Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

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Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aero » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:26 am

I'd like to take a moment and point out that there are both systemic problems with the forum, such as extraneous and irrelevant features, and direct problems with the general discretion based moderation system put into place. First, it should be gone over that access to this forum is a privilege and not a right, and by no means is anyone entitled to have changes put into place but I only say what I will because I believe they are suggestions that will help the forum stay afloat and leave the community better off.

Systemic Problems
  • Ranks + Post Counter
    These features have no objective meaning, and measures no important aspects about users such as how constructive their posts are.
  • Name Color
    Another irrelevant feature, which people gravitate to for a way to distinguish themselves from the general users.
  • Smilies
    Completely unneeded unless you're using them on purpose for shitposting.
Discretionary Problems
  • Self-moderation
    This is severely lacking, and needs to be called out more. If you're in a conversation you must know how to communicate properly, and know what to say and when to say it.
  • Self-censor
    This should never happen on a public forum intending to grow its user base and have a healthy community. The more people have to hold back, the more they feel unwelcome.
  • Topic deletion and locking
    Topics should not be deleted unless they are spam, porn, or anything worthless. I've had my topics deleted on multiple occasions probably because of the following and this may/may not be happening for others:
    Image
Now that the users who can't read more than one sentence have their summary, allow me to go into detail about the above bullets in order of importance. So first and most importantly, I want to discuss topic deletion and locking. If you notice in this particular forum, if a topic is locked you can guess who locked it and why. These are the topics that you're allowed to see that suggest changes. Twice now, I've had topics deleted concerning IRC problems that have existed more than a year and half. I would be upset over this normally, however enough people have switched to other platforms to where it's not a problem anymore for them and it's just idlers, and new people dealing with bots. In principle this is still a bad idea, since every and any post can be removed without prior notification. Due to this, I'd suggest screen capping your posts and/or archiving them, like I will be with this topic OP, in order to guarantee messages aren't being suppressed. On special occasions such as porn being posted it would be appropriate for a topic to be deleted, and it has always been this way (supposedly?) until topics started getting taken down for reasons outside of rule breaking. This type of moderation is not acceptable for a board that is supposed to promote discussion, and is an irresponsible exercise of administrative powers.
Next, let's move on to self-censorship. This is not intended to be in the context of myself being banned for calling bouncywheel10 a faggot, as that is purely a coincidence of timing. Anyway, self-censorship does not work and hasn't worked so far. Evidence of it not working so far is that Linik still asks his stupid questions, this happened, this is still open, and this also happened. This goes into the self-moderation bit, but if a spade is not called a spade, then it's only natural this community will attract children (aged 8-18) who don't know how to use a forum like flies to shit. I really don't care for this sudden wave of attitude and tone moderating, as nobody (staff or users) has any business telling people how to react. For instance, Marina was warned for this post because it was uncalled for and rude. Obviously I don't speak for everyone, and neither does Marina for that matter, but he has every right to not like Linik's excessive questioning and if only super polite messages are allowed that should be stated rather than "discussion" being championed. This is the only forum I've been on where calling someone a faggot can earn a ban, calling people out can get you warned, and favoritism is transparent. I mean with the whole favoritism transparency, it can't get any clearer than this:

Image Image

Beforehand Vinyl complained about the sitting topic, and then made his topics as shit posts to protest. It had some further narrative that I'm continuing right now. Joey and Quill just shitposted, and that's fine in moderation, but not when you ban others for doing so from some perceived high ground. To clarify also, Vinyl did request to be permabanned on his 666th post yet as everyone can see, he was banned beforehand so the excuse of Vinyl requesting to be banned doesn't hold much weight.

That should cover the discretionary problems and are of the utmost importance. The forum will stay alive if post counts, smilies, and ranks stay but the less features the better. Less is more. Full attention should be to posts, and not miscellaneous features. Although we could bring rep back, but since we still have kids who can't handle being told something they don't want to hear it will have to wait I guess.

Back up copies of this OP:
http://pastebin.com/q18SMuxF
http://hastebin.com/otosoniwuz.vhdl

Leave thoughts and reactions below.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby reghrhre » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:58 am

I'm expecting great things to occur from this thread

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aero » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:06 am

reghrhre wrote:I'm expecting great things to occur from this thread
i expect good stuff

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Darkonius Mavakar » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:11 am

I agree, also yeah locking some threads like forum games is stupid, honestly, i've been in the talkhaus and in MFGG, and the talkhaus doesn't care about how many posts X user has, and in MFGG badges are just a nice thing to have, they don't serve any purpose but they're nice to have and they're not a reason to show them off and say "UHUH LOOK I HAVE MANY BADGES AND YOU DON'T" i think bages are handled better in MFGG.
So yeah, that's my thought, sorry if that sounded very stupid, just wanted to tell my opinion.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby HeroLinik » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:36 am

Darkonius Mavakar wrote:I agree, also yeah locking some threads like forum games is stupid
I thought about this idea last night, and I might have found the reason why forum games aren't allowed here.

Postcounting is a problem, but you could just disable the postcount for that forum like they did with NSMBX and Knux's site, right? Nope, that still won't solve the problem. The other reason (and I see it as the main reason) why I think forum games are banned here is because it encourages shitposting, and as a result it is more likely to occur in forum games than anywhere else. Sometimes rants erupt for reasons like disorganised rules and bias. This means the staff have to keep a watchful eye over them, and thus they're too concentrated on one area of the forum to worry about the other half, and then shitposting will start occurring on the other half, and so on...it just means more work for the staff if forum games are allowed. Much more work. And this is why I think forum games are banned here.
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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby underFlo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:39 am

Darkonius Mavakar wrote:in MFGG badges are just a nice thing to have, they don't serve any purpose but they're nice to have and they're not a reason to show them off and say "UHUH LOOK I HAVE MANY BADGES AND YOU DON'T" i think bages are handled better in MFGG.
When did this ever happen here? From my experience badges aren't really talked about that much.
im a girl yo

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aero » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:52 am

Spinda wrote:
Darkonius Mavakar wrote:in MFGG badges are just a nice thing to have, they don't serve any purpose but they're nice to have and they're not a reason to show them off and say "UHUH LOOK I HAVE MANY BADGES AND YOU DON'T" i think bages are handled better in MFGG.
When did this ever happen here? From my experience badges aren't really talked about that much.
This. I didn't really touch on medals bc of this and medals mean you actually accomplished something.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Darkonius Mavakar » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:07 am

Spinda wrote:
Darkonius Mavakar wrote:in MFGG badges are just a nice thing to have, they don't serve any purpose but they're nice to have and they're not a reason to show them off and say "UHUH LOOK I HAVE MANY BADGES AND YOU DON'T" i think bages are handled better in MFGG.
When did this ever happen here? From my experience badges aren't really talked about that much.
Ah ok, sorry my bad.
But if they're not talked that much then why do we have them...?
I mean, nobody seems to care about them so uh, what gives...?
(i hope i've made my post more clear now, again, sorry lol)

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:09 am

The problem here is not the system, but the users. Most forums have post counts, username colors, and ranks, and everything goes fine. We're not getting rid of those.

As I said in another thread, "self-moderation" is a silly concept that it seems you're using to protect yourself from the things you say. That doesn't work.

Rarely, if ever, do we delete topics that don't break the rules in some way. Your IRC topics were deleted because they were worthless and I had already told you that we aren't going to move IRC networks. If we're gonna get technical, you chose to not listen to me and that's disrespect to the staff. We're not changing the IRC, the problem isn't as big as you think it is, etc.

The shitpost example you provided was pretty terrible. Quill and I are allowed to make joke topics occasionally, as are other normal users as long as the topic is funny and worthwhile. That's completely different from Vinyl deliberately shitposting out of protest. Even if the shitpost was just a joke and was unrelated, we still wouldn't have let the topic stay open since he has a history of not being a very good user. If you have a bad reputation, you don't get to make joke topics. That's how it works.

Of course Vinyl was banned before reaching a certain post count. We weren't about to take an order from him as to when he wanted to be banned.

You can't just legitimately call someone a faggot (this is different from playful interaction between friends, which your example was not). I don't know what communities you're on elsewhere but if they allow free insults like this then they're probably not worth joining. As I said in another thread, you weren't banned for calling someone a faggot. You were given a temporary ban because you're attitude has been pretty shitty ever since you resigned from your staff position here and that remark to bouncywheel10 was the straw that broke the camel's back. In addition, Marina's remark was rude and un-called for and that's why we weren't happy with it, and if you think that the staff has "no business telling people how to react", then...well yeah, we absolutely do, and we will continue to do so. I understand peoples' frustrations with Linik's questions but if you have to resort to rude remarks like that, are you any better than the people you're upset with?

I completely understand if you're frustrated with the fact that we have a lot of immature users here and it seems we're not doing anything about them. You have to understand, though, that these users aren't the ones calling people faggots (usually); if all you're doing is getting angry with these users, you're not exactly fixing anything.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aero » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:42 am

Joey wrote:The problem here is not the system, but the users. Most forums have post counts, username colors, and ranks, and everything goes fine. We're not getting rid of those.

As I said in another thread, "self-moderation" is a silly concept that it seems you're using to protect yourself from the things you say. That doesn't work.
Self-moderation put simply is leaving the moderation on the user end, rather than top down from the staff. It's not silly and you already meet the idea half way by trying to let topics die on their own without locking them, and requiring reports over backseat moderation. The fact that this isn't encouraged leads to the problems I described in the OP.
Joey wrote:Rarely, if ever, do we delete topics that don't break the rules in some way. Your IRC topics were deleted because they were worthless and I had already told you that we aren't going to move IRC networks. If we're gonna get technical, you chose to not listen to me and that's disrespect to the staff. We're not changing the IRC, the problem isn't as big as you think it is, etc.
I knew your input, and you knew mine, and my topics were to poll the community on their thoughts of the situation. This didn't get through, and it just so happened that the threads disappeared when results came in differing from your stance. In no way is polling for different opinions disrespectful. What is disrespectful is launching a botnet on the server in order to get your way. That's not what I did, I attempted to create a discussion on the matter that wasn't just between you and me to see what people wanted. Clearly people don't like things being handled the way they are since most of the #smbx IRC channel is just idlers and new people. Everyone found other platforms to talk on.
Joey wrote:The shitpost example you provided was pretty terrible. Quill and I are allowed to make joke topics occasionally, as are other normal users as long as the topic is funny and worthwhile. That's completely different from Vinyl deliberately shitposting out of protest. Even if the shitpost was just a joke and was unrelated, we still wouldn't have let the topic stay open since he has a history of not being a very good user. If you have a bad reputation, you don't get to make joke topics. That's how it works.
I have a feeling you just made this up, because I've never seen an established reputation to shit post allowance ratio. Let's not pretend either this is just one "occasional" shitpost from Quill. He does it just as much if not more than Vinyl: http://www.supermariobrosx.org/forums/s ... thor_id=56
Joey wrote:Of course Vinyl was banned before reaching a certain post count. We weren't about to take an order from him as to when he wanted to be banned.
I asked a moderator about his ban, and got "he requested to be banned anyway" along the way. That was for that.
Joey wrote:You can't just legitimately call someone a faggot (this is different from playful interaction between friends, which your example was not). I don't know what communities you're on elsewhere but if they allow free insults like this then they're probably not worth joining. As I said in another thread, you weren't banned for calling someone a faggot. You were given a temporary ban because you're attitude has been pretty shitty ever since you resigned from your staff position here and that remark to bouncywheel10 was the straw that broke the camel's back. In addition, Marina's remark was rude and un-called for and that's why we weren't happy with it, and if you think that the staff has "no business telling people how to react", then...well yeah, we absolutely do, and we will continue to do so. I understand peoples' frustrations with Linik's questions but if you have to resort to rude remarks like that, are you any better than the people you're upset with?
This is the problem with moderating attitude, you rush to say mine is poor since I've resigned which is untrue. The only thing that's changed is that I no longer have a stake in the game, so maybe some inhibitions have been lifted. I'm not going to defend the art of calling strangers a faggot online, but I will say that thin skins telling people what is acceptable or not just ruins the whole point of talking to people.
Joey wrote:I completely understand if you're frustrated with the fact that we have a lot of immature users here and it seems we're not doing anything about them. You have to understand, though, that these users aren't the ones calling people faggots (usually); if all you're doing is getting angry with these users, you're not exactly fixing anything.
Of course nothing is going to be fixed if you continue the same path. I wasn't angry with bouncywheel10, I was just taking him down a peg because he was acting like a flamboyant homosexual. You can't/shouldn't judge attitude and tone via text, it's not worth the time. I've already proposed an age minimum to keep kids like bouncy out until they're old enough to conduct themselves when talking to other people, and that's not going to go far because COPPA rules aren't even enforced here for the actual children. You can't just say I'm not fixing anything after I've already gave all my ideas out, and then call on me for reacting negatively in your perspective.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:06 am

Moderation is supposed to be done by the staff, and not the users.

I had told you that a poll of the users' opinions was not necessary and you went against me.

There is no "established ratio". It's an unwritten rule of every group of people, online or not. If you have a bad reputation you're under a lot more scrutiny. This is the exact same principle as people getting mad when Linik asks a question nowadays, even if that question is legitimate.

Your inhibitions have absolutely been lifted and that's the problem.

The fact that you're trying to say "he was acting like a flambuoyant homosexual" is ridiculous. "Faggot" is an insult, and you know it. Also, COPPA just means that I have to request parent confirmation for users under 13 years old. It has nothing to do with the conduct of these users - the only thing COPPA would do is turn away people who don't want to get confirmation from their parents. That may work, but I'd rather deal with users on a case-by-case basis instead of just trying to turn away everyone who's younger than 13.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Zeldamaster12 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:03 pm

Just to clarify, AeroMatter:

I did not say we banned him because he requested it. I just simply pointed out he requested to be banned in his PM reply. That had nothing to do with whether or not we were going to ban him, and like Joey said:
Joey wrote: Of course Vinyl was banned before reaching a certain post count. We weren't about to take an order from him as to when he wanted to be banned.
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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Valtteri » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:12 pm

AeroMatter wrote:nobody (staff or users) has any business telling people how to react. For instance, Marina was warned for this post because it was uncalled for and rude. Obviously I don't speak for everyone, and neither does Marina for that matter, but he has every right to not like Linik's excessive questioning and if only super polite messages are allowed that should be stated rather than "discussion" being championed.
I would like to point out that not only is your argument that insulting people should be allowed stupid for the reasons Joey said, but Marina's post was a really poor example to choose as it was a part of his sudden outburst of intentionally bad/rude posts.
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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aristo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:15 pm

did... did he just defend me shitposting...??
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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:19 pm

No.

Also, I wasn't aware that that post was a part of Marina's outburst of shitposts (and therefore had judged it as a normal post in all my comments about it), but I guess that makes sense.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Mable » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:37 pm

Okay so i don't get why this got locked after the last two posts http://www.supermariobrosx.org/forums/v ... 52#p176252

It would be enough warning them about their posts but why lock the entire thread? It breaks no rules and further on. There are much worse topics that should be locked. Even after some months maybe someone comes up with some feedback but mhm.

Also gonna agree qith AeroMatter on the point about Liniks questions. Most of them could be done via irc or pm to the staff.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:39 pm

I had no intention to lock that thread. I must've just hit the checkbox reflexively; it's not the first time that's happened. Thanks for letting me know.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Aero » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:47 pm

Joey wrote:I must've just hit the checkbox reflexively; it's not the first time that's happened.
Joey Please.

Joey wrote:No.

Also, I wasn't aware that that post was a part of Marina's outburst of shitposts (and therefore had judged it as a normal post in all my comments about it), but I guess that makes sense.
It wasn't a shitpost, it was honest. If you ask him, I think he'd stand by what he said. Same with Sinem's posting.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:06 pm

Okay, sure, so that means we're back to where we were. It was rude and un-called for and there's no getting around that.

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Re: Systemic problems amplified by discretionary moderation

Postby Mable » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:21 pm

AeroMatter wrote:Same with Sinem's posting.
What exact part of my posting bc i can post:

Honestly by saying my opinion how i think off it
Normal in other words idgas about it that much
And the way which sounds rude to the staff.

Unless we're talking about me saying nameduser needs to use common sense bc there is no free stuff without a blackhole on the internet.


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