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Proposal: tighten the forum rules around user identity and troll posting


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#1 Grav

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:08 PM

In light of useless discussions such as this one (removed content now found here: http://www.ehmry.com...guuma-shitposts), I would like to propose two changes to the forum community standards:

1. Add a new rule that states all posters must somehow be identifiable in-game.  I don't care whether it's your account name, a particular character name, or where you state it.  What's important is that the rest of us should know who you are, in order to fully understand the background behind any position you take in any online debate.  Anyone who refuses to reveal their in-game identity should not be allowed to post here on the basis of a simple lack of credibility.  This would not affect guests from other servers as long as we know who they are.

2. Revise the existing rule #1 to include trolling.  Trolling is the very antithesis of demonstrating respect, and I think that point ought to be made more specific there.

Edited by Thuley, 04 March 2015 - 10:47 PM.
added link to removed posts


#2 Rimmy1a

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:21 PM

Understanding aside, do you think that knowing who someone on the forum is in game would change the quality or tone of posts?
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#3 Grav

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:30 PM

I think the degree of change would depend on the poster.  But I do subscribe to John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, in any event.

#4 Maksyn

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:40 PM

I fully support this.

#5 Rimmy1a

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:41 PM

View PostGrav, on 04 March 2015 - 07:30 PM, said:

I think the degree of change would depend on the poster.  But I do subscribe to John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, in any event.

Without being at all combative to what you're saying, people hate many/most of my posts. If my signature had a different or lesser-used character instead of my ele, or my forum name was substantially different than my account name, I'm not sure how much differently things would shake out.

I'm not opposed to the idea, mind you. But won't people generally be favourably inclined towards posts from people they like in game, and generally meh or negative towards posts of people they don't care for in game, regardless of the content of a given post?

Maybe a votable squelch option for posters on a per thread basis?
Burn E Mac, Trollnado Extraordinaire; thwarting Laci's perverted machinations since 2014

Since 2015: "Rimmy is Ehmry's leading disruptive cancerous troll." - Slein Jinn

#6 Grav

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:59 PM

View PostRimmy1a, on 04 March 2015 - 07:41 PM, said:

Without being at all combative to what you're saying, people hate many/most of my posts. If my signature had a different or lesser-used character instead of my ele, or my forum name was substantially different than my account name, I'm not sure how much differently things would shake out.

That part of my proposal doesn't apply to you.  We all know who you are in-game.

View PostRimmy1a, on 04 March 2015 - 07:41 PM, said:

I'm not opposed to the idea, mind you. But won't people generally be favourably inclined towards posts from people they like in game, and generally meh or negative towards posts of people they don't care for in game, regardless of the content of a given post?

I think that will always happen to some degree, otherwise friendship wouldn't be a thing.  But at the same time we need to remember we should be debating the post, not the poster.  The problem with anonymous posters is that we can't make that differentiation because we don't know who the poster is.  That pretty much guarantees that their lack of identity will be used against them sooner or later, in every debate they enter into.  But I think any anonymous poster would not only know that, but in fact count on it.  Which only further demonstrates that they are out to cause trouble from the beginning.

View PostRimmy1a, on 04 March 2015 - 07:41 PM, said:

Maybe a votable squelch option for posters on a per thread basis?

Well, we already have the ignore option on the forum.  If either one of the people involved in the linked discussion had used it against the other, there would have been no discussion to link in the first place.

#7 Rimmy1a

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 08:10 PM

View PostGrav, on 04 March 2015 - 07:59 PM, said:

Well, we already have the ignore option on the forum.  If either one of the people involved in the linked discussion had used it against the other, there would have been no discussion to link in the first place.

I'm normally disinclined to block or censor anything, although I realize I was half of the volume of what's prompted you to start this thread.

The votable squelch was so that the readers could collectively decide if the thread would be better off without a particular poster, without necessarily having to completely eliminate them from their radar until the end of time.

Just spitballing here - I don't remember ever being on a forum with such an option.
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#8 Thuley

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 10:51 PM

I see where you are coming from Grav.  I submit for consideration that over 30 months and more than 82k posts truly disruptive users have been the rare exception rather than a common occurrence.

Verifying users will create some administrative overhead and some delay for people who just want to jump into the discussion.  We still receive a number of new users per day.

Would the quality of posts go up enough to justify the effort it will take to verify users?  I don't know the answer to that question, but it's worth thinking about.

#9 Grav

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:19 PM

View PostThuley, on 04 March 2015 - 10:51 PM, said:

I see where you are coming from Grav.  I submit for consideration that over 30 months and more than 82k posts truly disruptive users have been the rare exception rather than a common occurrence.

Agree, and not only that, but much of the disruption has come from a select few people.  Most of those few are long gone or banned already; what I'm proposing is we be a little less patient with the regular troublemakers before they finally stop, either of their own accord or by force.

View PostThuley, on 04 March 2015 - 10:51 PM, said:

Verifying users will create some administrative overhead and some delay for people who just want to jump into the discussion.  We still receive a number of new users per day.

Would the quality of posts go up enough to justify the effort it will take to verify users?  I don't know the answer to that question, but it's worth thinking about.

To formally verify everyone?  No, that's been discussed before and we concluded long ago that it would be difficult - if not impossible - to enforce.  No, what I'm talking about is adopting a convention of informal verification.  By that I mean:

1. Joe Random comes along, posts some stuff that provokes some people.
2. Those people might then ask Joe who he is in-game, to try and better understand where he's coming from.
3. Joe answers with:
a. "I'm Joe.1234, come at me bro".  He checks out, everyone is happy.
b. "I'm Joe.1234, come at me bro", only that's someone else's IGN.  If this were to be proven over the course of time, then obvious troll becomes obvious = goodbye.
c. "I'm a special snowflake and who I am isn't important" - In that case his words have no substance/credibility and he should be prevented from posting more of them = goodbye.

#10 Thuley

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:29 PM

View PostGrav, on 04 March 2015 - 11:19 PM, said:

1. Joe Random comes along, posts some stuff that provokes some people.
2. Those people might then ask Joe who he is in-game, to try and better understand where he's coming from.
3. Joe answers with:
a. "I'm Joe.1234, come at me bro".  He checks out, everyone is happy.
b. "I'm Joe.1234, come at me bro", only that's someone else's IGN.  If this were to be proven over the course of time, then obvious troll becomes obvious = goodbye.
c. "I'm a special snowflake and who I am isn't important" - In that case his words have no substance/credibility and he should be prevented from posting more of them = goodbye.

The A and C options are pretty clear, though there's this about snowflakes:

Posted Image

How would option B work?
Let's say I'll reply with "I am Snowflake.7289", how can you tell that I am not it?

#11 Grav

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:58 PM

View PostThuley, on 04 March 2015 - 11:29 PM, said:

How would option B work?
Let's say I'll reply with "I am Snowflake.7289", how can you tell that I am not it?

It would have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.  For example someone contacts the IGN in-game and they reply "wtf are you talking about", or Joe is asked more than once and gives a different IGN each time, or Joe is asked more than once, gives the same IGN but no-one responds after X amount of questioning or time.

If you wanted to prevent abuse by having everybody calling everybody out, you could have the rule be that only a moderator can ask the user the question, and other users would have to report Joe's posts to prompt the moderator to ask Joe straight up who he is.  At that point, it becomes moderator's discretion as to whether or not Joe is on the level, depending on the quality of his answer.

#12 Aduah

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 07:57 AM

I understand where you are coming from, but Eh, I dont think it would make a difference. These forums are open to anyone who registers. Does knowing who someone is in game really make a difference? Sure, we are all curious who one person or another is in game. We would like to understand where they are coming from, we would like to know if what they say actually holds any weight, we would like to know if were are arguing with someone on out side, or the enemy sides. ETC.

Does it mater if your teammate calls you a tool or if the enemy calls you a tool? Either way, you've been called a tool. I don't think you should look at the insult any differently. What you should be considering is the intent and severity of the insult, or what have you. Is the person who called you a tool joking? Well if its someone you know in game, and they are joking with you on the forums, you'll likely know its a joke and already know who they are in game, whether they state it or not.  On the other hand if someone calls you a tool or worse and it isn't one of your friends. Someone is directly insulting you with no provocation what so ever. If it were me, just ignore it.

I also dont like to censor things, so I don't block people. But if their posts get on my nerves, I just roll my eyes and scroll on by. If I am insulted and I feel it isn't a complete waste of time to reply, then I reply, otherwise I ignore it.

TLDR: Implementing new rules wont solve any problems, IMO.

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#13 Grav

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:13 PM

View PostAduah, on 05 March 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

I understand where you are coming from, but Eh, I dont think it would make a difference. These forums are open to anyone who registers. Does knowing who someone is in game really make a difference?

To me, yes.  It helps me to understand how seriously I should take someone's shitpost.  It doesn't necessarily matter if *I* don't know who that person is, but when *nobody* knows who this person is, and they continue to shitpost, then I don't see how the community can possibly gain from continuing to have them around.

View PostAduah, on 05 March 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

Does it mater if your teammate calls you a tool or if the enemy calls you a tool? Either way, you've been called a tool..

Direct insults are already covered by the existing rules of the forum.  Subtle trolling isn't.

View PostAduah, on 05 March 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

I also dont like to censor things, so I don't block people.

This can be part of the problem.  On it's own it's OK, but when you have two people who refuse to block each other on principle, *and* also insist on having the last word in any discussion, their combined lack of self-control ruins things for the rest of us.  If they're incapable of breaking that cycle, then I think we need rules to prevent that cycle from developing in the first place.

#14 Holden McGroin

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 09:55 AM

I vote nay.

#15 Liric

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 10:29 PM

On one hand I tend to consider one's overall deeds and words over what their identity ultimately is, but on the other hand if they come here and seem to be mostly causing problems and aren't even from Ehmry Bay, their motives become more clear and that should also be considered.

One thing I do think carries weight is that sharing one's identity here comes with a greater responsibility to act well because it can have consequences on how these same people might interact with them in-game, be it trading, guild, or any other opportunities...but then a troll wouldn't typically care about any of this.

In light of them not suffering any real consequences for being known, perhaps simply being harder on trolls is the only solution needed. Nothing lost by dumpstering trolls.

#16 Slein Jinn

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 08:27 AM

View PostAduah, on 05 March 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

I understand where you are coming from, but Eh, I dont think it would make a difference. These forums are open to anyone who registers. Does knowing who someone is in game really make a difference? Sure, we are all curious who one person or another is in game. We would like to understand where they are coming from, we would like to know if what they say actually holds any weight, we would like to know if were are arguing with someone on out side, or the enemy sides. ETC.

Does it mater if your teammate calls you a tool or if the enemy calls you a tool? Either way, you've been called a tool. I don't think you should look at the insult any differently. What you should be considering is the intent and severity of the insult, or what have you. Is the person who called you a tool joking? Well if its someone you know in game, and they are joking with you on the forums, you'll likely know its a joke and already know who they are in game, whether they state it or not.  On the other hand if someone calls you a tool or worse and it isn't one of your friends. Someone is directly insulting you with no provocation what so ever. If it were me, just ignore it.

I also dont like to censor things, so I don't block people. But if their posts get on my nerves, I just roll my eyes and scroll on by. If I am insulted and I feel it isn't a complete waste of time to reply, then I reply, otherwise I ignore it.

TLDR: Implementing new rules wont solve any problems, IMO.
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#17 cassy

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:33 PM

I think that trying to get along is usually more sensible than trying to get people banned.
I don't get along with everyone or agree all the time.  Things are more interesting with a curmudgeon or two.  However, I have no interest in getting anyone banned ever.  I really think that the more people we have, and the wider our community becomes, the stronger it will be.
However, we all have days when we get a bit cranky pants, or want to scream at the wind for blowing.  That is just being human.

View PostRimmy1a, on 04 March 2015 - 07:41 PM, said:

Without being at all combative to what you're saying, people hate many/most of my posts.
Some of that you have deliberately created.  If you troll others, they may decide you are just a troll and treat you as such.  If you prefer being treated as an intelligent, creative, and charismatic person you can express that in your posts as well.
You decide on what you put out there, and most of the people here are fair and reasonable about things.

#18 Rimmy1a

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 09:12 PM

View Postcassy, on 13 March 2015 - 10:33 PM, said:


Some of that you have deliberately created.  If you troll others, they may decide you are just a troll and treat you as such.  If you prefer being treated as an intelligent, creative, and charismatic person you can express that in your posts as well.
You decide on what you put out there, and most of the people here are fair and reasonable about things.

Please do not quote me out of context unless it is for humorous purposes. After the endless trolling and drama you introduced over hacking, which contributed to inhibiting the entire procedure needlessly, I'm not inclined to discuss anything of import with you that is outside of the scope of a given thread.
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#19 cassy

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:24 PM

View PostRimmy1a, on 14 March 2015 - 09:12 PM, said:

Please do not quote me out of context unless it is for humorous purposes. After the endless trolling and drama you introduced over hacking, which contributed to inhibiting the entire procedure needlessly, I'm not inclined to discuss anything of import with you that is outside of the scope of a given thread.
The divisive issue about hackers started before I rolled my first character, involved the commander forums, these forums, as well as boards I don't go to, so the endless trolling was me?  ha ha ha! Oh you are rightly known for your sense of humor.

View PostRimmy1a, on 14 March 2015 - 09:12 PM, said:

I'm not inclined to discuss anything of import with you that is outside of the scope of a given thread.
You just did exactly that . . . . .the hacking discussion is clearly off topic, divisive, and the biggest reason that threads here are getting canned.

View PostGrav, on 05 March 2015 - 01:13 PM, said:

This can be part of the problem.  On it's own it's OK, but when you have two people who refuse to block each other on principle, *and* also insist on having the last word in any discussion, their combined lack of self-control ruins things for the rest of us.  If they're incapable of breaking that cycle, then I think we need rules to prevent that cycle from developing in the first place.
There are ways around these things without changing the rules.  The first would be to block the people who are arguing, the second would be to scroll over them like Aduah, the third would be to address the issue.  As an example you could send a PM to one or both parties asking them to stop and saying why.
I have stopped posting on threads before because someone asked in a PM, and I am sure others have as well. Sometimes a voice of reason is helpful.




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