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  #1    
Old July 15th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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Following the banning of various accounts over time, I'm led to believe that the disallowance of members to enquire about bans, or more namely the lack of reasons given per ban, leaves no room for transparency and accountability between staff and the general userbase. I could just as well be banned now and nobody would know any better. Point is, some bans I've seen throughout my time here appear to have been somewhat baseless and immature (operative word: appear; I'm only calling what I see, of course), and I suppose at this point I feel that needs to be said. I acknowledge my potential ignorance about this; maybe everything is all perfectly justified, I'd just like to be able to see that. I don't personally want to say any of this, but it is a matter I've long wanted to raise for the better of the community. That is all.
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  #2    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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I'm just going to ask you why you feel the need to know why x member was banned in the first place? Not to sound rude whatsoever, of course; I myself used to share the same curiosities when I found that someone I'd seen around (or not) had been banned, but it never occurred to me that it was my business to know why they were banned. If they were banned, they likely broke a rule, or multitudes of rules and garnered a handful of infractions, and deserved it.

Outside of that, what else should you have to know?

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  #3    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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We include a ban reason for the member in question and the staff to view whenever we ban someone. A thread is automatically made for it in the staff forum too, so if someone feels a ban was handed out incorrectly, another staff member may comment on that. Really, it's not anyone else's business why someone's banned. Staff transparency and whatnot is cool but bans are things which don't impact anyone but the people directly involved, and so they're kept within those people only.
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  #4    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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Ephemeral Euphoria
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Got to say this piqued my interest and that is not easy to do.

Back in my early days when I was on other forums there was a thread made for users to ask about the bans of others and how long those bans were and the mods answered those questions soon after. When I was lurking on here I was surprised there was not a thread like that to be found tbh.

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  #5    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Furthermore, banned members can always appeal a ban via the Contact Us page too, and that has been done before.

But I'll agree that I'd rather keep ban reasons between the staff and member itself, much like how infractions are also private. Some people find it embarrassing, and I feel it shouldn't concern other people as to why someone is banned or for how long.


  #6    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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I'm going to echo Razor Leaf and Marcin. Bans really should stay private. But people do receive a ban reason when it's given and do have the opportunity to appeal it, and even other staff may feel the ban was unjust and can comment on it in the thread that's created after the user is banned. It's just something that shouldn't be open to everyone, really. If you were banned, I'm sure you wouldn't want everyone to know why and you could easily appeal your ban through Contact Us and see where that leads you.

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  #7    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antemortem View Post
I'm just going to ask you why you feel the need to know why x member was banned in the first place? Not to sound rude whatsoever, of course; I myself used to share the same curiosities when I found that someone I'd seen around (or not) had been banned, but it never occurred to me that it was my business to know why they were banned. If they were banned, they likely broke a rule, or multitudes of rules and garnered a handful of infractions, and deserved it.

Outside of that, what else should you have to know?
Transparency and accountability, as I mentioned. So everyone can see the staff are conducting themselves properly.
Also, 'likely' broke a rule? If things which aren't rule/ToS-breaking are bannable, that's what concerns me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor Leaf View Post
We include a ban reason for the member in question and the staff to view whenever we ban someone. A thread is automatically made for it in the staff forum too, so if someone feels a ban was handed out incorrectly, another staff member may comment on that. Really, it's not anyone else's business why someone's banned. Staff transparency and whatnot is cool but bans are things which don't impact anyone but the people directly involved, and so they're kept within those people only.
I see. Is that just H-staff or all staff? If it's the former, I couldn't honestly say I've ever had confidence that the group is really large and loose-knit enough to be very objective... just my opinion, of course.
  #8    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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It's the latter. Almost every ban discussion originates inside the Mod Lounge; they're only really (and honestly, rarely) elevated to HQ when there are too many voices saying different things to be able to reach a conclusion. I think you'd be surprised at how widely perceptions among higher staff can vary, though; it's a small group on the scale of things but not so like-minded that it can't make objective decisions.
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  #9    
Old July 15th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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If you think we're just banning people for the hell of it, you're mistaken. It's not like we're a government silencing whistleblowers or leakers of classified intel. The current system we have makes sure that any and all bans are seen by every staff member, and a thread is automatically made to document it. So the transparency amongst the entire staff is there, and I can't say I've ever seen an example where we've had a serious lack of "objectivity".
  #10    
Old July 15th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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I would be okay making a ban list public with reasons and timeframes. I could see how it'd be useful to get an idea of what kinds of things are ban worthy, in conjunction with the posted rules.

It could be listed automatically without the usernames.
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  #11    
Old July 15th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
I would be okay making a ban list public with reasons and timeframes. I could see how it'd be useful to get an idea of what kinds of things are ban worthy, in conjunction with the posted rules.

It could be listed automatically without the usernames.
I think this would be good.

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  #12    
Old July 15th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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I feel the current system in place is clear enough though, what with the infraction info thread we have (and of course the rules). Hit x number of infraction points, banned for y time, and there's a list of what infraction does what. Any other case tends to be along the lines of ban evading or ToS infringements, or just a pure troll/adbot.


  #13    
Old July 16th, 2013, 02:52 AM
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I would prefer the ban be between the single member and the staff member who banned them. That's now how it is now. Right now it's between the banned member and the entire staff. I'd be against a public list documenting every banned member and why they were banned, only because if I was banned I wouldn't want the entire forum knowing the details about it.

When we ban someone, we give a very clear message for them to let them know why they were banned, and if they disagree with it, they can always contact Steve via the Contact Us link to dispute the ban, and he posts that in the Banned User Discussions forum for the entire staff to see and discussion, and almost every single time a decision on whether to let that member come back or keep them banned is made in the thread by just the general consensus (which is usually unanimous) of the staff.

What I'm reading from this thread is "I don't trust the staff to use their powers properly or act maturely with them in a reasonable way, so I want them to be held accountable for when someone is banned for a moot reason."

We give reasons for a ban to the person who the ban concerns. The reason we give is also listed in the thread, and trust me when I say that (usually) everyone and their mother seems to have a comment that they feel the need to state in those threads, and if someone disagrees with the member being banned for that reason, they'll bring it out and a discussion will come about it.
  #14    
Old July 16th, 2013, 03:27 AM
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I'm probably adding reiteration and no extra value to this thread, but I have to agree with the staff on this one. It's none of our business on why members get banned from PC. Though there are cases where you may see something break out before a member gets banned, you'd know why a member gets banned, but I have to applaud the staff for doing a good job at cleaning up any trouble instantly that occurs before it's seen by a majority of the members here.

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  #15    
Old July 17th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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This is what I like about the PokéCommunity. It has a staff that actually discusses bans and leaves them open to questions by other staff, rather than handing out bans and denying posting permissions for threads and a lot of shady stuff I've seen other forums do…

That aside, I think it'd be best if it stayed the way it is. I mean, how fair would it be if you got banned and everyone got to see the details of your ban?

Then again, I like the idea Audy had earlier, with the removal of usernames and all that… but what's the point of making it public in the first place without tying the information together?
  #16    
Old July 17th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Then again, I like the idea Audy had earlier, with the removal of usernames and all that… but what's the point of making it public in the first place without tying the information together?
Generally, the person and the thing they did to get banned don't have to be linked together to tell you the ban reason. For example, if someone was banned for trolling, it would just be listed as trolling. If it were for being disrespectful towards certain groups of people (homosexuals, Muslims, etc) it would be listed as such. People might know who the ban reason is for, but it wouldn't be explicitly stating who did what.

Though, in the case of raunchy usernames, maybe we should leave them...clearly they have no shame anyway. ;)

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  #17    
Old July 17th, 2013, 09:17 PM
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I personally want to know about some of the bans quite honestly x[ but I just see it as another perk of being a mod!

Idek I think it would be kinda humiliating if you messed up one too many times and now the whole forum is like HAHA WHAT AN ASS. Because trust me, I've messed up several times in my life (and especially on PC) so I know that I wouldn't like my list of screw-ups to be able to be ridiculed by all 150,000 members here.
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  #18    
Old July 17th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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I think we could expand on Audy's idea by simply stating only the username, ban length and a "Basic" reason such as "Automatic Infraction Ban", "Spammer/Troll", a custom message, or "Private" for cases where revealing a reason may not be a good idea, or wanted. The "Automatic Infraction Ban" would appear for any infraction that resulted in a ban and wasn't either a trolling or spamming reason. Custom message would appear for custom infractions dealt by s-mods and above, and there would be an option for staff to opt to use an infraction that would not reveal any reason. (AKA Private-<real ban reason>) that the public ban log would ignore, or just wouldn't be posted in the public ban log if the logging is done manually. Those who wish to have their bans kept private would just need to tick a choice visible only to staff when editing their profile. Private bans would only show up in the log after they expired too without a username attached to the ban so it'd be something like:
"<Username Withheld> | by <Staff Member> | Reason: Private"

Nobody but the banned party should be privy to the details, but a basic system that can reveal generic ban reasons might be a step in the right direction while maintaining the privacy the matters deserve.
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  #19    
Old July 17th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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If people wanna know why bannings happen or what caused them, they could just read the rules of the forum. Any single, specific reason why an individual was banned should stay private, or that's what seems fair to those people. Since we can all assume that they were banned due to rule breakage in some form. Spam bots are banned because their spam bots. Trolls are banned because they're trolls. My two cents is like.. nothing, but. They are so many people that are banned for so many reasons, after a while reading them about them would be like turning on the News channel, and seeing that yet another person went to jail. xD;

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  #20    
Old July 18th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pachy View Post
Nobody but the banned party should be privy to the details, but a basic system that can reveal generic ban reasons might be a step in the right direction while maintaining the privacy the matters deserve.
Except, more often than not, there isn't some intricate reason why we ban someone. It's almost always for a generic reason the directly relates to a forum rule they neglect or just reaching 9 points of infractions.

I don't like being tight-lipped about things going on here, but in this case, it just really isn't somebody else's concern why someone else was banned. Just the same as it isn't anybody else's concern when you're at work and you're called to the boss's office to discuss something about your job that only relates to you, or if you're suspended from school. That's pretty much how I see it.
  #21    
Old July 18th, 2013, 12:44 AM
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I don't see the reason for anyone but the banned member, and the staff/other involved persons to know. We want to keep the banning process as simple and as effective and efficient as possible. And right now it's doing a pretty darn good job at fulfilling such criteria. If more people were to know, then things would get messy; we'd have a bucket-load of unnecessary clash of opinions and controversy over even the most simple of bans.

It's natural to be curious (hurr hurr ;)), but there comes a point where I think people should realise that some things just don't concern them.
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  #22    
Old July 18th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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And besides, if you want to realllly realllly know, you should just bother them on Twitter/Skype or ask them (through PM) why they were banned once it's over, and if they aren't really comfortable about saying it then just that's that.
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  #23    
Old July 19th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Transparency and accountability, as I mentioned. So everyone can see the staff are conducting themselves properly.
Also, 'likely' broke a rule? If things which aren't rule/ToS-breaking are bannable, that's what concerns me.
I think if a staffy wasn't conducting him or herself properly, Ausie or another admin would be on them like a gourmet on pancakes for Fat Tuesday.

So far, I haven't really experienced any bias from staff except one from a very, very long time ago with Drew. I don't even remember what happened lol I just know that it was not pleasant.

And I don't think it's anyone else's business why a certain user was banned. It promotes gossip and isolation. Not a fan of either of those.

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