Policing public channels
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think an alternate channel where "anything goes" is the best of less than perfect solutions. From what I've seen, it works very well in practice.
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject: An alternate form of Coventry Reply with quote

The problem is inappropriate topics, right?

Why not a form of coventry? Just apply to the people seriously involved in the topic. Now, only they can hear the topic. Kind of like a private channel except that if others say something off topic, the coventried players still can hear that but not communicate with others except for those on the same "channel". I'd also make the coventry code such that you can create different coventry groups, each with their own topic in case different groups of people start different inappropriate topics.

Downside to this is that they'd have to be monitored until the topic is over and taken off the coventried list. Other downsides is that you'd still need moderators. I can't think of any way to make an automatic moderator that won't piss off players.

Anyways, just an idea.
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my own episode recently with channels and inappropriate
behavior...it was a real eye-opener.

There's an intermud communication protocol called I3, and
it works on a "hub" topology...all muds connect to a mud
called the intermud "router", and they use it as a means
to chat on intermud channels.

The router used by most muds on I3 was called "gjs". As
you might already know, gjs had a horrendous reputation for
being both unreliable and very hostile to newbies.

For that reason, when I started to maintain a codebase
with I3 support, I decided to start my own router for
new adopters, so that they wouldn't be exposed to the
horrors of the old router, and so they'd have a reliable
platform for intermud communications.

The new router was called yatmim, and I established very
specific rules to prevent yatmim from becoming basically
gjs part II.

Suddenly, gjs died.

After a few weeks, I started to invite muds that had been
on gjs to come to yatmim...IF and only IF they read and
agreed to the rules.

Things were going fine, until some of the oldbies started
reverting to old gjs behavior. I warned them repeatedly
about hate speech on "protected" channels, but eventually
wound up banning them from the channel they broke rules on.

Boy did I hear about it!


This led to some...opinionated discussion on the support
forum for the codebase: http://lpmuds.net/forum/index.php?webtag=LPC&msg=177.1

In the end, there are three main lessons I drew from
the controversy:

* Disciplinary actions against individuals can generate deep
resentment if others don't understand why it happened.

* Disciplinary actions against individuals which penalize
an entire mud tend to magnify that resentment.

* People don't generally mind rules, but can get very hostile
if there is a perception of arbitrary enforcement.

In the end there seems to have developed a consensus that
the rules weren't that onerous, and that while my administration
of the router is basically dictatorial, my actions were
consistent with the spirit and intent of the rules.

It's consistency, I think, that people demand, as well as
a clear understanding of what they can get in trouble for,
and what the thresholds are.

As to automated systems and such...my philosophy has been
to avoid such things, in favor of trying to reason with
people. When you set up technical barriers, imo what
this does is make the barriers fair game for exploiting...
and you can start an escalation of exploit/countermeasure
that just wastes time and doesn't solve the problem.

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shasarak wrote:
KaVir, I think the simplest approach for your problem is:

1) Set up a new channel where the type of conversation you don't like is permitted - in fact, the majority of the channel's content should be that sort of conversation.

2) Formulate and publicise a set of rules for the existing channel that clearly bans what you're concerned with (while pointing out that it is allowed in the new channel).

3) Have all players, particularly newly-created ones, opted OUT of receiving the new channel by default - so newbies have to actively choose to start monitoring the new channel in order to "hear" anything in it. (If you're really concerned you could even prevent newbies from having access to the new channel at all until they reach a certain level of experience).

4) Make sure all the players are fully aware of how the new system operates.

After playing around with a few ideas, I finally settled on the above approach (which is also very similar to what Drey suggested), and after a few months it's still working out very well.

It seems the main offenders just needed an outlet, and were happy to move to another channel once it was made available to them.

So thanks for the suggestions!
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