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Xindaan
EU Advisor
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Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:08 pm    Post subject: Forum Moderation Reply with quote

I think I've actually come to accept that there are quite some misconceptions on both sides on how the "other server" work. Some incidents being singled out and portrayed as a common thing, some differences in the general view on how things should be handled. On the latter part, GM_Archon posted for example his opinion on forum moderation, which I find very interesting. Of course, this also directly relates to the direct game interaction including bans (and might or might not be a subtle or not-so-subtle reference to MG, which tries to do the opposite and goes the way of introducing rules). Well, personally, I'm against banning, so I'm leaning to the US way here.

GM_Archon wrote:
I think that Martlet knows that we read his posts and listen to his opinions. He and I have exchanged enough email that I hope that's the case, anyway.

To give a direct response as to why we haven't adopted the method he proposes... In a nutshell, he's asking for more clarity in the rules, and I for one am not confident that more clarity necessarily makes for better behavior.

For example:
If we specified seven particular words constituted profanity, this simply invites those with ill intent to find new vulgarities outside those particular seven.
If we specified that a particular amount X of civ-rips in a day constitutes a "griefing spree", we invite those with ill intent to commit X-1 civ rips per day.
If we specified that five flames per week gets you banned, then everyone will flame four people per week.

That this happens is fact. It happened in our US legal system. Every bright-line rule creates an exploit. Its a big problem because it creates a "race to the bottom". There's two ways to handle this problem:

1. An evolving series of bright-line rules of increasing complexity which halts each exploit as it appears. The end result here is rules of such complexity that only a rules lawyer can understand them. Being a lawyer, this actually sounds sort of fun to me, but I don't think you guys would enjoy it. Imagine if we created a lexicon of "banned words and phrases" which we rigorously stuck to and continuously updated - given the creativity with which gamers swear, it would quickly fill up Encarta, and thereby become useless, as no one would quickly be able to scan it to see if his wording was an offense. This is what the US Tax Code has done. Please fill in your 10-40EZs prior to posting.

2. Abandon efforts to have bright-line rules in favor of "fuzzy standards" applied on a case by case basis. This approach is most famously summarized by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's definition of "obscene" pornography, "I know it when I see it." If you're a pornographer faced with that standard, what do you do? You either (a) err on the side of caution or (b) get Justice Stewart to pre-screen your XXX film to make sure its not obscene.

We here at Themis have chosen the latter approach. What is flaming? Well, I know it when I see it. You probably do, too. If you are in doubt, err on the side of caution, or ask.

Is this approach perfect? Absolutely not. We can and do make mistakes. Because its not perfect, we rely on peer review - EPs and GMs checking up on what each other does. Sometimes we uphold and sometimes we overrule. From this, the overall schema of forum moderation develops.

So that's my philosophy, in any event, and I hope that explains why we do what we do.

While I'm typing up a storm... a question I'm sometimes asked is, why moderate the forums at all? It is important but the reasons for it are not readily evident. To answer this, I'd like to refer to the "broken windows" theory, well-explained in this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/crime/windows.htm

Best regards,
GM Archon

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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

offtopic You do know i quit JG because the forum moderation sucked (ie. last straw effect. not THE reason but a damned good one)
    i actually learned some interesting stuff about what Themis Groups blind spot might be regarding Community Service. see here. (so it's not that offtopic)
ontopic
GM_Arch0n wrote:
We here at Themis have chosen the latter approach. What is flaming? Well, I know it when I see it. You probably do, too. If you are in doubt, err on the side of caution, or ask.

Is this approach perfect? Absolutely not. We can and do make mistakes. Because its not perfect, we rely on peer review - EPs and GMs checking up on what each other does. Sometimes we uphold and sometimes we overrule. From this, the overall schema of forum moderation develops.

So that's my philosophy, in any event, and I hope that explains why we do what we do.

While I'm typing up a storm... a question I'm sometimes asked is, why moderate the forums at all? It is important but the reasons for it are not readily evident. To answer this, I'd like to refer to the "broken windows" theory, well-explained in this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/crime/windows.htm

*shrug* i had outlined what i consider to be a flame in my forum rules for UMEC...they are pretty much generalized because i too believe MG's specifics on what constitutes <insert bad thang> pans out like Arch0n assumes...But, of course, i could be totally wrong on that wild guess...unlike Themis Group i'm brave enough to set out what i think are crappy attitudes. (personally, i think Themis Group has no choice but to play their cards close to chest)
    and the usual tactic for a PR firm is to 'deny, deflect and dismiss' instead of sticking one's neck out cause it only gives ammo to morons with nothing better to do than vegetate in Wynar mode.
*shrug*
I spam. I admit alot of what i read of me mouthing off in archived threads seems very conceited. I do think i've learnt a distinct "hands on" form of netiquette. I do believe that cuss words used with an argument based on facts, or just plain old opinion "works" in the sense that it aids thread bumping. (the chaotic nature of forums negates any attempt at illustrating what people consider priority needs, so one needs all the help one can get to keep your topic in circulation as long as possible)
    plus, i've found long ago that reasoned, calm and logical posts aren't replied to by morons. maybe it's just immature of me to expect attention from morons, but it sure beats dusty old libraries spent musing with baad, timski, you and the rest of the old wizards
Besides, some "flame wars" are entertaining in that opinions are hotly "debated" and my hope (proven time and time again) is that more people become educated while entertained than reading a stuffy old book.

:dunce: :dunce: :dunce: :party: idea :dunce: :dunce:

:read: :read: :read: :dolt: Zz :read: :read: :read:

LOL


Last edited by MajorFreak on Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kami wrote:
Some questions people have asked, and perhaps some answers.

Anonymity.... not an EP's choice, but a wise one.

Locking w/reason instead of "deleting". See anonimity above. Not an EP's choice, but still, a wise one. Nothing actually gets deleted by an EP. It gets moved for review by a GM. The other problem I see with this is that it leaves the offensive material present, which is against the forum guidelines.

Bias... Actually, I shy away from posts made by people I know are going to flame, by not even reading them, (for example - I tend not to read the Squad Silo that much - I prefer the UMEC summarizations on our squad page) which results in some what 'bias' editting. But it's my choice. I'm not required to moderate, neither is any other EP. I don't have the time to read every post made and or reply and still lead a life and play the game. Sorry it comes out that way, but it's reality. Most of the time though, my editting, "deleting", and other such moderating activities are just cut and slash and I don't pay too much attention to whom, except to make my explanation (as is required).

The Jericho post. Complicated. Won't go there.

Comparing EPs to EU fellas... not even close comparison. EPs have little to no power and certainly very little ego. I enjoy JG. I hate moderating. My love/enjoyment for JG is stronger than my hatred for moderation. I help out in all ways I can. I think the greatest power an EP has is trust. We do explain our every move to the GMs and each other. Sometimes they are good, sometimes bad, but in either case it's difficult to be biased in any real manner as the other EPs will jump up and shout just as quickly to defend as agree.

Problems with EPs....gather it up and email/pm a GM. I suggest Virgil (who is in charge of the EP program these days) and or Moll who helps out. Failing that... Archon.

We are moving to a system of removing just offending posts, as I don't think it's fair to remove an entire thread for a few peoples' actions. Maybe in the future we'll be required to PM a reason, but that removes the anonomity (which I have done here, if you haven't guessed) that was very important in my way to the whole idea of EP moderation. EP's do not make final decisions, and the GMs probably don't have the time to take into serious consideration every move we make, so I urge you, if you have a problem, to bring it more directly to their attention.

I only read through about half this thread, so hopefully a GM did step in and do some explanations. I'll finish reading it tomorrow, but right now my priority is my wife's birthday


:present: happy burfday KamiWife!
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And as for people actually assuming they can tell me off for my approach to forum moderation? hmm...taking Martlet as an example he's what i would call the worst troll ever. (constantly bickering, yet nothing beyond a sort of meatgrinder approach to post count spam involving my #1 pet peeve: Counter-Counter-Semantic-Clarification.)
    i hate politically correct flames. they are THE worst because everyone gets stuck in the "oh he's so polite" and forget this sort of shiite is WORSE than 'ad hominem' attacks...well, that's my bias right there i suppose. *g*
    :irony:
Personally, i've had to deal with someone questioning my moderation on these forums in my goodbye thread. specifically a criticism that i'd edited out Hiigaran's sentence where he asked what happened to a Themis Group employee's post...he then got pissy when i deleted that first criticism and i felt i needed to clarify how HIGHLY moderated goodbye threads are.

[emphasis=extreme]goodbye threads are ultra-moderated[/emphasis]

Actually, as a side note, Hiigaran got the message rather quickly and dropped the argument...unlike Martlet who's practically jizzing over the lax moderation OF his holier-than-thou CCSM's
    Are the EP/GMs aware of this behavior by Martlet is not bordering on a flame, it IS a troll. There is a difference between the two, although i doubt few realize this in the race to stereotype trolls as pottymouth.


Last edited by MajorFreak on Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:47 pm; edited 3 times in total
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lego wrote:
I am an EP. And because of the way PoD reacted to razorkiss I refuse to answer to anyone but a GM. I don't want OOC attacks against me or my squad because I'm doing a volunteer position here. Threads don't get deleted. They are simply moved to a graveyard and the GM's are notified by us. It's their responsibility to review them and edit them and restore them if need be. Sometimes the EP's will discuss this and make the neccessary deletions and restore it.

But I will not make any public posts about moving a thread and be attacked like razorkiss and ND did for doing his job. The rules are simple. Don't cuss and don't even try to edit a cuss word with @, or ! or %(&%$#. Just be civil when expressing yourself. Also clean up your signatures and avatars. There is no reason to cuss at anyone or call them names. IMO calling people names is a lack of respect towards that person.


respectable

SYLLABICATION: re·spect·a·ble
PRONUNCIATION: r-spkt-bl
ADJECTIVE: 1. Meriting respect or esteem; worthy. 2. Of or appropriate to good or proper behavior or conventional conduct. 3. Of moderately good quality: respectable work. 4. Considerable in amount, number, or size: a respectable sum of money. 5. Acceptable in appearance; presentable: a respectable hat.
OTHER FORMS: re·specta·ble·ness —NOUN
re·specta·bly —ADVERB

*underlining muffy's emphasis*
  1. I believe the people you learn the most from is friends you trust who cuss you out
  2. Those who "joke" with barbed comments meant to hurt/confuse and say it's all *IC* fun (ie. "hey! it's only a game don't take it personally") aren't worthy of ANY respect! in this sense i totally agree with Lego
  3. i'm not even going to touch squad silo's unless i can parody them to hell and back and give everyone a good laff. (personally, alot of general discussion threads belong in the OTT squad bitch silo)
  4. and finally, there's ingame/forum chatter laced with cuss words. Now i know ND forums need to be sparkly clean, and i hope my cussing here doesn't impact your social life. *G*
    ...But to equate the need to keep it child-safe with some concept of 'respect' just sounds a little too much like throwing the baby out with the bath water, IMHO.
<3 Actually, to be perfectly honest with everyone, i do believe respect is a moral absolute, and i know i really shouldn't use cuss words...on the other hand, this ain't some utopian's wet dream and there's room for cynical pragmatism.
:2c:
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RazorX
Sgt 1st Class
Sgt 1st Class


Joined: 13 Jun 2002
Posts: 54
Location: Muffy went off on somebody and all i got was this lousy T-Shirt

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well as far as I can tell, Tstrike3 is under the impression that he is just under the Pope on the "Holier-than-thou" scale. Under the guise of "forum moderation" he has flamed, patronized, and given the impression that he is the ultimate authority on the boards.

My good-bye post was removed completely within minutes of posting, and no one from Themis knows what happened to it.

It consisted of a 3 word subject, and the body of the post contained nothing but 4 links to the pilots pages of the accounts I flew.

I'd be interested to see how many hardcore PvP pilots are Embittered Players, or have the sheep managed to get the upper hand on the wolves?
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Jesus saves, the rest of you take 5d20 damage.
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmmmmm...never liked that kind of attitude. Reminds me of the time just after EU's release that the EU OPs swaggered into our beta forums mouthing off and ruining MightyGame's reputation just by being there.

Why do people think that responsibility = power? Power is accountability...And if someone thinks it's just semantics, they're a fool twice over; Leadership. It ain't something you can bestow. Now, politics isn't leadership...never has been. Social Dynamics might place responsibility/authority on folks, but it'll never bestow Leadership qualities.
  1. Power = Leadership = Accountability
  2. Politics = Authority = Responsibility

    I know that sounds conceited...even great leaders of men couldn't hash out what makes a great leader. It's a fascinating, and ultimately foolish, attempt at cubbyholing folks. Foolish, yes. Counterproductive? no...There's a place for philosophy even if one has to remember to "decontruct" the abstract utopian concepts when applying it to real life (or MMOGs)
*shrug* Tstrike3's a fool. His claim that he's immune to criticism is true (he's also immune to all kinds - especially constructive)
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fatman wrote:
"Hmmm how do we take this?" Tstrike3

With a "lock" it seems, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Like I said Tstrike, take a couple days off from game goto the local library, checkout Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. Better yet buy both of them, Animal Farm, will only take a day or two to read, Lord of the flies, not much longer. Then witness what a "pig" you have become, snowball. Still wondering why you locked the original thread, if you can find time between deleting and locking threads, to respond.


ewwwwwwwww kayyyyyyy.

That was just dumb. i mean, talking about going a BIT overboard. Aren't those two books standard reading for schoolkids? The first was about double-speak and the second about mob-mentality when you boil it down to it's essence. (and has ZERO application to forum moderation) I'm sure Fatman & TStrike3 are just giddy as schoolgirls over this stupid CCSC orgy. blech.
puke


Last edited by MajorFreak on Thu Jan 16, 2003 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Quote:
Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
~John Dalberg Acton (1834 - 1902) English historian
Letter, 23 Jan 1861; in "Lord Acton and his Circle," ed. Abbot Gasquet, 1906.

The price of justice is eternal publicity.
~Arnold Bennett (1867 - 1931) English novelist
"Things That Have Interested Me," "Secret Trials," Second Series, 1923.
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MajorFreak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crossreference (F5:help)
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