WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

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Warning: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban
More info & details about how to challenge a moderation: viewtopic.php?p=119756
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sourisdudesert
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Joined: 23 January 2010, 22:02

WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by sourisdudesert »

Dear players,

We regularly see angry players posting in the Forums after being moderated on BGA.

Some may be right, some may be wrong (usually, this is the case), some are also insulting our moderation team or admins publicly, and some are used by other recently moderated players that get a good occasion to also rant.

The most important thing to know is this: it is totally useless. The reasons:
  • The Forums are a place where players can help each other; however, other players are not capable of doing anything for you concerning moderations.
  • There is already a clear procedure to appeal in your moderation (see below).


How to appeal a moderation

If your moderation does not match the BGA moderation policy:
  • Note the URL of the moderation report
  • Contact us though BGA Support page, choosing "Contest a moderation" category
  • We have a public Moderation Policy, so you must explain why the moderators did not respect the moderation policy. Example: for my fault, I should have received penalty X instead of penalty Y.
What should I expect from an appeal?
  • If the email contains attacks/insults against anyone and/or trolling/spamming/disparage of the moderators, it will be ignored (= no reply) and you may get an additional penalty.
  • If the email is asking us to also give a penalty to another player, it will be ignored. The correct way to do this is by reporting this player, not by appealing your own moderation.
  • If the email is complaining without referring to our Moderation Policy (example: "this penalty is too harsh"), it will be ignored (= no reply).
  • If the email is not convincing in any way, it will be ignored (= no reply).
  • If the email is clearly abusive (multiple emails or appeal while the player is obviously guilty), it will be ignored (= no reply) and you may get an additional penalty.
  • If none of the previous points are valid and if the moderators made a mistake, you will receive a reply and the penalty will be changed (or cancelled).
It is worth noticing that 99% of the emails we receive are not relevant messages (not convincing / contains insults) coming from angry players, this is why we have to set this strict "no answer" policy.

What happens if I challenge the moderators in the BGA forums?
  • Your post will be locked (and may also be edited/moderated/removed).
  • You will get a 10 day ban from BGA.
  • You will get a permanent ban from BGA if you do it again.
Does this also happen if I challenge a moderation applied to another player?

Of course, yes.

Conclusion

Even with hundreds and thousands of games played each day, BGA keeps a very relaxed policy on messaging: you can talk during the games, chat with almost anyone on the website, and we have open forums. At this level of popularity, most gaming service do not offer that much because moderation becomes a nightmare.

However, we consider boardgamers are a better community than the average and we believe that our community is responsible enough, so we decided to keep these channels open.

All of this comes with a cost: the moderation is a huge part of BGA, and we have to set a very strict moderation policy. This may be perceived as "intolerant", "against free speech" or any other adjective, but this is what it costs to have a place on the Internet with a lot of options to speak.

As a player, we ask you to respect this policy, to avoid anything that could hurt someone else in your exchange, and to respect all BGA rules, including the moderation and the moderation appeal procedure.

Thank you very much
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Silene
Posts: 624
Joined: 23 October 2013, 17:50

Re: Warning: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by Silene »

This is a great public statement with all the relevant information in one place, thank you!

However I want to ask politely whether it might be an option for you to rethink the "no-reply"-approach in the cases that you named into a "generic-reply"-approach that gives a reply containing the info that the appeal has been denied plus the content that is in this post. Or a link to this post.

This would have at least 2 benefits:
  • It would help to avoid unwanted forum-complaints, because then the people who are about to do it have this information BEFORE doing it. Those are often people who are not regularly reading the forums who come here to complain after they haven't heard back from their appeal (so you might have less work on the forums then)
  • It gives closure for the person trying to appeal. Maybe the very harsh cases do not deserve "closure"... I don't know. But there certainly are good-hearted people with borderline-cases (very mild offense) who deserve to at least know that someone actually read their appeal and refused it.
Last edited by Silene on 18 August 2022, 10:34, edited 1 time in total.
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sourisdudesert
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Re: Warning: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by sourisdudesert »

Silene wrote: 18 August 2022, 10:28 This is a great public statement with all the relevant information in one place, thank you!

However I want to ask politely whether it might be an option for you to rethink the "no-reply"-approach in the cases that you named into a "generic-reply"-approach that gives a reply containing the info that the appeal has been refused plus the content that is in this post. Or a link to this post.

This would have at least 2 benefits:
  • It would help to avoid unwanted forum-complaints, because then the people who are about to do it have this information BEFORE doing it. Those are often people who are not regularly reading the forums who come here to complain after they haven't heard back from their appeal (so you might have less work on the forums then)
  • It gives closure for the person trying to appeal. Maybe the very harsh cases do not deserve "closure"... I don't know. But there certainly are good-hearted people with borderline-cases (very mild offense) who deserve to at least know that someone actually read their appeal and refused it.
Good point. We are going to see what we can do and will update the post accordingly.
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voriki
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by voriki »

sourisdudesert wrote: 18 August 2022, 09:56 How to appeal a moderation

Write an email to contact+appeal@boardgamearena.com

What MUST be in the email:
  • URL of the moderation report
  • We have a public Moderation Policy, so you must explain why the moderators did not respect the moderation policy. Example: for my fault, I should have received penalty X instead of penalty Y.
I have sent an appeal on July 13th, a kind reminder on August 7th and another kind reminder on August 16th.
Zero response.

I was moderated for an "insult on the forum", but nowhere was it stated what, where, when... I still don't know what I did wrong, but I was FORCED to accept punishment...

Hey, looking at my profile, the moderation disappeared, while it was still there 2 days ago. A response would have been nice, as this report had been visible on my profile for almost a month and a half and was a form of defamation.

I was polite in my mail, but not responding at all is a form of disrespect.
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sourisdudesert
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by sourisdudesert »

voriki wrote: 18 August 2022, 11:35
sourisdudesert wrote: 18 August 2022, 09:56 How to appeal a moderation

Write an email to contact+appeal@boardgamearena.com

What MUST be in the email:
  • URL of the moderation report
  • We have a public Moderation Policy, so you must explain why the moderators did not respect the moderation policy. Example: for my fault, I should have received penalty X instead of penalty Y.
I have sent an appeal on July 13th, a kind reminder on August 7th and another kind reminder on August 16th.
Zero response.

I was moderated for an "insult on the forum", but nowhere was it stated what, where, when... I still don't know what I did wrong, but I was FORCED to accept punishment...

Hey, looking at my profile, the moderation disappeared, while it was still there 2 days ago. A response would have been nice, as this report had been visible on my profile for almost a month and a half and was a form of defamation.

I was polite in my mail, but not responding at all is a form of disrespect.
1. Reports are only visible on your own profile, not visible by others, so there is no defamation
2. They disappear after a while, which is the reason they disappeared on your profile
3. We just explained in the first post why we do not answer so can know why we do not. This may change (=> read previous answers), but considering the volume of moderation (yourself has been reported 7 times and found 5 times guilty) we definitly cannot "politely answer" to every angry moderated player.
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voriki
Posts: 732
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by voriki »

sourisdudesert wrote: 18 August 2022, 11:46 3. We just explained in the first post why we do not answer so can know why we do not. This may change (=> read previous answers).
But I still do not know what I did wrong, I still do not know what I accepted to not to do wrong anymore. If I did not accept, I could not have continued using the site at all. I still do not know what I did wrong.

I am not challenging the moderation in itself, and I tried it by appealing instead of calling out on the forum. I am however challenging the lack of information. To this day I am unable to change my ways, and am at risk for repeat offenses and also harsher punishments, which would then be undeserved as a chance to self-reflect has never been offered, which is the whole foundation of a moderation policy.

-----------------------------------------------------------

https://en.doc.boardgamearena.com/Moderationpolicy
I looked this over, I never saw this before, good information. Now I have a question, how do I reach this page if I want to read it, and don't have a direct link to it?
The FAQ doesn't mention this URL, the Terms of Service(https://boardgamearena.com/legal?section=tos) do mention the "BGA Moderation Policy", but again, no url to reach it. So how is someone able to know what they can or cannot do or expect?

I have a small suggestion as I may have found a grammatical error in the Moderation policy.
Penalty Grid: "Forbid to chat or publish for 3 days for small insults and insanity"

Instead of "insanity", don't you mean profanity?

-----------------------------------------------------------

As for offering a suggestion into appealing a moderation, can't it be changed into a ticketing system on the site itself, similar to how the Bug Reports are run? That way you can assign a status showing the current status of the moderation, whether it's in appeal or accepted, appeal denied, etc... That way the players also have a view whether their appeal has been handled or not.
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Ze Monstah
Posts: 501
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Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by Ze Monstah »

Thanks for the post. I would like to add a few comments, like the players before, and I hope their suggestions will be brought to fruition.

1. What is the time limit when a player should expect her/his appeal to be read and solved?
Unless the generic-message idea mentioned in Silene's post passes, when exactly should a player consider "someone read and solved her/his appeal" (considering the appeal was made correctly, of course)?
The idea is that I think appeals should be solved before reports, ASAP, or (again, unless the generic-message idea passes) at least establish a standard time limit of 1 day or something, for every appeal to be solved; in this way, even if a moderated player who made an appeal doesn't see any change regarding the moderation, at least (s)he knows a moderator/admin read and decided that the appeal doesn't deserve a change, simply because the standard time passed (1 day or any other time limit you publicly establish).
The only reason there were so many forum complaints, is that the players didn't know IF anyone read the appeal or WHEN it was supposed to be read.

2. On the moderation policy page (https://en.doc.boardgamearena.com/Moderationpolicy) there are "small insults" and "real insults"; I think writing some examples too, would be a good idea; this way, the subjective aspect of the moderation job decreases.

3. Also on the moderation page, I suggest editing some words... I think there are some problems with the translated words (there is "insanity" misused a few times; I think there should have been "inanity" used instead, but I am not 100% sure).
There are other misused words, as well, mostly in the Penalty Grid.

4. I personally still don't understand if a player is allowed to have 2 simultaneous accounts or not (with no ELO boosting or any other kind of competition-stuff involved); the way the information is written on the moderation page (https://en.doc.boardgamearena.com/Moderationpolicy) and on the F.A.Q. page (https://boardgamearena.com/faq) is not clear enough for me.

5. I think it would have been a fairer idea to inflict the 10 days ban, starting with the first player to complain again on the forum, AFTER the post that determined you to create this post and take this 10 days ban decision. I personally think that the player who wrote that post should have been moderated normally.

6. There are some moderations publicly visible to others (with a devil-symbol, in the Recent Penalties area on one's profile page); some moderations are not visible to others, while some are... I cannot understand what's the thing with those, but not such a big deal.

Thanks again for the post, good day.
Last edited by Ze Monstah on 18 August 2022, 13:01, edited 3 times in total.
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voriki
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by voriki »

Ze Monstah wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:06 .
Completely agreed on all points.
Ze Monstah wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:06 1. What is the time limit when a player should expect her/his appeal to be read and solved?
I would say, 2 weeks (personal thought). Normal reports should be judged "as a rule of thumb"(accoridng to the policy) within 4 weeks. Since I agree that appealsshould take priority, we cut that time in half and make it 2 weeks.
Ze Monstah wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:06 3. Also on the moderation page, I suggest editing some words... I think there are some problems with the translated words (there is "insanity" misused a few times; I think there should have been "inanity" used instead, but I am not 100% sure).
There are other misused words, as well, mostly in the Penalty Grid.
I think they mean profanity(swear words). But this is already a prime example that people interpret things differently based on different viewpoints.
Also at the section Kingmaking: "(and now there are closed automatically)", where it should be "they're"

For people who speak English well enough, it's quite easy to understand what they mean, but BGA is an international communicty, with varying degrees of proficiency in various languages. Many people would use translation programs, but if there are errors in the text, the translations would be way off too. And this may lead to further infractions due to misunderstanding, but who is the responsible party?

BGA should make sure all their documentation is in line in both the English and French language(being based in France), and if needed seek assistance of volunteer translators as they already do for the games and other elements on the site.
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sourisdudesert
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by sourisdudesert »

voriki wrote: 18 August 2022, 11:58 That way the players also have a view whether their appeal has been handled or not.
We won't do that. A vast majority of players that are writing us on appeal mailbox are angry and they auto-persuaded themselves that they are right. In the past we tried to answer and explain, but these players are not sensitive to arguments and are going more angry (and finally get an higher penalty). The best for everyone in this case is to avoid the pointless exchange, let the time flies so that everyone can move on. This is what we do and by experience this is way more efficient than anything else.
Ze Monstah wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:06 1. What is the time limit when a player should expect her/his appeal to be read and solved?
See previous answer: we don't want to communicate on this. What I can say to you is that when the moderation is wrong, the answer is pretty quick.
Ze Monstah wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:06 5. I think it would have been a fairer idea to inflict the 10 days ban, starting with the first player to complain again on the forum, AFTER the post that determined you to create this post and take this 10 days ban decision. I personally think that the player who wrote that post should have been moderated normally.
We are banning players who complain about moderation on the forums for years. This post is just here to clarify.
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voriki
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Re: WARNING: challenging a moderation in Forum = 10 days ban

Post by voriki »

sourisdudesert wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:46 The best for everyone in this case is to avoid the pointless exchange, let the time flies so that everyone can move on. This is what we do and by experience this is way more efficient than anything else.
My experience disagrees.
sourisdudesert wrote: 18 August 2022, 12:46 when the moderation is wrong, the answer is pretty quick.
Seems in my case the moderation for the thing I still don't know about what was wrong, was right?

I know. I know you won't respond to individual cases of moderation on the forum. But I won't ever learn my lesson that way.
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