Bans and Mods - Smart or Not?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Grand Admiral Thran, Aug 17, 2003.

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  1. Grand Admiral Thran Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 1999
    star 4
    Since this was discussed a bit in the Separate standards for adults and kids? thread, and since it derailed the thread a tad bit, I thought I'd create a new thread for it, so it's all on topic and all.

    I believe bans to be totally inappropriate as they are being currently used. A ban is to tell someone to go away for good, or at least a looong while because they've become undesirable -- not to give them a virtual time out for a day or week.

    Someone mentioned:
    Most bans serve as "cool-off" periods, not something to be embarrassed about.

    I severely disagree. Banning is literally the equivilent to going "Now you did a bad, bad thing, so you go sit in your corner and think about what you did before you can be allowed back to play!" It is a Denial of Service to a user for a time period.

    Now, I don't know about a lot of you, but I don't treat children like this. I don't patronize them and belittle their ability to understand or behave -- why does this board feel the need to do such to it's members?

    The mods/managers HAVE edit and delete buttons, as well as the ability to lock threads -- so why, might I ask, are these not the only tools that should be used? I mean, if something is BAD enough where you MUST remove a user for a week period, why not ban them perminantly? I mean, if the offense was THAT atrocious...

    Problem is, the offenses that bans are summarily dished out for, aren't bad at all. A simple edit button and warning would be more than sufficent. A ban should only be given to the administrators and their superiors to remove a known problem user or a troll. Someone who's been warned countless times to cease, and after maybe a short month ban, they get it perminantly. Banning should be a 'last' resort, not a first one.

    What use is banning someone for 48 hours, I ask you? I've known users who have been banned countless times, and they just laugh and consider it useless, they continue just as they have been. I myself have only been banned once (maybe twice? It's been 4 years, hard to remember it all :p but once in the past few years) for about 48 hours. I didn't bother to serve the indignity of filling out a 'Unban Request Form' till months later -- because it IS degrading. I had to basically beg to be allowed back on the board if you look at it. I felt that the staff wanted me to somehow make a grevious apology to the entire board by seeing that form. If the admins/mods/managers aren't responsible enough to remove the bans when they are supposed to, why should they be allowed the right to do such in the first place?

    We also have to look at the aspect that this place is a 'business' so to speak, not that it turns profit, but it needs to keep a high userbase to keep the servers running. By banning users, telling them they need time outs like children (often over things the mods themselves are as immature in their dealings -- giving someone a two week ban for an off-hand instance is just assinine), then making them feel like they have to beg to come back ...well it's not a good way to keep business here. It's poor relations.

    This is NOT a real time chat enviroment, there is NO need for 'bannings'. It is considered NOTHING anymore -- because it's been used so much. Abused.

    Another thing banning does is give more distance between 'mods' and regular users. I've noticed several mods carrying BIG chips on their shoulders, thinking because they have special colors by their name that suddenly makes them 'superior'. What a great attitude. Reminds me of PreacherBoy all over again, and many users agree the quality and overall friendliness of the modstaff has declined in the recent year.

    *shrug*

    Things flux, sure, you're all just users, from Sapient down to regular ol' me. Replacable at a drop of Griffon's hat if he wished it. Every board needs moderators, yes, but it shouldn't be a 'social club' as it seems sometimes that it is. The ToS just backs the fact that moderators are useless by stating that mods
  2. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    I have been banned a few times and it shut me up on that particular issue. However, if a mod had say, PMed me and told me to put a cork in it, it would have done the same thing.

    Maybe what you say is right, or maybe people can have bad days, and they should not be taking out their anger on the members of an Internet forum.

    BLAMMO!!
  3. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    And while we're on useless, VIPship is abhorredly useless except for REAL VIPs. Being a chapter rep doesn't make you 'a model that should be looked up to!' Most chapter reps I can name I most certainly don't look up to -- nor would I ever. This is a little social ladder that's build into the system for having an online reputation and status -- imho, that's sad. Very sad.

    I have noticed a difference in the treatment of VIP EU authors and actors and VIP city reps. Several of my friends were flamed by one particular author and were actually banned for defending themselves, while told that it was a "privilege" for that author to be there and that author would not be banned no matter what that author did.

    The fact is that I have seen that author's thread, and that author acts like a six-year-old.

    It is no more of a "privilege" to have that author here than it is to have any of the rest of us who have full-time jobs here.

    On the other hand, there are VIP city reps.

    We received VIP status as recognition for the work we do for our FanForce, however, that is really all it is--recognition. Along with that recognition comes the punishment of harsher standards and longer bans (read: much longer bans) than your average poster. For this reason, I have not asked to have my VIP status restored since my recent ban, although I will not abandon my FanForce and will continue to do whatever work they need me to do. I don't think I should be punished for being willing to be CR when I was asked to do so by my FanForce. Just my humble opinion, so don't shoot the messenger.

    The specifics of my case were that a poster said that all homosexuals should be put on an island and the island blown up. He got 24 hours. I retaliated, very immaturely I will admit, and said that he should be put on an island with a bunch of gay rapists. I was initially given two weeks, reduced to five days after the moderators were told what he said to me first (the moderator who banned him and edited his post was not available at the time). I accepted the length of my ban because I was a VIP and that is standard procedure for CRs, but I was pretty upset that someone who threatens genocide got a shorter ban than I did.

    But anyway...that's just my situation. I don't know which CRs that GAT is talking about that he doesn't respect (it could be me, who knows :p ). I don't think we should be punished more than regular users without also being given privileges, however, especially when some VIPs are given privileges.
  4. DarthBabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2002
    star 7
    Someone mentioned:
    Most bans serve as "cool-off" periods, not something to be embarrassed about.

    I severely disagree. Banning is literally the equivilent to going "Now you did a bad, bad thing, so you go sit in your corner and think about what you did before you can be allowed back to play!" It is a Denial of Service to a user for a time period.


    I was banned twice last year. The second time only made me feel angrier. But I got over it.


    And while we're on useless, VIPship is abhorredly useless except for REAL VIPs. Being a chapter rep doesn't make you 'a model that should be looked up to!' Most chapter reps I can name I most certainly don't look up to -- nor would I ever. This is a little social ladder that's build into the system for having an online reputation and status -- imho, that's sad. Very sad.

    Excuse me but I worked really hard for that VIPship. And I don't feel anyone is beneath me and I don't expect anyone to look up to me.

    I'd really like to know where your bitterness about VIP's comes from. [face_plain]

  5. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    This is two mostly separate issues.

    On one hand, we have the issue of bans in general. That's worth its own thread. The other is VIPs and its merits (or lack thereof in some people's minds). That's also worth its own thread.

    Since the first message was mostly about bannings, I'd like to keep this thread about that. For a discussion on VIPs, just open up a new thread.

    The only relation betwee the two that I can see is the question of whether or not VIPs should get a longer ban because of their status, or get any different treatment.

    Edit: Good point, Jeff.
  6. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    It sounds like the VIP status thing is only in relation to City Reps. If that's true, I think that part would be better off in Fan Force Communications.
  7. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    DarthBabe: All CRs do work for their VIPship--which was my point. I think the work should come with rewards, not extra rules and punishments.

    YodaJeff: That's fine, we can move it--but does anyone know why the harsher rules for VIPs only apply to city reps, whereas other VIPs are actually given more slack?
  8. obi_wan_kanathan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 4
    The mods/managers HAVE edit and delete buttons, as well as the ability to lock threads -- so why, might I ask, are these not the only tools that should be used? I mean, if something is BAD enough where you MUST remove a user for a week period, why not ban them perminantly? I mean, if the offense was THAT atrocious...

    I see mods editing and locking all the time, but it's not much of a punishment for anyone. For many users, banning is the only form of punishment that works. If giving someone a week ban can change the way they behave, then why not try it? The worst that can happen is that they'll continue to act up. Then you just permban them.

    Problem is, the offenses that bans are summarily dished out for, aren't bad at all. A simple edit button and warning would be more than sufficent. A ban should only be given to the administrators and their superiors to remove a known problem user or a troll. Someone who's been warned countless times to cease, and after maybe a short month ban, they get it perminantly. Banning should be a 'last' resort, not a first one.

    I believe that someone that's been around for months and has tons of posts obviously knows the rules. If he does something that's not very minor that's clearly against the rules, then he should be banned. Newbies should be given more of a chance. But I've never heard of a newbie being banned for something minor without a single warning or edit.

    What use is banning someone for 48 hours, I ask you? I've known users who have been banned countless times, and they just laugh and consider it useless, they continue just as they have been. I myself have only been banned once (maybe twice? It's been 4 years, hard to remember it all but once in the past few years) for about 48 hours. I didn't bother to serve the indignity of filling out a 'Unban Request Form' till months later -- because it IS degrading. I had to basically beg to be allowed back on the board if you look at it. I felt that the staff wanted me to somehow make a grevious apology to the entire board by seeing that form. If the admins/mods/managers aren't responsible enough to remove the bans when they are supposed to, why should they be allowed the right to do such in the first place?

    A small ban like that can sometimes be enough to make a user realize that they should knock it off, and for others, 2 days away from the boards is like torture to them. :p I do agree that in most cases, users should only have this short of a ban once or twice. After that should come the big time bans and the permbans. And why should we feel sorry if someone has to apoligize for breaking the rules? The only people that see it are mods, and they deserve an apology once in awhile with all the crap they deal with. Being banned is supposed to be an unpleasent experience.

    We also have to look at the aspect that this place is a 'business' so to speak, not that it turns profit, but it needs to keep a high userbase to keep the servers running. By banning users, telling them they need time outs like children (often over things the mods themselves are as immature in their dealings -- giving someone a two week ban for an off-hand instance is just assinine), then making them feel like they have to beg to come back ...well it's not a good way to keep business here. It's poor relations.

    Most of the people on these boards have never been banned, so I don't see how upsetting a few members that the boards might actually be better off without is "bad business". And since most people that are banned acted like children, I see no reason why they shouldn't be treated like one.

    Another thing banning does is give more distance between 'mods' and regular users. I've noticed several mods carrying BIG chips on their shoulders, thinking because they have special colors by their name that suddenly makes them 'superior'. What a great attitude. Reminds me of PreacherBoy all over again, and many users agree the quality and overall friendliness of the modstaff has declined in the recent year.

    I've felt that
  9. Grand Admiral Thran Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 1999
    star 4
    I was banned twice last year. The second time only made me feel angrier. But I got over it.

    Point taken. It only infuriates people. A warning is much more effective along with an edit, because it draws the user back in without alienating them.


    Excuse me but I worked really hard for that VIPship. And I don't feel anyone is beneath me and I don't expect anyone to look up to me.

    First off, staff says VIPs should be paragons of virtue on this board. If you feel you don't deserve adoration by the userbase, perhaps you should inform them of what you feel VIPship really means.

    Secondly, whether you 'worked hard' or not for it, it's still a meaningless thing. Wow, you got blue in your username. What can you really do with it? Brag? It's a pathetic system of recognition. You aren't a VIP really, because you aren't a special guest or someone that has wrote/acted in the StarWars universe. That is what the original VIP meant. It's now meaningless since it's been broadened. You have a title under your username, that should be enough -- remember, you shouldn't be doing anything for FF for recognition.

    I'd really like to know where your bitterness about VIP's comes from

    I have no bitterness, it's just pointless to have them. Another excuse to use the ban button more, basically.

    -----


    On one hand, we have the issue of bans in general. That's worth its own thread. The other is VIPs and its merits (or lack thereof in some people's minds). That's also worth its own thread.


    Point taken, it can be moved to the Fanforce Communications boards. I don't go to the FF boards at all, so didn't know where to best fit it.

    The only relation betwee the two that I can see is the question of whether or not VIPs should get a longer ban because of their status, or get any different treatment.

    Yes, and that is something that needs to be discussed, because they're currently being propped up as paragons of virtue here. I think punishing them harsher is silly if bans are still 'standard operating proceedure'.

    ----

    It sounds like the VIP status thing is only in relation to City Reps. If that's true, I think that part would be better off in Fan Force Communications.

    Yes, pretty much, that, AC councilmembers (if they still get them?), and a few others that aren't real VIPs. The winners of the games like Big Brother is fine for shorttime VIPship, but VIPship should be only used for REAL vips mostly.

    I don't want to bring up that topic though right away, till this thread (the banning discussion) is delt with first. A before B, sort of thing.


    -GAT

    Edit:


    I see mods editing and locking all the time, but it's not much of a punishment for anyone. For many users, banning is the only form of punishment that works.


    I disagree. Most users are competent enough to stop doing something if told so. And if they aren't, then they become a troll -- perma ban time.

    If giving someone a week ban can change the way they behave, then why not try it? The worst that can happen is that they'll continue to act up. Then you just permban them.

    But see, that's the problem, they don't change. A lot of boards I see where people get banned left and right. It's stupid to deny someone access to the website they belong to, because of an offhand remark.


    I believe that someone that's been around for months and has tons of posts obviously knows the rules. If he does something that's not very minor that's clearly against the rules, then he should be banned.

    Define very minor? I've seen bans handed out for a variety of things, whereas in other cases only edits have been done. I know for a fact mods change their policy depending on the person. How fair is that?

    Newbies should be given more of a chance. But I've never heard of a newbie being banned for something minor without a single warning or edit.

    I've seen people edited, warned, AND banned. How overly-redundant is that? They aren't even given a chance.


    A small ban like t
  10. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    "A warning is much more effective along with an edit, because it draws the user back in without alienating them."

    I'd venture to say that most of the time, a post is edited, and there is a warning before the actual banning. If the user ignores the warning and continues to break the rules, then they will get banned.

    "Yes, pretty much, that, AC councilmembers (if they still get them?), and a few others that aren't real VIPs."

    AC members have never been VIP's. There have been some VIP's who have been AC members, but that's not why they were a VIP.
  11. Sam_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    Actually, i think yu have a legit point point about VIPship. They really didn't do much to become a VIP, and VIPs and discipline have been a conterversial subject for a while.Some users think they get it more lenient and plus the whole color thing just serves to confuse newbies about the diff between mods and VIps. IMO, there should be no VIPs
  12. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 6
    Okay, situation time. You swear in a thread, or flame. Mod comes in edits it. Few minutes later, you swear again, mod edits it, PMs you, tells you stop it. You don't. You swear again, mod edits it. There is three swear offenses in say ten fifteen minutes, with an ignored warning. How would deal with if banning is saved for only the harshest punishments?

    Its obvious that editing the posts and talking to the person isn't going to work, and simple swearing isn't grounds for a perm ban. What would you do? Me, I banned the person for 24-48 hours. Its gets the message across, and to me, the only other solution is follwing this guy around and editing him till he logs off. How would you deal with this without banning him?
  13. DarthBabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2002
    star 7
    For VIPship: "Don't knock it till you've tried it."
  14. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    "I'd venture to say that most of the time, a post is edited, and there is a warning before the actual banning. If the user ignores the warning and continues to break the rules, then they will get banned."

    Now, would that warning be part of the edited post? Not always do I go back to read my previous posts to see if they were edited. Prior to my two most recent banning I received no real warning, except within the edited posts. And even there is was just a "That?s enough from you"

    If I got a nice little PM before the 48hours it would actually do some good.

    BLAMMO!!
  15. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 6
    Not always do I go back to read my previous posts to see if they were edited.

    Not to answer your question (more for current mods), but this is another example of why editing a post isn't any sort of punishment.
  16. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    No. I actually think it is punishment. If I had something to say and it was cut, it hurts! (well...no, but you get the idea)

    It has nothing to do with editing posts. I mean to say that PM warnings are not frequent, at least in my case.

    BLAMMO!!
  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well, some people say that moderators don't ever warn anyone about a problem if they can't see any editing that was done. If a warning happens through a PM and not a thread, it can look as though no action was taken.
  18. FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    And while we're on useless, VIPship is abhorredly useless except for REAL VIPs. Being a chapter rep doesn't make you 'a model that should be looked up to!' Most chapter reps I can name I most certainly don't look up to -- nor would I ever.

    I don't see why "real VIPs" deserve any more special attention than a normal user. They're just normal people like the rest of us. Every user on this board is just as good or bad as the other. However, your record and way of behaving determines what you deserve, not a title or color.

    If you do become a mod, you should be held to a higher standard. They're there to enforce the rules and should obey them themselves. I'm not sure where VIPship falls into this, but what's wrong with acting appropriately, regardless of your user status.

    GAT, I would agree with you that the banning thing is childish. However, warnings just don't work and lots of people behave like kids. The day everyone behaves like adults, then we should re-evaluate the banning system.
  19. Sam_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    don't knock it til you've tried it
    Please undertsnad that that was purely my opinion about VIPship. NOt Vips. if you're a vip (especially an attractive female one :D ), i say keep ur posistion and enjoy it.
  20. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    KW, its all fine and nice to edit a warning into a post, but if a mod is plannin' a bannin' he or she should definately give a warning via PM on top of anything edited into the user's posts. This would make sure the user is aware that they are in for it. Editing a post to say [Flaming] or [Inappropriate] doesn?t always give the impression that the user will be banned. And plus, like I said...the user might not even notice his or her post was edited.

    BLAMMO!!
  21. Grand Admiral Thran Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 1999
    star 4
    Okay, situation time. You swear in a thread, or flame. Mod comes in edits it. Few minutes later, you swear again, mod edits it, PMs you, tells you stop it. You don't. You swear again, mod edits it. There is three swear offenses in say ten fifteen minutes, with an ignored warning. How would deal with if banning is saved for only the harshest punishments?

    It's called deleting his posts. With verbal warnings. If this is done, (obvious trolling), then there is a ban button. A good month to cool off. He/she repeats, you extend it for six months. Then next time perminantly.

    You can go to jail for life commiting 25 robberies the same as one murder, you know. The severity of the crime also is factored into the frequency.

    Its obvious that editing the posts and talking to the person isn't going to work, and simple swearing isn't grounds for a perm ban. What would you do?

    What would I do? If he's ignored 5 or 6 warnings, he's a repeat offender and is in violating with the ToS repeatedly. Since this is a text medium, swearing repeatedly after many warnings IS grounds for a longterm ban due to repeated insubordination of the ToS.

    Me, I banned the person for 24-48 hours. Its gets the message across, and to me, the only other solution is follwing this guy around and editing him till he logs off. How would you deal with this without banning him?

    Okay, but again, you assume a moderator will actually WARN someone or give them the chance. What I saw with a_g (and others, but her's is the most recent) was an edit and a 2 week ban from no where. Then her having to basically beg for a reduced sentence. The poor convict that she is. That was ban abuse. Bria, giving a two week ban for that is shameful, let me tell you.

    For VIPship: "Don't knock it till you've tried it."

    Inappropriate. Keep the negative commentary about others to yourself, please.

    No. I actually think it is punishment. If I had something to say and it was cut, it hurts! (well...no, but you get the idea)

    And I do as well. Having my words censored makes me rethink things more than a ban, because censoring is clearly stating something I posted was inappropriate and i have to now sit back and think exactly what I wrote and why it was wrong...a ban just pisses me off and makes me roll my eyes to the TF.N boards.

    I think it should be policy for a mod to have to pm a user about any edits that are made. This way, users SEE it.

    -GAT

    Edit: I don't see why "real VIPs" deserve any more special attention than a normal user. They're just normal people like the rest of us. Every user on this board is just as good or bad as the other. However, your record and way of behaving determines what you deserve, not a title or color.

    Unfortunately, to get authors and actors to come to these boards, incentives need to be given. It's a part of politics that attracts 'celebrities' to a site for the site to showcase to it's user base. It's one of those 'required evils'.
  22. DarthSapient Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 10
    Do realize that some people register solely to wreak havoc and expect a ban. The IP ban is the only tool we have to stop them. And the ban is a means of telling someone to step away from the boards for a little while to think about what was done with hopefully a change in behavior the next time around. People join the boards for fun and shouldn't have to be harassed and belittled because someone enjoys that. The ban is a tool that is needed.
  23. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 6
    Quick funny, then I'll go away.

    With verbal warnings

    Hmm, you want us to call them up? ;)

    But seriously, I guess its me, but I see it as a better thing to do, to ban someone for 24 hours right away, after a couple of offenses, then to let them pile up a bit and hit the person with a month. If niether instance is going to really change anything (as you contend) then what's the difference? If a mod has done something out there (as you just suugested with your little example) then that's a seperate issue to take up with that mod. Call me optimistic, but I don't think that's the industry standard.
  24. Grand Admiral Thran Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 1999
    star 4
    Sape:

    Do realize that some people register solely to wreak havoc and expect a ban. The IP ban is the only tool we have to stop them.

    Yes, but that's for trolls and the like. That should be used, for they are being a severe problem.

    And the ban is a means of telling someone to step away from the boards for a little while to think about what was done with hopefully a change in behavior the next time around. People join the boards for fun and shouldn't have to be harassed and belittled because someone enjoys that.

    It's timeout, Sape, it's very insulting as well. A warning or a few should be all that is required to tell a user to change their behavior. If they don't, then they become a troll, and thus deserve a longterm ban or perma one.

    The ban is a tool that is needed.

    Yes, but not how it's being abused currently. Bans should only be given out in last case senarios, when someone just wont' change their behavior or posses a sustained threat to the family oriented image of this website. Otherwise, bascially, you're telling trolls they can get away with a lot before you'll actually dispense with them, thus ensuring immaturity will be nurtured here.

    Slapping someone on the wrist and setting them in timeout won't solve much.

    -GAT
  25. Sam_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    if ya can't do the time, don't do the crime
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