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New Forum Rules Enforcement Policy and Forum Rules Review Committee

Discussion in 'Forum Rules' started by Snape, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. Snape

    Snape Master of the BanHammer Staff Member PAF Administrator

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    Hi Everyone,

    As all of you know, and if you don't then you should by now, Planet Arkadia Forum has a set of rules that govern the use and administration of the forum. Some of you love them (well, love might be stretching things a bit ;)), some of you hate them and then there is the vast majority of you that simply use the forum and vaguely recognise that there seem to be a team of little fairies that keep this place as free and clear of rubbish and problems as possible.

    So as to explain where this is coming from, I will give you all a little background ;)


    **************************************************


    In the beginning...

    ...The Admin/Mod team decided we were going to curb a lot of the rubbish that have turned past forums into steaming cesspools and ruining the once good name of those places. We were determined that this forum was going to be held to a higher standard and in higher regard by the community and recognised as a place to come and get involved in mature, constructive discussion without all the flaming and childish shenanigans you will find in other places.

    As a consequence and our fairly rigid adherence to this policy, there were complaints that we were too strict and that we were stifling open discussion and debate. So, having taken the feedback aboard we backed off and took a more lenient approach to things, allowing threads etc. to run more of a course before stepping in, to allow double and triple posts to be made without merging them and to correct peoples posted images and video links without making a fuss or issuing infractions or resorting to Temp Bans.

    On occasion when some have gone too far, the most we have done is send them a PM outlining the issue, giving them the chance to correct things or explaining our reasoning. Most of the time this has been met with polite mature responses and discussion where necessary and things have been resolved nicely. On others, things have been "uncivil" to put it mildly. Unfortunately, our continued leniency seems to have had the opposite effect and some enterprising people have decided to flaunt the rules and regularly push the envelope, almost as if to test how far the Mods will allow them to stray before getting pulled back into line. Only twice in the existence of PAF have we had to permanently ban anyone and we do not wish to have to do so again.

    Unfortunately, this has resulted in a MASSIVE increase in workload for the team. Few of us have time enough to login these days without the added workload being created by the forum.


    **************************************************​


    So, we will be instituting a new policy. On the surface, nothing will appear different to how things are run now. As the majority of people here have always done the right thing, they need not think we are going to suddenly start clamping down on everything again. Let me assure you that is not the case. Little things we will just fix as we normally do, no need to worry.

    What we will be doing is putting in a set of steps behind the scenes that we, the Admins and Moderators, will follow with the people that do cause trouble or continuously ignore the forum rules. The idea is that this new system is more automated and will take a lot of time intensive steps out of the equation for the Admin/Mod team. The system we will use will be a 3 warnings (till the system has time to settle in and people get familiar with it) and 3 infractions in any given 30 day period, sort of arrangement:


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    Warnings and Infractions

    Part 1: Warnings

    • First warning - handle/mod as normal - PM sent to advise the person and offer assistance
    • Second warning - handle/mod as normal - PM sent advising person and offer assistance a second time
    • Third warning - handle/mod as normal - PM sent advising person and offering assistance a thirds time but also advising them that additional problems will incur infraction points against their profile (you can view these in the same place you see your rep messages) and that they will be placed on a watch list for further issues.

    (TO CLARIFY: -
    - A Warning looks similar to an Infraction on your profile page, but it DOES NOT have any points attached to it and DOES NOT COUNT towards an Auto-ban score.)


    Part 2: Infractions


    • First Infraction - Infraction (with points) and PM again explaining that each infraction issues points and once they reach a certain limit, they get auto banned
    • Second Infraction - Infraction (with points) and PM with final warning
    • Third Infraction - Infraction (with points) will push them over the auto-ban limit and auto-ban for 1 month.

    (TO CLARIFY: - - An Infraction DOES has a points value assigned to it based on the third violation of the forum rules breaching a threshold at which time the system will automatically ban the user for a period of 30 days.)

    Infractions will auto-expire after a period of THIRTY (30) days. This means someone will need to incur THREE (3) infractions in any given period of THIRTY (30) days in order to be Temp Banned by the system. However, the Admin/Mod team still has the power to override this and extend the ban if they feel it necessary.

    If after several Temporary bans, a person continues with the same behaviour, then the team will meet and discuss whether the issuing of another temp ban for a greater time period or even a permanent ban is warranted.



    Now, that all might sound horrible to some and not enough to others but we have always striven to be as middle of the road as we can whilst still keeping things on the straight and narrow. What's more, we will be totally reviewing the Forum Rules BEFORE we put this new policy into effect, so that all of our little ducks are in a nice neat row. See post #2 below for details.


    At any and all times, people will have more than enough opportunity to ask the Admin/Mod team for assistance or help in using the forum properly.
     
  2. Snape

    Snape Master of the BanHammer Staff Member PAF Administrator

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    Forum Rules Review

    As a part of a review process we will be forming a
    group to review the Forum Rules periodically with both Arkadia Studio Staff, Planet Arkadia Forum Staff and a couple of selected members of the forum community. Further to that, the community positions will be rotational positions so that different people will be asked to sit in on each review. This way we can make sure that people can't be accused of continued influence over the Forum Staff and the way things are run.

    Group structure will be:


    • Cyrus - Community Manager and liaison with Ark Studios
    • Snape - Administrator and Senior Moderator
    • Larkin - Moderator

    Plus


    • Rotational Community Rep #1
    • Rotational Community Rep #2
    • Rotational Community Rep #3
    • Rotational Community Rep #4
    • Rotational Community Rep #5
    • Rotational Community Rep #6

    A new reviewing group will be formed in the Group section and active discussion will take place in that private section, with the Forum Rules being updated once the periodical review is concluded. After the review is finished, the community representatives will be removed from the group and new ones will be selected when the next review takes place. At this stage we are yet to settle on a solid reviewing period, but are leaning towards a period of 12 months, however, but this may be changed once the first Group sits.
     
  3. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    Thanks. my only problem with this is: I fail to see how it saves you work lol.

    I do very much like that the overall emphasis is on dealing with individuals, rather than closing discussions; since the latter policy (much over-used on other fora) only gratifies the trolls, and does not, in any case, prevent them from continuing their trolling in-game.

    Keep up the great work! (and try not to drop dead from exhaustion. We need ya! )

    jay :)
     
  4. Snape

    Snape Master of the BanHammer Staff Member PAF Administrator

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    Thanks for the kudos Jay :D

    The team does a great job, I wouldn't be able to keep up if not for the terrific backup and support that they provide and its great to see them taking a more active role on the forums here so I can take my foot of the throttle a bit more.

    I've been horrendously busy lately and the intended update of the rules got delayed again, but I'm determined to get it done this weekend and next with the new system coming into effect from Monday the 13th of May so that everyone has a week to reread things before the new system takes up the baton.

    Thanks to the people that helped out this time round with going over the existing rules and making recommendations for changes, you were all a tremendous help.
     
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