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poopnoodle
October 20th, 2010, 01:05 AM
i think grounds for post deletion, spam, flame wars etc ought to be addressed and made somewhat clear. for awhile i was on board with some of the basic decisions made in regards to keeping threads constructive, but i saw what BrandonE had to say about it and i believe he has a point- it's been stated by staff that overly vehement exchange of views and unsubstantiated posts can be considered spammy and unconstructive thus deserving of removal, but i'm starting to think those posts actually are constructive (not only that, but necessary). i think an example should be made of those who choose to behave irrationally- this means moderators ought to step in and kindly let others know when they're overreacting, remind them to stay on topic, ask them to regard previous posts and elaborate on their opinion so productive discussion may transpire and people know to follow certain guidelines. honestly, i think usurping posts and labeling them spam without including any real explanation is hardly constructive. perhaps when moderator interference is overlooked or disrespected, post deletion for spam and topic derailing could be necessitated...but i don't get what justice locking threads that get "out of hand" serves, nor do i completely understand what constitutes as out of hand. there is certainly nothing wrong with disagreement, and where there's a debate over a controversial issue there will be heat. i'm concerned that sheltering users from a little ignorance and intensity is detrimental to social development. i guess what i'm saying is, i think quarrels in any thread (especially debate threads) should be expected and accepted and "flame wars" shouldn't be seen as totally bad and in some cases don't warrant deletion.

small side note, it seems a bit unprofessional to throw in personal judgments toward other posters (which doesnt occur often but has happened before and i think it's necessary to point out) when releasing a verbal warning.

Arago
October 20th, 2010, 05:58 AM
I agree with most of your opinions, as you know, but vehement posts are often filled with an attack against someone else so I disagree that they should ever be considered constructive. The moment someone puts their guard down and gets more involved with the discussion emotionally, rather than logically, is the moment when their sense of respect goes out the window. They often become closed off to other opinions by that point and their only contribution to the thread is then causing a problem. Such posts often grow to become annoying and essentially pointless messages - which is the definition in the official rules of what spam is.

That's not to say in arguments you should cut yourself off emotionally. There's nothing wrong with putting emotion and passion into some of your posts. But there is a line in there that's often crossed in heated threads where, like I said, the poster puts so much emotion into their posts they're blinded to see any reason in the argument the other member - who often holds a very solid and well thoughtout one - puts up.

When it comes to moderating the community, as I'm sure you are aware of, most staff handle things differently than others. Some are more strict while others more lenient. Some are extremely blunt, while some are generally more kind towards people who break the rules, regardless of the rule they break. The point is, different moderators handle the same situation differently. Some give an outright infraction for breaking a rule, while others try to avoid infracting users unless it's absolutely necessary. Neither of which are wrong.

I've always believed when it comes to problems in a thread the matter should be handeled like this, in a typical case: Segway post back to the topic.
If that doesn't work, verbal warning.
Post deletion.
Warning/infraction.
In my opinion, the first thing that should be done when a thread is getting out of hand is a reminder what the thread is about, like you said, and an attempt to bring the discussion away from the argument that more than likely has little to nothing to do with the conversation. If that doesn't work, and people continue to do what they're doing, a more stern and direct verbal warning should be given. Following that, posts that deal with the argument (which as I said, often has little to do with the topic of the thread) would be deleted. Then, a warning or infraction. I know I would much rather delete a post than warn or infract a user. That's just the way I handle issues, for the most part. If a problem is eliminated, there's no punishment required. Depending on the circumstances, of course, but generally more often than not... that's all that's needed.

I do agree, though, with your stance on locking threads. Locking threads should be a last resort when a flamewar comes out. I don't think members - and the community as a whole - should be punished by a discussion being cut off due to just a few members getting into a more than heated dispute. Behind the scenes, this is currently being addressed and a resolution for a way to officially handle flamewars that burst out in threads is being discussed.

Ursula
October 20th, 2010, 11:50 AM
So, basically, from what I'm reading, you're talking about verbal warnings over deleting 'flaming' posts? Well, I agree. That's fine, when there's a moderator actively watching the section.

However, threads get 'out of hand' when moderators step away and just let it run its course rather than intervening when it goes off-of-topic or results to a flame war . . which may or may not be the fault of the moderator. They might have stepped away due to personal things, and during that time, people posted to the point of where it would be rather difficult to get back on track; ergo, the original point of the thread is now ignored and they're talking about whatever rapidly / insulting each other / etc. which might carry over to a few pages. (A few of the sexuality threads [example 1 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=208854), example 2 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=215310), example 3 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=222941), example 4 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=220359)] in the past did this, which resulted in the consensus to get rid of them. They just grew too quickly to contain, and it was always the same stuff.)

If a topic has reached the point of where it's so off topic, and full of spam, it's acceptable to close it, while addressing those who derailed the topic either via verbal warning or warning/infraction. If it's a debated subject, I think it'd be appropriate to possibly restart it with a stricter set of rules, and more moderation from not just the moderator of the section, but occasionally higher staff as well, just occasionally dropping in and reading through.

Furthermore, one has to question: why has the flame war started? Often, people just take things the wrong way, trolling is involved, ignorance to the situation due to emotional attachment, or they simply take the internet too seriously and get all huffy and puffy about something. Such is not very professional when debating issues and can be considered, like Nick said, as spam.

And, for me, in general, the response to a problem in a thread is:
1. Verbal Warning in Post to get back on Topic - I don't see the point in trying to segway it back onto the topic; just cut the crap and tell people to get back on topic. Otherwise, it might just get ignored (which happened several times in those topics I mentioned earlier).
2. A Private Message informing the person to settle.
3. Warning issued + post deleted with an informative message as to why it was deleted/edited.
4. Infraction issued + post with an informative message as to why it was deleted/edited.

Depending on the offense/context of the situation, I think it's acceptable to skip any of the steps as needed; however, one should always remember that PC is a forum, and it needs members. Giving warnings/infractions right off will drive new members off.

And, instead of there being inconsistencies between moderators, I think there should be a standard so no one cries unfair treatment. A staff member should always be relatively lenient if the user is a first time rule breaker, and it wasn't a serious rule broken.

I hope what I'm saying makes sense and isn't completely redundant u-u;

poopnoodle
October 20th, 2010, 01:13 PM
I agree with most of your opinions, as you know, but vehement posts are often filled with an attack against someone else so I disagree that they should ever be considered constructive. The moment someone puts their guard down and gets more involved with the discussion emotionally, rather than logically, is the moment when their sense of respect goes out the window.
those sort of posts aren't inherently constructive but they become so when a community leader intervenes, points out what the poster could have done differently/remind them to stick to the topic, ultimately making an example out of the poster and giving uncertain posters some guidelines from which to construct their responses.

They often become closed off to other opinions by that point and their only contribution to the thread is then causing a problem. Such posts often grow to become annoying and essentially pointless messages - which is the definition in the official rules of what spam is.
i acknowledge that arguments or whatever can grow into redundant, worthless, or plain disrespectful spam. i just feel some arguments are seen that way as soon as they start and aren't given a chance to develop into something useful.

When it comes to moderating the community, as I'm sure you are aware of, most staff handle things differently than others. Some are more strict while others more lenient. Some are extremely blunt, while some are generally more kind towards people who break the rules, regardless of the rule they break. The point is, different moderators handle the same situation differently. Some give an outright infraction for breaking a rule, while others try to avoid infracting users unless it's absolutely necessary. Neither of which are wrong.
i understand the grey areas and individual points of view, im just offering another way to look at inevitable, more precarious aspects of discussion that could perhaps establish more comprehensible grounds for dealing with spam and flame wars.




Segway post back to the topic.
If that doesn't work, verbal warning.
Post deletion.
Warning/infraction.

i agree. but do consider whether or not the post(s) in question is(are) actually off-topic and actually unnecessary thus detrimental to the topic. i think it's important to recognize when iffy posts can be turned into a learning experience and administer to them as such.

Erik Destler[/I]]
However, threads get 'out of hand' when moderators step away and just let it run its course rather than intervening when it goes off-of-topic or results to a flame war . . which may or may not be the fault of the moderator. They might have stepped away due to personal things, and during that time, people posted to the point of where it would be rather difficult to get back on track; ergo, the original point of the thread is now ignored and they're talking about whatever rapidly / insulting each other / etc. which might carry over to a few pages. (A few of the sexuality threads [example 1 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=208854), example 2 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=215310), example 3 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=222941), example 4 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=220359)] in the past did this, which resulted in the consensus to get rid of them. They just grew too quickly to contain, and it was always the same stuff.)


good point, i see the warrant for lockage in those cases. i feel the examples you've shown were handled appropriately once things got super-disorderly but probably could have been avoided with earlier intervention. looking at example 1, some unsubstantiated and disrespectful remarks went back and forth for a good number of pages before a staff member popped in and gave a verbal warning. a certain level of inactivity and inattentiveness of the forum moderator, i think, causes threads like that to become prone to uncontrollable contortion.

Shanghai Alice
October 20th, 2010, 01:16 PM
For me, people need to be... less sensitive. And, of course, if anyone here knew who I was IRL, they'd be laughing themselves to death at that comment.

But, in all seriousness...

In one topic, I forgot to put a clear, overly-obvious warning that I was being sarcastic, which led to my sarcasm (which contained the word "idiot") being taken as sincerity, which almost got me burned at the stake Kirisame-style.

Sure, maybe I shouldn't have used the word idiot, but... The right course of action would have been to say "Hey, what the hecks?", or something. Not scream at me that I'm a deluded... idiot.

But meh. Maybe I'm just delusional.


Also...

People need to stop blowing things out of proportion. In a sexuality topic, I commented that I really didn't care for the homosexuals that need to be heard, need to be seen.

In under twenty-four hours, I was slammed as a sexist, racist, Nazi sympathizer (Well, the last part was me being slightly sarcastic...), which, in my opinion, is just asking for an argument. Which, to my shame, I provided.

But meh.

The point is, stop poking the bear with a stick, and then screaming "TROLL!" when it tries to eat you.

Ursula
October 20th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Well, maybe, instead of posting sarcastic stuff that might be interpreted the wrong way, just be serious. :p Instead of fixing the problem, prevent the problem from even occurring. I know, I know, it sounds silly, but it would be the easiest solution, no? ^-^;

I mean, you don't have to be serious all of the time, but before you make an outlandish statement like that, consider the effects. Statements such as those cause people to react instinctively, on their emotions, and cause ~drama~. It's just unnecessary. :p

those sort of posts aren't inherently constructive but they become so when a community leader intervenes, points out what the poster could have done differently/remind them to stick to the topic, ultimately making an example out of the poster and giving uncertain posters some guidelines from which to construct their responses.

Yeah, but what happens when the thread is active to the point of it being buried in an old page? lol.

i acknowledge that arguments or whatever can grow into redundant, worthless, or plain disrespectful spam. i just feel some arguments are seen that way as soon as they start and aren't given a chance to develop into something useful.
While that's true, it's also true that past tends to repeat itself, as you saw with the number of sexuality threads being closed XD; It's just about moderator intervention :p

looking at example 1, some unsubstantiated and disrespectful remarks went back and forth for a good number of pages before a staff member popped in and gave a verbal warning. a certain level of inactivity and inattentiveness of the forum moderator, i think, causes threads like that to become prone to uncontrollable contortion. Indeed. :p

Stratos99
October 20th, 2010, 02:25 PM
Yeah, it definitely would have helped if Patchisou provided a more descriptive reason explaining why he deleted one of my posts in OVP. Something a little more sensical and constructive as opposed to 'idek what this even is'. I understand Pokecommunity is a lot bigger than the majority of pokemon forums out there, but a little respect and a little more rope to work with couldn't hurt.

poopnoodle
October 20th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Yeah, but what happens when the thread is active to the point of it being buried in an old page? lol.

that's when lockage is warranted. but, again, i believe these situations can be avoided with staff attentiveness and mediation.

Ursula
October 20th, 2010, 03:58 PM
Yeah, it definitely would have helped if Patchisou provided a more descriptive reason explaining why he deleted one of my posts in OVP. Something a little more sensical and constructive as opposed to 'idek what this even is'. I understand Pokecommunity is a lot bigger than the majority of pokemon forums out there, but a little respect and a little more rope to work with couldn't hurt.
If you have a question about a post being deleted, contact the moderator who deleted it. :)
Based off of what you said, it seems like he means "i don't even know what this is", implying it's off topic. However, pursuing this matter is also somewhat off topic, so PM Nick about it~

Shanghai Alice
October 20th, 2010, 04:23 PM
No sarcasm? Dead seriousness?

Goodness gracious, is this a friendly argument, or a political debate?

That was... err... Breeziness that wasn't sarcasm. Don't answer that, please. -_-

Ursula
October 20th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Well, no, sarcasm can be used, but not if it's going to be like..offensive to people :p I mean, it's just about thinking what you're posting..

Team Rocket's Raichu
October 20th, 2010, 06:51 PM
I agree with most of this thread. At least the mods could instead of just deleting it and marking the reason as spam, they could delete it and say flaming another member or to off-topic. At least that's what I do on TPW.

However, threads get 'out of hand' when moderators step away and just let it run its course rather than intervening when it goes off-of-topic or results to a flame war . . which may or may not be the fault of the moderator. They might have stepped away due to personal things, and during that time, people posted to the point of where it would be rather difficult to get back on track; ergo, the original point of the thread is now ignored and they're talking about whatever rapidly / insulting each other / etc. which might carry over to a few pages. (A few of the sexuality threads [example 1 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=208854), example 2 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=215310), example 3 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=222941), example 4 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=220359)] in the past did this, which resulted in the consensus to get rid of them. They just grew too quickly to contain, and it was always the same stuff.)

I'd like to say, "Cool. My thread is example 2!"

Shanghai Alice
October 20th, 2010, 06:56 PM
Well, no, sarcasm can be used, but not if it's going to be like..offensive to people :p I mean, it's just about thinking what you're posting..
Um.

I'm all for being civil, yes, but more in the "Let's kill each other like civilized men" mindset.

Not that I'm calling you a pansy (And I'm really not!), but there's a large difference between "playing nice" and having a civil debate.

Melody
October 20th, 2010, 07:12 PM
I'm going to say I agree with Nick and Erik, but with a few modifications.

I think a verbal warning, followed by deletions and a PM to settle down (or official warning) and then an infraction is fair enough game. The PM with the deletion is really a courtesy so that person doesn't go back to read the thread and is like "WTF? WHERE IS MY POST? WHICH SNEAKY STAFFER ATE MY POST?!??!?! >O *rage rage, spam CQ&F with a whiny thread and get infractions for it...*" I see a lot of that concerning the more strict moderators that don't ever explain why they deleted your post...they come across as jerks. It's not like they mean to...it's just the impression that the average user will get. This gets especially exacerbated however, when that same moderator has verbally warned a few other users in a rude fashion...which some members of staff happen to do here. (Not gonna name anyone)

This in itself explains the lack of explanation for mod actions like locking and deletion (and not so ironically, the reason why you don't see verbal warnings often)...because some mods get their angreh juices flowing a bit when they log in and see 3084489934 reports to handle. X3 (Can you blame them?)

Still, a little transparency never hurt anyone, and if the acting member of staff feels as if the user in question WILL pay heed to a verbal warning or an official warning, then I strongly urge that they use it instead of a lock, deletion or a flat out infraction!!
Locks are unfair to the community...they're not needed unless the thread itself cannot produce productive responses. Deletions are unfair to the poster, because it's not always clear as to why the post was deleted, and staff members don't write the explanation of what part of the post made them feel it warranted deletion in that little reason field because everyone can see it. Infractions are similarly unfair to the poster, because they're heavy-handed...they should only be given for repeat offenses or refusal to comply.

Ursula
October 20th, 2010, 07:53 PM
Um.

I'm all for being civil, yes, but more in the "Let's kill each other like civilized men" mindset.

Not that I'm calling you a pansy (And I'm really not!), but there's a large difference between "playing nice" and having a civil debate.
Not necessarily. You can play nice and have a civil debate. :) It just requires maturity.

Platinum Lucario
October 21st, 2010, 07:32 AM
The PM with the deletion is really a courtesy so that person doesn't go back to read the thread and is like "WTF? WHERE IS MY POST? WHICH SNEAKY STAFFER ATE MY POST?!??!?! >O *rage rage, spam CQ&F with a whiny thread and get infractions for it...*"

You might have already noticed that PC has made deleted posts viewable to members. In the past, it was only viewable to staff usergroups only. So therefore... they would be able to see the reason why their post was deleted.

Deletions are unfair to the poster, because it's not always clear as to why the post was deleted, and staff members don't write the explanation of what part of the post made them feel it warranted deletion in that little reason field because everyone can see it. Infractions are similarly unfair to the poster, because they're heavy-handed...they should only be given for repeat offenses or refusal to comply.

And indeed, I've seen deleted posts just saying like "spam" as the reason rather than giving more explaination to it.
From what I've also realized as well, some moderators can indeed be more stricter than others, and when they are... it can cause some over-reaction to the members. I remember once when I over-reacted, like 2 years ago from getting infracted, even so... I learned my lession from it, and just simply moved on and didn't worry about it anymore.

I've also been thinking that people should be alerted first about what they're doing wrong that is breaking the rules, if it continues on... simply give the person a warning (an actual warning) , and if the person continues to not listen, give them an infraction. That's what I'd think would consider someone a good Moderator rather than someone who would do it the quick way.

But then again, I guess it deppends how bad the rule violation is. After all, it is their decission.

Arago
October 21st, 2010, 07:38 AM
You might have already noticed that PC has made deleted posts viewable to members. In the past, it was only viewable to staff usergroups only. So therefore... they would be able to see the reason why their post was deleted.
Sometimes staff members - which I've been guilty of (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=6235568&postcount=7) - don't really explain all too well why the post is deleted. This, of course, could be fixed if we were more direct with the reasons why we delete a post instead of being vague. But I think sending out a PM to someone who's post is deleted would be something that's good. I've never done it in the past, since I didn't see it all that necessary, but thinking about it - it certainly would eliminate a lot of discussion that goes on after they find out on their own. Just as a friendly "Hey, I deleted your post because <so and so here>" so I think Pachy's onto something. I mean, most of the times most staff members don't send notification of deleting a post and then they get into altercations with an angry, frustrated, confused, or upset member because of that that could easily be avoided.

Forever
October 21st, 2010, 07:43 AM
Sometimes staff members - which I've been guilty of (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=6235568&postcount=7) - don't really explain all too well why the post is deleted. This, of course, could be fixed if we were more direct with the reasons why we delete a post instead of being vague. But I think sending out a PM to someone who's post is deleted would be something that's good. I've never done it in the past, since I didn't see it all that necessary, but thinking about it - it certainly would eliminate a lot of discussion that goes on after they find out on their own. Just as a friendly "Hey, I deleted your post because <so and so here>" so I think Pachy's onto something. I mean, most of the times most staff members don't send notification of deleting a post and then they get into altercations with an angry, frustrated, confused, or upset member because of that that could easily be avoided.

It depends what section though, because if a PM had to be sent out for every deleted post in the more active sections, that would get tedious. PM deletions really would apply to smaller sections that are more prone to get into arguments.

For example, in B/W when we delete a post, nobody ever questions it (since we mainly delete for four word rule, and off-topic posts), so it just is up to each section imo. :x

o0PinkSquid0o
October 21st, 2010, 04:01 PM
LOL obviously this is aimed at me (well some of it anyway)

I just wanna say, I'll try harder not to be a douche BUT in regards to being called an idiot by a particular member I don't think that is acceptable, not even in sarcasm. Its still personally insulting and belittling someone (I'm guilty of this too.)

Personally insulting someone is never on, its bullying and sarcasm can also be a form of bullying.

Anyway, thats just what I wanted to add.

Also I agree with the fact that the mods lock and delete things too quickly but if the argument/debate starts to get insulting then what other option do they have.

poopnoodle
October 21st, 2010, 04:11 PM
definitely not aimed at you, aimed completely at staff. but the spat between you and Brandon gave me the idea. you were called an idiot? :s if the person who said that feels you were irrational maybe they ought to take a look in the mirror. we should all be able to discuss our differences without using hurtful, invalid insults.

Arago
October 21st, 2010, 05:09 PM
Just pointing out that recently the higher staff were in the midst of discussing changes to Other Chat; one of the primary focuses was at flaming, trolling, and out of hand discussions. Due to such a change in the set of rules that have long been enforced within Other Chat, a new set of rules (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=234960) that were agreed upon in a majority vote has been posted in the Other Chat forum. Hopefully this directly resolves some of your inquiries and concerns regarding flame wars.