a very social type.

Maybe it's a cultural difference? Is America different from Europe in this respect? I'm accustomed to strangers greeting with "good morning" in the street, people asking about time, people asking the way, people commenting on the weather, on our dogs etc. None of this bothers me in any way.

I don't see why a game should be any different, especially when you have a choice to delete the PM, to ignore it, or to report it if you find it inappropriate.

Lorimel, I'm sure it's not a cultural, but a social difference. I'm an American and I greet people with "good morning" if addressed. I'm also a very private person. I just make it clear and obvious if I don't want to be talked to in real life (with headphones or avoiding eye contact or some other way). On these forums and most other online places, I also make it clear when I don't want to be contacted either with a simple "please no PMs." Again, it takes a level of discretion on the user's part to decide when contacting crosses the line into harassment.

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I have it spelled out in several locations trying to cover all areas. Its in multiple places, and you have noticed it.

 

This is good.

 

 

The true expectation is, don't PM someone unless they have expressed it is okay.

Starscream, I suggest that you take a good hard look at that signature of yours. I had to *look* for that warn-off, that color was blending in with the forum background, what with the black banner drawing the eyes way from the pale colored text.

 

So! For those of you who want to turn this into a police state, what rules do you want to use as a warn-off to other players?

 

I welcome PMs of *all sorts* myself, and get all sorts. I've had one single person cross the line into "harassment". They got blocked and reported to a mod, no fuss no bother.

 

Here's what I would want to see, listed in siggies and profiles at all times, if just PMing someone politely is ever to be a warn-able offense:

- The "No PMs" is to be written in lettered size "large" or higher

- The Warn-off is to be the top line in BOTH your siggy and your profile

- It is to be in the standard board font, and colored red

So it would look like this

 

And before people start complaining about loosing their siggie, well. Perhaps you should consider how your hard-line approach will affect those who are ok with contact? Or those who's screens aren't as good, or who's eyes are weak? Or those who have trouble with seeing certain colors? I see colors fine, but when I'm not wearing contacts or glasses, my vision is extremely bad. Had I not been wearing contacts, I would have missed that teeny text in Starscream's siggy.

 

So IF warning over a first polite contact is ever to be considered, I strongly urge that strict rules be put into place to govern what constitutes a "Warn-off" that if ignored, can earn a warn. It has to be large, visible, and hard to miss, because the onus I feel is on the person warning people away on a forum for a game.

 

 

I, personally, am not comfortable with the idea of "they have to say its ok before contacting them". I think that will start down the road to an extremely hostile environment in the forums and drive players away. Especially for what seems to be a minority opinion! I say this because its far more common to see siggies that indicate a general welcoming of trade / breeding requests than it is to see siggies with warn-offs (which I've only seen a couple of times and usually in relation to a particular dragon, such as Prizes / Spriter alts).

 

Cheers!

C4.

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I would never have expected this to be an issue...

 

For example, if I picked up an egg on the AP which might be a more trade-valuable-type egg and the scroll name is visible on the parent's pages, I would never have thought to check their profiles and sig to see whether they didn't want contact before writing to see if that egg had been autoed by accident, and to say that I could send it back, if so.

 

I did that fairly recently, with a very nice 2nd gen Silver out of a Marrow, (something I actually had a use for and rather amazingly caught,) and was told that it had been dropped after a trade had fallen through, rather than my being reported - but what about the next time?

 

Suppose I do, and get reported, or don't, and the person was desperate about having the egg auto and would have been greatly relieved to have had it returned?

 

When I have unexpected luck breeding gifting material later at night, especially when that luck has created a space shortage, I often look to see who's on the forums to see if someone could use it.

 

I do generally look for people I know to be nice, even if only from posts I've seen, but sometimes offer to total strangers, and I have in the past quite often bred quickly to try to gift people I know nothing about after seeing from a post that they needed something I could try breeding, (often doesn't work out, but if it does, I send the egg, if not, move on, and they never know,) or new people - and this rather changes things.

 

It'll especially suck for new people, because sending them dragons or fansite info/dragon-raising hints (I used to have a page of fansite links and basic hints now pre-dating my off-line hiatus of 7 months several months ago, still not updated,) could get us into trouble; although it may seem less personally welcoming, they can at least get the info on Help threads, from a Mentor, or elsewhere, and there really doesn't seem to be the need there once was.

 

And apparently luckily for me, I've been off a long time and really haven't had the energy - or, a lot of the time, scroll-room - for that sort of thing lately anyway.

 

With any luck, those having a wish for no contact will be able to do the white-list thing and shut any chance of contact with the rest of us off at their end, as that will make it their responsibility.

 

But until then... this rather changes everything.

 

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I am not happy with simply PMing even someone with that in a sig being warnable. Not only do a lot of people have sigs turned off, but the idea that you have to go to a profile and check is just - too much.

 

Ugh. People used to say this place was unfriendly - even hostile - and the rest. I never believed it, but I would if this came in.

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I, personally, am not comfortable with the idea of "they have to say its ok before contacting them". I think that will start down the road to an extremely hostile environment in the forums and drive players away. Especially for what seems to be a minority opinion! I say this because its far more common to see siggies that indicate a general welcoming of trade / breeding requests than it is to see siggies with warn-offs (which I've only seen a couple of times and usually in relation to a particular dragon, such as Prizes / Spriter alts).

 

Cheers!

C4.

This. So. Much.

 

I think the system we have now is quite adequate if people will just use it. I would hate to see stronger measures put in place. Is there really a huge problem with this, except possibly for prize-winners?

 

And Starscream, I agree about that "warn-off" in your siggie, too. It is extremely hard to see even once I knew it was in there somewhere. You will have to do better than that if it is to be warnable to PM someone who has stated they do not welcome it.

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What greatly scares me about your stance, Starscream, is that you could (probably) hand out the warns yourself for receiving the wrong kind of PM. (I also think that you should turn off your message signal when you're asleep. Even a mod can't be expected to be available 24/7. Not even if there is a problem.)

 

Even in real life, if I have the time, I do answer the phone even if the call isn't one I've been expecting. Yeah, even for surveys done on the phone. Or my bank offering me to get counseled about how to invest my money. (Which money? At the time, I was still studying!) I didn't consider that harassing at all. However, when my bank started calling me about the same thing every couple of months, I eventually had to put my foot down and tell them to not contact me about it again. Because, to me, that very clearly crossed the line into harassment from my point of view.

 

I think that there should be a similar mindset regarding PMs.

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I, personally, am not comfortable with the idea of "they have to say its ok before contacting them". I think that will start down the road to an extremely hostile environment in the forums and drive players away. Especially for what seems to be a minority opinion! I say this because its far more common to see siggies that indicate a general welcoming of trade / breeding requests than it is to see siggies with warn-offs (which I've only seen a couple of times and usually in relation to a particular dragon, such as Prizes / Spriter alts).

 

Cheers!

C4.

How do you know that people aren't warded off because of the lack of protection either? There has been a few times that posters have been rather hostile to another and it seems like nothing has ever been done about it at all. I'd find the lack of protection more disturbing than over protecting.

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How do you know that people aren't warded off because of the lack of protection either? There has been a few times that posters have been rather hostile to another and it seems like nothing has ever been done about it at all. I'd find the lack of protection more disturbing than over protecting.

Then we need to work on clarifying that users can contact mods when they feel harassed, and that they won't be punished if they report something the mod feels didn't constitute harassment.

 

We already have the tools in place to prevent users from being losers. We don't need to go into crazy military lock down mode regarding PMs, we just need to make sure people know what tools are available when a problem DOES arise.

 

 

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Then we need to work on clarifying that users can contact mods when they feel harassed, and that they won't be punished if they report something the mod feels didn't constitute harassment.

 

We already have the tools in place to prevent users from being losers. We don't need to go into crazy military lock down mode regarding PMs, we just need to make sure people know what tools are available when a problem DOES arise.

Yeah but still some of the options listed above could help those that don't like contacting them. If they have a issue with it due to nerves or something nothing you can say or do will get them to get over it. They will if they want but another way isn't going to kill anyone. I did not say to go into some crazy military like crack down. A few more options in place would not hurt one bit.

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Yeah but still some of the options listed above could help those that don't like contacting them. If they have a issue with it due to nerves or something nothing you can say or do will get them to get over it. They will if they want but another way isn't going to kill anyone. I did not say to go into some crazy military like crack down. A few more options in place would not hurt one bit.

I'm ok with the option to disable PMs and stricter punishments for those who really cross the line; my reply was in regards to the idea that anyone who PMs someone without explicit permission get a warn. That is way overkill.

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