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Why is everyone quitting beamdog forums?

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I don't think there's anything unusual about Beamdog moderators posting in a G3 thread about Beamdog moderation--we're the subject of this conversation. We've tried to limit our posting because we don't want to get involved in a lengthy back-and-forth that could degenerate into semantics, or come off as personal criticism, but a few new points have come up, which I'll address in general terms:

1. We've increased our communication with warned users, but everyone who has received a ban from the BD forums did receive a warning before the ban. Warnings are cumulative and range from 0-5, with a 5 being a ban. That's why we call them warnings, and why the text essentially always begins with the standard phrase, "the moderating team is issuing a level X warning." Usually we explicitly mention the possibility of a ban at the end of the first warning issued. Whether a given user should have received more warnings is another question, but we use both the words "warning" and "ban" in those messages.

Only a single person (not anyone in this thread) has ever received a level 5 warning right off the bat. I can't describe that post because it would infringe on another user's privacy, but it was far uglier than anything I've ever read in the community.

2. We do factor in user responses to those warnings, but a lengthy apology is not needed. When I think back to user responses that got their warnings reduced, it's usually just two sentences. We thank the user, downgrade the warning (or just not send a warning at all), and then move on.

3. I can't speak for the opinions of other moderators, but when I was reading the oldest posts in the BD forums, I noticed that Dee would often include his personal opinions in the same posts in which he issued warnings (scolding users by name) and closing threads, giving him the "last word" in those conversations.

4. As one or two people have complained, we do not treat older or more popular forumites differently because they have been on the forum longer, made more posts, or contributed more in some way to the forum.

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12 minutes ago, semiticgod said:

1. We've increased our communication with warned users, but everyone who has received a ban from the BD forums did receive a warning before the ban. Warnings are cumulative and range from 0-5, with a 5 being a ban. That's why we call them warnings, and why the text essentially always begins with the standard phrase, "the moderating team is issuing a level X warning." Usually we explicitly mention the possibility of a ban at the end of the first warning issued. Whether a given user should have received more warnings is another question, but we use both the words "warning" and "ban" in those messages.

Only a single person (not anyone in this thread) has ever received a level 5 warning right off the bat. I can't describe that post because it would infringe on another user's privacy, but it was far uglier than anything I've ever read in the community.

Well, I was banned before getting any warning before. 😎

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You see, guys? No reason to complain. You're all a bunch of meanies who can't live up to BD's High Standards™

I mean, they even have a Warning Level System [patent pending]. So clearly, no one has ever been banned for petty reasons. It's just that you achieved level 5. How? We can't say. Moderator discussions are above your paygrade, I'm afraid. And you wouldn't understand, anyway.

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Offtopic to the banning, am i the only one that gets annoyed by this holier than thou talk of "not a random community" and especially this myth that goes around for years that the BD forums are very friendly in contrast to other fora ?

It is insulting and demeaning to the efforts of the G3 team / shsforums team and other communities.

I am not a member here and SHS for long but i read the two fora for years and also gamebanshee (before they "upgraded" to a new forum software version that made it unreadable for me) and the older ironworks forum. All of them had friendly people that answered questions and provided useful information for years before beamdog was even an idea to the creators's minds. I know there are some downtimes in SHS's case but all 4 fora continue to be maintained to this day for our benefit and they will probably exist long after BD gets bored and closes their forum (like bioware did).

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1 hour ago, semiticgod said:

Only a single person (not anyone in this thread) has ever received a level 5 warning right off the bat. I can't describe that post because it would infringe on another user's privacy, but it was far uglier than anything I've ever read in the community.

You see, that's precisely how it all goes haywire. You try to create a "safe space" where every special snowflake can feel protected from harm. I roll my eyes, but okay, your choice. Then you say that rules are for everyone, decisions are not to be discussed, iron fist dictatorship etc. That actually sounds fine to me, provided the rules are fixed to general standard.

But this is what happens next - on one hand you warn and ban all normal people who may have accidentally infringed upon someone's precious feelings, while on the other you won't babysit those special ones you wanted to feel comfortable and they start whispering to each other how scared and afraid they are to post on your forum anymore because mods refuse to pat their emotional selves on the back.

And your forum, as a result? It's dead, Jim. Dead. All your efforts washed down the drain.

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17 minutes ago, khelban12 said:

Offtopic to the banning, am i the only one that gets annoyed by this holier than thou talk of "not a random community" and especially this myth that goes around for years that the BD forums are very friendly in contrast to other fora ?

This is exactly how Baronius used to frame his actions at BWL. "We aren't like the others, we have standards!"

Only difference is that good old B would also add "stupid Americans can't understand how us superior Eastern Europeans do things".

Edited by Clockwerk
spelling

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Good old Baronius... He thought I was American too, based on my postings :) 

Back when I was still wearing the vip dev badge and could access the mod room, I did tell Semitic and Julius that their forum feels precisely like BWL did. Alas, they just couldn't seem to grasp the possibility someone may find BD forum an unpleasant place.

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[The content of this post has been deleted. This post can be removed]

Edited by Shandyr
Peace

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I thought you had come to terms with it...

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@Shandyr, alright, that thread gave me a good chuckle on a miserable day. I understand you were being ironic and making fun of the SoD controversy, but they all took it at face value? (I mean, I hope so. You can never know nowadays.) Then good on you for playing both sides, and honestly if you got banned for this then you should realise it's only their loss.

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21 hours ago, Shandyr said:


I will clarify again: I never asked to be reinstated. In fact, I did the opposite:
Half a year ago, I contacted a moderator and made a request that my old account be deleted for good.
Complete deletion. And I stand by that request.

 

My request has just been granted. All of my content has been deleted from the Beamdog forum.

@JuliusBorisov
I thank you so much. That is so important for my inner peace. I'm crying right now.
This is so meaningful to me. And it is the first gesture of peace and appreciation that I have been granted from you in such a long time.
This is the closure I so desperately wanted. I thank you.

Edit: And in return I am going to stop talking about you moderators from now on. That's a promise.

Edited by Shandyr

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7 hours ago, Fluffle said:

[The content of this post has been deleted. This post can be removed]

Deleting post is not done in these forums. The user has their right to edit their post... but it's a considerable work to maintaining forums intergrity, especially with large post counts, when considering the after effects. So hurray Beamdog.

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We really did not want to delete Shandyr's profile. We asked him to hold off on it, but by sending that last request, a final confirmation, he invoked a law that legally required us to delete it.

I double-checked with @JuliusBorisov, and your case was an exception, @lefreut. I know of one other user that was a technical exception: that person's warning came in the form of a PM exchange rather than a formal warning.

To be clear, the only list of rules that non-moderators cannot view is the rules on moderators, which stack with the Site Rules (we have to follow both). That list is viewable only by moderators because only moderators are bound by them. Non-moderators are only required to follow the Site Rules, which are posted publicly: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/63570/forum-guidelines#latest.

As for why I'm posting here: this thread is primarily a criticism of the Beamdog moderating team, of which I am a part. Whether that criticism is justified or not is another question, but that's most of what this thread has revolved around. This thread is about us and our decisions--of course I have an opinion on the subject.

I don't think it's fair to expect us to post an announcement on the Beamdog forums asking people to visit an off-site thread condemning the moderating team (particularly because our rules prevent us from presenting "our side of the story" in detail in public). I think the hope is that "Beamdog users will see the moderating team's true nature and agree that we were right," but all I foresee is a whole bunch of people coming over here to argue, and while I do wish this discussion were less one-sided, I don't want acrimony in the G3 forums any more than I want it at the BD forums.

We have our disagreements with some of the folks in this thread, but we have not tried to "win" any debates or control any narratives. We have created no discussions condemning former users, we have laid out no public list of accusations, and we have posted no quotes or screenshots to name or shame former forumites--not even on the Beamdog forums, where we have moderator powers and probably a receptive audience. Nor would we; that's against our policy.

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2 hours ago, semiticgod said:

to expect us to post an announcement on the Beamdog forums asking people to visit an off-site thread

As much as I understand the notion this request was posted with, as Gibberling I'd also be very happy if this would not happen, as it usually draws those who want to be noisy, and we do not need to have them dragged to G3.

2 hours ago, semiticgod said:

but we have not tried to "win" any debates or control any narratives. We have created no discussions condemning former users, we have laid out no public list of accusations, and we have posted no quotes or screenshots to name or shame former forumites--not even on the Beamdog forums, where we have moderator powers and probably a receptive audience.

You post this as if it would be something special. What you write is basics of professional forum moderation and doesn't have to - shouldn't have to be mentioned at all.

This thread is full of examples how users experienced different to the High moderation standards proclaimed for BeamDog's. Sadly, all I read are PR phrases and "we did nothing wrong" in return.

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3 hours ago, semiticgod said:

I double-checked with @JuliusBorisov, and your case was an exception, @lefreut. I know of one other user that was a technical exception: that person's warning came in the form of a PM exchange rather than a formal warning.

Do I get an achievement for showing that the long discussion when a user break the rules or the ban as the last option is pure bullshit ?

Also, I can tell you what you or Julius are trying to do, it's called damage control. And looking at all the answers here, I don't think it works very well (but at least it's consistent with how badly you handle these kind of situations).

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