Forums - Website Topics - The Moderator Thread

Hiku said:
melbye said:

It's ok that you want to discuss some posts and not make rash decisions, but that post was so over the line somebody should have made a decision to deal with it immediately. Especially with a poster like him who keeps posting extreme things. It's always Nazi this and Hitler that. I'm fed up with how much you let him get away with.

I told you, that's not how it works. Ever.
We only make decisions after we have enough input from enough members of the staff. While discussing dozens of other reports at the same time.
Even deciding on how many days someone should be banned is something that can take time. Would you have preferred if we rushed it, only making it a warning, or a 1 day ban, and we break our rules and go ahead with the ban before a Head Moderator reviews the decision reached and gives the approval? Because that is also part of the process.

And speaking of diversity on the team, in typical left-wing nut job fashion, we offered you a position on the team, which you declined. Instead of actually putting in the time and effort that goes into each and every moderation, it's easier to just make baseless accusations against the team.

I'm not saying we don't make mistakes, but we tried our best here. So seeing comments like these are not fun tbh.

If it was a permaban or even an extended ban i would understand that it might take some discussion, but you really need to discuss for 3 days if you are going to ban someone for 2-3 days?



Nothing to see here, move along

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Angelus said:
Putting aside melbye's post for a moment, I think it might in fact be a good idea for the mod team to reconsider their stance on how they go about the process of actually moderating. Having all mods need to weigh in on pretty much every single decision, is a rather cripplingly ineffective way of doing business. Sure, it has the benefit of making sure everyone's always got their asses covered, because if there's a mistake, misjudgment, etc. it's on everyone....but at what cost?

As Hiku just admitted, and as I know from personal experience, this process is simply too slow to be satisfactory for anyone. Users feel frustrated that things aren't getting done, and - unless I was completely alone in that boat - I'm pretty sure mods are often frustrated just the same. Most decisions are really fairly straight forward, and don't require this huge brainstorm. I mean really, if you're on the mod team, after a certain amount of time there's simply gotta be a trust between you all that you know what you're doing. If there isn't, if there are people there that you feel shouldn't be moderating without supervision...well then you gotta drop them.

Now, nobody's perfect, so of course there's gonna be some decisions made now and again that need a second look. A correction here and there. Each individual mod is less shielded by the whole. But that's ok. Or at least it should be.

Even in cases such as with CaptainExplosion, who perhaps requires a more in depth discussion on how to handle him long term, they could easily be placed on a shorter leave of absence by a single moderator taking action, to allow for that discussion between mods to take place without giving that user the opportunity to continue being disruptive, or giving the impression to the community that you're letting certain behavior stand.

Just my two cents.

Yeah, CGI (Or Ryuu) actually brought up this subject recently. We haven't gotten far in discussing it though, because as you probably know, we're often busy with more urgent subjects.

One issue we have is that once a ban period has been set, we can't alter it after the fact. There was one time we banned a user for a few days, but then right after that, we noticed that they had made several other posts that we missed, which would warrant a much longer ban period. But we couldn't change it. So our only option would be to wait until the original ban period expires, and then retroactively apply the rest of the days. But that can be pretty confusing for the member, and some mods didn't like that idea for various reasons, and it became a whole thing.

When/if Talon comes back, we may be able to change the moderation tools to allow us to adjust ban periods, for reasons such as the one you mentioned.

And yeah, like yourself, me and I'm sure other members of the staff can also get frustrated with how long it can take to handle one moderation.
Unlike what Melbye may believe, I wished this was over and done with quickly.

But I also understand why we do it this way, and the benefits of getting a lot of different inputs before reaching a conclusion.
It has resulted in 'better accuracy', at the cost of taking longer. The question is if it's worth it in the long run.

Also Melbye and everyone else who read that CaptainExplosion comment, you may be interested to know that we were actually discussing potentially banning him from political threads altogether. But ultimately, because of his mod history (which is another factor we review before making decision) we decided that he'll get a chance to show improvement. But next time he makes a similar comment, it will be best for everyone if he's just kept out of that section.

melbye said:

If it was a permaban or even an extended ban i would understand that it might take some discussion, but you really need to discuss for 3 days if you are going to ban someone for 2-3 days?

Yes. Even if someone barely did anything wrong, and we're just going to give them a reminder through PM, that too can take 3 days, if not more.
The reason for that is, I can't decide on my own that that's the only thing we need to do. Even if it seems obvious.

The time it takes isn't necessarily a testament to how much is discussed either. As it is how long it can take for enough people to 1.) review posts in the thread, 2.) review members prior mod notes/past transgressions, 3.) voice their opinions in chat and wait for others to do the same, before making follow up comments, etc. It's mainly the last part that can take time.

Last edited by Hiku - on 07 February 2020

i like the process of debating things, that will make sure unjust bans like angelus liked to do will not happen again



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Replicant said:

* Before you read this, please note that I'm not riled up even though my post may sound so. *

I've requested a permaban from 4 different moderators and none of them have been able to help. I know you advise people to don't log in and just forget about the account but I guess I lack any kind of self-discipline because I'm not able to do that. Therefore, I ask again if you'd be kind enough to kick my hyper sensitive butt away from here so I can bother other people with my constant bitching.

If you need a reason, doesn't GDPR kinda require that you delete European accounts by request? Alternatively, I could offer some foul language or call COKTOE a giant dickhead (again).

I've enjoyed my time here and I think that the community still has some strengths and a solid mod team. I'll continue to see many of you on PS4, Steam, and soon Switch.

With that, I wish you all peace, love and hairy balls.

Busy busy. Lots of bans.

This guy.....I know he loves me. And I love him!

I see you're still not perma'd. Try the self discipline route again. It's very gratifying. Due to burnout on the nature of forums in general, a bit of a lifestyle change, and some personal issues, I've taken a fairly substantial break from the site over the last several weeks. It's really not difficult. When you want to log in, do some push-ups, or, I don't know, take up smoking. It's never too late to start smoking. The world is yours my friend. Aside from the aforementioned gratification, you also leave yourself the option to return at a later date should you so desire.



Chinese food for breakfast

 

Angelus said:
Putting aside melbye's post for a moment, I think it might in fact be a good idea for the mod team to reconsider their stance on how they go about the process of actually moderating. Having all mods need to weigh in on pretty much every single decision, is a rather cripplingly ineffective way of doing business. Sure, it has the benefit of making sure everyone's always got their asses covered, because if there's a mistake, misjudgment, etc. it's on everyone....but at what cost?

As Hiku just admitted, and as I know from personal experience, this process is simply too slow to be satisfactory for anyone. Users feel frustrated that things aren't getting done, and - unless I was completely alone in that boat - I'm pretty sure mods are often frustrated just the same. Most decisions are really fairly straight forward, and don't require this huge brainstorm. I mean really, if you're on the mod team, after a certain amount of time there's simply gotta be a trust between you all that you know what you're doing. If there isn't, if there are people there that you feel shouldn't be moderating without supervision...well then you gotta drop them.

Now, nobody's perfect, so of course there's gonna be some decisions made now and again that need a second look. A correction here and there. Each individual mod is less shielded by the whole. But that's ok. Or at least it should be.

Even in cases such as with CaptainExplosion, who perhaps requires a more in depth discussion on how to handle him long term, they could easily be placed on a shorter leave of absence by a single moderator taking action, to allow for that discussion between mods to take place without giving that user the opportunity to continue being disruptive, or giving the impression to the community that you're letting certain behavior stand.

Just my two cents.

Hiku's transparence is a great benefit here because now the community can read it all from a direct source. That leaves no doubt for anyone how the process works.

The mod chat uses a server structure that allows for a variety of channels to be created. If individual mods were granted more autonomy, you could have a channel that is exclusively reserved for keeping a history of moderations. Any warning or ban will have to be recorded there with three pieces of information: Name of the user who got moderated, post(s) they got moderated for, warning/ban note copy-pasted in full. Timestamp and name of the mod are automatically generated by the chat program. This allows the head moderators to quickly review every mod action that happened while they were offline. Any discussions between mods happen in the usual channel, whether that's before or after a moderation has been issued.

Such a process would speed up easy cases tremendously and provide the additional benefit to contain problems. The current process commonly allows threads to run their course which carries the potential of more infrictions and reports to occur, and that in turn means even more work for a mod team that is using a slow process to begin with. In those few instances where things go really bad, a thread ends up getting locked and more often than not there isn't any user who gets moderated in the aftermath. While the thread lock shuts down a current problem, the lack of any other punishment means that the same users will inevitably go at each other again in a different thread eventually, because they don't really have to worry about negative consequences for themselves.

The lack of autonomy may be the reason why a moderator like the-pi-guy tries to reason with CaptainExplosion instead of banning him, because when a ban may be unrealistic to be issued in any timely manner, then talking to the problematic user in question is the most effective method to contain the damage. Still, it's ridiculous to see that a user can be straightforward about nuking the entirety of Iran and then he gets treated by a mod as if he hadn't stepped miles over the line. How is CaptainExplosion going to learn to try to be more levelheaded when calling for genocide is apparently no biggie. The nazi comparison he got banned for is just the logical progression when there are no clear signals for how much is too much over a prolonged period of time.

Hiku said:

Yeah, CGI (Or Ryuu) actually brought up this subject recently. We haven't gotten far in discussing it though, because as you probably know, we're often busy with more urgent subjects.

One issue we have is that once a ban period has been set, we can't alter it after the fact. There was one time we banned a user for a few days, but then right after that, we noticed that they had made several other posts that we missed, which would warrant a much longer ban period. But we couldn't change it. So our only option would be to wait until the original ban period expires, and then retroactively apply the rest of the days. But that can be pretty confusing for the member, and some mods didn't like that idea for various reasons, and it became a whole thing.

When/if Talon comes back, we may be able to change the moderation tools to allow us to adjust ban periods, for reasons such as the one you mentioned.

And yeah, like yourself, me and I'm sure other members of the staff can also get frustrated with how long it can take to handle one moderation.
Unlike what Melbye may believe, I wished this was over and done with quickly.

But I also understand why we do it this way, and the benefits of getting a lot of different inputs before reaching a conclusion.
It has resulted in 'better accuracy', at the cost of taking longer. The question is if it's worth it in the long run.

(...)

I can tell from my own moderation history that head moderators can edit and delete entries in the mod history, so altering reasoning and ban lengths is possible without having to wait for a currently active ban to expire. That's why I don't believe that a lack of tools is the reason for the current process.

"Better accuracy" is probably not even a real thing. Questionable or outright wrong moderations have occured despite the current process, so it's hard to spot any kind of notable improvement in comparison to older mod teams. Conversely, the time it takes to issue moderations for easy cases has gone up significantly. One thing that has been really aiding the current process is the ever-decreasing forum activity. Less posts overall mean less bad posts, less posts overall also mean that the snowball effect of bad posts is less pronounced; nowadays you simply aren't going to get 100+ new posts in a thread when a fire is spreading because there aren't enough active users for that. Less bad posts mean less moderations which by all means should mean a lower number of questionable or wrong moderations which in turn means that the mod team has to deal less often with Rol in The Moderator Thread, so that shouldn't be taken as sign that the current process works well.

The bottom line is the question if the current process makes the mod team well-prepared for a future in which forum activity may be on the rise again. When it's such a lengthy process to deal with a 100% over the line post such as CaptainExplosion's and at a time when there isn't all that much to do to begin with, then an inherent flaw of the process should be apparent. What is also apparent is that the upcoming PS5 and XSX reveals and subsequent launches can be expected to lead to an increase in forum activity, including the return of members who have been gone for years. I give you one good bit of advice: sales2099 is already back and his recent posts don't suggest that he has changed. Rethink and fix your process now while you still don't have your hands full, because it will be a lot harder to do when the number of problematic posts has shot up with the next installment of the PS vs. Xbox battle. The mod team won't be able to afford to lag one to three full days behind.

Last edited by RolStoppable - on 08 February 2020

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Hi guys. I'm Keiji.

I have been banned three days ago but I don't know for how long. I understand that my attitude was bad so I have understand the sentence. But Final Fantasy VII Remake will soon be out, I need to be here guys !

If you could answer me before I get banned again.

Last edited by Bannedboy - on 08 February 2020

Well forget it...



RolStoppable said:

Still, it's ridiculous to see that a user can be straightforward about nuking the entirety of Iran and then he gets treated by a mod as if he hadn't stepped miles over the line. 

I don't recall seeing a post like that, so I'm not sure if it was reported. The closest one I can think of was when he said he wished Solenami's daughter was taken out in the drone strike as well, while describing her in a pretty extreme way. And we talked to him about that post in PM. It's one of the reasons we considered banning him from from the section entirely. And we still may decide on doing that even if he doesn't slip up again.

RolStoppable said:

I can tell from my own moderation history that head moderators can edit and delete entries in the mod history, so altering reasoning and ban lengths is possible without having to wait for a currently active ban to expire. That's why I don't believe that a lack of tools is the reason for the current process.

Head Moderators can edit mod notes, which is also why I sped up the process with CaptainExplosion by a little:

But that's also because CGI and Ryuu had already weighed in on the discussion, so if any adjustments had to be made for the mod notes, they would be minor details. The punishment and ban length were already decided.

Head Moderators can't easily alter ban length though.



We can technically extend a ban in a roundabout way by applying a second ban as soon as the first one ends, but there are some issues with that as well.
If we un-ban someone during a ban period to apply a new one, there seems to be a glitch that still accounts for the original ban period. The first ban period supposedly doesn't go away, but just appears "hidden". So if we extend someone's ban period from say 3 days to 5, they can still come back on day 3. But we're testing some things right now to see if we can find a good solution.

RolStoppable said:

"Better accuracy" is probably not even a real thing. Questionable or outright wrong moderations have occured despite the current process, so it's hard to spot any kind of notable improvement in comparison to older mod teams.

I have no doubt that from an outside perspective, that can be hard to spot, if not impossible.
But I can tell you from personal experience that it has resulted in better accuracy in discussions I've been involved in. For example, I'm sure Bristow remembers this, there was one time some of us somehow missed a rather obvious detail in a post, that later on another mod pointed out.
The post was edited after our initial review of it though, so it may have been edited in after the fact. But either way, we went from taking no action, to banning the member because we had multiple mods reviewing the situation.

Last edited by Hiku - on 08 February 2020

Hiku said:

I'm sure Bristow remembers this

I do indeed.



Angelus said:
Putting aside melbye's post for a moment, I think it might in fact be a good idea for the mod team to reconsider their stance on how they go about the process of actually moderating. Having all mods need to weigh in on pretty much every single decision, is a rather cripplingly ineffective way of doing business. Sure, it has the benefit of making sure everyone's always got their asses covered, because if there's a mistake, misjudgment, etc. it's on everyone....but at what cost?

You don't need the input of every moderator.
A couple of extra moderators giving input is more than sufficient.

Angelus said:

As Hiku just admitted, and as I know from personal experience, this process is simply too slow to be satisfactory for anyone. Users feel frustrated that things aren't getting done, and - unless I was completely alone in that boat - I'm pretty sure mods are often frustrated just the same. Most decisions are really fairly straight forward, and don't require this huge brainstorm. I mean really, if you're on the mod team, after a certain amount of time there's simply gotta be a trust between you all that you know what you're doing. If there isn't, if there are people there that you feel shouldn't be moderating without supervision...well then you gotta drop them.

That is relevant criticism.

And there is trust that we can do the "right thing" otherwise we wouldn't be moderators to start with, but we have a due process that tends to assist in removing bias.




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