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Phil Deakins

Forum Penalities

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Posted (edited)

We all know that the forum is much better now than it has ever been, because it has some real moderation, and that's major kudos to SuperTom and the team. Previously, insults, flames, etc. weren't uncommon because the moderation relied solely on posts being reported, and when they were reported, the so-called moderators didn't even attempt to see if anything was actually wrong. They just deleted stuff on the principle that, if someone has reported it, it must violate the rules. At least that's exactly how it appeared to be. The current moderation doesn't do that, but it does seem to me that it often goes too far.

I've just read a post by someone who was suspended from both the forum and SL for 7 days, because of what she wrote in the forum, and it made me think about the current moderation. Previously, I'd also been suspended for a few days from both the forum and SL, not because I'd insulted or flamed anyone, or even showed anger, but because someone kept posting that I am something that I'm not, and I kept replying that I'm not. There was no flaming or insulting on either side, but it just kept going on. As long as the other person insisted that I am that something, I replied that I'm not. That penalty was overturned later - but not until after I'd served the suspensions lol.

What I'm coming to is what appears to be the moderation practise of suspending people from both the forum and from SL because of posts written in the forum. Imo, it's wrong to suspend from SL due to forum posts unless the forum posts are especially bad, but those are very very rare these days. I don't remember when I last saw a post that was so bad that it meritted a suspension from SL. But it almost seems automatic now that, if a person gets a forum suspension, then an SL suspension goes along with it. That practise seems to be too common, and I think that it's simply wrong.

Of course, I don't know whether what it seems like to me is correct or not, but it does seem to be like that and, if it is, then imo it's wrong. I know for certain that 2 people were suspended from the forum and from SL without any insults/flames/anger/whatever being posted - they were me and the other person in the dialogue that I mentioned. On that occasion there was no reason whatsoever to be suspended from SL.

A suspension from the forum is one thing, but a suspension from SL is worse and ought not to be issued unless it is deserved. On the occasions that I know about, SL suspensions were nowhere near deserved (and neither were suspensions from the forum, but that's not my point). In my very strong opinion, suspensions from SL should only be issued for things that are to do with SL, and not for forum misdemeanours. Gross forum 'crimes', ok, but not misdemeanours. If someone persistently commits forum misdemeanours, permanently ban them from the forum. That would be ok, but it has nothing to do with SL itself.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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Posted (edited)

I suppose I ought to add a request to my post, so I ask that, when forum penalties are issued (warnings and suspensions), SL penalties are not also issued, unless the reasons for the forum penalties are so very bad that they really do deserve SL penalties.

SL and the forum are two completely different things. They are both owned by LL, and the forum is for SL, but they are so separate that they have different rules. It's plain that forum misdemeanours do not break SL rules, so just about 100% of forum penalties have nothing at all to do with SL. So can we please keep the penalties separated, and only issue a penalty for both when the post(s) actually merit it.

Thank you.

 

Edited by Phil Deakins
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Assuming it does not exist, would it be fair to ask for specific penalties for infractions - for instance, someone posted that they were banned from Forums and SL itself for a week. Is it because it was the 4th ban, or the severity of the individual infraction? Without some documentation, any bans beyond 24hrs from just the Forum, or bans from Forum + SL itself seems arbitrary.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Assuming it does not exist, would it be fair to ask for specific penalties for infractions - for instance, someone posted that they were banned from Forums and SL itself for a week. Is it because it was the 4th ban, or the severity of the individual infraction? Without some documentation, any bans beyond 24hrs from just the Forum, or bans from Forum + SL itself seems arbitrary.

could backfire, and people play the system dealing out really hard insults just because they know the escalation ladder will not harm them enough. I'm pretty sure some sick individuals would deal out hard strikes knowing let's say a 3 day ban hurts them less than the words will hurt their their victims...

I say: leave it as is, judgement by Lindens on an individual case basis.

Edited by Fionalein
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5 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

could backfire, and people play the system dealing out really hard insults just because they know the escalation ladder will not harm them enough. I'm pretty sure some sick individuals would deal out hard strikes knowing let's say a 3 day ban hurts them less than the words will hurt their their victims...

I say: leave it as is, judgement by Lindens on an individual case basis.

Don’t forget, some of us pay a lot of money for Second Life..being banned from the game itself without a warning for things posted here is bad.

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1 minute ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Don’t forget, some of us pay a lot of money for Second Life..being banned from the game itself without a warning for things posted here is bad.

Yes I've seen, makes people ragequit premium, but in that individual case they at least promised to take a second look. And also do not forget: People pay a lot to keep SL moderated.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Assuming it does not exist, would it be fair to ask for specific penalties for infractions - for instance, someone posted that they were banned from Forums and SL itself for a week. Is it because it was the 4th ban, or the severity of the individual infraction?

I don't think that specific penalties would necessarily be a good idea, but I do think that the mods generally look at a person's history (warnings etc.) when they decide on what to do. It's the sensible thing to do, and we do have sensible mods. For me, it's just about coupling SL suspensions with forum suspensions, when the two are seperate things, and a forum infraction does not infringe SL rules. Continual forum infractions could attract a permanent forum ban, or even a shortish SL suspension, just to make the point very clear, but it's the seemingly auto-coupling of forum suspensions with sl suspensions that is wrong, imo.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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13 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

People pay a lot to keep SL moderated.

Yes, but non-payers are being moderated in the backs of payers.

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2 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

For me, it's just about coupling SL suspensions with forum suspensions, when the two are seperate things, and a forum infraction does not infringe SL rules. Continual forum infractions could attract a permanent forum ban, or even a short SL suspension, just to make the point very clear, but it's the seemingly auto-coupling of forum suspensions with sl suspensions that I think it wrong.

Would you at least support warnings such as, “additional infractions May result in a longer Forum ban, including a ban from Second Life”?

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1 minute ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Yes, but non-payers are being moderated in the backs of payers.

Are you just implying there should be new premium perk: "extra strikes on escalation ladder"?

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2 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

Are you just implying there should be new premium perk: "extra strikes on escalation ladder"?

Nope. Just that non-payers (non-Premium) aren’t “paying” for anything except for any commerce they generate or take part in.

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Yeah, I'm waiting to see what Tom Linden says.

As it stands, if there isn't a better policy I'll likely ask for all my posts to be deleted and just leave the forums. It's too much risk to lose my entire estate and inconvenience all my renters due to some nutcase with a grudge ARing posts from 5 years ago.

I don't particularly trust governance.

 

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Posted (edited)

I honestly don't see any reason for you to do anything like that, Callum. I don't read far and wide in the forum, but I don't recall any posts from you that could be retro-reported. The thinking is understandable though, in the light of what just happened to BilliJo.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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4 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Would you at least support warnings such as, “additional infractions May result in a longer Forum ban, including a ban from Second Life”?

I think this simply goes without saying.  If you keep being bad, you might get banned for longer or even permanently.

 

As to any corresponding ban from SL, I definitely agree with Phil on that - keep the two separate.

 

And I'll repeat what I said in the other thread:  If a post has managed to make it a week without being reported, any reporting after that should simply result in the post being deleted and only suspending said poster if the violation was really bad.  We shouldn't all have to fear some snowflake getting offended from a post made months ago.

 

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But that's been locked with no replies to it being possible. Did she start another?

OH. She started one in Answers. I never look there. Thank you.

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I vaguely recall that either EA or the third party site The Sims Resource had a similar policy during the "The Sims" days... your forum account and your content download account were linked and as soon as one of the very strict mods deemed a posting too negative, you easily had lost access to both accounts. Much too harsh.

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@Callum MerimanMight just be a plan. Not that I don't trust 'governance' in general, more that it is just not worth the risk. Will just stick to reading the tech side anonymously (although the latest one is not somewhere I would dare tread anyway).

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4 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

And I'll repeat what I said in the other thread:  If a post has managed to make it a week without being reported, any reporting after that should simply result in the post being deleted and only suspending said poster if the violation was really bad.  We shouldn't all have to fear some snowflake getting offended from a post made months ago.

Yes. And with Governance's opaque inconsistency in applying the rules this really concerns me a lot.

The point the penalty stops, the statute of limitations if you like, could be the point the post is no longer editable. That's the point we can no longer retract our words and apologise, that's the point we can no longer redact the post in shame. This window is likely too short now, so if that requires the editable period is increased a little then I believe this should actually be considered. 

With a longer editing period, if the errant post is not spotted and flagged, then on report it should just be silently deleted, possibly with a no-strikes PM to the poster.

However, I do believe the full penalty can and must keep applying as long as the post is editable. The superb moderation of the Lindens who enjoy the forums with us, people like Tom, and Dakota, and Patch, and Grumpity, and so many more... is part of the reason these forums stand-apart from those of other games.

As a community, we have many very active eyes, and we have a pretty good idea of what is acceptable. If it passes scrutiny of all those eyes, then punishment shouldn't be meted out down the track.

 

An additional concern of mine is the TOS, CS and all the mostly nebulous unwritten rules that /do/ change substantially over time, these are living documents and often hard to keep up with. The thought that a post that is perfectly acceptable now, but later becoming something you can be suspended or banned for is like the government passing retrospective legislation and sending people to jail for things that were not illegal last decade. Unfair, and unacceptable.

This is a publicly accessible (generally no log in required) forum, our threads and posts have a very long life and great necro-ability, our words keep coming back, and back, and back. Because of this we should obviously always try to temper our words towards the calm and accepting side, but we are clearly a passionate lot and the discussions here can be very robust, especially when the topic is one of the known hotbeds. reasonable people do say things in the heat of the moment they regret the next day, the next week, the next month. I've certainly seen some posts I regret saying from years ago.

I don't want the threat of the governance team's opaque discipline hanging over my head for a decade or more. Especially when a snowflake, or a butt-hurt individual who holds a grudge and then trawls up posts from 2011, ARs it to governance, who then suspend or ban.

People change. I've seen us as a community change trolls for the better and turn them around and into decent posters. For the most part we are actually a very close community here on the forums. Once the words can no longer be changed to match the changes in the persons attitude, when they can no longer be retracted, then the penalty must stop.

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I think this is one of those things that the LL moderators and other powers that be need to have a long discussion on.  We, the Residents, have made some very valid points pertaining to the apparent current system.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Callum Meriman said:

However, I do believe the full penalty can and must keep applying as long as the post is editable. The superb moderation of the Lindens who enjoy the forums with us, people like Tom, and Dakota, and Patch, and Grumpity, and so many more... is part of the reason these forums stand-apart from those of other games.

You are majoring on past posts, Callum, and that's fine. What happened to BilliJo contained 2 very hugely wrong things, imo. One was being suspended from SL for a post from way back when - at least 3 months ago. That was an awful decision. The other is the reason I started this thread. It's the coupling of relatively minor forum rules infringements to suspensions from SL itself. That is also awful decision-making.

The reason I quoted that part of your post is 2-fold. One is because of its first sentence, and specifically the words, "the full penalty". If, by that, you mean suspensions from both the forum and from SL itself for a forum midemeanour, I would have to strongly disagree. I don't think you mean that though. The other is that you named a few Lindens, using the phrase, "superb moderation". So I included it in the quote, because one of those you mentioned is one who is known by me to couple a suspension from the forum with a suspension from SL, when there is no infringement of any forum rules or guidelines, and no infringement of any SL rules. The reason I know is because of my coupled-suspensions that were later overturned, that I mentioned earlier in the thread.

Overall, the moderation here is superb - but not perfect :)

 

6 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I think this is one of those things that the LL moderators and other powers that be need to have a long discussion on.  We, the Residents, have made some very valid points pertaining to the apparent current system.

I totally agree. And it may occur, or have already occured. In the Answers thread, SuperTom posted that he's looking into BilliJo's latest SL suspension. I do think that the moderators ought to have a policy agreed between them, so that they all deal with things in the pretty much the same way. The agreement should include that SL suspensions do not come into it, except where the forum infringement is so bad that it really does merit it. Another is what Callum (I think) suggested in this thread - a time limit, after which infringing posts are simply deleted, perhaps with a notification.

Observation: Warning points have been mentioned (as in '0-point warning') but they don't seem to count. When I got the coupled suspensions they came to me like this. I received several emails at the same time. One was the warning notification, which was a 0-point warning. The others were notifications that I'd been suspended. So the moderators don't appear to be using the points system at all, and having 0 warning points doesn't mean that you can mount up a few before you get suspended :) 

Edited by Phil Deakins

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19 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

Observation: Warning points have been mentioned (as in '0-point warning') but they don't seem to count. When I got the coupled suspensions they came to me like this. I received several emails at the same time. One was the warning notification, which was a 0-point warning. The others were notifications that I'd been suspended. So the moderators don't appear to be using the points system at all, and having 0 warning points doesn't mean that you can mount up a few before you get suspended :) 

My own first 24-hour ban from Forums (only, not SL) were coupled with 1 permanent warning point.

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Oh. Maybe it's just another way in which different moderators moderate in their own ways - just to confuse us lol.

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6 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

Oh. Maybe it's just another way in which different moderators moderate in their own ways - just to confuse us lol.

I know some (including you?) have said that knowing the rules/penalties/levels may not be a good idea, but if enforcement is inconconsistant (“moderators moderate in their own ways”) - perhaps that is one justification for “set” and “clear” moderation rules, even if we aren’t told what those moderation rules are.

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