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  1. #1

    Advanced Blocking - Why it's a bad idea

    If you agree with the point I'm making, please say so in the thread here. Unless a large number of people say something about their concerns with advanced blocking, it will NOT be taken into consideration.

    (Please remain civil and do not invalidate the other side though - even though advanced blocking doesn't work any better than basic blocking and will cause new problems instead, they still had legitimate reasons for wanting it in the first place).



    I happened to see that Weasyl allows blocking from watching you and may have more advanced features regarding this as well (possibly not allowed to see one's page at all if blocked) and I'm a little concerned because a lot of sites are implementing things like this without realizing it's not as effective as they think it is while creating new problems in it's place.

    So that people don't misunderstand me, blocking people from communicating in any way or form with the person who blocked them is fine. This is necessary and shouldn't be changed. However, blocking people from viewing one's page or blocking them from watching is something that doesn't actually stop the blocked individuals from doing so like they think it does. There's nothing to stop dedicated harassers from logging out, creating new accounts to get around the ban and/or bookmarking your page to manually visit (so they are still going to see your stuff, you just won't know that they are). So this method doesn't stop them from viewing your stuff.

    In addition, it creates new problems in its place and is abused for the wrong reasons. On other sites which have features like this, people use coercion to make people do stuff if they wish to keep watching them (or they won't be allowed to see their artwork) and/or people will be blocked based on appearances alone (even if they didn't do anything wrong at all) or for POLITELY disagreeing with someone. I've seen with others abuse these features such as:

    1) If you don't have an icon I will block you.
    2) If you fav and don't comment I will block you.
    3) If you don't comment enough I will block you.
    4) If you're not a good enough artist I will block you.
    5) If you disagree with me (even if you're polite about it) I will block you (so people are going to be far less likely to say anything when an artist is genuinely doing something awful or wrong).
    6) People blocking others simply based on assumption, appearances, etc.

    This stuff IS happening on others sites, and though I think you guys meant well and were listening to what artists wanted, advanced blocking isn't as effective as people think and causes new problems in it's place when it is abused. I think blocking should just be blocking communication (as well as notifications so that the blocked person is out of sight, out of mind) alone. This way it achieves what blocking CAN ACTUALLY achieve WITHOUT it being abused for the wrong reasons.

    I'm hoping you guys take this into consideration. You have a wonderful site, but this is the one thing that makes me extremely hesitant to use it.



    For clarity, my point is:

    - Basic blocking (stopping communication and notifications from people who are blocked) is needed.

    - Advanced blocking (stopping people from watching you and/or seeing your page) is not more effective then basic blocking, does not solve the problem people think it will and will create new problems in it's place (reasoning for these points above).

    - Advanced blocking creates new problems without solving any. Basic blocking is all that is needed for a fair balance to solve what can be solved WITHOUT creating new problems.






    UPDATE:

    There were some alternatives and suggestions made throughout the thread that I'd like to add here.

    - Roki mentioned disabling the ability to prevent blocked people from faving your stuff. I see no issue with this though the site would still have to disable notifications for being watched by the blocked person. Either this or disabling notifications of both favs and watches from the blocked people is fine.

    - Oly brought up preventing those who are not logged in (guests) from seeing your page like FA has as an option. This is an excellent idea and I see no issues with this. The admins have said this feature is already going to be available.

    - Tarti mentioned putting a limit on how many accounts you can make per email you use. This is something that may actually hinder trolls at least a little more without affecting innocents or being abused. I can't think of anything wrong with this so I think this is a good idea.

    - Doki and Ragscoon have brought up an alternative to the ability to block people from watching you (while still keeping basic blocking intact - which stops all communication). The suggestion is to have basic blocking for anyone. For cases where people are legitimately being harrassed/stalked they simply contact an admin showing them the legitimate case and then have the admin block that person from watching the plaintiff. This prevents abuse of the system while still giving people the option available to still have those who actually did something wrong to be blocked from watching the plaintiff. I thought this may tie up the admins too much, but if they can do it, this would be the best option for the concerns of both party's concerns regarding the advanced block system.
    Last edited by Thefallenwind; 10-24-2012 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
    Regular Roki's Avatar
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    Abuse of any feature will happen, I think. If someone is going to abuse a feature that prevents others from communicating with them and destroy their reputation in the process then that is their prerogative. Word gets around on things like that.

    I appreciate that advanced blocking means that 1. Persons I do not want watching me cannot watch me from the accounts I block and 2. I will never get notifications from persons I have explicitly cut all contact with. As someone who has had an internet stalker for years now I look forward to never seeing that name pop up on my message center again. Seriously, I still sometimes get COMMENTS from the guy on other sites and he's still blocked. Yes, he could register a new account and sock puppet it up a notch, but it is still more effort than simply being able to favorite and view from his original account. And when I find out I can block that account, and the next, and the next.

  3. #3
    Premium User Temrin's Avatar

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    Just as roki said, ANY and EVERY feature available to the general public WILL be abused.
    As well, the "they will ruin their own reputation" from creating more accounts and being a jerk to other people WILL get around. People on FA do this just from blocked communication so why do you think its such a big deal for viewing as well when it already happens from just blocked communication? Trolls are everywhere on the internet and as long as people report harassment then thats the best thing you can do about it. People will create new accounts for whatever reason why want and all of us have to deal with that. Changing how much a person gets blocked isnt going to stop people creating new accounts to harass other people.

    I definitely appreciate advanced blocking because i can choose what i want to happen. What if someone was stealing my art? Blocking communication does nothing. Blocking them from viewing my page will stop it for a while, and most people are too lazy to do anything else then that. Those who arent, and create another account, well, its not hard to find them and report them for theft. eventually they will realize they cannot hide and stop. Its happened many of times before and that is the risk of putting anything online.

    -Being on the internet means putting up with trolls. Get used to it :/ Report them and move on-

    It gives artists a little bit of peace of mind to know that when something needs to stop, it will stop there. (at least from that particular site. No one can really control re-post it sites. But again. Internet. Get used to it. People will take all they want and think its A-OK. So report them, and move on.)


    As well for the "if you dont comment enough i will block you" type stuff?
    Why watch an artist whos going to be a ass.... >. >
    Sure, you might like their art. Again, read my post above. Just about everything is reposted these days and most artists have galleries in more then on place. :/ its not the end of the world. My own oppinion on this, is if an artist acts like this, it turns me of their art permanently.
    Last edited by Temrin; 10-18-2012 at 05:00 PM.

  4. #4
    @Roki "persons I do not want watching cannot watch from the accounts I block" - all they have to do is make an account with a different name and silently watch you or simply bookmark your page while logged into an account that isn't blocked. They will always be able to see your artwork, no matter what, whether you know it or not.

    "I will never get notifications from persons I have explicitly cut all contact with" - which is why I mentioned blocked people should give no notifications so that they are still out of sight out of mind, they can implement that without having to implement blocking watches.

    My point was this - the "cannot watch" feature is supposed to prevent people from seeing your work. Anyone can get around that easily so the reasoning for implementing it does not actually do what people think it will do. In it's place, it will now create new problems from a "solution" that doesn't actually do what people think it will do. I was suggesting a compromise that solves what CAN be solved WITHOUT creating new problems in it's place.

    And I know you said people's reputations will be destroyed for abusing it - it probably won't dent them. I've seen people FLAT OUT rip people off commission wise and they're still popular as ever. I've seen an artist FLAT OUT insult one of their customers, they did lose about 30 watches from that when featured on A_B, then within a week they gained back 30 watches plus 20 more. If you're popular enough, you can get away with almost anything because too many people in this fandom are starstruck and infatuated with the popular artists that they will blindly agree with them no matter what they say or do.


    Don't get me wrong, I understand there are some serious problems with stalkers/harassers and that something must be done about it. But implementing something that doesn't actually stop them (and that's the thing, just cause you don't see their name doesn't mean they're not watching you under a different alias) which will create new problems isn't the best way to go.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @Temrin "Changing how much a person gets blocked isn't going to stop people creating new accounts to harass other people." - Right, I fully agree with that. Implementing more advanced features isn't going to stop them if they're dedicated to harassing/stalking others. So it doesn't really justify the need for advanced blocking because of that alone.

    "What if someone was stealing my art? Blocking communication does nothing. Blocking them from viewing my page will stop it for a while" - all they have to do, is have another account and bookmark your page. You will never know how they're seeing your page because you won't know the name of their secret account. Only the stupid thieves will be hindered by the advanced features.

    "It gives artists a little bit of peace of mind to know that when something needs to stop, it will stop there" - if people are dedicated enough to make new accounts to continue communication, they will be dedicated to make new accounts to continue communication and them not being able to see you're page with a throwaway account won't hinder them at all. If they're a stalker, rather then a harasser, they can bookmark your page and manually visit you. Again, this doesn't justify the effectiveness of blocking from watching.

    "Why watch an artist who's going to be a ass.... >. > " - Because people may like someone's artwork because they like their artwork. Then for no justified reason they're now prevented from seeing the artists artwork, would pretty much suck. I've left 6 good comments on one artist's work on DA (and by good comments I mean I told him what he did well on like his inking and coloring, not murry purry comments or anything like that). He then marked all 6 comments as spam, blocked me and told me I wasn't a good enough artist to watch him. I did nothing wrong at all. I didn't harass him, I didn't make any murry purry or sexual comments towards him. I left him well-thought out, constructive comments and he blocked me because I wasn't good enough.

    It's like a free concert being held with bands you love and when you go to enter the stadium someone stops and says you can't enter because you're not good enough.
    Is it the end of the world? No.
    Do you NEED to see this concert? No.
    Was it fair to let all these other people in but not you because you didn't meet some unfair, secret requirement? No.
    Did you do anything wrong to deserve it? No.
    Does it now suck that you can't see something that is free to everyone else except you for an unfair, secret requirement you didn't meet? Yes.

    " its not the end of the world" - you are correct, it is not the end of the world. My argument was why implement something that will solves 'N minus 1' problems that creates new problems when you can implement something that solves 'N minus 1' problems WITHOUT creating new problems? That "1" problem (people being able to see your page) cannot be solved as they can always get around it by bookmarking your page or watching you incognito. Putting in a feature that people CAN NOW abuse for the wrong reasons (coercion and using it on innocents) isn't necessary to implement if it doesn't solve the problem people think it will.

    I understand there is a problem with harassment/stalking and that there is a need to block communication (and there's no need to receive notifications from blocked people either). But if you promote a solution that doesn't work, and in turn, screws over innocent people why even use it? Why not create something that solves what can be solved and set it up so that the dishonest people can't abuse it for the wrong reasons (or at least reduces the potential abuse that can be done if not preventing outright abuse of it)? My argument was to try to reason for a fair balance, a compromise, a middle ground - the best solution for the given problem.
    Last edited by Thefallenwind; 10-18-2012 at 11:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Premium User Temrin's Avatar

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    Seems you missed a few things i said and only focused on some -points- when those points covered some of the retorts you gave.
    Specially about the "liking the persons art and still wanting to see it if blocked"

    -shrugs- Putting my two thoughts in, i like the feature and think it will be useful. If things get out of hand too much, report them and perhaps weasyl can implement IP blocks as well if it continues. No, its not going to completely prevent those who know how to get around that, but hey, most people are too lazy to learn how to get around it for -one- artist.

    No feature is 100% idiot proof and no matter what you do there will be people who abuse it. At this time, the site is new enough that i dont think there will be a problem. If it does become a problem, i am sure that weasyl will recognize it and do something about it. At that time they will be able to see the trends people are doing to get around it and might be able to come up with a solution easier then if they were to go off a whim right now.

  6. #6
    Regular Roki's Avatar
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    What would you suggest be done then, if not implementing blocking? Just ignoring the person when they comment or favorite? I've been doing that personally since I was around 20 and it gets old very fast, believe me.

    Responsible users would not have innocent victims. You've had someone block you for no good reason. That doesn't mean you need to kibosh an entire feature based on the actions of a few. That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    I think you may have also missed that I agreed; yes, people can make alternative accounts. I'm aware. I can just block those when they come up. If a person is desperate enough to manually bookmark my page to visit it then so be it. They cannot favorite or comment on my artwork anymore and that is what I want.

  7. #7
    I don’t quite understand why you guys are misinterpreting what I’m saying?

    @Temrin – I don’t mean any disrespect at all, but you don’t seem to understand my point. You seem to be arguing towards harrassers and stalkers when I’m talking about people abusing the block system for the wrong reasons. If you have a problem and you have two plans:

    Plan A = solves all the problems except 1 but creates no additional problems.
    Plan B = solves all the problems except 1 but creates new problems in its place.

    My argument is, why use plan B at all? Neither solution solves preventing the troublemakers from seeing one’s art or getting around a ban. Plan B creates new problems but everyone insists on using plan B because it SEEMS like it’s better but it’s not solving the problem people think it is at all and again, creates NEW problems by using it. Plan A and Plan B can both be abused but plan B can be abused more, so again, why do we insist on using plan B?

    “If it does become a problem, i am sure that weasyl will recognize it and do something about it.” – Weasyl will probably not punish people for abusing an advanced block system. There is no rule that says they can’t block people just because and there will most likely never will be – hence NEW problems from a plan that doesn’t even work.

    Also, the abuse of advanced blocking systems IS being abused on other sites. Again, it’s not doing what people think it will and creates new problems. Again, why do we insist on using Plan B? This is what I’m trying to warn against.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @Roki

    “What would you suggest be done then, if not implementing blocking?” – I’ve already covered that in my first post. I think blocking should just be blocking communication (as well as notifications so that the blocked person is out of sight, out of mind) alone. This plans solves what can be solved WITHOUT creating new problems.

    “Responsible users would not have innocent victims.” – There are a lot of people in this fandom that are not mature, responsible, fair, etc. I don’t think it’s going to be abused by everyone and right away. I fear that it will be abused by some at first, then increase as a trend, like it has been with others sites.

    “You've had someone block you for no good reason. That doesn't mean you need to kibosh an entire feature based on the actions of a few.” – I never suggested “kiboshing” the entire feature. I suggested an alternative that will solve what CAN be solved WITHOUT creating new problems. Again = I think blocking should just be blocking communication (as well as notifications so that the blocked person is out of sight, out of mind) alone.

    “They cannot favorite or comment on my artwork anymore and that is what I want.” – that’s perfectly ok! I’m talking about the “blocking the ability to watch” specifically, NOT commenting and faves. My original suggestion was eliminating notifications but blocking favs is fine. Just NOT blocking watches or preventing from seeing someone’s page. Implementing blocking watching does not achieve what people think it will and creates new problems by having it. In other words, its JUST creating new problems, so why not use a solution that solves what can be solved WITHOUT creating new problems?

  8. #8
    Regular Roki's Avatar
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    Okay, I re-read your first post and saw that I had indeed missed your initial point. Sorry about that, I misinterpreted the latter half of your post and didn't read the first half thoroughly enough.

    I would still rather not make it easy for certain persons to watch me or my artwork. If nothing else then he would need to log out to visit my page and then would not be able to see any of my artwork that was not of a general audience rating.

    Let me put it this way, this person I have not spoken to in roughly six years after I explicitly told him I did not want any more contact with him. Because he was still able to watch me he has shown up in my live streams because he read my journals (banned him), he has unwatched and rewatched me a few times which gave me notifications in my message center, he has been able to recently comment on my artwork due to a faulty blocking system, and he was favoriting artwork of mine about every three to four months (also due to faulty blocking system). I think he was also able to send me a note once, I forget (ongoing and all). Hell, he figured out who my friends are and watched them too for a while, just in case I left comments on their journals. So, sure, he could just make another account and get around the block, but it would make it that much more difficult for him. Especially when I figured out what his new account is. And if it continued I would report each new account. I see no reason I should have to allow him to continue watching and viewing my artwork if the option exists to simply not.

  9. #9
    I've been watching this thread for a day or two now and all I see is people repeating what has already been said in the first post and not understand what the OP is saying, lol.

    Blocking From Watching = Abuse, and solves nothing for to stop a Stalker/Harasser who can simply make a new account or sign-out to view your art

    What isn't to get about that? As they said you cannot stop someone who is persistent with bothering, stalking, steal, or harassing you. This feature would only show the ugly side of people who don't want certain people watching them (whether they do anything to them). Basic blocking is the only thing we need as far as this goes unless you can submit a ticket about someone blocking you for not liking your art or you for whatever reason.

  10. #10
    @ RadioCatastrophie Thank you. I was afraid people wouldn't understand the importance to my point and instantly dismiss me (not that Temrin or Roki dismissed me as they did discuss this with me civilly, but I don't think they fully understood my point).

    "unless you can submit a ticket about someone blocking you for not liking your art or you for whatever reason." - That will never happen. It's not something concrete if they never mention why they blocked someone, can lie about their reasoning, etc. On top of that, limiting why you can block someone is actually a bad idea too and makes things more complicated then they need to be as well as tying up admins for more stuff they would need to deal with. I think the best course of action is to implement a system that solves what can be solved in the best way possible WITHOUT creating new/more problems.

    Again though, thank you for understanding my point. *bows*

 

 

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