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Maintenance Downtime and Moderation System Revision.

Nexus

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Moderation System Revision
As you may or may not be aware, Stratics has long used a point system for issuing warnings to community members who are disruptive and violate the Rules of Conduct and Terms of Service. This system has been tweaked and changed throughout the years, but has never been clearly and transparently available for all users to read and understand where they stand at any given time. We’ve been reviewing this system and found that in the majority of cases it does not lead to any lasting resolution for even the most consistent rules offenders. In the past we’ve bent over backwards to try to be fair for the individual being warned, but what we’ve typically failed to consider is how much disruption, rule breaking and general antisocial behavior is fair to expose the remainder of the community to. With this firmly in mind we have revisited the moderation system and discussed at great length a system that will be open and transparent, as well fair for all parties involved.

Previously the moderation system used a tiered system of weighted warnings--trolling would result in 5 points, for example--and as the offenses became more serious the weight would increase. When a user reached 125 points in a year’s time they would receive a permanent ban from Stratics, with several short temporary ban periods of 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days at 25, 50, and 75 points respectively. This would allow a user to be warned up to 25 times for some behaviors which violate our Rules of Conduct, something we feel is far too lenient in light of data we’ve collected and analyzed, and feedback we’ve received from a number of community members.

The collected data shows that between Jan 1[sup]st[/sup], and the time we began collecting information, 97 warnings had been handed out by Moderators to individuals with active accounts. Of individuals with any active warning points roughly 60% of all warnings that were issued went to the same 8 individuals, with the remainder being distributed among 48 other community members. This only served to further reinforce the suspicion that our Moderation System was ineffective and needed to be addressed due to a clear lack of resolution for habitual rule breaking.

Beginning after a Maintenance Downtime on May 12[sup]th[/sup], 2016 we will be switching to a revised system for moderation. This system will use the following format:
Each of the following warnings will result in 1 point applied to the user's account.
  • Trolling
  • Trade Forum Bumps Rule
  • Sale Duration Violation
  • Number of Auctions/Sales
  • Inappropriate Language/Circumventing Profanity Filter
  • Advertising (Not Spam)
  • Discussing Moderator Actions

Each of the following warnings will result in 2 points applied to the user's account:

  • Misuse of Alternate User Account
  • Disallowed 3rd Party Content
  • Posting Bugs / Exploits
  • Ignoring Mod / Admin Warnings
  • Player to Player Real Currency Sales
  • Personal Attacks
  • Posting Private Messages
  • Inappropriate Username

The following, more severe warnings will result in 10 points being applied to the user's account, triggering an immediate ban (all bans will be reviewed by the administrative staff, please see below):

  • Posting of Personal Information
  • Evading Temporary Ban
  • Threats to Cause Physical or Mental Harm
  • Spammed Advertisements (bots)
  • Uploading or Linking to a Virus
  • Malicious Attack / Threatening to Hack Forums or Otherwise Harm the Site
  • Evading Permanent Ban
  • Racist or Pornographic Posts
  • Leaking of Content covered by an NDA agreement without permission

When a user has a total of 1, 2, or 3 points, they will not receive any suspension of service.
At 4 points, a user will automatically receive a 3-day suspension.
At 6 points, a user will automatically receive a 7-day suspension.
At 8 points, a user will automatically receive a 30-day suspension.
At 10 points, a user will automatically receive a permanent ban.

All permanent bans will be reviewed by the administrative staff. For bans initiated for the most egregious, 10-point offenses (with the exception of spam bots), this review will happen after the ban has been given for the purpose of determining if it was done in error and should be lifted. If a 1 or 2-point item will trigger a permanent ban, the review will occur prior to the ban being put into effect. As always, a community member may request a review of any moderation action by emailing [email protected], or by contacting a member of the moderation team.

Warning points will expire after a 1 calendar year from the date they were received.

Trade forum specific rules will be handled at the discretion of the Moderators, making use of thread bans, locking threads etc. in addition to or at times as an alternative to the point system. For other areas of the forums, discretion by the moderators may occur, but this will be solely based on the warning history of a users account.

We will also be wiping all currently active points from all accounts. Everyone who currently is not banned from Stratics is starting with a clean slate. It has also come to our attention that users who have turned off their email notifications, currently do not receive a notice if they receive a temporary or permanent banning, and are unable to read the private message sent to their account once the ban takes place. To counter this, we will be installing a system which will bypass this setting and send an email notification only if a ban occurs as a result of a warning being issued. This system will also allow users to View the warnings they receive from the time this system goes in place via a tab on their profile, in addition all warnings will include a point total being sent to the user via PM.

Finally a few clarifications will be added to the Rules of Conduct to better define specific rules in order to help prevent confusion. We would like you all to take the time once the forums are active again to review the Rules of Conduct.

As always we'd like to remind the community if they wish to become a volunteer here at Stratics they may do so by sending in an application using the link in the Sidebar. Currently we are looking specifically for additional Moderators, Event Planning Staff, and Reporters.
 

Smoot

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issues:

currently the "bump" rule is not being adhered to. i myself was only bumping every 48 hours (limit according to the new rules) but realized that the majority or heavy traders are still doing the daily bump. take a quick read of every trade post on the first page and this can be seen.

The "update" rule is not being adhered to. and really hurts the functionality of auctions. nabin and jred have been running the major auctions on the rares forum lately, and the problem of this rule can be seen. they are updating way over the limit of the rules, which needs to be done for a well-run auction, but is also currently in violation.

Sale duration: what exactly does this mean? for efficiency many users have 1 long running post that can run for months, i think nabin has one that is over 2 years old. are these in violation of the sale duration rule?

posting of personal information? what exactly does this encompass. is this real life information only (address, social security, phone number) or internet information as well? (icq, email, icq logs, copied stratics pms, etc) Or even in game information like character, guild, house location, etc? if a persons real name or information is already well known, posted, or public, can a user be banned for posting this.

will a user be notified when he or she has recieved points? this was my biggest problem with the old system. over the past year i was told 1 time that i had recieved points (for outing a scammer) i had no idea any other points had been accrued unitl i was banned.

the report feature: you would probably want to clarify how this system is supposed to work. i went from reporting everything that mods specifically said to report (mostly non-rares being sold on the rares forum) as well as trolls and other abuses as we were told to do when the feature was introduced. i dont think anyone actually knows what to report, or how much to report currently. its a failed system if people dont know what its for.

also no points in this new system for manual spam and should probably be addressed.


personally, i would double or even triple the number of first tier points required for a 3 day ban.
Reasoning: with higher number of points they can be handed out more, and give a user a better idea of what he or she is doing wrong. with only 3 points, i can see lots of things being overlooked by mods, cuasing users to assume that they are acting fully within the rules and continue breaking those rules. in this situation, if you have 1 user breaking the same rules as everyone but a mod just doesnt like him they can use the point system to target that user. that is not a fair system.
if the rules are to be enforced, 3 points is very low. i would rather see 10 tier 1 points and have the rules actually enforced than only 3 with them being overlooked most the time.
As it is, about 20 trade forum users would have a 3 day ban right now if the current system had been in place over the past week.

All in all a positive first step in the journey towards more professional, consistent and cohesive moderation.
 
Last edited:

Smoot

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Also, this should probably be put on a banner on the 3 major forums because no one is going to see it here and know the rules have changed. most didnt even read the last rules change (april 6th) and are still operating under the rules before that.
 

Nexus

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Also, this should probably be put on a banner on the 3 major forums because no one is going to see it here and know the rules have changed. most didnt even read the last rules change (april 6th) and are still operating under the rules before that.
Notice.jpg

The notice I've boxed in above, shows on every single forum. If someone ignores it or dismisses it without reading it....
 

Smoot

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The notice I've boxed in above, shows on every single forum. If someone ignores it or dismisses it without reading it....
hmm, not showing up for me. i only saw this by the link in the help forum. banner isnt showing up.
 

Merlin

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I noticed the banner before I noticed this post. It's definitely there.
 
Last edited:

Smoot

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I noticed the ban before I noticed this post. It's definitely there.
if its not showing up for me probably not showing up for at least a portion of other users. im not a computer wiz, so not really sure what would be the problem. im using windows 7 with firefox.
 

Nexus

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if its not showing up for me probably not showing up for at least a portion of other users. im not a computer wiz, so not really sure what would be the problem. im using windows 7 with firefox.
If you click "Preferences" under the drop-down menu when you hover over your name on the top right, is there a box that says "Restore Dismissed Notices" at the bottom?

I usually recycle the Maintenance Notice, and just up date the Date/Time and any specific details needed. I'm wondering if you dismissed it in the past and it's carrying over now that I've reactivated it or if it's another problem.
 

Smoot

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@Nexus

yeah that was it. i checked the box now seeing the messege. so anyone who has ever dismissed a maintenance notice wont see the banner unless a fresh ones made.
 
Last edited:

Nexus

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@Nexus

yeah that was it. i checked the box now seeing the messege. so anyone who has ever dismissed a maintenance notice wont see the banner unless a fresh ones made.
Thanks for checking that for me, I'll just make a new notice and know not to recycle them anymore.
 

Archnight

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Thank you @Nexus , this is very clear and precise. At least no one will be able to play the victim if this happens... hehe :p

 

Nexus

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Thank you @Nexus , this is very clear and precise. At least no one will be able to play the victim if this happens... hehe :p
To be fair, this wasn't all me. This was actually a 2nd or 3rd draft, and through out it was passed around the Moderators for feedback as well for tweaks.
 

The Craftsman

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Will there be anywhere on an individuals account where they can see their current points status with regard to warnings, including their expiry date?
 

Captn Norrington

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Will there be anywhere on an individuals account where they can see their current points status with regard to warnings, including their expiry date?
Yes, you will be able to see your own warnings (new ones, not old ones). I'm not sure about the expiry date thing. Assuming it works the same way as it does for moderators, you would be able to check your warnings by going to your profile page. There will be a tab that says "Warnings" mixed in with the other tabs like guilds, media etc.

The tab doesn't show up until there is at least 1 warning though, so if there is no tab it means zero warnings.
 

Nexus

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Will there be anywhere on an individuals account where they can see their current points status with regard to warnings, including their expiry date?
Yes you should see the expiry date/time. But remember the expiration doesn't actually occur until the next time Xenforo runs through updating the expired warnings. This happens every 55 minutes, so if it expires on May 15th, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. it may not reflect rolling off until 7:55 p.m.
 

Lord Frodo

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Yes, you will be able to see your own warnings (new ones, not old ones). I'm not sure about the expiry date thing. Assuming it works the same way as it does for moderators, you would be able to check your warnings by going to your profile page. There will be a tab that says "Warnings" mixed in with the other tabs like guilds, media etc.

The tab doesn't show up until there is at least 1 warning though, so if there is no tab it means zero warnings.
I just checked my account and all my old warnings are still there, how long till they are removed.
 

Captn Norrington

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I just checked my account and all my old warnings are still there, how long till they are removed.
I wasn't aware users would be able to see all of their old warnings, the way it was explained to me was that only new warnings would be visible. I guess it was changed at some point.

The actual warnings themselves will not be removed, because moderators need them for reference so we can look through a person's history to determine things like whether or not they are ignoring a previous warning etc.

However, the points from all of those warnings have been expired. I just checked your account and you have zero active warning points.

So, essentially right now your account is a clean slate with zero points, however the records of the old warnings will stay just in case any of them ever need to be referenced in the future.
 

The Craftsman

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Just been taking another look at this. I agree that the old system fell short in terms of how far a user could go and still be here, but this system does seem a little severe.

10 points gives a perma ban.and there are 2 point infractions. Theoretically a user could step out of line once every 10 weeks, after posting potentially hundreds upon hundreds of perfectly acceptable posts during those two and a half months, and that one rash post in 10 weeks could get the user permabanned in a year

That just seems a little harsh. Have the Mods considered this?
 
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