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Change to wording of Appeals Process

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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Sedgistan
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Change to wording of Appeals Process

Postby Sedgistan » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:06 pm

Original wording:
[violet] wrote:
Appeals Process


Appeals
For forum problems, you should start on the forums, preferably in Moderation with a link to the ruling that you're appealing. Asking for a second opinion is permitted. An exception to this is a forumban - that must be made via Getting Help to avoid breaking forumban. If two or more mods have already ruled on that case, or the thread is locked, that's it for the forums. Your next stage is a Getting Help request, or Final Appeal.

For game problems, Getting Help is your first choice. You may ask for a review of moderation decisions. If there are also forum issues, include links to the threads. For deletions, be certain to include another nation name or an email address where you may be reached. Game rulings are logged by the system, so we know who made the original ruling and will pass it to a different Game Mod for the appeal.

Final Appeals
If you feel that the first appeal was unjust, you may post a final appeal via the Getting Help page. Please note in your request that this is a final appeal. The appeal will be logged where all mods can see it, and will be judged by a panel of no less than three mods, excluding the original ruling mod and including at least one Senior Game Mod. The presence of a Senior is to ensure the panel is sufficiently experienced, not to provide a higher authority: the panel's decision will be reached by consensus, with no individual having greater influence than another.

Frivolous appeals may result in warnings to your nation. Most forum warnings and minor forumbans are likely to be considered frivolous. Final appeals may take several days, so be patient.

Please be aware, that while mods may choose to honor a third-party request for a second opinion at their discretion, they are not required to do so. Formal appeals must be made by the person who was subject of moderator action, and not by a third party. Third-party appeals will not be considered.

Admins, including Max Barry, are not moderators: they are not involved in rulings, including appeals. If you bypass this process and go directly to admin, they will almost certainly toss it back at the mods, or simply ignore it. Admins will only be involved in cases involving changes to the game framework, or serious claims of moderator abuse; e.g. that would require a moderator to be stood down. In this case, admins will be alerted by mods.

Please remember to remain polite and courteous at all times. This makes the appeal easier on everybody, including you.

New wording:
[violet] wrote:
Appeals Process


The following Appeals Process applies to a player who is the recipient of Moderator action - e.g. you are warned or banned, or have your thread locked. Formal appeals must be made by the person who was subject of moderator action, and not by a third party - an appeal lodged on behalf of another player will not be considered.

Moderators are not required to honor requests for a second opinion where the request is made by a third party or the individual making the report - e.g. if you report a post as flaming, and a Moderator rules it is not, there is no right to appeal. Moderators may choose provide a second opinion on request in such cases at their discretion, but are under no obligation to do so, and will not entertain Final Appeals in such cases.

Admins, including Max Barry, are not moderators: they are not involved in rulings, including appeals. If you bypass this process and go directly to admin, they will almost certainly toss it back at the mods, or simply ignore it. Admins will only be involved in cases involving changes to the game framework, or serious claims of moderator abuse; e.g. that would require a moderator to be stood down. In this case, admins will be alerted by mods.

Please remember to remain polite and courteous at all times. This makes the appeal easier on everybody, including you.

Appeals
For forum problems, you should start on the forums, preferably in Moderation with a link to the ruling that you're appealing. Asking for an appeal is permitted. An exception to this is a forumban - that must be made via Getting Help to avoid breaking forumban. If two or more mods have already ruled on that case, or the thread is locked, that's it for the forums. Your next stage is a Getting Help request, or Final Appeal.

For game problems, Getting Help is your first choice. You may ask for a review of moderation decisions. If there are also forum issues, include links to the threads. For deletions, be certain to include another nation name or an email address where you may be reached. Game rulings are logged by the system, so we know who made the original ruling and will pass it to a different Game Mod for the appeal.

Final Appeals
If you feel that the first appeal was unjust, you may post a final appeal via the Getting Help page. Please note in your request that this is a final appeal. The appeal will be logged where all mods can see it, and will be judged by a panel of no less than three mods, excluding the original ruling mod and including at least one Senior Game Mod. The presence of a Senior is to ensure the panel is sufficiently experienced, not to provide a higher authority: the panel's decision will be reached by consensus, with no individual having greater influence than another.

Frivolous appeals may result in warnings to your nation. Most forum warnings and minor forumbans are likely to be considered frivolous. Final appeals may take several days, so be patient.

The purpose of this is to provide clarity that the Appeals Process applies only to those who are subject to Moderator action. This guidance, as well as some of the other explanation of the process, has been moved to the top, rather than sitting under "Final Appeals" where it originally was, which might have led to a misunderstanding that the guidance applied only to Final Appeals.

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Postby Shazbotdom » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:00 pm

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:15 pm

Change control please


Why are automatic appeals being removed?
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Punished UMN
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Postby Punished UMN » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:29 pm

Frivolous appeals may result in warnings to your nation. Most forum warnings and minor forumbans are likely to be considered frivolous. Final appeals may take several days, so be patient.

Frivolousness should be defined, as otherwise its definition is arbitrary and just provides a deterrent to people to actually make appeals, even if they are justified. Moreover, I don't think it is at all justified to warn or ban people for a breach of the rules and then to warn or ban them for disputing the warning or ban. All this does is make it more difficult and risky for players to appeal warning or bans, because even if we don't think it's frivolous, or that the warning isn't justified, we can be "double-warned" so to speak. It would be like if a court said that pleading not-guilty is a crime if you're found guilty, it makes the moderators' jobs easier by making the rules more unfair for the user-base.
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:34 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:Why are automatic appeals being removed?

I'm not familiar with this concept. As far as I know, they've never been automatic. Where are you seeing this?

Punished UMN wrote:I don't think it is at all justified to warn or ban people for a breach of the rules and then to warn or ban them for disputing the warning or ban.

All that happens with frivolous appeals is that we don't hear them. There's no second warning or ban for frivolous appeals, though we have been known to block players from filing Getting Help reports when they continuously spam multiple GHR appeal requests.

Punished UMN wrote:Frivolousness should be defined

You know full well why we don't get into definitions.

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Punished UMN
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Postby Punished UMN » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:37 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:Why are automatic appeals being removed?

I'm not familiar with this concept. As far as I know, they've never been automatic. Where are you seeing this?

Punished UMN wrote:I don't think it is at all justified to warn or ban people for a breach of the rules and then to warn or ban them for disputing the warning or ban.

All that happens with frivolous appeals is that we don't hear them. There's no second warning or ban for frivolous appeals, though we have been known to block players from filing Getting Help reports when they continuously spam multiple GHR appeal requests.

Punished UMN wrote:Frivolousness should be defined

You know full well why we don't get into definitions.

That's my bad actually, I misread and thought that was an addition to the rules, but if nothing is changing on that front, then carry on, since that was the only issue I had with it.
Eastern Orthodox Christian. Prudish. Low-key bisexual. Purgatorial universalist.
Ascended beyond politics, now metapolitics is my best friend. Absolute pacifist. Proud member of the Napoleon Bonaparte fandom.
I have borderline personality disorder, if I overreact to something, try to approach me after the fact and I'll apologize.
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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:49 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:All that happens with frivolous appeals is that we don't hear them. There's no second warning or ban for frivolous appeals, though we have been known to block players from filing Getting Help reports when they continuously spam multiple GHR appeal requests.

The way that that reads is that it implies that losing a Final Appeal would instantly result in a worse punishment. I'm not one to GHR spam, but that discouraged me of thinking of ever filing a final appeal and think of it as a joke. Granted, I'm not one to rack up forumbans or DEATs so I'm not likely to file one anyway, but still.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:52 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:Why are automatic appeals being removed?

I'm not familiar with this concept. As far as I know, they've never been automatic. Where are you seeing this?

Punished UMN wrote:I don't think it is at all justified to warn or ban people for a breach of the rules and then to warn or ban them for disputing the warning or ban.

All that happens with frivolous appeals is that we don't hear them. There's no second warning or ban for frivolous appeals, though we have been known to block players from filing Getting Help reports when they continuously spam multiple GHR appeal requests.

Punished UMN wrote:Frivolousness should be defined

You know full well why we don't get into definitions.

From the above:

"...Moderators are not required to honor requests for a second opinion where the request is made by a third party or the individual making the report - e.g..."

This section is new, the older was an appeal can be requested.
The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion … but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.

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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:57 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:This section is new, the older was an appeal can be requested.

Asking for a second opinion was allowed and can still be requested, but it was never a guarantee that you'd get one according to Sedge. It was just something that moderators usually didn't invoke. It appears they want to invoke it more.
Last edited by The Reformed American Republic on Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Punished UMN
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Postby Punished UMN » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:33 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:
Frisbeeteria wrote:I'm not familiar with this concept. As far as I know, they've never been automatic. Where are you seeing this?


All that happens with frivolous appeals is that we don't hear them. There's no second warning or ban for frivolous appeals, though we have been known to block players from filing Getting Help reports when they continuously spam multiple GHR appeal requests.


You know full well why we don't get into definitions.

From the above:

"...Moderators are not required to honor requests for a second opinion where the request is made by a third party or the individual making the report - e.g..."

This section is new, the older was an appeal can be requested.

What it means is that they aren't required to get a second opinion if a moderator considers something non-actionable, and that reviews by other moderators or senior moderators are done at will, which kind of makes sense. The old way where players could keep pressing to get another player warned if it wasn't clear a rule was even broken was kind of silly.
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Ascended beyond politics, now metapolitics is my best friend. Absolute pacifist. Proud member of the Napoleon Bonaparte fandom.
I have borderline personality disorder, if I overreact to something, try to approach me after the fact and I'll apologize.
The political compass is like hell: if you find yourself on in it, keep going.
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Drop Your Pants
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Postby Drop Your Pants » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:36 pm

Admins, including Max Barry, are not moderators: they are not involved in rulings, including appeals

Maybe change that to Game Admins otherwise Reppy can't do anything :P
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:14 pm

Punished UMN wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:From the above:

"...Moderators are not required to honor requests for a second opinion where the request is made by a third party or the individual making the report - e.g..."

This section is new, the older was an appeal can be requested.

What it means is that they aren't required to get a second opinion if a moderator considers something non-actionable, and that reviews by other moderators or senior moderators are done at will, which kind of makes sense. The old way where players could keep pressing to get another player warned if it wasn't clear a rule was even broken was kind of silly.

If it's clear a rule is not broken, then yes, I would agree with you.

But to have the opportunity of an appeal from the reporting nation removed when it is not clear if a line has been crossed, and comes down to perspective, I have to disagree.

While it is ultimately up to moderation to decide the site rules, I do not personally feel this particular new clause is an improvement.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:57 am

The Reformed American Republic wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:This section is new, the older was an appeal can be requested.

Asking for a second opinion was allowed and can still be requested, but it was never a guarantee that you'd get one according to Sedge. It was just something that moderators usually didn't invoke. It appears they want to invoke it more.



Over time, confusion had developed between the formal right to appeal a moderation sanction on the part of the sanctioned party, and the informal process of requesting a second opinion when an individual making a report disagreed with a moderator when the latter ruled that a post was non-actionable. Furthermore, both the player base and the moderation team were increasingly using the terms interchangeably, leading to additional confusion over what constituted an appeal and what constituted a second opinion. The phrasing of the rules regarding the appeals process was also unclear on this point.

So this is not a change to the rules, but a clarification of an already existing distinction that had become muddied and confusing to both the player base and the moderation team over the years.

The twin goals of this edit are to A) clarify both the language and the existing process, B) clarify the grounds on which we can turn down a request for a second opinion where our traditional willingness to entertain that request is potentially being abused - something which is rare, but does occasionally happen.



For total clarity,

The right to appeal on the part of a sanctioned party was, and remains, a fundamental part of the site rules.

The granting of a request for a second opinion was, and remains, a courtesy; one granted more often than not, but neither an absolute right nor a moderator duty.
Last edited by The Archregimancy on Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:20 am

The Archregimancy wrote:
The Reformed American Republic wrote:Asking for a second opinion was allowed and can still be requested, but it was never a guarantee that you'd get one according to Sedge. It was just something that moderators usually didn't invoke. It appears they want to invoke it more.



Over time, confusion had developed between the formal right to appeal a moderation sanction on the part of the sanctioned party, and the informal process of requesting a second opinion when an individual making a report disagreed with a moderator when the latter ruled that a post was non-actionable. Furthermore, both the player base and the moderation team were increasingly using the terms interchangeably, leading to further confusion over what constituted an appeal and what constituted a second opinion. The phrasing of the rules regarding the appeals process was also unclear on this point.

So this is not a change to the rules, but a clarification of an already existing distinction that had become muddied and confusing to both the player base and the moderation team over the years.

The twin goals of this edit are to A) clarify both the language and the existing process, B) clarify the grounds on which we can turn down a request for a second opinion where our traditional willingness to entertain that request is potentially being abused - something which is rare, but does occasionally happen.



For total clarity,

The right to appeal on the part of a sanctioned party was, and remains, a fundamental part of the site rules.

The granting of a request for a second opinion was, and remains, a courtesy; one granted more often than not, but neither an absolute right nor a moderator duty.

While I dont wish to rules lawyer, that is not how it reads. the statement that an appeal is allowed without a qualification makes it an automatic appeal process. I appeal the moderator sends up the flare. Tbf I do Not remember a first appeal being denied, but the wording implies it wouldn't be.

A second point I would like to raise is the fairness of it. Generally it is a conflict of interest for the party who is making a ruling to determine if that ruling is appealable.
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Katganistan
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Postby Katganistan » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:13 pm

Who said that the person making the ruling decides if the ruling was correct? That's completely NOT the process, and I am not sure how you gleaned that from what's been said.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:22 pm

Katganistan wrote:Who said that the person making the ruling decides if the ruling was correct? That's completely NOT the process, and I am not sure how you gleaned that from what's been said.


I must not have been clear or i am misunderstanding what you said

The person making the initial ruling determines if an appeal can be made from that ruling. Currently by “sending up the flare” for a used phrase.

Are you saying a different moderator is going to make that decision on whether to allow an appeal?
Last edited by Ethel mermania on Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:24 pm

Katganistan wrote:Who said that the person making the ruling decides if the ruling was correct? That's completely NOT the process, and I am not sure how you gleaned that from what's been said.


If I'm reading Ethel's post correctly, the concern is that if someone making a report is dissatisfied with the ruling, and asks for a second opinion, then the moderator who offered the original ruling can then decide not to offer that second opinion.

This is separate from an individual who's been subject to a warning or ban appealing, in which case the original mod making the ruling would have no role in the subsequent appeal.

If I'm correct, then Ethel's point is understandable, but - to me at least - is a byproduct of this ongoing confusion over the difference between formal appeal process and the informal request for a second opinion. Or, more accurately, the widespread blurring of the distinction between the two.

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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:33 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:
Katganistan wrote:Who said that the person making the ruling decides if the ruling was correct? That's completely NOT the process, and I am not sure how you gleaned that from what's been said.


I must not have been clear or i am misunderstanding what you said

The person making the initial ruling determines if an appeal can be made from that ruling. Currently by “sending up the flare” for a used phrase.

Are you saying a different moderator is going to make that decision on whether to allow an appeal?


Appeals, as always, are requested by someone who's been warned or banned; the moderator who made the original decision isn't involved in that appeal.

Where a second opinion is requested by an individual who made the original report, this is at the discretion of the entire moderator team; where an informal second opinion is offered, it would be by a second moderator.

This has always been the process. The problem stems from the muddying of the distinction between formal appeal by the reported and sanctioned party and informal second opinion requested by the person making the original report.

Calling both of these appeals, when only the first is an appeal covered by the formal appeal process, is a key part of the problem, and something which this clarification is designed to address.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:44 pm

The Archregimancy wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:
I must not have been clear or i am misunderstanding what you said

The person making the initial ruling determines if an appeal can be made from that ruling. Currently by “sending up the flare” for a used phrase.

Are you saying a different moderator is going to make that decision on whether to allow an appeal?


Appeals, as always, are requested by someone who's been warned or banned; the moderator who made the original decision isn't involved in that appeal.

Where a second opinion is requested by an individual who made the original report, this is at the discretion of the entire moderator team; where an informal second opinion is offered, it would be by a second moderator.

This has always been the process. The problem stems from the muddying of the distinction between formal appeal by the reported and sanctioned party and informal second opinion requested by the person making the original report.

Calling both of these appeals, when only the first is an appeal covered by the formal appeal process, is a key part of the problem, and something which this clarification is designed to address.


I am misunderstanding a bit then. I am thinking that a second opinion request and an appeal are one and the same thing. I though the appeal was a single moderator making a decision on a second look, not a group of moderators making a deliberatve decision. My bad

To what you said, when a formal appeal is made of a decision it will be reviewed by a different moderator who will decide whether to grant the repeal request or not?
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:01 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:To what you said, when a formal appeal is made of a decision it will be reviewed by a different moderator who will decide whether to grant the repeal request or not?

The Appeals process as follows
  1. Original ruling made by a moderator
  2. Player appeals. If it's on the forums, any mod can "send up a flare", which gives us a visible "second opinion needed" indicator on the post / thread
  3. Whether via GHR or "flare", a previously uninvolved moderator provides the ruling on the appeal
  4. Player requests a Final Appeal, usually via GHR
  5. A team of moderators, not including the original or First Appeal moderator, come to a consensus and make the final ruling.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:16 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:To what you said, when a formal appeal is made of a decision it will be reviewed by a different moderator who will decide whether to grant the repeal request or not?

The Appeals process as follows
  1. Original ruling made by a moderator
  2. Player appeals. If it's on the forums, any mod can "send up a flare", which gives us a visible "second opinion needed" indicator on the post / thread
  3. Whether via GHR or "flare", a previously uninvolved moderator provides the ruling on the appeal
  4. Player requests a Final Appeal, usually via GHR
  5. A team of moderators, not including the original or First Appeal moderator, come to a consensus and make the final ruling.


Thanks for that clarification,

Dr. jones got to the gist of my issue and if i misunderstood something ... well... it isn’t the first time, and i am fairly certain it will not be the last.
The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion … but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.

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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:47 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:To what you said, when a formal appeal is made of a decision it will be reviewed by a different moderator who will decide whether to grant the repeal request or not?

The Appeals process as follows
  1. Original ruling made by a moderator
  2. Player appeals. If it's on the forums, any mod can "send up a flare", which gives us a visible "second opinion needed" indicator on the post / thread
  3. Whether via GHR or "flare", a previously uninvolved moderator provides the ruling on the appeal
  4. Player requests a Final Appeal, usually via GHR
  5. A team of moderators, not including the original or First Appeal moderator, come to a consensus and make the final ruling.

What typically happens if a player files one final appeal over a minor ban and it is deemed "frivolous?" What would typically happen to that player?

Not looking for any confrontation. Just curious.
Last edited by The Reformed American Republic on Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:03 pm

The "frivolous appeals" bit comes under Final Appeals deliberately. It's not applied to First Appeals. As others have said in the thread, it is incredibly rare for us to invoke this, but if someone were foolish enough to go to a Final Appeal for an unofficial warning or other minor mod action (moving a thread?), we reserve the right to dismiss it as Frivolous, and in rare cases warn the player.

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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:07 pm

Sedgistan wrote:The "frivolous appeals" bit comes under Final Appeals deliberately. It's not applied to First Appeals. As others have said in the thread, it is incredibly rare for us to invoke this, but if someone were foolish enough to go to a Final Appeal for an unofficial warning or other minor mod action (moving a thread?), we reserve the right to dismiss it as Frivolous, and in rare cases warn the player.

Thanks Sedge.

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CoraSpia
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Anarchy

Postby CoraSpia » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:20 am

Just curious as to when a second opinion is unlikely to be offered? For example I'll typically request a second opinion as a matter of course whenever something I report is ruled as not actionable, because well...it's just what I've always done, and the rules are so vague that different mods often have different readings of them. Is this going to lead to my requests for second opinions being dismissed out of hand in the future, because it's pretty much an automatic thing I do?
GVH has a puppet. He uses it to post in regions and on the forums. The identity of this puppet will forever remain a mystery.

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