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The Disciplinary Process
#76
Sometimes it takes much more than just scrubbing out the names to protect the person who sent in the report, unfortunately. Especially with screenshots and logs. None of these things would actually be good to show directly to the person being reported since deductive reasoning can still lead you in a beeline towards whoever it was who sent in the report with the help of context, style of writing, etc. I'm not sure if it'd be realistically possible to make something like this possible unless you had two separate threads; one for recording and the other which is visible to the player where the GMs say "we got material that suggests uncool behaviour of X and Y sort", and potentially to mediate misunderstandings in a much more unpersonal way. (Mediations still happen, only this sort of thing would take them to the forums instead.)

Pointing out exact incidents isn't very discreet, and really isn't something that should be done unless it's for the explicit purpose of mediating a conflict or gaining more clarification on a fishy report. (GMs -do- ask the reported players about certain incidents, heh. They don't go blindly on what the reporting player says unless it's blatantly obvious and in breach of zero-tolerance policies.)

Rambleramble.
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#77
(03-23-2013, 01:02 AM)Zhaei Wrote: Might I suggest institutionalising a system that allows one to read one's own warning thread? Though I might be misinformed, I have the picture that there is a separate thread for each player - how about allowing the subject of each thread to read it on request? I'm unsure of the technical requirements, but even a simple copy n' paste over a PM or IM would suffice, I imagine.

I'm a firm believer in improvement by self-evaluation, or, as Delta excellently put it:

Delta Wrote:Without self-deprecating, realising your own shortcomings is the only way to start working to improve yourself.

Going down that route is a bad idea. With all due respect I get it but its like opening a can of worms, not everyone can deal with what may have been written about themselves we are human after all. It reminds me of that episode of the American version of the Office "Conflict resolution". As good as the intentions may be it can do way more harm than good.
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#78
I'm reminded of TV shows like Britain's Worst Driver. The show's about improving - but it must be humiliating for those who can't, whether others get to know or not. It could be uncomfortable for people who have improved to learn how much they'd really done.

Then again, I'm not opposed to the idea - but in controlled amounts.
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#79
I wish I had that kind of attitude to be honest, in fact I would -love- to have it. It's like from my personal experiences, people as well as myself included will tell themselves everyday "I don't care what people think of me" (Now that may not be the case for you) but when you go out to socialise for example and meet new people deep down everyone would love to have just the slightest insight what these new people think of you. Imagine that came true and it was a negative opinion, my opinion of that person would significantly drop. But again this is probably just me but I tell myself every day "screw them I don't care what they think" when I then contradict that very thought an hour or so later. But this I think is a common thing and why I'd personally just like to keep discussions about players away from the players.
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#80
I'd say I care very much about what people think of me, and I wouldn't like it if what I'd done to get banned had been spread around for everyone to know. Compare, that in Norway it's illegal for newspapers to make names of murderers public. It's supposed to protect their integrity. And it'd be fairly shameful to hear ALL YOUR SINS LAID BARE (sorry, Davy Jones moment there) before you were banned.

. . . That said, if people get through with their appeals, then they won't have to face a lot of stigma for having been banned before - because people don't know what they did.
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#81
(03-23-2013, 01:02 AM)Zhaei Wrote: Might I suggest institutionalising a system that allows one to read one's own warning thread? Though I might be misinformed, I have the picture that there is a separate thread for each player - how about allowing the subject of each thread to read it on request? I'm unsure of the technical requirements, but even a simple copy n' paste over a PM or IM would suffice, I imagine.

I'm a firm believer in improvement by self-evaluation, or, as Delta excellently put it:

Delta Wrote:Without self-deprecating, realising your own shortcomings is the only way to start working to improve yourself.

That would just build animosity towards the GM team. "Oh, I really got a warning thread post for -that-?" I'm sure you could just ask the GMs to get an idea of what's going on in your thread, but I'd rather they not be public or private access. Leave the GM forums to the GMs.
Quote:[8:53AM] Cassius: Xigo is the best guy ever. he doesn't afraid of anything.
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#82
(03-23-2013, 04:44 AM)Zhaei Wrote: ...I imagine the GM responsible for delivering the information would be able to scrub out the names, Rensin.

Adding on to what was already said:

We could scrub out the names, yeah, but that doesn't mean someone won't recognize the conversation and won't be able to pinpoint who they told/spoke to in that instance. "I only spoke with Reigen about this, that means she's the one who reported me!" or "This happening with this group of people, one of them must have done it!". Screenshots would also show the location in which it took place, thus making it even easier to figure out who sent it in. Protecting names does nothing when it comes to this. We -could- just post summaries without including names, but then we'd be accused of warping the truth when real logs aren't provided.

And really, no one wants to see their own thread. It will seem like a good idea until its yours [yours as in anyone, not specifically you.] being seen in public. I sure wouldn't want mine public because some of the things on there just have no right to be seen in the public eyes. I'm pretty sure a lot of people wouldn't want others scrolling though their thread. There is, of course, the PD route with this where only a specific person and the team can see them, but then we hop right back to the first paragraph I wrote.

S' not that simple, in short.
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#83
Well, I don't think the wish was to make them public for all to see, but for the person in question. That discussion can go both ways. To be honest, I think I'd rather things just remain as they are.
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#84
I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply the GM should take a picture, edit it to remove names, then send it the player; I meant that players should be free to ask what they have done wrong, so they can not do it again. Just the name of the offence.
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#85
So, why can't we list every single thing a person did which counted towards a ban? Put the facts of the case up with the ban entry in Account Management? All of them.

This would give people an incentive to avoid being banned. It would also make the GMs actions more transparent, and therefore, diminish the usual fear and lies (which have this nasty way of cropping up when everything important is hearsay.. and that's all bannings are around here). And ultimately, it does not divulge any private information. The only information it shares is that which the person gave of their own free will in the first place.

It also requires very little effort beyond the amount expended in normal bannings. And considering that we have far, FAR more GMs and Forum Helpers than we used to, a few sentences is not a problem. If some helpful soul feels like adding blanked-out logs, so much the better. Sound good thus far?


This amount of disclosure is something we need for this server, and its rules. Why? Because the rules are so, incredibly broad that one can be banned for anything they do.

Let me give an example. Take Respect and Knowing when to quit for example. Both of those are rules. They were meant well, but they are too broad.

Questioning someone's character choice for any reason? Disrespect. Banned.

Standing up for yourself when you've been wronged? You don't know when to quit. Banned.

And those are very unimaginative, vanilla examples. Try this: go look at the rules, and imagine how many things which can be construed as 'offenses' occur every time you argue with your friends, or disagree over something in roleplay. Now remember that every GM is human, and has a different opinion of what constitutes a rule breach.

Our rules are only interpretations.

The last example I gave might have been too idealistic. Consider all the times you've heard about a ban, and yet the reasons were all covered up. Or you hear enough people complain that you start to worry. Or, you were a friend of the banned person. Everything is concealed, and you're told it's private. And you know that under the rules, anything can be unacceptable - that feasibly, anyone can be banned for anything. Even personal reasons. Would you, as a player, continue to trust the GMs?


If you don't want to have people fear and distrust GMs, remove the secrecy. Let the cause and effect be known. And show them that no nasty secrets are hiding behind that figurative curtain of yours.
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#86
(03-23-2013, 08:02 AM)Zhaei Wrote: I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply the GM should take a picture, edit it to remove names, then send it the player; I meant that players should be free to ask what they have done wrong, so they can not do it again. Just the name of the offence.

That's quiet a bit different than letting someone read their own thread. I believe you can already do this, ask a GM whats going on and your status. I could be wrong. If we don't, I wouldn't mind this, giving players a summery of whats in there.

Quote:So, why can't we list every single thing a person did which counted towards a ban? Put the facts of the case up with the ban entry in Account Management? All of them.

For the reasons Grakor stated. The person banned, even though they are banned, do have a right to not have the reason publicly known if they don't want others to know what they did.

Grakor Wrote:Do people expect us to provide a detailed list of the reasons a person was banned and why? Why would we do that? I would think that banning the person is punishment enough, is it really necessary to shame the person as well on top of that? Let me be clear: in the vast majority of cases, I have no personal vendetta against anyone who has been banned. I have no desire to make that person feel worse. And, if you're a friend of someone who has been banned and you have no problems getting along with that person? Good for you! I mean that with all of the sincerity I can muster. It is for that reason that I'm not going to do the action that essentially says "Look at how terrible your friend is! Look at all the awful things he said!" I would rather bear the community's mistrust through secrecy than betray that community through such an act. If others believe that I am harming them through my desire to protect them, both the current players and the banned players, then that is a cross I will bear.

I agree with him here.

[Edit] Somehow I double posted! o.0
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#87
(03-23-2013, 08:13 AM)Etmosril Wrote: Let me give an example. Take Respect and Knowing when to quit for example. Both of those are rules. They were meant well, but they are too broad.

Questioning someone's character choice for any reason? Disrespect. Banned.

Standing up for yourself when you've been wronged? You don't know when to quit. Banned.

And those are very unimaginative, vanilla examples. Try this: go look at the rules, and imagine how many things which can be construed as 'offenses' occur every time you argue with your friends, or disagree over something in roleplay. Now remember that every GM is human, and has a different opinion of what constitutes a rule breach.

Would you, as a player, continue to trust the GMs?

These are very unfair examples as it's not only assuming you get banned immediately but it paints the GMs in a harsh light. "Disagreeing with someone's character choice" is far different from harassment and harassment is what we are handling -- especially if it's repeat occurrences. I assume that most people (I'll say most because hey, maybe there are people who don't want it brought it) want to be protected when they're right to play is harassed. That's why we ask harassed players to provide screenshots and logs -- we don't go off hearsay. With that, then we can pull aside the player(s) and give them a warning and a request to stop. Keep harassing that player? That's a knowing-when-to-quit and disrespect breach.

As for standing up for yourself which may be construed as 'knowing when to quit', there's a difference between calmly presenting your case and cursing up a storm and being exceedingly belligerent after being told to calm down. Knowing when to quit frequently includes public spectacles being made of a situation.


I have an honest question to post to your rhetorical "Would you trust your GM" -- it goes both ways. Can we trust the players? We are doing the best we can with what we have, seriously. It's exceedingly difficult to be a GM and try to balance the server to create a safe and fun environment for everyone. We're more frequently than not the bad guys. We don't actually relish saying 'no' and as Grakor mentioned, we really don't like banning people -- it's not fun.

Could our processes be better? Sure, no question, but that can be said about anything, really.
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#88
Quote:So, why can't we list every single thing a person did which counted towards a ban? Put the facts of the case up with the ban entry in Account Management? All of them.
Privacy. Seriously, there's a lot of stuff before someone's banned. We're not going to make that public information. It's bloody rude. Could a compiled list be given to the person being banned of -everything- they did? I suppose. But we're really not making it public information. I don't think there's a single GM or Ex-GM that agrees on this spot.

Quote:This would give people an incentive to avoid being banned. It would also make the GMs actions more transparent, and therefore, diminish the usual fear and lies (which have this nasty way of cropping up when everything important is hearsay.. and that's all bannings are around here). And ultimately, it does not divulge any private information. The only information it shares is that which the person gave of their own free will in the first place.
-GMs take logs before issuing bans. We take screenshots. We don't just go by hearsay. I've frequently told people 'I understand where you're coming from, but there's nothing we can do unless we have logs. Please, the next time something happens with this individual, use elephant or take screenshots so we have evidence'. We don't do things without evidence. We don't ban without evidence. This isn't just 'Oh I don't like this person let's ban him/her'. We really try to take personal feelings away from it all when we ban someone.

I don't understand why transparency is this coveted holy word. I think the GM team's pretty trustworthy, but I'm biased being an ex-GM. Is there no faith in them? I'm sorry if they don't take your (generalized your, not directed) side all the time, but from my experience, even before becoming a GM, they try to be fair in most situations. Are there slip-ups? Yeah. I keep saying that. GMs aren't perfect. But they're doing a fine job.

Quote:It also requires very little effort beyond the amount expended in normal bannings. And considering that we have far, FAR more GMs and Forum Helpers than we used to, a few sentences is not a problem. If some helpful soul feels like adding blanked-out logs, so much the better. Sound good thus far?
No. Blanked out logs are a horrible idea, because you can still totally guess who's who just from writing habits. I can tell who some people are on CotH based on their vocabulary. We've received anonymous logs frequently, and I can generally call out who sent in the log on that alone, along with many other factors. Also this is bringing up embarrassing information, and things that people might not be comfortable with disclosing. To openly show logs would be in poor taste, as it's disclosing information about the banned individual that said individual might not want to be known.

Furthermore, this is disrespectful to the people who give us the logs. Many of them don't want those logs to be made public information. Their reasons are their own for this, but they trust the GM team to keep it that way. Some of the stuff we get is really embarrassing if it were made public, and out of respect for all people involved, I truly hope that this level of transparency never comes.

Quote:This amount of disclosure is something we need for this server, and its rules. Why? Because the rules are so, incredibly broad that one can be banned for anything they do.

Let me give an example. Take Respect and Knowing when to quit for example. Both of those are rules. They were meant well, but they are too broad.

Questioning someone's character choice for any reason? Disrespect. Banned.

Standing up for yourself when you've been wronged? You don't know when to quit. Banned.

And those are very unimaginative, vanilla examples. Try this: go look at the rules, and imagine how many things which can be construed as 'offenses' occur every time you argue with your friends, or disagree over something in roleplay. Now remember that every GM is human, and has a different opinion of what constitutes a rule breach.
These are such extreme and unrealistic examples that only one with absolutely zero faith in the GM team would have. Are they a bit broad, sure. But seriously, we don't ban people for that stuff. Otherwise I would have been banned long before I became a GM. I don't think anyone's been banned for anything like these existing examples in my time.

Has that happened in the past? Yes

Has it happened in the past two or three years? I really don't think so.

Quote:Our rules are only interpretations.
I'll take this to mean that the rules are open to interpretation. IE: They're not concrete, hard, you do this and you'll be banned instantly. The only one I think in recent times that is actually concrete and hard is the plagiarism rule. Otherwise... I dunno. Yeah they're pretty loose, mostly because people are prone to making mistakes. I mean hell, if everyone got banned the moment they broke a rule, we'd have a lot of banned people. But the rules are broad enough and treated with enough respect by the GMs that we know how to be lenient. Can it be abused by GMs who are power-hungry ban-happy idiots? Yeah, totally. I'm pretty sure they aren't though.

Once again, this designates a significant lack of trust with the GM team.

Quote:The last example I gave might have been too idealistic. Consider all the times you've heard about a ban, and yet the reasons were all covered up. Or you hear enough people complain that you start to worry. Or, you were a friend of the banned person. Everything is concealed, and you're told it's private. And you know that under the rules, anything can be unacceptable - that feasibly, anyone can be banned for anything. Even personal reasons. Would you, as a player, continue to trust the GMs?

I totally would trust the GMs. If I didn't, I'd leave the server. Everyone they've banned, I can totally figure out why they were banned pretty quickly (even before I was a GM, no ban was a shock to me), and I'm surprised there are people who aren't aware of why they're banned. We do have numerous chats with people when they start to become problems, telling them what they've done wrong and how they can improve. There's probably a few people reading this who can vouch on my behalf, though I don't expect them to if only for privacy's sake. I'm guessing there's some exceptions that people can pick out, but really, it shouldn't be too surprising.

In America, arrest information is not public knowledge. We're not making our ban information public knowledge either, unless it's something we feel people should seriously be worried about.

Quote:If you don't want to have people fear and distrust GMs, remove the secrecy. Let the cause and effect be known. And show them that no nasty secrets are hiding behind that figurative curtain of yours.
No. Because there are 'nasty secrets' because we need to keep a lot of information so every GM's on the same page when it comes to people who have broken rules. Would they be willing to disclose a general synopsis of roughly what's in your warning thread and what you've done wrong lately? Sure. But to just lay the warning threads bare would be an absolutely foolish thing that would just splinter the community.

I implore that everyone trust the GM team to know what they're doing. People do get banned sometimes, yes. Sometimes they're friends. But it's not done without reason these days, at least. The GM team has significantly improved as far as being fair to players is concerned.




Quote:I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply the GM should take a picture, edit it to remove names, then send it the player; I meant that players should be free to ask what they have done wrong, so they can not do it again. Just the name of the offence.

Sorry about missing this Zhaei. Yeah, that's totally cool and I agree with you there. This is a change that I would enjoy, and it's pretty decent transparency all things considered, without being too... see-through glass-like. Though I think we do it already? Regardless, good idea, I like this. Sorry about the misunderstanding.



Quote:And really, no one wants to see their own thread. It will seem like a good idea until its yours [yours as in anyone, not specifically you.] being seen in public. I sure wouldn't want mine public because some of the things on there just have no right to be seen in the public eyes. I'm pretty sure a lot of people wouldn't want others scrolling though their thread. There is, of course, the PD route with this where only a specific person and the team can see them, but then we hop right back to the first paragraph I wrote.

I'd personally love for people to see my warning thread. But only because of how hilarious I find it. Though I suppose it does serve as a prime example of someone almost being banned without being made aware of what he/she's doing wrong.
Quote:[8:53AM] Cassius: Xigo is the best guy ever. he doesn't afraid of anything.
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#89
Isn't that taking away what the GM's do though, I don't think for one minute that they take banning lightly and have the confidence that the GM's give serious thought before deciding a punishment. After all they all seem varied in opinion and that's probably why they were picked to do the job. They deserve a little more credit than conspiracy theories and the like, they are volunteers after all they don't get paid so there's no real reason they would want to de-populate the server and effectively lesser the role playing on the server to. We -all- want more players to join and have more people to RP with including them so why work against that.

By the way I don't think I know any of the new GM's since I've been gone so long so I'm not saying this as I'm biased or anything like that.

( p.s wrote this from my IPhone so if it doesn't read well I apologise)
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#90
Imagine you were promoted to be a GM. You're excited. You can finally help people, make changes. You decide you wanna be liked, so you figure you'll act really nicely towards people. I dunno, maybe you address them personally? Maybe you want to be a bit informal with people, calling them by affectionate terms. "Bro", "hon", "dear", "man", "buddy", and so forth? You want to be like after all, and you don't want people to be intimidated by you.

Somehow, this is perceived as being arrogant. Apparently you're setting yourself above them, belittling them. Suddenly, you're a real bad guy. Suddenly, friends are turning their backs, and you don't know what you did. You were just trying to be nice - as you always were, in fact. Nobody had any issue with you being nice before, so why now? Why this sudden change?

Do you understand why GMs begin to lose faith in players? Because when they try to approach us, most of us are hesitant. We don't even want them in our RP, we don't want them to watch us RP - because that's intimidating, isn't it, to have them sit there and judge you? But it's fine when it's events, because then everyone is having fun. Never mind the fact that the GMs are the ones who helped arrange it all, more often than not. Never mind the fact that the GMs spend their time on the server trying to make it better for you.

I do mean you, because it does concern all of us. Even me. I'm not gonna proclaim I don't share your fears, 'cause I didn't dare say one careless word in one GM's presence until he stepped down. And then he was suddenly a very nice bloke after all. Now I know better, and I've learned. I'd be glad to see him back on the team, because I know these people are human beings who want to help us.

It's a sacrifice, becoming a GM. You're giving up friends, the trust of people who know you and best of all, you're leaving a bit of yourself. Because you won't be a very happy GM after all these accusations . . . And somehow, that's bad too. And you know the worst part? Sometimes some of the few friends you have left won't respect that sacrifice, and they break your trust.

People are too willing to forget that GMs have a crushing responsibility on their shoulders - or they aren't willing to learn in the first place. If we all stopped wasting our breaths on discussing whether they are corrupt or not, then we could set about trying to get to know each other. So we can learn to trust each other.

I trust the GMs. I'm not too sure about some of the players, but I'm willing to give them the chance - in fact, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Let's just hope it won't bite me in the ass.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I PRESENT YOU . . .

The GM team. They're really scary, you know.

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