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  • [NEW] Community-Driven Silence Program

    COMMUNITY-DRIVEN SILENCE PROGRAM


    Trench Wars Staff is beginning to roll out a player-driven system to stem the tide of highly controversial chat that often seems to take over the public arena. If a player feels that a certain player?s speech is highly disruptive, inappropriate, or may otherwise require staff attention (even if they are not outright breaking a listed rule), the player may submit a report to Trench Wars Staff to have the chat reviewed.


    To be very clear, this system is not intended to report outright rule violations, such as blatant racism or teamkilling. Those reports should still be made with the ?cheater command.


    These silences cannot be appealed and will not count on their disciplinary record - each offense is independent from any incurred in the past.


    This system is about enforcing community standards of acceptable speech with the aim of improving quality-of-play for the majority of our players. There is a coded mechanism into the bot that will automatically notify staff to review a player?s speech if a certain number of unique reports are received in a predetermined time frame.


    After receiving the report, a staff member will review the chat and determine if a temporary silence should be issued. If a temporary silence is issued, it will result in the player in question being silenced for 60 minutes. The 60 minute silence does not increase in duration as a silence issued for racism would due to repeat occurrences. Once the player is unsilenced, new reports will need to be received to have their speech reviewed by staff again. If staff determines that no action is warranted, no action will be taken.


    HOW TO MAKE A REPORT:
    1. All commands will be private messaged to TW-Pubsystem.
    2. The command to report a player is as follows: !report <player>:<reason>

      Examples:
      !report playerA:being extremely rude and insulting
      !report playerB:talking incessantly about race and religion


    PUNISHMENT FOR FRAUDULENT REPORTS


    All reports will be vetted by staff to ensure that one player is not submitting multiple reports from different usernames in order to target a specific player and abuse the system. If fraudulent reports are detected by staff, the player in violation will receive the following punishments:


    First offense --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14 day zone ban

    Second offense ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30 day zone ban

    Third offense -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 90 day zone ban

    Fourth offense ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 180 day zone ban

    Fifth offense -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 365 day zone ban


    Further punishments will be at the discretion of ban operators. Please note that ?fraudulent? reports are ones that indicate a player or player(s) are deliberately attempting to subvert the system. This does not include reports that staff review and simply deem no action is necessary.

    Please excuse the terrible formatting here. Copy & Paste from Google Docs into here makes a formatting disaster that cannot be altered with the in forum editor. Here is a link to the formatted version of the document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Duel Pasta> great
    Duel Pasta> I spilled juice on my face


    Tower> NATIONAL WEED YOUR GARDEN DAY


    TWLB Champion Season 12
    TWLJ Champion Season 11
    TWLB All-Star Season 10
    Best undeserved TWL title winner in Trench Wars history

  • #2
    So several people have to report someone and all that happens is they get silenced for an hour?

    Then they are free to offend again?

    Is it a longer silence for repeat offences? I think unless we're talking at least 3 month silences it's not strong enough a punishment.

    E.g. these punishments looked right until I realised what they were for.

    Code:
    First offense --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14 day zone ban
    
    Second offense ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30 day zone ban
    
    Third offense -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 90 day zone ban
    
    Fourth offense ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 180 day zone ban
    
    Fifth offense -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 365 day zone ban
    


    The offenders change names regularly anyway to evade ignore.txt. Can they counter a silence by making a new name?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Rab View Post
      So several people have to report someone and all that happens is they get silenced for an hour?

      Then they are free to offend again?

      Is it a longer silence for repeat offences? I think unless we're talking at least 3 month silences it's not strong enough a punishment.

      E.g. these punishments looked right until I realised what they were for.

      The offenders change names regularly anyway to evade ignore.txt. Can they counter a silence by making a new name?
      1. Yes.
      2. Yes.
      3. No. Read the document I posted.
      4. They cannot counter a silence by making a new name, just as with any BanC silence. Unless they are evading the ban via IP/MID or some combination, they will be re-silenced on a new name. If they are evading the silence via those means, it will become a matter of ban evasion and they will be zone banned accordingly.
      Duel Pasta> great
      Duel Pasta> I spilled juice on my face


      Tower> NATIONAL WEED YOUR GARDEN DAY


      TWLB Champion Season 12
      TWLJ Champion Season 11
      TWLB All-Star Season 10
      Best undeserved TWL title winner in Trench Wars history

      Comment


      • #4
        And to be very clear, the parameters of this system are subject to change. This is how it is being rolled out. As with anything new, time and testing will allow us to make necessary adjustments to make sure this was not all for nothing.
        Duel Pasta> great
        Duel Pasta> I spilled juice on my face


        Tower> NATIONAL WEED YOUR GARDEN DAY


        TWLB Champion Season 12
        TWLJ Champion Season 11
        TWLB All-Star Season 10
        Best undeserved TWL title winner in Trench Wars history

        Comment


        • #5
          Are you saving stats on who gets silenced? For example so 6 months from now you could review and ban the top 10 offenders.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rab View Post
            Are you saving stats on who gets silenced? For example so 6 months from now you could review and ban the top 10 offenders.
            The silence that is given is exactly the same as a silence for racism, and is recorded in the same manner. The only difference is that these do not affect disciplinary records at this point and do not increase in duration as they increase in frequency. And to answer the last portion, there are no plans for banning top offenders at this point.

            As always, things can change, and discretion will still be part of the game when upper staff is involved.
            Duel Pasta> great
            Duel Pasta> I spilled juice on my face


            Tower> NATIONAL WEED YOUR GARDEN DAY


            TWLB Champion Season 12
            TWLJ Champion Season 11
            TWLB All-Star Season 10
            Best undeserved TWL title winner in Trench Wars history

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah I got that, but my question was are you logging the data, such that when you realise this system is too weak you can see who the top offenders are.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rab View Post
                Yeah I got that, but my question was are you logging the data, such that when you realise this system is too weak you can see who the top offenders are.
                The data is logged like all BanCs. If we need to go back and look at it, we can. Each silence issued under this program is tagged that it came from this program.
                Duel Pasta> great
                Duel Pasta> I spilled juice on my face


                Tower> NATIONAL WEED YOUR GARDEN DAY


                TWLB Champion Season 12
                TWLJ Champion Season 11
                TWLB All-Star Season 10
                Best undeserved TWL title winner in Trench Wars history

                Comment


                • #9
                  This seems dangerous, it's a system based on whoever is offended and it's enforced by staff opinion. Someone could say something potentially offensive and the person reporting them could not be offended at all, they would basically be reporting to get that person silenced... but they would play like it offended them. This is the issue I have with this. You don't really know the sincerity of people involved or the reporting. Most people more than being bothered by speech just want to use staff to make bad things happen to other people so they feel powerful themselves. If someone really disliked someone elses speech they could just ?ignore and move on.

                  It kind of reminds me of something you would find during the time of Stalin. People reporting other people to the secret police. It's not a very transparent system either. Staff themselves could have huge biases toward players, vetting could not be done properly because of those biases.

                  It's also a system where if you have friends in the game you are less likely to get reported. If you don't have friends then people may be out to get you. So it favors certain people over others and there is no warning system built into it. You just get silenced out of nowhere which seems more punishment based than deterrent based.

                  I've long said if you have an issue with text and can't use ?ignore for some reason, then create a team of people who actively start positive topics in pub chat. so if there is a topic of racism going on in pub, the team you created will start talking about how they are fixing up their car or some shit, and other people on the team get involved in that convo, and it diverts the pub convo away from the less ideal conversation. Either that or just enforce actual rules on racism and hate speech and define it properly. It's not hard.
                  Last edited by Falconeer; 09-26-2019, 01:22 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How about you stop talking and then it would be less necessary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't talk in Trench wars Pub, only entered TW once since the server move. =)

                      Also, didn't you ignore my forum posts?

                      I think a reporting system isn't that ideal because of the potential problems with who would be making reports. In most cases it would be someone who really dislikes someone else and there is a known issue between those two players. In most cases, after 20 years playing subspace, and being on the internet, people probably wouldn't actually be offended by what the person said more than they would just be trying to silence the person they dislike to laugh about it etc.

                      Staff should just be enforcing proper rules themselves, and leave it entirely out of the hands of the public. It's not hard to define what racism or hate speech is. And maybe decisions and discussions around decisions should be made public. So long as you are on the moral side of the issue no one else has a leg to stand on. imo.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rab View Post
                        So several people have to report someone and all that happens is they get silenced for an hour?

                        Then they are free to offend again?
                        To be absolutely clear, these silences have nothing to do with breaking any rules. Those being silenced are not offenders except in the sense of the public taste. It's a way for the community to enforce its own standards. Which standards those are depends on who is currently in the game. This allows the public to decide at any point what is or is not disruptive, much like the mute or gag functions in many games.

                        This means that players can be silenced for having unpopular political views, rambling on excessively, being rude, making tasteless jokes, excessive sexual talk, etc. We have established absolutely no guidelines in terms of what constitutes "disruptive" speech; that's something every person can decide for themselves. So long as a reasonable case can be made that the talk is disruptive, and several people report it in a certain amount of time, the mute will be issued. The chief role of moderators in this process is ensuring reports are not fraudulent. Even if the moderator does not find the speech personally offensive, they are still obligated to perform their duty.

                        For the system to function best, players who take offense to certain kinds of speech should simply !report whenever this happens.

                        Over time, those who are muted regularly are likely to do one of the following: continue to receive regular mutes; modify their behavior so as not to receive mutes; or quit.

                        There are no plans at this time to issue game bans for anyone receiving mutes due to violating standards of public decency.
                        "You're a gentleman," they used to say to him. "You shouldn't have gone murdering people with a hatchet; that's no occupation for a gentleman."
                        -Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by qan View Post
                          To be absolutely clear, these silences have nothing to do with breaking any rules. Those being silenced are not offenders except in the sense of the public taste. It's a way for the community to enforce its own standards. Which standards those are depends on who is currently in the game. This allows the public to decide at any point what is or is not disruptive, much like the mute or gag functions in many games.

                          This means that players can be silenced for having unpopular political views, rambling on excessively, being rude, making tasteless jokes, excessive sexual talk, etc. We have established absolutely no guidelines in terms of what constitutes "disruptive" speech; that's something every person can decide for themselves. So long as a reasonable case can be made that the talk is disruptive, and several people report it in a certain amount of time, the mute will be issued. The chief role of moderators in this process is ensuring reports are not fraudulent. Even if the moderator does not find the speech personally offensive, they are still obligated to perform their duty.

                          For the system to function best, players who take offense to certain kinds of speech should simply !report whenever this happens.

                          Over time, those who are muted regularly are likely to do one of the following: continue to receive regular mutes; modify their behavior so as not to receive mutes; or quit.

                          There are no plans at this time to issue game bans for anyone receiving mutes due to violating standards of public decency.
                          Yeah but qan most games you are comparing this too have a vote gag system. This sounds like its 1 report, and the vote happens privately in staff after, based on just 1 person being "offended" (them being offended could not even be the case). Doesn't seem like it's about setting community standards when only one person in the community decided to report it.

                          If you want the community to decide, then after the report comes in staff might as well run a public pub poll asking if the person should be silenced. lol This is something you can do on the bot. Even though that's mob rule, at least it's better because it takes power away from one individual who may be seeking to only do harm, and leaves power with the community. You can have a registration system for bot polls so only registered voters can vote. This ensures no cheating.

                          or better yet the poll should ask if the speech was offensive.
                          Last edited by Falconeer; 09-26-2019, 01:47 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sounds good, thank you!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              qan yeah I get it, and I do appreciate the progress in the right direction, I just foresee 2 things:
                              1. Staff will get annoyed having to appove reports against the same handful of people. As already confirmed, you'll have the data so if you choose to take extra steps you'll be able to. An alternative to more severe punishment might be automatic approval for known offenders.
                              2. Players will get tired of reporting the same handful of people, knowing there'll only be a 1 hour silence and they'll have to report again. Some players will stop using the feature, then the reporting threshold will not be met, then no reports will escalate to staff. It would be easy to conclude that less reports means the system was working, but in this scenario less reports is a bad thing. I'm not even sure we'll ever hit sufficient reports to hit the unknown threshold, reporting people requires a degree of giving-a-fuck that most people don't have, even if they would prefer for the players to be silenced.

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