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  1. #11
    I remember, years ago, after handing in a report to the mods on this one site, a senior admin told me that if I ever needed to quickly contact someone, use the chat room they had. When I eventually found myself in there, it became all too clear that only a handful of members and a bunch of mods were the only people who gave a damn about the chat. Nobody else bothered with it.

    This very limited number of persons is why they stopped caring that the site's name was on the chat, thereby directly linking repeated and varied hardcore racist and sexist remarks to a family-friendly site. Remarks made by the staff and some friends of theirs. All of whom knew better.

    So imagine their shame (read: lack thereof) when one admin who did not engage in such antics entered, saw a long stream of screaming racism as the topic title, and took issue with it directly to the site's owner.

    Currently I'm butting heads with the owner of another site and one of his own senior mods. The owner is dangerously ignorant about the gravity of bigoted speech being used in topic titles in his forums, and the mod flat-out said that hate speech isn't a problem because some people use discriminatory language as a form of endearment. Because I have actually had to deal with personal, hate-motivated attacks in real life, and in a work environment no less, I refuse to accept such language.

    I like that Weasyl's staff seems to give a damn about its userbase, though the limits thereof I have yet to see. I like that rules and policies are willing to be revised to be of better protection and clarity. I didn't come to this site for the camaraderie, that is true, but I find some small discussion here and there on the forums worth having and I have some small (though potentially large) use for the main site, so I suppose I'll come to appreciate things more in the future. We'll see.
    Sega does what Nintendon't.

  2.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #12
    [Logic is Erratic] Taw's Avatar
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    Incoming wall of text, sorry in advance!

    Quote Originally Posted by Moogle View Post
    Mmm, I honestly haven't noticed much that has been getting out of hand on the forums as of late (from my view, everything has been quite peaceful actually!), of course I take it that a majority of what you're stating is behind the scenes/reports from other users over the course of a few months? Back and forth opinions may clash but I don't see that as something really serious, rather it can be very entertaining for both parties.

    Regarding the Grind my Gears thread, it'd be a shame if that ever got closed.. I feel it'd just create more posts in the General Discussion topic were that to ever happen (saw your edit as well, just saying :3).

    Yepyep, agreed very much.
    The stuff I was mentioning was over the last three months, based off of PMs to staff members and forum reports we have received in this time. Several people have brought up a variety of complaints or feedback, so I figured it would be good to reach out to the community as a whole, and offer a bit of insight and transparency in regards to the future direction of the forums.

    The "What Grinds Your Gears?" thread likely will not go unless several issues stem from it, but we may be applying a [Heavy Moderation] title to it, which was one of the upcoming possible moderation actions we may decide to start doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taw
    • Threads with a past history of issues may be placed under a heavy moderation status - this means posts will be deleted without warning if they are breaking any rules or attempting to bait people into arguments. Offenders will not be given warnings, it will be infractions. These threads will be marked in the title to indicate this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Onnes View Post
    Prohibiting negative topics focusing on other users (who are not public figures) seems to be a fairly cut-and-dried issue. But a more general ban on rants seems harder to actually define so that users know what is and is not acceptable. Quite a large fraction of written content on the internet could be fairly described as a rant; you need some clear definition of what separates the acceptable and unacceptable.

    Let me turn away from this one item and speak more generally on this post. I think the most pernicious thing about strict moderation is that it tends to reflect the established user base, and that those regular users know how to abuse it to their advantage. I've seen this phenomenon in action across a number of forums, and it inevitably ends up silencing less popular users and minority opinions. While the alternative may involve many bad posts filled with people writing bad things, it's preferable to the possible regime where those who disagree with bad posts are chased off or banned. Hence, I tend to favor fairly restrained moderation, especially with regards to bans and suspensions of individual users.
    I agree with both of your first two points, especially when it comes to defining what exactly a rant thread is. This is partially why I wanted to bring it up for the community, and get feedback before we implemented a decision that wasn't thoroughly discussed and had feedback on.

    I also prefer restrained moderation, which is why we try and be more laid back with our disciplinary actions here than other places I've been a staff member of. I don't believe in a one strike system, but I also believe that giving someone too many chances can lead to abuse of the system and rules, and lead to overall negativity within the community due to people putting their toe across the line from time to time and getting away with it. It can be hard to watch people for this behaviour, and it's been an issue in the past here, but I think we're currently in a good spot when it comes to moderation of these types of individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cause the Rat View Post
    I dont think I've ever been modded here. If I have I don't remember. The following paragraph isn't a reflection on this site. It's an observation of the over 30 years I've been an active member on online forums. Believe it or not. I've seen it all.

    Mods are a necessary evil. At all times a two edges sword. The best advice I can give is NEVER mod without explanation. This means NEVER. If you delete a post or change it let the poster know why. Give them the opportunity to repost in a better light. If you lock a thread leave an explanation that doesn't sound like a police warrant. If you delete a thread make a thread stating why. Without explanation any action is a hard slap in the face. Even if the poster knows what was posted was way off base. Every action taken. No matter the size. Any and everything needs an explanation. A friendly explanation. If possible leave the explanation open ended. In other words, not ending in a reminder of or a threat of action. It's the difference between "we see you" or "we see you and we have a big stick." There really is no fine line between good and bad moderation. Good mod practices leaves members feeling butt hurt but still welcome.

    General ranting threads give members a safe place to let of steam. Friends rant at times. A general ranting thread is the time and place to do just that. Two great rules for a ranting thread.
    No bullying. No individual person shall every be ranted against.
    No disagreeing. If you feel the posted rant is offensive, silly or childish don't post a reply. Remember, your next rant might be offensive, childish and silly so someone else.

    General mega threads are a problem. In general a general thread is generally a bad idea. In one week you could have to potential of 20 new threads lost in one general thread. Every one of the twenty potential threads are only commented on those who follow the general thread. So instead of having even five new threads you have one never ending general goblin.

    My personal thoughts on one subject mega threads. 10.000+ pages of everything ever said about this subject in one place. No need to look anywhere else.

    I agree with you on the modding without explanation point completely. Whenever we take action, we send a PM to a user explaining what we did and why we did it, typically also including a link to the rules and pointing out specific ones that were broken. Those two rules would actually be a good addition to the current rant megathread, which could possibly be a solution to hopefully quell future issues that may arise from there.

    I do also agree with you on the point of megathreads. They were fantastic when the forums were a smaller community and got maybe two or three posts a day, but we are getting much, much more than that nowadays, and the community itself that browses the forum is quite sizeable. I wouldn't be opposed to archiving the General Discussion megathreads to open the way for a wider variety of subjects to be discussed and posted. Things definitely do get lost in the megathreads, and quite quickly, so I'd love to see more variety and easier to find topics than trying to dig through the 50+ pages I missed in a massive thread.

    DrunkCat touches on this as well, and I do agree with his sentiments.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJaySF View Post
    I remember, years ago, after handing in a report to the mods on this one site, a senior admin told me that if I ever needed to quickly contact someone, use the chat room they had. When I eventually found myself in there, it became all too clear that only a handful of members and a bunch of mods were the only people who gave a damn about the chat. Nobody else bothered with it.

    This very limited number of persons is why they stopped caring that the site's name was on the chat, thereby directly linking repeated and varied hardcore racist and sexist remarks to a family-friendly site. Remarks made by the staff and some friends of theirs. All of whom knew better.

    So imagine their shame (read: lack thereof) when one admin who did not engage in such antics entered, saw a long stream of screaming racism as the topic title, and took issue with it directly to the site's owner.

    Currently I'm butting heads with the owner of another site and one of his own senior mods. The owner is dangerously ignorant about the gravity of bigoted speech being used in topic titles in his forums, and the mod flat-out said that hate speech isn't a problem because some people use discriminatory language as a form of endearment. Because I have actually had to deal with personal, hate-motivated attacks in real life, and in a work environment no less, I refuse to accept such language.

    I like that Weasyl's staff seems to give a damn about its userbase, though the limits thereof I have yet to see. I like that rules and policies are willing to be revised to be of better protection and clarity. I didn't come to this site for the camaraderie, that is true, but I find some small discussion here and there on the forums worth having and I have some small (though potentially large) use for the main site, so I suppose I'll come to appreciate things more in the future. We'll see.
    With how we currently run the forums, we don't ask users to bring to our attention forum issues via methods outside the forums. It's good if it's something we need to take action on right away, but if someone files a report, it's emailed out to the relevant staff to let them know there is a new report, which means I generally see it right away unless I'm at work or asleep. Moderators do discuss internally though whenever we are taking action on a report if we can. I also personally review each report and action taken to ensure that we keep moderation and it's standards consistent across the board.

    We definitely do care about our users! I personally started working on Weasyl as a small hobby, but watching it grow over the last four years has been exciting, and we wouldn't be where we are today without our fantastic community. Our users are quite important, which is why we try and respond to feedback when we can, and interact with everyone. I know I'm sort of silent a bunch on the forums, while being the one in charge of them, but I do respond to all PMs and I do poke around the various threads whenever I can and see what's going on. We welcome discussion, feedback, suggestions and criticism of every aspect; this is one thing that I can assure you that Weasyl does take very seriously, as it helps us know what we need to change or make better for everyone.

  3. #13
    I would say there would be two megathreads to keep:

    What Grinds Your Gears: General rant thread, you can use this to help enforce the "no rant threads" rule ("just post it in WGYG please").
    The Picture and GIF Thread: Closing this will get real spammy real quick. It's great for a quick "lol look at this pic I found" that doesn't generally deserve an entire thread all it's own. If discussion of one individual pic starts picking up, mods can filter it out into it's own thread.

    I also want to toss my hat in to the "public moderation" crowd; learning from the mistakes of others is important for the growth of the community and it gives a public record to be able to say "hey, we enforced the rules the same way here <link>." A quick "Closing this thread due to ignored warnings. Users have been infracted" works for threads, and I like the XKCD forums' moderator redtext to distinguish "staffmember as staff" from "staffmember as user" posts.

  4. #14
    Senior DrunkCat's Avatar
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    I say replace all the mega threads with a single shout box. The shout box can be only on the front page or appended to the bottom of every page, almost like a vertical news ticker.

  5. #15
    Senior Kurk2288's Avatar
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    I'm with DrunkCat, a shout box would make the Mega-threads pointless. All the random/trivial chitchat & pictures can go there and RIP. Plus lurkers might participate, and regulars will have to create & use more threads. The only downside is people might try flex the rules, or treat it like a private chat room. Thus restrictions are necessary. Unless flooding, porn and outright role-play is all well and good? :I

    TGGD & WGYG are popular because it's easy to dump your thoughts/opinions and leave it at that.
    "Here's my rant, k bye", "Who here likes kittens?"- "I like turtle"- "OH ME TOO"- "I hate both", "Neer is a big fat stupid head"- "IKR hope he chokes on one his of dragon cocks", "ISM THIS AND IST THAT!"- ""Screw you-cya!", "Stop talking, we're talking"-...
    ^Basically exercises in superficiality^because primates like instant gratification^so shout box = good^

    Before anyone mentions the IRC, I don't think it's a good alternative.
    Not everyone goes on there and it's detached from the forums.

  6. #16
    Eww, chatbox. We had one on a popular forum I ran once and it was killing the site. Nobody created new threads since they could just shout in the chatbox, and questions got repeatedly asked because the chatbox didn't keep a reviewable history like threads do. Even with rules about "ask questions in the forums" it still killed activity on the site.

  7.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #17
    [Logic is Erratic] Taw's Avatar
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    I agree with Socks in regards to Shout Boxes. Every forum I have been on that has had one, it hindered activity quite a bit, and it tends to introduce more moderation issues, which can be difficult to manage if the chat box doesn't have history, or lacks other features to make a moderator's job easier. Shout Boxes are also pretty susceptible to spam, which is something I've been trying to keep off the forums a ton. We've had issues in the past, though I think so far this year it's been fairly good, with only a few minor spam here and there.

    I do also like the idea of only retaining the two following threads:
    -What Grinds Your Gears?
    -The Picture and GIF Thread

    The other megathreads would end up locked, but kept around for anyone who wanted to browse through them still, etc.

    WGYG would likely need to be under constant heavy moderation status, to ensure issues don't keep coming from it, as it's been an issue in the past.

    As for public moderation type of thing, we do try to keep this info already pretty public when it comes to warnings in threads, or when we close them. If a post is edited, reasons are typically put on them by the staff member who edited it. We also PM the users affected to give them a heads up/warning, though if it's an infraction, it will automatically require a PM sent to the user.

    I'll look into the xkcd redtext as well and see if there's something we can do over here to help make the moderation posts stand out easier and not get missed.

    Thanks again everyone for all the suggestions and discussion regarding the forums and what you like, don't like, etc. I do appreciate hearing from everyone what they think should be done differently, and discussing these things. It all helps and contributes to making Weasyl a great place!

  8. #18
    Senior Kurk2288's Avatar
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    Socks made some great points, so I concede WGYG is worth keeping. As for shout boxes my experiences have been different. It is a pity because they're great for sharing short & simple things, like events, news, pictures or links. Regardless, I suppose it's not worth the risk of killing thread activity + other issues and added moderation. (The Picture and GIF thread can also stay)

    I think we all can agree at this point the other mega-threads,
    particularly TGGD should be locked. (Until they're necessary again)
    Last edited by Kurk2288; 08-17-2015 at 08:42 PM. Reason: their * they're

  9.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by XoPachi View Post
    When the other general threads are closed, I know I'd have little to contribute. It'd be a shame. :/
    you could like, make a regular thread for a topic you want to discuss

  10. #20
    XoPachi, The size or number of posts within a thread makes no difference. A successful thread is one that someone else posts on. Even if it's just one post.

    If you only post on a mega thread your missing out on the possibility of multiple discussions on your single announcement. On a mega thread it's only up for discussion as long as there's people willing to say something within a small time frame. Once someone posts a new announcement yours may stop dead and disappear. If your same announcement is presented as it's own thread you'll have a better chance of more people participating in your discussion. Your "I had to deal with this 'topic' yesterday" is now lost in a mega thread. Had "I had to dead with this 'topic' yesterday' had it's own thread there would be more time for others to join in your conversation.

 

 

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