Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 91
01-09-2012, 12:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirian_darkstar View Post
Is this interview a txted based interview (ie an IM system), voice chatted or a video chat?
It will be text based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirian_darkstar View Post
I believe that if a New CM begins to "abuse their power", that reports will come in and that CM will be relieved of duty after investigating the inccident. I'm confident Stormy would drop the "ban hammer" just as quickly, if not quicker, on a bad CM as he would a "troll". Or a Star Wars thead
Correct!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent_Patton
I may have missed it, but who is going to keep an eye on these community moderators so they don't abuse their power? Hopefully Cryptic employees?
Correct, they'll be working with/reporting to the game's Community Manager.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes85 View Post
and just to make this clear - if this disaster of an idea is actually implemented, count me as someone who will not acknowledge any 'authority' they claim to have, will not accept any form of recommendation, positive or negative made by any of them about me, will not accept any infractions, rewards, warnings or any decision made for or against me by any mod, dev or administrator that had any input whatsoever from one of these 'volunteer moderators' they are not officially representing cryptic, therefore they have no right to do any of the above nor to have any input toward anything in regards to me.

in short, I will have nothing whatsoever to do with them and will not recognize any supposed 'authority' they have. don't push me on this cryptic. i've been burned bad by this kind of thing more than once and have a low tolerance for such programs. consider this notice to keep such people away from me in any capacity. if anybody from cryptic has an admin issue thats fine, I expect to deal with a cryptic admin in such situations and only a cryptic admin.
That's fine. You don't have to accept anything. However, these rules, and this program, ARE going into place. This is not changing. So, in short, if you don't ever break any of the forum rules, you should never, ever, hear from one of these Community Moderators in a way which makes you unhappy. If you do break the rules, well, no one forced you to do that, and the people which we choose to moderate our forum will be allowed to, by us, to moderate your posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenEricII

I understand and agree that there will be a need for many more moderators very soon. I even believe this process should've begun weeks ago considering F2P is here in ten days.

I've been for Cryptic on some issues and against them on others. I've tried (not always successfully) to argue logically and dispassionately. For the most part, people who fall on the opposite side of an issue have argued their point with me in a very respectful manner. There's been playful "jabs" meant to lighten the mood and I've never taken any of those personally, as I hope none of mine ever were.

Sorry for the long winded preface, but here's my point; There are ALWAYS people who come in to every thread to insult anyone who's opinion is different from theirs. This is not isolated to one side, there are the "Cryptic can do no right" crowd, and the "Cryptic can do no wrong" crowd. My biggest concern is this; I doubt Cryptic would choose moderators from the "Cryptic sucks" crowd and I don't think they should, but I do believe that the "Cryptic is God" crowd has a good shot of becoming moderators. They never say anything negative about Cryptic, and they definitely have the mindset that would motivate them to volunteer for a payless "job" with Cryptic.

I'm fearful that if this is the pool from which the new moderators will come, that the forums will quickly become deserted, that anyone who dares to disagree with some change or marketing scheme (red boxes), will get banned for speaking out. I'm not trying to imply that this is what Cryptic wants, I'm just saying it's a worry of mine.

I honestly believe that it is important for the community to ALWAYS be able to voice their opinion of Cryptic or STO - for OR against - and NOT be picked on for that opinion. EVERYONE here contributes to the life of STO and the success or failure of Cryptic, EVERYONE here deserves to communicate their opinions to Cryptic - fanboys and nay-sayers alike. Some trolls not withstanding, this is currently how it is, I hope the new batch of volunter moderators doesn't change it.

Thanks for reading, and sorry for the length.
If a Community Moderator is found to not be moderating the forums fairly, and impartially, we will remove them from their position. Simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes85 View Post
by 'they' I assume you mean a volunteer moderator.

the thing is my (and everyone elses for that matter) acceptance is relevant in that situation. why? because as unpaid, 'volunteer' staff that are not recognized as employees by cryptic they do not have the legal authority to make such recommendations any more than you or I can pick a name off this message board right now and say he or she should be banned. there is no law that says I have to accept any decision made against me on the recommendation of someone that doesn't even work for a company. that borders on harassment, something I have zero tolerance for from administrators

in short, basing any bans or action against a customer on recommendations from someone who doesn't work for the company, and by people part of a program that is near universally corrupt in every game its implemented in, is grounds to get a company in trouble. I will remind you that there are a considerable number of laws and regulations that state how you can treat a customer.

now if a normal admin has an issue to take up a ban with me that is different, provided it is input from that admin or a normal admin who is a legitimate employee of cryptic I would not have a problem with it, provided the reason is legitimate. but I will not accept any decision based on something from some unpaid forum mod, who for all I know could have a grudge or who probably doesn't even take the job as seriously as they should.

should it happen I will make an issue of it with cryptic and will go over their heads to resolve the situation if necessary.
Except for the fact that we, as the forum administrators, are giving people the right to moderate the forums, who do not work for us.

If a volunteer moderator were to suggest that someone be banned or suspended, the Community Manager would have to look into that users posting history, infraction/warning history, and yes, even the history between the moderator and the poster involved.

In the end however, the decision is entirely that of the Community Manager's, and the Moderators recommendation is only meant to bring a person to the Community Manager's attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3R0B4NG View Post
now about those PWE rules:

What is the stance on MODDING now with the new rules? (you know, the good fun kind of UI and Textures modding, not the cheating kind)

ATARI dropped the Bomb when they updated the community rules sometime last year, and since then sto-advanced.com from Pendra37 has gone offline because of it
...and using a mouse cursor texture replacement that you can actually SEE is illegal since then.

The one thing i want to see from the new rules is that this is being reversed and using the "texture override folder" (a function that CRYPTIC provided with the STO Client!) being officially allowed again.

I have not seen anything about Modding in the PWE rules that i have read, so the stance on that is one of the biggest concerns for me.

are we back to "use at your own risk"
or are we still at "risk getting banned for it" ?!

i want my modding back!
Modding is, was, and always will be against the rules. It's been that way from the get go, since day one, and even before the game launched. This will not be changing.

Now, since this has gone over about how I expected, let me make some things perfectly clear:
  1. Community Moderators will not be issuing suspensions, bans, or infraction points, EVER.
  2. Community Mods will be able to issue 0 point warnings and infractions, primarily so that we have documentation on what they are doing, and why they are doing it.
  3. Only a Community Manager, employed by PWE will be able to issue Suspensions, bans, or infraction points.
  4. If a moderator is found to not be moderating the forums in what we believe to be a fair and just manner, they can, and will be, removed.
  5. As members of the community, you will be able to let us know if a mod is abusing their power, by filing a community ticket, which will be answered by a Community Manager, who will investigate the situation.

Folks, with Free to Play looming right around the corner, we're expecting much more traffic on the forums. This will also mean more moderation work, and trust me when I say we already spend a good amount of time each day moderating the forums, and we don't get to everything.

By allowing the community to take part in moderating the forums, we enable our Community Managers to be able to spend more time collecting your feedback, and less time spent going through the reported post queue. We also enable you, the community, to have more control over the community that you all love.

At the same time, there is a decent portion of this community who simply doesn't want any moderation at all. Simply put, this isn't going to happen. There's kids that play this game, kids who read these forums, and far too many people going off on rants which are simply not appropriate for these forums.

If you don't like the idea we're going with right now, I can understand that. However, this issue has been decided. I've done the best I can to come up with a fair, and non-biased selection process, and level of power for the community moderators. It's been vetted by multiple people here, and gone through several revisions. It honestly isn't going to get any better than this, and the process is being implemented.

Thanks,

Stormshade
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 92
01-09-2012, 12:34 PM
I am glad you are thinking about the kids, and also I would never wish to be moderator here LOL. I already have my own kids to moderate ROFL You should at least offer these volunteers some benefits as far as mental health for helping out
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 93
01-09-2012, 12:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShade
If you don't like the idea we're going with right now, I can understand that. However, this issue has been decided. I've done the best I can to come up with a fair, and non-biased selection process, and level of power for the community moderators. It's been vetted by multiple people here, and gone through several revisions. It honestly isn't going to get any better than this, and the process is being implemented.
I don't care for the idea, but I certainly see the utility of it and the need for it. And both of those items are things I can respect, despite my personal discomfort.

I've seen community moderation done extremely poorly (elsewhere) in the past; I've seen user-moderators blatantly violate community standards and repeatedly commit bannable offenses, only to be given absolution and to have their offending posts POOFed out of existence by the involved community's Powers That Be.

That being said, I sincerely hope that the Cryptic team rises ABOVE that standard and that this new program is successful. Fingers crossed, knocking on wood, biting my tongue. :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 94
01-09-2012, 01:08 PM
Quote:
That's fine. You don't have to accept anything. However, these rules, and this program, ARE going into place. This is not changing. So, in short, if you don't ever break any of the forum rules, you should never, ever, hear from one of these Community Moderators in a way which makes you unhappy. If you do break the rules, well, no one forced you to do that, and the people which we choose to moderate our forum will be allowed to, by us, to moderate your posts.
while I have no intention of breaking forum rules, lets be very clear on what you're saying here stormshade. other companies have tried this, other companies have gotten in very serious legal trouble for doing so. in short, only a paid official member of a companies customer service team may be in any way involved with moderation, discipline and such toward a customer. according to state law any action taken by admins based on any input, recommendations, etc... from a 'volunteer' staff member of any kind are grounds to take action against a company. its a very clear conflict of interest.

don't blame me and say nobody warned you in advance when one of these volunteers ends up suing or getting you sued by a customer over something that never should have been allowed to happen in the first place

stormshade, this program is a disaster waiting to happen. I will remind you that these volunteers are not even qualified to be customer service members, administrators, moderators or anything else. putting them in such a position over customers will come back on you sooner or later, as it does with every company that has attempted it.

and on a related sidenote, I don't believe that part about 'if you never break a rule you won't ever hear from them' because more than once I have had incidents with such people. in fact the last time it was an email from a moderator on another site sending me threatening messages for simply agreeing that a statement made by a user seemed a little odd and that he may not be who he claims to be. you wouldn't believe the message I got the next day from an admin because of that. the point is people can abuse it whether you have broken a rule or not.

Quote:
If a Community Moderator is found to not be moderating the forums fairly, and impartially, we will remove them from their position. Simple.
this sounds good, in theory. i've found the reality of situations like this to have been different.

Quote:
Except for the fact that we, as the forum administrators, are giving people the right to moderate the forums, who do not work for us.
which is at best questionable from a legal standpoint. it also creates a fair bit of liability on cryptics part for actions taken by those people

Quote:
In the end however, the decision is entirely that of the Community Manager's, and the Moderators recommendation is only meant to bring a person to the Community Manager's attention
i'm not disputing that, however the point i'm getting at there is more to how much of the final decision was simply the actual admins decision and how much was influenced by the volunteer.

Quote:
According to Stormshade, they explicitly do. From the Perfect World Entertainment Community Rules and Policies:
according to state employment law they don't

Quote:
What exactly does 'not accepting' a ban mean? If you're banned, you can't just say "I refuse to accept this" and log in anyway.
it means that depending on the circumstances of the situation, I have every right to and would challenge any moderation action taken against me or any banning of my account. consumer protection laws are pretty clear about that. in simple terms: any such decision that had any input from someone who was not an employee of a company is not difficult to invalidate because the person who had that input was not in a legal position to be allowed to do so. this is what has gotten companies in trouble in the past with these kinds of things. you could take it up with the state attorney generals office and whoever else handles consumer rights complaints. its been done

Quote:
This doesn't sound like that bad an idea actually, it all depends on who they select to do it though.
did you read the part about selecting people via a poll? yeah theres a real smart way of selecting administrators

i'll reiterate once again: companies have had considerable problems over these types of programs. they are lawsuits waiting to happen. they are a very very bad idea for everyone involved. if you want more administrative staff to handle the boards fine, hire more qualified staff

Quote:
That's why Cryptic is going to be screening them and why there will only be two. They have to have a history of following the rules and avoiding flame wars. This isn't going to be a case of them bringing on some newb or repeat offender. Odds are in order to be considered, you have to have a minimum number of posts with few infractions. Only the long term and fair posters would be able to even apply.
sounds like 'yes men' to me. and I doubt they will be screening anybody very effectively. not that screening works anyway. I could tell you some horror stories about dealing with mods in other companies that would make you cringe.

not to mention considering a large part of the choosing of these mods involves a poll I question any screening process from the get go
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 95
01-09-2012, 01:11 PM
Hiring (if in name only) players to be moderators does not seem like the best idea to me as how does one seperate their fandom from reality to be objective in moderation?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 96
01-09-2012, 01:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes85 View Post
it means that depending on the circumstances of the situation, I have every right to and would challenge any moderation action taken against me or any banning of my account. consumer protection laws are pretty clear about that. in simple terms: any such decision that had any input from someone who was not an employee of a company is not difficult to invalidate because the person who had that input was not in a legal position to be allowed to do so. this is what has gotten companies in trouble in the past with these kinds of things. you could take it up with the state attorney generals office and whoever else handles consumer rights complaints. its been done
The only thing I can suggest to this, is that you pay for access to the game. However acces to the fourms is a privilage, not a right, and only a Cryptic employee will restrict that privilage at the end of the day. But it falls into the cat of "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason." Because of that statement cyrptic can restrict access to their systems. They do not have to allow you to post. You pay to play a game, not to talk on a fourm.

Not saying your right or wrong, just trying to provide an unbiased look at the overall picture.,
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 97
01-09-2012, 01:43 PM
Well from a positive perspective, there are plenty of great community run sites that are doing just fine without paid moderators, like STOWiki and Starbase UGC. Star trek fans are often very good people.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 98
01-09-2012, 01:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShade
Hey gang!
...
Right now, we’re looking for 3 moderators for Star Trek Online, and 2 moderators for Champions Online....

Thanks,

Stormshade
Having had some experience moderating a popular online forum, my biggest concern, (and considering the amount of vitriole exhibited on these forums...) that 3 moderators is simply too small a number for Forum Rules enforcement...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 99
01-09-2012, 01:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes85 View Post

according to state employment law they don't
Ths does not sound correct at all to me.
Such a law would forbid an unpaid intern to a Senator from providing them information that may/may not affect their descisions.
Or unpaid Voluteer Police Officers from reporting to their paid Supervisor why they had detained an individual.
How would the "volunteer" moderator bring legal actions when anyone can report innapropriate actions by another, with the Report Icon?
Can you provide a link to the PC that says this?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 100
01-09-2012, 03:21 PM
Stormshade... I know I fall on the rather-slightly-more-critical-than-average side of things, but I'm going to make a very very strong suggestion: Do not rely on volunteer moderators. Therein lies madness. You will save yourselves HUGE headaches by giving some poor, otherwise unemployed lads or lasses a part-time minimal-wage no-benefits work-from-home paycheck.

Allow me to explain: When you give someone a paycheck, there is an explicit, legally binding arrangement. You can simply enforce certain behaviors from your moderators better than you can if they are all volunteers. Put simply, when you give someone a paycheck, you can demand and require a certain level of professionalism. You can demand and require a certain amount of time from them. You can demand and require a certain accountability. You can demand and require a certain lack of bias. And you can demand and require certain qualifications that would otherwise be difficult to require in a volunteer. (In cons, when looking for gofers, you tend to have to make do with what you can get.) When you ask a volunteer to do it, you get none of these. You may think you can, but a volunteer is just that: A volunteer. They are not required to do anything, and they are not held up to certain standards. And you cannot hold a paycheck over them. All you are holding over them is the removal of being a moderator, and chances are the damage will have already been done and at that point they will not care that you are removing their moderator status.

I would also point out that you are only adding another level to the moderation process. It may look like it will be a timesaver for you and BranFlakes, but you will still have to review all the actions undertaken by your volly monitors. This is the problem of moderators: Either you give them enough teeth to do the job for you, or you may as well not have a moderator at all. And if you give them enough teeth, you must hold them accountable. A paycheck is the surest way I know of to hold someone accountable.

Volunteers are great and needed in a lot of roles. We need them and rely on them at conventions a lot. But you do not want them doing your face work. You do not want potentially paying customers to run into a moderator who may have had a bad day. And in a community as... energetic as this, you want moderators who will be held up to standards, and who have the teeth to nip problem threads in the bud.

Yes, it means shelling out money. That's going to be the case. That's unavoidable. You will get a much more reliable moderation team if you pay them rather than asking for volunteers.

This isn't even talking about the belief that anyone from this community, no matter what they may say, will be going into this with biases and axes to grind and phasers set to 'Make posting life miserable.'


ETA: I would also add, that a Poll is *absolutely* the worst way to go about this! The moderators should be anonymous. We should not know them at all except by their mod names. There are a large number of posters here who have 'reputations,' all across the continuum of posters, and that WILL be evidence of demonstrable bias in ANY case where someone disagrees with their moderation. As long as the mods are uniquely identifiable, and known to Cryptic, they do not have to be known to us by their typical standard forum names. Therein lies not only madness but incendiariness the likes of which the Devil can only dream about.
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