Author Topic: Thoughts  (Read 32632 times)

Sad Jari

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Thoughts
« on: 2005-06-16 19:53:19 »
Most of this is based on the notion:

Code: [Select]
The moderation here has always been very lax. Lately, with the influx of stupid people, it has become too lax. Or people have become too stupid for it, take your pick.

If you disagree with this notion (I would certainly like to hear how you possibly can, considering the events), you will not get much out of it, since it's aimed at fixing that problem.

It's somewhat disorganized, but should be readable. Oh yeah, my spelling chequer is not working with DP Alpha 1, so there might be boo-boos.


Moderator/admin side of things

1) Rules must be written down, as specifically as possible. Moderators are not mind readers - unfortunately.

If they do not know what the appropriate action is, they will choose the most lenient option, just to err on the side of caution - like you would in any social situation. This erring on the side of caution is one of the reasons for the current situation; if the idiots are given free reign, they will take advantage of it.

It's lot of work trying to create as complete and foolproof set of rules as possible, but it will save you from even more work; namely fixing things after your moderators.


2) Rules must be made a whole lot more strict. While the humane "let all the flowers bloom"-approach (otherwise known as a hippy way) is all fine and dandy, it will not work with large, heterogeneous crowds. Which has been seen here.

The old system worked as long as there were only very few users, it's not working now. The time of the old system is over, do not even think about the old rules anymore; you'll have to start fresh.

Don't get overly worried about what is "fair" or humane; it's a forum, not a civil right. You do not have to make every person in the world happy, you need to make most of the people in the forums happy.


3) The yellow card is nearly useless and should be removed entirely. Reasoning; it will only work if the person is really concerned in what other people think of him. The card system itself is good, because it gives the moderators more power. And that is exactly what they'll need.


4) Multi-forum moderators, or supermods are a good idea. To certain extent. The problem is that if there are not enough of them, the workload will get too large.

The thing that admins can moderate is kinda tricky in this sense; since their names are not listed on the forums (as moderators), it can create the illusion that only the moderators are responsible for the forum. This in turn can create more stress for them, if they feel that they have to do all the work, since they'll obviously get blamed for not doing it.


5) So called Judge Dredd-moderator. Term coined by yours truly. Moderator who is the law; police, judge and jury in one person. You'll need them. Since it seems that there are more idiots and mods have less time in their hands you  must give more responsibility to the mods. Lots more.

This basically means that moderators act independently, based on the rules. They'll ban users independently. If you can get this to work, you'll get the forum you dream of (lot less work for you, that is).


6) Rules must be enforced in much more strict way. Seriously much more strict. No more yellow cards. No warnings.

a) Ban on the first offense (no, I most certainly am not kidding, I've seen it and it works).

    [*]Person breaking the rules for the first time gets a one week ban. Period. This will send the message that you or your moderators are not someone to fuck with.

    [*]After the week has passed and if there has been no bitching about it, they'll be unbanned.

    [*]People bitching about banning of other people get a ban.[/list:u]


    b) Permaban on second offense. Or for bitching about the first ban.

      [*]Person breaking the rules for the second time gets banned permanently, no questions asked.

      [*]Person bitching about the first ban gets a permaban. Asking for the reasons of the first ban is ok, but there must not be a hint of attitude.[/list:u]


      c) IP Block ban on further offenses. Not single IP ban, they are nearly useless. Simply ban the entire block at once.

        [*]Sometimes innocent people might get banned by this. Well, boo-hoo. Go get a life instead posting to forums, or go beat up the person who caused the block ban, chances are that he's living nearby anyway.[/list:u]


        7) Moderators must be responsible for their forum.

          [*]If there's shit going on in the forum, the moderator will be stripped of his powers. No point in pulling dead weight.
                         
          [*]If the moderator for some reason feels that he is not capable of performing his duties for a while (school, work, vacation, whatever), he must notify the admins. Then his name gets taken off the moderator roster, until he is capable again. This removes the effect where the moderation appears lenient, since the person whose name is up there is not around doing his job.[/list:u]


          8) Moderators, especially supermods and mods for high-volume forums simply must be fluent in English. Not speaking, but they must be able to read between the lines, see hidden meanings, notice attitude and get jokes. It also helps if they write well, or at least well enough that there will be no misunderstandings because of that, but understanding written English is a must.

            [*]It would be most good, if these same mods would be at least reasonable proficient at reading people's behaviour.[/list:u]


            9) Registration needs to be more strict, if you want to control the idiot flood. Sure, it will prevent people just from popping in and asking things, but then again... most people seem to be rather pooping in than popping in these days.

              [*]Close the registration. Seriously. Close it for three months, then open for one. Repeat year around. This forces n00bs to lurk and read first.

              [*]Approve each member manually. I'm serious about this too, even though it's lot of work (that's one reason for 3 off / 1 on cycle). Or have someone approve them for you.

              [*]Make them write something short when they register; what is their interest in Final Fantasies, how they found the forum, whatever - as long as they have to write it and it's longer than 10 words. If they can't produce decent text for the registration, they sure as hell can't produce decent text in forums.[/list:u]

              Surprisingly I've seen only one forum that does these things... and it works so well for them.

                [*]Perhaps ask even some personal details. They don't have to be public, just ask them. Sure, some people would lie, some decent people would not register because of it, but it might get rid off few idiots. It takes bit more to make a fool out of yourself, if people (even the admin) knows who you are. Do note that there might be a genuine legal issue about this; at least some countries demand few things, if you are going to keep a register of people.

                [*]One option might be this; when person registers, he can't write. He must stick to reading for some time... 2-4 weeks? After that he automatically gets the rights to write. Should cut down the "This has been asked 10001 times before, but I must know it"-questions.[/list:u]


                10) Karma system. This has been talked about before, but for different reason. It might help, though. But is there per-post-karma-rating mod for phpBB?


                11) Titles. It needs to be very clear who is admin or mod. Make it so with their title. Use the colors and bold to make it stand out. Remove possible "Moderator" custom titles, if the person is not one anymore. Vice versa, mods and admins with custom titles still need to have the "Mod" or "Admin" visible.


                For users

                1) Rules must be written down, as specifically as possible. For several reasons:

                  [*]People are stupid. However, this can be used both ways; You can use strict set of rules that is _not_ available for users to read with Judge Dredd-moderators to increase the average IQ of the forums. Ban on first offence, let them figure out what the offences are. After 50 or so examples they'll start getting it. If not... not a great loss.

                  [*]These written rules can be quoted in a case of an argument. Then again, there should be no arguments about rules or moderation. It is not up to the users to decide.

                  [*]Some things, like distributing warez might not even need a mention. It's freaking obvious that you are not allowed to do that, it's not only illegal, but can get the forum into legal trouble. If someone is stupid enough to try that, they might deserve a permaban instantly. Sort of a Darwin Awards thing.[/list:u]

                  ..I might have more, I have to think about it. Use them if you wish, they won't cost you a dime.

                  Alhexx

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                  « Reply #1 on: 2005-06-16 20:42:44 »
                  Wow, I haven't seen such a constructive post from you for a long time, Jari.
                  It seems like there'S still a part of you which does not want to see the board end as you predict it will be...
                  I'm not going to make hundrets of quotes here, I'll just refer to your numbers. I'll quote only if I think it's necessary.

                  3)
                  I do not think that the yellow card is senseless. It maybe does not matter for the ones who got the warning, however this member is "brandmarked" on this forum. That means that other members, especially new ones, can see that this member has not been so innocent as he might look. So leave the warning system alive.

                  5)
                  In my opinion, banning is a thing that only an admin should decide, and we have 3 of them now here. Banning is not a 24-7 job here, we do not have to ban 10 users per day (even if some of us would like to).
                  If a moderator thinks that someone is making so much trouble that he should get banned, he (the mod) can talk to an admin about that.
                  And I think that banning (I mean the action, not the decision) is not a lot of work, so this can be done by the admins.
                  So our admins are our Judge-Dredd-Moderators.

                  6) a)
                  Banning for the first rule break? I think this is a bit too hard. If it was a heavy rule-break (e.g. posting warez, rude offense, bitching admins or mods, offense spamming, rassistic/ sexistic post, or any illegal action) then it's okay.
                  But I don't think that someone whould be banned for having a too big avatar or things like that. We have our warning system for that.

                  7) (Second point)
                  You cannot expect that someone sits 24-7 in front of this monitor and browses this forum, even not from a moderator or admin. So that's the reason why there should be a moderator crew for each forum, at least 2 per forum.

                  10)
                  Uh...This somehow reminds me of the StaSi...
                  This is a forum, and forums should be available to everyone after all. You cannot understand what kind of human someone is by letting him writing a few lines about himself.
                  There are people, who are just browsing the web, find this board, just want to register to post a quick question... and some of them even become honorable members...
                  Then, on the other hand, there are a lot who want to register, who would take their time to fill out that "character test" form, and after 2 weeks they start pissing other members off...
                  No, I don't think that is a good idea. Registration should be free for everyone.

                  10) I'm not sure if you're talking about that what I think about. Is this karma system that, where members can "rate" another members behaviour?
                  If yes, this might be a good idea.
                  (But it is more or less equal to the yellow-card system)

                  I agree to all other points more or less...


                  And there's one thing I have to add:
                  I think it would be a good idea to open a "moderator Forum", which only admins and mods are allowed to visit. This would be a good place for discussing moderative questions, coordinating work between moderators etc...

                  Let's see what the admins have to say to that...

                   - Alhexx

                  Sad Jari

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                  Thoughts
                  « Reply #2 on: 2005-06-16 21:22:38 »
                  I'll use quotes, since it makes the specific points I'm addressing more obvious.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  It maybe does not matter for the ones who got the warning, however this member is "brandmarked" on this forum. That means that other members, especially new ones, can see that this member has not been so innocent as he might look.

                  But what good comes out of this? That they can make fun of the person? That they can switch into the "daddy's little moderator"-mode, where they start to criticize what he does?

                  I was under the impression that the point of the warning was to prevent similar behaviour in future, not to make a circus freak out of the person.... which would be ok, if it actually would prevent the said behaviour.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  And I think that banning (I mean the action, not the decision) is not a lot of work, so this can be done by the admins.

                  It sure ain't, but how long does it take before your admin has the time do that? I dunno if you have noticed, but ironically all three of them are very busy.

                  Because while the banning does not take long, all kinds of stuff can happen while you are waiting for one of your admins to show up.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  But I don't think that someone whould be banned for having a too big avatar or things like that. We have our warning system for that.

                  Can you prove to me that your warning system actually works?

                  It's not a ban for life, one week is a nice amount of time, during which they can think about the rules.

                  Besides, the concept is that it is a proactive measure. Ban enough idiots - preferably make a list of banned users - and you'll see how it starts to work.

                  7) Well, I was referring to weeks, not hours.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  This is a forum, and forums should be available to everyone after all.

                  Since when? It's not democracy, it's not right to vote, it's a forum. Not a civil right, like I said.

                  Do you have experience of forums that limit their registration, for one reason or another? They are pretty darn nice, in general.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  You cannot understand what king of human someone is by letting him writing a few lines about himself.

                  But you sure can see if he's capable of producing something that even remotely resembles English language. ... Although my real point was that it takes some effort, that alone will cut down the idiots. Plus as a bonus, it will prevent the ad-bots from registering.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  There are people, who are just browsing the web, find this board, just want to register to post a quick question... and some of them even become honorable members...

                  Very few. Remember the active/inactive members statistics? Most of them ask a question that has been answered many times already. Rest can wait for some time. You have to think about the good of the many before good of the few.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  Then, on the other hand, there are a lot who want to register, who would take their time to fill out that "character test" form, and after 2 weeks they start pissing other members off...

                  Are you basing this on personal experience, or...? The "lot", I mean. Certainly there are some, no doubt.

                  10) Yeah, that's karma.

                  Gee, and I thought that I was the only person abusing the Remake forum as a moderator forum. In other words; the idea certainly has some merit, but I'm willing to bet a sizeable sum on that forum being very quiet place.

                  Bunnie-Maru

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                  « Reply #3 on: 2005-06-16 22:49:58 »
                  On the subject of warnings/bannings:

                  1st Card: 1 week suspension
                  2nd Card: 1 month suspension
                  3rd Card: Gone

                  I would say keep the cards and add in the suspensions. If anything, I'd consider this a psychological reminder. If I were to ever get a card, I would remember why I got it for the rest of my time here.

                  I like the idea of temporary suspensions, but I think it should be a three step phase, not two. 1 week to permanent banning seems a little steep, there should be some transition between the two.

                  Also, is there a way to limit an IP to only one account at a time?

                  Relf

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                  « Reply #4 on: 2005-06-16 23:04:14 »
                  I think that ban-on first offence should be a sliding scale method, you'r avatar's too big, 'you double post or you revive should be the use of those yellow cards, a nice sign saying "you screwed up big time". Anything worse than that should be an instant permaban, any second offence thats not painfully obvious as an accident should also be a permaban.

                  Mabye there should also be a third portion of the sight, the main website, the forums, and the FAQ section where you can get the answers quickly so that you dont spam the fourms.

                  I also think that Mods should'nt be able to ban unless its the short time ban, might lead to abuse if you just decide you dont like someone because of say, a political view.

                  Im not really the best person to be making or even suggesting rules (I've broken several myself) but I'd really like to see these put into effect. I wasn't here for the Illustrious "Days of Olden Tymes" but I do remember how great it was when I first showed up.


                  Also, Qhimm, mabye it would be a good idea to post who you would want as a mod to skip some of these pointless "Applications".

                  Sad Jari

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                  Thoughts
                  « Reply #5 on: 2005-06-17 00:42:01 »
                  Quote from: Bunnie-Maru
                  Also, is there a way to limit an IP to only one account at a time?

                  Not with standard phpBB, I think.

                  You could ban all user"s" coming from a single IP, of course.

                  Quote from: Relf
                  I also think that Mods should'nt be able to ban unless its the short time ban, might lead to abuse if you just decide you dont like someone because of say, a political view.

                  Well, they haven't abused it thus far... you do know that they have had banning powers since they have been able to give cards?

                  Give them some credit, they are not power hungry freaks.

                  Anyway, abuse of power of course means that they won't have the power for much longer.

                  Qhimm

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                  « Reply #6 on: 2005-06-17 05:21:21 »
                  Quote
                  The moderation here has always been very lax. Lately, with the influx of stupid people, it has become too lax. Or people have become too stupid for it, take your pick.

                  I agree completely. Unfortunately that also means admitting that I've been utterly insufficient in my job of maintaining this place (either myself or by appointing enough moderators), but seeing as how bad things have gotten I would be quite arrogant to suggest otherwise.

                  Quote
                  1) Rules must be written down, as specifically as possible. Moderators are not mind readers - unfortunately.

                  I originally meant for the Administration forum (invisible to normal users) to contain the "ruleset for moderators", complete with appropriate actions to be taken in certain situations, or when to notify admin instead. I never got around to actually formalizing the rules though, and as you say, as a result moderators have been extremely careful not to "do too much" (and so the final decision usually comes to rest with me anyway). Stronger moderation requires stronger guidance, which I'll try to provide, somehow.

                  Quote
                  2) Rules must be made a whole lot more strict. While the humane "let all the flowers bloom"-approach (otherwise known as a hippy way) is all fine and dandy, it will not work with large, heterogeneous crowds. Which has been seen here.

                  I agree completely, the rule system (as it is) was never meant to be actually enforced, as it makes a fatally incorrect assumption; that all members share a common sense of how to behave in a group. It worked only as long as the majority of active members were sensible, but now we've had an outflux of sensible people and a huge influx of socially inept people, tipping the balance way into crapland.

                  Quote
                  3) The yellow card is nearly useless and should be removed entirely. Reasoning; it will only work if the person is really concerned in what other people think of him. The card system itself is good, because it gives the moderators more power. And that is exactly what they'll need.

                  For a few users the yellow card has actually snapped them back into reality, but this just falls into the "nearly useless" of your statement. As with so many other things around here, I originally meant for the system to be quite a bit more extensive, with more levels of "punishment" between warning and ban. The level system was meant to be its positive reinforcement counterpart, to encourage good behaviour just as bad behaviour was punished. None of these systems were developed far enough to actually do the intended job, however, for example the current level system merely encourages post flooding instead. A balanced level/rank system, more cards, and more importantly more cards that hurt a little more than your ego would probably provide a positive effect.

                  As Alhexx points out though, it does also have the positive effect of letting other users (who might not have seen the offense) know that the guy isn't to be taken at face value. It might not mean much to the offender itself, but we might get a few less users starting to defend "innocent newbies" just because they don't know the truth. On the other hand, those defenders probably deserve a kick in the groin for being too gullible to begin with, and speaking without first checking.

                  Quote
                  4) Multi-forum moderators, or supermods are a good idea. To certain extent. The problem is that if there are not enough of them, the workload will get too large.

                  Unfortunately phpBB does not come with "supermod" functionality built-in, so right now I have to actually appoint these mods to every forum. There's probably a hack for it though, as I'd love a more stable implementation of different levels of authority here.

                  Quote
                  5) So called Judge Dredd-moderator. Term coined by yours truly. Moderator who is the law; police, judge and jury in one person. You'll need them. Since it seems that there are more idiots and mods have less time in their hands you must give more responsibility to the mods. Lots more.

                  Heh, I like that idea. Not unlimited power, but pretty damn close. I'd be prepared to at least cut off a few sub-forums (like General or Unrelated) into Judge Dredd-controlled territory, and get them off my mind. Note that todays moderators technically have this power already, but are afraid to use it (point 1). The banning issue itself isn't a huge administrative deal (since I made a card button to do it in two clicks), and while I do appreciate making final calls, I'm way too lenient in many cases and quite frankly it's a bit tiring to always be the one "responsible" for banning people, even if they are morons.

                  Quote
                  6) Rules must be enforced in much more strict way. Seriously much more strict. No more yellow cards. No warnings.

                  This is actually what I wanted with my yellow cards (or rather, the multiple levels of cards I had in mind). First card, time-limited ban. Second card, longer ban (or permanent), and so on. Also cards would be time-limited, so if a user warned once kept clean for, say, six months, the card would automatically be pardoned. This of course also requires that the rules become way more formalized and prominently displayed. A lot of the simpler rules could even be scripted to be prevented, like double-posting, thread revival or avatar abuse. Or at least to display a warning, like "you risk breaking the rules / offending people at this point", after which any annoyed moderator could instaban (since the user obviously had the intent, then).

                  Permaban for repeat offenders is certainly the way to go, and is how we do things now (except the definition of "offense" is way too lenient). I'd also like a system where moderators could attach a reason for the ban, which could then be seen both by users (via banner user's profile), and the user himself (trying to visit the forums).

                  Alhexx: I'm way for something more than a silent warning for first offense, it should be felt. Of course there are varying degrees of offenses, but offenders should at least feel they lost something because of what they did, and if a sincere apology is not quickly forthcoming (either directly or after a temporary ban is lifted), then the user should be banned anyway (since he's clearly not in possession of the common sense we so value here).

                  Quote
                  7) Moderators must be responsible for their forum.

                  Speaking of this problem, it could maybe be solved by another "feature" I was thinking about a while back, namely publically indicating when a user last logged in. For forum moderators, this information could even be presented as part of the forum display, a notice displaying the "activeness" of the current moderators. Stripping the moderator of powers every time he/she will be busy simply creates more administrative work, so if this sort of thing could be automated instead, it would be much preferable. And I don't mean automatically stripping mods of power, but rather indicating that they're just currently inactive and will still kick your ass later.

                  Quote
                  8) Moderators, especially supermods and mods for high-volume forums simply must be fluent in English. Not speaking, but they must be able to read between the lines, see hidden meanings, notice attitude and get jokes. It also helps if they write well, or at least well enough that there will be no misunderstandings because of that, but understanding written English is a must.

                  I agree that this is indeed damn near necessary in order to fairly (and strictly) moderate a public forum. Or course, a lot of the visitors that need moderation don't speak good English to begin with, so the moderator's skills are often a bit wasted. But having educated and literate people on the top certainly increases enjoyability for the intended target audience. The only problem I can see is that as it stands, there aren't enough highly literate people that I can trust as moderators around here these days. If the forums somehow get back to their glory days, they would probably attract more, but for now probably at least the non-technical forums will have to have a few less-than-perfect moderators (albeit they might exercise a bit more care when stepping into situations).

                  Quote
                  9) Registration needs to be more strict, if you want to control the idiot flood. Sure, it will prevent people just from popping in and asking things, but then again... most people seem to be rather pooping in than popping in these days.

                  The forced lurk period is a good idea, though maybe with one or two forums still open for public posting. Rather than closing registration periodically though (which still leaves the open period open for morons), I'd like a registration + lurk (limited posting) + full user rights sort of process, with a forced lurk period where you can't post in "content" forums. Special users could be exempt, of course. The "questionnaire" thing at registration is also a grand idea, both to know how people get here, and more importantly to find out what they hope to accomplish here. I'd also like more user levels to accomplish this, i.e. you could either have guest posting or "limited" users that are allowed to post relatively freely in some parts of the forums, while "proper" accounts require the full registration process (either with lurking or by reference of some regular). This could be done with phpBB via user groups and manually keeping track of lurkers, but definitely needs a script.

                  Oops, I notice I hadn't finished reading point 9 before writing the above. So yes, the forced lurk is my favorite. At least Sweden has laws against keeping personally identifiable information on mass registry (it could even be argued that the IP logs violates laws such as this). However, if the user explicitly has to approve of his data being part of the site's database (doesn't have to be public), then the legal issues would mostly evaporate. Forum registration and participation is not forced upon anyone after all, so we can require users to give up a few of their own rights to gain the right of posting. Just like those EULAs.

                  Alhexx: While we most certainly would not get to know the person from a few lines written at registration, we would certainly be able to weed out the most unpromising candidates. Also, there aren't a lot of people registrering really (typically a few each week at most), so I can probably live with an admin-approved registration process. If you have a lurk period, then the admin has plenty of time to decide whether to approve the ultimate registration, or to cancel the request.

                  Quote
                  10) Karma system. This has been talked about before, but for different reason. It might help, though. But is there per-post-karma-rating mod for phpBB?

                  This ties in closely with the level system I originally wanted. My original idea was quite an extensive per-user karma system that would ultimately display as (or at least affect) your "level". Positive karma would be given by various actions, like posting in content forums, and to a small extent also in off-topic forums. Small amounts of karma could be given/taken by specific per-post feedback, where karma from high-level users would count more than karma from low-level users etc. Negative karma would be given (in descending order of magnitute) by warnings, having your topic deleted, having your post deleted, having your topic moved, or by per-post feedback. Inactivity would not affect karma. Also, users' karma record would be on public display in their profile. It might work (with the whole positive/negative reinforcement thing), of course it would mainly affect people who were good to begin with. I'm not sure if warnings should be automatically issued if your karma becomes negative enough. I think there are some mods for this sort of thing, but as with any mod I'd want to personally adapt it for the forums before putting into extensive use (plus I don't think there's a pre-made script as extensive as I'd like anyway).

                  Quote
                  11) Titles. It needs to be very clear who is admin or mod. Make it so with their title. Use the colors and bold to make it stand out. Remove possible "Moderator" custom titles, if the person is not one anymore. Vice versa, mods and admins with custom titles still need to have the "Mod" or "Admin" visible.

                  This is a problem I noticed a while back, that any title (like our 'Freak' and 'No life' titles) overrides moderator/admin titles. This is utterly stupid and should be changed, actually moderator/admin status should be shown in a different way than a title altogether, like a small icon and/or colored user name.

                  Quote
                  1) Rules must be written down, as specifically as possible.

                  Yes. Preferably as a special, clearly visible link at the top of every forum index, plus the post editor. Quoting the rules should not have to involve finding the rules topic and making a link, it should optimally just be a pre-made moderator tag, such as:

                  [ rules ] --> rules
                  [ mod ] Some text [ /mod ] --> MOD EDIT: Some text

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  I think it would be a good idea to open a "moderator Forum", which only admins and mods are allowed to visit. This would be a good place for discussing moderative questions, coordinating work between moderators etc...

                  What, it's not visible? Well fuck, that would explain a thing or two... *goes off to check permissions*

                  Quote from: Relf
                  I also think that Mods should'nt be able to ban unless its the short time ban, might lead to abuse if you just decide you dont like someone because of say, a political view.

                  So far the only case of moderator abuse was Jari banning himself, moving some topic and editing his own posts to nothingness (which doesn't even require moderator rights). And the only reason I called that "abuse" is because his posts were quite valuable to the forum to begin with. I still take care about which moderators I select, plus I think moderator abuse is the least of our worries right now -- rather the complete opposite.

                  mirex

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                  « Reply #7 on: 2005-06-17 11:38:05 »
                  Ohh, how I hate reading long threads like this. I have done it now to add my opinion this time:

                  Quote
                  IP Block ban on further offenses. Not single IP ban, they are nearly useless. Simply ban the entire block at once.
                  Sometimes innocent people might get banned by this. Well, boo-hoo. Go get a life instead posting to forums, or go beat up the person who caused the block ban, chances are that he's living nearby anyway.

                  Heh what's this for a solution. Hurt innocent because of bad guys.

                  Quote
                  9) Registration needs to be more strict, if you want to control the idiot flood. Sure, it will prevent people just from popping in and asking things, but then again... most people seem to be rather pooping in than popping in these days.
                  Close the registration. Seriously. Close it for three months, then open for one. Repeat year around. This forces n00bs to lurk and read first.

                  Very good idea but hard to manage. It takes too much time, I know it from different forums. Those forums are good because of that. They are around for 3 years or such; They have 3k+ users, and so far there was only 1(one) ban (few weeks ago) because user was posting without any sense.
                  Its managed in a different way. Useless posts are not discussed over and over, if someone is abusive or offensive he gets ban to the thread, if the post/thread is useless it gets deleted with no big talking.
                  But though there are alot more mods (each thread creator is the admin of the thread). And its better because of the strict registration. You have to write few sentences about you by which you will be judged and you will gain access eventually. There are approx 10 registration attempts daily.
                  Yup it is hard, I'm feeling lucky I got in. ;)

                  Quote
                  One option might be this; when person registers, he can't write. He must stick to reading for some time... 2-4 weeks? After that he automatically gets the rights to write. Should cut down the "This has been asked 10001 times before, but I must know it"-questions.

                  Good idea. I'd give it to 4(or more) hours of board surfing time, so even guys visiting only once per week won't have it too easy. But how about guys (like me) that read first (for a few hours/days) and register afterwards when they finally want to write something usefull ? Will they have to wait more and more ?

                  Quote
                  10) Karma system. This has been talked about before, but for different reason. It might help, though. But is there per-post-karma-rating mod for phpBB?
                  Aren't you at the same forum I'm talking about ? It has karma too. Its for the posts or the users. Though many times it misses its purpose. Not the valuable posts are marked, but funny or extreme posts get highest karma rating. I dont think that K!arma system is needed here.

                  ---
                  Generally my idea of managing the forums is:
                  Let anyone get into forums.
                  If user does something wrong tell him in short what he did wrong PM or reply - warn him about it.
                  If user obviously does not belong to these forums, ignores you, does something against forums, then ban him.
                  Warnings are not needed. Warning was the notification from other members / moderators.
                  rules: I think that people can distinguish if they are doing good thing or bad thing that should not be done. Rules here seem too strict for some points, and there are none for other points.

                  I know it takes alot of time to manage this number of newbies, but its a role of moderators. If its too much work, get more moderators.

                  Alhexx

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                  « Reply #8 on: 2005-06-17 12:18:45 »
                  I'm not going to post that much as before, since it seems we're starting to have a concrete concept on how to improve the situation. And I agree to most of your points.

                  Qhimm's answer on #7:
                  Well, do you want to have the moderators keeping an eye on the forum members, or otherwise? I think that presenting a moderators activity to public in form of a note on the forum display is not a good idea.
                  I think that if a mod is unable to do his job for a period (as mentioned in #7), then he should tell - but only the moderators and admins. The Administrative Crew is a team after all - they have to do the job together. Everyone has to do his individual part, of course, but it only works when all mods are doind their job.
                  So if one mod is not able to do his job for some time, then the team has to compensate this. But for that, I think we would need a few mods more...
                  Displaying the mods status publicly may make some members think: "Oh, he's gone for 5 days, so I've got two more days to spam this forum..."
                  Oh, and if someone is really interested in the activity of a moderator, he can still take a look at his (the mods) profile and click on that "Find all posts by ...." button...

                  And finally - thanks for showing me that admin forum  8)

                   - Alhexx

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #9 on: 2005-06-17 13:01:31 »
                  Quote from: mirex
                  Quote
                  IP Block ban on further offenses. Not single IP ban, they are nearly useless. Simply ban the entire block at once.
                  Sometimes innocent people might get banned by this. Well, boo-hoo. Go get a life instead posting to forums, or go beat up the person who caused the block ban, chances are that he's living nearby anyway.

                  Heh what's this for a solution. Hurt innocent because of bad guys.

                  I would guess that for example this forum has only a handful of people actually sharing IP block (and these dudes might know each other in real life), so the problem might not be as bad as you think. At least larger ISPs have several blocks that they use, often distributed according to location and/or connection type. Considering that there are only so many active users - globally - I think that the possibility of getting blocked because someone else is rather minor.

                  If someone really, really wanted to post, regardless of IP block ban, there might be a way to make it happen; can mod_rewrite be used to redirect/ban based on the User Agent string (I don't know/remember)? Because if you did the IP block ban with it, you could give the user a special UA string to insert into his browser (even IE can do it, via registry) and the server would let him through.

                  It's quite a bit of work, though. If you don't make an automatic gadget for it.

                  There's another aspect as well; it's not necessarily "Hurt innocent because of bad guys", but rather "make bad guys hurt innocents". Because they are the ones who brought the ban upon them, not moderators. Many of them would not care about that, some might actually want it, few might avoid being bad because of it.

                  I think that I might have bit more to say about some things, but that'll have to wait for a little while.

                  RPGillespie

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                  « Reply #10 on: 2005-06-17 20:29:59 »
                  I may have mentioned this before, but looking at how other successful forums function is probably a good idea. Sometimes I'll go to other websites to see how I can make mine better  :wink: . Just my thoughts on the matter.

                  RPGillespie

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #11 on: 2005-06-17 21:03:40 »
                  Ah, more time...

                  Quote from: mirex
                  Quote
                  One option might be this; when person registers, he can't write. He must stick to reading for some time... 2-4 weeks? After that he automatically gets the rights to write. Should cut down the "This has been asked 10001 times before, but I must know it"-questions.

                  Good idea. I'd give it to 4(or more) hours of board surfing time, so even guys visiting only once per week won't have it too easy.

                  Both, hours and weeks would be best, I think. They work in slightly different ways, after all. Hours might be easy to manipulate though, unless the logging system is reasonably smart; you could just leave the browser open, displaying some topic and go to bed. If you pay flat rate, that is. Also with tabbed browsers you could leave the forums open in some background tab you'll never even look at.

                  Whether people would actually try to manipulate it is a different matter altogether.

                  Quote from: mirex
                  But how about guys (like me) that read first (for a few hours/days) and register afterwards when they finally want to write something usefull ? Will they have to wait more and more ?

                  Yes. You could try displaying a small notice about the registration method, so that they would know about it. Usually the stuff written here is not urgent though, people can actually wait few weeks. Most tech support questions (which might be one of the more urgent things) do get answered by the current forum population anyway, so you don't actually need quickie-registration just so that people could answer them. Most of them have also been asked and answered already.

                  Quote from: mirex
                  Not the valuable posts are marked, but funny or extreme posts get highest karma rating.

                  This is unfortunately rather common. More elaborate system, like the one Qhimm described, should be able to avoid this truly annoying phenomenon.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  Displaying the mods status publicly may make some members think: "Oh, he's gone for 5 days, so I've got two more days to spam this forum..."

                  I think that Qhimm meant system that won't predict future; it just shows what has happened. Making decisions based on how active the moderator has been might turn out to be a very bad choice (for the bad person, that is); it could even be used to entrap potential troublemakers - make it seem like mods are not active - wait for the idiots to show up - remove the idiots.

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  Oh, and if someone is really interested in the activity of a moderator, he can still take a look at his (the mods) profile and click on that "Find all posts by ...." button...

                  Are you saying that mods should spam the forums to appear active? :P Because that's the flip side of using posts to determine activity.

                  Relf

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                  « Reply #12 on: 2005-06-17 22:41:24 »
                  Quote
                  So far the only case of moderator abuse was Jari banning himself, moving some topic and editing his own posts to nothingness (which doesn't even require moderator rights). And the only reason I called that "abuse" is because his posts were quite valuable to the forum to begin with. I still take care about which moderators I select, plus I think moderator abuse is the least of our worries right now -- rather the complete opposite.


                  More of a preventitve measure if all of Jari's plan's go through and it become's a very well moderated ( almost to the degree of over doing it; it could be a problem if the mod's arent VERY carefully selected like they have been in the past).


                  For Karma, mabye several types of karma should be used, karma given due to the humor of a post counting less for a running tally. Posts that are informational and helpful in general being worth the most.

                  Jari would/could do the job of Judge Dredd quite well, I still remember being warned by Nori when I first joined to be careful around him . :D

                  Qhimm

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                  « Reply #13 on: 2005-06-18 07:43:51 »
                  Quote from: mirex
                  Heh what's this for a solution. Hurt innocent because of bad guys. (about IP range bans)

                  Well, it can be equally argued that not effectively banning these bad guys would hurt more innocent (i.e. the entire memberlist). Only a few users share IP ranges here anyway, in fact it is so rare I can use the IPs to effectively trace account spoofs even for dynamic IP users.

                  Quote from: Relf
                  More of a preventitve measure if all of Jari's plan's go through and it become's a very well moderated ( almost to the degree of over doing it; it could be a problem if the mod's arent VERY carefully selected like they have been in the past).

                  Well, personally, I think the goal should be to rewrite the forums themselves to enforce the rules, instead of creating tons of paperwork for moderators. Moderating should be easy as pie, and the really simple day-to-day offenses like double-posting shouldn't really need a human being to go in and clean it up. It's shit like that that tires us out. If the forums themselves provide enough "administrative support", i.e. well-defined systems that prevent most of the everyday offenses, we'd be well on the way already. Of course moderators are needed to deal with the idiots, but at least they shouldn't have to go around with pooper scoopers.

                  Quote from: Relf
                  For Karma, mabye several types of karma should be used, karma given due to the humor of a post counting less for a running tally. Posts that are informational and helpful in general being worth the most.

                  This problem would be mostly solved with the more extensive system I proposed (if you've ever read about Google's PageRank, you know what I'm talking about). Uninteresting or uncontributing users would never be able to provide high karma boosts anyway, and unrelated topics would contribute much less than on-topic ones. Also, spoofing would be hard (by say posting crap in a high-value forum, since large negative karma would be given if a thread is moved (at least from a high-value to a low-value forum). It's a lot of work though...

                  L. Spiro

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                  « Reply #14 on: 2005-06-18 08:06:22 »
                  Quote
                  It's a lot of work though...


                  [Wisdom]
                  It’s a lot of one-time work though.
                  It relates to programming very well (especially considering it IS programming).  Program it once, the right way, and save hundreds of man-hours of work.
                  Program it poorly to save yourself a bit of time, but cost the users tons of hours (adding up) by having to, for example, retype the command line, adding the parameters, etc.

                  Command-line programs that are meant to be used by a human (rather than command-line programs that are meant to be used by other software) really bother me in this respect.
                  The author saved himself 2 hours by not adding a menu, buttons, user interface, etc.
                  In the long run, the amount of time it takes for every user to type the command line and parameters to use his program adds up to well over 2 hours, easily into the hundreds of hours.


                  Whatever solution you decide to pursue now is going to effect the forum for a long time, adding up to either tons more hours of troubles for the moderators, or tons more hours worry-free, leaving the moderators time to hack the battle animation file format (wink wink).

                  This all seems pretty obvious, yet easily 90% of all people like to think only about the task at hand and the effort it requires for the moment rather than the effort it saves over the long run.
                  It could be argued that the forum is where it is now because of what wasn’t done long ego, despite there not being a need back then.
                  It’s no one’s fault; no one saw this happening and there wasn’t a need, but the most constructive path forward is to look back.

                  In 4 years from now, let’s not look back and think, “If only I did this or that…”.



                  I say, whatever it is you want to implement, get your ideas clear and organized, laid out and easy to read/understand, then go full force.
                  Don’t make something that is just going to leave you wishing for more.
                  Don’t stop until you are satisfied fully with the results.
                  [/Wisdom]



                  L. Spiro

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #15 on: 2005-06-18 08:24:43 »
                  Quote from: Qhimm
                  Well, personally, I think the goal should be to rewrite the forums themselves to enforce the rules, instead of creating tons of paperwork for moderators.

                  The question is, can phpBB be made into a system like that, with a reasonable amount of work? Or would it actually be less work to build a complete forum system from scratch?

                  In either case, there's fame - if not fortune, to be gained if such a system is made available to others.

                  Caddberry

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                  « Reply #16 on: 2005-06-19 01:16:54 »
                  So Jari are you staying this time?

                  Anyway Qhimm.. If you like you can use these rules as a template

                  Quote
                  AnimeNfo Forum Rules (Version 1.9 )


                  1. Be respectful to both the moderators as well as other members. Direct attacks on others with obvious malicious intent will NOT be tolerated.

                  2. Posting guidelines:
                  __a. Post your topics in the appropriate forum.
                  __b. No useless threads/posts (ie. "I like to shower")
                  __c. No obscenities. This includes:
                  ____i. Porn or hentai pictures.
                  ____ii. Other pictures that could be considered overly obscene.
                  ____iii. Discussions that are graphic in a sexual nature. Hentai discussion is allowed, but any improper discussion will not be tolerated.
                  __d. No links to copyrighted digital material, and no asking for links.
                  ____i. No links pointing to places to download anime, manga, mp3's.
                  ____ii. No posting or asking for CD-Keys, Serial numbers, or other ways to get this information.
                  ____iii. Do not use the names of sites either. Posting the name of a website is just like posting a link.
                  __e. Avoid cloning existing threads. Search the forum a bit before you post.
                  __f. Do NOT flame. Flame post wars will be policed and most likely locked.
                  __g. Stay on topic with the thread's purpose and subject.
                  __h. No unauthorized advertising is allowed on the forum.
                  __i. All spoilers need to be quoted and colored white. However, spoilers pertaining to the subject do not need to be marked if the subject line of the thread has a spoiler warning in place, and it specifies the series. If no series is specified include the subject of your spoiler.
                  __j. Do not double post (See the Forum FAQ)
                  __k. This is an English forum not a chat-room, instant message, or a cell phone. We expect members to use the proper English words.

                  Abbreviations are acceptable. eg: lol, iirc, imho, imo, etc.
                  Slang abbreviations are not. eg: da, fo, needa, dess, 4, dis, n, etc.


                  3. Rule enforcement measures:
                  A problem poster will get two warnings before they are punished. The first general punishment will be a one to two week ban from the AnimeNfo Forum. If a user continues to break the forum rules then the admistration can consider a permanent ban. If necessary, an IP ban will be used.

                  In extreme cases we reserve the right to IP ban on the first offense. This may also include a ban from the main site.

                  4. Please report any problems with the forum to the moderators. This includes all forms of SPAM and even something as trivial as a double post.

                  5. No more than one account per user.


                  Immediate ban is not a good thing unless its something that is necessary or someone is a total ass.. I've banned people for a first offense, but only when it was something extremely bad.

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #17 on: 2005-06-19 11:19:51 »
                  If I'm such a problem for you, what the fuck are you doing in my thread?

                  EDIT: You couldn't be following me around, trying to provoke me, could you? Nooooo, you couldn't - after all that's something only I do.

                  mirex

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                  « Reply #18 on: 2005-06-19 17:28:53 »
                  Anyhow I think that you are taking it too seriously. I don't think these forums need so radical changes, things are good as they are. Fools will find their way around anyhow and people can get disgusted by whats going on here. Those changes could be just a waste of time (or maybe not).

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #19 on: 2005-06-20 05:06:19 »
                  Quote from: mirex
                  ...things are good as they are.

                  *snicker*

                  Yeah.

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #20 on: 2005-06-22 21:07:20 »
                  Double-post time; new idea, needs bumpage:

                  Here's an idea, aimed to fix a problem I perceived when I was a moderator; I was bit wary about getting into debates, because I feared that one of these things would happen:

                  1) People would be unnecessarily careful, because they might be afraid of angering a mod. Some people might even do the exact opposite.

                  2) Shit flies might step in, to side with the mod. Because they think that it would benefit them later on... which it wouldn't, but it still sucks for the other guy. Plenty of examples of this, lately.

                  3) Moderator's opinions might be seen as the official opinions of the board.

                  In addition, this will fix the problem where people get personal with the mods... to some degree.


                  So, the fix itself:

                  Mods need dual accounts. One for their personal use. Other for moderating. Nobody except the mods and admins must know which moderation account belongs to which person. That way there is moderating and there are personal opinions, which are two different things. It's bit harder to get personal, when you don't know who you should get personal with. It can't completely remove the problems (at least as long as people know who are moderating...), but it can help by introducing a clear separation of moderation and discussion.

                  As for moderator names - Reservoir Dogs, can't go wrong with that. Or numbers.

                  Or perhaps even use same name for all: "Moderator"? Can phpBB do this, without forcing them to use shared account?

                  RPGillespie

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                  « Reply #21 on: 2005-06-22 22:09:14 »
                  Quote from: Monkey on your back


                  [1]

                  3) Moderator's opinions might be seen as the official opinions of the board.

                  [2]

                  Mods need dual accounts. One for their personal use. Other for moderating. Nobody except the mods and admins must know which moderation account belongs to which person. That way there is moderating and there are personal opinions, which are two different things. It's bit harder to get personal, when you don't know who you should get personal with. It can't completely remove the problems (at least as long as people know who are moderating...), but it can help by introducing a clear separation of moderation and discussion

                  Or perhaps even use same name for all: "Moderator"? Can phpBB do this, without forcing them to use shared account?


                  1) Thats the way it is, it seems that if you disagree w/ the moderator you'll be on bad terms with them and thats not good.

                  2)Dude, thats a good idea... thats a really good idea, at least I think. That way we (at least I) can interact with Alhexx and other mods and stuff like normal people and also if you were bad, you wouldn't know how to react if you got in trouble with a mod, you mess with the mod you could be messing with Aaron or Qhimm etc., but you wouldn't know. Also to make someone a mod all you would have to do is pm them the mod password, and vice versa to disband a moderator.

                  Hmm, well, I know vBulletin can do the task but its quite expensive. It could be possible with PHPbb but I wouldn't know ;).

                  Alhexx

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                  « Reply #22 on: 2005-06-22 22:54:35 »
                  Well, I don't think that this is a good idea.

                  This seems like the "God can see everything" argument. Since HE can see you, but not the other way, you're getting scared. At least if you're a child.
                  I think that everyone on the board should know who's moderating, the administrative crew is not going to be some kind of NSA here...
                  And btw: Moderators are just "simple" members, too. They just have to give the admin a hand in moderating here.
                  So your problems 1 and 2 do also (or especially) apply to the admin, and what you want to do here? Run an anonym-admin board? No, bad idea.

                   - Alhexx

                  Sad Jari

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                  « Reply #23 on: 2005-06-22 23:15:26 »
                  Do tell me, since you were against telling people when mods are not active - yet you are also against making them anonymous... are you just disagreeing on principle? :P

                  Or do you feel that your own position is threatened? :lol:

                  Quote from: Alhexx
                  I think that everyone on the board should know who's moderating, the administrative crew is not going to be some kind of NSA here...
                  And btw: Moderators are just "simple" members, too. They just have to give the admin a hand in moderating here.
                  So your problems 1 and 2 do also (or especially) apply to the admin, and what you want to do here? Run an anonym-admin board? No, bad idea.

                  Reasons! Reasons would be really good, instead of just stating that it's "bad".

                  Why is it bad?

                  Why should everyone know?

                  Alhexx

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                  « Reply #24 on: 2005-06-22 23:36:41 »
                  There are no "hard" reasons, it's just my personal opinion.

                  I, as a member, do not like the feeling of being observed. If go out on the street, then when the police watches me, they wear a uniform (usually).
                  Like I said, it's that "They can see you, but you can't see them"-feeling - I just hate it...
                  And as I already mentioned, this is a free board, not a NSA central...
                  We've got problems with some annoying newbs, not with any terrorist who want to cut our heads off...
                  And that anonymous-thingy reminds me of be band Slipknot, if you know them. They also always wear masks to stay anonymous, and what? Everyone says that they're simply to shy to show their real faces.
                  I'll leave the rest to your interpretation...

                   - Alhexx