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Changing of DEN punishments.

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Flanderlion
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Changing of DEN punishments.

Postby Flanderlion » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:02 am

Hi,

Recently Moderation has reversed the permanent ban of the region DEN existing (providing it is not DEN themed). This was expressly said as the founding of any region named 'den' was permanently prohibited in the Predator punishments.
viewtopic.php?p=28235164#p28235164

As an ex-native/non-Predator user of DEN, the idea that this ruling is changed 5 years later without consultation isn't exactly welcome. Additionally, it being then refounded by an active GPer seems against the misguided idea of it being opened up. I personally would prefer the region to remain reserved, but if not, a player who was not around for DEN/did not know about the regions history/founded it for their love of kittens or something rather than using it as a theme to escape a ruling, would be preferable. The current Founder is none of those. NSGP has not fully moved past DEN's existence, with it still being regularly brought up, and is still the largest raiding organisation in modern NS with the largest ops/piler counts/updaters on the raiding side.

After an offsite discussion, it was suggested to bring this up in Moderation about the policy changing. Ideally, it would be cleared again, the name remaining reserved, and punishments for bad faith be added to the Founder, but I care more about the region being reserved/remaining gone/outside of being a GPer trophy rather than specific punishments for individuals.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:20 am

Added context: this is about the region Den. Mod post on the RMB:

We've had a few Getting Help Requests about this region, so for the record: we have allowed this region to exist, under strict conditions that it does not violate our prohibition on DEN-themed regions.

Any sort of DEN-related theming, including allowing DEN-themed nations in, running the region as a raider group, pinning DEN-related dispatches, discussing DEN on the RMB, and so on, will result in the region being shut down immediately.

So long as the region remains about cute fluffy animals, it's okay.


My view is essentially that it's 5 years since the Predator punishments. DEN/Cimmeria themed regions should remain prohibited for all time. This is not one. For a start, it's "Den"; secondly it's very restricted in its actions - anything at all that makes it look like the region is being DEN themed will result in the region being shut down. It's been long enough that we can allow this harmless region.

Yes, it's owned by a gameplayer and I guess it's a trophy region for someone. But there's not much to brag about holding a region that can only ever be fluffy animal themed. And the main intent of this aspect of the Predator punishments - a permanent end to DEN/Cimmeria themed organisations - remains in place.

That's not an end point to the discussion. We'll listen to viewpoints.

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Postby Flanderlion » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:49 am

Sedgistan wrote:Added context: this is about the region Den. Mod post on the RMB:

We've had a few Getting Help Requests about this region, so for the record: we have allowed this region to exist, under strict conditions that it does not violate our prohibition on DEN-themed regions.

Any sort of DEN-related theming, including allowing DEN-themed nations in, running the region as a raider group, pinning DEN-related dispatches, discussing DEN on the RMB, and so on, will result in the region being shut down immediately.

So long as the region remains about cute fluffy animals, it's okay.


My view is essentially that it's 5 years since the Predator punishments. DEN/Cimmeria themed regions should remain prohibited for all time. This is not one. For a start, it's "Den"; secondly it's very restricted in its actions - anything at all that makes it look like the region is being DEN themed will result in the region being shut down. It's been long enough that we can allow this harmless region.

Yes, it's owned by a gameplayer and I guess it's a trophy region for someone. But there's not much to brag about holding a region that can only ever be fluffy animal themed. And the main intent of this aspect of the Predator punishments - a permanent end to DEN/Cimmeria themed organisations - remains in place.

That's not an end point to the discussion. We'll listen to viewpoints.

Over a thousand nations - majority of them uninvolved with Predator, and most even uninvolved with offsite were moved to TRR in the mod action. There are active R/Ders, an Issue Editor, delegates, CTEd nations, and who knows what most of the RMB focused natives ended up doing. Still the largest to my knowledge mod movement of nations from an individual proper region, second only to Nugut (the jump point). There was a lot of disagreement with the decision in the first place, but it was decided that the decision then was final, and the region would remain destroyed forever. We weren't happy, but we moved on. But now, out of the blue, Moderation is now allowing a GPer who has talked about the region, and refounding it for literal years exclusive ownership of it in return for having a kitten theme and ensuring other players do not mention anything of the past. It shouldn't exist, and if it is allowed to, whatever the theme, non rule-breaking natives should've been consulted like Chan Islanders etc. (not specifically him, but he's a good example of a player who was a native yet never was offsite) The region should either been given to them, or mods should have ensured it went to a nation without prior knowledge of DEN's history/involvement in GP.

It's still a very well known region, despite the time passing. It's mentioned regularly both on and offsite in terms of being a raiding region (last RMB post apart from now on it was a week ago). I don't see another raiding region looking close to matching it in the short to even medium term. I personally don't see why the site would want a constant drama source of players pushing the lines, stoking controversy about punishments. Even if this player keeps it sticking rigidly to the guidelines, the odds are they'll CTE and the next one won't. The founder before this was just recently taken out by mod action.
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:21 am

A few points to make:

If you're going to continue to place such heavy restrictions on what constitutes a "DEN theme," I would scrap this decision and go back to these regions being on the blocked name list. You're practically inviting players to end up running afoul of the rules as they become less aware of the details of this policy over time. Just as one example of how this could go wrong, if a nation with a DEN flag moves in there for a few days, a week, whatever, and isn't ejected and banned because the Founder didn't notice, are you going to punish the Founder because you'll have no way of knowing whether he truly didn't notice or he was just letting it slide? If it happens like a year from now, how about the player whose nation has the DEN flag, even though maybe they'd have no idea they're not supposed to have it? These prohibitions aren't listed somewhere prominently accessible like the FAQ or OSRS. If you're going to leave "DEN-themed" regions prohibited, just leave the regions prohibited. You're inviting unintentional rule-breaking if you let these regions exist with these heavy restrictions imposed. We don't need more Predator-related deletions.

My second point is I think instead of doing that, you should just remove all the restrictions. It's been five years since Predator, emotions were high at the time, the punishments in hindsight were extremely excessive and based on emotions running high, and I think it's fair to say five years later "it's been five years, we're moving on." There were incarnations of DEN before the last one that never collectively and purposely broke any rules, over a span of much longer than five years. I think it's wrong to keep a legacy that is historic to gameplay permanently banned based on the breaking of what were, especially at the time, extremely ambiguous and complicated script rules. Let's just let it go. You don't have to admit the punishments were excessive, though they were, to just move on five years later. Whatever the merits of the punishments, they worked, and there's no reason to believe raiders reviving DEN would revert to rule-breaking given the punishments did their job.

Finally, even if you decide to take none of the above under consideration or ultimately you dismiss it, please, please reconsider the implications of making raiding part of a DEN theme. Dozens and dozens of regions -- maybe it's more -- throughout NS history have raided. You're saying this region is fine as long as it stays fluffy animal themed. Why would raids by this region that are fluffy animal themed not also be fine? But more importantly, this flies in the face of years of moderation policy stating that you don't want to make subjective determinations about what constitutes illegal raiding and griefing, hence the removal of the old griefing rules, hence your dismissal of every request to make raiding illegal. When is a raid a raid? If a couple nations from this region move to a region for the purpose of one becoming WA Delegate and then alter nothing about that region, or make alterations that look more like region-building than raiding, is that going to be a raid? You can bet defenders will GHR it as one, just like they used to religiously GHR anything that might or might not have been a violation of the griefing rules. If it's determined to be a raid, even though maybe it isn't, who faces the consequences? Those nations? The Founder of Den? Anyone in Den? Based on past moderation statements, I can't imagine why you would want to delve into this complicated quagmire where you're back to determining whether something is or isn't illegal R/D.

In summary, I feel like this policy was not well thought through and, much like the unprecedented punishments that were handed down five years ago, the decision to free up these names again wasn't based on reasonable deliberation. Certainly, there was no consultation with the community of players affected before just deciding to reverse this policy (which, actually, you could say is everyone, but I primarily mean the gameplay community). I don't know how much discussion of this took place behind the scenes, but I hope you'll revisit it with some of the points I've made here in mind, especially the bad, bad place you're taking all of us and especially yourselves by reversing years of policy that you're not going to make subjective calls about R/D.
Last edited by Cormactopia Prime on Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Durm
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Postby Durm » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:33 am

Flanderlion wrote:punishments for bad faith be added to the Founder

If someone is told something is legal, they shouldn't be punished for doing it.
Cormactopia Prime wrote:if a nation with a DEN flag moves in there for a few days, a week, whatever, and isn't ejected and banned because the Founder didn't notice

The region has a password.
Cormactopia Prime wrote:If a couple nations from this region move to a region for the purpose of one becoming WA Delegate

...then it is WA multiing. The region has a password and all of the nations in it are puppets.
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:38 am

Durm wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:punishments for bad faith be added to the Founder

If someone is told something is legal, they shouldn't be punished for doing it.

Very much agreed with this, for the record. The current Founder did absolutely nothing wrong.

Durm wrote:
Cormactopia Prime wrote:if a nation with a DEN flag moves in there for a few days, a week, whatever, and isn't ejected and banned because the Founder didn't notice

The region has a password.
Cormactopia Prime wrote:If a couple nations from this region move to a region for the purpose of one becoming WA Delegate

...then it is WA multiing. The region has a password and all of the nations in it are puppets.

That's the case now, but may not always be the case. You may not always be the Founder. This may not be the only DEN region revived. I'm here to talk about the implications this policy could have in the future and in other regions. While Den has been used as an example to make my points, it's unlikely to be the only example.

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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:38 pm

I don't know who refounded it, but as said above, they're an active gameplayer. This isn't some issues player who just liked the name. It's someone who undoubtably knows the history and is aware of DEN as a rule-breaking raider region. Furthermore, they appear to be doing nothing with the region.

My point is that this is still implicitly a trophy region, and I suspect it's more explicit off-site. You can't police that, so really the only decent options are to delete this region, or to lift the ban entirely.

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Durm
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Postby Durm » Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:09 am

Bormiar wrote:I don't know who refounded it, but as said above, they're an active gameplayer. This isn't some issues player who just liked the name. It's someone who undoubtably knows the history and is aware of DEN as a rule-breaking raider region. Furthermore, they appear to be doing nothing with the region.

My point is that this is still implicitly a trophy region, and I suspect it's more explicit off-site. You can't police that, so really the only decent options are to delete this region, or to lift the ban entirely.

There is nothing more explicit off-site.
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Flanderlion
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Postby Flanderlion » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:29 pm

With a region (DEN II) recently cleaned by moderators, I'd like to revisit the fact that someone can hold the DEN region. They're an active GPer, player with thousands of nations actively founding more each day, so they're not exactly an amateur player with no clue about the region and growing it as a fluffy animal paradise as the WFE says it is. Quick search on the NSGP Discord leads to 60+ mentions from this player about den. Rules about trophies/bragging only apply onsite. A quick look at the region shows den is purely just existing. I think the block should return on the name/the existing one should be removed.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:49 pm

DEN II was a very different situation; the WFE was fully DEN themed - it looked like a copy of one of the old pre-predator DEN WFEs.

As for the "Den" region, as expected, absolutely nothing has been done with it by the player that owns it.

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Postby Flanderlion » Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:44 am

Sedgistan wrote:DEN II was a very different situation; the WFE was fully DEN themed - it looked like a copy of one of the old pre-predator DEN WFEs.

As for the "Den" region, as expected, absolutely nothing has been done with it by the player that owns it.

I saw. The filter that prevents Nazi regions should also prevent DEN regions being created. Ultimately, if a region is banned/no one is allowed to even use the theme, the region itself should also be off-limits, especially in this case where it's an active GPer.

I don't see how nothing being done with it is a defense, isn't that a reason to remove it? There is no pros, only cons to keeping it/leaving it off the filter. I didn't agree with the moderation decision at the time to remove the region (should've just deleted the founder and let defenders destroy it), but once the decision was made, allowing it to be a trophy seems counterproductive.

There is no way I would be allowed to found the region, even if I themed it like that (and if I was, I shouldn't be allowed). I don't see why this player is different, and I don't see why the region should be allowed to exist. Given the common mention of the region both offsite, and the number of players still around who were members/had interactions with it, the ruling that prevented the region den existing should stand until it is deemed appropriate to remove the ban of the theme.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:08 pm

It turns out we discussed this back in June, and the consensus was to delete the region, it just never got followed up. But now it has -- but with no warning/punishment attached to the founder.

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Postby One Small Island » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:20 pm

Thank you Sedge; I think that's the best possible outcome to all of this.

Are there any plans to abolish the embassies and flag that have been attached to the region?
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Postby Flanderlion » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:25 pm

Sedgistan wrote:It turns out we discussed this back in June, and the consensus was to delete the region, it just never got followed up. But now it has -- but with no warning/punishment attached to the founder.

Perfect. I know I advocated for their punishment, but totally agree with call not to (shouldn't punish someone for something mods said was okay to them) due to the precedent it'd set.

Ideally in a perfect world the ban would end once the majority of the players involved were gone/name loses meaning, but I don't see that happening this decade, so see you back here in a decade or so.
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Postby Jar Wattinree » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:27 pm

One Small Island wrote:Are there any plans to abolish the embassies and flag that have been attached to the region?

I imagine letting them naturally go away on update is what will happen; no one is in the region, the region is passworded, and the mods have declared it verboten to ever reestablish the region ever again.
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:30 pm

Has the mod team given any thought as to what a path to reversing its policy on DEN might look like?

It’s been five years since Predator. DEN remains a significant and memorable invading “brand” that stretches back long before the Predator bans.

In a decade (when NationStates turns thirty) is the site staff still planning on prohibiting people from reviving the name & imagery? I don’t think it’s a silly question to ask, it’s already been five years now. Is there value in this kind of punishment for the NS community at large?

It just seems to me that the punishment is so specific to DEN, and its nature as a “brand.” It wouldn’t be much of a punishment if the group wasn’t a name/theme that people were interested in reviving. Which begs to question who is really being punished at this point? Looks to me like the people most impacted by this policy are just new invaders (post-2016) and old-timers, uninvolved with Predator, who would be interested in reviving DEN.

Let’s be real here: DEN is a cool name, it’s associated with a legendary invader (Powell), and it had the coolest flags in R/D. That’s the only reason why the vast majority of invaders, of various ages and seniority, are still interested in its brand. I’m not sure I understand where the harm is to NationStates in letting players create a new iteration of DEN, and fly their cool flags, provided they obey the rules (obviously I’m against invading, but we’re not talking about that.)
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Postby Lamoni » Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:11 am

Moderation will be maintaining the ban on DEN until such time as the mod team is convinced that it is no longer needed. As has recently been demonstrated, there are still people who would attempt to use the name/brand in a way that would cause it to become banned again, if we were to unban it.
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Postby CoraSpia » Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:35 am

Lamoni wrote:Moderation will be maintaining the ban on DEN until such time as the mod team is convinced that it is no longer needed. As has recently been demonstrated, there are still people who would attempt to use the name/brand in a way that would cause it to become banned again, if we were to unban it.
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Postby The King Isle » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:34 am

What even was DEN?
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Postby Unibot III » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:24 am

Lamoni wrote:Moderation will be maintaining the ban on DEN until such time as the mod team is convinced that it is no longer needed. As has recently been demonstrated, there are still people who would attempt to use the name/brand in a way that would cause it to become banned again, if we were to unban it.


Good to see you again, Lamoni! :) Has the mod team considered though that by maintaining an unusual ban on the name/image of a long-standing NS brand that it’s encouraging spammers, troublemakers etc. to interact with the brand? Because it’s against the rules?

I mean, someone who wasn’t out to get DOS’d wouldn’t try to revive DEN, because it’s a punishable offence, so naturally the only people reviving DEN icons/logos/mottos etc. are going to be spammer-types that are up to no good.

Seems like the dog chasing its tail here.

The easiest way, at least in my mind, that the mod team can ensure the DEN brand is used legitimately is to make sure the brand is revived by a legitimate party with a good reputation. I mean, there are mods who were DEN! This would be the opposite of a ban: setting up a thread inviting applicants to run a DEN revival, vetting candidates, and effectively facilitating a revival by a trusted player. We run similar vetting initiatives all the time for new mods, editors etc.

DEN, alongside NPO and ADN, are the oldest and most prominent brands in r/d and they’re the only brands that were revived by different generations of NSers as ‘sequels’ and spin-offs — I think there would be more value for NS and interest among players in a “managed” revival than a ban.
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Postby Sedgistan » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:42 am

The bans on DEN/TBR/Cimmeria doesn't cause problems for staff. There have barely been any attempts to violate it over the years; there's not an issue for us there.

I do feel the bans have long since served their purposes - punishment, and making absolutely clear that the toxic culture of illegal scripting and "win at all costs" had to end. Those that need to have been punished by the ban, have been, and the culture of the invader community has completely changed. I'm therefore open to the bans on all three brands being removed.

However, I would question what purpose that would serve, and whether the gameplay or invader community really wants that. I suspect there's precious few legitimate actors who would want to put the substantial effort in to rehabilitate any of those brands -- I stand by my assessment that DEN are remembered as "the most notorious group of cheaters in NS history" -- which means you'd get the bad actors trying to do so. Does the invader community want teenage edgelords and the lurking remnants of TBR-DEN reviving the group -- what good comes of that?

Speaking for myself, and not the team as a whole, I'd need to hear more convincing arguments than about their flags, to want to see the bans removed.

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Postby Drop Your Pants » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:23 pm

Sedgistan wrote:Speaking for myself, and not the team as a whole, I'd need to hear more convincing arguments than about their flags, to want to see the bans removed.

Are the flags even banned? Theres still a few around NS.
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Postby Flanderlion » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:42 pm

Drop Your Pants wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:Speaking for myself, and not the team as a whole, I'd need to hear more convincing arguments than about their flags, to want to see the bans removed.

Are the flags even banned? Theres still a few around NS.

You can keep existing ones but the theme/brand is banned.

The King Isle wrote:What even was DEN?

Largest raider org this decade. Had a brand used by groups with various versions of the name den.

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Re the brand/name ban, I'm happy with the 10 year mark being where it automatically expires and the region given to OfCrazed or some other historical figure of a prior iteration. If people want it reversed sooner, got no issue with it (I always thought punishments should've been against individuals only), but I'm not pushing for it.
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Postby New Scottsville » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:00 pm

I mean, pardon my ignorance on the subject, but if all the active members who created/knew Predator was illegal are gone... why not let it back? The non-Predator users could try it again. Though to further it, it has been five whole years and I don't think even the few folks still around that used it would ever ever think of cheating again.

My first nation was an RMB nation in DEN for about a month before it got deleted, I wouldn't have any interest in it (plus Chaylia takes my time now lol) but I am sure that people would want to try and revive the brand and see if they could ever relive the glory days? Just something to consider, I suppose

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Postby Neo Parkiant » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:05 pm

New Scottsville wrote:I mean, pardon my ignorance on the subject, but if all the active members who created/knew Predator was illegal are gone... why not let it back? The non-Predator users could try it again. Though to further it, it has been five whole years and I don't think even the few folks still around that used it would ever ever think of cheating again.

My first nation was an RMB nation in DEN for about a month before it got deleted, I wouldn't have any interest in it (plus Chaylia takes my time now lol) but I am sure that people would want to try and revive the brand and see if they could ever relive the glory days? Just something to consider, I suppose

Read this:
Lamoni wrote:Moderation will be maintaining the ban on DEN until such time as the mod team is convinced that it is no longer needed. As has recently been demonstrated, there are still people who would attempt to use the name/brand in a way that would cause it to become banned again, if we were to unban it.

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