One of the jobs I don't like as an Admin is having to moderate and/or Ban people. Perhaps I'm naïve, but I kinda feel that since we're all here out of a mutual love of a game, that people should be capable of being nice towards one another.
Sadly, I've been proven wrong. So I'd like some advice from the folks that look at these Blogs, on what you feel is unacceptable.
When I wrote the Code of Conduct, I wanted to keep it really simple:
- Do your best to help one another - that is the point of this place... right?
- Try to be nice about it - it costs nothing to be polite and helps make this place a nice place to come to
- Don't be a Jerk - this, I feel sums up everything that we don't want
Recently I've been thinking about what actions will result in me having to suck it up and to do the ugly side of being an Admin.
Background - Events that have shapped my reasoning (skip this if you don't care)
The Playdom Forum has a three strikes policy (1 Day Ban, 3 Day Ban, Permanent Ban). You do something that breaks ANY of their extensive rules (which are listed in three seperate pages so too bad if you're not across all of them), then you will get a one day ban. Once you've had that, if you do anything that breaks ANY of their rules (the same rule, or any of their other rules), you get a three day ban. After that, they ban you permanently.
To put this into context, I've been given a one day ban because I put a link to this Wiki in my Sig (they really don't like our Wiki). And when you get banned, your whole account is shut down so there is no way to question the person that has banned you as to why you have been banned. If you create a second account to ask, they will ban you permanently for creating a second account and thus breaking their "one account policy". This has happened to at least one person I know, which is why I know not to do this.
Oh, and if someone you know has been banned, the Mods won't tell you why they were banned.
When I tried to start up a thread there to discuss the behaviour of the Mods and wether their policies needed reviewing, the thread was shut down because questioning the Mods on their actions is also a breach of their rules.
I don't have a lot of experience with online forums. In truth, the Playdom Forum is the only one I've ever been an active memeber and contributor to outside of IT Support Forums. I've met a heap of fantastic people through the forum and I learned a lot, but sadly it's become a place that doesn't fill my heart with joy to be around.
I've been made an Admin here mostly because of my skill at Wiki Coding. As far as the team goes, I reckon I'm probably a soft touch when it comes to picking up the banning stick.
So, having seen what NOT to do as an Admin through my experience in the Playdom Forum, I've been dedicated towards:
- Communicating with people and telling them when they have crossed the line so that they can have the chance to pull their head in
- Most people respond with, "whoops! Duly noted", and they stop. Which, to me, is all that needs to happen. However, some users don't get the hint and they either continue their behavior and/or they abuse the Admin that gave them a warning.
- Letting people know why people have been banned
- To me, it's equally important for other people to see why someone has been banned. It everyone know that behaviour like X will get them banned and that maybe they shouldn't do it, but it also lets everyone else know that the Admins are looking out for them, and that we will take action if they are being abused.
My Personal Rules/Guides
What I feel warrants a warning:
- Abusing other users - by this I mean insults directed at them personally. It can be from anything to calling them an idiot, to other offensive comments
What I feel warrants a ban:
- Threats of physical violence - I don't care if the other party is taking it seriously or not, it's not on
- Abusing an Admin when they give you a warning - An Admin gives you a heads up: hey, you're doing this, you need to stop or we're going to have to ban you, by all means have a discussion, have a conversation about the situation, but when you start slinging insults and threats at the Admin, that's when I feel that a ban is warranted (1 day? 3 day?)
How do other people feel about this ugly topic?