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Appeals Process re-write

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 31911
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Appeals Process re-write

Postby Sedgistan » Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:12 am

We may have only re-written the appeals process earlier this year, but it has now been re-written again. There are no substantial changes to this, however it has been re-worded to better present it from the player's point of view.

Old text:
[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.


New text:
[violet] wrote:
Appeals Process


If you are warned, banned, deleted, or have content removed or locked by a mod, you may appeal. This invites a second moderator to review the decision and decide whether it was correct.

Who Can Appeal

You can only appeal a mod decision about your own content: You cannot lodge a "third-party appeal" on behalf of somebody else. This applies even if you are the original reporting party. For example, if you reported another player's post for flaming, and the moderator decided it didn't constitute a rule violation, you may not appeal.

You may not repeatedly appeal the same decision; see "Final Appeals" below.

Where to Lodge an Appeal

For most forum issues, such as a moderator warning you for something you posted in the forum, reply directly in the relevant thread, stating that you wish to appeal the decision. If this isn't possible, instead start a new thread in the Moderation forum with the pretitle "[APPEAL]."

If you've been banned from the forum, or your issue isn't forum-related, instead lodge an appeal by filing a Getting Help Request.

Don't post in the forum if you've been given a ban there, not even to lodge an appeal.

What to Say

The appeal will be reviewed by a moderator who was not involved with the original ruling, so you should make sure your appeal clearly states what, exactly, you are appealing. Don't assume the reviewing mod will automatically know what you're referring to.

You don't need to argue why the original decision was wrong, but do provide any additional context or information that might inform the mod's decision.

Where relevant, include links to forum threads. For account deletions, be certain to include another nation name or an email address where you may be reached.

Always remain polite and courteous. It may be upsetting to receive a warning or ban, but you must remain respectful throughout this process. Mods don't always get things right, but they are happy to overturn decisions when there has been a genuine error.

What Happens Next

You will receive a response via the same channel through which you filed your appeal. That is, if you filed a Getting Help Request, you will receive a Telegram; if you posted in the forum, that thread will receive a reply. This will come from a moderator who was not involved with the original decision. It will usually be prompt, but if you don't receive anything within 36 hours, you may inquire as to your appeal's status.

If the response to your appeal is still not satisfactory, you may lodge a "Final Appeal."

Final Appeals

Final Appeals are time-consuming, and you should lodge one only when you believe a significant injustice has occurred--not for minor forum warnings and short-term forumbans (which would be over before a Final Appeal could conclude). Frivolous appeals may result in warnings being added to your nation.

A Final Appeal is the only way to overturn the result of a regular appeal. You should lodge it in the same way you lodged your original appeal, stating that you are requesting a Final Appeal. It will be reviewed by a panel of three or more mods who weren't previously involved in the decision, including at least one Senior Game Moderator. (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.)

Final appeals usually take at least a few days, and sometimes much longer, so please be patient.

Admins (including Max Barry) are not moderators and not involved in rulings or 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, such as those that might cause a moderator to be stood down. In this case, you should file the appeal as normal, and admins will be alerted by mods.

Any questions, please ask.

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The Reformed American Republic
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Posts: 7417
Founded: May 23, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Reformed American Republic » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:51 pm

I understand that moderation was never obligated to give second opinions on reports (especially meritless ones) but players were allowed to ask for one under certain circumstances. Would it be out of line to ask why that is no longer allowed?

Thanks.
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Frisbeeteria
Senior Game Moderator
 
Posts: 26589
Founded: Dec 16, 2003
Anarchy

Postby Frisbeeteria » Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:15 pm

In addition to Sedge's revisions, we've also added a section on Legal Threats and Actions to the appeals process, as follows:

If a player commences legal action against NationStates, staff, and/or affiliates, we are required to terminate all future service. This may involve the deletion of all of the player's nations, as well as the private archiving of all posted content and/or log files. Moderators are not authorized to discuss any legal matters involving NationStates or its staff, and so will not be able to respond to appeals or requests for further information; instead, all communication should be conduced via legal representatives. Repeated threats of legal action will also generally result in a permanent ban from the site.


This is not a new policy, rather one that has been practiced backstage for some years now. We just decided that it could be made publicly known.

The Reformed American Republic wrote:I understand that moderation was never obligated to give second opinions on reports (especially meritless ones) but players were allowed to ask for one under certain circumstances.

A second opinion is effectively an appeal. For the same reason that you can't have more than one Appeal and Final Appeal, you can't bypass the process by a continuous stream of second, third, and x-th opinions.

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Ethel mermania
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Posts: 122115
Founded: Aug 20, 2010
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:48 pm

I think any appeal by either the OP or defendent should be automatically granted and a second ruling required.

A player should have the right to be heard. The second opinion can be as short as " dont see it" but it should be something

The rest i think is fine.
Last edited by Ethel mermania on Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Free Joy State
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Founded: Jan 05, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:14 pm

It is clear, though I am personally of the opinion that removing consideration of the OP/reporting party's request for a (single) second opinion is not beneficial.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Frisbeeteria
Senior Game Moderator
 
Posts: 26589
Founded: Dec 16, 2003
Anarchy

Postby Frisbeeteria » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:22 pm

The Free Joy State wrote:I am personally of the opinion that removing consideration of the OP/reporting party's request for a (single) second opinion is not beneficial.

But we're not removing it. We just call it a First Appeal. Why would we have an official process that allowed two appeals, but then allowed a third or fourth or fifth unofficial appeal? I honestly don't understand the objection.

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The Free Joy State
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Posts: 15327
Founded: Jan 05, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:31 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:I am personally of the opinion that removing consideration of the OP/reporting party's request for a (single) second opinion is not beneficial.

But we're not removing it. We just call it a First Appeal. Why would we have an official process that allowed two appeals, but then allowed a third or fourth or fifth unofficial appeal? I honestly don't understand the objection.

The former rule-set stated that the reporting party was allowed to request a second opinion (though, to my knowledge, not allowed an appeal) if the Moderator had ruled something non-actionable. The new ruleset states that is no longer the case (i.e. the reporting party is not allowed to appeal, and second opinions are not mentioned either):
Sedgistan wrote:This applies even if you are the original reporting party. For example, if you reported another player's post for flaming, and the moderator decided it didn't constitute a rule violation, you may not appeal.

While I understand that you Moderators must see many frivolous reports, I do think that a blanket ban is unhelpful and risks creating an imbalance.

I think the reporting party should at least have the right to request a second look.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ethel mermania
Post Kaiser
 
Posts: 122115
Founded: Aug 20, 2010
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:39 am

Frisbeeteria wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:I am personally of the opinion that removing consideration of the OP/reporting party's request for a (single) second opinion is not beneficial.

But we're not removing it. We just call it a First Appeal. Why would we have an official process that allowed two appeals, but then allowed a third or fourth or fifth unofficial appeal? I honestly don't understand the objection.

Thats not how the first two paragraphs of the appeals process read to me. If I am missing something let me know.
Last edited by Ethel mermania on Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 31911
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:17 am

I think that was unintentional, removing mention that we may choose to provide a second opinion for matters that don't qualify for an appeal. Bear with us...

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Ethel mermania
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Posts: 122115
Founded: Aug 20, 2010
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:29 am

Sedgistan wrote:I think that was unintentional, removing mention that we may choose to provide a second opinion for matters that don't qualify for an appeal. Bear with us...


I think the first appeal. ( either appeal or second opinion should be automagic). I would also equate second opinions with formal appeals.

I.e if the poster asks for a second opinion, that is the appeal.
Last edited by Ethel mermania on Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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.

http://www.salientpartners.com/epsilont ... ilizations

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Frisbeeteria
Senior Game Moderator
 
Posts: 26589
Founded: Dec 16, 2003
Anarchy

Postby Frisbeeteria » Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:38 am

Ethel mermania wrote:I think any appeal by either the OP or defendent should be automatically granted and a second ruling required.
Ethel mermania wrote:I think the first appeal. ( either appeal or second opinion should be automagic).

I don't think you're using these terms the same way we use these terms. ALL first appeals are heard / examined / accepted, but we reserve the term "granted" for appeals where the mod ruling is overturned, and "denied" for appeals where the ruling is upheld.
Last edited by Frisbeeteria on Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ethel mermania
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Posts: 122115
Founded: Aug 20, 2010
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:48 am

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:I think any appeal by either the OP or defendent should be automatically granted and a second ruling required.
Ethel mermania wrote:I think the first appeal. ( either appeal or second opinion should be automagic).

I don't think you're using these terms the same way we use these terms. ALL first appeals are heard / examined / accepted, but we reserve the term "granted" for appeals where the mod ruling is overturned, and "denied" for appeals where the ruling is upheld.


You are right, we are not speaking the same language. Also I find what you posted quite reasonable

Please Put it in the appeals process section. If I misread it I am sure others will as well
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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Bears Armed
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Founded: Jun 01, 2006
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Bears Armed » Sun Aug 22, 2021 2:19 am

Frisbeeteria wrote:In addition to Sedge's revisions, we've also added a section on Legal Threats and Actions to the appeals process, as follows:

If a player commences legal action against NationStates, staff, and/or affiliates, we are required to terminate all future service. This may involve the deletion of all of the player's nations, as well as the private archiving of all posted content and/or log files. Moderators are not authorized to discuss any legal matters involving NationStates or its staff, and so will not be able to respond to appeals or requests for further information; instead, all communication should be conduced via legal representatives. Repeated threats of legal action will also generally result in a permanent ban from the site.


This is not a new policy, rather one that has been practiced backstage for some years now. We just decided that it could be made publicly known.

I already suspected something along these lines to be applicable, based on how I'd seen Mods (or even Admins) ask players who seemed to be threatening legal action to clarify whether that was what they actually meant.
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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 31911
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:29 am

Sedgistan wrote:I think that was unintentional, removing mention that we may choose to provide a second opinion for matters that don't qualify for an appeal. Bear with us...

Small tweak made to clarify this:
Who Can Appeal

You can only appeal a mod decision about your own content: You cannot lodge a "third-party appeal" on behalf of somebody else. This applies even if you are the original reporting party. For example, if you reported another player's post for flaming, and the moderator decided it didn't constitute a rule violation, you may not 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 third party cases.


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