An Open Letter to The Escapist Community

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Exley97:
Again, I'm not sure what site you were on, but I don't think it was this one. Although if you're arguing that mods didn't ban me for, for example, telling GG supporters repeatedly that you cannot (legally-speaking) slander "gamers" and they complained a lot and when I didn't get a warning or suspension for said posts, some responded by calling me a piece of sh*t and then THEY got suspended, then yes, that definitely DID happen. On several occasions.

I may have been responding to you about the issue, but I wasn't talking about you in any respect. Don't know much at all about your involvement on this site.

What the hell is "Rank2traffic"? How does a third-party website collect historical Alexa rankings that only Alexa itself has? How does an algorithm extract proprietary Alex data? Sounds shady...

Has anyone else heard of this site or am I crazy?

I mean, the Alexa traffic rankings are public information offered for free, so it just means keeping a log of the rankings over several years. The data, at least the rankings, are in line what I remember when I checked at those times.

Xsjadoblayde:

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

Xsjadoblayde:

He must have been holding onto that one for years, clenched betwixt his buttcheeks. ;)

Ha ha, and they say passive aggressiveness broke the site.

Are the little social justice warriors upset because someone pointed out they destroyed site with their own site with their shark jumping posturing nonsense?

Don't worry have a little internet backslap between yourselves and you'll feel much better better - ahhh don't you feel all morally superior now ; )

That's not passive-aggression, you confused, delicate Snowflake. That's me agreeing with someone else that their observations were shared and humourous so they weren't alone. If I wanted to waste my time communicating with a miserable butt-grudge, I would've done so.

Actually this is exactly the passive-aggressive stuff that people talk about.

"Oh im not aaactually insulting that guy, I am just jokingly agreeing with my buuuuuddy here." Everyone knows exactly what you are doing, and it is designed precisely to skirt around the rules. Then when people take offence and call people like you out on it they are mocked, likely in an attempt to bait the person into getting smacked with a warning.

But, the trend of the popular kids getting passes will continue.

Well, judging by the fact someone got perma'd for offering to provide content whilst disclosing and being honest in regards to their identity (when they absolutely didn't have to), yeah... I don't see us getting anything worthwhile here. I'm seeing shades of Jim Sterlings Ad-block Jimquisition episode here, where he specifically requested and even promised safety in the comment section of that video to discuss it--yet moderators were still more than eager to abuse that trust and ban hammer multiple people regardless of the cease fire.

I'd be all in for Susan or one of the other interested individuals to get the site, if only to release the IPs of anyone still interested in having them back. Maybe we could see the Sterling Vs Yahtzee videos make a return elsewhere, or even on here. Maybe we could see the most excellent Miracle of Sound return in some form, or a strip of any sort from Grey and Carter. But at the moment? I don't blame anyone for not wanting their content here. Moderation is still lop-sided, even by their own admittance they allow things to slide. And then they want to complain about those jumping bans and in the same breath punish anyone who are honest in regards to their identities.

Not anyone's fault that the bans are IP-reliant. Not anyone's fault that those interested in circumventing it can do so easily. But it is someone's fault when moderators screw over and give people the finger.

It'd be like if Rory Fingers came here to offer some content for free, only for the Escapist to suddenly permanent-ban his content because, shocker, its Jim Sterling and he ain't no part of the providers no more. Or Sterh Dust... Jimsaw, since it is October...? Or one of his other several characters.

Point is, this shit is whack. I know people who've been unfairly hit, seen the bullcrap first hand since I've been a consumer of Escapist Magazine since the early 2000s. And it sucks that, rather than accept help, some people want to just slap any offered help aside to the detriment of their own forum and site.

Eri:
Wow social justice much? Just what all gamers love, Anita Sarkeesian.

So how well did Reaxxion do kissing up to the alt right?

That's really sad, this site was a huge part of my teenage years.

But it's not entirely unexpected, lack of interesting original content for a long time, lack of reviews, articles at one point were just paid-ads ect.
So much interesting content used to be on this site, but now it's just a husk and that's really really depressing so see what has come of this place.

Whatever happens, best of luck!

scorn the biomage:
I won't lie I do hope one of the old guard takes control of the site and ban hammers the remaining gaters.
image

This line of thought is what's wrong with communities today.

If I was put in charge of this community tomorrow, you know what I'd do? Not go on a banning spree. I might think some people harbor idiotic opinions but I would not ban them for espousing them.

If someone wants to go off shouting, cursing, and being hostile to posters, that's one thing, but if you express beliefs in a reasonable manner there should be no issue.

Any person that calls for a purge, regardless of their political leanings, is the one that should be removed if anyone was to be.

n0e:
There were a lot of moderators listed when I started, but only 2-3 of them were actually active on the site. To help assist me, I brought over a few friends that volunteered on my old site, GameFront.com, to help out.

They not only wanted to help me with handling forum issues here but actively wanted to help the community and ensure that people were treated fairly. They lasted a few months before they quit, namely due to how toxic the trolls are here and how much of a moral killer it was to constantly have to deal with their petty whining.

Consider for a moment that the toxic and negative experiences that those GameFront moderators had to endure, was the very same toxic and negative experiences that many users who were new to the site had to endure and put up with as well.
And just like your moderator colleagues, a large number of users got fed up and left.

I hope you're beginning to understand why this forum and website has such a poor reputation around the internet, and why it's in the dire state it's in now.

GamerGate was never the problem; this forum has had a bad reputation going back many years, due to constant passive-aggressive behavior, elitism and forum cliques, favoritism and forum aristocracies, and a significant number of people who have turned rules-lawyering into such an artform that they can seemingly weasel their way out of literally any moderation you throw at them.

These problems I've mentioned here were never addressed properly, and so we find ourselves in the predicament we're in now.

Well, apart from the 'nuke the boards' idea:
What about a Paywall as seen on somethingawful? Account creation costs 10 Bucks. If you get banned, you're out 10 Bucks. Whoever doesn't pay gets read only. Quite simple, brings revenue, but hinges on the fairness of bans. Should let a lot of banskirters err on the side of caution, I think.

Eri:
If someone wants to go off shouting, cursing, and being hostile to posters, that's one thing, but if you express beliefs in a reasonable manner there should be no issue.

The problem is that you can be hostile to posters in a nominally reasonable manner.

SolidState:

This forum has had a bad reputation going back many years, due to constant passive-aggressive behavior, elitism and forum cliques, favoritism and forum aristocracies, and a significant number of people who have turned rules-lawyering into such an artform that they can seemingly weasel their way out of literally any moderation you throw at them.

This can just as easily be said for SomethingAwful, NeoGAF, Reddit, and a smattering of other communities and they all fared well by it. I'm not sure you aren't just railing against the nature all online game communities trend toward, nor how you think it can be resolved.

Not to mention that the gravity of all those things is entirely subjective, some people might not like it, some might. Unless you're telling me there's some

Whoracle:
Well, apart from the 'nuke the boards' idea:
What about a Paywall as seen on somethingawful? Account creation costs 10 Bucks. If you get banned, you're out 10 Bucks. Whoever doesn't pay gets read only. Quite simple, brings revenue, but hinges on the fairness of bans. Should let a lot of banskirters err on the side of caution, I think.

There's a reason not many others have tried to imitate it's business model. When you're the biggest kid on the block and pickings are slim then maybe people will fork over the cash but as it stands neither is true for The Escapist, you'd likely just grind new member intake to a halt.
Aside from that one-time payments aren't really all that significant, if one users pays 10$ and stays in good standing then you're not going to get another 10$ from them. So at some point you end up with a userbase that's paid it's bills and generates little to no other revenue, that's a problem when you still have to pay server bills.

SA changed this up by locking some functions behind paywalls (thread search, changing avatars, usernames, titles etc.) or allowing you to pay more to have this done to somebody else. Not a great model if you ask me. I'd be far more willing to pay a monthly 2$ or 3$ fee and have all those functions unlocked freely. Makes more sense from a technical perspective as well.

Eri:

scorn the biomage:
I won't lie I do hope one of the old guard takes control of the site and ban hammers the remaining gaters.
image

This line of thought is what's wrong with communities today.

If I was put in charge of this community tomorrow, you know what I'd do? Not go on a banning spree. I might think some people harbor idiotic opinions but I would not ban them for espousing them.

If someone wants to go off shouting, cursing, and being hostile to posters, that's one thing, but if you express beliefs in a reasonable manner there should be no issue.

Any person that calls for a purge, regardless of their political leanings, is the one that should be removed if anyone was to be.

This is a nice platitude, something you can repeat to yourself and feel good about because you have no actual responsibility to uphold it. But it doesn't work, it always ends in either the community abandoning it's own internal rules because they can't be enforced anyway or a tragedy of the commons situation where, eventually, the bad apples spoil the whole bunch for you and you're left unable to fix what they broke. Bans can be reversed and appealed, rules can be discussed. But when people leave because you're letting assholes run amok in your forums you're not getting them back unless you make a big show of it.

Gordon_4:

DarthCoercis:

Jamcie Kerbizz:

How about we go through every single AAA Publisher week by week focus on one and disect their anti-consumer practices / pro-consumer practices in timeline measured by title releases?

That would be a fascinating read.

Probably also make you want to drink yourself to death.

*shrug* My job is already making me do that, I may as well have something to read.

Okamisama:
Well, judging by the fact someone got perma'd for offering to provide content whilst disclosing and being honest in regards to their identity (when they absolutely didn't have to), yeah... I don't see us getting anything worthwhile here.

Pretty much, you'd think when the site was dying they'd give up on the permaban being forever thing, like at this stage just get Furburt and all their friends back, make bans 2-4 week things, maybe a tad longer and maybe try to retain users who got banned once (for stuff that normally wouldn't even get noticed on other sites) but want another chance to help grow the site.

Okamisama:
Well, judging by the fact someone got perma'd for offering to provide content whilst disclosing and being honest in regards to their identity (when they absolutely didn't have to), yeah... I don't see us getting anything worthwhile here. I'm seeing shades of Jim Sterlings Ad-block Jimquisition episode here, where he specifically requested and even promised safety in the comment section of that video to discuss it--yet moderators were still more than eager to abuse that trust and ban hammer multiple people regardless of the cease fire.

I'd be all in for Susan or one of the other interested individuals to get the site, if only to release the IPs of anyone still interested in having them back. Maybe we could see the Sterling Vs Yahtzee videos make a return elsewhere, or even on here. Maybe we could see the most excellent Miracle of Sound return in some form, or a strip of any sort from Grey and Carter. But at the moment? I don't blame anyone for not wanting their content here. Moderation is still lop-sided, even by their own admittance they allow things to slide. And then they want to complain about those jumping bans and in the same breath punish anyone who are honest in regards to their identities.

Not anyone's fault that the bans are IP-reliant. Not anyone's fault that those interested in circumventing it can do so easily. But it is someone's fault when moderators screw over and give people the finger.

It'd be like if Rory Fingers came here to offer some content for free, only for the Escapist to suddenly permanent-ban his content because, shocker, its Jim Sterling and he ain't no part of the providers no more. Or Sterh Dust... Jimsaw, since it is October...? Or one of his other several characters.

Point is, this shit is whack. I know people who've been unfairly hit, seen the bullcrap first hand since I've been a consumer of Escapist Magazine since the early 2000s. And it sucks that, rather than accept help, some people want to just slap any offered help aside to the detriment of their own forum and site.

They were a ban jumper. They said so in the post. If the Zodiac Killer turned themselves in saying "Hey look, I know Im a wanted criminal and all, but I got some ideas for a TV show" Doesnt mean they are going to not get thrown in jail.

Saelune:
They were a ban jumper. They said so in the post. If the Zodiac Killer turned themselves in saying "Hey look, I know Im a wanted criminal and all, but I got some ideas for a TV show" Doesnt mean they are going to not get thrown in jail.

There's a slight difference in severity, plus you have to kind of acknowledge that the Escapist's moderation is extremely strict, and more towards being flat out heavy handed in the past. The only people that know about the Escapist or give a fuck about the Escapist outside of active members are people that used to come here, which means if you want to revitalise the site your biggest and easiest target markets are those people who stopped coming. Now, the truth is that a significant number of people who used to come and stopped were people that got banned, most of them for weird or silly reasons.

I wouldn't suggest taking back all of those users, some were banned for good reason, but a lot were banned as a side effect of how the moderation used to work here. Realistically if you want to shill imp t-shirts and bigger-avatar subscriptions to people they're going to be the most receptive group and that subscription is a big reason why you shouldn't have a permaban be literally forever except in the most egregious circumstances.

And I don't for one second believe that the site cares that much about civility when it introduced budget /b/ as a subscriber board. What the Escapist has aren't laws to protect the innocent and punish the guilty who harm others, they're a code of conduct, largely hammered out by a succession of management teams who collectively deep-sixed the site. There's no good reason not to re-examine those policies in the light of them spectacularly not working.

Also IP banning is just dumb and we all know it, that's not how IP address allocation works in consumer space. Permanent banning is just threatening someone with something it isn't within your power to carry out, it's a ridiculous idle threat and anyone whose been around the Internet once or twice knows it.

EscapistAccount:

Saelune:
They were a ban jumper. They said so in the post. If the Zodiac Killer turned themselves in saying "Hey look, I know Im a wanted criminal and all, but I got some ideas for a TV show" Doesnt mean they are going to not get thrown in jail.

There's a slight difference in severity, plus you have to kind of acknowledge that the Escapist's moderation is extremely strict, and more towards being flat out heavy handed in the past. The only people that know about the Escapist or give a fuck about the Escapist outside of active members are people that used to come here, which means if you want to revitalise the site your biggest and easiest target markets are those people who stopped coming. Now, the truth is that a significant number of people who used to come and stopped were people that got banned, most of them for weird or silly reasons.

I wouldn't suggest taking back all of those users, some were banned for good reason, but a lot were banned as a side effect of how the moderation used to work here. Realistically if you want to shill imp t-shirts and bigger-avatar subscriptions to people they're going to be the most receptive group and that subscription is a big reason why you shouldn't have a permaban be literally forever except in the most egregious circumstances.

And I don't for one second believe that the site cares that much about civility when it introduced budget /b/ as a subscriber board. What the Escapist has aren't laws to protect the innocent and punish the guilty who harm others, they're a code of conduct, largely hammered out by a succession of management teams who collectively deep-sixed the site. There's no good reason not to re-examine those policies in the light of them spectacularly not working.

Also IP banning is just dumb and we all know it, that's not how IP address allocation works in consumer space. Permanent banning is just threatening someone with something it isn't within your power to carry out, it's a ridiculous idle threat and anyone whose been around the Internet once or twice knows it.

Moderation could be better, could be fairer...but I remember when the first 10 posts on any new Zero Punctuation video were banned for low content.

Even as someone who has complained heavily about how moderation is here, I cannot pretend it is far less severe than back when this site was considered vibrant and alive.

Honestly, I think punishment has become very lax lately in a double-edges sword sort of way. People have said things I think deserve to be punished but havent, but I probably have been over-looked too cause I think the mods these days dont want to thin whats left of the community anymore.

Wont defend the Wild West though...cause I think it should be removed. Hell, I dont even think the people who made it are around anymore, cause it was a bad idea.

I also dont oppose re-doing the CoC cause it clearly is not followed. As shrekfan has also noted, the rules against bigotry are just not enforced at all unless its blatantly calling black people slurs or something.

If you disagree with re-banning ban jumpers, that is fine. I just think its disingenuous to pretend they were banned for something else when 'ban jumping' was and has been pretty clearly defined in what it is and how it is treated.

EscapistAccount:

There's a slight difference in severity, plus you have to kind of acknowledge that the Escapist's moderation is extremely strict, and more towards being flat out heavy handed in the past. The only people that know about the Escapist or give a fuck about the Escapist outside of active members are people that used to come here, which means if you want to revitalise the site your biggest and easiest target markets are those people who stopped coming. Now, the truth is that a significant number of people who used to come and stopped were people that got banned, most of them for weird or silly reasons.

[citation needed] on that one, because it seems like a lot of people stopped coming over time for different reasons, just chalking it up to bans is probably not seeing the forest for the trees.

Saelune:
snip

The issue I have with the code of conduct is, and has always been, that it over-punished rudeness and contentiousness while under-punishing genuine malice and hatred. Like at this stage if someone once told another user to fuck off ten years ago should they be banned to this day? Eh, my inclination would be to say no. However if another user very politely and articulately explained why gay people should be ground up into fertiliser while staying within the post content guidelines (pre hate speech rider, that should be enforced and is a good idea) I would have absolutely zero inclination to unban them, that user should be gone forever. However, according to the CoC both are equivalent offences and warrant the same punishment.

I don't agree with ban jumping but I also don't agree with the moderation system that makes ban jumping attractive in the first place, under my ideal system there would be a punishment for ban jumping but also an incentive to just wait til your account unlocked again, it makes forum users more policeable, keeps them willing to pay a subscription since most of the real benefits of the PubClub were forum oriented and gives them the cooling off time they need.

EDIT: For those that don't know, this is basically 4chan's model of moderation. There are very few bannable offences and most are tiers of suspension, 4chan's rules are sparser than we'd want but the actual punishment scale is really good, it encourages users not to banjump without driving users away.

As for the moderation these days, it's better in all honesty, but most of the damage is at this stage historical. My concern would be with reversing historical banning trends rather than stopping what's going wrong now.

Murlin:
[citation needed] on that one,

Sadly impossible without access to the forum's database and probably historical records they've skimmed off over the years, it's a personally observed thing though that people that got banned were users who'd been around long enough to rack up the requisite number of offences.

EscapistAccount:

Saelune:
snip

The issue I have with the code of conduct is, and has always been, that it over-punished rudeness and contentiousness while under-punishing genuine malice and hatred. Like at this stage if someone once told another user to fuck off ten years ago should they be banned to this day? Eh, my inclination would be to say no. However if another user very politely and articulately explained why gay people should be ground up into fertiliser while staying within the post content guidelines (pre hate speech rider, that should be enforced and is a good idea) I would have absolutely zero inclination to unban them, that user should be gone forever. However, according to the CoC both are equivalent offences and warrant the same punishment.

I don't agree with ban jumping but I also don't agree with the moderation system that makes ban jumping attractive in the first place, under my ideal system there would be a punishment for ban jumping but also an incentive to just wait til your account unlocked again, it makes forum users more policeable, keeps them willing to pay a subscription since most of the real benefits of the PubClub were forum oriented and gives them the cooling off time they need.

As for the moderation these days, it's better in all honesty, but most of the damage is at this stage historical. My concern would be with reversing historical banning trends rather than stopping what's going wrong now.

Murlin:
[citation needed] on that one,

Sadly impossible without access to the forum's database and probably historical records they've skimmed off over the years, it's a personally observed thing though that people that got banned were users who'd been around long enough to rack up the requisite number of offences.

Hey, agree with you on all that. My issue was just how that other person framed the banning.

Thaluikhain:

Eri:
If someone wants to go off shouting, cursing, and being hostile to posters, that's one thing, but if you express beliefs in a reasonable manner there should be no issue.

The problem is that you can be hostile to posters in a nominally reasonable manner.

I'm wondering where people draw the line between "reasonable" and "unreasonable" bigotry.

Is it perfectly okay to let people go around saying that trans people are "just crazy" and refusing to refer to them by their proper pronouns/preferred names? Is it perfectly okay for them to go around saying that gay people are abominations and blights upon the world? Does that go too far, but saying that they just shouldn't get married is totally okay? What about women? Is it perfectly okay for them to say that women are inferior to men (because, make no mistake, that's what statements like "the wage gap doesn't exist"/"men just work more/do harder jobs" mean), so long as they don't call women things like "whores" or "bitches", etc? After all, all of these things are "just beliefs" that they have.

Thaluikhain's post taps into something that a few other posters have mentioned here too: letting people skirt by the rules through some arbitrary level of politeness is dangerous, in more than one way. Not only does it help to perpetuate all of these harmful societal ideas, but it also establishes that the rules are more concerned with policing a person's tone rather than the actual content of their post. While restricting tone to a certain extent is helpful (see: the trainwreck that is the WW subforum), that can't be your only concern when you're setting up the guidelines that will define your community. A group of really polite anti-Semites are still, at the end of the day, talking about how Hitler kinda had the right idea about the Jews.

shrekfan246:

Thaluikhain:

Eri:
If someone wants to go off shouting, cursing, and being hostile to posters, that's one thing, but if you express beliefs in a reasonable manner there should be no issue.

The problem is that you can be hostile to posters in a nominally reasonable manner.

I'm wondering where people draw the line between "reasonable" and "unreasonable" bigotry.

Is it perfectly okay to let people go around saying that trans people are "just crazy" and refusing to refer to them by their proper pronouns/preferred names? Is it perfectly okay for them to go around saying that gay people are abominations and blights upon the world? Does that go too far, but saying that they just shouldn't get married is totally okay? What about women? Is it perfectly okay for them to say that women are inferior to men (because, make no mistake, that's what statements like "the wage gap doesn't exist"/"men just work more/do harder jobs" mean), so long as they don't call women things like "whores" or "bitches", etc? After all, all of these things are "just beliefs" that they have.

All of those things are fine if it is the topic of discussion rather than targeted at a person.

"Transexuals are suffering from a mental illness, this was accepted not long ago until it got popular to say otherwise." (Okay in discussion)
vs
"Fuckoff dude, ya crazy tranny." (not okay)

or

"Sorry but I believe women are inferior to men and unfit for X because Y." (okay in a discussion)
vs
"Go back into the kitchen girly, you don't belong on this forum with us menz." (not okay)

or

"I think men's views should have less weight in this discussion because they have an unfair advantage." (Ok in discussion)
vs
"Go fuck yourself you cis-white twat." (Not oka...wait this one is considered ok by most people who complain about this stuff. xD)

But yes, things should be open for discussion, and no saying things like "The wage gap doesn't exist" is not bigotry, it has never been bigotry and it never will be.

EscapistAccount:

Saelune:
snip

The issue I have with the code of conduct is, and has always been, that it over-punished rudeness and contentiousness while under-punishing genuine malice and hatred. Like at this stage if someone once told another user to fuck off ten years ago should they be banned to this day? Eh, my inclination would be to say no. However if another user very politely and articulately explained why gay people should be ground up into fertiliser while staying within the post content guidelines (pre hate speech rider, that should be enforced and is a good idea) I would have absolutely zero inclination to unban them, that user should be gone forever. However, according to the CoC both are equivalent offences and warrant the same punishment.

I don't agree with ban jumping but I also don't agree with the moderation system that makes ban jumping attractive in the first place, under my ideal system there would be a punishment for ban jumping but also an incentive to just wait til your account unlocked again, it makes forum users more policeable, keeps them willing to pay a subscription since most of the real benefits of the PubClub were forum oriented and gives them the cooling off time they need.

EDIT: For those that don't know, this is basically 4chan's model of moderation. There are very few bannable offences and most are tiers of suspension, 4chan's rules are sparser than we'd want but the actual punishment scale is really good, it encourages users not to banjump without driving users away.

As for the moderation these days, it's better in all honesty, but most of the damage is at this stage historical. My concern would be with reversing historical banning trends rather than stopping what's going wrong now.

Yeah its funny how free speech works. Everyone's for it until someone states that we should kill a bunch of people. Then they can just say it was a joke, like what they say doesn't have consequences. They're also the ones surprised that people get offended, which they can exploit to criticise further for 'emotional weakness'. It's a never ending trap of making other people feel bad.

Warhound:

shrekfan246:

Thaluikhain:

The problem is that you can be hostile to posters in a nominally reasonable manner.

I'm wondering where people draw the line between "reasonable" and "unreasonable" bigotry.

Is it perfectly okay to let people go around saying that trans people are "just crazy" and refusing to refer to them by their proper pronouns/preferred names? Is it perfectly okay for them to go around saying that gay people are abominations and blights upon the world? Does that go too far, but saying that they just shouldn't get married is totally okay? What about women? Is it perfectly okay for them to say that women are inferior to men (because, make no mistake, that's what statements like "the wage gap doesn't exist"/"men just work more/do harder jobs" mean), so long as they don't call women things like "whores" or "bitches", etc? After all, all of these things are "just beliefs" that they have.

All of those things are fine if it is the topic of discussion rather than targeted at a person.

"Transexuals are suffering from a mental illness, this was accepted not long ago until it got popular to say otherwise." (Okay in discussion)
vs
"Fuckoff dude, ya crazy tranny." (not okay)

or

"Sorry but I believe women are inferior to men and unfit for X because Y." (okay in a discussion)
vs
"Go back into the kitchen girly, you don't belong on this forum with us menz." (not okay)

or

"I think men's views should have less weight in this discussion because they have an unfair advantage." (Ok in discussion)
vs
"Go fuck yourself you cis-white twat." (Not oka...wait this one is considered ok by most people who complain about this stuff. xD)

But yes, things should be open for discussion, and no saying things like "The wage gap doesn't exist" is not bigotry, it has never been bigotry and it never will be.

I fail to see the value inherent in any of those "discussions". But your last few paragraphs tell me quite a bit about where your priorities lie, so I'm not even going to bother.

shrekfan246:

Warhound:

shrekfan246:

I'm wondering where people draw the line between "reasonable" and "unreasonable" bigotry.

Is it perfectly okay to let people go around saying that trans people are "just crazy" and refusing to refer to them by their proper pronouns/preferred names? Is it perfectly okay for them to go around saying that gay people are abominations and blights upon the world? Does that go too far, but saying that they just shouldn't get married is totally okay? What about women? Is it perfectly okay for them to say that women are inferior to men (because, make no mistake, that's what statements like "the wage gap doesn't exist"/"men just work more/do harder jobs" mean), so long as they don't call women things like "whores" or "bitches", etc? After all, all of these things are "just beliefs" that they have.

All of those things are fine if it is the topic of discussion rather than targeted at a person.

"Transexuals are suffering from a mental illness, this was accepted not long ago until it got popular to say otherwise." (Okay in discussion)
vs
"Fuckoff dude, ya crazy tranny." (not okay)

or

"Sorry but I believe women are inferior to men and unfit for X because Y." (okay in a discussion)
vs
"Go back into the kitchen girly, you don't belong on this forum with us menz." (not okay)

or

"I think men's views should have less weight in this discussion because they have an unfair advantage." (Ok in discussion)
vs
"Go fuck yourself you cis-white twat." (Not oka...wait this one is considered ok by most people who complain about this stuff. xD)

But yes, things should be open for discussion, and no saying things like "The wage gap doesn't exist" is not bigotry, it has never been bigotry and it never will be.

I fail to see the value inherent in any of those "discussions". But your last few paragraphs tell me quite a bit about where your priorities lie, so I'm not even going to bother.

Because when you let someone expose what they think and can help them understand why they are wrong. Screaming "BIGOOOOOTTTT!" at them and banning them for expressing an honest opinion in a non-targeted way just shows you can't actually refute anything they are saying so have to silence them.

My second to last paragraph was a joke on a well known meme. The last paragraph was a fact. But its fine, no need to respond to it, its a bit off topic anyway.

Warhound:

Because when you let someone expose what they think and can help them understand why they are wrong. Screaming "BIGOOOOOTTTT!" at them and banning them for expressing an honest opinion in a non-targeted way just shows you can't actually refute anything they are saying so have to silence them.

I've already gone over this. Trying to explain to a bigot why they're wrong doesn't work. You're not going to make them change their mind with an internet argument, and quite frankly I'm not sure why so many people believe that you can.

Here, let me frame it in a way you might be more kind to accepting: do you think that you would ever be able to change an "SJW's" mind about the ubiquity of sexism in the world? Do you think that you would ever be able to convince a feminist that actually, the white supremacists who want to subjugate them totally aren't misogynists? If you don't think you could do those things, why do you think you can convince a white supremacist to no longer be a white supremacist? Why do you think you can convince transphobes to accept trans people (in fact, we have extensive evidence on this very website of people outright rejecting factual scientific studies that disprove their transphobic beliefs).

As for your last bit, no, "the wage gap is a myth" is a line perpetuated by sexists in an attempt to shut up women who try to change the inequality inherent in the working place. So for you to claim that it has nothing to do with sexism is, frankly, insulting and revealing.

TDA WP:

Exley97:
Again, I'm not sure what site you were on, but I don't think it was this one. Although if you're arguing that mods didn't ban me for, for example, telling GG supporters repeatedly that you cannot (legally-speaking) slander "gamers" and they complained a lot and when I didn't get a warning or suspension for said posts, some responded by calling me a piece of sh*t and then THEY got suspended, then yes, that definitely DID happen. On several occasions.

I may have been responding to you about the issue, but I wasn't talking about you in any respect. Don't know much at all about your involvement on this site.

What the hell is "Rank2traffic"? How does a third-party website collect historical Alexa rankings that only Alexa itself has? How does an algorithm extract proprietary Alex data? Sounds shady...

Has anyone else heard of this site or am I crazy?

I mean, the Alexa traffic rankings are public information offered for free, so it just means keeping a log of the rankings over several years. The data, at least the rankings, are in line what I remember when I checked at those times.

1. I don't expect you to know about my involvement on this site. But you offered your perspective on the forum moderation, and I explained that in my experience that's not the case.

2. Yes, *current* Alexa rankings are free, but I'm pretty sure the site doesn't offer historical data and analytics on sites unless you are a subscriber. It wouldn't make much sense if Alexa just offered all of that for free (especially now that it's owned by Amazon). So I'm not sure how a no-name site like this lifts historical Alexa traffic numbers (that, again, are subscriber only) using a suspicious algorithm and then turns around and makes that data free. It could be totally legit, but I'm skeptical.

shrekfan246:

Warhound:

Because when you let someone expose what they think and can help them understand why they are wrong. Screaming "BIGOOOOOTTTT!" at them and banning them for expressing an honest opinion in a non-targeted way just shows you can't actually refute anything they are saying so have to silence them.

I've already gone over this. Trying to explain to a bigot why they're wrong doesn't work. You're not going to make them change their mind with an internet argument, and quite frankly I'm not sure why so many people believe that you can.

Here, let me frame it in a way you might be more kind to accepting: do you think that you would ever be able to change an "SJW's" mind about the ubiquity of sexism in the world? Do you think that you would ever be able to convince a feminist that actually, the white supremacists who want to subjugate them totally aren't misogynists? If you don't think you could do those things, why do you think you can convince a white supremacist to no longer be a white supremacist? Why do you think you can convince transphobes to accept trans people (in fact, we have extensive evidence on this very website of people outright rejecting factual scientific studies that disprove their transphobic beliefs).

As for your last bit, no, "the wage gap is a myth" is a line perpetuated by sexists in an attempt to shut up women who try to change the inequality inherent in the working place. So for you to claim that it has nothing to do with sexism is, frankly, insulting and revealing.

Of course, people are cured of being SJWs and feminists all the time, there are lots of easy to find cases of that, if you want I can link you to a couple if google fails you.

Hell, I will freely admit I was a transphobe up until about 2011, then I joined a Dungeons and Dragons game on an old program called OpenRPG and played with a very nice trans-girl who talked to me like I was a person (hard concept to grasp right?) about my views and helped me see what a dipshit I was.

Just because YOU can't change peoples minds because you act like a zealot doesn't mean others can't.

Warhound:
Just because YOU can't change peoples minds because you act like a zealot doesn't mean others can't.

I think it's worth noting at this point that, myself, a homosexual man and Arnoxthe1 who is trans are both against the idea of heavy-handing those rules as Shrek suggests, despite us being the ones who are the victims of this apparent "Bigotry".

You have to admit, there's something a little odd here when those who'd be affected by it are against the idea whilst somebody who, as far as I know, wouldn't be, is arguing for it.

Not that us two speak for all people, of course.

shrekfan246:

Trying to explain to a bigot why they're wrong doesn't work. You're not going to make them change their mind with an internet argument.

I think you being unable to change peoples minds has more to do with your approach than anything else. I've changed plenty peoples minds in internet discussions.

Warhound:

Because when you let someone expose what they think and can help them understand why they are wrong. Screaming "BIGOOOOOTTTT!" at them and banning them for expressing an honest opinion in a non-targeted way just shows you can't actually refute anything they are saying so have to silence them.

People will not change their minds unless they're already on the fence about something. In fact there's evidence to suggest being presented with facts does not make people correct their misconceptions. Worse yet, there's evidence that people, when confronted with evidence undermining their position, will naturally tend to dismiss it.

The notion that you can simply refute a person's arguments until they are "defeated" and forced to re-evaluate their position is a false one, people are more then capable of contorting their beliefs and arguments in ways as to continue arguing ad infinitum. And why wouldn't they? I don't lose anything by bloviating all day about how the earth is flat even if you present me with fact after fact after fact that it's a completely delusional position.

And at what point is it still expedient to try and correct somebody who is completely non-receptive? At what point are you allowed to call a spade a spade, and a bigot a bigot? And at why shouldn't you show them the door if you know that they aren't going to change their minds and all they're doing is annoying other users?

Murlin:

And at why shouldn't you show them the door if you know that they aren't going to change their minds and all they're doing is annoying other users?

There will always be users with a lower tolerance for bigotry and as you say its difficult to know where to draw the line. For example it seems Shrek believes someone who says that the gender wage gap is a myth hates women and that a woman hater needs to be kicked out tout suite.

Determining whether or not someone is a bigot is really going to depend on whom is doing the determining and it is going to be different from person to person where they draw the line.

And as we've seen in Neogaf such heavy handed (politically motivated) moderation might begin with good intention but it tends to lead to ever radicalized politics until they kick someone like boogie2988 which really shouldn't be what a gaming forum is about.

One possibility is to just limit political discussions like that to threads where its relevant and punish people if they bring it into threads where it Isn't, if a person can't take having their political stance being challenged they can then stay out of threads where such discussion is allowed.

In said threads openly bigoted comments/alt right memes "Women ruined gaming - Day of the rope - remove kebab" should then (at moderators judgement) be harshly punished whilst those that can perhaps be interpreted as bigotry "Women simply aren't as proficient with technology" are let off with a warning (at moderators judgement).

Its still a slippery slope but I agree that something needs to be done on every forum that intends to have civil discussion to ward off the alt-right, the suggestion of the purge, I don't think it would work out in the long run.

If there is to be any hope of ever becoming a content-driven site again that is just a plain bad idea, people who join the forum will hopefully be those who came here for the content and what with most people playing videogames and having internet these days they are going to be a politically diverse crowd and I'd rather ideas were brainstormed to handle that fact rather than discouraging everyone of an entire political leaning to try and appeal to a fringe who can't handle having their ideas challenged, though mind you I'm not saying that the idea of establishing a safespace can't work, it has succeeded before, it just didn't end well.

I've changed my mind

Murlin:
There's a reason not many others have tried to imitate it's business model. When you're the biggest kid on the block and pickings are slim then maybe people will fork over the cash but as it stands neither is true for The Escapist, you'd likely just grind new member intake to a halt.

Yeah. It'll grind new signups down. From my perspective that's the point. New and more members in the boards isn't, according to Fappy, bringing in revenue, and in addition it isn't, according to me, beneficial to the site all in all. Hence my stance on nuking the boards completely. Barring that, one could always pull a bit of revenue (more than now, at least) from the boards, and it'd work as a deterrent against serial banjumpers. Make it 5 Bucks, make it 2, or make it monthly, I don't care. As long as it imposes a barrier to banjumping.

Also, you won't get the bored trolls at all with such a method. Only people who have at least a slight interest in the forums anyways. Well, those, and the rich bored trolls. Still better than the current FFA.

Aside from that one-time payments aren't really all that significant, if one users pays 10$ and stays in good standing then you're not going to get another 10$ from them. So at some point you end up with a userbase that's paid it's bills and generates little to no other revenue, that's a problem when you still have to pay server bills.

Wanted to talk about this as an extra point, but I accidentially did so already above. So, see above: Forums don't bring revenue now, with a fee they'd bring at least a bit more revenue.

The whole site would need some kind of patreon deal to break even or be profitable.

SA changed this up by locking some functions behind paywalls (thread search, changing avatars, usernames, titles etc.) or allowing you to pay more to have this done to somebody else. Not a great model if you ask me. I'd be far more willing to pay a monthly 2$ or 3$ fee and have all those functions unlocked freely. Makes more sense from a technical perspective as well.

Yeah, no, that part of SA works for them, but I wouldn't propose it here. Just the one time sign-up fee (or, as you said, a flat rate). Everyone that doesn't pay gets read only.

Nikolaz72:

Determining whether or not someone is a bigot is really going to depend on whom is doing the determining and it is going to be different from person to person where they draw the line.

In said threads openly bigoted comments/alt right memes "Women ruined gaming - Day of the rope - remove kebab" should then (at moderators judgement) be harshly punished whilst those that can perhaps be interpreted as bigotry "Women simply aren't as proficient with technology" are let off with a warning (at moderators judgement).

The bigger issue always remains that nobody knows the rules better then the people who skirt their limits. You can write an exhaustive, iron-clad code of conduct and you'll still have to deal with bad faith actors who manage to stay just within the limits of acceptable. The idea of a purge then isn't just to get rid of those people, it's to signal a definitive stance taken by your community against them. It's a gamble and it has no guarantee of succeeding.

I mean I wouldn't be entirely on board with it either, but from my experience performing the nuanced, reasonable discussion plea does nothing in the long run because the people you want gone, the people who chase out forum-goers and poison the well, either don't feel concerned or see it as a signal to step up their game. I want to believe in diversity of opinion as much as any other but I've seen it go wrong too often.

Andy Chalk:
I've changed my mind

About what?

Exley97:
1. I don't expect you to know about my involvement on this site. But you offered your perspective on the forum moderation, and I explained that in my experience that's not the case.

You acted as if your experience, which is a tiny fraction of the experiences on these forums, is some sort of refutation. It isn't.

2. Yes, *current* Alexa rankings are free, but I'm pretty sure the site doesn't offer historical data and analytics on sites unless you are a subscriber. It wouldn't make much sense if Alexa just offered all of that for free (especially now that it's owned by Amazon). So I'm not sure how a no-name site like this lifts historical Alexa traffic numbers (that, again, are subscriber only) using a suspicious algorithm and then turns around and makes that data free. It could be totally legit, but I'm skeptical.

I mean, they had it public at the time, so someone just needed to track it over several years. They also don't have robots.txt on the Alexa site, so you can just lift a lot of it off the archives.

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