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Odeen

Relax moderation of discussion forums

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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.

TJ is the single most miss-understood poster on the forums. Seriously, the number of times I've seen him miss-quoted and miss-understood is ridiculous. Every time I see it, I hunt up (or ask help hunting up) the original post, but still. TJ being miss-understood should be taken as a given.

 

Having said that, people do understand that 1 warning isn't much.... but many people who follow all rules (or try to) get really upset when they are dinged.... and they DIDN"T break the rules. That's the point many people are trying to make: for someone who follows the rules really closely, being warned for something you *didn't do wrong* is really upsetting.

 

And because of that, its turned off many, many players from posting, because the rules aren't clear... and coming too close can get you warned.

 

Cheers!

C4.

 

 

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I'm am confused; can someone point me to any instances for when people "broke" rules that didn't exist/weren't actually broken? I haven't seen one case of it and yet people are complaining about it, so I feel like these claims aren't justified... I mean, I did find one case that fit one of the examples given (idle chatter was given a verbal warn) but I noticed that it happened when the entire post was only idle chatter, and it occurred over three posts (so it wasn't the first off-topic post).

 

And because of that, its turned off many, many players from posting, because the rules aren't clear... and coming too close can get you warned.

O.o aren't there Site Rules and Guidelines somewhere? I remember reading them when I joined the forums, so they definitely exist... I can't find a link anywhere but it might be one of those pages that only show up for new users.

 

EDIT: Found them. Hm, the rules could be more specific... but I don't think it's a detrimental flaw. There are mentions on off-topic discussion, making duplicate threads, and the noted consequences, though they do fade in a bit as though there isn't enough emphasis on them. I think that was done on purpose though, to prevent the fear of being warned that Fi was talking about. *Shrug* A little bit of elaboration on those things specifically wouldn't hurt, I suppose.

Edited by skwerl56767

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I'm am confused; can someone point me to any instances for when people "broke" rules that didn't exist/weren't actually broken? I haven't seen one case of it and yet people are complaining about it, so I feel like these claims aren't justified... I mean, I did find one case that fit one of the examples given (idle chatter was given a verbal warn) but I noticed that it happened when the entire post was only idle chatter, and it occurred over three posts (so it wasn't the first off-topic post).

 

 

O.o aren't there Site Rules and Guidelines somewhere? I remember reading them when I joined the forums, so they definitely exist... I can't find a link anywhere but it might be one of those pages that only show up for new users.

 

EDIT: Found them. Hm, the rules could be more specific... but I don't think it's a detrimental flaw. There are mentions on off-topic discussion, making duplicate threads, and the noted consequences, though they do fade in a bit as though there isn't enough emphasis on them. I think that was done on purpose though, to prevent the fear of being warned that Fi was talking about. *Shrug* A little bit of elaboration on those things specifically wouldn't hurt, I suppose.

You don't SEE the offending posts... because they are promptly deleted and the user given a warning. They then get to *try* to discuss it with the mods, but.... that often doesn't work out too well.

 

The rules also aren't consistent, and are needlessly strict. Or at least, that's how they are moderated.

 

As for the necro'ing rule....!

 

Cheers!

C4.

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The problem is that we have a lot of rules, not to mention section rules and even thread rules.

Posted some "I love this dragon!" in completed requests? Oops.

You're new, you desperately need help hatching your eggs and ask for help in, well, the help section? Oops, eggspam!

You write "I like this! Support!" in the BSA subforum? Oops.

You're new, and you have this amazing idea for a change to DC? Either, someone else had this idea before you, and there's a thread about it already, which gets your thread merged. Most likely, you won't know what hit you - or your thread. Or this idea isn't quite as brilliant as you think, and half the crowd jumps on you for daring to suggest this. Oops.

 

Either way, there's a lot that can go wrong, especially if you're new and don't know your way around yet, much less all of the different section rules and the like.

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I'm am confused; can someone point me to any instances for when people "broke" rules that didn't exist/weren't actually broken? I haven't seen one case of it and yet people are complaining about it, so I feel like these claims aren't justified...

Let's put it this way. I was about to post my ongoing gripe and decided not to as - it will probably be deleted.... I wouldn't get a warn - but I would bet that the post would go - because mine is Not an Acceptable POV !

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You're new, you desperately need help hatching your eggs and ask for help in, well, the help section? Oops, eggspam!

You're new, and you have this amazing idea for a change to DC? Either, someone else had this idea before you, and there's a thread about it already, which gets your thread merged. Most likely, you won't know what hit you - or your thread. Or this idea isn't quite as brilliant as you think, and half the crowd jumps on you for daring to suggest this. Oops.

 

Either way, there's a lot that can go wrong, especially if you're new and don't know your way around yet, much less all of the different section rules and the like.

I assume the mods just hand out verbal warnings for stuff like newbie eggspam, which seems okay to me. It's not an official warning, it tells the newbie that this is not okay, and usually the mods link to the fansite section so the newbie can learn. And often the mods just let the unpopular stuff in Suggestions run its course - any issues with how the playerbase handles that is on the playerbase itself.

 

I agree that the playerbase can be less than receptive to some suggestions, but at the same time, it can get really old seeing yet another suggestion of "let's take rares from the wilderness!1!" or "let's breed the hollies in the wilderness" or "let's give everyone a free CB gold". Some topics have been thoroughly beaten to death imo, and a lot of those come up with newbies. So there has to be some kind of middle ground.

 

What would be super helpful is if the forum search worked better. As others have noted, it basically requires magical incantations to work properly right now, and I think that would be a huge turnoff for people who want to see if their idea's already been suggested. I know for a fact it's very painful to find duplicates - I've certainly spent enough time looking for threads I know exist but can't seem to locate.

 

The problem is that we have a lot of rules, not to mention section rules and even thread rules.

This is true as well, but a lot of the rules are the same from place to place. Don't spam. Don't post view links to growing stuff (especially if it's not your stuff). Be nice. Stay reasonably on-topic. Follow the ToS. I would even argue most of that is common sense/basic netiquette. Glancing at the SD rules now, most of what's left is special case stuff: project accounts, thread cleaning, once-a-day trade bumping. Some of the Suggestion rules could be a bit more relaxed, I will give you that.

 

Per-thread rules are a completely different animal and imo shouldn't be part of this discussion since afaik they're instituted largely by the thread creators.

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The problem is that we have a lot of rules, not to mention section rules

We do agree and, in some places, are working on cutting down on the number of sticky's as well as cutting down on their length.

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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.

Regardless of what you think warnings mean, a warning means you broke a rule. You did something wrong. You screwed up. Even if its not a huge warn, its still a punishment. Its not nothing, its not something that doesn't matter. It has an impact and it should matter. Its not a gentle reminder to have a 10% (or whatever) mark underneath your avatar at all times (which I'm pretty sure is new, or at least far more noticeable, on the new forums).

 

Let me give an example that might help you see it from a different point of view. Before I start I know warnings here expire or something I guess, since its been mentioned already. This story is about a different POV, not forum systems that are identical. I hope its not too "off-topic"...

 

I'm very active on another forum. It has a main overarching topic and multiple unrelated sections, similar to DC. I made thousands of posts in my first year. I loved that place. The rules are a bit restrictive in some ways but I did my best and things were alright. I got into a bit of a disagreement once, one that wouldn't even be noteworthy on other sites. But this site is excessively "rainbows and sunshine only". I got a 15% warn that shows up under my avatar at all times (only visible to me/mods) and put on the "Moderator Watch List" apparently, whatever that is. Every time I go on the forum and see "15% (being watched)" its agitating. For a long time it made me feel terrible. Just really bad and constantly judged for one tiny mistake, every single time I logged in. I couldn't escape my mistake. The "15% (being watched)" it still there and it puts me on edge, on the defense, and feeling targeted every single time I post even though I don't want to feel like that.

 

Based on what others have said I doubt a little DC warn like that would end up staying for over 4 years/permanently (I don't know if that other forum ever clears tiny stuff like that) so I don't think it would ever get quite so bad. But people who follow the rules don't like being punished. They don't like feeling like they screwed up or did wrong or broke rules. Its even worse when the rules are confusing, don't make sense, have double-standards, are completely opposite of all other forums, weren't actually broken, etc.

 

I really, really do not understand why staff are literally telling us to just shrug off small warnings because they're meaningless. They're not, period, and that is the only reason why warning systems work on anyone. You should be glad people are worried about breaking the rules! If no one cared they'd post whatever they wanted and constantly break rules on purpose. Saying "oh yeah they're meaningless, its nothing, there's no REAL consequence" doesn't mean anything and doesn't change anything. Warnings are bad. Warnings are punishment. People do not want to be punished. No amount of claiming they have no meaning or impact will ever change that.

 

And really, if the warns are so meaningless and pointless to multiple staff members, including the big boss... why are they given out so much? Why can't the most restrictive rules be relaxed a bit instead? It seems pretty useless to dish out a bunch of warnings that have no actual impact whatsoever, apparently.

Edited by shortaxel

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-snip for space-

The bar is not new; it's always been there. Each warn equals 10%. A warn only stays for four weeks; the percentage is automatically removed/decreased after that period of time. We do not have a "mod watch list" and certainly not for only one warn. If someone consistently pushes the boundaries, it's likely we do remember and know who they are, but we don't "warn them extra" or something just because we know they've broken rules in the past. As I said, you really only have to worry if you consistently break rules, as that is when you will actually face consequences (post moderation, post suspension, suspension). And, except for extreme cases, those aren't permanent consequences. Like warns, they also expire.

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You don't SEE the offending posts... because they are promptly deleted and the user given a warning. They then get to *try* to discuss it with the mods, but.... that often doesn't work out too well.

That makes sense to me if they're deleted; I didn't think the mods deleted posts if it's just a simple warn though? Guess I'm not active enough. I also haven't seen any case where the mods were biased (wrongly) in their actions and only targeting certain posts with warns when there are others too; unless I'm misinterpreting fuzzbucket's post and that's not what it's saying.

 

What would be super helpful is if the forum search worked better. As others have noted, it basically requires magical incantations to work properly right now, and I think that would be a huge turnoff for people who want to see if their idea's already been suggested. I know for a fact it's very painful to find duplicates - I've certainly spent enough time looking for threads I know exist but can't seem to locate.

I've only had a few problems with the forum search before, but then again I know how to keyword things so that a search engine has a basic "idea" of what I'm looking for. Not everyone knows these tricks though, and when I don't use them the search results really are a mess... It would be helpful for new players if the forum search was tweaked to be more... human friendly, I guess is the word? It would definitely help against accidental thread duplicates!

 

@shortaxel: Yes, warns do mean you broke a rule; that's their purpose. It only has a hugely negative effect on people though if they choose to let it affect them. It's like what I found out with certain jokes; some people would blow up over them, but if you read the joke without looking for an error or a reason to be mad about it, then there's really nothing offensive about the joke. I see something similar here: yes, warns do mean you broke a rule, and they will make you feel bad, and they are some form of mild punishment because of their purpose, which gives them a negative connotation other than just a reminder, but warns will only tear you apart if you let them.

I understand what happened to you on the other site - thank goodness DC isn't like that, and that the warns will go away, because what that site is doing is persistent humiliation which is never good - but what you just explained actually gives me more of a reason to believe that DC is more relaxed with its rules. The warns are probably the most friendly way of enforcing rules I've ever come across, which is why they're so "negligible"; instead of a blatant punishment, like a mute, a temporary ban, or a persistent warn like you just described, it's just a nudge to push you back on track that doesn't even last for a month. It's downright embarrassing to strive toward being a good forum user and to receive a warn, even a verbal one (I believe Sock did that to me once because I was discussing a roleplay plot device I really shouldn't have...), but it's not the end of the world. Any future punishments won't be more severe because of your one mistake, and heck, you might not even have any future punishments because you learned where the line is and know to avoid it.

 

On that note, I have done some digging through the Discussion forums in hopes that I can find some examples of unnecessary moderation, and the only place I really see it (if you could peg it as unnecessary) is in Site Discussion, not in any of its subforums; the subforums look fine to me. So if any moderation relaxing is done anywhere on the site, I would say that only Site Discussion (not Help, Trading, or any other forum) would need it.

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warns will only tear you apart if you let them

That doesn't hold true for all personality types, neurodivergencies, histories of abuse, etc. Not all people are able to "not let" certain things bother them.

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The bar is not new; it's always been there. Each warn equals 10%. A warn only stays for four weeks; the percentage is automatically removed/decreased after that period of time. We do not have a "mod watch list" and certainly not for only one warn. If someone consistently pushes the boundaries, it's likely we do remember and know who they are, but we don't "warn them extra" or something just because we know they've broken rules in the past. As I said, you really only have to worry if you consistently break rules, as that is when you will actually face consequences (post moderation, post suspension, suspension). And, except for extreme cases, those aren't permanent consequences. Like warns, they also expire.

Like I said, it may not have been new. As is obvious by my post count I don't post much around here but that's the first thing I noticed after the switch. I guess its just ginormous or stands out a ton on this new look because I never noticed it before.

 

Also thanks for not addressing any of the points in my post and instead playing the "forum setup vs forum setup" game, which was obviously not the reason for the story. (As was stated clearly in my post.) I know DC and the forum I mentioned are not the same and do not have the same exact features/methods/punishments/rules/etc. That's common sense. The point was how warnings are not nothing and have an impact, no matter how "small" and "pointless" the percent is, no matter how much staff try and insist they're meaningless.

 

 

skwerl56767 - Actually, that site is far more relaxed than DC. They're not even comparable in that sense. All you heard is a tiny snippet about their annoying mod policies (which yes, are totally ridiculous).

 

The forum I mentioned allows natural discussions. There are hundreds of threads. Dozens in various sub-forums are active every single day. There are no harsh "off-topic" policies. As long as what we're discussing makes sense for how the discussion has evolved (and doesn't break rules of course), we can go in a completely different direction! They've gotten a lot better about the "rainbows and sunshine only" and don't care if people express negative disagreeing opinions in what amounts to "what do you think of X" threads. I've had some really great discussions there about the forum's focus because its allowed. We can talk freely and naturally.

 

My reasons for supporting this idea are because of that forum, actually. While I don't agree with some of their warn/mod policies, the community is very healthy. Its not as active as its been in the past but there's still plenty of lively threads to chat, discuss, and share in. The standard "allow natural discussion" rules make it very freeing to talk there in a way I'd never be able to do on DC. When I talk to people on that forum, I feel like I'm actually talking to a real person and getting to know them. Even though we're talking about X, we may bring up Y and Z in a normal manner. We might go on with those, go back to X, or switch gears to A. Its wonderful.

 

It may sound spooky to people used to the forcibly robotic discussions on DC, but its actually really nice. I can't even think of any issues with things being "off-topic". A topic might get posted in the wrong sub-forum but that's about it. Unless disagreements start getting personal or totally out of left field stuff pops up (like politics in a new release thread), mods don't ever post "stay on topic" warnings.

Edited by shortaxel

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I've only had a few problems with the forum search before, but then again I know how to keyword things so that a search engine has a basic "idea" of what I'm looking for. Not everyone knows these tricks though, and when I don't use them the search results really are a mess... It would be helpful for new players if the forum search was tweaked to be more... human friendly, I guess is the word? It would definitely help against accidental thread duplicates!

I dunno. I know how to keyword search and I generally remember posts or threads by keyword. Hasn't usually helped me much. The only recent-ish example that comes to mind was actually one of my own posts where I did the math on how many reds were required to have perpetual Incubate availability even with an incuhatchable AP. For some reason, despite knowing it was my own post and which subforum it was likely in, as well as general keywords, I never was able to find it. I ended up having to rewrite it.

 

I really, really do not understand why staff are literally telling us to just shrug off small warnings because they're meaningless. They're not, period, and that is the only reason why warning systems work on anyone.

The reason people are saying "don't sweat it" is because of the scaled warning system. A warning is a thing that happens. People have bad days, people make mistakes, the system won't punish you for it unless it happens on a regular basis. If you pick up enough warns that your bar reaches some meaningful percent (probably 75%-100%?), then the system starts dropping real punishments on you.

 

You, personally, may feel punished by a single warn. I would. It hurts. It's a personal failure. But the mods and TJ are referring to the way the warning system is designed, and they're entirely correct within that context.

 

If no one cared they'd post whatever they wanted and constantly break rules on purpose.

They would get away with that for a very limited time, and then they'd trip the warn "floodgates" and that would be the end of that. The system basically has forgiveness built into it, but it also has a limited memory of abusers.

 

And really, if the warns are so meaningless and pointless to multiple staff members, including the big boss... why are they given out so much? Why can't the most restrictive rules be relaxed a bit instead? It seems pretty useless to dish out a bunch of warnings that have no actual impact whatsoever, apparently.

I think we're talking verbal warnings here? Pretty sure those are designed more as gentle nudges than actual disciplinary action, more of a "hey, guys, the topic's this way" than a modhammer. They're a step below official mod warnings which are yet another step below official meaningful disciplinary action. Again, you may take it differently - different people always will perceive things in a different way - but I'm reasonably sure that's how the system was envisioned.

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Actually, that site is far more relaxed than DC. They're not even comparable in that sense. All you heard is a tiny snippet about their annoying mod policies (which yes, are totally ridiculous).

Now I'm confused again... first you say that they're relaxed, and then you say their mod policy is annoying? Wouldn't that policy have to be enforced for it to be annoying? Now it just sounds like you're saying that the site has bad mods that don't enforce the site rules...

 

Even though we're talking about X, we may bring up Y and Z in a normal manner. We might go on with those, go back to X, or switch gears to A. Its wonderful.

Before I comment on this, I want to make sure of something, because then I read this:

Unless disagreements start getting personal or totally out of left field stuff pops up (like politics in a new release thread), mods don't ever post "stay on topic" warnings.

You made it sound like the threads there are always derailing onto off-topic content, but then you give that as an example, so now I'm not sure just how "off-topic" you mean? When people were talking about relaxing warns against off-topic discussion I figured they meant the out-of-left field stuff, like you said, especially since the mods here don't seem to get after people about little things that aren't spot-on to the topic, but also aren't off-topic. It's only when I see completely off-topic stuff go on for a couple of posts do I see a warn (such as one case where two users started discussing their avatars instead, which wasn't relevant to the thread at all). I can understand warns being a little unnecessary in the News and Site Discussion forums, since those areas are filled with chatter as-is (the former with excitement and intrigue, and the latter with whatever the individual thread's topic is), but I still don't see how it is restrictive in the other forums...

 

Oh, also I think what Sock was trying to say is that the point of your story fell a little flat, since you were frustrated by the way the mods on another forum enforced their rules and how much it hurt you, and then used it in your argument to relax DC's rules, even though DC doesn't enforce its rules the same way and as such the "pain" from receiving a warn would be different. *Shrug* That's how I interpreted it, anyway.

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Warnings are given out pretty liberally on this site, and it's one of the most frustrating things about all of this in my opinion. I'm not talking about verbal warnings because we need reminders every once in a while - though I do think they come in way too fast on things that don't need to be warned about - but I mean the actual mod warning that leaves a permanent mark on your account. The percentage doesn't stay in your line of view for the rest of your life, but it never goes away from the warning history and any mod can pull that up whenever they want. I personally got a bunch of warnings for being a bigoted pre-teen kid and I sure wish that wasn't on my account anymore, but it is. Back then a 10% warning lead to something worse because I was upset and crying at the stupid little 10% to begin with so I lost my temper at one of the mods and after that, I left the forum for a little over 4 years. I totally deserved the warnings at the time, but I was also 13. Now I'm hesitant to come back and interact with anything almost 7 years later because of this. In fact, I try to avoid forums all together.

 

That's another thing: a lot of players, especially new players, are actually children or generally younger than 18. If you're new to being active on forums or talking to people in general and you say something rude or post spam without knowing and get a warning for it, you're going to be really put off from ever coming back here at all. And if they happen to come from a really terrible household they might escalate the situation from unresolved anger issues stemming from their home life, or shut down entirely from anxiety attacks and never come back. These "pointless" warnings, even if it's designed to be a scale, hurt neurodivergent kids in ways I don't think the mods even consider.

 

The warning system isn't just hurting veteran players. It's hurting the younger community. It's hurting the mentally ill community that lives on this forum.

 

I'm not saying stop giving out warnings completely, but also don't toss them around as easily and casually as you would tell someone "hey don't do that".

Edited by CowlRaven

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I think one of the main problems I see in this thread is a bit of miscommunication between both sides. It seems like one side is saying "If you get a warning without understanding why or simply because you didn't know what the rules were, that can be VERY upsetting. It makes you afraid to post anything at all, especially when the mods won't respond to you and explain why you got warned. What If I post again without knowing what I did in the first place, then get ANOTHER warning for doing the same thing, despite it being something "small"? That makes me way too nervous, I don't like that." and the other side replied "But it's fine to make mistakes, it's life. Of course no one wants to feel like they're being punished, but tiny mistakes are okay on this forum and warnings are a necessary system where one warning really isn't a big deal. You'll learn from the warns and not do the same mistakes again." when that wasn't really what the first side seems to be saying to begin with.

 

I think we all understand the warning system is necessary, and I agree verbal warnings in a thread are better for keeping things on track than just giving people actual warns that stick on their account, unless it's warranted obviously. I just think there's a communication disparity here. The moderation side seems to be saying that warns aren't a big deal if you only get one once in a while, as they fade with time and if you're a good member of the forum you won't be acquiring tons of warns anyway. But that last part is what I think some users are saying: They don't want to acquire tons of warns ON ACCIDENT without understanding why. They're afraid to post because they're afraid they might accumulate warns without getting feedback on why, or without a fair shot on getting the warn removed if it was an honest misunderstanding. This is not the same thing as not understanding why warns exist or never wanting to be warned for their behavior. I don't have any personal experience messaging mods about these issues, my only goal is to point out what I think some users in this thread were actually trying to articulate, because I feel the discussion is going in circles a bit. I'm not totally comfortable speaking for everyone else, however, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Thank you.

Edited by Silverwatermist

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The percentage doesn't stay in your line of view for the rest of your life, but it never goes away from the warning history and any mod can pull that up whenever they want.

 

We honestly do not care at all. The only time we're going to peer through old warns is a) if you are consistently breaking rules and we are looking for a reference for how long and what for, or b) if you apply for mod, but previous warns, especially if they're old or you just have a few, especially if we've seen you around on the forum and know who you are now aren't going to factor into our final decision. I 100% did not at all remember that you'd ever once gotten a warn until you mentioned it. And I actually don't even remember the situation happening at all.

 

These "pointless" warnings, even if it's designed to be a scale, hurt neurodivergent kids in ways I don't think the mods even consider.

 

I just want to point out that quite a few of us mods either started on this forum or another forum when we were young (I do still remember my first public telling off on the first forum I was on), are neurodivergent ourselves, and/or have a warn from DC. So I do understand exactly where this is coming from, but we don't have easy access to who is neurodivergent and who is neurotypical, nor do we have a different or better way to do warns. So I'm really not at all sure what to do with this point (unless your point was to just warn less?).

 

It seems like one side is saying "If you get a warning without understanding why or simply because you didn't know what the rules were, that can be VERY upsetting. It makes you afraid to post anything at all, especially when the mods won't respond to you and explain why you got warned.

 

In particularly responding to the italics here: I'm seeing a lot of posts in this thread from people with no warns making assumptions on how the warn system works, and it's just confusing me. It's why I replied earlier to shortaxel like I did.

 

Maybe I'm heavily misunderstanding something, but I don't think I've seen anyone say that the warns they got were confusing or not well explained or that mods weren't willing to communicate when PM'd. Because DC warns do tend to be very well explained and mods are very responsive to confused PMs. The points I see in this thread are that people think the rules are too strict, which results in too many warns (and minorly people who disagreed with a warn but mods disagreed with their assessment - which I'm guessing is where you got the idea that mods aren't responsive). Not that the warns are confusing or vague. That the rules are too many, which makes those confusing.

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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I'm seeing a lot of posts in this thread from people with no warns making assumptions on how the warn system works, and it's just confusing me. It's why I replied earlier to shortaxel like I did.

 

Maybe I'm heavily misunderstanding something, but I don't think I've seen anyone say that the warns they got were confusing or not well explained or that mods weren't willing to communicate when PM'd. Because DC warns do tend to be very well explained and mods are very responsive to confused PMs. The points I see in this thread are that people think the rules are too strict, which results in too many warns (and minorly people who disagreed with a warn but mods disagreed with their assessment - which I'm guessing is where you got the idea that mods aren't responsive). Not that the warns are confusing or vague. That the rules are too many, which makes those confusing.

I definitely have no experience with the warn system and said so in my post, and yes, the main topic is moderation being too strict, but it seemed to me that it was also turning into a discussion about "One warn isn't a big deal" versus "It can be for some people when things are too strict or unclear", and one reason Odeen (the OP) got into was that they had experience with talking to mods and being shrugged off, at least to a degree. TJ then jumped in and responded that they were likely shrugged off because one warn wasn't "worth contesting" because it will fade quickly if you don't accumulate more.

 

All I meant to do was point out this and similar back-and-forths here and say that I think both sides might be misunderstanding each other a little on where the general anxiety is coming from about warns. People may actually be worried that if they message mods "too much" to try to clarify why they received a warning, they may be warned again (this was also brought up by someone in the thread). Is there a really, really clear moderation policy somewhere on the site that explains to people, in a friendly way, that you can politely message the mods about warns to receive clarification and that the mods do owe you a response? (Genuine question because I'm not sure.) I think if someone is getting warned for something that's not super blatant (like crazy swearing or name-calling, where there's no way they couldn't know), they do deserve an explanation even if the thing was "small" or one warn isn't "a big deal", and that should be an across-the-board policy if it isn't already. I think as moderators, YOU know who the real trouble-makers and what the trouble-making type posts are, and have probably issued a TON of warns, so to you, one warning will carry a different weight than it does to the person who's getting warned, especially if they're a first-time offender and nervous about posting already. And that's why I think some of this thread is getting a bit heated, because these users feel a bit brushed off by mods/other users insisting one warn is not a big deal unless you let it affect you. True in many cases, I'm sure, but this potential discrepancy in understanding seems pretty relevant to the conversation to me. When strict moderation is in place, more warns would be getting issued (I assume), creating more people who want to know why they were warned, creating busier mods who see one warn as not a big deal and thus some mods may give vague answers that leave people confused or upset. Again, I'm just going off of some of the posts in this thread to draw this conclusion, if I am misunderstanding anything then I apologize.

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Warnings are given out pretty liberally on this site, and it's one of the most frustrating things about all of this in my opinion.

Are they? OK, I'm not the most active person on the forum but I literally never got a warn on here and I *did* participate in some of the more heated threads that happen every once and again. I really try to understand where that impression stems from.

 

I'm not talking about verbal warnings because we need reminders every once in a while - though I do think they come in way too fast on things that don't need to be warned about

 

Well that's a matter of opinion I'm afraid. What needs a warn and what doesn't will always (up to a certain degree) fall into the realm of personal judgement.

 

- but I mean the actual mod warning that leaves a permanent mark on your account. The percentage doesn't stay in your line of view for the rest of your life, but it never goes away from the warning history and any mod can pull that up whenever they want.

 

Frankly this sounds a bit paranoid, why would a mod have any reason to check someone's account?

 

That's another thing: a lot of players, especially new players, are actually children or generally younger than 18. If you're new to being active on forums or talking to people in general and you say something rude or post spam without knowing and get a warning for it, you're going to be really put off from ever coming back here at all. And if they happen to come from a really terrible household they might escalate the situation from unresolved anger issues stemming from their home life, or shut down entirely from anxiety attacks and never come back. These "pointless" warnings, even if it's designed to be a scale, hurt neurodivergent kids in ways I don't think the mods even consider.

 

Honestly this is the point that made me post at all - I work with children as my daytime job. Children from difficult backgrounds. Children with diverse issues. Yes, you are a bit more lenient with them in individual cases. No, you don't go around and protect them from the real world all of the time. Rules are there for a reason. Actions have consequences. And if you have someone who doesn't deal with those consequences in a healthy manner you help them learn to do so. You don't just scratch the consequences.

 

Recently I had a very (for me) frustrating experience with a mod. (It wasn't directly linked to the forum). I DO get stressed in such situations. I had trouble sleeping for two nights because I got so agitated. But I KNOW that's MY problem for over-reacting not the mod's fault. I voiced my frustration - hopefully in a respectful enough way - I went away from the situation for a while. Now I cooled off. And because I know our mods I also trust that they won't hold it against me.

 

tl;dr: While I get discussions about the strictness of discussion moderation in general, I never once had a bad experience with one of the mod team and I wanted to speak up because the "the mods are so strict I'm afraid of them" narrative has a tendency to re-inforce itself through threads like these. Point cool.gif considerateness is important but can be taken too far as well.

 

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Maybe I'm heavily misunderstanding something, but I don't think I've seen anyone say that the warns they got were confusing or not well explained or that mods weren't willing to communicate when PM'd. Because DC warns do tend to be very well explained and mods are very responsive to confused PMs. The points I see in this thread are that people think the rules are too strict, which results in too many warns (and minorly people who disagreed with a warn but mods disagreed with their assessment - which I'm guessing is where you got the idea that mods aren't responsive). Not that the warns are confusing or vague. That the rules are too many, which makes those confusing.

What you are missing is the psychology behind the warns.... and how it affects those who try hard not to break the rules. It was TJ's dismissive "1 isn't a big deal" that has people upset: to him and you, its not a big deal. In the over all scheme of things, its not a big deal.

 

To those who try to follow all rules, all the time? Its a really big deal.

 

No, I have no warns. But I also am one of those who tries really hard to follow all the rules. The rules are confusing because they are applied differently to different forums. For instance.... I had no idea you were allowed to pose "support" in Suggestions.... but NOT in the BSA sub-forum.

 

 

But in the end, yes, the problem is that the current rules are too restrictive, and a few other things, like forced necro'ing of threads that haven't had a single post in years.

 

And can we get the BSA forum split, and be allowed to post "I support the BSA as is" already? tongue.gif

 

Cheers!

C4.

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That makes sense to me if they're deleted; I didn't think the mods deleted posts if it's just a simple warn though? Guess I'm not active enough. I also haven't seen any case where the mods were biased (wrongly) in their actions and only targeting certain posts with warns when there are others too; unless I'm misinterpreting fuzzbucket's post and that's not what it's saying.

fuzz is saying that whenever she posts about one specific thing, even in the area where it is being discussed, because her POV in this matter is Not OK, the post is deleted - or at least that bit of it is deleted which says what she feels.

 

And you can't see what was removed, so you'd never know, unless it is a part of a post (you can see a few of mine, if you try, which show as edited by a mod.)

 

I know others who feel the same way, and I wouldn't be surprised if their posts were being deleted too... At least one is in this thread and may choose to post... wink.gif It seems that there are some things here which some of us feel VERY strongly about but which mods have decided are NOT OK with them, so they will just delete instead of allowing discussion.

 

fuzz is almost past caring, actually. She's rather sick of it all - there's no point raising very valid issues to have them repeatedly shot at and deleted.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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I got a warn once for 'mini-modding' on a dragon request that had used the same sprites as another. I freaked out because I thought everyone could see my warn, so I didn't post for a month. That's it, and of course the usual "hey look at this pillow I found, I'll name her penelope mcfluffy" in my introduce yourself thread and getting red text saying no eggspam.

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I 100% did not at all remember that you'd ever once gotten a warn until you mentioned it. And I actually don't even remember the situation happening at all.

 

But I remembered it vividly, and it was such a powerful impact on me that I avoided this entire site (including the actual game) like the plague for 4 years because I was so ashamed. You see what I mean?

 

This is just a worst-case scenario but it's something that actually happens to people. A warning for spam probably won't drive someone off a forum, but you don't know that. My point in this argument specifically is that even a 10% warning isn't nothing and I - along with several people - are upset that they're being treated as such.

 

So I'm really not at all sure what to do with this point (unless your point was to just warn less?).

 

Yes, my point was to warn less. It's ridiculous to expect everyone to know whos mentally ill and who isnt and I don't expect special treatment for those who are. What I'm trying to say is that warns aren't meaningless, they aren't small or pointless, they aren't something you can easily get over if you're a.) young b.) neurodivergent c.) both.

 

Of course in situations where someone is a repeated offender or is just a really mean-spirited person, warnings are valid and actually useful. That's the whole point of them. But I feel like in situations where someone just posts something like "I like this" in a couple threads and they get a 10% warning for spam, a verbal reminder in a PM would suffice. Especially if it's their first time doing something like that.

 

Are they? OK, I'm not the most active person on the forum but I literally never got a warn on here and I *did* participate in some of the more heated threads that happen every once and again. I really try to understand where that impression stems from.

 

They are. Less so now that the active player base has declined but the problem is that the forum is still being treated as if it needs to be modded as heavily as it used to. Like I said before back when there were hundreds of people online at a time, every single day, warnings for small things were useful because then it kept a sort of organized chaos. But in comparison to how many active posters there are now, warnings are given out too liberally. It's treated the same way as it used to be, which is the problem.

 

Rules are there for a reason. Actions have consequences. And if you have someone who doesn't deal with those consequences in a healthy manner you help them learn to do so. You don't just scratch the consequences.

 

Like I said, I'm not telling mods to never give out warnings or tell people not to do things. I'm saying to not be so casual about giving out a real warning to someone who did something extremely small. And while you can help people learn and cope with things they have a hard time with in real life, it's not nearly as easy to do on an internet forum about collecting dragons. It's completely different and you have to take that into consideration.

 

 

In case I haven't managed to say it clearly enough, my whole point is that people are upset the mods and TJ are saying to brush off 10% warnings because it's not a big deal to them, so it shouldn't be to us. Keep using warnings and giving them out, but why would you give someone a real warning when a verbal one would suffice?

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That's the whole point of them. But I feel like in situations where someone just posts something like "I like this" in a couple threads and they get a 10% warning for spam, a verbal reminder in a PM would suffice. Especially if it's their first time doing something like that.
As far as I remember, this won't exactly work out. How are the mods supposed to keep track of who did what and how often? The only way to put down notes where every mod can access them is through giving said person a warn. (At least that's what one of the mods (Sock?) said the last time this topic came up.)

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But that last part is what I think some users are saying: They don't want to acquire tons of warns ON ACCIDENT without understanding why. They're afraid to post because they're afraid they might accumulate warns without getting feedback on why, or without a fair shot on getting the warn removed if it was an honest misunderstanding.

Just want to say first: Silverwatermist, your post just cleared up a lot for me. xd.png I feel stupid for not catching that second point.

Though now I'm thinking about it... Have we ever had accidental warns? Or as a better question, any warns that weren't explained? I only had one warn, as I said earlier, and it was for an obvious reason so I never had a need to message any mods about it, so I really don't know if people's PMs to mods are going unanswered. I suppose it could always be a case of people not wanting to message the mods, because after being warned who would want to? The only solution I can think of for that is to clarify what went wrong with the post when the warn was given out; probably not publicly in an edited post, since that would just pile on any humiliation the warned user is experiencing, but maybe in a PM? I know it gives mods an extra step to do, but maybe it's a good solution to this problem?

 

Maybe if the mods additionally PMed the reasoning behind the warn to the user in question, when people do end up with warns that they don't understand, they can directly respond to the mod's PM and ask all the questions they want, so not only is the mod receiving feedback on why that warn seemed unjust or accidental but people also don't need to summon up as much courage to PM the mod that warned them. With this system, which helps give feedback to the mods, it can then be decided if the moderation policy needs to be edited, or if some things that are being warned about right now even need warns at all; that way people aren't demanding changes to a system that they're mostly interpreting, and mods don't have to try and explain how the system works so that people feel less wronged.

 

This is when my confidence about this solving the entire problem is crushed by someone saying "But we already do that". :'D I mean, it's possible that I would miss something like that. Unless that verbal warn Sock gave me was paired with an actual warn percentage, I have no idea if PMs are sent or not; I just notice that the mods invite warned users to discuss what happened via PM in case it seems unjust.

 

Reading American_Dragons post gives me another idea; a lot of new users (I know I've done this too, but a buffer in the posting system prevented me from actually posting the dragons) seem to want to share their dragons - which is fine - but don't know how to do it. I never figured out how to share dragons by posting lineage links until I started looking at other people's posts, so maybe that could be added in to any "No eggspam" warns? It could also be added in to the eggspam buffer in the posting system itself, so instead of simply saying "You can't do that", it says "You can't do that BUT you can use the equivalent...", and explain how to retrieve lineage links so people can share their dragons without breaking the rules and without removing the any rules, since they were set up for a reason.

Edited by skwerl56767

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