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Author Topic: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?  (Read 20890 times)

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Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #140 on: January 12, 2014, 09:57:23 PM »
My apologies. *giggle* MORE than two rules have been added, in response to complaints of the application of rules that the complainers feel are unnecessary.

And you're going to the effort of... pleasantly... pointing out how wrong I am, whilst simultaneously reinforcing the spirit of my post.

*giggle* Humiliating failure in my attempt to effect change? It looks like things are even further from what I was after in the first place! I laugh only at my folly, nothing else.

This deserves long form. Directed at my mirror. Laugh out loud.

Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #141 on: January 12, 2014, 10:27:11 PM »
Wrote out a long response to you GBT, then realized it just wasn't worth it.  As you said, the complaints were of the application of the rules, hence we put into writing the fact that how we view the rules has been toned down, as was requested.

But it is now clear to me that regardless of what our response was, it was never going to be good enough.
If there is anything that recent politics has taught us, it is that quotes taken out of context can mean what ever you want them to.
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Offline starstrider

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #142 on: January 12, 2014, 11:41:46 PM »
I like it.

I wish stuff had been loosened just a tiny bit further (or maybe clarified a tiny bit further?) in regards to when something has veered /too/ far off topic and needs a split. But overall, yeah. Additional rules, but that doesn't really mean additional strictness. I think it's good.

I'll admit my first impression of the new one line/spam stuff was to focus on the two new examples, rather than the fact that some one liners were ok now, even if not encouraged. Although GML cleared that up well with his highlighted edit version. I feel like maybe that could do with an extra sentence or something contrasting appropriate one liners vs. the two examples of innapropriate one liners. I don't know. I get the change now that it's been pointed out, and like it. I just feel it could be presented a bit better. Although enforcement is what matters more than presentation, honestly. Because, as much as everyone should read the rules well... I think we know that's not always the case. And even when people do read them, the finer details are quickly forgotten in a week or a month by those of us not regularly involved in their enforcement.

Anyways, I'm glad you guys took time with this and changed stuff, even if just slightly.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 11:47:36 PM by starstrider »

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #143 on: January 12, 2014, 11:58:09 PM »
But those rules still exist.

You're not allowed to step 1 foot over the line. Oh! Now you're not allowed to step 3 feet over the line, great, yes? The line need not be there in the first place, in several non-legal-stuff instances.

Now the discretion of the Moderator is the determining factor, which opens the door to accusations of favouritism / elitism.

The copyright rules are the same as always, with a bit of clarification. That's fine, because when it comes to legalities, the risk is on the owner, and no-one should force that person to assume unnecessary risk. No real change, which is good.

The spam issue was never about one liners, but having to "contribute at an academic standard" to the thread. If, "Nice job, I like your article, and how you punctuated that first sentence!" adds more to the thread than, "Nice job, I like your article." then I think we're splitting hairs. "I like how you highlighted that Elf's hair." Does that add anything? It's community building, but from an academic standpoint, no, it adds nothing. Which is kind of what I was trying to get at. Why enforce "academic" standards in a place people get together to have fun? Sorry, I was just choking on my own futility there. No real change.

Needless convolutions in the Necromancy rules. They could just be let go. It may not be interesting to someone that saw it 4 years ago, but maybe it peaks the interest of someone new to the site. They post, and BAM. Don't post there. They're interested in the subject, but they're not allowed to talk about it. Oh, but now it's ok if you're in a slow board and it's still on the front page? Just let it go. Changed, but needlessly retained, and still enforceable in most cases.

Double posting has been a non-issue for a long time. Auto-corrected without moderation required. No change, never really enforced. Bumping is still not allowed, no change.

The decision on off topic discussion is still a dicey thing, but if the Moderators intend to be more lenient, great. I get the recent split when it became a rules issue, and that a link was provided. This has never been something I'm particularly bothered by, I don't recall it ever having happened in a thread I was part of. No change that I see, other than a change in tone, but it will still happen.

I'm not seeing how relaxing advertising is effecting the typical member... but I don't field the requests, so there you go. Positive change for the rare member wanting to advertise their store?

Improperly located threads are no longer penalized [?] and are instead going to be moved a more friendly way. ACTUAL positive change for new members, and old members that might otherwise sit on a fence about posting when unsure about which board.

Two positive changes in regards to not immediately scaring off new members.


Upon active rereading, there is some good in there.

Offline Mr.Peanut (Turtleproof)

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #144 on: January 13, 2014, 11:16:34 AM »
Moving a thread was never a punishment.  A thread that is moved gets visibility in two forums instead of one and is located where the specialized experts hang out (especially the foreboding creatures that haunt the rules & questions forum).

Copyright violations mean little to the user that posts them and everything to the website host.  GW legal would never bother with the user that posted the violation, but they sure as hell would send a cease and desist to the owner of the server that is hosting the violation.

My old battleaxe of a reference is landraider.com, that went from a bleeding edge rumors source, down to some kind of general discussion blog after being sued to death, now a placeholder.  GW legal annihilated them just because the URL is "landraider:"
.:: landraider.com ::.

Moderator discretion has always been a factor, and that is generally for the best.  The rules are a guideline, having the guidelines publicly posted sets the goalpost firmly for all to see, follow, and also debate their prudence.  You think the rules are too strict, yet discretion is too vague?
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Offline Benis

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #145 on: January 13, 2014, 11:30:45 AM »
I think the new tone of the rules is a good change. I just hope that the tone of the actual moderation feels less busy-body and that it helps people feel welcomed here and that it cultivates discussion. :)

Moving a thread was never a punishment.

The thing is that any interference of a moderator, no matter how friendly, feels like a slap on the wrist or at the very least as a police officer coming in saying "what's going on here then?". Basically it feels intrusive no matter how you do it so the lighter touch the better.


Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #146 on: January 13, 2014, 11:34:41 AM »
Nature of the beast then, nothing we can do to change how people feel in that aspect.  Hence why it was clarified in the rules that moderators will help out by moving the thread to the proper board.
If there is anything that recent politics has taught us, it is that quotes taken out of context can mean what ever you want them to.
Well I always liked the globals...
I knew I had fans!!!

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"Dark Angels are Traitors" is the 40k equivalent of Flat Earthers.  You can provide all of the proof you want that says otherwise, but people just can't let it go...

Offline Mr.Peanut (Turtleproof)

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #147 on: January 13, 2014, 11:50:25 AM »
I could tell you some stories about police abuse- but we're not the SWAT team.  Cops also help people change flat tires and direct traffic away from broken bridges.  People sometimes Report their own posts, saying they put a thread in the wrong place could we please move it.  Hands can slap, but they are also helping hands.
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Offline Killing Time

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #148 on: January 13, 2014, 01:11:13 PM »
Well, interesting.
On the face of it I can see why to some the new rules look like little better than window dressing. However I do agree that the tone seems to have changed for the better, and as long as this is followed through in practice then we can all be much happier.
My biggest concern is the rule for off topic posting, which seems to have been only sparingly tinkered with. It remains to be seen if threads are allowed to achieve more free flow, which I feel will stimulate further and better discussion.

Anyway. Thanks for responding to the concerns of the community.
It's not exactly the new broom I think some were hoping for, but at least it isn't a step backwards either.

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #149 on: January 13, 2014, 01:19:45 PM »
Moderator discretion has always been a factor, and that is generally for the best.  The rules are a guideline, having the guidelines publicly posted sets the goalpost firmly for all to see, follow, and also debate their prudence.  You think the rules are too strict, yet discretion is too vague?

My mention of this was intended as a reminder of past issues. Once upon a time, favouritism / elitism was among the primary concerns expressed to me by other members, and that I'd expressed issue with as well. Sometimes increase leniency has a backfire effect when something is enforced. "10 other people did the same thing I did, why did I get a slap? Mod must hate me / Those guys get away with murder while us newbies get kicked around..." kind of idea. I express concern that such issues may become a problem again.

It isn't the strictness that I'm concerned about, so much as the existence of certain rules in the first place. I don't agree that they are necessary [Again, fully in favour of protecting the site from any potential lawsuit!] so while a more lax approach is better, there's still a rule to be enforced. Mods are humans, to the best of my knowledge. They aren't paid, and seldom appreciated. Random rule that's almost never enforced gets cracked down on one day, because someone's in a bad mood. Inconsistent enforcement breeds lack of trust from the members, and a sense of uncomfortable uncertainty.

I agree that discretion is key, and something that, in the past, wasn't applied as judiciously as I'd have liked to have seen. I've enjoyed one too many whitewashes in my time here, so healthy skepticism on my part seems fair, until that discretion is evident.


I have been the most senior, active, member of the IG CoC for a good long time. A position without power, or responsibility outside of what I feel it deserves, but enough prestige that sometimes people talk to me with the expectation that I might have some. I've seen a lot of guys come and go from that board. There have been consistent reasons for people leaving, and that's frustrating for them, and also for the people trying to nurture their interest in the board, to keep them around. Hell, I get occasional messages from people that have nothing to do with the IG CoC, that are frustrated at not getting anywhere with the staff or policy. They seem to think I can yell loud enough to get something done. [Based on the stances I take in the forums on certain things, I assume.] I'm advocating my own belief, but also the belief of many that gave up, or that feel they can't say anything and would rather just ghost.

I want to see this place succeed. I've been frustrated, though this thread, and I've veered from pure professionalism in the presentation of my view. I am a passionate person by nature, with a great deal of drive and a predisposition towards being a problem solver. I see a problem, and I want to see it fixed. I'm trying to see that through. I appreciate the steps taken thus far, though I don't feel they've come far enough.

That be the current stone in me craw. Again, I appreciate that steps have been taken to reduce the ocasions of unnecessary interference.

Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #150 on: January 14, 2014, 11:23:47 PM »
Only comment I am going to make is that the next time a member messages you with a grievance towards the staff, tell them to talk to us and don't try and make it better for them.  If they don't want to talk to us, there is nothing we can do to help them and nothing is going to change.  Don't take it upon yourself to be the Peoples Champion.  It has never worked out well for others in the past.
If there is anything that recent politics has taught us, it is that quotes taken out of context can mean what ever you want them to.
Well I always liked the globals...
I knew I had fans!!!

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"Dark Angels are Traitors" is the 40k equivalent of Flat Earthers.  You can provide all of the proof you want that says otherwise, but people just can't let it go...

Offline Calamity

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #151 on: January 15, 2014, 05:13:32 AM »
I just got back, so I don't know what's fully going on but you guys, the staff?  You're among the most professional on any site on the web.  And after dealing first hand with the...people...of tvtropes, I can say that with some authority.  I'm not being a suck up.  If you did something I disagreed with I'd let you know.  But I've never had a problem with how you do things.  And here's why  Unlike the aforementioned tvtropes, you actually abide by your own rules.  So, just my 2 pence.

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #152 on: January 15, 2014, 05:53:25 PM »
Only comment I am going to make is that the next time a member messages you with a grievance towards the staff, tell them to talk to us and don't try and make it better for them.  If they don't want to talk to us, there is nothing we can do to help them and nothing is going to change.  Don't take it upon yourself to be the Peoples Champion.  It has never worked out well for others in the past.

"They tend to find themselves sleeping with the fishes, if you catch my drift." Just in fun, no harm intended. ;)

A number of posts in this thread would indicate that private complaints didn't accomplish much, and my own experience complies with that assessment. Stridently posting in a public place has achieved results that years of private attempts have failed at. It would seem that a handful of "Champions" can indeed accomplish things, if they wise up and work together. Individual complaints are easy to dismiss, especially behind closed doors. Public "confrontation" on the other hand, is a bit tougher to dismiss.

Vox Populi.

I think that if the staff were more willing to make things better for them previously, there wouldn't have been complaints in the first place. History now, I'm sure. I see the change in tone so far, and appreciate the efforts. :D

Offline Kindred

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #153 on: January 15, 2014, 10:33:30 PM »
Complaints with actual substance made to Rasmus, me or Raine are taken seriously. (although I will tend to refer thing sent to me, which do not involve the system, back to Rasmus or Raine in most cases)

The fact that we have not deemed your complaints to have any significant substance has no bearing on what we would do if we got such a real complaint.

On other sites, I have removed admins and moderators for abusing their powers. We even banned someone from ever coming back to one site (and shut down every attempt of coming back, even with IP masking attempts) because of an abuse of trust.

Stridently posting in a public place has not actually accomplished anything.
The rules were due for a review and update anyway, since we do so every year.
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Offline Kindred

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Re: Over-moderation killing forum appeal?
« Reply #154 on: January 15, 2014, 10:46:58 PM »
Yes and no. The work does stay your work...  However, by posting here, you grant 40konline an irrevocable license to edit and republish said work. This does not detract from your ownership of the original work, but it allows us to reuse it.

Thanks for the response, tbh that's fairly standard (I would expect it) and normally covered with something along the lines of "We reserve the right to edit... blah... blah... bah..." rather than a transferal of property.

I will note that you have a point and that the original wording was somewhat confusing (and potentially scary)
I have added the clarification into the articles rules description. :)
BTW: The "transferal", as I noted, is not actually...  it is a granting of irrevocable rights, including the right to reprint (say, for example, we decided to print a book with all the 40KOnline content) - which the text that you mention doesn't actually allow. :)

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