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Point of clarification re second opinions and appeals

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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The Cat-Tribe
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5548
Founded: Jan 18, 2005
Ex-Nation

Point of clarification re second opinions and appeals

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:09 pm

I am confused about the proper procedure regarding requests for second opinions and appeals. A recent post and the One Stop Rules Shop have raised some questions. None of these questions have anything whatsoever to do with the substance (or, to my knowledge, the process) of any pending matters involving me regarding Moderation. I would simply like clarification for myself for the future and for anyone who may be confused by this.

My confusion comes from the following two posts:
The One Stop Rules Shop says (emphasis added):
Appeals
For forum problems, you should start on the forums, preferably in the same thread where the original ruling was handed down. 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 theads. 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.

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.

A recent Senior Moderator ruling said (in part, emphasis in original):
Before I get into the details of this audit and what it means, I want to remind our players that the Moderation forum is not the place to file appeals. Appeals are to be filed via GHR, in part to prevent this exact spectacle from occurring. This and this should be GHRs, and this is completely unnecessary. Typically whatever punishment/warning/whatever we hand down is between us and the offender, and is not the concern of a third party. If you'd like to commiserate or discuss a friend's warning, please do it in TG or offsite. Since the proper appeals process was not carried out, I am auditing myself rather than calling in another mod to handle this.

....

I am confused on several grounds (and have one comment):

1. I fully understand the Senior Moderator's comments about third parties. Although I disagree with this policy, I believe I understand this is forum policy. I do take the rebuke seriously.

2. Unless a forumban is involved, the OSRS seems clear that the first request for second opinions should be made in the original Moderation thread, not in GHRs as the Senior Moderator suggests. Could someone please explain what is the "proper process" for a request of a second opinion on a Moderation ruling in an unlocked thread?

3. The OSRS itself is a bit confusing and the Senior Moderator's comments muddy the waters further as to the proper process. Is a request for second opinion the same as a first appeal? Does one get a second opinion, a first appeal, and a final appeal? Or does one get a first appeal and a final appeal and that is it?

Thank you for any light that can be shed on this and any time taken doing so. :bow:
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Tsaraine
Retired Moderator
 
Posts: 4033
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Tsaraine » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:06 pm

Hmm ... I'll agree that the OSRS is a bit at odds to how things actually play out. We should maybe update it if it gets to be a big enough problem. The "second opinion" thing is essentially if player A trolls someone, player B reports them, Moderator X warns them for trolling, player A says "No I wasn't!" and then Moderator Y comes along to say "Oh yes you were, and here's the OSRS line to prove it". Fairly open and shut, and if they still think their warning is wrong they submit a formal appeal through the GHR.

What tends to actually happen is that player A gets warned for trolling, protests bitterly, pulls in supporting evidence from players C, D, and E, player B accuses player A of having a vendetta against them and supplies evidence supporting their view, Moderator X goes "aargh, this is complicated", and makes a thread about it in the Sekrit Moderator Lair. Moderators Y, Z, W, Q, R and ß weigh in with more evidence, suppositions, off-topic rambling, jokes, and philosophical musings about the role of moderators, the use of soft versus hard power, and the nature of authority on an online forum (this happens a lot more than you'd think). A week or so later we manage to cobble together a consensus on what should be done, someone manages to bring things back down to earth and drafts a response, other moderators chime in, and finally it gets sorted. In this case, the second opinion kinda merges with the appeal, and if there is a formal appeal after that it's generally easier to address because we've already gone over the case and reached a consensus.

One of the reasons your second opinion thingy is taking so long is that we're discussing it in depth, and meanwhile we have to stop all the time to deal with ordinary trolls, spammers, porn spammers, eating, sleeping, working, and so forth. :P

~ Tsar the Mod

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NERVUN
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 29208
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Right-wing Utopia

Postby NERVUN » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:12 am

Pretty much what Tsar said, Cat. Believe you, me, this was chewed over, rechewed over, served as left overs, frozen, dug out, reheated, re-served, and involved (At last count) just about every single active Mod and Admin with the exception of Sedeg, who only avoided it because he was assimilated yesterday. :p

In the end, it was felt that since Melk was reversing his ruling, he had the, er, honor, of posting it.
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The Cat-Tribe
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5548
Founded: Jan 18, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:03 am

I thank you both for the reply, Tsar and NERVUN, but I wasn't questioning Melkor's ruling on the merits or how it was arrived at.

I was questioning what a poster is supposed to do if they recieve an adverse ruling in a Moderation thread. Melkor's ruling says they should file a GHR and to post in the thread is improper. The OSRS says the opposite.

I understand from Tsar's answer that the second opinion versus first appeal line is murky. I leave that to Modly wisdom to clarify (if need be) at a later date.
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Melkor Unchained
Retired Moderator
 
Posts: 4647
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Melkor Unchained » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:57 am

I believe The Technicality lies here:

For forum problems, you should start on the forums, preferably in the same thread where the original ruling was handed down. 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.

The initial ruling was discussed/decided by myself and another moderator. Looking back this wasn't made clear, so I can understand why the appeals took place where they did. At any rate, no one is in any trouble for it and I apologize for the confusion: the initial ruling probably should have included some mention of a collaborative decision. That particular wording is in the OSRS to act as a check against adverse unilateral rulings.
Last edited by Melkor Unchained on Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I am the Elder King: Melkor, first and mightiest of the Valar, who was before the world, and made it. The shadow of my purpose lies upon Arda, and all that is in it bends slowly and surely to my will. But upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair."


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