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Relax moderation of discussion forums

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

Is there a reason why it's handled this way? Seems a bit inconsistent to me if in one part of the suggestions forum you're allowed to post "Good idea, support", and in another part of suggestions the same post can get you a warn.

(I didn't even know there was this distinction until now)

 

Edit: Thanks for explaining, Sock!

Edited by Ha-Ki

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I vaguely remember it being communicated that simply posting support without adding any additional thoughts was considered spam in even the general suggestions forum. Naturally I have no proof of this because I was not myself warned for posting "support", but it seems like an impression shared by multiple people. That means at the very least our expectations as users are not entirely clear.

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Is there a reason why it's handled this way? Seems a bit inconsistent to me if in one part of the suggestions forum you're allowed to post "Good idea, support", and in another part of suggestions the same post can get you a warn.

TJ's preference? I would guess that it's because BSAs are specifically geared towards needing a reasonable, logical explanation for why it would work for the chosen breed, and TJ is more interested in getting that hashed out than seeing how many people want the action itself. Whereas for a lot of suggestions, we want something specific, and all TJ needs to do is decide if the effort to design it is worth the time and a large part of that is seeing how many people are even interested in it.

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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TJ's preference? I would guess that it's because BSAs are specifically geared towards needing a reasonable, logical explanation for why it would work for the chosen breed, and TJ is more interested in getting that hashed out than seeing how many people want the action itself. Whereas for a lot of suggestions, we want something specific, and all TJ needs to do is decide if the effort to design it is worth the time and a large part of that is seeing how many people are even interested in it.

That totally makes sense. Someone will get it wrong, though - this rule is complex! wink.gif

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I THINK there was a point where it WAS banned from general suggestions, but it was later rescinded. Certainly, regardless of what is or is not banned, the perception exists for those outside that these forums are very uptight.

Edited by Nectaris

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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...

If we're going to make the rules more lenient on what is allowed in the news threads, I'd at least like it to lean towards actual conversation. Trades have their own place, so I really don't see any need to clutter up the news threads with trading propositions, even if they're "on topic" to the extent of being about the new eggs.

 

And are there that many "I can't get eggs, help" posts? I mostly remember seeing "Ugg, I'm having so much trouble catching a ___" type posts, which have an implied plea for help at best, and are just as likely to be just venting frustration before heading back to the hunt. True, some people respond to the latter with offers of an egg, but at least once in the thread that offer was turned down because the person managed to catch what they needed after they vented about their lack of success.

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TJ's preference? I would guess that it's because BSAs are specifically geared towards needing a reasonable, logical explanation for why it would work for the chosen breed, and TJ is more interested in getting that hashed out than seeing how many people want the action itself. Whereas for a lot of suggestions, we want something specific, and all TJ needs to do is decide if the effort to design it is worth the time and a large part of that is seeing how many people are even interested in it.

... which is undoubtedly one of the reasons the BSA sub-forum is dead.... AND why none of them ever have enough "action" to draw attention. If its a well thought out BSA.... then there's nothing anyone can say to it.

 

I think its a ridiculous distinction, myself, and keeps people from showing support for things that will make the game better. After all, a good BSA would GET no comments.... because its already well worked out!

 

And no, I didn't realize the distinction... and given how their comment went, I doubt that the person I was talking to did either.... and I doubt not that they got a warn for it, too!

 

Cheers!

C4.

 

 

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1. Stop burning new threads and demanding we revive dead ones covering the same topic. If a discussion thread has gone untouched for over a year,  it is probably a better idea to create a new thread referencing the old one rather than reviving the original. Arguments in the original thread may no longer be valid and participants may no longer be around or invested. A new thread encourages fresh opinions on the matter without having to wade through twenty pages of outdated ideas beforehand.

The current stance on duplicates is based off of a mod post I made almost six years ago:

 

I know a lot of places have this thing against reviving topics, but I don't see why it's an issue. Whenever an old topic gets recreated, people just rehash the old discussion and half the posts are like "Well in the old topic, someone pointed out that..." In the case of duplicates, merging topics is your friend unless it's a duplicate of an active topic.

That post was written really with only the suggestions section in mind. I still do think that keeping discussion of a given suggestion in one place is nice, though I definitely feel less strongly about that now than I did before. One thing that has changed since then is I believe locked topics were periodically cleared out (which is no longer the case), which would mean closing old topics to make way for new one would cause the old discussion to eventually disappear; now they stick around and can be referenced.

 

Outside of suggestions, I don't really mind duplicates as much. If someone wants to start a thread with a screenshot of something interesting they saw, that's probably fine, despite having "the screenshot thread." The purpose of the non-suggestion sections is sufficiently different that worry about people "rehashing discussion" doesn't even make sense elsewhere. In fact, in help, I've never really seen the point of the "Tiny Little Questions" thread. Having a megathread with a constant stream of questions interwoven between answer to other questions seems like a perfect example of why threaded discussions exist; given that people are already asking the same questions over and over, I would rather there be a bunch of duplicate help threads than a single megathread.

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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.

This is probably because a single warn is so inconsequential that it's honestly not worth the effort contesting it. Unless you're constantly breaking the rules, a single warning for spam will have very little impact on you in the future; it'll expire before you reach the threshold where you start actually getting moderated. This is one of those things that comes up from time to time, and every time I try to point out that getting worked up over a 10% warning bar is pretty much creating unnecessary stress for yourself.

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Another point against merging duplicate threads: In some cases, the OP of the original thread isn't around any more, so the OP would have to be edited by mods in order to be kept up to date. Just saying. wink.gif

 

That being said, even if an old discussion gets rehashed in a duplicate, said rehashing is probably much shorter than the original discussion because everything has already been said. If someone would be able to give a short summary of an old discussion, it will save many newer members the trouble of reading through dozens of pages of old discussion.

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A coupla things here, TJ.

 

First off, it would probably be worthwhile to write policy for the mods. This wouldn't be something publicly available but clear guidelines for your mods to follow regarding how they police the forum. Frankly, I'm surprised in a way that such a written policy doesn't exist. That it doesn't is clear from the mods' posts in this and other threads. Right now the way things are handled seems to be based on a few posts from you, remembered correctly or not, that are adhered to by the mods whether they make sense or not. And as has been pointed out, it's not always consistently handled. Writing policy is probably not much fun and is time consuming, especially since you'd probably post it in the mods' section for their input before it became policy. However, having clear policy posted would give old and new mods clear direction on how to handle whatever happened.

 

Second, as regards warns and "a single warn is so inconsequential that it's not worth contesting" - for some of us getting any warns as consequential. To people who consider themselves respectful of the rules and of other forum users, people who make every effort to understand how the forum is supposed to be used - getting a warn is saying to us that we've failed to abide by the standards we have set for ourselves. That is extremely upsetting to such people personally. It isn't about the possible consequences from a modding point of view. It's a personal failure. It's is doubly upsetting if we don't understand how we've failed to uphold our own standards of conduct, which resulted in a warn. A warn says this behavior was unacceptable. We can't adjust our behavior if we don't know the rule that was broken.

 

I'm going to say, hopefully in a way that is not perceived as boastful, that I've never received a warn on this forum. I try hard to understand and abide by the rules of the forum and would consider it a deep failure on my part to conduct myself in a way that could earn a warn. To be given one for an action I saw as harming none and within the rules of the forum would be quite traumatic. It would be so upsetting I'd lose sleep, I'd lose a great deal of enjoyment in the forum and game. It could potentially be enough to induce me to stop playing for awhile. I know this is true of me because it happened elsewhere several years ago. I wasn't as invested in that other place where it happened and completely stopped playing there.

 

So for you to view warns as inconsequential (to you and the modding team) is to take a view that may not be in line with the view taken by the player involved. You could potentially damage a person by inconsistent modding or not resolving a warn that was given unfairly. That damage is not inconsequential in my opinion and would possibly be a strong reason for writing the policy I suggested earlier.

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Second, as regards warns and "a single warn is so inconsequential that it's not worth contesting" - for some of us getting any warns as consequential. To people who consider themselves respectful of the rules and of other forum users, people who make every effort to understand how the forum is supposed to be used - getting a warn is saying to us that we've failed to abide by the standards we have set for ourselves. That is extremely upsetting to such people personally. It isn't about the possible consequences from a modding point of view. It's a personal failure. It's is doubly upsetting if we don't understand how we've failed to uphold our own standards of conduct, which resulted in a warn. A warn says this behavior was unacceptable. We can't adjust our behavior if we don't know the rule that was broken.

I have to agree with this, as I am that way myself. I was sent into a nasty diwn spiral by breaking a couple thread rules - note I only got a verbal warning for it. Not a strike or a greyliast. Most of my punishment was my mind. If I break a rule, I feel like a failure. It doesn't matter what my consequences were. I feel like some sort of pahetic, stupid, idiotic creature. Especially when I don't know what I did wrong. It's very upsetting to me to fail at anything, especially rules. So yeah, consistent moderation could help with us lnowing what we did wtong and preventing it instead of breaking a diffuse set orf rules different from mod to mod.

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First off, it would probably be worthwhile to write policy for the mods. This wouldn't be something publicly available but clear guidelines for your mods to follow regarding how they police the forum. Frankly, I'm surprised in a way that such a written policy doesn't exist. That it doesn't is clear from the mods' posts in this and other threads. Right now the way things are handled seems to be based on a few posts from you, remembered correctly or not, that are adhered to by the mods whether they make sense or not. And as has been pointed out, it's not always consistently handled. Writing policy is probably not much fun and is time consuming, especially since you'd probably post it in the mods' section for their input before it became policy. However, having clear policy posted would give old and new mods clear direction on how to handle whatever happened.
The quote I posted came from a thread titled "Moderation Guide," so let's not make assumptions, here.

 

Second, as regards warns and "a single warn is so inconsequential that it's not worth contesting" - for some of us getting any warns as consequential. To people who consider themselves respectful of the rules and of other forum users, people who make every effort to understand how the forum is supposed to be used - getting a warn is saying to us that we've failed to abide by the standards we have set for ourselves. That is extremely upsetting to such people personally. It isn't about the possible consequences from a modding point of view. It's a personal failure. It's is doubly upsetting if we don't understand how we've failed to uphold our own standards of conduct, which resulted in a warn. A warn says this behavior was unacceptable. We can't adjust our behavior if we don't know the rule that was broken.
Nobody is perfect; everyone makes mistakes. That's built into the current system. There's room to occasionally slip and break the rules without major consequence. Sure, we could move to a system where fewer warns are given out in order to protect people from being upset, but it inherently requires removing that buffer that exists with the current system (anything bad enough to need actual posting restrictions now should still require them regardless), which mean that when someone does accidentally cross the line, there's real side effects, which is a much harsher world to be in.

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I feel like I need to ask something here (excuse me if it sounds blunt, I'm writing this in a hurry); are people complaining about thread necro-ing because they feel compelled to read old discussion when they don't want to? It's simple enough to just post your idea in the old thread (as if it was a thread merge) and continue discussion that way, right? At that point it would just function as a thread duplicate, with the difference being that all of the discussion relevant to that topic is in one spot where old arguments can be easily referenced and addressed. I'm not seeing the problem here.

 

First off, it would probably be worthwhile to write policy for the mods. This wouldn't be something publicly available but clear guidelines for your mods to follow regarding how they police the forum. Frankly, I'm surprised in a way that such a written policy doesn't exist. That it doesn't is clear from the mods' posts in this and other threads. Right now the way things are handled seems to be based on a few posts from you, remembered correctly or not, that are adhered to by the mods whether they make sense or not. And as has been pointed out, it's not always consistently handled. Writing policy is probably not much fun and is time consuming, especially since you'd probably post it in the mods' section for their input before it became policy. However, having clear policy posted would give old and new mods clear direction on how to handle whatever happened.

 

Hm, I'd think that even with the policy to stick to the mods would still want public input, since it could be that there's a rule in the Moderation Guide that's better off changed (though I haven't seen one instance where this would be a good idea). Granted, you did mention that things are inconsistently handled, but mods are individual people (and we do have some new mods as of late) so I'm willing to brush that off; plus individual principles and the interpretation of other mods' actions indirectly set standards for proper conduct. I guess what I'm trying to say is that every mod is a little different from the last, though if the differences are so drastic that it's breaking the standards set by the Moderation Guide (or the guide is too ambiguous/relaxed) then that is definitely something to look in to. Thing is, the staff won't really know if there's something wrong with the guide unless we speak up, so um... I think I just went in a loop here. xd.png

 

Second, as regards warns and "a single warn is so inconsequential that it's not worth contesting" - for some of us getting any warns as consequential. To people who consider themselves respectful of the rules and of other forum users, people who make every effort to understand how the forum is supposed to be used - getting a warn is saying to us that we've failed to abide by the standards we have set for ourselves. That is extremely upsetting to such people personally. It isn't about the possible consequences from a modding point of view. It's a personal failure. It's is doubly upsetting if we don't understand how we've failed to uphold our own standards of conduct, which resulted in a warn. A warn says this behavior was unacceptable. We can't adjust our behavior if we don't know the rule that was broken.

 

Have to agree with TJ here; it sucks to feel like a failure (tell me about it, I just had that about 6 hours ago when I upset my parents with laziness), but in a way it's necessary. How I view it is that a warn is like pain; your brain is wired to hate pain and avoid it at all costs, but it still exists. Yet, when it does happen, you discover what caused the pain and learn to avoid it in the future so you don't feel it again, because if you don't keep avoiding it things will only grow worse. A warn works in a similar way; it's a signal for you to correct your conduct in order to prevent future repercussions, so even though it's upsetting, it's an opportunity to learn what is considered "correct" in the forums and avoid making mistakes again. Now that I say that it does make sense to speak up when a warn is misused... but I have to see such a case. That and the mods here (thankfully) use verbal warns first before anything else, which means that there's context for the rule you broke so you aren't sitting there indignantly, feeling wronged because nothing was explained. So in short, even though people may beat themselves up over warns it's not something that can be fixed by changing the moderation standards (since, as TJ said, it's a chance for people who don't beat themselves up to run rampant), and in a way I view it as a chance for people to grow stronger by pushing past the damage and committing to being better to avoid a "next time".

 

*Shrug* Guess my position hasn't changed, I still think the moderation on the forums is fine. Then again, I do strive toward being a courteous forum user, and I don't frequent some of the more heated forums (I imagine some of the General Discussion topics are on fire, especially the political ones), so it could just be that I'm missing the sources for all of these arguments...

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This has my pretty much complete support. The only thing I don't support is allowing memes to be posted wherever, but that's more of a personal thing. I hate the useless meme spamming that takes over a lot of places. They're not an idea or contributing to a discussion and usually they're just a rehash of someone else's joke.

 

The DC forums are hostile and unwelcoming to newcomers. There are some rude members, sure, but what's far worse is the backwards, outdated, and suffocating rules. Enforced necroing is not a thing on any other forum I've ever been on. Necroing is discouraged, outright banned, or prevented by locking old topics automatically. Its baffling that we're purposely restricted to a tiny set of topics that are years old. That's not how forums work. People don't want to be stuck in the same couple threads for years and years. Eventually those threads run out and there's nothing more to say about the ideas expressed there. If someone has a new idea about it others may never see it because they gave up on the huge old topic.

 

I hate forums that allow a total free-for-all where users get punished for asking/reminding to stay on topic and mods do nothing. That's not what I want. But the DC forum is way too far into the rule-heavy and restricted type. There are plenty of forums that allow discussions to happen naturally. Things might veer off course a little bit, new ideas may appear, and people might start discussing related-but-slightly-different ideas. This should be encouraged, not burned down with angry warnings and yelling. No one wants to talk like a robot; people want to talk normally. Forums that allow that are much healthier, foster a real sense of community, and retain members much better.

 

No one in this thread is calling for a free-for-all or permitted flame wars. People are seeing "relaxed" and running too far with it in their own worries. There's a huge difference between relaxing some old unnecessary/damaging rules and stopping moderation completely.

 

The forum is basically dead. When I was new to the forums/community at the beginning of last year it was so depressing to realize. I was excited! I loved Dragon Cave, I loved my dragons, I loved my breeding plans. I wanted to talk to people who shared my excitement. About their dragons, their breeding plans, site lore, play styles, everything and anything! But there was nothing. The only time people really chat is in the News and that's got an iron lock on naturally progressing discussions. All we can really say is if we like/don't like the sprite, caught enough/didn't catch enough, and discuss that specific dragon's lore/BSA. Its stifling. There's not even a reason to post on them because there can't be a real discussion. Other barely-active topics are mostly just people talking to themselves, like recording stats (which is really useful as a thing but terrible to have as the only option for a living thread). Something needs to change or its just going to keep getting worse.

 

 

 

Also the writing off of members concerned about warns that make no sense is rather concerning. Staff of any site should never, ever be encouraging users to just get over warnings because they're no big deal. Warnings are supposed to be upsetting to some degree. If users didn't care about being warned why would a warning system even matter? People would just do whatever they wanted.

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Also the writing off of members concerned about warns that make no sense is rather concerning. Staff of any site should never, ever be encouraging users to just get over warnings because they're no big deal. Warnings are supposed to be upsetting to some degree. If users didn't care about being warned why would a warning system even matter? People would just do whatever they wanted.

Very much this, plus what Fi said. A warning is like a slap on the wrist. If you get slapped and don't really know what for, or don't agree with the reasoning of the person doing the slapping, that's doubly upsetting. And does not encourage asking for reasons beyond what is given, much less discuss it. After all, you don't know if you'll be slapped again.

 

Personally, I've been active in various moderated forums (German and English language alike), and this one is the only one where I ever got warned, not to mention repeatedly.

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shortaxel managed to say everything I was feeling better than I probably could have.

 

The DC forums are hostile and unwelcoming to newcomers. There are some rude members, sure, but what's far worse is the backwards, outdated, and suffocating rules. Enforced necroing is not a thing on any other forum I've ever been on. Necroing is discouraged, outright banned, or prevented by locking old topics automatically. Its baffling that we're purposely restricted to a tiny set of topics that are years old. That's not how forums work. People don't want to be stuck in the same couple threads for years and years. Eventually those threads run out and there's nothing more to say about the ideas expressed there. If someone has a new idea about it others may never see it because they gave up on the huge old topic.

 

The forum is basically dead. When I was new to the forums/community at the beginning of last year it was so depressing to realize. I was excited! I loved Dragon Cave, I loved my dragons, I loved my breeding plans. I wanted to talk to people who shared my excitement. About their dragons, their breeding plans, site lore, play styles, everything and anything! But there was nothing. The only time people really chat is in the News and that's got an iron lock on naturally progressing discussions. All we can really say is if we like/don't like the sprite, caught enough/didn't catch enough, and discuss that specific dragon's lore/BSA. Its stifling. There's not even a reason to post on them because there can't be a real discussion

 

These parts especially reflect my own feelings on the whole situation about having to stick to the topic to a T and not being allowed to start new threads about dead subjects. No one wants to see 8 threads stacked on top of each other about the same thing, but if I wanted to ask about something that was relevant to right now, I shouldn't have to go back 4 years searching desperately for an answer before I post a thread only to have it locked after the first post for making a duplicate. Not to mention the search engine on the forums is impossible to use unless you know the perfect formula for finding the information you need. No newcomer is going to know how to use it, and they're the ones that get their threads locked the most.

 

I've been here for 7 years and not once have the rules even somewhat relaxed on any of the issues brought up here. Warnings are incredibly useful and back when this place was really bumpin' with hundreds of users on at a time, with boards blowing up almost constantly, spam was a big problem and had to be reigned in so people could find what they needed in a very fast-moving community. Now? Not so much. You're lucky if the thread you're active in updates once every day with something that's not just a different way of the person talking to themself. Warnings are given out way too liberally when it comes to this sort of thing. There's no reason to be so hard on people who get off topic now, or bring new ideas to the table that aren't completely related to the original post. Giving out a 10% warn for saying one thing unrelated in a dead thread is pretty unfair and just plain mean.

 

And if there's no reason to take a 10% warning seriously, especially when it comes from posting "spam", then you could say that about any percentage after that is just as unimportant as long as the user was just posting things that weren't related to the topic. It's ridiculous to think that warnings shouldn't mean something. Especially when it stays on your account permanently.

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The search is terrible on the forum. I usually get around it by asking Sock to find it for me, when its a specific post or thread, she's like a Search Wizard. But that doesn't help much when you want to start a new thread.

 

 

As for warns being inconsequential.... Uh.... no, I'm sorry TJ, but you are wrong. I have never gotten a warn on this forum (though there were at least a half-dozen times when I was pretty sure I was gonna get one >.<). Had I gotten a warn those times, I'd have known I deserved it, I *knew* I was skirting the spirit of the law if not the letter of it. It wouldn't have upset me in the least.

 

However, on another forum, I *was* given a major warn.... and after discussing it with them, I found out that I had *not* broken any rules that it was a thing on their side, but they STILL let it stand. THAT, really really infuriated me. To the point where I haven't spent a single $$ on that site since (though I still play). And I won't, not ever. And that's because, even though that major warn had ZERO material affect on me or the game... They refused to take action to correct their OWN mistake / issue and instead let it stand. Just thinking about it still makes my blood boil.

 

Just because something has no material affect doesn't mean it has *no* effect. And a warn is like getting slapped in the face, *especially* if you have never had a warn before. To those who get warns frequently, they mean little. To those who never get them, they carry a disproportionate weight to their actual effect.

 

That's human nature: those who follow the rules are most affected by rule *breaking*.

 

 

 

Now, on necro'ing: I think it should be 1 year no posts with a reference link to the old thread, even in Suggestions. Reason is, a lot can change in a year, and re-hashing old arguments that are no longer valid is irritating. Especially when the OP in those threads is well out of date with what's going on. I recently had a thread closed as a "duplicate".... in favor of a thread that had been dead since 2013. I was like, s'rsly? Did you REALLY just do that?

 

Also, can we get the BSA sub-forum split, and can we be permitted to post "I support suggestion as-is" in the BSA threads AND Suggestions?

 

Cheers!

C4.

 

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Very much this, plus what Fi said. A warning is like a slap on the wrist. If you get slapped and don't really know what for, or don't agree with the reasoning of the person doing the slapping, that's doubly upsetting. And does not encourage asking for reasons beyond what is given, much less discuss it. After all, you don't know if you'll be slapped again.

 

Personally, I've been active in various moderated forums (German and English language alike), and this one is the only one where I ever got warned, not to mention repeatedly.

Um - I am on MANY forums., I have been warned on one other - where the modding is excellent and light-handed - and it is upsetting - wherever it happens. It is SUPPOSED to be upsetting - it is telling you not to do it again. BUT - I too have been warned here unreasonably more than once. I am so old and I was so sure of the unreasonableness that I did shrug it off - but I shouldn't.

 

Then again - what I get warned for usually (and these days, more often simply deleted rather than warned - which means that my view doesn't COUNT, to the mods involved) is the same thing, something I feel VERY strongly about, as do others, so - what does one do - I have even PMd TJ about it - nada. What does one do ? It relates to the BSA area, MANY feel as I do, nothing ever changes and it is the BIG reason that that particular section is dead as a doornail to REAL game changing ideas.

 

But I agree with those here who say warns are not supposed to be shrugged off. Otherwise - why even try to stick to the rules.

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You know I make assumptions all the time...

 

 

The thing is, we need to know where the line is if we're going to skirt it. A verbal caution from a mod is nearly as powerful as an actual warn but less upsetting. It's a "hey, I'm not sure you realized you're a little over the line here. Might want to edit that post". I've gotten one of those and dealt with the issue - a matter of a change in rules that I wasn't aware of when I posted. Getting an actual warn when we didn't know we were even pressing against the lines is not right. People should not be afraid to post when their intent is to be within the rules. It's that fear that makes the forums seem hostile. I may want to just add a voice to the "I really like this" crowd, or an offhand comment to a discussion but I don't. Off topic! WARN fear. Spam! (because it doesn't "add to the discussion.") WARN fear. So I don't add offhand comments or simply post that I like or agree with something, because I respect rules and don't want warned, even if what I would have said is kind and respectful to others. So I'm super careful what I say and reread three or four times before I post. Then reread a few times after I post, to make sure I didn't leave anything out or put in anything that makes what I'm saying unclear or unkind, disrespectful, to make sure it's on topic - contributing to the discussion, and not just "I agree with so and so..." I'm intelligent, mature, fairly well spoken and not confrontational. If I feel I have to be this careful what about those who are not mature, well spoken, etc?

 

I'm not saying you need to relax your rules, exactly. But if you have this many people expressing fear of posting, telling you that even a first level warn is serious to them, maybe a careful review of your rules and guidelines is in order. The first level of warns should of course not be a hammer. But neither should mods take the view that a first level warn is no big deal to the user.

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I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think what really irks me is what is considered 'off topic' in a particular topic.

 

If I'm posting about a particular topic and how I think it really ought to be changed in some way, how is that 'off topic'? I'm posting about the topic in question.. the suggestion is in regard to the topic.. but because I want to change how something works, it's 'off topic'?

 

That's like telling me my opinion doesn't count. Just because I'd like to see something work differently. That's why I get so riled up sometimes, it's because I'm being told my opinion is irrelevant. Just because you (as in TJ) doesn't want something changed, doesn't mean we (the players) don't. But that isn't how it works around here.. if TJ doesn't want something, it doesn't matter how much we ask for it, nothing is going to change.

 

And THAT is what ticks me off.

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The very first time a mod edited and deleted my whole post was when I kindly praised how gorgeous one dragon was in completed requests and from that time I never dared to post anything off-topic... (My post actually helped that request getting fixed and updated, even TJ posted his critique and the dragon got completed once again)

I'm even afraid to reply if someone else says something to me or regarding my avatar/profile/name etc. in a thread because that is already off-topic and chatter and I know their post will get edited any second anyway... It was only once I replied saying something like "Thank you, I like your avatar too." including something on topic before that and even then my post got edited and that sentence got deleted.... (that was in Help thread a new user made)

 

Things like this are completely harmless and when posting I always include on topic discussions so I really feel limited in expressing and sharing something with others in thread posts that would be a waste of their PM inbox space.

Edited by WoLfgIrLyS

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Popping into say that necro'ing is a huge turn-off for me when reading new suggestions. I kind of hate going through a suggestions thread and realize that the OP isn't even active anymore and that the arguments I'm reading are from years ago. I just end up leaving the thread and not bother going to the end to see what's "current" because, well, where does it all start and where does it all end?

 

I understand that necro'ing is to keep all the ideas in the same place so that there's not a bajillion of the same threads floating around. However, I agree that a 1 year limit before lock down would be great. It keeps things fresh, new, and current.

 

I also feel that telling people who have started a new thread with amazing discussion to go necro a thread to be, well, counter productive? I followed a thread on Site Discussions before where the OP was trying to generate fresh discussions about why there seems to be a decline in playerbase in DC/DC forums. The instant people were told to move the discussion to "Site Feedback" or "Cave Feedback" all discussions on the matter dropped immediately. And to be honest, I don't go to read the Site Feedback or Cave Feedback thread because of how many pages there are. Human beings enjoy shiny new things and the more pages there are on a thread, the less likely we are to jump in unless the information is current - not several years old.

 

Anyways, just my two cents on necro'ing.

Edited by noxlyx

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Also the writing off of members concerned about warns that make no sense is rather concerning. Staff of any site should never, ever be encouraging users to just get over warnings because they're no big deal. Warnings are supposed to be upsetting to some degree. If users didn't care about being warned why would a warning system even matter? People would just do whatever they wanted.

Warnings are simply a useful method for letting people know "hey, this wasn't the coolest thing to do because of this rule here". It's honestly really just a gentle reminder. Warns become serious when you continually/persistently break the rules. Doing that, you can end up with post moderation, post suspension, or total suspension. And those consequences are why the warn system matter. One or two warns really doesn't matter in the long run of things. I'm sure all of us here have been told off at least once, if not a couple, times in our life. It happens.

 

I realize that saying this doesn't change anyone's mind, but that's really how we think of it.

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I may want to just add a voice to the "I really like this" crowd, or an offhand comment to a discussion but I don't. Off topic! WARN fear. Spam! (because it doesn't "add to the discussion.") WARN fear. So I don't add offhand comments or simply post that I like or agree with something, because I respect rules and don't want warned, even if what I would have said is kind and respectful to others. So I'm super careful what I say and reread three or four times before I post. Then reread a few times after I post, to make sure I didn't leave anything out or put in anything that makes what I'm saying unclear or unkind, disrespectful, to make sure it's on topic - contributing to the discussion, and not just "I agree with so and so..." I'm intelligent, mature, fairly well spoken and not confrontational. If I feel I have to be this careful what about those who are not mature, well spoken, etc?

I don't understand this, honestly. I've been active in Site Discussion, Help, and (to a lesser extent) Suggestions for a long while. I've posted a lot of things, ranging from giant walls of ideas to two-line "this looks good but X", "this looks good, support", etc. I have yet to see a warn for it, whether official or unofficial.

 

I agree that News could relax just a little. Not much. The mods do a nice job keeping things on-topic, and I don't really see the occasional deviation getting punished the way people are saying. Granted, I'm not that active in News, but the only time I really see mods giving verbal warnings is when an off-topic conversation has gone for awhile.

 

Outside of suggestions, I don't really mind duplicates as much. If someone wants to start a thread with a screenshot of something interesting they saw, that's probably fine, despite having "the screenshot thread." The purpose of the non-suggestion sections is sufficiently different that worry about people "rehashing discussion" doesn't even make sense elsewhere. In fact, in help, I've never really seen the point of the "Tiny Little Questions" thread. Having a megathread with a constant stream of questions interwoven between answer to other questions seems like a perfect example of why threaded discussions exist; given that people are already asking the same questions over and over, I would rather there be a bunch of duplicate help threads than a single megathread.

Hey boss, I understand some of your quoted stances came from a moderation guide thread, but do you think some of this could be codified or communicated cross-team? I often see duplicate help threads closed, albeit with explanations, and I feel like that's somewhat at cross purposes with what you're saying here.

 

But I agree with those here who say warns are not supposed to be shrugged off. Otherwise - why even try to stick to the rules.

I think people are misinterpreting what TJ meant. He's not saying completely ignore warns; he's saying the system is scaled in such a way that people can make an occasional mistake without invoking fire and lightning from the heavens. Stuff happens, people make mistakes; take your hard-earned lesson, shrug and move on. It's only when someone is repeatedly breaking the rules and receiving warns for it that Bad Things happen. I have to agree that this is a fair way of doing things, despite my own hatred of warns and desire to avoid them. Everyone has a bad day sometimes, and not having permanent consequences for that is nice.

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