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Chat Moderation Changes and Additions Report!

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1 minute ago, D20 said:

This conversation has been going on for a while now, and everyone is kinda going in circles, arguing with each other in quite a too passionate way. Let's try to level up the conversation a bit : instead of fueling up that drama, we should be talking about actual ways to improve moderation and making sure that incidents like the ones described in the video never happen again.

Recruitment procedures for voluntary mods could use to be more strict for example, and perhaps communication between moderators and users can be improved in some way. You guys probably have some ideas about that. I'm just a voluntary moderator, but I wouldn't mind at all reading some well thought out suggestions.

About the recruitment, if what Rahetalius exposed in his video is even only 20% true, then yeah, there's a serious issue with how moderators are chosen, and worse, KEPT as moderators.

I think the other suggestions are there, but i'll leave them in a TLDR format:

  • Stop mistaking obnoxious, bad jokes, or mildly offensive for actually offensive malicious language. Instead of "can one person find this offensive", ask yourself "will most people find this innocuous" before handing a ban.
  • Stop handing bans outright, it's not really transparent in those reports, but maybe, reach out to people first before muting or banning them. Because, again, what some people might find offensive, most people might not, and you're most likely just making things worse.
  • Read the dictionary definition for "moderator", you'll see that "enforcer" or "punisher" won't be showing up readily in that definition. If you don't think you can moderate a chat without having to resort to banning people every 10 seconds, maybe you're not cut out for it?
  • Get a second layer of scrutiny between who flags an issue and who issues the punishment. If a moderator finds a behaviour to be problematic, he should flag it, and a second "blind" mod should decide the punishment. It's probably hard to implement, but it would ensure the fairest approach.
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20 minutes ago, D20 said:

This conversation has been going on for a while now, and everyone is kinda going in circles, arguing with each other in quite a too passionate way. Let's try to level up the conversation a bit : instead of fueling up that drama, we should be talking about actual ways to improve moderation and making sure that incidents who are currently complained at never happen again in the future.

Recruitment procedures for voluntary mods could use to be more strict for example, and perhaps communication between moderators and users can be improved in some way. You guys probably have some ideas about that. I'm just a voluntary moderator, but I wouldn't mind at all reading some well thought out suggestions.

Admitting that there have been toxic mods in the past and being upfront about their removal (even if only referring to them collectively as "toxic mods" or "controversial mods" or something of the sort) would be a great first step towards making sure incidents don't happen again. I know DE staff and moderators may not be ok with doing that, or mentioning it, but I at least hope that has happened/is happening behind the scenes.

DE could change the way they select moderators so that toxic mods who happen to be on more friendly terms with developers aren't selected. I'm not sure if you or other mods would be opposed to this, but it could help to have the community have some say in which moderators are selected. I say that because the community is probably more familiar with individuals who have a positive influence on the community. I understand that there may be some fear that the community could choose the wrong person, but to date, the only real moderator issues we've had have been with individuals who were chosen by DE and were on friendly terms with their staff. As well, the community knows which individuals have been toxic, so that should reduce the chances of toxic individuals slipping through the cracks. Having the community elect moderators would help to instill confidence in the moderators that are chosen. It's worth considering.

 

8 minutes ago, ReaverKane said:

About the recruitment, if what Rahetalius exposed in his video is even only 20% true, then yeah, there's a serious issue with how moderators are chosen, and worse, KEPT as moderators.

I think the other suggestions are there, but i'll leave them in a TLDR format:

  • Stop mistaking obnoxious, bad jokes, or mildly offensive for actually offensive malicious language. Instead of "can one person find this offensive", ask yourself "will most people find this innocuous" before handing a ban.
  • Stop handing bans outright, it's not really transparent in those reports, but maybe, reach out to people first before muting or banning them. Because, again, what some people might find offensive, most people might not, and you're most likely just making things worse.
  • Read the dictionary definition for "moderator", you'll see that "enforcer" or "punisher" won't be showing up readily in that definition. If you don't think you can moderate a chat without having to resort to banning people every 10 seconds, maybe you're not cut out for it?
  • Get a second layer of scrutiny between who flags an issue and who issues the punishment. If a moderator finds a behaviour to be problematic, he should flag it, and a second "blind" mod should decide the punishment. It's probably hard to implement, but it would ensure the fairest approach.

I strongly disagree with your first suggestion. That literally sounds like an excuse to make derogatory comments. Why is it so necessary that you be able to say things like "Nezha is a trap?" Why do have to say that? At this point, even if it were to stop being considered derogatory, it's spam and non-constructive.

Edited by A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n
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5 minutes ago, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n said:

Admitting that there have been toxic mods in the past and being upfront about their removal (even if only referring to them collectively as "toxic mods" or "controversial mods" or something of the sort) would be a great first step towards making sure incidents don't happen again. I know DE staff and moderators may not be ok with doing that, or mentioning it, but I at least hope that has happened/is happening behind the scenes.

DE could change the way they select moderators so that toxic mods who happen to be on more friendly terms with developers aren't selected. I'm not sure if you or other mods would be opposed to this, but it could help to have the community have some say in which moderators are selected. I say that because the community is probably more familiar with individuals who have a positive influence on the community. I understand that there may be some fear that the community could choose the wrong person, but to date, the only real moderator issues we've had have been with individuals who were chosen by DE and were on friendly terms with their staff. As well, the community knows which individuals have been toxic, so that should reduce the chances of toxic individuals slipping through the cracks. Having the community elect moderators would help to instill confidence in the moderators that are chosen. It's worth considering.

 

I strongly disagree with your first suggestion. That literally sounds like an excuse to make derogatory comments. Why is it so necessary that you be able to say things like "Nezha is a trap?" Why do have to say that? At this point, even if it were to stop being considered derogatory, it's spam and non-constructive.

Why is it derogatory? And why would Nezha be offended?

I never said any of the like, and i do find it obnoxious, but i wouldn't put it in the same box as "death to all X".

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Stuff like this is only ever blown up because someone other than the overseeing body gets ahead of it. Though it is the more likely to happen that someone else covers the issue first, what makes it worse is silence. If Rahetalius is the only one giving any information true or not, and there is no opposing story, then that is sure to cause what this discussion has turned to, chaos. Turning blind eye to things 99% of the time never works. My suggestion is get in front of issues, moderation has been talked about for a long time, and yet no actual concrete information or information at all has been provided from the head, yet has only been provided by a community advocate(Rahetalius). If DE gets in front of these issues, it is less likely to hurt more than it could if left alone.

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16 minutes ago, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n said:

Why is it so necessary that you be able to say things like "Nezha is a trap?" Why do have to say that? At this point, even if it were to stop being considered derogatory, it's spam and non-constructive.

Why is it so necessary that he NOT be able to say things like that? What's the death toll? How many people died because someone typed "Nezha is a trap" somewhere on the internet? Seriously, is there a humanitarian crisis somewhere caused by these words? Are traps falling like flies all over the world? Maybe we should ask Nezha what he feels about it? Oh wait...

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il y a 1 minute, Sean a dit :

On that, part of what is frustrating is that while the "new" code of conduct (which is really just basic decency) acts as a checklist for some of the chat moderators, what only adds further insult to injury is this line:

That, combined with what has been easily proven with evidence, then doesn't sit well as the toxic chatmods have nowhere near a "spotless" history.

Reinforcing the rules for chatmods then ? Maybe even add more rules to the list ?

il y a 7 minutes, ReaverKane a dit :

Stop handing bans outright, it's not really transparent in those reports, but maybe, reach out to people first before muting or banning them. Because, again, what some people might find offensive, most people might not, and you're most likely just making things worse.

This is an interesting one. It's always confusing to be suddenly banned without a proper explanation. Some progress could likely be made about that. As far as I am aware of, the addition of such a system was planned. Not sure if it got delivered yet though, since I am mostly playing in the French region.

il y a 6 minutes, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n a dit :

Admitting that there have been toxic mods in the past and being upfront about their removal (even if only referring to them collectively as "toxic mods" or "controversial mods" or something of the sort) would be a great first step towards making sure incidents don't happen again. I know DE staff and moderators may not be ok with doing that, or mentioning it, but I at least hope that has happened/is happening behind the scenes.

 

DE could change the way they select moderators so that toxic mods who happen to be on more friendly terms with developers aren't selected. I'm not sure if you or other mods would be opposed to this, but it could help to have the community have some say in which moderators are selected. I say that because the community is probably more familiar with individuals who have a positive influence on the community. I understand that there may be some fear that the community could choose the wrong person, but to date, the only real moderator issues we've had have been with individuals who were chosen by DE and were on friendly terms with their staff. As well, the community knows which individuals have been toxic, so that should reduce the chances of toxic individuals slipping through the cracks. Having the community elect moderators would help to instill confidence in the moderators that are chosen.

 Please don't delete this suggestion, btw. It's worth considering.

I'll remain neutral on that subject tbh. It's usually better if the one person you add for moderation is also on good terms with the community, indeed. I've seen multiple forums where people could elect their moderators, with usually positive results, though there was indeed a some moments where it went in an absolutely terrible way.

 

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10 minutes ago, ReaverKane said:

Why is it derogatory? And why would Nezha be offended?

I never said any of the like, and i do find it obnoxious, but i wouldn't put it in the same box as "death to all X".

Because it is a term that has been used to demean transgender individuals. It doesn't matter if Nezha isn't offended. If I called a black person the n-word, that doesn't mean that it's offensive and derogatory to just that person.

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8 hours ago, D20 said:

Reinforcing the rules for chatmods then ? Maybe even add more rules to the list ?

This is an interesting one. It's always confusing to be suddenly banned without a proper explanation. Some progress could likely be made about that. As far as I am aware of, the addition of such a system was planned. Not sure if it got delivered yet though, since I am mostly playing in the French region.

I'll remain neutral on that subject tbh. It's usually better if the one person you add for moderation is also on good terms with the community, indeed. I've seen multiple forums where people could elect their moderators, with usually positive results, though there was indeed a some moments where it went in an absolutely terrible way.

 

If what's been said about some moderators is even remotely true, it's less a question of reinforcing, but actually enforcing them... I mean if there's a mod with rule breaking phrases in their name, That's way more egregious than a billion "trap" jokes. Again i'm going by hearsay, so i can be wrong, actually i hope i am. Because otherwise, that's just a HUGE problem there.

It's not just about people knowing why they are banned, it's also about avoiding bans altogether. Banning should be an extreme case, even if it's just effectively a chat mute. It's very disruptive, especially in warframe that doesn't have a LFG tool, or a proper auction/market interface and relies on Chat for these.

You also don't really need a system, i mean i don't know the "workload", but instead of just going for the ban, PM the guy, like "hey man, that can be offensive for some people, please don't say those things again". If the guy persists, or is antagonistic, then by all means, do the ban. You don't even need to PM, just use the special mod font to issue a non-targeted warning in the chat.

From my experience, treating people like adults works better than treating them like kids that should go to detention. People tend to act how they are treated.

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Devils Advocate:


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0baqKTVYAAl7fT.png:large

 

DE you do not get to play the victim here. That is still  not an apology owed to Rahetalius or the community. Never mind the harm done to those that have been affected by the toxic moderators or your handling of the situation over the years. It comes across as a half hearted admission of guilt. If you really want to fix this situation you must owe up to the error, explain to the community what you have learned from this, and how we plan to fix it. Keeping it humble is how you earn back trust with a community. You've seemed to forget that. I as a Canadian was ashamed by the DE Staff response to Rahtalius' video's. It was despicable, and really displayed how you've forgotten how to keep it humble.

We as your community are expected to abide by your terms of service. However those terms were applied discriminatingly when it suited your moderation teams whim's. The silent majority of people wish to come to a mature game to play the game, and not have to deal with SJW/Identity Politics, Marxists doctrines etc, which you DE allowed to infiltrate your moderation team.  You forget that those moderators represent you. The blame then goes to you. You too must be held accountable for your actions no matter how distasteful it may seem.

Yes public executions are ugly, the irony is, I've watched DEStaff publicly execute people coming to the forums asking about why they were banned, only to have their game or chat vacations extended. How are we to know that they were not banned on the whim of those moderators corrupted rules? Particularly when those people were set up to come to the forums asking for clarification by the support desks tasked to handle these problems. It is hypocritical is it not? It shows a severe disregard for transparency or community care. Let's keep in mind the antics that go on in devstreams and prime time would get you all band from region chat by these same moderators if you were not DE Staff. Personally, I enjoy the innuendo and adult banter. It is an adult game played by adults for the most part.

The problem is, identity politics and double standards have been allowed to fester into our community, and DE you are being called to task for it. Those PC police are a vocal minority. Remember the silent majority that support your game? We are being silent no longer.

We love this community DE, we love what you have created. We are reminding you of that. You have strayed a wee bit; we are setting you right again. If you recognise that, and think upon it you would realise that. If you really want this to go away, make a public apology to all involved. Own it. Explain in clear detail what went wrong and how you will fix it in a transparent manner. Then do not let it happen again. You will find that you would gain more community support faster and truer than posting platitudes. Remember, keep it humble.

Edited by CuChulainnWD
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Another solution: add in an automatic filter that automatically filters out some phrases (like Nezha is a trap for an example). If there's some phrase or word that DE doesn't want shown, then make it a DE-set filter. I respect your right to establish which words or phrases aren't permitted. But wouldn't a filter work better? I mean, you already have so many workarounds that you ban as well. Why not filter out those words instead of banning people? And even if you still ban people, you should probably automatically filter those words/phrases.

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KL40m6G.png

seems to be a bit of this going on to defend censorship, double standards around certain community members, and just the general shift from older laissez-faire moderation to chatbot banning trap memes, which as previously mentioned would have died out if not for the drama. it's cool DE wants people to be included in the game, but it's rated mature, there's an ignore option, a chat filter, and a good number of mods willing to be fair-minded. people need to toughen up, or if certain words bother them, blacklist them. enforce the CoC among players, community members and chat moderators evenly starting now as it's obvious that it hasn't been previously, and if anything acknowledge you haven't previously. if certain community members continue with their toxic activity, remove them. no need for pitchforks, but if the activity continues, it's clear they don't plan on following them and shouldn't represent DE. again, the whole issue here is DE not holding everyone to the same standards, all else is secondary to that main issue. you have rules or you don't, and there should be consequences for anyone that breaks them

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48 minutes ago, D20 said:

This conversation has been going on for a while now, and everyone is kinda going in circles, arguing with each other in quite a too passionate way. Let's try to level up the conversation a bit : instead of fueling up that drama, we should be talking about actual ways to improve moderation and making sure that incidents who are currently complained at never happen again in the future.

Recruitment procedures for voluntary mods could use to be more strict for example, and perhaps communication between moderators and users can be improved in some way. You guys probably have some ideas about that. I'm just a voluntary moderator, but I wouldn't mind at all reading some well thought out suggestions.

Last year @Fallen_Echo made a very solid list of suggestions for an overhaul of the chat moderation system. Pretty sure that you can probably find a bunch of purged messages, if you guys keep them around this long. 😅 I strongly suggest that as a starting point for conversation about how the system can be improved. 

Some of the major features was a suggestion for the system that makes it clear what the problem behavior was, and a ramping up of punishment for repeat offenders. That system is basically what you forum moderators do. Saying that there was a lot of pushback from at least one member of the chat mods is putting it mildly. 

As someone with years of experience with IRC and forum moderation elsewhere, and a script similar in function to the kickbot, I strongly endorse many the suggestions that were made on the thread, even if I disagree on the specific details. 

While I am generally pro-moderation, and lean towards stricter methods, I believe that we should all be allowed to condemn any moderator who believes that they can cover their butt and get away with a token "reason" like "that's not an appropriate topic for discussion in our space ninja game", and believe that moderators should strive to act for the best interests of the community as a whole, and not use their positions to soapbox for any one subset of the community and that such behaviour should not be encouraged. 

Sometimes having a close knit group of people, creates a system where things are done "the way they are done", and getting people out of bad habits can be a little difficult. But like I said previously, moderators are players too. If players refuse to follow the rules, either in letter or in spirit, many moderators would tell you that punishments exist for a reason. Perhaps it's time for DE to remember that applies to moderators too. 

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1 hour ago, D20 said:

Recruitment procedures for voluntary mods could use to be more strict for example, and perhaps communication between moderators and users can be improved in some way. You guys probably have some ideas about that. I'm just a voluntary moderator, but I wouldn't mind at all reading some well thought out suggestions.

Is it possible for you to go into what kind of oversight DE has over the moderators, and how they are evaluating your moderator actions?

IMO, a DE employee (NOT contractor) should be aware of what the volunteers are doing and auditing their moderator actions.

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1 hour ago, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n said:

Because it is a term that has been used to demean transgender individuals. It doesn't matter if Nezha isn't offended. If I called a black person the n-word, that doesn't mean that it's offensive and derogatory to just that person.

Actually, as far as i know, "Trap" is a term for very androgynous TRANSVESTITES, mostly cosplayers and anime characters.

After all the misinformation, i was wondering whether i got it wrong, so i actually googled the definition. Here, some urban dictionary for you:

 
Quote

 

A crossdresser, usually a fictional character in an anime, who dresses up in the opposite gender's clothing to trick people into thinking that they're the opposite gender. Term comes from the anime trope of a character dressing up in drag to trick people into thinking that they're the opposite gender.

Not to be confused with transgenderism, which is a person transitioning to the opposite gender.

 

Yes, it ONLY matters if it's offensive to the person you're using it. Since that's the target. I have a friend, from actual africa, i called him our language equivalent of the "n-word", which incidentally is the same for black. He'd call me fat, because guess what, no one cared. We were friends, and we knew the difference between banter and trying to offend.

And he's a guy that i respect beyond words, who's life story is so full of pain, i can't begin to tell you, but if you think you should be outraged in his behalf, on account of a word? The problem, isn't the word, or me, it's that you lacked pain in your life to the point that you feel the need to take up what you perceive to be other people's pain, and act on it, while, when there's actual people in pain, you just walk past.

 

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1 hour ago, D20 said:

I'll remain neutral on that subject tbh. It's usually better if the one person you add for moderation is also on good terms with the community, indeed. I've seen multiple forums where people could elect their moderators, with usually positive results, though there was indeed a some moments where it went in an absolutely terrible way.

Since i have been summoned by @(PS4)guzmantt1977 (thanks for it!) i thought i might aswell repost the chat moderation plan i got for the game:

Technically its nothing else but a ruleset for the bots and mods to follow along with a system what will tells the user what they did wrong, why and how long they are punished for it. It has currently existing rules and additions in it, the main goal is to cut back toxic behaviour while minimizing collateral damage to innocent people.

 

 

My goal here is to improve the system in a way what creates an enviroment where someone can make a mistake and learn from it while also punishes repeat offenders harshly.

1.) Instead of banning/kicking for minor mistakes like typing into the wrong chat the bot from now on posts your message in the proper chat and sends out a warning that these kind of messages should be posted in X chat window.

 You can make 1 errors per day and the bot warns you to use the proper chat before it bans you. The duration of the ban is 1 day.

When the player tries to type in a message into the wrong chat the filter system now gives you a prompt saying that "You are in the wrong chat section, would you want to place your message in the proper one?" hitting yes gets you to the proper chat for that kind of message.

 

2.) Instead of banning/kicking the bot now simply deletes your messages if it deemes it as spamYou will get a warning and can make 2 mistakes per day of joining in a spam line before you get banned. The duration of the ban is 1 day.

 

3.) When someone tries to use an insult or slur whats currently prohibited the bot simply deletes the message and warns the user that this kind of thing is not welcome here.

  • You get 1 warning and the next one is the ban.

  • One warning is universal in this case and its active for 240 hours, if the user uses another word whats prohibited the minimum ban is 4 days.

  • Each new warning from the initial increases the ban lenght by 4 days while also resets the hour counter on them.

  • If an user accumulates 5 warnings the bot sends a report to an avaible moderator who can decide if the user is worthy of having chat access, if the mod decides that the user is unworthy of it hes banned from the chat system completely for atleast half year.

  • For the whole duration of banning and warning cooldown the users who crossed the line are marked so everyone can decide whenever they want to talk with them.

 

4.) The bans only affect the main chats and never the squadchat and the clan chat. Those are private areas. The pm system usage is limited to friends only when the user is banned.

Clan chat gets its own chat filter system what can be edited by the leader and the highest ranking officers of the clan, they also can set the duration of the punishment they give out there.


 

5.) Thought the users while still can use the squad, clan and pm chats their names are marked with a small message next to their username [banned for X] for the duration of the ban.

Users can also see whats going on the other chats but cannot write in them.

Users while can only message their friends in the pm system they are kept open for those who want to communicate privately. The only limit in how to talk to someone who is not a friend in a ban period is that the other side must start the conversation.

 

6.) The warnings given by the bot or a moderator in all case have the following information:

  • What you typed in, soo you can see your error.

  • What warning is this. If you get warned for spamming the message will clearly says "You have been warned for spamming"

  • Incase of insults and slurs a message claiming why is this prohibited and what else similar is prohibited thought no clear examples are given

  • What will happen if you continue the prohibited behaviour, kick, 1 day ban, etc..

 

 

7.) The bans given by the bot or moderators in all cases have the following information and message:

  • A simply start what makes the message appear more personal."Hello anotherbannedone ......."

  • A copy of the text what has banned you " you have been banned for typing [you sausage people make me sick] "

  • A reason why that text is banned " ,this and the similar insults were deemed unrespectful and hurtful for the community "

  • Information on how long is the ban is " for this you have been banned and marked for 48 hours "

  • And finally a system message what tells you how much warnings or marks you accumulated for this "This is your 2nd warning in this period"

 

8.) The bot should have no downtime to avoid the mess what can be seen at early and late hours.


9.) The bot can still kick people from the chat but as soon as the player relogs he is met with a warning saying that approtiate manner is requied to use chats. No further punishment is done.

 

10.) A new report function is added named chat report. This report send a copy of the message X user posted to the bot who attaches any info on the users current warnings to it and forwards it to any active moderator to check if it tried to avoid a bot ban.

This function is avaible on all chats with the adddition that you can select "mute and report" in squad chat if you think someone crossed the lines too much.


 

11.) Additionally the chat suspension should be alwaly negotiable like when your message gets removed here.

When you get the warning and you dont agree with it you can forward it to another random moderator for overruling.

If that fails you stay in the ban/keep your warning or in some cases you get a longer ban depending on behaviour, IF its successfull you lose the warning or get out of the ban while you also get tagged as [justified] for mods what makes sure that the original banner/warning giver cant reban you as vengeance or pettyness.


 

Subpoints, these are suggestions what does not necessearly connect in a direct way to the main suggestion but could also eliminate other unnecesseary elements from the chat.


 

Subpoint 1: I propose the idea of an automatic search system incorporated into the whole chat system. We all know that various plat scammers are trying to get people buy their plat and this is both annoying and dangerous for foolish people. I suggest that all messages are scanned for containing combinations of links, real life money names and plat.

When a message is caught up in this filter an automatic mark is added to the message sent: PLAT SCAM, REPORT USER? 

If you click on the message a window opens where you can confirm if it is a plat scam and send the report directly to the support and to an active moderator to act and temporarly revoke the chat rights of the said user if it is really a plat scam.


 


 

Obviously a change like this needs big upgrades on the whole system such as additional capacity upgrade for keeping warnings and more server power to avoid downtimes, but i believe an update like this can go in great ways to reduce toxicity, trolling and overall unwanted behaviours.

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13 minutes ago, ReaverKane said:

Actually, as far as i know, "Trap" is a term for very androgynous TRANSVESTITES, mostly cosplayers and anime characters.

After all the misinformation, i was wondering whether i got it wrong, so i actually googled the definition. Here, some urban dictionary for you:

 

Yes, it ONLY matters if it's offensive to the person you're using it. Since that's the target. I have a friend, from actual africa, i called him our language equivalent of the "n-word", which incidentally is the same for black. He'd call me fat, because guess what, no one cared. We were friends, and we knew the difference between banter and trying to offend.

And he's a guy that i respect beyond words, who's life story is so full of pain, i can't begin to tell you, but if you think you should be outraged in his behalf, on account of a word? The problem, isn't the word, or me, it's that you lacked pain in your life to the point that you feel the need to take up what you perceive to be other people's pain, and act on it, while, when there's actual people in pain, you just walk past.

 

First of all, there is no equivalent word for the n-word, and no context in which using the n-word is ok. There are equivalent words for black in other languages, like "negro". But the n-word? No. It has specific racist, segregationist, and slavery-related connotations. The fact that you basically just tried to justify the use of such a word says a lot.

As an African-American, from a country (the United States, obviously) that is DE's largest audience, I'm telling you: the n-word is not ok. It is never ok. I don't care if you think it's ok. I don't care if your friend from Africa thinks it's ok. It's not. And DE is well within their rights to punish people for using that word. The same goes for words which are known to be used in a derogatory manner. For the n-word, any context should result in a ban. There is no harmless use of the n-word (and I'm not talking about the slang version that replaces -er with -a).

For words like "trap", context should absolutely matter, and I believe DE should filter the offending phrase and issue warnings instead of bans because there are people that are not aware of the offensive use of the word. I was one of those people. I had never heard of that word being used in a derogatory manner until I saw it mentioned here a year ago. Because it is a word used in a derogatory context, DE should warn people about it. I agree that they shouldn't be banned, because there isn't enough consciousness about the connotations of that meme/joke to expect everyone to know it's offensive. But DE should remove the comment or filter the phrase and provide an automatic message that explains why it's not allowed. They can choose to take further action against repeat offenders if they choose to.

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On 2019-02-26 at 12:53 PM, Almagnus1 said:

Well there is Internet Rule 34, which is part of this.

On a more serious note, most of the language around trans terms aren't exactly clear, so instead of kickbot banning people, if they knew the right word for it (or better yet, the models on Nezha and Equinox were altered) that would kill this meme on the spot.  The problem lies with base warframe models that aren't as clearly identifiable as male or female combined with memes about that ambiguity and being unable to properly discuss it.

As was noted, Nezha was based on a male, effeminate, Chinese god, often depicted boyishly. This information was readily available to all of us when he was released. It was openly discussed and seen on probably the most referenced source of Warframe information: the Wiki.

I find it hard to believe the Warframe community lacked enough information or context to process Nezha's existence. Do I believe an outsider would lack context and information? Absolutely. 

For me, the meme never came into play until it made its way to the subreddit after people were being banned for it. After it became a crusade for chat moderators and a hill to die on for proponents of freedom of speech. (Moderating the meme is one thing, but the surrounding circumstances and actions across other sectors of social media made it a crusade.)

As for Equinox, from her inception in the design council, she was designed as a female warframe. DE asked for, and received, suggestions for a new female warframe. Equinox is female, even if she doesn't have visibly prominent breasts, thighs and hips, or a pronounced rear. Her forms can be described as day and night or masculine and feminine, but both halves are female.

Jokes and memes started upon her release because that's what people do. 

I too am sometimes unclear on the proper terms to use with trans persons, but Nezha isn't a trans person. He's a male, if effeminate, warframe. In real life and online, I also try not to use words or terms I don't understand, or words that are outside of my cultural experience. (Except generally accepted terms of endearment which I am wont to steal from other cultures if I like them.) Something that is debatably offensive or a slur isn't something most people casually use.

On 2019-02-26 at 1:48 PM, Almagnus1 said:

It's because most are extremely clumsy with language that refers to nontraditional gender, so most use words that the community finds offensive because they simply don't know any better.  Don't assume malice when ignorance is a valid explanation.

 

Ignorance, instead of malice, is often why people break rules, make mistakes, and get into trouble. Ignorance doesn't excuse punishment and it never has. Ignorance can be met with leniency, but the chat moderation scandal isn't even a question of asking for leniency or mercy. Most chat bans for the offense in question were lifted in a week.

No, the scandal seems truly born of discontentment over the fact that the chat moderators acted unprofessionally and were hypocrites for breaking CoC and ToS themselves.

Had dispassionate, rule-following moderators (either professionally hired or community volunteers) banned the same offensive meme, I don't believe for a second that it would've reached the proportions it has today.

Had moderators who identified as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community but personally upheld all CoC and ToS rules banned the meme, we wouldn't quite be here today. They'd still be accused of having an agenda by a few. Sure. But then a larger portion of the community wouldn't feel there was any weight to the accusation judging from how the moderators comported themselves and treated others. They'd just be doing their jobs.

Had members of the community not seen the chat moderation team hold others to the CoC and ToS while breaking them, we wouldn't be here.

The meme is offensive to many including those who do not belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. Members of the chat moderation team behaved poorly, inappropriately, lashed out, and as if they were above the rules even when actively breaking the CoC and ToS. Both of these statements are true, and neither one invalidates the other.

The meme is offensive enough to many that it warrants being censored, but how that censorship is implemented should not make so many sweeping false positives and affect innocent uses of the word trap. (Ignorantly posting the meme does not count as an innocent use. It's still ignorance, and ignorance does not absolve any of us from punishment.)

 

On 2019-02-26 at 3:33 PM, Almagnus1 said:

Don't blame me for how the community sees this waframe, especially since the average North American knows jack about Chinese mythology.

The original design just needed to be better =/

If I am to understand the sum of the quoted posts, you're suggesting that DE is to blame for not making more readily and identifiably male and female warframes, and is therefore partially at fault for some players' ignorance, childishness, and attempts at humor/memes.

I am trying to understand your arguments and logic. But I fail to. That doesn't make any sense. It's not a valid defense or argument.

What would have been a better design? I'm seriously asking. A more masculine form for Nezha? A more feminine form for Equinox? Even if that is simply not the intended design for their vanilla? In the last quote, you asked another member not to blame you for how they see a warframe, but you're blaming DE in part for how those same players see the warframe. 

People have a right to be stupid. It's not a crime. But blaming others for their stupidity when it's not reasonable to do so is wrong. When would it be reasonable? If Jack actively withheld information from Bob, that contributes to Bob's stupidity. That is Jack's fault.

What you're suggesting is unreasonable.

Retroactively blaming the designs, even in part, for player ignorance and attempts at humor or offensive comments is absurd and it doesn't make any sense. DE deserves criticism and blame when it's due. That goes for all of us. We're born imperfect and die that way. But the memes and jokes, offensive or inoffensive, are not their fault.

Asking DE to jump through hoops to prove Nezha is male and Equinox is female, changing their design to more readily identifiable male and female forms, would not kill the meme. We know this because people are people and they always will be. We know this because Nezha's deluxe is undeniably and unambiguously male in every way, yet the meme is not dead.

Despite individual members' behavior, DE is solely responsible for the failings of the Guides and Chat Moderation programs. The members who failed to uphold DE's high standards were representing DE, and DE should have held the members who broke CoC and ToS stipulations accountable. They didn't.

At the very least, I think they can acknowledge that failing publicly. I think it is as important as the move toward a professional, independent chat moderation team and more transparency overall.

Edited by Rhekemi
Clarified a statement: changed "handled" to "banned" for clarity of meaning and consistency.
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1 hour ago, Almagnus1 said:

Is it possible for you to go into what kind of oversight DE has over the moderators, and how they are evaluating your moderator actions?

IMO, a DE employee (NOT contractor) should be aware of what the volunteers are doing and auditing their moderator actions.

100% oversight, in the sense that they can see every single action we perform and audit a list of actions performed by moderators (forum and chat moderators). Everything we do is completely transparent to DE; it is not possible for us to kick, punish or ban users without DE having a record they can view about it.

While DE doesn't review every single action we perform, they do have the ability to audit and review anything and everything we do. For example, I give a warning point or suspension to a user who's posting derogatory slurs on the forums, DE isn't going to double-check and review my action unless an issue arises because of it (such as the user contacting a DE staff member or submitting a support ticket claiming moderator misconduct). If DE staff need further clarification on the rationale of the actions I took, they would then contact me for clarification, any additional screenshots, interactions with the user, etc. This is why it's important for users to submit reports when they believe moderator misconduct is occurring; even if the outcome isn't what the user wants, DE will audit the moderator's actions.

For more major actions (such as a 5th warning point, or determining whether an outright ban from the forums before a 5th point is warranted), we always involve a DE staff member for guidance or support--there are some moderation actions we do not have access to (such as banning users from the game, performing IP bans, etc) but may be required depending on circumstances (i.e. posting threats of violence against others or the developers is an immediate and hard ban from all Warframe services).

 

That said, it looks a lot to me like the community simply won't be happy unless DE publicly announces "Hey we decided to kick and ban this moderator for misconduct" or crucifies said moderator(s) openly. However, this will never occur. When a user is moderated or punished (even if it's a moderator who's being punished, kicked, banned, etc), this is considered a private issue between said user (or moderator) and DE staff. It's the reason why DE staff will not respond to your support tickets saying "Hi, thank you for the report, this user has (or hasn't) been banned"  and instead say "We will not disclose any action we take as a result of this report." This is because actions taken against users (or moderators) is a private matter, and publicly airing a user's punishments because making this information public would be disrespectful to a user's privacy and can irreparably harm a person's reputation; it's also why forum warning points aren't visible to anyone but the moderators/forum staff. When a user is punished, kicked or banned, they are being given the chance to continue forward (or to leave) with their reputation intact, as opposed to being publicly branded with the stigma of violating the rules. "But they don't deserve to have their reputations left intact!" some may argue, but ultimately that is not up to you (or the community) to decide; if you were found violating the rules and punished for it, would you want others to see on your profile "Warned for abusive behavior" "Banned for 7 days for posting derogatory slurs" or "Kicked for spam" or "permanently banned for threatening others"? Would you want people to look at you and think "Oh wow that person violated the rules in a bad way they must be the scum of the earth"? I would think not, because it would irreparably harm your reputation within the community and give false credence to others to then be abusive towards you. 

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43 minutes ago, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n said:

First of all, there is no equivalent word for the n-word, and no context in which using the n-word is ok. There are equivalent words for black in other languages, like "negro". But the n-word? No. It has specific racist, segregationist, and slavery-related connotations. The fact that you basically just tried to justify the use of such a word says a lot.

As an African-American, from a country (the United States, obviously) that is DE's largest audience, I'm telling you: the n-word is not ok. It is never ok. I don't care if you think it's ok. I don't care if your friend from Africa thinks it's ok. It's not. And DE is well within their rights to punish people for using that word. The same goes for words which are known to be used in a derogatory manner. For the n-word, any context should result in a ban. There is no harmless use of the n-word (and I'm not talking about the slang version that replaces -er with -a).

For words like "trap", context should absolutely matter, and I believe DE should filter the offending phrase and issue warnings instead of bans because there are people that are not aware of the offensive use of the word. I was one of those people. I had never heard of that word being used in a derogatory manner until I saw it mentioned here a year ago. Because it is a word used in a derogatory context, DE should warn people about it. I agree that they shouldn't be banned, because there isn't enough consciousness about the connotations of that meme/joke to expect everyone to know it's offensive. But DE should remove the comment or filter the phrase and provide an automatic message that explains why it's not allowed. They can choose to take further action against repeat offenders if they choose to.

First of all, of course there is, do you think the Brits and American Colonists were the only ones to have African Slaves? Sure the "N-Word" is exclusive to the US, and while other countries had their own, the N one is a corruption of the word Negro which was used, much like the one you deem innocuous and "slang" is a corruption of the original -er ended one. Which shows double standards.

Second, you being from the debatable "largest audience" bears no consequence to any of this. Second and a half, your opinion on the usage of a word is your own. The weight your country or culture gives to a word, even with the double standard of using the exact same word, but with a slanted pronunciation making it somehow different, is endemic to your country or culture, it bears no weight on the rest. Sure the "n-word" is more or less recognized in english to be a word to avoid, because it is largely associated with racist attitudes. But your attitude towards it, double standard non-withstanding, is problematic, because it ends up biting you in the ass, as we've seen numerous times in the recent past.

Words by themselves have no intention or power, what matters is intent and context. Because otherwise what you end up having is caricatures like that guy from Netflix that said the n-word in full, as an example of words that shouldn't be excused in their comedy specials, and got fired for saying the word. That's where giving words a weight of their own, regardless of context or intention will lead us. Make no mistake, the day that you outlaw the N-Word as hate speech, is the day you'll start seeing african-americans being arrested for using the slang version, because no matter how much you lie to yourself, it IS the same word.

Context matters EVERYWHERE. And, no, automated filters won't be a solution, because, again they can't see context.

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2 minutes ago, Letter13 said:

That said, it looks a lot to me like the community simply won't be happy unless DE publicly announces "Hey we decided to kick and ban this moderator for misconduct" or crucifies said moderator(s) openly. However, this will never occur. When a user is moderated or punished (even if it's a moderator who's being punished, kicked, banned, etc), this is considered a private issue between said user (or moderator) and DE staff. It's the reason why DE staff will not respond to your support tickets saying "Hi, thank you for the report, this user has (or hasn't) been banned"  and instead say "We will not disclose any action we take as a result of this report." This is because actions taken against users (or moderators) is a private matter, and publicly airing a user's punishments because making this information public would be disrespectful to a user's privacy and can irreparably harm a person's reputation; it's also why forum warning points aren't visible to anyone but the moderators/forum staff. When a user is punished, kicked or banned, they are being given the chance to continue forward (or to leave) with their reputation intact, as opposed to being publicly branded with the stigma of violating the rules. 

2

Generally, that's how these things work in any company or on any team.

Generally, your description of what the community wants might be true.

But generalizations are, generally, hit and miss.

Many members of the community, myself included, simply want an acknowledgment of the programs' failings, for DE to take responsibility for those failings, and an acknowledgment that they're doing their best to never let it happen again. It's not about the individual moderators' unprofessional behavior. It's about DE failing to do anything about it. Whatever those mods did, they did while representing DE.

Not addressing the drama or the failings of the program (while working to fix the underlying problems which is good) doesn't seem like it's enough anymore. But publicly crucifying the individuals has never seemed appropriate, either.

There isn't always a middle ground, but sometimes there is and I believe DE can find it if they want to.

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24 minutes ago, Letter13 said:

100% oversight, in the sense that they can see every single action we perform and audit a list of actions performed by moderators (forum and chat moderators). Everything we do is completely transparent to DE; it is not possible for us to kick, punish or ban users without DE having a record they can view about it.

While DE doesn't review every single action we perform, they do have the ability to audit and review anything and everything we do. For example, I give a warning point or suspension to a user who's posting derogatory slurs on the forums, DE isn't going to double-check and review my action unless an issue arises because of it (such as the user contacting a DE staff member or submitting a support ticket claiming moderator misconduct). If DE staff need further clarification on the rationale of the actions I took, they would then contact me for clarification, any additional screenshots, interactions with the user, etc. This is why it's important for users to submit reports when they believe moderator misconduct is occurring; even if the outcome isn't what the user wants, DE will audit the moderator's actions.

For more major actions (such as a 5th warning point, or determining whether an outright ban from the forums before a 5th point is warranted), we always involve a DE staff member for guidance or support--there are some moderation actions we do not have access to (such as banning users from the game, performing IP bans, etc) but may be required depending on circumstances (i.e. posting threats of violence against others or the developers is an immediate and hard ban from all Warframe services).

 

Though strangely there is a disconnect with DE Support and the rest of DE.

From my experience with several support representatives, they do not have any say (or even power to the level of moderators) when it comes to the forums. I remember having a ticket where the support representative was unable to even see any soft-deleted posts and had to rely on my own personal screenshots. So if a player has to use DE Support to try and get something from the forums resolved, they may not even be able to. Then that support rep may just tell that player to post in the forums, which then can run afoul of the guidelines.

This isn't me faulting DE Support, I've honestly had some terrific support from them (98% of the time anyways :clem:), but does seem that what they are even able to do is rather limited despite being employees.

 

Quote

That said, it looks a lot to me like the community simply won't be happy unless DE publicly announces "Hey we decided to kick and ban this moderator for misconduct" or crucifies said moderator(s) openly. However, this will never occur. When a user is moderated or punished (even if it's a moderator who's being punished, kicked, banned, etc), this is considered a private issue between said user (or moderator) and DE staff. It's the reason why DE staff will not respond to your support tickets saying "Hi, thank you for the report, this user has (or hasn't) been banned"  and instead say "We will not disclose any action we take as a result of this report." This is because actions taken against users (or moderators) is a private matter, and publicly airing a user's punishments because making this information public would be disrespectful to a user's privacy and can irreparably harm a person's reputation; it's also why forum warning points aren't visible to anyone but the moderators/forum staff. When a user is punished, kicked or banned, they are being given the chance to continue forward (or to leave) with their reputation intact, as opposed to being publicly branded with the stigma of violating the rules. "But they don't deserve to have their reputations left intact!" some may argue, but ultimately that is not up to you (or the community) to decide; if you were found violating the rules and punished for it, would you want others to see on your profile "Warned for abusive behavior" "Banned for 7 days for posting derogatory slurs" or "Kicked for spam" or "permanently banned for threatening others"? Would you want people to look at you and think "Oh wow that person violated the rules in a bad way they must be the scum of the earth"? I would think not, because it would irreparably harm your reputation within the community and give false credence to others to then be abusive towards you. 

For me, and what I gather to be quite a few people from this topic alone, really just want to see at the very least an acknowledgement of the issues by DE. @[DE]Rebecca has only posted "reports" that lacked significant context and weren't really all that important in the overall conversation of what has been going on. Throughout the entire  (so far) 18 pages of this topic, zero employees have offered up any insight or engaged in any of the discussion. Ironically it is from moderators such as yourself and @D20 that have done more in the way of actually engaging and participating in the discussion than ANY of the employees have so far. Even that alone shows a massive disconnect with DE and gives the attitude that they just care very little since they won't even bother to discuss anything.

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4 minutes ago, Rhekemi said:

Many members of the community, myself included, simply want an acknowledgment of the programs' failings, for DE to take responsibility for those failings, and an acknowledgment that they're doing their best to never let it happen again. It's not about the individual moderators' unprofessional behavior. It's about DE failing to do anything about it. Whatever those mods did, they did while representing DE.

Not addressing the drama or the failings of the program (while working to fix the underlying problems which is good) doesn't seem like it's enough anymore. But publicly crucifying the individuals has never seemed appropriate, either.

There isn't always a middle ground, but sometimes there is and I believe DE can find it if they want to.

And DE has acknowledged it, and have taken responsibility. That's the whole reason for the overhauling of how chat moderation works--why a Chat Moderation Code of Conduct was posted to make it absolutely clear of what is and what isn't acceptable behavior for users and/or moderators, why DE has hired staff to work on and address the very issues and grievances that players have with chat moderation.

How DE has addressed it (and is addressing it)--that is, punishing moderators who step out of line, letting moderators go, etc--is done in a way where you and the rest of the playerbase will be unaware of it for the exact reason I stated in my post regarding respecting users' privacy and not publicly branding them 'enemy #1'. DE is not going to be transparent with who they let go, who they punish, which moderators were reported and why, because these are private matters between DE and said moderators.

This is a case of "the absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence," just because the community doesn't see what DE is doing with regards to moderators doesn't mean they are doing nothing. However as I said, the community seems dead set on having certain moderators publicly crucified and denounced. In this regard there is no middle ground; DE has said that they have acknowledged the shortcomings and failings of how chat moderation was handled previously, they detailed steps they've taken to improve the process and given the community more resources for reporting moderator misconduct... yet somehow this isn't enough.

The middle ground is DE providing as much information as they can on the matter without violating users' (or moderators') privacy, which they're doing. The ground on either side, however is "complete opacity" where they do not disclose any information about moderation process, updates or changes, and "complete transparency" where they publicly announce which moderators were kicked, banned, let go, etc... violating said users' privacy and reputations privacy in a bad way.

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54 minutes ago, Rhekemi said:

As was noted, Nezha was based on a male, effeminate, Chinese god, often depicted boyishly. This information was readily available to all of us when he was released. It was openly discussed and seen on probably the most referenced source of Warframe information: the Wiki.

To be honest, assuming players have read 100% of everything in the wiki is a bad assumption.  I mean, how many of us actually know what the descriptions for our favorite warframe (or top 5 warframes) are?  I know that I don't, and (honestly) I don't see how spending time to learn the fluff matters much in this regard.

Even if the information was widely available when Nezha was released, that either occurred close enough to when I started, or just prior to it, that I have no memory of DE doing this, and I'm at MR24, and I imagine there are many others that don't know this as well.  Don't assume everyone knows what you know.

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14 minutes ago, Letter13 said:

How DE has addressed it (and is addressing it)--that is, punishing moderators who step out of line, letting moderators go, etc--is done in a way where you and the rest of the playerbase will be unaware of it for the exact reason I stated in my post regarding respecting users' privacy and not publicly branding them 'enemy #1'. DE is not going to be transparent with who they let go, who they punish, which moderators were reported and why, because these are private matters between DE and said moderators.

I imagine a lot of the issues we're seeing from the chat moderators comes from the Guides of the Lotus being a complete and total failure at it's stated objective.  Case in point, I didn't know about that program until I started looking into the chat moderation issues, and I'm MR 24.  IMO the Guides of the Lotus was a good idea on paper, but a failure in execution.  Guides of the Lotus needs serious evaluation, if not closure.

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1 hour ago, A-p-o-l-l-y-o-n said:

First of all, there is no equivalent word for the n-word, and no context in which using the n-word is ok. There are equivalent words for black in other languages, like "negro". But the n-word? No. It has specific racist, segregationist, and slavery-related connotations. The fact that you basically just tried to justify the use of such a word says a lot.

First of all, yes there are other words that are as highly offensive and used specifically to refer to black people, and are related in every way to a racist, segregationist and slavery-related past. The fact that you might not be familiar with them because you don't have experience with the regions and cultures that they're used in, is very important. 

 

I wouldn't blame you for not knowing the term that they were talking about or the historical connotations if you aren't from that region. But that's exactly what happens to people every day in chat. There are regional slurs that most of the world doesn't really use and many of us may not have ever heard of as a derogatory term. 

Worse I see people defending that system, and basically calling anyone who doesn't know the terms and gets tricked by a troll a bigot. I've seen at least one moderator taking that stance. 

Any system that treats legitimate ignorance as though it is willful bigotry, is a bad system, and needs to change. Banning you without an explanation of what you did, won't help you to learn, or to change. Especially if I could change the system to just not display any line containing the offensive way instead. 

 

That's what I want to see. Change the system so that victims of trolls or innocent terms aren't punished without any education. Change the system so that soapboxing mods who are pursuing their own agenda, actually give a reason for their actions. 

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