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Rule Change: Publication of Infraction Appeal Threads

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Camikaze, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I support the idea that permanent points should have expiration conditions that are clear and reasonable. I suggest that six months after a posters last permanent point, their first PP should expire and be removed. Thereafter, every three months without a new PP, the now oldest should be removed.

    Old news infractions should be forgotten after reasonable time. This is a changing environment and moderation standard, as well as, what gets infracted changes over time. People change; moderators change, poster interactions change; troublesome pairs go their separate ways. Everything over two years old should be forgotten and removed. That probably ought to be 12 months.

    An cultivating an environment of long term punishment is stupid. works against the idea of community.
     
  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I'm in partial agreement here. Many old infractions were issued for things that aren't remotely on the list of infractible offenses anymore.

    People do indeed change. I've seen that myself, where people who used to have difficulties have become much better forum citizens. Sometimes this is because people do grow up and mature over time, and sometimes it's because they took a hard look at themselves and decided to make an effort to be a more positive member of the community.
     
  3. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Well, that clarifies things somewhat.

    I note no response to my appeal. What should be concluded from that?
     
  4. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    as per the rules if you do not get a reply within a reasonable time (rules say a day) ask a(nother) supermoderator for initiating a review. Also of course in order to appeal an infraction, you need to actually have been issued one.
     
  5. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    I think we call that a 'catch 22'. Obviously Domen can no longer appeal, precisely because of the permanent ban. I've had many differences of opinion with Domen (as anybody can check). I just thought it be reasonable to consider a final appeal. (And for the record, I've not been asked by Domen to do so, as any mod can check as well.)

    My appeal was a serious request. I think at least it deserves some sort of response, as opposed to 'ignore user'...
     
  6. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    I was unaware members could appeal the banning of another.

    Regardless, contacting a moderator privately is probably a better bet than posting in an unrelated thread.
     
  7. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    Only the affected user can appeal an infraction (or ban resulting from such an infraction). Also of course banned users can appeal their ban. We are just not going to rerererererererererereview everything on the request of another user.
     
  8. Lefty Scaevola

    Lefty Scaevola Moderatus Illuminatus Super Moderator

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    Uh, his appeal of the last infraction resulting in his permaban is copied into the infraction review forum above.
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=550427
    No catch 22 prevented his appeal.
     
  9. Sir Bugsy

    Sir Bugsy Civ.D.

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    Playing devil's advocate here, what prevents a banned user from opening another account under another user name? Do we keep track of IP addresses?
     
  10. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I don't really like the permanence of permanent points either, or the automatic nature of them - I'd rather have the choice to give expiring points for relatively minor but still infractible offenses. One idea could potentially be to make them long-term rather than permanent, with expiration times of 1-2 years. The long ban could come at 15 points rather than 21, but also be a 1 year ban rather than a permanent one, with permabans coming only if they come back and trip the point limit a second time. This would give problematic but immature posters time to grow up, and also to find sites other than this one.

    Still though, the PP system isn't that bad as a last resort for users who simply can't or won't behave in a way consistent with the site rules. I think most other sites would just summarily permaban such users, but we do give them a last chance as well as a formal procedure before we kick them out. And its use is declining, considerably faster than the site's traffic as a whole is declining. Since I became a mod in May 2014, there have only been two permabans through the PP system, and nobody has been added to the PP list since the beginning of 2015.

    As for the permanence of the infraction record, we do take into account how old users' infractions are. A person who racked up 50 infractions, but all in 2007-2010, is generally going to get much more lenient treatment in a borderline case than someone who has accumulated a large number of infractions recently.

    Yep, we do keep track of IP addresses, and banned users tend to have very distinctive posting styles that makes it obvious who a suspicious new account belongs to.
     
  11. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Actually, it has. Domen appealed his last infraction resulting in a permanent ban. There's no Supreme Court to appeal final bans, as far as I'm aware of the operations of moderations, that is. Once you're permanently banned, that's it. And this is why I am making the appeal, not Domen. He's banned from CFC.

    I note the primary reason was Domen spamming. I've personally noticed some of Domen's responses in discussions might be termed as such, because they seem irrelevant to what is being discussed. That doesn't necessarily mean the intention was to spam; it may be that Domen has trouble discerning between what is relevant to a discussion and what might be considered spam. This may be crystal clear to a moderator, but not necessarily so to a poster like Domen.

    This might explain why trying to enter into a discussion with Domen may seem infuriating. But a response being infuriating is, obviously, not a cause for a ban.

    Also, I am not appealing for a rerererererereview (?). I'm arguing that the permanent ban be taken serious, especially considering the infraction build-up system employed.

    It was also mentioned that a perma-ban appeal should be addressed to a specific moderator in PM. This is illogical: the perma-ban results from the decision of all moderators, not an individual one.

    It was also mentioned I cannot appeal, because I am not the affected party. This is not true. I am affected by the permanent ban of Domen, just as any user who has been responding to or reading any of his posts. The argument of 'not being affected' is therefore flawed.

    Kindly view this as a matter of principle. The case of Domen just happens to be the instance.
     
  12. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I'm not sure I quite understand your point regarding not having a chance to appeal, given Lefty linked to an actual appeal itself. True it is that the appeal in question is for the infraction triggering the ban, and not the ban itself, but every user on the permanent point program has the opportunity to appeal their place on the program. Once a user reaches the pre-determined 21 point level, whilst they can contest the individual infractions, it's too late to contest the foundation of the program itself. To expand the process:
    • User is placed on the program and told they will be banned when they reach 21 permanent points - at this stage they can contest their placement on the program.
    • User receives permanent point infraction - at this stage they can contest each individual infraction. They can also contest their place on the program at any stage.
    • User reaches 21 permanent points and is permanently banned - at this stage they can contest the final infraction, but the permanent ban itself is just the automatic operation of the program, which could've been contested at any prior time.

    We could allow an official review of the actual ban itself to be contested once it has been enacted, but it would be completely pointless to do so, because no-one who has been warned that they are on the program, has not successfully appealed their place on that program at any stage, and has reached 21 permanent points, is going to be successful in their appeal. If such a system would set up, all appeals would simply be summarily dismissed, and the appeal mechanism would be illusory. If it were not, the permanent point system would be illusory.

    Given the user in question has had plenty of opportunity to request a review of their place on the program and of their ban more generally, it would not be particularly productive to allow other users to appeal instead. The only situation in which an appeal by another user would be successful is if the banned user had decided not to exercise their appeal options, in which case the value of the successful appeal may be doubted.

    Other users are also not relevantly aggrieved parties. Although in some sense anything that happens on these forums impacts on all users, this sort of indirect effect is not what is contemplated in this context. Whether a user is banned is a matter between that user and staff, not staff and the broader forum community.

    The requirement that an appeal be addressed to a specific moderator is not because that specific moderator undertakes the review by themselves, but simply because a single moderator is capable of bringing the matter to staff and presiding over the review.

    I won't address the specifics of the user in question - if you wish to discuss the banning of a specific user, you should do so via PM. But suffice to say that a permanent ban is not done on a whim, and is not enacted without ample opportunity for appeal. It comes at the end of a long series of events (usually extending over years).
     
  13. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    I understand your argument, but it's not the infraction itself I'm addressing, but the 21 permanent point idea. Let's suppose I've been a bad boy 5 years ago, resulting in 20 infraction points permanent. No matter how much I'll be a good boy since, I am still subject to the 21 permanent point ban once another slip up occurs.

    I'm sure the deliberations concerning the specific 21th point were extensive (although Domen pointed out the same thing: he had been 'good' for 6 months, to which a mod responded: 'Ah yes, but you've been warned several times during that period!' That's like telling a suspected thief in court protesting he hasn't stolen anything in 6 months: 'Ah, but you see, you've been warned not to steal several times!'). The point is that, no matter how long you've been on good behaviour the system never rewards that. It only counts the 21th infraction and you're up for a permanent ban.

    On these grounds I would consider myself an affected party - even though, as far as I know, I'm under no such permanent ban threat, Not because I'm Domen, or have communicated repeatedly with Dome, but because this rigidity in the infraction system concerns all posters.

    So I'm not appealing Domen's 21th point infraction specifically, but the permanent point system itself - of which the permanent ban was a result. And I would be very happy if the moderators - as a collective - would consider this.

    In addition, in law there is a principle that the punishment should be in right proportion to the crime (as in we don't cut off a thief's hands, as this would be considered an excessive punishment in relation to the crime of theft). Now, forum rules aren't law, but that doesn't imply the same principle should not be applicable. I am mentioning this, because as far as I know CFC posters aren't usually deliberately insulting other posters or things of that nature. (I am thinking of certain youtube threads where this does happen regularly.) So the question is, does a permanent ban/point system do justice to the general behaviour of CFC posters? I'm not proposing it be abandoned altogether, but is it not aimed at such people who do heinous things? (I wouldn't consider spamming, under normal conditions, a heinous thing, but rather an annoying thing, for example.)

    On a slightly unrelated note, I do have a question. Did anybody bother to explain to Domen why what he was doing is considered spam? Because from a psychological point of view it might also be termed panicking (because of the permanent ban threat).
     
  14. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    If a user has been sitting on 20 permanent points for 5 years, then they will likely be successful when they appeal their place on the program, which they have the opportunity to do. There is no lack of opportunity for a user to appeal their place on the program. The system is specifically designed to reward good behaviour by firstly making clear that the user won't be permanently banned if they are able to steer clear of 7 more infractions, and secondly by explicitly providing a review mechanism.

    The issue you're identifying seems more to be with staff's willingness (or lack thereof) to accede to those appeals. That being taken off the permanent point program will take some convincing is probably a product of the extent to which we agonise over placing people on the program in the first place. If a user isn't successful in their appeal of their place on the program, that's representative of staff's calculation that, should the user in question post in such a way that they would reach 21 points, it would be best for the forum that they be permanently banned. Minds may understandably differ on that point, but it says little of the mechanism through which we arrive at that point, which provides ample opportunity for review and a realisation by the user of their situation.
     
  15. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    This isn't an apt analogy. It would be more appropriate to describe Domen as a thief who had been caught several times and was told that the next time he steals he's going to jail, then he gets caught stealing and he tries to appeal by saying "well I hadn't stolen anything in 6 months!" And the judge says "well actually over the past six months you've stolen a pack of gum, you've snuck into a movie theater and you shoplifted a bag full of candy. Ordinarily these would have been met with fines, but as the law demands that we send you to prison on your next convicted criminal activity, we didn't feel these improprieties were severe enough to warrant action."

    It's not that Domen had been a good boy for 6 months. It's that the mods were laxer with him for 6 months because any points meant perma points, and the last time was one-too many times to overlook.
     
  16. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    The PP system and its predecessor, The Road to Permanban, are/have been the staff attempts to curtail the most offensive poster behavior of the day. Both are/were terribly slow processes that often took years to actually permaban someone who was repeatedly obnoxious without being excessively horrible. IIRC there have been a dozen or so hater, porno, drunken posters who were never able to accept common decency as a rule and they were banned quickly and repeatedly without ceremony or prolonged discussion.

    During the 5 years that I was a mod, the slowness of the systems, I think, reflected the hard line/soft line split among the staff.There is a case for both sides in discussing whether the rules are more important than the posters. When the forces for "law and order" are in the ascendant, there is little forgiveness for past behavior and so PP are rarely expired.

    My solution would be to do away the entire infraction system and just use 1, 3, 7, & 30 day bans for any situation where mod tags fail to curb a poster's behavior, with the emphasis on effective use of mod tags as the primary line of defense against poor posting.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    How would that work from a technical standpoint? Now, when someone is infracted, they receive a PM to tell them about it, and part of that PM is automatically generated, with a link to the offending post, which also appears in the poster's infraction record which they can access.
     
  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Well, mod tags would be public and could be inserted into a post or added to a quoted post to bring it to the top of the thread. Bans could be automated or done the old fashion way with a pm by the mod issuing it. Or the ban could be announced through mod tags and followed up with a pm. if the goal is excellent record keeping the current system works very well. If the goal is improved posting, I suggest a change.
     
  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Ideally, we need both. I daresay you haven't had the experience of trying to appeal an infraction/ban when the points were given "through the back door" using a Profile Infraction. That results in a situation where there isn't a link to follow to the offending post, at least not one visible to the infractee.
     
  20. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    What does that serve other than to give the post license to act up again in the future?
     

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