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Honest question about moderating decisions

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Newmanistan
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Honest question about moderating decisions

Postby Newmanistan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:51 pm

Hello, moderating team. I have a question, and my intention is just for an honest answer, and not to criticize.

I have noticed that when responding to a thread created to spam (not the extreme ones), you will often choose to simply lock it, and not delete it. It seems to me that the utter uselessness of these threads should warrant an instant delete, and by keeping them, they remain on page 1 or bumped up longer then they need to, thus keeping a legitimate thread on page 2. You can also argue that by keeping the thread visible, despite your lock, that the spammer has succeeded in a small way.

Is there a reason you choose to not just delete these pointless threads outright?
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NERVUN
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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby NERVUN » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:16 pm

Newmanistan wrote:Hello, moderating team. I have a question, and my intention is just for an honest answer, and not to criticize.

I have noticed that when responding to a thread created to spam (not the extreme ones), you will often choose to simply lock it, and not delete it. It seems to me that the utter uselessness of these threads should warrant an instant delete, and by keeping them, they remain on page 1 or bumped up longer then they need to, thus keeping a legitimate thread on page 2. You can also argue that by keeping the thread visible, despite your lock, that the spammer has succeeded in a small way.

Is there a reason you choose to not just delete these pointless threads outright?

We're lazy and don't want to do the work. Locking a thread is just a button click. :p

Ok, serious answer is that unless there is something very wrong with it, we usually do not delete threads outright just in case we need to go back to them later for a history check or other reasons. Since we have a rather busy forum, they never stick around that long before they sink off.
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Zephie
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Founded: Oct 30, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby Zephie » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:19 pm

I have a question too, and I think I may as well ask it here than making another thread. Why aren't people notified if they are warned? Does the mod team not consider the possibility someone might abandon a thread, but be warned on it, and never notice they have been? It's not because of a personal development, it's just something that has been making me ponder.
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NERVUN
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Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby NERVUN » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:29 pm

Zephie wrote:I have a question too, and I think I may as well ask it here than making another thread. Why aren't people notified if they are warned? Does the mod team not consider the possibility someone might abandon a thread, but be warned on it, and never notice they have been? It's not because of a personal development, it's just something that has been making me ponder.

Well, your warnings are recorded in the user control panel and we will, when asked, TG a user who requests why if they abaonded thread without seeing the warning.

Honestly, I am not too sure about how many times though people have not seen their warnings given that most NS players tend to share a certain, ah, shall we say bulldog mentality, and have trouble letting go of ANY argument. ;)
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Zephie
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Founded: Oct 30, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby Zephie » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:33 pm

NERVUN wrote:
Zephie wrote:I have a question too, and I think I may as well ask it here than making another thread. Why aren't people notified if they are warned? Does the mod team not consider the possibility someone might abandon a thread, but be warned on it, and never notice they have been? It's not because of a personal development, it's just something that has been making me ponder.

Well, your warnings are recorded in the user control panel and we will, when asked, TG a user who requests why if they abaonded thread without seeing the warning.

Honestly, I am not too sure about how many times though people have not seen their warnings given that most NS players tend to share a certain, ah, shall we say bulldog mentality, and have trouble letting go of ANY argument. ;)

Well I still think it's a suggestion worth considering :) Because it makes me think of the possible scenario of someone being warned unofficially not to do something, but they overlook it and repeat the behavior, then the mod might say "you were already told not to do this"
When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against each other through class warfare, race hatred, or religious intolerance, you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.
Senestrum wrote:I just can't think of anything to say that wouldn't get me warned on this net-nanny forum.

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:55 am

Ah ... generally speaking, people are warned visibly, so I'm not getting what your point is. Warnings are given in-thread, all very simple to see what with the big redblock text that jumps off the page, and when dealt with in the system, there's this lovely little line that one fills out that is sent to the nation in question.

There really shouldn't be much of an excuse for 'but I didn't know' especially considering we've got the site rules and guidelines posted all over the site in clearly-laid-out ways that all are encouraged to read up on. Those who don't? Well that isn't our responsibility when we've done all we can to make it simple for players to be aware.

If you're participating in a thread, its your responsibility to read the posts preceding your contribution, so your scenario again, is not something that would be our fault. We can't force people to read, that's your problem. Given it is also very easy to see at a glance when a moderator has posted in a thread, participatory or in an official capacity, perhaps its best to pay attention to that. Just in case.

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Zephie
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Ex-Nation

Postby Zephie » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:02 am

There really shouldn't be much of an excuse for 'but I didn't know' especially considering we've got the site rules and guidelines posted all over the site in clearly-laid-out ways that all are encouraged to read up on. Those who don't? Well that isn't our responsibility when we've done all we can to make it simple for players to be aware.

I wouldn't exactly call it simple, when people have been warned for the vaguest accusations of trolling when that was not their intention in the first place.


Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:If you're participating in a thread, its your responsibility to read the posts preceding your contribution, so your scenario again, is not something that would be our fault. We can't force people to read, that's your problem. Given it is also very easy to see at a glance when a moderator has posted in a thread, participatory or in an official capacity, perhaps its best to pay attention to that. Just in case.

I still don't understand how difficult it is for someone to receive something simple as a telegram telling them they committed a forum offense and a link to the post in question. Would it not be the moderators responsibility to let the forum member know they committed an offense? Is warning not supposed to be a way of telling people to stop a certain behavior? And wouldn't that be posts succeeding your contribution? I find it bit of a poor excuse to try to push the responsibility onto the members to periodically check every thread they have discussed in to see if they have been unofficially or officially warned. This isn't a complaint, it's a suggestion.
Last edited by Zephie on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against each other through class warfare, race hatred, or religious intolerance, you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.
Senestrum wrote:I just can't think of anything to say that wouldn't get me warned on this net-nanny forum.

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Panzerjaeger
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Founded: Sep 15, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Panzerjaeger » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:06 am

Zephie wrote:
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:If you're participating in a thread, its your responsibility to read the posts preceding your contribution, so your scenario again, is not something that would be our fault. We can't force people to read, that's your problem. Given it is also very easy to see at a glance when a moderator has posted in a thread, participatory or in an official capacity, perhaps its best to pay attention to that. Just in case.

I still don't understand how difficult it is for someone to receive something simple as a telegram telling them they committed a forum offense and a link to the post in question. And wouldn't that be posts succeeding your contribution? I find it bit of a poor excuse to try to push the responsibility onto the members to periodically check every thread they have discussed in to see if they have been unofficially or officially warned. This isn't a complaint, it's a suggestion.

I agree with Zephie there was once when I got a warning in a thread about a week after I made the post. I had zero recollection of the thread or even my post and I had to post in moderation to get a clarification. I am also growing tired of Nath's attitude especially over something as simple as a suggestion. To accuse players of whining and other nonsense when they are being polite and asking for clarification or even offering suggestions is beyond obnoxious.
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South Lorenya
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Founded: Feb 14, 2007
Ex-Nation

Postby South Lorenya » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:14 am

On a side note, occasionally we get someone who has a rap sheet longer than Jormungandr that claims that they never did anything wrong; in return, the mods will whip out a list of offenses: "You were warned for flaming it posts X, Y, Z, trolling in posts V and W, spamming in post N, and detonating a nuclear weapon without a license in post K. Naturally, since the posts are still around (albeit languishing on page 137 of NSG), anyone can click those links and see that they did, in fact, flame/troll/spam/nuke. If the mods moved all the offending posts to the mods-only forum or outright deleted them, it wouldn't be quite as easy to point out that said poster caused so much trouble.
Last edited by South Lorenya on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Melkor Unchained
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Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Melkor Unchained » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:31 am

To clear up a few things:

  • There is no official statute of limitations on rules violations. We might self-impose one in extreme cases (i.e., it was something that had been reported before but we ignored or overlooked, or that it happened so excessively long ago as to render us apathetic to the report), but as a general rule it won't matter whether we discover an infraction within a day or a month.
  • South Lorenya is correct; locked threads (especially those fraught with rules violations) are often kept "alive" in order to retain some public evidence. The delete archive is typically only used for extreme spamming or inappropriate content.
  • I have lobbied for a tool to auto-TG someone with a link when they're warned on the forum (or a self-explanatory note when they're banned), but we either can't do it or no one has gotten around to it. The current system of warning is a consequence of our moderators having two levels of access: forum mods can't look up a nation in the game-side Moderation Centre and thus cannot send telegrams as "NationStates Moderators." A possible solution could be to enable PM's for moderators only.
  • I fail to see where Nathi "Accuses players of whining," and suspect one or more readers may be taking her remarks overly personally. If read in a more speculative tone, all she's really saying is that the best defense is a good offense and to be aware of your responsibilities and obligations as a player. She's not saying you have to put every thread you post in under a microscope; just to be aware of what's going on in it (which you hopefully are if you're posting there). Warnings are tracked in the user CP anyway, and if you have questions about them we're obligated to answer.

Shortly after we moved to these new fora, I brought some of these complaints to light; especially after we came down on someone who didn't know they had been banned. At first we didn't believe him, but on a hunch one of us banned a moderator's puppet to see what happened when you tried to access the forum. As it turned out, the page that displayed didn't bother to inform the user of any ban, and may have seemed to be a technical issue. Subsequently we offered a reprieve on deleting nations for ban evasions until that was fixed.
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The Most Glorious Hack
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Most Glorious Hack » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:12 am

Zephie wrote:I still don't understand how difficult it is for someone to receive something simple as a telegram telling them they committed a forum offense and a link to the post in question.
And I still don't understand how difficult it is for someone to follow the rather basic rules we have. Especially when they basically boil down to "don't be a tool".
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Nobel Hobos
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Ex-Nation

Postby Nobel Hobos » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:36 am

I agree with Zephie here. In-thread warnings should always be accompanied by a TG to the player who was warned.

I'd like to add: thread locks should always have a mod statement, however brief, as to why they were locked.
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Shazbotdom
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Anarchy

Postby Shazbotdom » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:31 am

It would take up too much time for a moderator to send out telegrams for every single warning. Just don't break the rules, like Hack says, and you will be fine.
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South Lorenya
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Ex-Nation

Postby South Lorenya » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:58 am

I'm sure the staff could edit the warning system to auto-telegram the recipient as part of the "update warning level" routine, but the mods are rather busy handling the standard summer influx of troublemakers.

Auto-notifying people (and their puppets) of a tempban probably should be a higher priority than other autonotifies, though; it'd suck if Bigtopia got a one-day ban and then Bigpuppetopia posted five minutes later, not knowing that their main nation was tempbanned.
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Melkor Unchained
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Ex-Nation

Postby Melkor Unchained » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:43 am

Nobel Hobos wrote:I agree with Zephie here. In-thread warnings should always be accompanied by a TG to the player who was warned.

I'd like to add: thread locks should always have a mod statement, however brief, as to why they were locked.

like... two posts before, I wrote:
  • I have lobbied for a tool to auto-TG someone with a link when they're warned on the forum (or a self-explanatory note when they're banned), but we either can't do it or no one has gotten around to it. The current system of warning is a consequence of our moderators having two levels of access: forum mods can't look up a nation in the game-side Moderation Centre and thus cannot send telegrams as "NationStates Moderators." A possible solution could be to enable PM's for moderators only.


It has come up before, and nothing has yet been done. Forum moderators and game moderators have different levels of access, and we're unlikely to adopt a system that requires the use of both to apply forum warnings. Maybe we'll streamline this procedure in the future, but for now your best bet is to watch your control panel and ask about any warnings you don't already know about, if you have any.
Last edited by Melkor Unchained on Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Horror Channel
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Founded: Jan 27, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Horror Channel » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:13 am

Panzerjaeger wrote:
Zephie wrote:
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:If you're participating in a thread, its your responsibility to read the posts preceding your contribution, so your scenario again, is not something that would be our fault. We can't force people to read, that's your problem. Given it is also very easy to see at a glance when a moderator has posted in a thread, participatory or in an official capacity, perhaps its best to pay attention to that. Just in case.

I still don't understand how difficult it is for someone to receive something simple as a telegram telling them they committed a forum offense and a link to the post in question. And wouldn't that be posts succeeding your contribution? I find it bit of a poor excuse to try to push the responsibility onto the members to periodically check every thread they have discussed in to see if they have been unofficially or officially warned. This isn't a complaint, it's a suggestion.

I agree with Zephie there was once when I got a warning in a thread about a week after I made the post. I had zero recollection of the thread or even my post and I had to post in moderation to get a clarification. I am also growing tired of Nath's attitude especially over something as simple as a suggestion. To accuse players of whining and other nonsense when they are being polite and asking for clarification or even offering suggestions is beyond obnoxious.



There seems to be a growing number of posters who have noticed this trend.

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:34 pm

Never once did I accuse anyone of whining, nor implied it in any way. I was merely trying to point out that while we as Moderators have responsibilities that we do our best to keep up on, you as players have responsibilities as well - for yourselves, your choices, and your actions here on the forums. You, who happen to outnumber us by a fair margin, I might add, and on who's account we're kept as busy as we are with things.

Think of it this way: If everyone could behave themselves, we wouldn't need any Moderators.

I was under the impression, given the setup of the tools at my disposal, that a tg was sent - as there's a 'reason shown to player' sort of thing there that I always fill out whenever a warning is given. If I'm mistaken on that, then I apologize.

In any case, I'm not going to entertain baseless accusations from players who have a personal agenda due to getting their hands slapped for one reason or other. If you have a legitimate complaint about any action or post of mine, feel free to file a GHR on it, or bring it up properly here in Moderation for review.

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Ardchoille
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Posts: 9842
Founded: Apr 18, 2004
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ardchoille » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:17 pm

You think Nathi's terse? You plainly don't remember Fris. Or Hack. Or GMC. Or ... hell, just about any one of us, when we run into the nth repetition of something that's clearly addressed in the rules.

We're polite when politeness is warranted. If you think any one of us has been impolite, the first step is not to fire off a heated reply. It's this: go away and have a cup of coffee. Then come back and read over what was said; you may have taken personally something that was a general comment. If you're still offended, you might try just putting it down to a once-off from another irritated human being, the way mods do with a lot of minor flames we see. Or, if you decide it's too much and a pattern of nastiness, submit a GHR, with links. We really do read those, do discuss them and do pay attention to them.

My personal opinion is that Nathi's style brings -- and has always brought -- a highly desirable dose of reality to player interactions. She's plainly on the side of those who stick to the rules and just want to play NS and have fun without being hassled. People noticed, and now she's a mod. Seems simple to me.

In the long run, if you do something stupid, you can expect to get told you've done something stupid. If that offends you, stop doing stupid things. (Note generic "you". :D)

On Zephie's other point, like Nathi, I thought that the "reason for warning" line we always fill in automatically went to the player. I (mis)remembered the earlier problem as being related to bans only. Melkor's updated you on how things are at present. We'll stay in touch on that one.

I'm now locking this because I think the points that needed to be made, have been made. Suits, NH?
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