Cleaning Up The Community


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Vice
I've been an admin on this site for something like 4 or 5 years now and a moderator for years before that.

I participate in a lot of topics here on Neowin and elsewhere. I don't have problems with users unless they start to get insult me. I have been known to insult back (which I freely admit I shouldn't).

I know a lot of people who have left Neowin over the past couple of years who did so because they found the behavior in the community here to be abusive, juvenile and toxic.

In my experience, people who get banned always say "You banned me because I didn't agree with your views" in which apparently means objecting to someone calling you a "douche" or what have you is somehow their idea of some sort of reasoned discussion.

To be honest in the thread in question no one called you a douchebag. He said you was out of touch with the community and you mentioned a ban. Just saying, don't taze me bro. :p

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petrossa

I am not a mod (seems a thankless job to me) but i am too disliked by people. The epitaphs i've collected over the short 6 years on board would fill a dictionary of insults.

However is that a reason to change yourself? It would be only so if you wanted to be liked. I like myself, seems good enough to me.

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Laura
....

In my experience, people who get banned always say "You banned me because I didn't agree with your views" in which apparently means objecting to someone calling you a "douche" or what have you is somehow their idea of some sort of reasoned discussion.

This is always frustrating.

A ban never happens without a lot of discussion and the input of senior staff (except for one post spammers of course). We try very, very hard to be objective as far as actual opinions go, and will never ban because someone doesn't like something or complains about xyz. The key is the way that person expressed their views.

"I don't like x because of y, and would prefer it had z instead"

is very different to

"omfg you retard, why is x like y, ****** give me ****** z now *************"

Going back to what Fred sed,

Keeping a 0% warning level on Neowin is really not all that difficult:

1. Show some respect to the other members (even if you think they are completely loopy, chances are that other people can see it too without you spelling it out).

2. Don't make it look to other viewers that Neowin supports warez (we don't want that reputation).

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?show...#entry592066736

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Shadrack

I never really thought there were many behavior problems on Neowin. I personally enjoy reading the heated discussions. Maybe I'm missing the parts where people are being just nasty to one another because they are being moderated before I get to them <<shrug>>.

My own personal theory as to why the board stats are what they are:

Windows XP Skinning was kind of a niche this board had. Vista and 7 don't seem to draw the same community that XP did with skinning. I also have noticed a sharp decline in posts in the Complete Wallpaper forum, which was also another niche of Neowin back in the day.

I really like the new per-post voting system that looks like Neowin will be implementing with Atlas. I think that simple feature will help the forum be more self-moderated.

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Frogboy
To be honest in the thread in question no one called you a douchebag. He said you was out of touch with the community and you mentioned a ban. Just saying, don't taze me bro. :p

Not talking about the thread in question. But in that thread in question, his response was pretty insulting overall.

If I had guests at my house and one of them were talking to me like that user was, I'd ask him to leave. As I wrote later, I shouldn't have responded nastily back. We all have our days. I could have removed my comment but I felt that would be dishonest. I said something nasty back and I felt I should have to live with the consequences of that.

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+Gary7
Not talking about the thread in question. But in that thread in question, his response was pretty insulting overall.

If I had guests at my house and one of them were talking to me like that user was, I'd ask him to leave. As I wrote later, I shouldn't have responded nastily back. We all have our days. I could have removed my comment but I felt that would be dishonest. I said something nasty back and I felt I should have to live with the consequences of that.

Give yourself a warning. :rolleyes:

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petrossa
I never really thought there were many behavior problems on Neowin. I personally enjoy reading the heated discussions. Maybe I'm missing the parts where people are being just nasty to one another because they are being moderated before I get to them <<shrug>>.

My own personal theory as to why the board stats are what they are:

Windows XP Skinning was kind of a niche this board had. Vista and 7 don't seem to draw the same community that XP did with skinning. I also have noticed a sharp decline in posts in the Complete Wallpaper forum, which was also another niche of Neowin back in the day.

I really like the new per-post voting system that looks like Neowin will be implementing with Atlas. I think that simple feature will help the forum be more self-moderated.

Yep. I feel the same. The net is well saturated with techie sites. You need a richer mainpage, more less techie stuff. Make it more general news.?

Or get a better grip on your demographics, which group do you want to cater too? You can't have them all.

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Frogboy
I am not a mod (seems a thankless job to me) but i am too disliked by people. The epitaphs i've collected over the short 6 years on board would fill a dictionary of insults.

However is that a reason to change yourself? It would be only so if you wanted to be liked. I like myself, seems good enough to me.

Well said. That's how I feel too.

As Laura says, it's not the opinions someone has that's the issue, it's how they're expressed.

What we want to do is create an environment where someone can have a conversation without being insulted.

The comments on news are a typical example. Nearly every news item with significant numbers of comments ends up with one or more people either insulting the person who made the news item or insulting that the news item exists at all.

I'd love to get more industry vets onto Neowin but it's not going to happen until the civility of the community is ramped up some.

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Dr. Gonzo
Not talking about the thread in question. But in that thread in question, his response was pretty insulting overall.

If I had guests at my house and one of them were talking to me like that user was, I'd ask him to leave. As I wrote later, I shouldn't have responded nastily back. We all have our days. I could have removed my comment but I felt that would be dishonest. I said something nasty back and I felt I should have to live with the consequences of that.

What "consequences"? As you say, this is your house. At least be honest about it; you can do and say whatever you please here, and no one will (or can) do anything about it.

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Frogboy
Give yourself a warning. :rolleyes:

Heh. I was tempted but I thought leaving my comment up as a scarlet letter for myself was a better incentive to make me not lose my temper in the future. As some of the staff know, I don't like seeing comments removed (whether they be my own or others).

On Stardock news items, I've seen trolling comments removed enmasse (which naturally people blame on me) when what I think would be better would have been warns to the users in question and leaving the comments up.

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Vice
Well said. That's how I feel too.

As Laura says, it's not the opinions someone has that's the issue, it's how they're expressed.

What we want to do is create an environment where someone can have a conversation without being insulted.

The comments on news are a typical example. Nearly every news item with significant numbers of comments ends up with one or more people either insulting the person who made the news item or insulting that the news item exists at all.

I'd love to get more industry vets onto Neowin but it's not going to happen until the civility of the community is ramped up some.

I'd like that. Also I like the idea of the warns actually meaning something, but only if the warns are approved by at-least 2 members of staff. e.g. the one who saw the comment originally applies for a warn on the user then another member of staff has to review it and sign off. That would stop people from going rogue or making mistakes with their warnings that everyone knows happens but none of us are allowed to discuss in the open.

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Shadrack
Yep. I feel the same. The net is well saturated with techie sites. You need a richer mainpage, more less techie stuff. Make it more general news.

Or get a better grip on your demographics, which group do you want to cater too? You can't have them all.

Definitely. Seems like recently, the political discussions (which is mostly Sarah Palin and Obama news or just people bitching) dominate the "Latest Forum Activity" posts.

They are interesting discussions (some of them), and it is interesting that people with very similar interests in technology can have very different political views. But the political discussions and non-tech related news stuff seems to be out-of-scope IMHO.

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Orange Battery

Good job.

Ive also found in the last few years that a lot more posts are just pointless. I know that if I have a question or have found something interesting then I'm more likely to post it on a more dedicated site to that issue. I found Neowin years before I joined and a lot of the topics were really interesting, I joined so I could add my opinion.

Now days I look at the front page and there might be one topic that interests me and that will usually be filled with one word replies such as "lol" "Epic" etc..

Id love to invest again in the community and really hope this type of action moves us forward.

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Fred Derf
I'd like that. Also I like the idea of the warns actually meaning something, but only if the warns are approved by at-least 2 members of staff. e.g. the one who saw the comment originally applies for a warn on the user then another member of staff has to review it and sign off. That would stop people from going rogue or making mistakes with their warnings that everyone knows happens but none of us are allowed to discuss in the open.

Members can always discuss their warnings with Supervisors. I have reversed warnings in the past (my own and from other moderators).

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Vice
Members can always discuss their warnings with Supervisors. I have reversed warnings in the past (my own and from other moderators).

I'm aware of that, but in the first post it says your be restricted for a certain time period, does this stop you from being able to log in to the board and PM?

Also I've PM'd moderators before and never received a reply, I don't think they all pay attention. There is only a few mods I know that if I PM them I will 100% get a reply (you are one of those)

And also you guys want your warns to be consistent right? Then have 2 people required to warn and it will greatly increase the quality of the site when it comes to dishing out punishments which is the main thing members have a problem with.

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Diabolii

isnt the age requirement for neowin age 13? Ive seen ppl here say you should be able to talk like adults. I have a younger brother that comes here and while kids are more grown up now, things do rub of on them.

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+Gary7
Heh. I was tempted but I thought leaving my comment up as a scarlet letter for myself was a better incentive to make me not lose my temper in the future. As some of the staff know, I don't like seeing comments removed (whether they be my own or others).

On Stardock news items, I've seen trolling comments removed enmasse (which naturally people blame on me) when what I think would be better would have been warns to the users in question and leaving the comments up.

I was just funnin with you anyway. :)

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lamminium

I haven't really been here long enough but from what I've observed for the last few months, most of the mods were fair and friendly ("most" because I only frequent a few subforums where their presence is felt).

On-topic: The new warning system works for me.

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Shadrack
Heh. I was tempted but I thought leaving my comment up as a scarlet letter for myself was a better incentive to make me not lose my temper in the future. As some of the staff know, I don't like seeing comments removed (whether they be my own or others).

On Stardock news items, I've seen trolling comments removed enmasse (which naturally people blame on me) when what I think would be better would have been warns to the users in question and leaving the comments up.

+1. I too dislike it when comments are removed or when topics are closed because 2 or more participants relentlessly spam their own drivel in the topic. Some perfectly good topics with good discussions have been closed because of a minority of trouble makers. Makes more sense to ban specific people rather than closing a topic. Unless the thread OP violates some specific rule or is obvious flamebait or trolling.

Again, I think the per-post voting will help resolve this issue. If a particular post in a thread is just an extremely vial and upsetting one and it has a huge negative number as its vote, I think a lot of people won't see a need to reply to that person which really just adds fuel to the fire.

But it is very hard to see a post that is full of a lot of ignorance and arrogance and just leave it alone.

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Fred Derf
I'm aware of that, but in the first post it says your be restricted for a certain time period, does this stop you from being able to log in to the board and PM?

Also I've PM'd moderators before and never received a reply, I don't think they all pay attention. There is only a few mods I know that if I PM them I will 100% get a reply (you are one of those)

When members are restricted we usually (almost always) hand out a posting restriction which means they can read the full site, send/receive PMs and do everything but post new messages on the forum. There is a site suspension (essentially a temp ban) but that is rarely used. For one thing, we need to remember to send the notification through email because they otherwise won't get the PM until their suspension ends.

So, if you get a normal warning (with or without a posting restriction) then you will be able to send a Supervisor a PM about the warning.

I think most PMs that don't get answered usually ask if the other guy received a warning as well. The vast majority of the time they do but we can't reveal that sort of information about other members. I still try to send a message back even if only to say that I can't say.

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Vice
When members are restricted we usually (almost always) hand out a posting restriction which means they can read the full site, send/receive PMs and do everything but post new messages on the forum. There is a site suspension (essentially a temp ban) but that is rarely used. For one thing, we need to remember to send the notification through email because they otherwise won't get the PM until their suspension ends.

So, if you get a normal warning (with or without a posting restriction) then you will be able to send a Supervisor a PM about the warning.

I think most PMs that don't get answered usually ask if the other guy received a warning as well. The vast majority of the time they do but we can't reveal that sort of information about other members. I still try to send a message back even if only to say that I can't say.

Sorry I edited my post that you just quoted before you got a chance to read it, I said in it also that if you want your warns to be consistent it would be best to have 2 mods required (any 2 on the site) to make the warning come in to affect.

Consistency is a sign of professionalism and it is something the members in this thread have brought up in lots of posts.

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PricklyPoo

I still don't understand why people complain about Frogboy... Always seemed nice and respectful towards the community, except for maybe that one thread about the new skinning system. :p

Seems like kind of a recent trend to bash on him. Well, I think criticism of Stardock has kind of lead into it, don't exactly know how though.

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Calum
[...]

People should be able to create discussion topics without some guy coming on and insulting them. If you can't disagree with someone without getting insulting, then it's probably better not to participate in the discussion.

[...]

I feel the exact same way. It is very easy to discuss and debate an issue, whilst at all times respecting the poster who expresses an opposing viewpoint. I've discussed homosexual marriage with people in the gay marriage thread, some of which have expressed quite insulting views, yet I have still treated the member with respect and instead of insulting them, I disected their post/s and politely pointed out flaws in their views - that's how a discussion should work. If everybody discussed in such a way, this whole community would be more enjoyable for a lot of people.

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Fred Derf
Sorry I edited my post that you just quoted before you got a chance to read it, I said in it also that if you want your warns to be consistent it would be best to have 2 mods required (any 2 on the site) to make the warning come in to affect.

Consistency is a sign of professionalism and it is something the members in this thread have brought up in lots of posts.

My point was that members have the option of involving a second staffer in the form of a Supervisor thus satisfying your requirements.

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Vice
My point was that members have the option of involving a second staffer in the form of a Supervisor thus satisfying your requirements.

But by then the uneven moderation has already been done, by which time the damage to your reputation (the moderators) is already done.

I'm suggesting a way to improve your site why not just accept that and say you will look in to doing it? It's not like I'm suggesting something that would ruin the site, this would improve it.

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