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Reigen Ruminates: Reporting
#1
Quote:Ruminate:

ru·mi·nate - Verb

1. Think deeply about something
- we sat ruminating on the nature of existence

I'd like to think that everyone who ever crosses path with CoTH is a well rounded individual who would never resort to rule-breaking or harassment, but I would be lying to myself if I said that CoTH does get it's fair share of...less than savory people. The fault is no ones, of course, as we can never know a person's intention when we accept their introduction and welcome them into our server. Sometimes we get pleasantly surprised, but other times...

There may be times that you come across a person who just enjoys making others feel awful about themselves or says things to make others uncomfortable. Many times these things go unreported to the GM team and the bad behavior goes on. We would like to think that every time someone does something to hurt another, that it would get reported to us. This is not always the case.

Nothing kills the GM team more than hearing about vile behavior and having to sit by helplessly because we can do nothing without the action being reported. We want to help, we beg of the CoTH population to let us help, but we are powerless unless we see the actions ourselves or receive some sort of report.

I think I've managed to narrow down a few reasons as to why we don't get these reports.


Not knowing a way to prove the actions are going on.

When I first joined CoTH, I let a lot slide by me because I had no idea how I was supposed to report someone because I didn't have a way to prove things were going on beyond screenshots, and uploading a lot of screenshots can be very tedious.

How then, do I prove something is going on?

There are two wonderful addons I would like to advertise in this spot.

1. Elephant

Elephant is a chat logger that keeps track of every chat you happen to be a part of, even custom chats. I highly recommend that everyone get this addon. It's easy to sort though, easy to use and the logs are as simply as copy and pasting the text into a PM to the GM of your choice. Once you get this addon, you go to options, fiddle with it how you like and set the log line to 1000 lines as the default is 250.

2. WIM

WoW instant Messanger is another good addon. It tabs all your chats that you use it for, mostly whispers/party/raid/guild chat, and logs them as well. The logs are held longer and are sorted by people and the date the chat was started on. With this addon, it's easy to go back though the history, find the day in which you experienced upsetting behavior and copy/pasting the relevant text to a GM in a private message.

Note: Outside methods of communication are generally not a reliable source. Beyond the official coth chats, we cannot really control what is said and done outside the server. The best thing to do in these situations is to block the person from your list and delete them from your contacts.


He said She said information

Sometimes you hear of things from a different person, like your BFF Jill heard Sandra talking crap about you in the school bus and decided to tell you about it.

This is the hardest thing to report for a few reasons. The main being that unless Jill tells us about it herself, we can't take he said she said for truth. If we have no proof that something is being done, we can't really do anything about it. Action cannot be taken on assumptions. If a friend is the only telling you of foul behavior, ask them to take logs of it and send it into us. It's best we have it from the source.

The second reason it's hard to report is that often time it is just another player stating an opinion to a group of friends. Opinions are welcome on the server, we don't want to make people feel like they can't talk about things with their friends because they might have a disagreement about another player. If a Jack is telling Jill about how much he dislikes Bill, Jack is doing no wrong by expressing his opinion so long as it's being done in a respectful tone. However, is Jack is telling Jill and Jess and Bob about how they should stop being around Bill and just flat out trash-talking Bill, then it is an issue because Jack is attempting to harm the reputation of Bill.


Fear of GM Bias

It's no surprise that the GMs have friends on the server, some of which we've known for a while. It's also no surprise that people may encounter an issue with one of our friends. The sad part comes when a victimized player is afraid of reporting a player out of fear that the GMs will side with their friend over the rules.

The fear is something I understand, I had a similar issue before where I thought that doing something against a player that was so buddy with the GMs would do nothing but get -me- in trouble. I let things go on way past what they needed too because I was terrified that nothing would happen and that the GMs would just shrug it off and tell the player I was having issues with so they would have more fuel for the fire.

I want to say how wrong this is. If rules are being broken, we want to put an end to it. We all have our friends on the server, we have people we enjoy talking to as friend to friend.

However.

When it comes to our job as a GM, friendship has no place in making a decision on what is right for the server. As heartless as it sounds, our duty to the server comes before the friends we have made on coth.

And lastly...


Guilty Conscience

A fair warning: This is personal to me. It's not mean to be a sob story, it's meant to show that I can relate.

Someone is being mean to you, harassing you or making you feel downright uncomfortable. No matter how many times you tell them off, it keeps happening. Anyone from the outside can shake their head and say 'Oh, just report them and move on', but it's not that easy and it never is that easy. This person is someone you know better than the others, you know their story, you know that they're really a nice person in other situations and the thought of getting them in trouble even though they do bad things...

It can leave a bitter taste on the tongue.

Yeah, I've been in this situation not once, but twice. Two times I spent the time getting to know someone. I would talk late to them and listen to their troubles, their fears and what they hope for their future. I had friendly conversations and RPed with them and they were great friends. Over time, however, I noticed that they had started to get a little...clingy to my characters.

Clingy to me.

In both cases, things started to shift from a friendly tone on their part to a more...suggestive tone. In one case, one of them started to question about why my character wasn't choosing their character over another, they started to bring their alts into it in an attempt to sway my character's opinion...and got upset when I started to refuse to have any relationship RP with them. They started to message me over MSN, trying to engage in 'Cybering' and refusing to stop when I said no. I said no a lot, but it was never acknowledged. I would simply ignore them, but I would never block them because in the back of my head, "he's not so bad...he'll get the point next time."

In another case, I was starting to get trapped by threats of suicide. Threats that made me stay up all night because I feared that if they did it, that it was going to be all my fault. I would get in-game mail about how they would never be on again, how they just wanted to be with me and how they swallowed pills. I was told if I ever went to someone about it, that they would go though with it, that it would be my fault.

I didn't know what to do, I was afraid. I didn't want to hurt either of them, even if they were making -me- feel uncomfortable. One knew I was a sucker and they took advantage of it.

It went on for months.

I reported them once I started to get wind that they were doing it to other people. I snapped at that point. I didn't want -anyone- else to feel the way that I had been feeling for a long time. I reported them, action was taken and all was said and done. They are no longer on this server.

And I still feel bad about it too, only more so because I now feel like if I had reported them sooner, had spoken up sooner, that I could have prevented another from feeling that way. I felt like I failed the community by being silent.

It can be hard to report people like that, but I can only beg that if you encounter this to let us know. It's unhealthy for you, it's unhealthy for others. If you can't do it for yourself...

Do it for the other people who your harasser might target next.


In Closing...

The GM team cannot be everywhere at every time. We have lives. We need to eat, sleep and get out of our house when Kretol and Grakor let us out of our cages to do so. We cannot always be there to see bad behavior for ourselves, so we rely on reports from our players in order to keep the server community up to the standards that everyone expects when they hit 'Submit' on their introduction.

It kills us, kills me, when we know by word of mouth that something is going on, but we cannot stop it because we don't have proper proof of the situation.

Let us help you.
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#2
I'm going to mention that I had to deal with one of those two people. Not only had I thought he was my friend but what happened overall is embarrassing. Don't worry, though. The GM team understands. It's alright to feel embarrassed and ashamed if someone did something like that to you, but the GM team is not the type to go victim-blaming and trivialize the situation. They really want to help you out.
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#3
I'm going to give this a bump, as it's been a while and we have a lot of new people on the server.
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#4
Quote:When it comes to our job as a GM, friendship has no place in making a decision on what is right for the server. As heartless as it sounds, our duty to the server comes before the friends we have made on coth.

Lost so many friends over this on CotH. People take your stance as a GM as something you personally hold against them. It's really not the case. It's just business.
Quote:[8:53AM] Cassius: Xigo is the best guy ever. he doesn't afraid of anything.
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#5
(06-26-2013, 07:41 PM)Xigo Wrote: Lost so many friends over this on CotH. People take your stance as a GM as something you personally hold against them. It's really not the case. It's just business.

With great power, comes great responsibility?
Not meant in a jesting way.. Sorry to hear you had that happen to you.
[Image: CKZI0Sp.gif]
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#6
It's happened to most if not all GMs. It's not really something you can avoid most the time, unfortunately.
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#7
I'm on my phone, so I don't have a lot of capability to write out a gigantic paragraph.

Reporting is important. It constitutes a level of integrity in the server and creates a necessary cog in the machine of the server. The staff doesn't cackle and laugh at someone reporting something, nor do they write it off and ignore it. It goes where it's supposed to go in the GM forum, and it is consulted upon in our judicial system accordingly. I feel as though it is doing my part to report rule infractions, and it should be the same instance for you as well. The issue with this, however, is most people don't consider themselves vigilant rule upholders, and leave it to the staff to just take care of everything. Much like Reigen said, though, the staff is not everywhere, and letting the bystander effect happen means it won't ever get reported.

This is our server. This is our roleplaying home. If someone is worthy of a report, they're breaking a rule, and you have to be fairly out of line to be really breaking a rule. I, and hopefully many others, feel as though it's our duty to the server we love to not let people be harassed, or feel unwelcome. If it's worth a report, it is certainly making someone uncomfortable. I'm not a white knight rule lawyer all the time, but I know from experience and interaction thay most infractions go without report, meaning someone just goes on doing wrong until it builds and they cross a serious line, get banned, and it causes an uproar. It's easier than you think to report someone, and it truly is worth the effort, morally and responsibly.

I'm sorry if I repeated myself, it's slow to type on my phone and hard to recount my thoughts, so it's more stream of consciousness than normal.
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