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[Resolved] Dear Admins: Please go more HAM on Rule 1 violations for forums/discord


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When I refer to rule 1, I mean "don't be a dick."

We have too many situations where fights start and end and then grudges grow out of them because the punishment for being a jerk either over the discord or the forums. And the grudges cause additional arguments later down the line because one walks into another situation with an intrinsic negative bias that some dude said some stuff last time that somebody doesn't agree with. This isn't even happening because of the greytide we've had, it is just blowing up all of a sudden right now, but this has always been a problem.

This is creating a stigma where both the discord and forums are unfriendly places to be. I've even heard staff members say the general discord is where they'd prefer not to be.

There's another thing where staff members prefer to use verbal warnings to tell people to stop attempting to verbally lynch one another, often without success because people continue anyway, because what comes next after a verbal warning that is ignored is just a discord strike.

The policies regarding such things should be reformed for first, second and third offenses, and we should push minimum tempbans on people. Right now, toxicity is a self-perpetuating cycle. It needs to get cracked down on, and I personally would like to see some changes.

Server-wise:
1. Start handing out warnings that don't expire, minimum, for rule 1 violations.
2. If you accrue two 'don't be a dick' warnings within the course of 6 months, you should earn a weeklong tempban from the server. If you accrue 3, month-long ban.
3. Liberally mute OOC/LOOC/deadchat if it gets bad.

Discord-wise:
0. Add a point-severity system for strikes. 1 is mild, 2 is bad, 3 is severe. This allows admins to contextually still use the system based on severity.
1. People who earn 1 strike should be moved to a 'muted' role for 12 hours.
2. People who have 2 active strikes should be moved to the 'muted' role for 3 days.
3. People who have 3 active strikes are automatically banned from the discord and must appeal it.
4. People who make fun of people in the muted role should also join the Cult of I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Forum-wise:
1. The system works fine as-is, but people need to report things and admins should slam down on rule 1 issues harder than most.

I don't think the distinction between unfriendly snark and passive-aggressiveness should factor into a different decision, they should both be considered being a dick and punished the same. Telling someone that suicide is an option is obviously far more egregious and would warrant a 3-point strike

Oh, and, I don't think point-strikes should apply retroactively. That would feel unfair.

Edited by Scheveningen
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Please. Please. Please. I'm tired of this toxic atmosphere that has come to a head this week. I've literally considered leaving the Discord which would require me resigning or stepping down from Staff. End these never ending nightly ad hominem hatefests.

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1 minute ago, Zelmana said:

As long as this is in regards to people attacking individuals, and not ideas in feedback threads, I am really behind this.

No. Stop throwing slurs at ideas. That's part of the problem and only serves to provoke this problem. When you are provokinh the person you're arguing with and putting them in defense mode. It isn't conducive to conversation or constructive feedback 

Edited by Chada1
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Just now, Chada1 said:

No. Stop throwing slurs at ideas. That's part of the problem and only serves to provoke this problem.

I think that a seperation between whether or not people are debating / attacking ideologies and views should be considered. There is a difference between attacking an individual and attacking an individual's thoughts and what they say. It should not be punishable to tell an individual that their idea is bad, nor should it be punishable to debate upon the idea.

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2 minutes ago, Zelmana said:

As long as this is in regards to people attacking individuals, and not ideas in feedback threads, I am really behind this.

No. This is either a catch-all or nothing. There will be no more of this, "I can game the rules as much as I like, because I did a thing in bad faith that was clearly different from what the rules explicitly cover." I want no more of that.

If you do not come here to make salient points respectfully and intelligently, X out and do not be here until you are in a better, non-insulting mood.

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Just now, Scheveningen said:

No. This is either a catch-all or nothing. There will be no more of this, "I can game the rules as much as I like, because I did a thing in bad faith that was clearly different from what the rules explicitly cover." I want no more of that.

If you do not come here to make salient points respectfully and intelligently, X out and do not be here until you are in a better, non-insulting mood.

In my opinion, as long as the only thing that is being "attacked" is ideas given and points made in discussions, the response to that should be "reply and validate your points".

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3 minutes ago, Zelmana said:

I think that a seperation between whether or not people are debating / attacking ideologies and views should be considered. There is a difference between attacking an individual and attacking an individual's thoughts and what they say. It should not be punishable to tell an individual that their idea is bad, nor should it be punishable to debate upon the idea.

You can say an idea is bad without resorting to insults. It is not mincing words to not use insults to make your points. Other people will appreciate you being cordial and getting the same idea across than if you were to act like how a jerk talks to other people, and claim that your mean-spiritedness was only guided towards the ideas, not the person. Too many people abuse this line of logic, especially those that disagree with the premise and are trying to point out how it's wrong.

You can argue ideas without calling someone or their idea "retarded." The option has always been there. I want this to be required now.

Edited by Scheveningen
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The requirement of treating ALL ideas respectfully and not being able to call dumb or retarded ideas such is extremely hug-box. Easily-offended, "he said my idea was retarded >:(" should realize that this is not how the world operates. We are very much a hugbox already, but at a palatable level. Why put extra padding on the box we run around in, when people in the userbase should grow a tiny bit of thick skin? It seems there is a vocal minority complaining about the most mundane usage of "this idea is retarded, and here is why it is dumb". 

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The idea is not to force consensus. The idea is to remove toxicity or to shrink into a non-influential amount, nothing more. That is the only conformity I care to pursue.

You will be NJP'd/warned/fired from a job if you call a co-worker's idea "retarded" and a leadership figure witnesses or hears of it. The age of recording makes saying stupid/racist statements career or political suicide in real life. The stakes are far lower when you have the masque of internet anonymity.

I'd rather have a "hugbox" where having a toxic tone and toxic way of addressing problems leads to dire consequences over others having the right to make the community a terrible place to exist in.

Edited by Scheveningen
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2 minutes ago, DRagO said:

Because name calling isnt constructive??

This is in reference to commentary on ideas and non-individuals.
I am 100% for censorship of words people don't like in use when directed at individuals. Permitting it is moderated across the board and staff is accountable as well.

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Just now, Zelmana said:

This is in reference to commentary on ideas and non-individuals.
I am 100% for censorship of words people don't like in use when directed at individuals. Permitting it is moderated across the board and staff is accountable as well.

Thats still not constructive.

If I say "Your Pr is so fucking idiotic" against "I dont really agree with this in the pr for x, x ,x", the other one sounds better as its constructive

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12 minutes ago, Zelmana said:

This is in reference to commentary on ideas and non-individuals.
I am 100% for censorship of words people don't like in use when directed at individuals. Permitting it is moderated across the board and staff is accountable as well.

Idk man. When you use a word it's within a very specific connotation because in the present, words don't tend to have any other definition besides what they have in their typical context.

When you call an idea retarded, it creates the unsaid connotation that anyone who agrees with the idea is retarded. You may not have specifically said it and a person will undoubtedly use it as a defense when this gets brought up, but it doesn't resolve the issue of how others will think about when trying to consider your perspective and premise on an issue.

This is generally why insulting positions with charged words such as "retarded" is generally a bad idea, because it does the exact opposite of helping people sympathize with your statement. If they already feel strongly about slurs against people, they are most likely not going to be able to imagine how you came to a conclusion in which you judge an idea as "retarded."

Like, hypothetical question, right? How did you arrive to calling an idea retarded as a conclusion/premise? Without context it just sounds really bad. When there is context, well, it can vary from being only mildly justifiable to being something that just discredits anyone who holds a similar position on an issue, with similar disparaging language. And this is usually why people prefer not to use disparaging language, because it is a distraction. It is a puff of smoke. A firework crackle. It is noise without salient meaning.

Language is a fickle thing. Some people subscribe to Occam's Razor and insists simplicity should be the way to go and not to think too hard on it. But it sort of ignores how some people participate in problem solving and attempting to account for different perspectives.

Most of the time I only see people who want their way/the highway when it comes to them marching into a discussion insulting several ideas and disparaging anyone who holds them. I recently been trying to use Occam's Razor as a guideline when it's appropriate, but it's particularly not something that works in every situation, because it creates the opposite result of what I truly want: for everyone to think about what they say to each other.

It's understandable to get upset when you feel threatened in some way... but I think too many people are 'tuned' as of late to respond very defensively to different viewpoints or even criticism. And often, defensiveness creates toxic responses. Toxic responses cause more defensiveness and toxic responses from that. It is a vicious, violent cycle that needs to stop.

Edited by Scheveningen
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1 hour ago, Scheveningen said:

When I refer to rule 1, I mean "don't be a dick."

We have too many situations where fights start and end and then grudges grow out of them because the punishment for being a jerk either over the discord or the forums. And the grudges cause additional arguments later down the line because one walks into another situation with an intrinsic negative bias that some dude said some stuff last time that somebody doesn't agree with. This isn't even happening because of the greytide we've had, it is just blowing up all of a sudden right now, but this has always been a problem.
 

I do not really disagree with any of this. Let me just speak a little bit on to why we even have that rule to begin with. I have personally liked having it around because i think we have the ability to cultivate a certain kind of culture here in our community. a certain kind of culture who has no need for certain words or topics to be banned. A certain kind of culture that just... does not really engage in the sort of behavior you would want to specifically rule against. I think this works in some cases and it doesn't in others. I think a rule like this is only as good as its staff are in promoting and cultivating said culture. It is far easier to do on server because of the nature of ahelps. It also a lot easier now to do it on the forums because of our fancy "you get autobanned if you accrue too many points"

 

I think there is definitely an issue on the discord for a number of reasons. 

1. there is no real report system. 

 At best people have to mention an entire group of admins in public which... well i am sure you can see how most people do not want to be "that guy". In lieu of that they have to PM a specific person which then creates the problem of "....oh shit who do i PM?" And at this point most people will just tab out of discord. I think i might even be able to semi-solve this issue by creating a channel that everyone can post in but nobody can see? Maybe we can even get @Skull132 to code a specific functionality for the Bot. Maybe people can PM the bot just like an ahelp and then the bot will send that specific message into a staff-only channel on player discord. then we can look into it just like an ahelp. 

2. People just do not report things but i think i have already detailed reasonably why this is the case. It is also probably due to no small part of "well issues dont get worked on so whats the point....." which is fair. 

Also i want to comment on some things about what specifically would be targeted. 

2 hours ago, Zelmana said:

As long as this is in regards to people attacking individuals, and not ideas in feedback threads, I am really behind this.

I kiiiiiiinda want to say i agree with this. I mean it would be pretty hypocritical of me to say "you cant call an idea retarded you cant call a person retarded" when i have literally done the former. I want to say that the bar for criticizing an idea is lesser. "Your idea is retarded and here is why". I mean at that point you could even argue "well why do you NEED to call it retarded" and i mean i guess you dont. I do not really know how to tell people they can get really heated in arguments but you cant say X or Y you know? I feel like i could be swayed either way here. 

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The biggest issue is there use of language which can be considered a 'value judgement'. If you describe any idea as 'retarded' (or for that matter, 'autistic', 'idiotic', 'asinine', 'stupid') it immediately is interpreted that those who agree with such an idea also are the above for doing so, or at the least, the creator of whatever the concept or idea happens to be.

You might say 'How can I express my thoughts when saying so is so clearly fact?' Then describe what the PR or concept does/n't do. Value judgements cannot do this.

A PR that is objectively bad at solving some issue that it was designed to solve can't be 'retarded' at doing so, despite it being objectively bad at accomplishing its task. An idea that fails to resolve a conflict does not do so 'stupidly', it just merely doesn't.

So if you want to really want to clamp down (possibly excessively so) on preventing being a dick with regards to PR feedback or forum feedback/discussion, remove 'is' statements, as it's impossible to make value judgements without something 'being something'. But one can always express bad (or good) concepts by what they do.

'Giving the detective rubber bullets is a bad idea' vs 'giving the detective rubber bullets will not solve the problem you think it will.'

'Adding a third synth slot is a good idea' vs 'Adding a third synth slot will allow the AI to project greater functional presence into the refund and increase synthetic RP between stationbounds.'

Even harsher and more abstract criticism can still be levied: 'this idea is fucking idiotic' vs. 'I don't see any upside to implementing this.'

As for administrating such a(n admittedly rather excessive) policy, the line is very clear- no 'is' statements/value judgements. 

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21 minutes ago, LorenLuke said:

The biggest issue is there use of language which can be considered a 'value judgement'. If you describe any idea as 'retarded' (or for that matter, 'autistic', 'idiotic', 'asinine', 'stupid') it immediately is interpreted that those who agree with such an idea also are the above for doing so, or at the least, the creator of whatever the concept or idea happens to be.

My point is exactly this, which LorenLuke orated well. When you apply a slur or other insulting word to a concept, you are provoking a negative reaction from the other party, which will cause them to get defensive, which will cause the conversation to derail into hostility.

That's why it's non-constructive to do. I'm not asking for the Staff to become Authoritarian super censorers but to keep an eye on it and for people to realize this is a big role in what has happened and is causing this.

Edited by Chada1
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