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Inconsistent, Incromprehensible, and Overzealous Moderation


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I never thought I'd have to be the one here to talk about something like this, but here we go.

As of late, it seems like Voe has been on an absolute power trip enforcing rules that do not exist to a degree that has lead to the muting and threatened banning of established community members over trivial items. Prior to these events, frequent jokes in the discord (and, by extension, in-game as well) revolved around "Bodily Fluids and Excretion". While jokes are jokes, often times these jokes would extend to the use of gifs that would range from tame as hell to borderline explicit. In response to this, action was taken, and in regards to especially the use of the gifs where it it very closely toed the line of the "Do not post pornography/gore" rule, I can understand why the action was taken and why the moderators stepped up to put a stop to matters.

Except, action did not stop there. The enforcement of this "rule" has extended to even the removal of a video from the chat simply because it was titled this: http://puu.sh/J8hfK/a6fb8edfa9.jpg. It has also extended to the 1-week timeout of Sith and Greyson simply because Voe had felt they had overstepped a rule that is not at all stated in the community guidelines and in which nobody else at that moment had any problem with.

To make matters worse, Voe essentially admits to the fact that there was no actual rule being broken, and that Sith was muted with threat of ban simply because some people "wanted it" and that there's a witch-hunt involved, as seen in his DM's http://puu.sh/J8hp3/940c9a9314.png
 

Enforcement is also highly inconsistent when you're basically allowed to post the vomit emoji, which is honestly pretty frontal and graphic. But, it's clear the rule was entirely only made to target one member and one member only, rather than actually and responsibly take care of a community.

The enforcement of these sudden, vague "rules" that are not at all enlisted in the guidelines over perfectly harmless jokes that would be A-okay to see in a completely normal PG-rated film is unacceptable, furthermore that the mods then go to bend the definitions of existing guidelines in an attempt to justify this behavior. Hell, they're even equating making a poop joke to be on the same level as actual hate speech simply because they don't like it http://puu.sh/J8hqQ/ee0bf2ba1b.png.

At this point, the mods are going on a full power-trip and being absolutely over-the-top and nailing down even just plain fine and innocent jokes, but also so far as to threaten with banning long-time established, even donating members as Sith when they haven't even broken a rule.

If you can't justify moderator action on something with proper and clear-cut community guidelines such as posting porn/gore, actual hatespeech or flaming, and essentially listen to a couple people who have a vendetta to enforce a witch-hunt because they want to? That's not proper, responsible moderation, that's abuse plain and simple. Moderators need to either enforce clear-cut and rational rules, or if those rules are not adequate in covering behavior that would otherwise warrant a reasonable response, then craft community guidelines that are properly airtight and easily understood by the community, as well as give the community a proper chance to read and understand those changes. Otherwise, the moderators should back off, and if this community wants to be taken seriously as a community, then they need to be held accountable for their actions.

Edited by DVD Player
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"Somewhat flexible" is being generous at best here. The standard for what is okay and what is not to say is not only WILDLY incoherent (a video titled "I take a poo on building" is bad but I can still say normal cuss words? What's the standard here?) but entirely misguided. If your intention is to reign in the chat, you're going about it completely wrong by invoking grade-school standards of "don't say peepeepoopoo jokes or you'll have to go sit in the corner". It shows no time was spent trying to come up with a plan and seeing what gets moderated and what is not, it's so very obvious that situations are purely being cherrypicked and the new "rules" are being used as excused to punish members that are disliked versus those that are. There's no clear standard or guideline being upheld, and any excuses for trying to frame it in existing rules have been farfetched at best.

Humor, especially if we're talking "potty humor" (christ, the fact I have to frame it like this), is an incredibly broad subject in its rhetoric and execution. It can range from the incredibly tame to the explicit and discomforting, as can be said about jokes involving any subject ranging from violence, murder, sex, or what have you. At the moment right now, the environment you're cultivating is like if I were to get banned from a TF2 server because I equipped Jarate. A blanket prohibition is absurd, and the execution is poor, and I'd hope that the moderation team would have the rationality to be able to distinguish what is crossing the line and what is not. But clearly not, based on what sorts of actions are being taken.

And, if we continue with such a system, it becomes obvious how clearly easy it is to abuse. Anyone can make an appropriate stink about something someone else is saying and bring about moderator action, and since there's no clear ruleset, it seems like all I have to do is complain about X person's behavior and suddenly they're just in the crosshairs, regardless of whether there truly was any problem with their conduction.

And onto Sith.

All you're demonstrating for me is a bias. You did not punish for past crimes nor illustrate any present rules that were broken. During the conversation that was present, there was no problem with any other member in the conversation that you recently punished him for. You admitted he broke no rule, could not bring one present, and admitted that it was a witch-hunt. I'm not talking about past examples here, because if you failed to act on those that's on you, and that's in the past. I'm talking about the present, and if you're bringing past interactions that have no relevance into current moderation, then that's acting irresponsibly.

Character alone also isn't the point here. Whether someone is a complete angel making a disconcerting post or a total asshat toeing the line, I expect them to be moderated fairly, over clear guidelines.

and I know WHY Havoc's post was deleted. It was incredibly tame, and the action you took was an incredible overreaction. If you're intent on "cleaning up the frontier" as you will, you need to do a much better job than this.

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From what I've seen so far, Voe has handled correctly. It might seem ''lame'' that he's also moderating things like the video name, but due to the recent situation where several members broke the rules despite warnings, it is necessary to sometimes ''overdo'' it in the eyes of the public. Just so that the unwanted behaviour stops. If we were to draw a very specific line in the sand, there will be community members who will try to surf that line and slowly bring it down, which is an unacceptable option.

As for the Sith situation, I'm not too much up to speed on that one so I will refrain from commenting on that.

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No it isn't. There's absolutely no reason for it to be taken so far and so absolutely-- it's an extreme kneejerk reaction under the belief that it will "fix matters". There are far better ways for the moderator team to handle reigning matters in without going to such extremes, but doing so like this makes it look like the moderator team is just fixing for a reason to just ban certain people, rather than go to lengths to amend behavior.

Measures like this will and currently do hit perfectly innocent posts. This does not address "problem behavior", it just makes the environment needlessly restrictive for everyone who isn't posing any problems. It's perfectly possible and effective for moderator teams to put sound guidelines in place that make it clear what does and does not fly, and it's ALSO very possible to do so while making it difficult to toe a line!

If a member is managing to toe the line and cause significant problems for the community without officially breaking the rules, then that's a failing on the moderator team for not putting effective and proper rules in place. And even if still some people are toeing the line, that's just the way it's going to be on ANY server, and acting like making the rules more and more restrictive and extreme will somehow curb this behavior is ignorance. In every community there will be people that try to toe that line, regardless of what the rules are. The point of moderation isn't to prevent that, it's to put comprehensive and rational guidelines in place and watch for those that DO cross the line.

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4 hours ago, DVD Player said:

As of late, it seems like Voe has been on an absolute power trip enforcing rules that do not exist to a degree that has lead to the muting and threatened banning of established community members over trivial items. Prior to these events, frequent jokes in the discord (and, by extension, in-game as well) revolved around "Bodily Fluids and Excretion". While jokes are jokes, often times these jokes would extend to the use of gifs that would range from tame as hell to borderline explicit. In response to this, action was taken, and in regards to especially the use of the gifs where it it very closely toed the line of the "Do not post pornography/gore" rule, I can understand why the action was taken and why the moderators stepped up to put a stop to matters.

Except, action did not stop there. The enforcement of this "rule" has extended to even the removal of a video from the chat simply because it was titled this: http://puu.sh/J8hfK/a6fb8edfa9.jpg. It has also extended to the 1-week timeout of Sith and Greyson simply because Voe had felt they had overstepped a rule that is not at all stated in the community guidelines and in which nobody else at that moment had any problem with.

To make matters worse, Voe essentially admits to the fact that there was no actual rule being broken, and that Sith was muted with threat of ban simply because some people "wanted it" and that there's a witch-hunt involved, as seen in his DM's http://puu.sh/J8hp3/940c9a9314.png

 

Enforcement is also highly inconsistent when you're basically allowed to post the vomit emoji, which is honestly pretty frontal and graphic. But, it's clear the rule was entirely only made to target one member and one member only, rather than actually and responsibly take care of a community.

The enforcement of these sudden, vague "rules" that are not at all enlisted in the guidelines over perfectly harmless jokes that would be A-okay to see in a completely normal PG-rated film is unacceptable, furthermore that the mods then go to bend the definitions of existing guidelines in an attempt to justify this behavior. Hell, they're even equating making a poop joke to be on the same level as actual hate speech simply because they don't like it http://puu.sh/J8hqQ/ee0bf2ba1b.png.

At this point, the mods are going on a full power-trip and being absolutely over-the-top and nailing down even just plain fine and innocent jokes, but also so far as to threaten with banning long-time established, even donating members as Sith when they haven't even broken a rule.

If you can't justify moderator action on something with proper and clear-cut community guidelines such as posting porn/gore, actual hatespeech or flaming, and essentially listen to a couple people who have a vendetta to enforce a witch-hunt because they want to? That's not proper, responsible moderation, that's abuse plain and simple. Moderators need to either enforce clear-cut and rational rules, or if those rules are not adequate in covering behavior that would otherwise warrant a reasonable response, then craft community guidelines that are properly airtight and easily understood by the community, as well as give the community a proper chance to read and understand those changes. Otherwise, the moderators should back off, and if this community wants to be taken seriously as a community, then they need to be held accountable for their actions.

I've seen you state many times across your posts about a clear outlining of the subject matter needing to be addressed in the rules. However, if we started this approach, we'd be going with an endless list of every subject or phrases that you can't say/use and anything that isn't in that, that we've missed we will be slated for. that seems like the system you're going for.
Do you feel this an unfair assessment of what you're referring to and asking for?

Instead, we use the rules as area guidelines and expect people to use their common sense with certain subject matters. That way, with incidents such as these, we warn the offender(s) with what area/rule they have broken and why.

From what I've seen in the IA channel since this all happened, is Voe putting out the same continuous message of not to post such content and sticking to that. An emoji isn't really comparable to the content that's being moderated, and we've not had anyone complain about it. But if you do have a complain about it, then feel free to raise it in a separate thread and we'll all discuss it.
What and where do you feel the inconsistencies are being made from the repeated message being acted upon?

Your reference to Alp making an example and it containing context with hate speech was actually explained to you at the time. It feels like you've either taken that quote out of context intentionally or weren't in the correct frame of mind to understand what he was trying to explain to you. The example he stated was in reference to the approach of moderation, that it's not an instant heavy handed approach, but a more cautionary and softer approach at first.
If this is intended to be taken out of context, it feels like you're grasping at straws to bolster your argument and make the situation seem worse than you can initially make it out to be.

1 hour ago, DVD Player said:

"Somewhat flexible" is being generous at best here. The standard for what is okay and what is not to say is not only WILDLY incoherent (a video titled "I take a poo on building" is bad but I can still say normal cuss words? What's the standard here?) but entirely misguided. If your intention is to reign in the chat, you're going about it completely wrong by invoking grade-school standards of "don't say peepeepoopoo jokes or you'll have to go sit in the corner". It shows no time was spent trying to come up with a plan and seeing what gets moderated and what is not, it's so very obvious that situations are purely being cherrypicked and the new "rules" are being used as excused to punish members that are disliked versus those that are. There's no clear standard or guideline being upheld, and any excuses for trying to frame it in existing rules have been farfetched at best.

Humor, especially if we're talking "potty humor" (christ, the fact I have to frame it like this), is an incredibly broad subject in its rhetoric and execution. It can range from the incredibly tame to the explicit and discomforting, as can be said about jokes involving any subject ranging from violence, murder, sex, or what have you. At the moment right now, the environment you're cultivating is like if I were to get banned from a TF2 server because I equipped Jarate. A blanket prohibition is absurd, and the execution is poor, and I'd hope that the moderation team would have the rationality to be able to distinguish what is crossing the line and what is not. But clearly not, based on what sorts of actions are being taken.

And, if we continue with such a system, it becomes obvious how clearly easy it is to abuse. Anyone can make an appropriate stink about something someone else is saying and bring about moderator action, and since there's no clear ruleset, it seems like all I have to do is complain about X person's behavior and suddenly they're just in the crosshairs, regardless of whether there truly was any problem with their conduction.

And onto Sith.

All you're demonstrating for me is a bias. You did not punish for past crimes nor illustrate any present rules that were broken. During the conversation that was present, there was no problem with any other member in the conversation that you recently punished him for. You admitted he broke no rule, could not bring one present, and admitted that it was a witch-hunt. I'm not talking about past examples here, because if you failed to act on those that's on you, and that's in the past. I'm talking about the present, and if you're bringing past interactions that have no relevance into current moderation, then that's acting irresponsibly.

Character alone also isn't the point here. Whether someone is a complete angel making a disconcerting post or a total asshat toeing the line, I expect them to be moderated fairly, over clear guidelines.

and I know WHY Havoc's post was deleted. It was incredibly tame, and the action you took was an incredible overreaction. If you're intent on "cleaning up the frontier" as you will, you need to do a much better job than this.

I think we've covered the first 3 paragraphs here (Unless you feel there are aspects that haven't been covered?). But to be clear, we can add some better clauses on how rules are handled so it's clearer on the approach we take to moderation. If this would clear up better on why actions such as these are taken, then great, if not, then why not?

We've covered the rules parts with our approach already. You're argument about things someone has done in the past not being applicable doesn't really hold up, unfortunately. A profile is going to be drawn up against someone who is repeatedly causing trouble, it doesn't just disappear or not come into light when said person does another action that causes trouble, I'm not sure where or what would follow such a system.
I don't think Voe explained the issue here very well in that chat log, but he can defend himself with that. I know that Sith has been flagged a lot with pushing the limits on what's acceptable. He's not the only one, but he does enjoy doing more often than others, and is louder about it.

Why is this incident the one that made you make this post? If this is something that's been going on for so long and you feel so strongly about, why haven't you reported it to anyone higher than Voe? As you've mentioned in Discord, you're a long standing member of this community, you've been around long enough to know how this works. I'm just confused by your approach of conversation in the IA channel and now this post before acting in any other way.

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22 minutes ago, TeamWolf said:

I've seen you state many times across your posts about a clear outlining of the subject matter needing to be addressed in the rules. However, if we started this approach, we'd be going with an endless list of every subject or phrases that you can't say/use and anything that isn't in that, that we've missed we will be slated for. that seems like the system you're going for.
Do you feel this an unfair assessment of what you're referring to and asking for?

Instead, we use the rules as area guidelines and expect people to use their common sense with certain subject matters. That way, with incidents such as these, we warn the offender(s) with what area/rule they have broken and why.

From what I've seen in the IA channel since this all happened, is Voe putting out the same continuous message of not to post such content and sticking to that. An emoji isn't really comparable to the content that's being moderated, and we've not had anyone complain about it. But if you do have a complain about it, then feel free to raise it in a separate thread and we'll all discuss it.
What and where do you feel the inconsistencies are being made from the repeated message being acted upon?

No, I do not feel that's a fair assessment. I've probably done a poor job communicating what it is I'm requesting be done.

I'm saying that the guidelines need to be concrete, and not so extreme. If the problem is users posting explicit written content, such as ejaculation jokes that forego any sort of cleverness and go straight for the shock value, or anything of the sort that we are considering to be the actual problem, then that would warrant an extension on the "Do not post porn/gore" such as "Do not post explicit/NSFW content". In the PM that Voe mentioned, regarding "keeping things PG-13", if we were to go by that standard then a poop joke like what NFHavoc had posted in his video's title would still be perfectly acceptable. Or, something along the lines of "Within reason, respect each other's boundaries" or some such. ("Within Reason", of course, meaning if anyone is complaining about Meta saying "Poopoo peepee" verbatum, honestly the mod would understand that's not an issue). An example of a rule regarding even written content, from another server, might look like this: http://puu.sh/J8kRo/3fd9029f27.jpg

None of these, of course, are hard and fast suggestions, just examples.

Yes, I would say a full-frontal vomit emoji is bad as someone just typing "I pooped on the refinery". Is it to say that emoji was bad? No! It's meant to illustrate how unreasonable the demand for tone-policing is becoming.

 

34 minutes ago, TeamWolf said:

Your reference to Alp making an example and it containing context with hate speech was actually explained to you at the time. It feels like you've either taken that quote out of context intentionally or weren't in the correct frame of mind to understand what he was trying to explain to you. The example he stated was in reference to the approach of moderation, that it's not an instant heavy handed approach, but a more cautionary and softer approach at first.

I understood the purpose of the post, in showing how disregarding a direct request can be disrespectful. However, the example given was still direct racism and slurs, and that's being put in comparison to poop jokes. It's not a fair comparison by any stretch, because I honestly do not think it's reasonable for a mod to request tone policing on the more innocent poop jokes (like what NFHavoc had posted).

37 minutes ago, TeamWolf said:

We've covered the rules parts with our approach already. You're argument about things someone has done in the past not being applicable doesn't really hold up, unfortunately. A profile is going to be drawn up against someone who is repeatedly causing trouble, it doesn't just disappear or not come into light when said person does another action that causes trouble, I'm not sure where or what would follow such a system.

I don't think Voe explained the issue here very well in that chat log, but he can defend himself with that. I know that Sith has been flagged a lot with pushing the limits on what's acceptable. He's not the only one, but he does enjoy doing more often than others, and is louder about it.

Why is this incident the one that made you make this post? If this is something that's been going on for so long and you feel so strongly about, why haven't you reported it to anyone higher than Voe? As you've mentioned in Discord, you're a long standing member of this community, you've been around long enough to know how this works. I'm just confused by your approach of conversation in the IA channel and now this post before acting in any other way.

It was actually just today/yesterday that such a line was crossed, when Voe started tone policing on video titles that really didn't deserve such action, as well as taking moderator action against Sith from a conversation last night that seriously did not warrant the action. Honestly it wasn't until the past 1-2 weeks or so that this tone policing really started to be something that's come up. I did not post anything in response to it when it first happened because, of course, when the "problems" were at their most rampant it involved people posting gifs of near-explicit content that toed the line for what could be considered pornographic, but was still clearly NSFW. Yeah, a fair number of it needed to be cracked down on. But, extending it to literally any joke involving the words "piss" or "poop" is honestly ridiculous. It's taking things way too far, demanding that the community police their tone to such an extreme, and is really only going to cause more problems.

If you want, I can run this new practice and how it's implemented by other moderators or people of much larger servers on their opinions of such a take. I'm pretty confident that I am far from the only one that thinks this current stance is far too extreme and power-abusing.

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