Opt-out censorship

 
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Opt-out censorship Reply with quote

In another thread, I mentioned some of the problems I've had with obnoxious players. I've tried introducing various solutions, such as an ignore command and extra channels, but there are still a few die-hards who take great pleasure in offending people - one of them even keeps score of how many newbies he's driven off.

An idea I've playing with recently is that of a player-controlled censorship system, which would work as follows:

Every player has access to a new command called 'report'. They can 'report <player>' as long as that player's name is stored in their tell history. Doing so takes a snapshot of their full tell history (to provide context) and stores it on the reporter (each player can only have one person reported at a time). It could also be stored on the reportee, but I think it's simpler to implement this way (because it ensures a maximum of one report per player).

Admin can assign any player a 'trusted' flag. This flag gives the player access to the 'censor' command and also lets them view reports. The 'censor' command can be used on any non-admin, as long as they have at least one report or one message in the newbie or chat channel history. The reports and/or channel history are then logged and the trusted player's name is stored in the victim "censored by" field. Only admin can view this field or the logs, as they are intended to serve as evidence in the case of complaints about unfair censorship. Players can be uncensored by an admin, or by the trusted player who set the censorship.

Whenever a censored player sends a message over a channel (including newbie, say, chat, etc), that message is only displayed to players who have explicitly toggled the 'uncensored' config option. The only exception is the 'gossip' channel, which is off by default, but which is never censored.

I imagine that most of the older (usually thick-skinned) players will immediately toggle the 'uncensored' config option, as they won't want to miss out on anything and are pretty comfortable with the 'ignore' command, but it does at least give newer players the choice of whether or not they want the channels to be censored for them. It also makes it difficult to complain about obnoxious players if you've explicitly chosen to have uncensored channels.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Does it sound viable?
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Drey



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 24
Location: Livonia, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Opt-out censorship Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
one of them even keeps score of how many newbies he's driven off


And you haven't applied a banhammer to him yet?
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ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience KaVir isn't interested in going down the long road of policing players (through manual means).

I've always thought that GW2 has one of the best help policy/rules files of any mud. The problem that I see is that not much effort ever was expended to 'socially engineer' the player base to be friendly, helpful, decent, etcetera. I mean, not that you necessarily would want to do this in a full PK game. In any case GW2 definitely is one of the more socially interesting muds out there, as it almost is a case study in how a community develops of its own accord, without heavy manual admin interference.


edit: I feel like I should add to the 'socially engineer' part. Many GW2 players are very helpful in the sense of commenting about the game, giving feedback, and so on, and many are helpful to new players as well. I just made that comment after reading something earlier today how some MMO community relations people actively reinforce certain behaviour in their community (on forums and the like) in order to socially reward behaviour that they want to see, to the exclusion of negative behaviour (griefing, trolling, etc.).
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 134
Location: Emily's Shop

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Opt-out censorship Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Does it sound viable?

What's the advantage in distinguishing between "trusted players" and "admins"? Given that censorship is an administrative function, aren't they the same thing?
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Opt-out censorship Reply with quote

shasarak wrote:
What's the advantage in distinguishing between "trusted players" and "admins"? Given that censorship is an administrative function, aren't they the same thing?


Symantics really. I use the term "admin" to refer to full members of staff - what others might call imms, imps, wizards, etc. The admin have the usual range of commands which would be game-breaking in competitive play.

On the other hand, the "trusted players" only get one additional ability over regular players (censoring), which provides no mechanical or tactical benefit. The worst they could do with it is censor someone for personal reasons - but because the censor command stores a log of the individual's channel history, such abuse could be easily discovered and dealt with.
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Threshold



Joined: 06 Apr 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting idea. It is a tough call when trying to decide what "administrative" functions you can safely offload onto players. They are not anywhere near as accountable as staff generally, and might be more prone to personal bias when dealing with other players.

There is also a perception issue. Players can get very prickly about being "censored" by other players.

But on the flip side, sometimes when players are disciplined by other players, they fail to transfer any of the anger onto the administration. That can be convenient, I guess, but it also feels like a bit of a dodge. Part of the duty of administering a game is taking responsibility for enforcing rules and punishing offenders. In the long run, some people may be turned off by an administration that shirks responsibility and burdens players with the task of discipline.

It is a very interesting idea, but I'd be worried about how it would be perceived overall by a player community.
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