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Odeen

Relax moderation of discussion forums

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I agree - the moderation on this forum takes the rules much much much farther than any other discussion board I have ever used. Things like the lack of differentiation between purposeful thread derailing and friendly conversation. Or declaring that any two posts in a row is automatically considered totem posting regardless of intent, which, really is a fairly easy judgement call to make. I definitely consider this one of the least member-friendly boards I have used, which is really a shame. I am glad to know that others share my feeling.

Edited by Terrafreaky

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I agree. I'm on some other forums on other games and the mods really don't mind what the discussion turns into. I think this is good because it let's people express themselves, rather than being stuck to one lane.

 

Oh, can we also get the option to like posts? A lot of other forums have it.

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I actually like encouraging thread necroing because it keeps everything in one thread, which keeps the forums clean, so if you search for something concerning the topic you end up with only one big thread, instead of tons of slightly-smaller threads that you have to comb through for what you want (which I have done countless times...).

Pretty much this. Also, forum search is iffy at the best of times, and there's been at least one recent occasion where I posted something I hadn't even known was a duplicate. At times like that I appreciate the dupehammer because I get to go back, look at the old thread, and go "ohhh that's why things are the way they are" or "oh, a million people already said yes, TJ just must not feel like it."

 

If you guys really want a compromise about necros, how about a 6 month timer, and once a thread goes those 6 months without a post, it's locked and new threads on the same subject are allowed? That way we won't have 47 threads about One Great Idea, but we won't be reviving threads from 2010 when that One Great Idea wouldn't have worked the same way anyway.

 

Moderation in general on DC is pretty well-managed to me though, concerning what I've seen before (forums that are too strict or too relaxed), so I don't see much of a problem with it. Maybe it could be more relaxed, but only if it's the rules that are the problem and not just certain staff members; we definitely shouldn't try to fix a problem on the collective level when it's on the individual level, otherwise the moderation might become too relaxed in some places, resulting in people stepping over boundaries that the staff no longer have a place to enforce...

Pretty much this, too. I don't really have a problem with the way things are moderated, especially with the context Socky gave about handing out verbal warns rather than official warns. "Hey, back on topic" is way more cool than an official modly warning imo, and I don't feel like discussions are overmoderated. Even when people are going nuts at each other, the mods have been pretty chill about it and sorted stuff out. The only time threads are really closed abruptly is when some newbie posts something they shouldn't have, and usually I see the mods post an answer or explanation before the verbal warn/thread lock.

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I should note that the mods do a really good job in general, and the forum as a whole is much less strict than it was a few years ago ^^

 

That being said, in news topics, in particular, is where I'd like to see more leniency. I understand keeping things largely on topic and focused in a suggestion or help topic. But in new release posts, it feels more than anywhere else that the whole community is gathering to celebrate, and yah, sometimes things veer off topic, but it's still in a friendly way. So it's there more than anywhere that I'd like to see people free to sometimes chat about random things. It really dampers the otherwise super positive mood when a joke or something is abruptly squished, and in the end, is it that harmful to just let it go on in that one soon to be closed thread anyway? smile.gif

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I would like to say a few things that come to my mind initially reading this suggestion and the discussion that followed:

 

1. I agree with the userbase in general on the new topics matter. I think we can do a better job at axing old topics that are no longer relevant and keeping new, fresh topics. This is something that I've been thinking about WHILE axing new topics as is generally protocol. It's important to keep the forums clean. We don't need 4-5 topics of the same thing.

 

2. I do not agree entirely with the leniency on verbal warnings and discussion. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that instead of warning the users who are being off-topic, we are giving out a verbal warning to the thread. This prevents a "free-for-all" situation, and prevents discussion from going places that the userbase would feel uncomfortable with. It would bog down relevant discussion if users would like to know what's going on.

 

That being said, if we start being lenient on off-topic discussion it could lead to a gray area, and users could become enraged if we start warning for serious off-topic discussion with arguments like "You allow x,y,z to be discussed off-topic, but not what I said?" And I think that can be prevented by modding everyone in the same level playing field. The mods are not mad at you, they are just guiding the discussion. I may change my red text to purple if it alarms people. I just use red to capture users' attention, like I'm sure is the reason most mods use this color.

 

Threads like the news thread is for talking about new dragons or plans for new dragons; not reminding other users to check their PM boxes or other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the new release thread. However, seeing as though others think this is an ongoing problem, I will make sure that the off-topic chat that has vague relevance to the release/event is left alone (from me). Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

 

I would like to add, however, that I do not speak for the entire mod team. I love my teammates, and I think we overall do an efficient job at making this an enjoyable experience for all. Each mod uses their own discretion, and I support any decision my teammates make within reason. smile.gif

 

I also thank users like Odeen who do speak up. Your voices are heard.

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The big thing that I think this suggestion is meant to address, in regards to off-topic stuff, is that when mods post in the thread telling EVERYONE to stay on topic, what happens is that everyone gets scared of continuing their conversation.

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Reasons why we moderate the way we do:

 

1. Except in some cases where the cave has changed too drastically (Suggestions forum), pretty much every dupe thread only encourages the same exact discussion we've already had over and over again. Hence why we tend to merge/close dupes and encourage people to post in the original, so we're not all just repeating ourselves over and over again.

I have to slightly disagree here. What's so wrong about rehashing points that were made before? Maybe some older members have changed their views. There are new members to this forum all the time. Maybe they have a fresh perspective on an old topic. Trying to force a revival of a years-old thread with 30+ pages... Who's going to go through and read so many pages of outdated conversation? Why not strike up a new conversation and get fresh replies? And for what it's worth, to ME personally, I shy away from making threads because they so often get shut down, and linked to things that are way out of date. I know I'm not the only one who feels stifled and pushed down because threads are always shut down. It makes me feel like I shouldn't even try.

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I'll weigh in here as well.

 

This is the first time I've had to remind members to stay on topic in release threads. So far for me, members in the release threads follow the rules, and the off-topic discussion tends to sort itself out fairly quickly without intervention. I reiterated the reminder to stay on topic because less than 24 hours after a verbal reminder was issued, off-topic conversation appeared again.

 

Verbal warnings are meant to serve as a reminder to stay on-topic, not squash entire conversations in the thread. I do see how that can taken as moderating with an iron fist, so I'll work on improving my approach. I saw this discussion earlier and have given it some thought all day. It's never my intent to stifle meaningful discussion, especially when it's relevant to the site (I thought the conversation about the lack of releases during non-event months in event season brought up some good points), but I also want to make sure it's done in the proper place.

 

 

 

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Perhaps a good way to deal with this is to leave the occasionally created release speculation threads open or to create a corresponding "release chat" thread in site discussion or wherever so that users have a place to chat and maybe derail without having to worry about warnings or going too off topic.

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Isn't that kind of how discussion works?  Many times, that back and forth between the same people generates novel ideas better than sitting around waiting for someone else to come up with it.

Sounds like an argument to keep necro'ing to me. ?

 

EDIT to add: At any time, anybody has been and is welcome to PM me if they disagree with a thread merge or closure. I am happy to discuss. A lot of times, users stay quiet, and then it comes out in threads like these. I understand that talking to mods can be scary and intimidating for many users, but it's hard to correct specific situations if people don't talk to us. D:

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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I'm also discouraged from posting any suggestions anymore. Everything gets shut down and merged or deleted exept new dragon suggestions...

I got most upset when I had an idea fleshed out pretty well, and the thread got deleted and all my work got lost - and the thread it was anyhow similar to didn't have a similar sollution at all:/ I wasted my time completely...

 

I'd like to see the other way around with the merging - don't glue the new threads to the old one, glue toe old ones to the new one instead, please...

but probably the old one shoudl be hidden by default, so only if one is interested in reading it and its hours-long-worth-of-reading often outdated replies can unhide it for themselves and have a look.

Really, the threads from 2009 and a few yeas later take the suggestion from the perspective of DC before loads of updates it got through all this time, often suggesting and assuming things no longer valid with the current state of DC...

And it's nearly impossible to find where the new, merged thread, starts in those dinosaur threads:( It's killing the suggestion almost everytime I saw(ofc I could be unlucky, I don't follow many of suggestions, just a few)... no even mentioning the loads of not anymore relevant pages dinosaur threads have, who reads this all? it's hours of reading through plenty of outdated stuff instead...

Or just get rid of the old dead threads... just scrap them and let the new fresh attempts flourish - if possible.

 

Another issue is that the search never works to me. Even when I wanted to find a thread I knew the title of(or at least the key word or a few), it didn't show in my search results... There's sth wrong I believe, even if the search works for some users somehow it doesn't work to me, the threads simply don't show and what I'm getting are loads of irrelevant results which don't even contain my entered keyword...sad.gif

 

 

And I'd definitely like to see much more freedom regarding offtopic in the news threads - they are being closed after a few days anyway, and as mentioned already, these are kind of the excitement threads after all and having so strict moderation for the chatter there is repulsing, I don't know what else can I write there than 'a release yay! thanks!' 'cool sprites'(or other sprites feedback' 'can't catch x' 'got my fill +details' and 'my pairs grew up and did/n't refuse'... and the 'it was great, pity it's the last release till March:(' on the September releases (and the last one may be considered offtopic, apparently, even if it corresponds to TJ's OP mentioning the holiday release-free season - I mean true releases when CBs are not going anywhere after the release)... ofc all this (if posted) reworded to not spam the same stuff all over again either after myself or plenty of other users. ehh...

Actually I'd even consider accepting trades and such in the release topics if they are about the new breeds...(ofc Prize-Gold trades would be innacceptable, just the new breed-any other breed ones), after all, it's still about the new breeds and it's not that far from the 'I can't get the new egg/s, plz help' posts, which even kind suggest 'I think I'd like to trade for them, someone PM me plz' but are acceptable. Idk...

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I agree, Odeen. We used to have some awesome debates back in the book forum years ago. Then I got some unwarranted warnings out of the blue and I stopped debating altogether. Well, you all can see how interesting the book forum is today.

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I don't mind the occasional "Let's keep it on topic" warnings, but it annoys me to no end when a small off topic statement included with the on topic conversation is singled out. Sometimes something just reminds you of something similar and you want to point it out.. I'm not trying to derail the topic, just make an observation. Now if that statement actually DID derail the topic, then yes, post the warnings and get the conversation back on topic. But if it just merits a few comments along with the real topic, please just leave it alone. It isn't hurting anything and most likely if someone is really stoked about it, they'll PM the person that make the original comment.

 

Now, about necroing... I HATE IT!!!!! If something has been sitting there for months or years without a single post, then it is NO LONGER RELEVANT. Lock the old post and let the new post be the proper place to discuss the topic. The forum Search function is broken and we've all known it for years, so using that as an excuse is nothing but a cop out. And so what if we've discussed it all before? Either no one remembers the original discussion, or we think it's important enough to keep on discussing it.. regardless of how fresh the topic is. Some things DESERVE to be renewed over and over and over, especially if it's something that we keep asking for.

 

So... while I do NOT want the forums to deginerate into Chaos, I would like to see a bit more tolerance about how off topic is off topic... and I would especially like to see NEW threads take precedence over old threads. Anything over six months old is NOT new and should no longer be considered relevant.

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Complete support, Odeen! Especially in Suggestions, the game has changed a LOT in the last few years and old threads are often completely out of touch. I've lost track of the number of times an old thread has been forced to be brought up.... only to have people read just the first page or two, which bears no resemblance to the existing reality in the Cave.

 

And in Discussion too its a major problem, because who wants to read 20+ pages.... of OLD discussion on a topic?

 

Humans being humans, you will always get Flame Wars, but we won't get any more than we get now because what is suggested here won't affect mods from stopping topics that are getting heated. But all the changes Odeen is suggesting would do is encourage people to actually talk to each other, and bring in new ideas.

 

And while we are discussing over-moderation on the forums..... Can we please fix what's wrong with the thread-Graveyard called the BSA sub-forum? I favor splitting it into "fun" and "useful".

 

 

 

ETA:

I support Odeen's statement of up to 1 year for a necro, and after that the new one stands (though having a link to it in the first post would be ok). After 1 year of no activity, chances are its well out of date.

 

And Sock... after having just been slapped down, who wants to talk to the person doing the slapping? I know there've been a few threads I strongly disagreed with you on... but my temper was up way too high for me to deal with you and have the outcome I wanted. So I let it ride to avoid the argument with someone I respect.

 

Cheers!

C4.

Edited by cyradis4

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I feel that I have to voice my support - mostly. Necroing old threads is something that really bothers me, and for the following reasons:

  1. Sometimes, the original discussion is so old that the facts and arguments there are as outdated as some DC game rules - like old scroll limits or AP trading or holiday dragon limits.
  2. Opinions may change. Sometimes due to new or updated rules, sometimes due to the member having a change of heart for other reasons. Having to look through dozens of pages for your old opinion just to keep that in mind - or arguing against yourself - feels rather odd.
  3. Talking about dozens of pages - who do you expect to sort through those dozens of pages in order to get everything that has been stated and discussed? (Yes, I know I sometimes give outlines of old discussions - but not because I re-read everything, but instead because I remember the gist of things in many cases.)
  4. If a thread has been dormant for over a year, there's most likely a reason.
  5. A new thread might develop in a different direction than the old one. However, joining a discussion on page 68 (Cave Feedback), page 20 (battling), page 19 (send biome blockers to ap / mossy egg) or page 174 (Forum Feedback) is rather daunting.
  6. Merging doesn't really help, either, since many repeat suggestions are just slightly different or have a slightly different point of emphasis. Finding the "original post" of the newer thread in the merged thread is a challenge in and of itself. Worse, in a thread that got merged several times, you'll find several "original posts", which can be rather confusing if you don't know that the thread has been merged time and again.

So I agree that old threads (that haven't seen the light of page 1 in at least one year) shouldn't be necroed. However, for the sake of being able to look up the old discussion (if one is so inclinded, that is), put links to older threads into the OP of the more recent thread.

 

On a related note (slightly off-topic, I know), please don't send every suggestion that somehow relates to an in-cave BSA into the BSA forum. Change the BSA sub-forum to "BSA Requests" and only keep new BSA suggestions in there. (Maybe even split the forum into "useful, game-affecting" and "useless, just for fun / because it's cute" stuff.) And then keep discussion on existing BSAs (like the often suggested changes to Teleport!) in the main S&R section where there's much more traffic.

(okay, ninja.gif'ed by C4)

 

Regarding levity, sharing of ideas and the like:

 

I feel that there are places for most of these things.

News threads about new releases feel like "party threads", where everyone celebrates the new release/event and where some off-topic chatter should be allowed. (It used to be that way, if my memory isn't faulty.)

For threads in SR, I think that stuff should mostly stay on topic, but that comparisons to other (similar, but not too similar) suggestions should be acceptable, even a discussion on what is preferable and for which reasons. Like saying that you'd support holiday re-releases, but would prefer the Shop suggestion (aka "Trader's Canyon"). Or the other way round.

For SD, I think more leniency is a good way to go, unless it's a thread with a very singular purpose, like the trading and gifting threads.

 

On the plus side, I'm glad to hear that people don't get warned for a little off-topic chatter. I remember being warned for that very reason during the Marrow's release in a thread suggesting ways to avoid the competition (which was horrible back then). TJ spontaneously added a 2nd row of eggs to the Cave. One other member informed everyone about that 2nd row, and I stated that it helped immensely. (Hey, even our Fearless Leader might like some positive feedback!)

 

Regarding that and whatever else I've seen over the years, I think the warning/modding behavior is mostly on a good way.

 

 

 

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EDIT to add: At any time, anybody has been and is welcome to PM me if they disagree with a thread merge or closure. I am happy to discuss. A lot of times, users stay quiet, and then it comes out in threads like these. I understand that talking to mods can be scary and intimidating for many users, but it's hard to correct specific situations if people don't talk to us. D:

Please, yes! I'm open to relaxing moderating in the News release threads, if we can establish some guidelines for what will/will not be allowed. We moderators don't want to unilaterally decide this, and we don't want to make those kind of changes without member input.

 

This is why threads like this are so healthy, we need this feedback to make this forum a better place.

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I actually did bring up a concern about a warn I received for spam, first to the mod that warned me and then to another mod. I provided very thorough explanation for why my actions did not deserve a warn. I was completely dismissed by the first mod and got an apologetic message that amounted to a shrug emoji from the second. It's probably not surprising that I'm not planning on bringing up any future concerns about modding with moderators after that reception. It feels futile to even attempt it, even if the response I got from the second mod was very nice.

Edited by Odeen

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I'd like to see the other way around with the merging - don't glue the new threads to the old one, glue toe old ones to the new one instead, please...

When you merge threads, posts automatically sort by date; there is no way to control the order of posts.

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On a related note (slightly off-topic, I know), please don't send every suggestion that somehow relates to an in-cave BSA into the BSA forum. Change the BSA sub-forum to "BSA Requests" and only keep new BSA suggestions in there. (Maybe even split the forum into "useful, game-affecting" and "useless, just for fun / because it's cute" stuff.) And then keep discussion on existing BSAs (like the often suggested changes to Teleport!) in the main S&R section where there's much more traffic.

(okay, ninja.gif'ed by C4)

This so VERY much. It comes up over and over and no-one "in authority" seems prepared to take it on board.

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This so VERY much. It comes up over and over and no-one "in authority" seems prepared to take it on board.

We can't even get a *read* from anyone about it, and given how often and how loudly we ask for it....

 

That is very much frustrating.

 

C4.

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I actually did bring up a concern about a warn I received for spam, first to the mod that warned me and then to another mod. I provided very thorough explanation for why my actions did not deserve a warn. I was completely dismissed by the first mod and got an apologetic message that amounted to a shrug emoji from the second. It's probably not surprising that I'm not planning on bringing up any future concerns about modding with moderators after that reception. It feels futile to even attempt it, even if the response I got from the second mod was very nice.

Just pointing out that just because one may contest a warn, that doesn't mean that it will be reversed.

 

You could have possibly been "spamming" according to multiple mods. That does not mean we do not listen to concerns about warns or other suggestions. Warns have been reversed before with further explanation.

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Just pointing out that just because one may contest a warn, that doesn't mean that it will be reversed.

 

You could have possibly been "spamming" according to multiple mods. That does not mean we do not listen to concerns about warns or other suggestions. Warns have been reversed before with further explanation.

That's nice in theory - but the chance to get a mod to change their mind about a modly decision is very, very low indeed. Been there, tried that - got nowhere. Plus, there's always the problem that, if you discuss too much, you just *might* get warned.

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Just pointing out that just because one may contest a warn, that doesn't mean that it will be reversed.

 

You could have possibly been "spamming" according to multiple mods. That does not mean we do not listen to concerns about warns or other suggestions. Warns have been reversed before with further explanation.

Theory is always nice, but as olympe said.... reality is often different. Human nature being what it is, none of us like admitting we were wrong, and when someone contests something or when emotions get involved, things can get... out of hand.

 

And right now, the spam rules are so tight that its strangling conversations AND ideas. I was talking to someone on Chat today, and they said:

 

"I don't post in Suggestions because if I agree with it as is all I can say is that I support, and that's spam that will get me a warn."

 

People are *scared* to post, often as not, because of too strict rules. WHY can't someone say, if they agree with the suggestion *as is*, that they "support it"? Because right now they can't without getting hit with a spam warn.

 

Cheers!

C4.

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"I don't post in Suggestions because if I agree with it as is all I can say is that I support, and that's spam that will get me a warn."

That's only true in BSAs. It is not true in the general Suggestions area.

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Warns have been reversed before with further explanation.

I once had a warn reversed by TJ his own self ! blink.gif

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