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IRC Issues - discussion

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Can the same anti-troll rules be enforced on Neowin IRC as well please? While things have improved after some culprits were banned there are still certain users - they know who they are, as do staff - whose trolling is downright annoying.

I'm fairly regularly on #neowin and I have rarely witnessed trolling (as defined in this thread, i.e. discouraging civilized/technical discussions). When a question is asked or a technical issue is brought up, there usually is a civilized and straight-to-the-point discussion around it.

If you were to moderate #neowin the same way you do the forums, you'd end up where #neowin is right now: a quiet, boring chat room, where even civilized discussions are being avoided in fear of getting labelled a troll and seing unjustified action taken against you.

The way to moderate #neowin is, and we keep pointing this out, to lead by example. Staff on #neowin should lead by example. If they don't want certain behavior/discussions from other members, they should not be manifesting said behavior or initiating said discussions. Staff on #neowin get away with pretty much everything: Flame bait, admitting to piracy, personal attacks, posting NSFW content without tagging.. et.al. People get banned/warned for that, staff got and are still getting away with it, on a regular basis.

A final note: Staff who are not moderators should NOT be moderating #neowin. Two issues with this:

1) People need to know who is moderating, and to whom should they go when they want to clear an issue (essentially the general consensus is: moderators > Supervisors > Admins, NO newsies or Devs)

2) Those staff members (newsies/devs) always interfeer when people call out another staff breaking rules. They set the channel to +m (Devs) or kick anyone they argue with (newsies). We see this fairly regularly, and it speaks heaps about the situation.

Point is, don't make rules if you can't play by them.

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Can the same anti-troll rules be enforced on Neowin IRC as well please? While things have improved after some culprits were banned there are still certain users - they know who they are, as do staff - whose trolling is downright annoying.

Are you serious? The channel is pretty quiet nowadays as it is. If anyone else gets banned for "trolling" then there's really no point in having an IRC server.

Also, if the users that were previously banned annoy you so much, why exactly do you hang around on their spinoff IRC server ?

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snipped

There's a problem with your justification of which staff should moderate IRC. It's a fact that IRC is where it's at for news operations, as a result there are always quite a lot of news staff on IRC all the time. Perfect candidates for moderation.

Also, people forget that a lot of the current news staff actually came from another staff group, with exception of those (who don't enforce moderation on IRC) that have been brought on and weren't even members of Neowin.

I do agree that staff should lead by example, and anyone is perfectly within their rights to report those types of infractions.

Plus #neowin is anything but quiet :p

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To quote the opening post of this thread:

Q. What is a troll?

A. A troll is someone who will state something only with the intention of stirring up controversy.

DrCheese, sudo: Don't even try to tell me that certain (ex-)members weren't using troll memes or antagonising staff on purpose. They were, some still are doing it. By Fred Derf's definition that is trolling.

By the way, has it ever occurred to you that some are quiet because they don't want to end up being quoted by a leaky Twitter account rather than for fear of warns/bans? Think about it.

One often heard reason for the trollish behaviour is: 'Trying to talk to staff is futile, you will only be stonewalled.' Is that really so? Or isn't it also a question of how you talk to staff? To be honest I can understand why some of them reacted like they did in the past weeks. Take the 'rounded corners' meme which used to be thrown at Timan ever so often. It went on for well over a year - can you blame him for snapping in the end? I can't.

I do agree with sudo regarding the moderation issues - there is a lack of consistency, and there ought to be dedicated IRC moderators as the only ones responsible for moderating the channel. That being said - bring it up in a civilised manner like in this thread, rather than by moaning about every staff mistake in the channel. The latter will not get you anywhere.

Lastly: Why do I hang out on irc.kick-ban.me.uk, #kick-ban? Good question. Morbid curiosity I guess. Watching certain people act like they're so much more sensible than everybody else (yes sudo, I am looking at you) or moan again and again or openly admit to having dupe accounts on #neowin is amusing (while frustrating) at times.

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This definition of trolling is almost every article on free software that goes on the Front Page News. (Y)

For ****'s sake, just make Mephistopheles a moderator again and send out amnisties for all the banned guys.

Also, what's this "rounded corners" meme and "kick-man-whatever"?

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Free software on front page news? Not sure what you mean there :blink:

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Free software on front page news? Not sure what you mean there :blink:
True, they rarely post them. (Y)

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All thats needed there is a little common-sense. Why report it to me when you know full well I hardly ever participate in #neowin when there are other staff and Supervisors present and interacting in the #neowin channel?

Would you report it to Daniel, Redmak or Frogboy as well, who also never participate in #neowin?

Come on!

So you don't care what your staff get up to? The "you" wasn't fully directed at you personally either, more just the general staff.

If you're not in a position to care about the staff or are the wrong person to report stuff to, did you send the message on to whoever is or just simply ignore it?

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So you don't care what your staff get up to? The "you" wasn't fully directed at you personally either, more just the general staff.

If you're not in a position to care about the staff or are the wrong person to report stuff to, did you send the message on to whoever is or just simply ignore it?

No, I got the message about the memes harassment stuff going on and forwarded it to staff for discussion, also the double standards of staff was discussed, but much of it was completely new to me.

Staff will tell you I'm not really a supporter of IRC, but I agree it's needed for staff operations and that's why I'm always logged in to it these days.

Despite what you believe, staff are held accountable for abuse of privileges, in the past some have lost their status due to it as well.

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IMHO the status of Neowin IRC needs to be re-evaluated. Should it continue to be the site's back room of sorts, an area with much laxer rules than front page/forum where members can hang out to chat? Or should it be staff-only to discuss site operations?

If it's supposed to be the former, take a good look at the rules and at who moderates the channels. There are some members of staff who imho should stay out of moderating IRC.

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It has been re-evaluated time and time again :p

But for all the bad that happens, the good out-weighs it I suppose. I've suggested a few times to bin it, but after discussing it (in a staff forum topic) it was decided that we should keep it.

Currently we're still looking to assign dedicated IRC moderators.

As for who shouldn't be moderating IRC, maybe that's better discussed in a PM with your reasoning.

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Plus #neowin is anything but quiet :p

Two months ago it was active all the time. Now you're lucky if you get a one hour spell in a day - often you get a few hours where there's nothing but the news bot posting. Even our small 'alternative' server is more active.

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So you don't care what your staff get up to? The "you" wasn't fully directed at you personally either, more just the general staff.

If you're not in a position to care about the staff or are the wrong person to report stuff to, did you send the message on to whoever is or just simply ignore it?

I think Neobond's point was that he has his hands full working on the front page and other background/long-term projects. The other Admins are busy with coding and other site issues. They don't always know the people involved and it would take them too long to get up to speed. Thus, complaining to an Admin about a non-mission critical part of the site probably won't get you the response that you want.

The key would be to find a Supervisor that is active on IRC (and yet also isn't "part of the problem") and send them a mature PM that outlines your concerns. Feel free to name, names and cite examples. If you can't find a Supervisor that is active on the IRC then you could potentially send it to me. However, I'll need to know which staff you consider to be part of the problem and which staff could potentially corroborate your story.

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You may also forward a PM to me, however, I do not frequent IRC, so I would have to forward it to someone who is familiar with the situation. Regardless, we follow our Community Rules, so if you break the, you are potentially subject to whatever warns are appropriate.

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One often heard reason for the trollish behaviour is: 'Trying to talk to staff is futile, you will only be stonewalled.' Is that really so? Or isn't it also a question of how you talk to staff?

No. You do get stonewalled. If you query why someone is banned you get told it's just the way it is. This is extremely frustrating when people who you've been talking to for a long time and count as "friends" are suddenly banned for no reason.

The initial bans a few weeks ago that kicked the whole lot of recent drama off was totally unjustified and appeared totally out of the blue. No warning, no knock it off, no nothing. Just an insta warn/10 day ban over a convo that wasn't targeting anyone or offending anyone.

That said the actions that said banned members went out and did after justified a total ban yes, but the first bans did not.

As for the memes, a lot of them formed out of the stonewalling of constructive feedback about the site. Yes, the rounded corners one was retarded but some of the others were perfectly valid. The ones that formed about the horrible grammar/spelling/headlines and fact checking on the front page count amongst them.

Currently we're still looking to assign dedicated IRC moderators.

That will only work if the IRC moderators do not take orders from other non IRC mod members of staff in the #staff channel and if other staff members powers are removed. Otherwise it's just keeping the status quo, but putting out a human shield for the abuse that results when unpopular decisions are made.

It makes no sense that members of say the developer group, some of who rarely join in the conservation have full on admin powers, the ability to +m the channel and ban users. Likewise it makes no sense for random newsies or non moderation staff to go crying to a staffer with power and having a user banned whenever they get their feelings hurt, when if an ordinary member reported it would not result in a ban. (Yes, it does happen)

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No. You do get stonewalled. If you query why someone is banned you get told it's just the way it is. This is extremely frustrating when people who you've been talking to for a long time and count as "friends" are suddenly banned for no reason.

The initial bans a few weeks ago that kicked the whole lot of recent drama off was totally unjustified and appeared totally out of the blue. No warning, no knock it off, no nothing. Just an insta warn/10 day ban over a convo that wasn't targeting anyone or offending anyone.

That said the actions that said banned members went out and did after justified a total ban yes, but the first bans did not.

As for the memes, a lot of them formed out of the stonewalling of constructive feedback about the site. Yes, the rounded corners one was retarded but some of the others were perfectly valid. The ones that formed about the horrible grammar/spelling/headlines and fact checking on the front page count amongst them.

That will only work if the IRC moderators do not take orders from other non IRC mod members of staff in the #staff channel and if other staff members powers are removed. Otherwise it's just keeping the status quo, but putting out a human shield for the abuse that results when unpopular decisions are made.

It makes no sense that members of say the developer group, some of who rarely join in the conservation have full on admin powers, the ability to +m the channel and ban users. Likewise it makes no sense for random newsies or non moderation staff to go crying to a staffer with power and having a user banned whenever they get their feelings hurt, when if an ordinary member reported it would not result in a ban. (Yes, it does happen)

Oh wow so you just hang around here for what then?

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^what DrCheese said. The initial bans were unjustified (the definition of 'trolling' in IRC is completely wrong) and there is no point having these IRC-specific moderators if ultimately any decisions can come from anyone higher up anyway. They would be better named as IRC Scapegoats rather than moderators. They won't help people to start talking again either - you banned three people that made up a good portion of the IRC regulars so now a lot of people have moved on and chat in a channel that doesn't punish banter. As said when you talk to the same people on most nights you get some kind of friendship going on, when you break that up things take a turn for the worse.

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As for the memes, a lot of them formed out of the stonewalling of constructive feedback about the site. Yes, the rounded corners one was retarded but some of the others were perfectly valid. The ones that formed about the horrible grammar/spelling/headlines and fact checking on the front page count amongst them.
This is all new to me. But it's cool to now be perpetually know as "lines 18-19 of the frontpage's source".
That will only work if the IRC moderators do not take orders from other non IRC mod members of staff in the #staff channel and if other staff members powers are removed.
Agreed. Make Mephistopheles moderate again.

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As an IRC moderator, I know a lot of the IRC problems are being blamed on me without what, sudo, meph, or tiag saying my name. If you have issues on IRC, PM me. We can't have an IRC moderator on IRC all the time because we are people too, we have lives. I can't spend all my time on IRC.

Right now, we have 3 dedicated IRC Moderators: me, lcg, and Simon. That is more than enough. We don't need any more because we should have enough to have at least one being active.

It would be hard to moderate IRC without the other staff having powers or a say in things, it's better to get an opinion from people who have done this for a while.

Like I said, since I'm usually on IRC, whether I'm there or away, PM me if you have a question, don't drag it into #neowin. And all my IM info is in my profile if you need it.

As for the posting of something without a NSFW tag, it wasn't meant for #neowin and there was a discussion in the staff channel, that's all you need to know.

Again, you have a problem in IRC, PM me. With classes finally out, I can go back to being on IRC more than I have for the last month.

If you have a question about a ban or a warning on IRC, go to staff. There is no need to drag it out into the open because that only causes more drama and more friction than we need.

That's all I have for now, I am open to any questions you have on IRC, just PM me.

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[22:26] <biohazard> I'm sure you know what I am PM'ing you

[22:27] <what> actually no, i moved off of trolling

[22:27] <biohazard> so, you were still doing it

[22:27] <biohazard> doesnt change the fact that you were doing it

[22:27] <what> after lauras warning i didnt troll

[22:28] <biohazard> still, i am giving you a 6 day ban from irc

[22:28] <what> seriously?

[22:28] <what> whats the point in warnings then?

[22:28] <biohazard> you have been warned previously

[22:29] <what> laura gave us all a warn to stop

[22:29] <what> we stopped

[22:29] <what> i dont understand why you have warnings if they mean nothing?

[22:29] <biohazard> you were warned about trolling a week ago

[22:30] <biohazard> you were given a ban

[22:30] <what> we have all been banned before. dont warn us in the channel if we're going to be banned anyway

[22:30] <what> that isnt how it goes

[22:30] <what> if we dont listen, then you ban

[22:31] <what> one more thing

[22:32] <what> we werent trolling anybody in particular, just recycling old IRC memes

[22:32] <what> no one was being targetting, no one else was involved

[22:32] <what> fusion was asking questions and i was answering them at the same time

[22:32] <what> if we werent saying anything the channel would have been dead anyway

[22:32] <what> i genuinely dont see what harm we were causing

[22:32] <what> we've done what you've asked us to do

And then I was temp banned. A completely logical argument (which is what began this whole thing) that went completely ignored. Can you see why we give up trying to PM? We either 1) get told a staff member isn't active enough in IRC to help or 2) that a staff member wasn't present at the time, or 3) that you should ask someone in charge of IRC, in which case we go back to 2). It doesn't work.

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And then I was temp banned. A completely logical argument (which is what began this whole thing) that went completely ignored. Can you see why we give up trying to PM? We either 1) get told a staff member isn't active enough in IRC to help or 2) that a staff member wasn't present at the time, or 3) that you should ask someone in charge of IRC, in which case we go back to 2). It doesn't work.

I learned a long time ago that Neowin is more of a dictatorship than a democracy. And no I am not being sarcastic or funny, I was actually told that. Once I understood that, I have never gotten another warning. Just do what I do, keep your head down, comment on a post or 2 and don't take it too personally.

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TIL that b10h4z4rd, Icg and Simon are IRC moderators.

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I learned a long time ago that Neowin is more of a dictatorship than a democracy. And no I am not being sarcastic or funny, I was actually told that. Once I understood that, I have never gotten another warning. Just do what I do, keep your head down, comment on a post or 2 and don't take it too personally.

IRC is totally different ballgame man ;)

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No. You do get stonewalled. If you query why someone is banned you get told it's just the way it is.

You know from reading our rules that we do not discuss moderation with other users, as we usually say in response when we're asked about it.

As for developers and other members of staff moderating IRC, that's the way it always has been, and always will be, with the exception of News Posters. Developers run the IRC server, and as such, have always been granted the permission to step in where needed. Generally, I only step in when there aren't any supervisors around, and the moderators need someone higher up the chain to refer to. Often the best way to deal with things when a huge issue has sprung up that is preventing other talk in the channel, is to silence the channel while we deal with it. It prevents things being said that cause people's tempers to run high etc.

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Unban the three that where banned, give them warnings and if it happens again then perma ban, sort out the modding issues on the irc channel and job done, it really is THAT simple ;)

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