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Discussion on transparency and staff at mcpublic

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Apologies for the delay, I realize that this is a topic worthy of a good discussion, and so in trying to get a proper wording, have written and promptly discarded several drafts, and finally decided to keep it simple. 

 

As per this discussion on the subreddit, one of the topics that I'd wanted to defer was that of how the selection of mods, admins and heads was run in the past in comparison to today. 

 

To quote the sections I refer to: 

 

  • before: Head Admins elected by popular vote amongst players [5]
  • current: Head Admins chosen by their predecessors; neither mods nor ordinary players have any say.
  • before: Highly contentious bans decided by popular vote [7]
  • current: Appeals can be summarily closed by an uninvolved Tech Admin without elaboration [8]
  • before: Moderators nominated and voted on by ordinary players [9]
  • current: Head Admins decide who is nominated. Moderators then hold a vote, but the result of this vote is not binding and the Head Admins sometimes ignore it.

 

With each of these cases, I'd like to focus around the question: Is a group vote the best way to make these kinds of decisions?

 

I'd like to try to keep this discussion very positive and focused, and please try to avoid any ad hominem arguments (Your opinion sucks because you suck), as that can quite quickly devolve into harassment.   

 

There is also another thread concerning this subreddit post, but I feel it has derailed with the de-anoning of its author, and would like to keep this one on topic. :)

 

As always, if you don't wish to post here, you're more than welcome to pm me privately, and heck, if you don't want to do it with your actual name, do it with an anon account on reddit! I care more about feedback that I can use to better these servers more than the source of it. 

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As for my own opinion, I feel that with the change in our size from 30 or so to thousands of active players makes it an entirely different animal than when these links were posted. It's no longer just a small group going "Hey guys, which one of us should have op?" I do believe that my time as a Padmin was very much so a valuable experience, and I'd want other incoming Head admins to have that kind of preparation.

 

When it comes to ban appeals, I think Tolgar said it well: 

 

  •  Ban appeals are purely a staff thing, we have about 10, maybe 20 max people who are never going to return because they burned all their bridges while slathered in napalm. Unbanning them would be an insult to the people they hurt. Involving the general user base in this process will just confuse everyone, and require going over again, and again, and again pain that people would rather leave behind.

Many of our most difficult bans (that are often in the perma category) involve players harassing one another, and bringing those conversations to public light just renews the wound and for little benefit that I can see. I would certainly be open to (and wanting to!) bringing all the staff into helping decide contentious bans, but there are some cases where it is better if handled by fewer people. 

 

To give an example, say [player A] doxes [player B] and finds out that he has some (insert embarrassing thing here), and they then proceed to taunt them about it through pm's. This is something that we'd take into account in player A's ban, but it's not something that player B is going to want public, and so would be best kept to as few people as possible, which would most likely be the Head admins.

 

As for mod nominations, anyone is welcome to pm a staff member with suggestions for new mods! When it comes to voting, [will edit here with some numbers] I'm pretty sure it's not been common at all for the heads to go against the vote results, and when it does happen, it may be because someone pm'd us with private information (similar to the above example) and we can't well give that information out :/

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I just want to leave a disclaimer here before anything else. Everything that follows is 100% my own personal opinion about how I believe things should be done. Some of it may be right, some of it may be wrong, and some of it I may just be saying out of pure ignorance. Take it as you will. I'm also going to skip around a bit and respond to each in the order than makes sense to me.

 

With regards to how moderators are nominated: I only really have one major problem with the way things are currently done, and that is that when you have current moderators nominating other people, you invariably end up with cities, on P, and clans, on S, that are where most of the mods are located, and there are very few mods anywhere else. I have spoken to thrawn about this, and although she recognized that this can be an issue, we were not able to come up with a solution to it. Therefore I must leave you with a problem and no suggestion for a solution, and I apologize for that.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that there are many people on P, and probably S and maybe C as well, that have the capacity to/should be moderators, but have just never been nominated because they're not known well enough by any moderators that would care to nominate them. Due to this, a lot of P specifically is underrepresented in the policy discussions as well the nomination threads and whatever else is discussed in -mods and modchat private, but more on this issue a bit farther down.

 

Regarding contentious bans, I'm very much against having a popular vote. It it my belief that having such a vote for the bans of certain people would just cause unnecessary drama and mudslinging. That being said, I think it would be very beneficial, and seen as a step towards transparency and the decentralization of power, if such bans were to be voted on by the mod/adminstaff. Obviously not all of the mod/adminstaff know the details surrounding such bans, but this is no different, in my opinion, to the voting threads for new moderators. If you don't know anything about the situation, you could just say so. This, of course, goes back to the issue of the underrepresentation of many people on the servers within mod discussions, and that would very much need to be cleared up before this kind of thing could truly be taken seriously, at least in my opinion.

 

With regards to how headadmins are elected, I'd be interested in setting this up in a similar way to as I described the contentious bans process. Open up the new headadmin discussion to the server admins and maybe even the techs and entire moderating staff. Maybe have the discussion open to the entire staff but the voting only open to the admins. The idea being just to spread the discussion a little farther down the line. And again, this tracks back to the issue of representation among the moderators, but there's no need for me to beat that point to death.

 

So as kind of a TL/DR, my point is that something needs to be done about the current state of the moderators, but what exactly, I don't know. That being said in general it would be a good to get more input about more things. Would this slow things down slightly? Maybe. But I think longterm everyone would be happier.

 

EDIT: I accidentally a sentence

EDIT 2: Dammit, and a word.

Edited by Diznatch52
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As a response to Diz regarding new moderators; I imagine there are many people out there who are capable of becoming a mod, but if they isolate themselves from other towns/communities, how are we supposed to know if they are capable? It goes back to the: "we won't make an unknown play a mod". The reason why more of the 'popular' or known players, for lack of better words, get chosen, is because they know the mods/ or are in communities with staff in it. I am betting there are a lot of capable people out there, who just don't show themselves.
 

If mod nominations were to slide towards players, it would become nothing more than a popularity contest :\

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As a response to Diz regarding new moderators; I imagine there are many people out there who are capable of becoming a mod, but if they isolate themselves from other towns/communities, how are we supposed to know if they are capable? It goes back to the: "we won't make an unknown play a mod". The reason why more of the 'popular' or known players, for lack of better words, get chosen, is because they know the mods/ or are in communities with staff in it. I am betting there are a lot of capable people out there, who just don't show themselves.

 

If mod nominations were to slide towards players, it would become nothing more than a popularity contest :\

I agree with that sentiment, but, and I'm sure to get blasted for this example, you still get towns like Seneca. The biggest in the server by far, and we only have 3 mods in our perms: 1 who is a C mod who hasn't played on P in months, 1 who is an S mod who has played for for a total of 2 weeks, and 1 who is TheRandomatrix. I don't believe that in a city of 200 there is not a single person, other than random, who is worthy of being a mod but just not well known enough outside of Seneca. I am obviously not referring to myself here, as I'm not exactly unknown outside of Seneca. Obviously you can't have mods nominating people that they don't know, though. As I said above, I see the problem but not an easy solution.

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I agree with that sentiment, but, and I'm sure to get blasted for this example, you still get towns like Seneca. The biggest in the server by far, and we only have 3 mods in our perms: 1 who is a C mod who hasn't played on P in months, 1 who is an S mod who has played for for a total of 2 weeks, and 1 who is TheRandomatrix. I don't believe that in a city of 200 there is not a single person, other than random, who is worthy of being a mod but just not well known enough outside of Seneca. I am obviously not referring to myself here, as I'm not exactly unknown outside of Seneca. Obviously you can't have mods nominating people that they don't know, though. As I said above, I see the problem but not an easy solution.

 

To be fair, Seneca this rev didnt have a wide variety of core/regular players, most of the 200 were one time builders who left. It's the same thing with Pico.

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To be fair, Seneca this rev didnt have a wide variety of core/regular players, most of the 200 were one time builders who left. It's the same thing with Pico.

I don't want to get in a discussion this specific here, I'd be happy to discuss it more thoroughly elsewhere.

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I agree with that sentiment, but, and I'm sure to get blasted for this example, you still get towns like Seneca. The biggest in the server by far, and we only have 3 mods in our perms: 1 who is a C mod who hasn't played on P in months, 1 who is an S mod who has played for for a total of 2 weeks, and 1 who is TheRandomatrix. I don't believe that in a city of 200 there is not a single person, other than random, who is worthy of being a mod but just not well known enough outside of Seneca. I am obviously not referring to myself here, as I'm not exactly unknown outside of Seneca. Obviously you can't have mods nominating people that they don't know, though. As I said above, I see the problem but not an easy solution.

 

To be open about it(which this thread is supposed to be about unless I'm mistaken), I've been avoiding suggesting moderators from Seneca to avoid the notion of bias that is being suggested here. That's not to say that I haven't been keeping my eye out, and I doubt you could argue that others haven't been either.

 

I don't believe that admins/mods should be decided based mostly on player decision, as I feel Troop said it best:

 

If mod nominations were to slide towards players, it would become nothing more than a popularity contest :\

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On each of them a consensus of a sensible reportable number of all staff. Most bans don't need this, just as they generally don't involve a second staff member without escalation.

With minimal scrubbing, posting these discussions public too, if this is the place to mention that.

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On the subject of mod nominations, I concur with both points, that more noticeable players have a higher chance of getting nominated, and that visibility is at least partially linked to participating in cities that happen to have greater numbers of mods. I've had a tendency to refrain from nominating mods from my town to reduce this sort of bias myself, but these have been problems from the very beginning. Outright voting is, in my opinion, a bad idea because 1)it turns the process into a popularity contest, and 2)it removes ways to bring up potential issues with a nominee without publicly dragging their name through the mud. Candid debates over the suitability of people to be mods would make for a terribly ugly thread.

 

A possible solution is to have anyone be able to nominate (either publicly or in private) and then have staff debate over the names and get to know nominees a little better. This allows for candid debate yet opens nominations a bit. A potential downside is flooding the pool with names (though in the worst case this would result in a reversion to the status quo of mods highlighting particular nominees). Ultimately though, this is barely different than pm'ing a name to an admin/mod.

 

On the topic of head and server admin selection, the same issues as before come up for straightforward public voting. Expanding the selection process to head/tech/server admins basically means voting among nominees, a strange choice. Expanding voting to mods could work, though this introduces a political element to the selection that could provoke tension. Honestly, I'm not sure which of these is the best option.

 

Open voting on bans is a terrible idea that one can see just by looking at the linked thread, with someone voting to ban because "He's a tool." Rather than a popularity contest, we have a popularity jury. Voting among mods reduces this problem some, but ideally we'd have an impartial judiciary of sorts (which the head admins are intended to be, though very often they become involved in the situation). I would say have an independent court system, but that strains manpower, proportionality, and credulity.

 

One more related topic I'd like to bring up is how votes/polls are handled on subjects of policy. Should we limit ourselves to either binding votes or advisory polls? We seem to have some of each every once in a while, so this might just be a matter of semantic clarification.

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Honestly, I feel the way things are ran now, is an okay way to be doing things. Yes, maybe people feel it is too anonymous the way that mod nominations are done, but as people said above, it does keep the popularity part of nominating moderators off the table. I agree that moderator nominations is ought to be done where moderators vote, and members have the option to message a head admin, and share advice about that user.

 

On the topic with ban voting, this is a good idea IMO. If there are ever high profile bans (like warwickftw) users should be able to get the ability to discuss the ban in public, and decide of the ban ought to be forever, or just for a shorter time. Another example that this could be used, is for moderators to vote in private mod chat, to avoid the tensions. I am not saying there is room for this idea to go wrong, but it would be a progressive idea, again IMO.

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The biggest in the server by far, and we only have 3 mods in our perms

 

Not to split hairs, but that's blatantly untrue. You guys have 12. (Repeats aren't underlined.)

 

Actually, 13 if you count Zuzzia, but she denied the mod offer.

 

Edit: If it wasn't clear, this was meant so that correct information is given when considering something. It's not meant as an attack.

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Not to split hairs, but that's blatantly untrue. You guys have 12. (Repeats aren't underlined.)

 

Actually, 13 if you count Zuzzia, but she denied the mod offer.

Your purely semantically based argument is perfectly correct. I should not have said perms. Perhaps Clanchat would have been a better word to use. Or just the phrase “Who have actively built/ actively build in Seneca.” For your benefit and that of those who might read this, I'll go through each of those names: 

  • Therandomnatrix: already discussed.
  • Buzzie71: If you want to consider buzzie a part of Seneca, that's your decision. He certainly doesn't consider himself to be.
  • Darkskynet: I have never seen him online on P don’t know why he is on perms
  • Kisa Gitana: She's a head of Pink Wool. I don't know how/why she's on Seneca perms.
  • Kitcatbar: Same story as Kisa. Don’t know why you have perms.
  • mrloud: Same as kitcatbar
  • Smiler100: same as kitcatbar
  • Socarch: same as kitcatbar
  • Theacademician: already mentioned her above (The S player)
  • tompreuss: I believe he is on perms based on his helping/working with azumarill in the first 2/3 weeks of the rev. He is also in clanchat, but almost never says anything, and I don’t think he considers himself to be a part of Seneca.
  • Tristan: Same as kitcatbar
  • Njord: Already mentioned him above (the C player)
  • Zuziza: as you said, she is not a mod. Not only that, she's not a builder in Seneca.

I don't know what your point was in bringing photographic evidence that all cities have people on their perms that shouldn't be there. I’ll agree that the phrasing I used was poor and I apologize. I'd prefer to keep the discussion of this thread on topic, however, so if you have any more concerns about this specifically, please contact me via IRC.

 

EDIT: I accidentally a sentence

Edited by Diznatch52
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Blah, had a whole post written up and my browser crashed. QQ  

 

1. I am indeed on Seneca's perms. I am also on Wellspring's, Pico's, Port 80's, Endor's, Port Aperture's, and many many more. I have also only ever built anything in Pico and Wellspring. Most of those perms were granted at the beginning of the revision so I could utilize their (not at the time) "public" farms for UMC purposes. Most of them were never revoked. I'm not the best example for the discussion regarding number of mods or nominees from one area since I'm pretty involved all over the place.   

 

And to repeat, I don't think I would want to be a mod. You guys do a great job and are excellent at keeping the community as a priority. I know I have a temper and can be a controversial player with how I run UMC, so I have no doubt my becoming a mod would cause more problems than it would solve. Perhaps that will change, but the best thing for either group is that I do not join. 

 

2. I think many other posters covered the reasons against player voting, for admins/mods AND bans, very well and can only say that I agree.  

 

3. The only improvement I could suggest is something someone already suggested on the subreddit, but not here: announce the nominees and allow players to PM any concerns or comments to the current admins so that they can be addressed. This avoids public mudslinging, protects the privacy of the commenter, and connects a face to the comment for the admins who receive it. This also prevents shit disturbers from simply creating anonymous accounts to game anything for the lulz. It may get spammy, and it may be annoying when it happens, but these nominations are not terribly common and it'd be easy to just scroll past any obvious flames. 

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As one of the earliest mods, as well as part of the last group of Head Admins to be elected, I feel qualified to add some context about the election process.

 

Part 1: History Lesson

(note: please let me know if any of this is inaccurate, all this stuff happened nearly 3 years ago.)

 

The entire Head Admin position was created so that AllNaturalX wouldn't have to deal with the random rules drama that cropped up from time to time. Other people would sort out the BS so that he would have more time to write plugins and keep the servers running. This post first introduces Nat's idea of a 4-ish "Head Op" panel (later elected here) , and this post shows how the second election went down a week later. Both of these happened in October 2010.

 

But fazaden, why were two elections held within a week of each other?  Good question! The short answer is: drama. Long answer? I don't remember the whole story, but someone wanted warwick gone and held an impromptu election. This highlights one issue with elections: a clear process is necessary to avoid drama and confusion.

 

Due to a panoply of admin inactivity and retirements, we ended up having a third election in December 2010. That's how I got the job, along with a few others.

 

After yet more inactivity and minor admin aboose, the Head Admin team became Skuld, squatly, rainshadow, and myself. We next picked Eustis because we knew we could get along with him, then when squats retired we chose cmdrtebok for the same reason.

 

And thus began the tradition of all further Head Admins being chosen by the current crop of admins. The decision was partly due to fear of popularity contests, partly to prevent infighting, and partly for the sake of convenience.

 

Part 2: My thoughts

 

To be completely honest, elections aren't as much of a popularity contest as you might think. Hell, the only reason I got elected is that I was doing most of the modreqs at the time. (We didn't have any commands for that back then, I was writing down people's names) One common thread to those 3 elections was that people were nominated in advance from current staff; not just anyone was eligible. If only decent staffers are nominated to the position in the first place, what's wrong with letting the community pick? Maybe the person who runs many events will get more votes, or maybe the person who does 90 modreqs a day. (Maybe it'll be a mod/admin who spends most of the time circlejerking in chat, but that's still an important skill to have XD.) Either way, I'd say it's worth a shot.

 

I'm totally up for bringing back Head Admin (maybe even Server Admin) elections, provided that we figure out a good way to count votes and such (but that's a thread unto itself, for now please just stick to whether elections in general are a good idea or not.) I personally feel that they would help build up more trust in the community.

 

As far as players voting on mods, bear in mind there were only about 40-50 active people on the subreddit at the time that [9] link was posted. The admins and mods took a look at those player comments, then went ahead and discussed people in the (at the time, publicly visible) subreddit modchat anyway.  The main difference between that one thread and the way we currently do it is that the general player base had an opportunity to make public comments and nominations. So the main debate here isn't really  "Do we let players vote on mods?", it's more like "How public/open should the nomination process be?" Do we hold nomination threads in Mod Chat Private? Mod Chat, so everyone can read?  Server Discussion, so anyone can post?

 

P.S. Diznatch is right. Let's not get side-tracked with city-specific discussion, let's focus on the overall issues.

 

P.P.S. This isn't directly related to elections, but I came across some other random historical links during my hours of research:

 

Old

(my very first obstacle course is visible at 0:16)

 

Our first charity marathon (this is something we absolutely need to do again, by the way. Last year we skipped it.)

 

Also, lol Dome 1

 

P.P.P.S: Heh. I've always wanted to use the word 'panoply' in a sentence.

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I hope we can keep this discussion clean of arguements over PVE cities from now on.

 

Head Admin Elections

 

We now host a large community, so certain voting methods have to change in regards to that. So for the nomination of new head admins, I believe the voting should be left to the moderators and head admins. However, I would like this vote to be open for viewing to the general community.

 

Contentious Bans

 

Bans of this nature should not be handled by a single admin or moderator. When something of this nature arrises, it should be voted on by a panel of admins/ moderators, preferably selected at random or with consideration to personal involvement in the situation.

 

Moderator Voting

 

Having players nominate moderators could become an extremely messy process. I am not sure that opening up voting to the general community will help this community move forward. It opens a whole new door of drama that could become extremely toxic.

 

This being said, I think moderators and admins should be in charge of choosing the nominees and casting a binding vote that cannot be overturned. However, somewhat contridictory to my previous statement, the community should also be involved in this process. Sometimes not all the mods or admins have had interaction with the nominees. In order to give them a quick and easy overview of community opinion, it would be nice to have a seperate community vote on the nominees. This would purely be for a moderator or admin to get a feel of the general communities opinion.

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djt832, that last part of a community vote separate from the mods vote sounds ok, but they've tried the same thing with the PvE mob cap and when the admins decided on a different option from the one which won a popular vote a massive shitstorm erupted. Even people with no horse in the race were dissapointed at the perceived lack of transparency. Unless the community vote has at least some tangible say (say, 50% of the deciding process or something) I feel all this would do is incite more drama.

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I kinda like how this community somehow reflects political reality, but that is also scary.

The people in power slowly but steadily

- take control about the information the "normal people" can get [britain's "Porn" Filter ⇔ No access to logs]

- take control of who can get power [just a few electable parties ⇔ Head admins decide on mods and future admins]

There is also people who get jailed/banned for no legitimate reason without fair court/appeal [Guantanamo + , Gustl Mollath + , whistle blowers ⇔ barneygale]

Do you want to change that?

Do you think the current administration will let you throw them out?

I doubt that, but try and we will see.

PS: If one of you know a good example of surveillance in this community, well,. I don't think I'll need to explain further then. Just. Run.

Oh,. and on topic, make some kind of constitution, and have admins to be responsible to the community and not just them selves.

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Katta this isn't a public organisation. A constitution doesn't make a country or private online organization any more responsible. They are valid ideas, but it seems like overkill that could be easily rendered worthless.

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I was going to write a fairly long post, but after reading fazaden's post this morning. I entirely agree with what he stated. +1

 

 

EDIT - Modified version of what I had posted on the subreddit:

 

  • I'd like to see moderator and admin nominations/voting return. Moderators are first nominated by the community and/or staff, admins by the (current) moderation team. Voting for all places should then be done by the community. As we are just that - a community - I feel the decisions should be left there. (I don't say this to bash our current moderation or admin team, I just feel that leaving decisions in the hands of a very limited number of people sometimes can cause issues, including people throwing the 'nepotism' word around)

Edited by zifnab06
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Here's how I would do mod/admin/head admin/contentious ban voting:

 

[ Head Admins / Admins ]

- Current people in the position suggest who out of the staff would be a good person for that position

- Taking that into consideration the level of staff before the voting position choose/vote among themselves on who would be best suited for the job

- The chosen person then chooses whether to accept the position

- If he/she accepts he/she can be vetoed from position by a unanimous vote (100%) of the current people in the position

 

[ Moderators ]

- Current moderators nominate five candidates

- If the public, by a majority, has no problem with these candidates then the general active population (the ones that will actually pay attention to any of this that aren't staff) will vote on who would be best suited for the position

- If the public, by a majority, does not like any of the five candidates a new list of candidates must be created by the current moderators

- If a nominated person, who has been liked and voted for by the general public, accepts the moderator staff position- he/she is then granted perms for the moderator position :)

 

[ Contentious Ban ]

- After both sides present their case the staff votes on whether to permaban, temp ban, or not to ban at all.

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I am open to players suggesting names for possible mods. This has always been a personal policy of mine, albeit an unwritten one. I know I can't be everywhere all the time, so I rely on the rest of the people who play the servers to keep their eyes open. Usually after a player has suggested a name I either look through logs to get a feel of how the person conducts themselves in game, or I talk to them in mumble if I'm on at the same time they are, or ask other people about them and their suitability for modship. Input from anyone on anything is always welcome.

 

This is true for any Admin position as well. I have had mods in the past say who they think would be a good server or Head Admin and I take that into consideration as I discuss said person's suitability with the other Head Admins. The same can be said for anyone who plays the servers. It's informal and you have to trust me to listen, but I'd like to think my past record shows I do take the time to listen to anyone who wants/needs to speak with me about anything.

 

It seems to me we need to formalize the preceding policy - Barlimore has kicked it off for the next CAdmin discussion.

 

Controversial bans (I know I've contributed to the drama regarding this and one particular ban). First off, I am troubled by how often I am compared to a dictator or some totalitarian regime. The decision to ban barneygale and keep him banned was already collaborative effort by all the Head Admins and most of the Tech Admins (because barney was a security risk to the servers). Lude issued the ban in the first place for "abuse of powers (unauthorized server access), ban evasion." Barney was given several opportunities to appeal his ban but continued to burn bridges, resulting in bans from mumble, irc, the forums, and the subreddit - the bans from each coming with their own reasons; he was not just whole-sale across the board banned from everything. He is not the only one banned from all of Nerd's services. I am willing to try to reconstruct a history of his ban and multiple appeals if there is interest, but if you search the old forums they are there, publicly viewable. As this is a partial derailment of the topic at hand, I will leave further comments to said post (should it be requested by people).

 

I understand wanting to have a greater say in the community, but the more controversial bans often contain very personal information neither side would want made public. In these cases in particular, the people involved trust the banning Admin with the private information Permabans are either repeat offenders who make it clear they have not learned how to follow the rules, or people who have been determined by staff at some point to be a detriment to the community in some way. The better examples are the ones banned for harassing others. These in particular would not be pretty to have to make public.

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I believe the whole community should be able to have a say in every decision, and this needs to be written. I do not mean that all players get to vote on who they want to be staff, but they should be able to suggest and comment on who they think would be best for the role. I also believe that they should be able to say if they don't think a player is suitable for a staff position, whether it be mod, admin or head. I think server admins should have equal 'authority' and say to tech admins, if not more. Recently they seem to have had more say in all issues than all players but the heads. Fair enough they should be able to have the final say in technical problems and ideas, but not regarding bans (unless they banned them) or staff promotions. 

 

Controversial bans (I know I've contributed to the drama regarding this and one particular ban). First off, I am troubled by how often I am compared to a dictator or some totalitarian regime. The decision to ban barneygale and keep him banned was already collaborative effort by all the Head Admins and most of the Tech Admins (because barney was a security risk to the servers). Lude issued the ban in the first place for "abuse of powers (unauthorized server access), ban evasion." Barney was given several opportunities to appeal his ban but continued to burn bridges, resulting in bans from mumble, irc, the forums, and the subreddit - the bans from each coming with their own reasons; he was not just whole-sale across the board banned from everything. He is not the only one banned from all of Nerd's services. I am willing to try to reconstruct a history of his ban and multiple appeals if there is interest, but if you search the old forums they are there, publicly viewable. As this is a partial derailment of the topic at hand, I will leave further comments to said post (should it be requested by people).

Althought I don't want to take this thread off topic, I will briefly comment on this. Barneygale's original ban was completely deserved, everyone knows that. However his most recent ban appeal and thread on the subreddit were not handled at all well. Petty comments and arguments coming from the staff is the last thing you should expect from players who are thought to be the more 'mature'. Everyone's opinion should be respected, no matter what relationship you have with the player.

 

With contentious bans, there shouldn't be votes from anyone. It should be handled by staff only, however anyone in the community should be able to give their opinions on what they think should happen to the player through private message to the staff handling the appeal. Both parties should be able to give their sides of the argument in the appeal, it shouldn't be closed prematurely before all questions have been answered and a fair decision has been made.

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Althought I don't want to take this thread off topic, I will briefly comment on this. Barneygale's original ban was completely deserved, everyone knows that. However his most recent ban appeal and thread on the subreddit were not handled at all well. Petty comments and arguments coming from the staff is the last thing you should expect from players who are thought to be the more 'mature'. Everyone's opinion should be respected, no matter what relationship you have with the player.

 

With contentious bans, there shouldn't be votes from anyone. It should be handled by staff only, however anyone in the community should be able to give their opinions on what they think should happen to the player through private message to the staff handling the appeal. Both parties should be able to give their sides of the argument in the appeal, it shouldn't be closed prematurely before all questions have been answered and a fair decision has been made.

 

I agree with all of this. Especially - to keep this on topic - the second paragraph. Anyone who has relevant information or particularly if they were directly involved they should be spoken to and they are encouraged to give their input.

 

And, of course, at any time a player sees a ban and feels the staff member(s) handling it have been unfair, they are welcome to come to a different staff member. I have spoken to mods about how they handle bans in the past and will not hesitate to do so in the future if necessary. Again, I cannot be everywhere at once, and I rely on the hundreds of people looking at ban appeals to keep an eye on the banning staff and appeal to another staff member if they feel something is amiss.

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Many of you make brilliant points, I think. I strongly agree that all players should have a say in the area of new mods, however keep voting disabled for all ranks lower than the mods themselves. I also think that the discussions on new mods should be paid more attention by the community as a whole, as that way no party receives all the benefit from new mods - thus allowing all new mods to be accepted widely. Of course, it's always up to the Admins and Head Admins to get the final say, but ordinary players should have the power to provide some insight on their overall decisions.

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