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  • [NEW] Rule Revisions Upcoming & SPAM Rule Revised NOW!

    Hi everyone,

    You're probably growing tired of me posting things with the [NEW] tag on them and rolling out some sort of program to try to curb the cancerous chat we see within pub daily. They have largely been failures with a few successes in sum and substance, but I guess I just ask for patience going forward. !votemute is not fully tested and the goal is to have it automated at some point soon so that moderators do not need to be physically present to have the silence issued.

    With all of that said, I have, in coordination with those above me and a trusted group of staff members, decided that we need to basically overhaul our entire list of zone rules so that they are more clear, coherent, and in tune with what is going on in the zone today. All zone rules will be revised to be more concise and clear, and a very simple version will be posted at A1 as soon as is possible. I will also post the exhaustive list on forums when it is complete. I ask for patience with it because even revising one or two has proven painstaking, but they will all get done. Luckily, we have started with the difficult ones, so once they are done, the rest should be simpler. Look for the discrimination/racism/hate speech rule to be the next one that comes out publicly, with the rest to follow as soon as possible.

    Today though, I'm announcing that the "Spam" rule has been overhauled and completely re-written in entirety and it will go into effect on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM EST. This is to allow a "grace period" for this rule to be understood and questions asked about it if necessary before we start issuing warns, silences, or bans directly in regards to it.

    With that said, I've always done my best to be completely open with all of you about any of these things, and I will literally copy/paste it verbatim for all of you to see below. Any questions regarding the rule or how it will be enforced should preferably be directed directly to me here or in game (alias tucker) or LF, who is the de facto Assistant Ban Operator at this point with Doughnut's unknown return. Any staff member will be able to help you out, though, so if LF or myself are not available, reach out via ?help or directly to any known staff member.

    Here's the new rule:

    -----

    Spamming is defined as any text that is sent once or repeatedly and unnecessarily in either public, team, or private chat and is not being reciprocated by any other player(s) as part of, or in reference to, an ongoing discussion or conversation.

    Moderators are authorized to punish for spamming whether it is reported via ?cheater or not.

    Cross-zone spamming (sending messages from another zone) also falls under this rule. Moderators should advise any victims of cross-zone spamming that screenshots will be required to issue a network-wide ban.

    Logs and/or screenshots are necessary to punish for this offense and must have links in the bancomment to either the screenshots or pastebin log.



    -----

    That's about it, folks. Feel free to use ?cheater to report violations of this rule and we will see if we can clean up most of this chat fairly and with written word to fall back on when the inevitable appeals start flowing by our usual suspects.


    Enjoy and be well.
    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
    Spamming is defined as any text that is sent once or repeatedly and unnecessarily in either public, team, or private chat and is not being reciprocated by any other player(s) as part of, or in reference to, an ongoing discussion or conversation.

    Moderators are authorized to punish for spamming whether it is reported via ?cheater or not.

    Cross-zone spamming (sending messages from another zone) also falls under this rule. Moderators should advise any victims of cross-zone spamming that screenshots will be required to issue a network-wide ban.

    Logs and/or screenshots are necessary to punish for this offense and must have links in the bancomment to either the screenshots or pastebin log.


    So a few things about the spam rule.

    Text should not need to be reciprocated but this is easily bypassable if two people are having a conversation about politics or whatever else. In which case a mod would probably demand they take it to PMs right? But this is over moderating now. You just need clear and well defined rules on racism and harassment, and you can prevent most problems — anyone who wants to talk to themselves can easily be ignored. I don't see why this needs to be moderated at all if it's not breaking any other rules.

    If you want to get into the technical definition of spam, it is any repeating text (copy and pasted/macro) that happens within 30 seconds of each other.

    The other issue is that cross zone spamming is not well defined here. If someone DMs someone from cross zone they should not be networked banned just for that? You aren't being specific enough in this post I assume? But if you are then it's a terrible policy if that's all it takes for a network ban. Network bans should only happen if there is evidence of an ignore evade. Which means you need screenshots of 1) being dmed, telling the person to stop, ?ignoring them, and then 2) screenshots of being dm'ed again from a person with another name, and all within a reasonable time frame. If these events are 1 month apart it's possible the offender has no clue they were ignored on the other name and happened to log on with a new name that day.

    I hope this is what you actually meant! Because it's the only circumstance where a network ban might be justified. Historically DMs/PMs are not and should never be moderated, even with screenshots. What's moderated is ignore evasion, i hope this distinction is what staff currently accepts and is doing... because moderating DMs is not only difficult but kind of pointless and beyond the scope of what moderators should be doing.

    P.S if you want me to review the newly written rules I can do that. I have a knack for finding grey lines and loop holes, and I also have a good understanding of how to define racism/harassment, though you might disagree with my definitions. For example, it can only be harassment if someone is told to stop, if you are reciprocating bad behaviour with bad behaviour it's more like two people agreeing to fight each other, until someone says stop, or leave me alone it can't be harassment.

    Spamming is defined as any text that is sent once or repeatedly and unnecessarily in either public, team, or private chat and is not being reciprocated by any other player(s) as part of, or in reference to, an ongoing discussion or conversation.

    This basically means, any text sent once can be punished as spam.
    If this text is your own thoughts as part of a discussion or conversation it can be punished as spam if nobody replies to you? This is really heavy handed and basically means you can moderate everything under the spam rule.

    The spam rule historically has been used to repress speech and oppress others under a very ambiguous definition and I see that this is still continuing now. Instead the spam rule should have always been technical and not based on the interpretation of moderators or written in a way where moderators can conclude anything is spam because it's not 'useful'.

    I advise that you should instead make strong rules about the content of speech itself ie: racism, what is harassment, and so on. If someone wants to monologue about their pet cat, most people can use ?ignore if it really bothers them. If someone wants to monologue about being a nazi or spread incel ideology, you can moderate them because the zone has specific well laid out rules on hate speech and hate ideology... not rules on spam.
    Last edited by Falconeer; 02-24-2021, 04:29 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Falconeer View Post
      Spamming is defined as any text that is sent once or repeatedly and unnecessarily in either public, team, or private chat and is not being reciprocated by any other player(s) as part of, or in reference to, an ongoing discussion or conversation.

      Moderators are authorized to punish for spamming whether it is reported via ?cheater or not.

      Cross-zone spamming (sending messages from another zone) also falls under this rule. Moderators should advise any victims of cross-zone spamming that screenshots will be required to issue a network-wide ban.

      Logs and/or screenshots are necessary to punish for this offense and must have links in the bancomment to either the screenshots or pastebin log.


      So a few things about the spam rule.

      Text should not need to be reciprocated but this is easily bypassable if two people are having a conversation about politics or whatever else. In which case a mod would probably demand they take it to PMs right? But this is over moderating now. You just need clear and well defined rules on racism and harassment, and you can prevent most problems — anyone who wants to talk to themselves can easily be ignored. I don't see why this needs to be moderated at all if it's not breaking any other rules.

      If you want to get into the technical definition of spam, it is any repeating text (copy and pasted/macro) that happens within 30 seconds of each other.

      The other issue is that cross zone spamming is not well defined here. If someone DMs someone from cross zone they should not be networked banned just for that? You aren't being specific enough in this post I assume? But if you are then it's a terrible policy if that's all it takes for a network ban. Network bans should only happen if there is evidence of an ignore evade. Which means you need screenshots of 1) being dmed, telling the person to stop, ?ignoring them, and then 2) screenshots of being dm'ed again from a person with another name, and all within a reasonable time frame. If these events are 1 month apart it's possible the offender has no clue they were ignored on the other name and happened to log on with a new name that day.

      I hope this is what you actually meant! Because it's the only circumstance where a network ban might be justified.

      P.S if you want me to review the newly written rules I can do that. I have a knack for finding grey lines and loop holes, and I also have a good understanding of how to define racism/harassment, though you might disagree with my definitions. For example, it can only be harassment if someone is told to stop, if you are reciprocating bad behaviour with bad behaviour it's more like two people agreeing to fight each other, until someone says stop, or leave me alone it can't be harassment.
      Nope, your services are not needed. Thank you for the offer, though.

      Two or more players actively talking with each other in public chat about politics is not covered under this rule, and they would not be asked to take it to PM.

      Thanks for the technical definition of spam. It's something we grappled with, but unfortunately a full time staff is not a luxury we have with a capability to time out violations 24/7. The intent of the rule was to widen the scope of what constitutes "spam."

      Cross-zone spamming is something staff understand quite well. And to include to that, there are only a very few select people with the ability to issue a netban within TW Staff, and I know personally that those netban referrals are highly scrutinized before any action is taken. Your version of what cross zone spamming is looks about right, less a few minor points.
      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
        The way the spam rule is written means it can be abused, most likely by staff... I understand why you would want to widen the scope... but a technical definition works just fine, when staff is online or when they get a report, they can check the logs and see if a technical definition of spam is being violated. You're only required to moderate when you are active, under the wide scope rule that's still the case? So I don't really understand your statement... other than to cast a wide net, with the wide scope so you can moderate people quickly and not wait for technical violations of the rule.

        The objective is good, the intention is good, but the means are not good. Morally this is problematic and opens up your own staff to being unfair even if they intend not to be... everyone has feelings and eventually someone will act on their feelings for a player and this is the rule that will make it possible.

        Instead I am suggesting you keep the intention, and the objective, because these two things are good... but instead change the means for moderating... the content of text is what really matters; ie is it hate speech? is it racist? offensive? harassment? etc. not the inherent usefulness of it. Otherwise there should be a rule stating no chat of politics/race or controversial subjects with a list of what those subjects are. Or a rule stating only on topic game discussion etc. This would address 'usefulness' way better than a spam rule does.

        Comment


        • #5
          All BanC (silences, ship locks from bombing ships) and BanG are reviewed thoroughly by a ban operator. With regards to this rule specifically, logs and/or screenshots are required, not recommended, in the bancomments so that we can review them. Any issues with regards to staff abusing the rule will be dealt with accordingly by either counseling, demotion, firing, or some combination thereof.

          Hate speech/discrimination is an entirely different animal and a rabbit hole I don't want to go down in this thread, but I'm sure we will in a separate thread in the near future.

          Sorry you don't agree with all aspects of the rule, but it's the new norm. I do appreciate you weighing in, though. These changes were a result of a quite substantial group of staff members with long histories of solid service and gameplay weighing in and debating. Perhaps your view from the outside is less clear, but I'm sure it will become clear what this rule means to the fullest extent once it becomes enforceable on Monday.

          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


          • #6
            Could use some more detail on punishments. Historically, punishments have been too weak - e.g. someone has to spend over an hour to get staff to do anything, only for the offender to get a 1 hour silence. So the offender has a lower punishment than the person reporting them. I think 24 hour ban should be your lowest punishment. Silences are game-breaking so should never be used.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rab View Post
              Could use some more detail on punishments. Historically, punishments have been too weak - e.g. someone has to spend over an hour to get staff to do anything, only for the offender to get a 1 hour silence. So the offender has a lower punishment than the person reporting them. I think 24 hour ban should be your lowest punishment. Silences are game-breaking so should never be used.
              Appreciate the input, but silences aren't going anywhere. Punishments have not been altered from current. A 1 hour silence is the lowest and first punishment, and they increase exponentially with each subsequent violation for the same offense within the last 90 days earning them longer and longer silences.

              At a certain point, though, mods just refer the player to me for a longer punishment out of those confines if they are repeat offenders. I bet you'd be surprised to see some of the extreme durations I have silenced or superspecced (lock out of bombing ships) people for. Reserved for the worst of the worst mainly, though.
              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


              • #8
                If some one talks about their private parts a lot and there are 2 people who really want to hear about them is that still spam?

                Comment


                • #9
                  If conversation is being actively reciprocated, that is not classified as spam under this rule. So as long as those people are actively talking about genitals (how bizarre), we wouldn't regulate that under this rule.

                  That being said, all violations are subject to a mod looking at what's going on and making a decision. Mods are staff for a reason, and their judgement does come into play. This is to basically say that I don't foresee any mods deciding that if Player A says "the new Call of Duty game is lights out" and no one reciprocates, Player A will be silenced. Now if Player A drones on incessantly about that or other topics and is not reciprocated, that might be different. This rule is obviously intended to give flexibility to weed out what the vast majority of players consider to be useless, repetitive drivel that only serves to be an annoyance and take away from the game itself.

                  We will adjust the rule if we find problems and any potential issues with staff overstepping or abusing it will be dealt with 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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Voth View Post


                    Thanks for the technical definition of spam. It's something we grappled with, but unfortunately a full time staff is not a luxury we have so we will be reserving the right to ban people if they enter a single line in chat that is not reciprocated.
                    fixed it for ya adolf youth

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Falconeer> gg guys
                      [...chat ded]
                      mig <ER>> *ban falc:30

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skyforger View Post

                        fixed it for ya adolf youth
                        While I totally understand that this rule can be abused as written, oversight will negate that as a real possibility. All actions taken are reviewed and any egregious overstepping like you suggest will end in some combination of counseling/firing/banning of the staff member who does it. It's for the greater good, and I don't imagine many players who contribute anything at all to the game besides cancer will be effected by it... almost ever.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skyforger View Post
                          Falconeer> gg guys
                          [...chat ded]
                          mig <ER>> *ban falc:30
                          I'd tread lightly with this stuff though, as I'm not an idiot and I know what you're doing here.



                          Being cute has an expiration.
                          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


                          • #14
                            ...
                            Falconeer left the arena
                            voth> it was for the greater good. had to be done
                            [..chat ded]
                            voth> sigh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Voth View Post
                              All BanC (silences, ship locks from bombing ships) and BanG are reviewed thoroughly by a ban operator. With regards to this rule specifically, logs and/or screenshots are required, not recommended, in the bancomments so that we can review them. Any issues with regards to staff abusing the rule will be dealt with accordingly by either counseling, demotion, firing, or some combination thereof.

                              Hate speech/discrimination is an entirely different animal and a rabbit hole I don't want to go down in this thread, but I'm sure we will in a separate thread in the near future.

                              Sorry you don't agree with all aspects of the rule, but it's the new norm. I do appreciate you weighing in, though. These changes were a result of a quite substantial group of staff members with long histories of solid service and gameplay weighing in and debating. Perhaps your view from the outside is less clear, but I'm sure it will become clear what this rule means to the fullest extent once it becomes enforceable on Monday.
                              I guess as long as the appeal and oversight process actually work. In the past I have been banned from zones for text, and the appeal process was basically to write an email to the person who banned me. At least here it's silences for text, I guess.

                              I'm not really sure how this rule will be applied, in what situations? because it's so broad it basically applies to all situations that meet the rule, but obviously people won't be silenced or moderated in all situations even if they break this rule... in other words it's largely left up to the discretion of the moderator, and that means the moderator will be judging players who break this rule... judgment based moderation isn't my favourite, because it's based on their perception of the player. to some people, other people will always have bad intentions, so their judgments will be skewed. this is why we write specific and clear rules for specific circumstances so there are no personal judgments but objective ones.

                              For example the other day I logged in and so many people wrote things in pub and in spec that had no replies. By definition they broke the spam rule and could have been muted. Obviously they wouldn't be... but if they won't be then the rule needs to be expanded on, WHEN will they be moderated... what is the line that really has to be crossed?

                              I'm only pointing out that the rule might as well be "we can ban/silence anyone we want, for any reason" so I'm not sure why you have to beat around the bush and not just say that?

                              Voth to clarify the wording: Do you mean if a player writes something, but it is in reference or response to an ongoing conversation — but they receive no reply or response and are completely ignored by those in the conversation — that this is not spam? because it was text related to a current conversation? regardless if anyone replied or not? If so then I guess I misunderstood the wording of the rule.
                              Last edited by Falconeer; 02-25-2021, 10:17 PM.

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