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Author Topic: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?  (Read 5292 times)

Morrokain

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Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« on: January 25, 2021, 07:01:52 PM »

I figured this might be worth having a discussion or maybe even a sticky. I also don't want to further derail this thread so I will post my analysis here for any further opinions. (Alex if you feel this is not a good idea then feel free to take this post down. This is a well-meaning attempt at dialogue and not meant to be inflammatory in any way.)

Premise: I suspect that there are some players who chafe at the moderation of these forums because they are used to the internet as a whole - where, for the most part, people can "flame" other people, curse, and say practically anything with impunity and anonymity. It is what modern society is used to now. So when someone says "be nice" some would say "the internet isn't nice so if you can't handle it then don't go on the internet."

I would like to demonstrate why I think the forum moderation we have here is absolutely essential to the health of the community and, more importantly, Starsector: the reason we are all here.

I will give two sample conversations. One with the forum rules in mind and one without. And then I will attempt to prove that the conversation with the forum rules is far more helpful to everyone than the conversation without the forum rules.

To be absolutely crystal clear: I want to strongly preface that this is not in any way meant to target any particular forum members nor is it intended to represent any specific past conversation that is present on the forums. In fact, the topic I have chosen was specifically designed to not resemble any current, or to my knowledge, past discussions. They are meant to be theoretical and exaggerated for the purposes of explaining the point and that is all. I also want to add that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone get's heated from time to time. It happens. We are human. We are not perfect. And that's ok.

Alright with that out of the way, let's begin:

Conversation A: No moderation or adherence to forum rules.
Spoiler
Person One: What the **** is up with missiles? They are terrible and have limited ammo! Why are they even in the game? They should just be removed!

Person Two: Yeah! They suck!

Person Three: What are you talking about? Who cares if they have limited ammo?! You're an idiot if you think that means they should be removed.

Person One: You're the only idiot here. They have limited ammo and they are garbage. They can even be shot down! What kind of game has missiles that can be shot down? A bad one, that's what.

Person Four: Um, literally all games have missiles that can be shot down. Literally all of them! Go back to playing with your kindergarten toys ya weirdo...

Person One: Ok, that's just a load of bs. Literally all games? What rock have you been hiding under? Psh.

Person Two: You guys are just missile fanboys. There is no reason to keep them in the game.

Person Five: There's plenty of reason to keep them in the game!

Person Six: Why is everyone arguing and attacking each other? This is not helpful...

Person Three: Because these idiots don't understand what a good game even is. Its sad really.

Person One: I know what a good game is. You just can't handle that I know more than you. That's what's sad.

Person Four: Fanboys? The only fanboys here are you guys. Get out.

Person Three: No, YOU know NOTHING! You are pathetic and a loser!!

Person Two: Your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!
[close]

Conversation B: Healthy forum moderation.
Spoiler
Person One: I think missiles should be removed from the game. They aren't useful. We should replace them with attack rabbits.

Person Two: Oh that would be interesting. I hear those attack rabbits are dynamite!

Person Three: I have to disagree with this. Missiles are pretty useful. Why do you think they should be removed, anyway? Wouldn't it be better to fix them instead?

Person One: Maybe, but I'm not confident that it's possible to fix them. I really don't like that they have limited ammo. The other weapons don't have limited ammo. Why should missiles have limited ammo?

Person Four: Well, they have limited ammo because they are powerful compared to other weapons. It also makes them more unique. I also think that attack rabbits wouldn't fit well with Starsector. Dynamite though they may be.

Person One: But, missiles can be shot down and attack rabbits can't. I think that makes attack rabbits better.

Person Five: Right, but you can create a window where they won't get shot down. And then they make a huge impact. I think that's worth it.

Person Two: Meh. I think the window for them to hit is too small for them to be useful. Even if they are powerful it won't matter if I can never get them to hit. Then I run out of ammo and feel like I should have went with a different weapon instead. Or just saved the OP.

Person Three: If that's the case, then I think making the window larger would be a better solution. Attack rabbits feel just like other weapons to me.

Person One: I'm not convinced. Attack rabbits are just cool.

Person Six: What if we made a fourth weapon type for attack rabbits?

Person Four: I think that would be too complicated. It would break up the balance of all the other weapons we already have.

Person Two: My vote is for a 4th weapon type - attack rabbits! And I also would like a larger window for missiles so I feel like they are more useful to me.

Person Four: Maybe the window thing. But I wouldn't like attack rabbits.
[close]

All silliness aside, what have we - as the community and as the developer - learned from each conversation?

The first conversation spiraled into personal attacks pretty quickly. Once the first insult was flung, the OP felt the need to defend himself/herself. On top of that, the anger over being insulted caused them to insult the other person back. Then someone came to defend the first person and insulted the second. Now there is an insult battle that is drawing more combatants as tempers flare even higher.

The important thing to note is that the only data point we have for reference - other than one side likes missiles and one side doesn't and apparently someone's relative has been accused of smelling like a flowering tree - is that limited ammo and PD mitigating missiles are reasons why they don't. That's it. The rest is just insults and vague references without any substance. What changes or improvements to the game could possibly be gleaned from that conversation? Imo, very little.

Contrast that to the wealth of data points in the civil conversation: conversation B. Here we learn not only of the PD and limited ammo aspect, but we also learn that one person feels the window for missiles to hit is smaller than they would like. Then, we have a follow up solution to that issue that can be digested and discussed further. The conversation also brings up several follow-up solution options, such as attack rabbits :P .

Because there isn't a need to keep the insults flying, the dialogue naturally becomes more helpful and the motivations of each opinion become more apparent. The conversations are the same length and there never was an actual agreement in both cases. That is key here. We don't have to agree or come to a consensus. Not every problem can be fixed through such dialogue and some people are going to have a difference of opinion. But the difference is what the developer and the community can learn from the discussion.

That could potentially result in changes that both sides would welcome. Or, at the very least, we can have a larger grasp of the current audience of gamers Starsector appeals to. That is useful data in and of itself.
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sector_terror

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 09:29:22 PM »

I'll take this one.

First: No, I dislike moderation because it's expensive and difficult to do. Poorly trained and maintained staff never ends well. I hate moderation because no one seems to know how to run it. what you have presented as your opposition is a pure strawman. When most people get told "be nice" the response is: "The hell does that mean?" In fact, before I typed this I asked that question of 3 discord chat rooms, which all gave the exact same answer. If this was directed at someone fine, but the opposition you've built here is blindly dragging horribly malicious intent at worst, and hyperbolic traditionalist at best. It's a terrible fit. If you have no opposition you see as worthwhile, dont just insult a group and call them your opposition.

Second: Let's also dig into what you're asking. You want Alex to manage an additional set of staff, to keep constant and consistent standards, keep records of all activities for appeal and review, keep a working list of all previous decisions for cross-check and management, and all of this while managing appeals and customer backlash without interrupting even minor criticism of the game. Reminder: "That's crap you moron, this aspect of the games is lacking in development and should be further built." is the exact same sentence as "I feel this mechanic is underdeveloped." One just has an extra adverbial phrase. And let's not drop what a fail state of management looks like. The last place I went to which demands civility on it's forum was Guild Wars 2. That forum is so toxic that people openly disavow posting there due to the moderators slashing threats at a moment notice because your post has an insult in it. Need I tell stories of the recent steam forum mods outright removing entire threads without even discussing it or providing clear reasoning? know the stakes. A badly managed moderation team is worse than badly managed customer support.

Now to dig into your examples:  So let's go block format.

Line 1: Both statements are exactly the same. They demand that missiles are underpowered. In fact, in your desire to for controlled civility, you've made the first line -less- useful. By opening up your language and speaking frankly you let out your actual reasons for saying missiles suck, lacking quality of worth and limited ammo.  Both as these are that great a criticism, but the one following broad formality is so restrained it isn't even presenting a point, only the conclusion. The only other difference is a matter of tone in the word choice.

Line 2: Once again nothing is changed. Both echo the first statement. I mean, they are two different statements. One is confirming the topic, the other is bordering into a tangent without taking a side on the original criticism. Once again the latter example is so restrained that it loses any actual attempt to have a statement.

Line 3: Now we've changed the conversation entirely. By line three of the first example we have a case argument. Missiles are weak and their limited ammo makes them worthless. The opposing side demands that limited ammo is not a significant weakness and a that the argument at it's core is weak as well. The second we have "missiles should be removed from the game" with no reason, and "I disagree." In your search for formality you've lost a lot of the argument.

Line 4: By now line 4 is the latter example is just retreading ground the first example already brought up, and the upper one has brought in a new argument entirely, that missiles are a common stable of the genre. The rest is a joke presenting the argument that missiles should be removed as childish and selfish using a simple metaphor. Quite clever and not present in the latter. Meanwhile the formal line brings up a terribly weak point about aesthetics. We are not clearly having a different argument.

This is where I'm going to stop. I made my point back in line 3 but I felt like adding line 4 to cement it. People don't speak in formal essay writing at all times. We speak in stream of consciousness. Yes some people are like me and have the energy to make essays but most people don't. They want to get their point out quickly, and don't have time to revise their work to evade all emotional appeal and adverbial addition. By pushing this formality into which absolutely no insults or attacks of any kind are given, you've taken away the free unfettered discussion that is required for a development forum. In fact, the "healthy" conversation dropped into a hard tangent after the first point and devolved into spamming about a different topic, about as fast at the first one. And in the end made even less points. Both are spam, you're arguing a matter of taste now. We have a forum moderator for when a topic goes entirely off the wall into it's own tangent. Look at the latest thread for the new update coming, it has been locked for this reason.

The second, no. The first example has three argument points. Missiles are weak, their limited ammo further weakens them, and they are a staple part of sci-fi environment which should be integrated, not removed. I don't know how you misread the conversation -you- wrote, but that shows how little you can speak to this subject. Conversation B never goes into the concept of point defense at all, they could be talking about accuracy, their speed against a rising shield, etc. You may be thinking of PD by the "healthy" conversation didn't discuss it, the "unhealthy" one did. And neither came to a solution, they devolved into a discussion about their love of an unrelated weapon before any further examination or discussion can be made.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the line in which I stop. I want to make clear to anyone reading, -this- is what you need to do with moderation. We already have moderation equally applicable to -both- subject as wild tangents. We have seen threads locked when they go 2-3 pages into no subject. And this wouldn't solve any agression either. I gave the original post Morrokain posted in the other thread to someone who went onto a bit of a tyraid. She will now dislike this man, despite not a single insult being thrown. You cannot force civility, you can only maintain order. And to extend beyond bare basics, requires hard work and expense better put into the game itself.

TL;DR: We have moderation for tangents, spam, actual harassment(repeated, unwanted, and forced interaction,) and other such details. Adding broad civility to go beyond that is a waste of resources and too difficult to be worth it.
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Morrokain

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 10:44:47 PM »

You make several very good points regarding cost/training that will become more relevant as Starsector increases its audience. I don't think I can really come up with an counter-argument there. At least off the top of my head. As far as it not being worth it, there I'd disagree.

Quote
"That's crap you moron, this aspect of the games is lacking in development and should be further built." is the exact same sentence as "I feel this mechanic is underdeveloped."

I completely disagree with that statement. Tone and respect matters. That is more along the lines of the moral side rather than the functional, true. I'll admit that. But to be fair, you are also downplaying how that kind of disrespect catalyzes further disrespect and inevitably bloats the conversation and replacing it with "lack of formality" and positing that formality and civility are the same and keeping civility immediately forces over-formality or lack of individual expression. I don't think that's true.

Eventually, less detail will be given for the exact same reason you propose - stream of consciousness. People become more focused on defending themselves or lashing out in retaliation than actually discussing. I believe this is what you mean when you say a thread "goes off the rails." But, as you say about "be nice" you could just as easily say "what does that mean?" Is "going off the rails" hate speech? Is it every post being trading insults?

Formality/Stream of Consciousness/Individual Expression:
Speaking of that, I admit that my, errr, "prose" is a little formal and to be honest I have written lots of essays so I'm sure that bleeds through. I'm also wordy and I get that it is irritating... (my gf hates it too! Ha.) It also probably comes across as pretentious to some even though that's not what I'm trying to do. However, the mock conversations are meant to be stream of consciousness in both cases. If I did a bad job at that aesthetically then yeah that's my fault. It's a personality flaw but irrelevant to overall point imo. Care to give your own mock discussion that also illustrates my point without those flaws? Or you can correct mine and maybe I'll edit it.

But I gotta be honest, here, if anyone literally can't "stream of consciousness post" what they think without personally insulting someone then yes I'd consider that a serious personal problem. I quite honestly don't think it's too much to ask. It's one thing if it's in good taste as a joke, but there's no guarantee that the other person will know that. And that sort of thing can be used as a cover for bad behavior. If a thread being taken down bothers someone, it's very simple. Don't insult people next time even jokingly. Just argue. It doesn't mean that anyone has to sound like AI, they just need to temper their anger and not flame someone else out of frustration. Since this isn't actually an in person discussion that should be much easier than a place like a chatroom.

Line 3 - Where you prove your point:
While I completely understand picking apart my point piece by piece and such (natural argument technique), I think it's a deflection of the true meaning behind the post: Inflammatory speech and insults derail the discussion into being unproductive. Whether purposeful or accidental I don't know, but you never really seemed to address that at all.

FWIW, you are correct that I did not intend to duplicate everything detail for detail and some things - due to not wanting to spend more time on it - were probably too vague. I'm not sure how that came across other than my personal language is formal though. To reiterate in a different way, opening up language isn't the problem here. It is strictly insults and other kinds of inflammatory baits. I'll give you an example from your post. If you didn't mean it this way I apologize but this is how it came across to me:

Quote
And this wouldn't solve any agression either. I gave the original post Morrokain posted in the other thread to someone who went onto a bit of a tyraid. She will now dislike this man, despite not a single insult being thrown.

If I were easily bait-able, this might provoke a response which would be off-topic in order to defend myself. But to your point, I'm not trying to solve aggression merely keep it off the public sphere of discussion in the formal forums.

Obviously the mock discussions are artificial and it's easy to point that out. But going through each point in the exact same way would also seem artificial and leave my argument vulnerable to your earlier point: I'm saying the same thing but in a different "adverbial phrase" or some other justification for insulting someone. I'm not sure there is a way around that. I admit that again it just seems like deflection to me.

Tangents:
This, imo, is your best counter-point outside of the logistical costs. I agree that it is a fine line between large tangents and finding data points. However, I also think tangents in small doses flesh out related topics. As long as they don't start to dominate the discussion, they are mostly fine. Game features are not in a vacuum. They relate to each other and sometimes bringing up a related point is helpful rather than a distraction.

Thanks for the counter-points. Definitely some valid ones there imo.

P.S. This whole post was mostly stream of consciousness other than mild typo checking and it took me ~45 minutes despite its word count. No insults though - well at least to my knowledge. The only reason it took this long was I wanted to be sure to carefully read your argument so I am not making false assumptions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TL;DR: While cost/management is a valid factor and too many tangents are also a valid concern, your rebuttal does very little to actually address the main point: Inflammatory speech and insults derail the discussion into being unproductive. Instead you pick apart my own logic failures or make the (patently false, imo) argument that civility kills individual expression or forces essay-like posts.
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FenMuir

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2021, 11:02:01 PM »

Over-moderation leads to the fracturing of communities. You can use Furry Fandom as a case study in this if you want to dig.

People should endeavor to be at least polite to one another. However, people are people. Every country on Earth (and in the sector) has a law against battery and murder, yet, for some bizarre reason, people continue to beat and murder each other. As it turns out, rules don't actually do anything to those who have decided to break them.

Proper moderation costs money. Are you willing to personally pay salaries to moderate the board? If so, there are some ex-Blizzard community managers who are probably still looking for a job.

Poor moderation is often free, and it is a disaster of eventual gate-keeping and nepotism.

Keep the rules simple. Read the crowd. Ask questions of irate people before you make suggestions or tell them they're wrong. In many cases, if someone shows up here saying that X is terrible, they probably haven't developed the skill required to use X properly, yet. If you tell them that, their anger will, somewhat rightfully, be directed at you for telling them they, in their mind, suck at the game.

We need to keep in mind that many users are going to be children, young adults, and new adults. The middle-aged and elderly crowd that are here are likely in the minority. Young people are more impulsive. For that reason, the only real option to stop them is going to be the ban them. That just means that they leave this forum and go to reddit or any number of other forum.

Unity, not fracturing, is important. I'd rather not be on a board that requires prim and proper communication. I'd rather be on the board where someone calls me a *** *** since I now know how they feel. That is just me, though. If someone thinks something sucks, I'd want to know why. I'd want to know their raw, unfiltered, and honest reaction since that is unlikely to be unique to them.

I have a feeling that when the patch comes that makes the Pathers actually dangerous, there will be a lot of people screaming, "THESE *** PATHERS ARE RUINING THE GOD DAMN GAME!" We'll all raise a glass in commiseration before asking, "Have you tried killing their bases? You can find out where the base is in the bar. Good luck!"
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Morrokain

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2021, 11:18:05 PM »

Over-moderation leads to the fracturing of communities. You can use Furry Fandom as a case study in this if you want to dig.

*snip*

We need to keep in mind that many users are going to be children, young adults, and new adults. The middle-aged and elderly crowd that are here are likely in the minority. Young people are more impulsive. For that reason, the only real option to stop them is going to be the ban them. That just means that they leave this forum and go to reddit or any number of other forum.

Unity, not fracturing, is important. I'd rather not be on a board that requires prim and proper communication. I'd rather be on the board where someone calls me a *** *** since I now know how they feel. That is just me, though. If someone thinks something sucks, I'd want to know why. I'd want to know their raw, unfiltered, and honest reaction since that is unlikely to be unique to them.

I have a feeling that when the patch comes that makes the Pathers actually dangerous, there will be a lot of people screaming, "THESE *** PATHERS ARE RUINING THE GOD DAMN GAME!" We'll all raise a glass in commiseration before asking, "Have you tried killing their bases? You can find out where the base is in the bar. Good luck!"

I very much agree re: unity. Also I understand your point about younger users and impulsiveness. That, in part, is a difficult road to navigate. But, I would counter that respect needs to be taught in more places than the household or school. It is an important lesson for when you get to the workplace. If you go spouting off to your boss you will be out of a job really fast. Also, I'd argue that banning repeat and consistent offenders is helpful to the unity of the community rather than hurtful - especially since there are places like reddit where they can go to vent and get into flame wars. There are many places for that, actually. Preserving unity I don't think has to be equivalent with allowing all types of behavior when that can be damaging to the actual intent of the forums - discussion of the game. Granted, the General Discussion thread is a bit of an exception compared to places like Suggestions where idea battles are more commonplace.

But, really, that's more of my own personal moral stance. For purposes of this discussion, the big thing is the derailment of the discussion because of flame wars. In essence, that is the heart of the issue to me. As far as raw, unfiltered responses I empathize and agree. I personally don't care about cursing. Your example is not really something I'd have a problem with. It's the follow-up after being called a *** *** leading to retaliation rather than commiseration that is more the problem. Though I admire that you would commiserate rather than return fire.

*EDIT* Ok that's my last response for tonight, but I'll discuss more tomorrow if I can. To both posters here thank for your thoughts and I appreciate you both keeping it friendly.
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Kriby

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2021, 12:11:12 AM »

I don't think one should underestimate the ability of a community to moderate itself. If a person is being willfully destructive despite being told by other community members that their behavior is disruptive and shows no sign of stopping over a longer period of time I think the ban hammer is valid. Moderation is also very important to keep out spam and other worse vileness that can come from hosting a public forum. When the really bad problems are absent though, moderators tend to start looking for smaller problems(?) to filter out, since "I can't be a moderator and do nothing, right?". It's a valid feeling I guess, one shouldn't be complacent, but like many people point out over-moderation is a real issue, too. I think the smaller grain problems usually get handled well by invested community members without moderation powers simply by making examples out of people that really are behaving poorly. That leaves leeway for being "uncivil" within the bounds accepted by the community. If those poorly behaving people are sincere in their interest in their game they will moderate themselves to the point where the community accepts how they communicate. If they don't, they can be reported and dealt with at that point.
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Grievous69

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2021, 01:56:27 AM »

Speaking of forum etiquette, some of you (especially seen here) write sooo much redundant sentences. Like seriously this seems like a contest of who has the richest vocabulary, or essay battles, call it how you want. My point is you could make your arguments much more clearly and without unnecessary fancy talk. Keep your replies concise unless you want people just skimming over it (like I just did). Even though this topic interests me, these wall of texts kill the desire to read anything, and I've read parts of it, again too much fancy talk.

Now for the actual topic: I hate over moderation, it already drove me away from some places, where you can't even speak like a normal human being or make jokes without being seen as "toxic". And no I don't mean toxic as in the meaning of the word that actually makes sense, I'm saying these places/groups will call anything "toxic" which doesn't fit with them, or simply has an opposite opinion.

Moderation should be for this:
  • spam
  • real harassment
  • various forum rules that make sense (necroing, impersonating others and such)
Everything else which boils down to "this person is being mean" or "I'm gonna intentionally shift the tone of your reply so you seem like a douche" is idiotic. From giving the benefit of the doubt, we've come so far that people immediately think of the worst possible thing / way someone has said something. The reason why these should never be moderated is because they're insanely dependent on subjective opinion. You can't state as a fact that you KNOW how someone typed out a certain response, you CANNOT KNOW the intent behind it!

I've seen it happen multiple times here, where someone would get in trouble just because they used the wrong word, or made a bad joke (when I know from 900 other responses for that person, that he/she is not bad or wishes ill on others). On the other hand, I've seen some really disgusting people trying so hard to make others look bad, talk down on people and insult them but without the actual insults. And they are just ignored, purely because they didn't use "bad words" or it doesn't seem bad from the first look. When in reality those people are far worse than anyone else, simply because they mask their toxicity.

Lastly, I still *** hate censorship. I know what's behind the "***", you know it, everybody knows it, so what's the point? Those words can be used for emphasis, they can better describe how someone feels about a certain thing. In case someone tells me that they're used often for harassment, well guess what nerdface, you can harass people in a billion different ways, the words you use are irrelevant, it's how you phrase it. Oh and there's also times you want to type something out but the auto censor thing picks it up for some reason, so you can't even communicate properly and have to think of workarounds.

@Morrokain
I don't get the point behind conversations A and B. So you just made up sentences and assumed places without mods only have neanderthals, and places with mods only have people without emotions who talk like children or androids. Nice Monty Python references tho. But yeah I don't know why people immediately assume that once you remove moderation from equation, all hell breaks loose.

(Yes I know my response is also long but to be fair this was aimed at multiple arguments here and I talked about some other things that are close to it.)

EDIT: Well since there's no new responses I guess I have to make an edit, I read everything now btw.
Take no offense in this but Morrokain seems like a type of person who wants to hold the moral high ground. I can see from the responses that he agrees to a lot of counter points but still keep on going about respect, morality and formal speech. Which makes sense in business environments, not so much on a game forum between strangers on the internet. Obviously I also prefer when people treat me with respect but as FenMuir said, I want to hear their unfiltered and honest opinions. I'm usually a very direct person so I already know most disagree with such lines of thinking. I'd take calling me names in face rather than plotting something behind my back and being secretive (while seeming "nice" as a front) any day of the week.

sector_terror made a ton of excellent points but this became quite long already so I won't go into detail what I like.

Last thing @Morrokain
I get that the conversations are a mock up and exaggerated but as such they don't really mean anything here. Like what is someone supposed to get from them? Communication is impossible in unmoderated places? Every place with mods has actual meaningful conversation? I can tell you with certainty that both types have pretty much equal amounts of normal conversations where people understand each other, the difference being one type is more honest and has cursing, while the other is more family friendly.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 06:11:49 AM by Grievous69 »
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 06:37:05 AM »

I know why forum moderation is important: Every good forum I've ever been a part of has moderation and the best ones have strict moderation and an entry fee to make pay attention to the rules. People on the internet do not self-moderate by and large, because anonymity + humans = ***.
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Grievous69

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 07:06:44 AM »

I know why forum moderation is important: Every good forum I've ever been a part of has moderation and the best ones have strict moderation and an entry fee to make pay attention to the rules. People on the internet do not self-moderate by and large, because anonymity + humans = ***.
And what exactly do you mean by strict moderation? I ask because everyone has their own views on moderation in general, and especially how they perceive something as strict.
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Tartiflette

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 09:02:32 AM »

To this day the moderation team has operated fairly and appropriately with every situation it has faced so I don't see the point in "fixing" what is definitely not broken. In my opinion this thread should be closed preemptively before it slowly devolves into a feces-flinging match of bad taste hot takes and virtue signaling.
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SCC

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2021, 09:42:06 AM »

I'm on the "lenient moderation" team, but at the same time, I prefer to use less crowded forums, where community self-control is better (and community is better in general). I don't like it when others decide what topics aren't allowed. I don't think we need any more moderation. I'd even prefer it to be a bit less, but it's no a pressing matter.

Lastly, I still *** hate censorship. I know what's behind the "***", you know it, everybody knows it, so what's the point?
Think of the children, man! At least, Alex does think about them, in the context of "parents are more likely to buy my game, if my website doesn't teach their children bad words". Maybe. His income depends in an indeterminate part on having his website presentable, and having no swear words there counts for something, eh?

Also, Morrokain, were the two conversations based on real occurrences? It seems a bit biased. Not to mention the second example shows no example of moderator action, so it's just rude vs polite conversation...

Grievous69

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2021, 09:54:26 AM »

To this day the moderation team has operated fairly and appropriately with every situation it has faced so I don't see the point in "fixing" what is definitely not broken.
The opening post isn't even about this... It's merely to paint a picture on how the current situation is good (there's some hints of ideas and what could be "ideal", but I don't think that's the main point). Also wanting to close a thread before even anything happens just further strengthens my points, that type of behaviour is silly (as long as no one is breaking rules) and if you don't like the topic just move on.

And yeah good point SCC, larger communities seem far far worse since those few problematic ones tend to be vocal and ever present. Small communities can exist without any sort of moderation, now what someone defines as "small" is another thing.
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Nick XR

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2021, 10:53:28 AM »

Starsector and the community (Mods) around it are special relative to their peers.  It's worth then asking _why_ is it special, what here is different than other places?  I think the level of moderation found here is a part of the reason the mod scene is so good, it's not as important as the game being moddable, but having a polite, mostly welcoming community really helps.  I don't think what's happening here is broken, so I personally wouldn't suggest fixing it without considering how it might actually impact what this is.

Morrokain

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2021, 02:00:12 PM »

I read all the responses but it would take too long to respond to everyone so I'll just hit some key take-aways. Nevertheless there is a lot here so it will probably still be a long post. :P

1) This post isn't trying to fix or change anything. It's more of a "we are lucky with what we have right now" kind of post and an attempt (a poor one from the looks of it) to try and demonstrate why. I agree with Tart that the moderators have been great. Any hint of other things is reading too far into it.

2) SCC: No the conversations were not based on real occurrences in any way. I tried to make that really clear in the OP because I don't want this seen as some kind of attack on another forum member or a group of forum members or anything like that. That's probably why on the surface the two conversations seem ridiculous. If I made it too close to what could actually be a conversation then it might get misconstrued. Also, good point about no moderation voice present in the second discussion. I thought about it but then decided that rude vs polite might illustrate the point better. The takeaway from the conversation was primarily about the number of data points that a dev or others can take away from what was designed to be a constructive situation vs a non-constructive situation. The reason the polite one is more constructive (in theory) is that the space taken away by the traded insults lets the discussion/debate be more visible and readable. If I have to scroll through a bunch of that to get to the actual points/counter-points then I might not bother. I've seen flame wars go on for like 10 pages in the SC2 forums. At that point most of what could be learned by the debate is lost in a sea of anger.

3) Community self control/moderation: I have never seen this myself. I'm not saying it doesn't exist or people don't try because I've seen plenty of people step up and try and diffuse the situation when other people are angry and the discussion devolved into trading insults. But without at least eventual consequences for those actions there are people out there who won't stop the bickering. In case it wasn't explicitly said or anything, I'm all for warnings and warnings about warnings, etc. I don't think its appropriate to ban someone for the first insult they sling or anything.

4) Grievous on moral high ground: Seriously no offense taken. I am opinionated here. Absolutely. And while I do try to keep my argument logical and based around what is helpful (overall) to the community, I think it's definitely fair to say that my own opinions are going to influence my personal take on the issue. I'm truly not trying to sound "preachy" but I get that there is a risk that people will take it that way. The formal language/redundant sentences doesn't help I'm sure. Would you believe me if I said that I actually try (most of the time) to cut the word count down? And as far as formalness that is because I am honestly bad at jokes or modern slang. This is how I actually talk in real life so I get that it might be over fancy or otherwise unrelate-able. :-[ The fact that my monty python reference got some compliments makes me happy. I quite seriously don't know what "krinj" or "based" means - though I could probably guess based on context. Yep. It's that bad. So if I sound like a robot or like I'm calling for an essay war from my posts it's unintentional though understandable. It's a side effect of my social awkwardness more than anything else. I think that some might also, again understandably, see that as an attempt to make the person I'm arguing against look bad but nothing could be further from the truth. The formal language is my flaw of being less capable of being relatable than others.

5) Being mean/flaming while appearing nice: This is a very valid issue. I get that this can happen. I have felt like I've been the target of under the table jabs like this in the past and I'm sure I've been the target of... energetic discussion... on the discord at times. (I also hope noone ever thought I was doing this during what I thought was a debate in the past. It makes me paranoid that I've offended people unintentionally rather than just being annoying or wordy or w.e.) Anyway, what I would say as a counter-point is that I think it's at least a little harder to do and even when it is done, at least it keeps the forums inviting-seeming rather than an in-your-face flame fest.

Also, just to be frank and transparent and to try and dispel any notion that this is a "mightier than thou" kind of thing, I have let my temper get the best of me plenty of times here. When you're passionate that's going to happen. There are things I've said in the heat of the moment that I still feel really bad about. Now, if I feel myself getting angry I take a step back and wait a few hours before responding. I also consciously tell myself to give the benefit of the doubt to someone that appears to be attacking me and simply reply with a logical counter point or otherwise just ignore it. I feel that it's worth mentioning that I want to be everyone's friend even when I disagree. I know not everyone will like me (especially when I take controversial stances like this) but I don't have any ill-will towards anyone here in case there was a misconception that that wasn't true.

(Yep it was long. Sorry!)
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Grievous69

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Re: Why is it important to have forum etiquette/forum moderation?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2021, 02:17:15 PM »

Even though we might disagree on a lot of things here, I genuinely wish there were more people like you. You carefully read everything, calmly obviously, and take all other counter points into consideration, while being honestly nice and upfront. I get that the formal way of speaking is a part of you, I've seen that already just not of the same calibre hahaha (I mean there are 3 responses saying we don't need a "fix", when the OP shows nothing like that). Almost makes me wish there was a rule where you have to read at least the opening post before replying, or just skim over it like I did in the beginning.

Anyways I'm all fine with robots, evil robots scare me though.
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