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Topic: TOS Violators - How Should We Respond? (Read 12395 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Snash
  • [*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
I think we are generally too harsh with people who violate the TOS.  This probably makes some who would otherwise be level-headed push back even harder.  Many people are not used to reading, much less following, a site's TOS.  HA is to be commended for its adherance to to its TOS, but its enforcement could use tweaking.

I would like to propose the following:

1.  When someone violates a TOS a friendly note is posted in the thread (and sent as a private message) that:
  a.  Notifies them that they violated the TOS
  b.  Summarizes the TOS they violated
  c.  Provides a link the the TOS
  d.  Informs them the thread is locked

(Flagrant, repeat violators would be banned)

2.  Create a new forum to debate each of the TOSs.

3.  Make a new TOS that the TOSs can only be debated in the TOS Forum.

I think this approach will reduce the TOS flame wars that ensue every few days, improving the SNR on some threads

I hope this post is taken in the spirit of trying to improve the quality of an already high-quality forum.

  • Frank Bicking
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #1
1. That is already happening, except for the warning system being private.

2. This subforum is perfectly suited for general discussion about the terms of service. For example, see the recent thread about TOS #9 and copy-protected CDs. However, individual complaints should be directed to a staff member in private. Topics like "I have been warned: discuss" would be a bad idea.

About flame wars: since we cannot read all posts in quickly progressing threads in realtime, we rely on members to problematic posts before things get out of hand.

TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #2
... However, individual complaints should be directed to a staff member in private.


Amen

Woody

  • Jens Rex
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #3
1.) Discussion of TOS violations do not belong in threads where they occur. Such a discussion is irrelevant and uninteresting to other members, and derail the thread. Such matters are dealt with between the offender and the moderation, privately.

2.) The TOS is not up for debate, except amongst the moderators/admins.

3.) TOS discussions belong in this subforum, Site Related Discussion. See also 2.)

TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #4
I suggest that you raise the maximum number of warnings from 3 to 4,
considering how easily newcomers can burn them.

How long does it take to cancel a warning ?
It it automated, or the moderators have to take actions ?
Also what about temporary bans (limited number of month)
instead of a definitive ones ?




  • Soap
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #5
I suggest that you raise the maximum number of warnings from 3 to 4,
considering how easily newcomers can burn them.

Also what about temporary bans (limited number of month)
instead of a definitive ones ?


Is HA so hard up for members they should put up with, and waste resources nurturing jerks back to health?

I mean - I have a big rash mouth and never had a "Warn" level over 0%.
  • Last Edit: 16 October, 2009, 09:55:29 PM by Soap
Creature of habit.

  • GHammer
  • [*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #6
I like things the way they are. Ifthis forum changed to look like other places, it would be way less useful to me.

The are plenty of open/loose/'friendly' places. I rarely frequent them.

This place has been a valuable resource over the years. Leave it alone.

  • Canar
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
  • Your mom's favourite moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #7
The terms of service here are either common-sense or technically-motivated. There are a lot of terms-of-service violations that get away without even a Warning, just a verbal mention. On the other hand, there are times when terms-of-service violations must be dealt with firmly.

As far as I am concerned, I wouldn't change a thing. Behave or leave.
1. Attack the argument, not the arguer.
2. Assume good faith.

  • Jens Rex
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #8
I suggest that you raise the maximum number of warnings from 3 to 4,
considering how easily newcomers can burn them.

A 100% warning level does not equal a ban. Warning levels are not publicly visible either.

Quote
How long does it take to cancel a warning ?
It it automated, or the moderators have to take actions ?

It is semi-automated, but is usually considered on a case-by-case basis.

Quote
Also what about temporary bans (limited number of month)
instead of a definitive ones ?

We already do this. There are steps between warnings and bans that are frequently employed. Let me show you the warning panel.


TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #9
@JensRex
Thanks for clearing things up.

  • Synthetic Soul
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #10
I've said this many times now, but the issue discussed here again revolves around the fact that some members may see a warning as a threat of a ban, rather than what it is: a warning.

I don't mean to suggest that members should not care about a warning they have been issued, but rather that they take it for what it is.  Re-read the TOS, work out why you have received the warning (which may involve a PM to the mods, although hopefully should not), and choose not to repeat your mistake.

If you choose to ignore it and continue blindly, or become abusive, then you frankly deserve everything that you get.

I for one am against any argument that suggests it is the mod team's responsibilty to ensure members are familiar with the TOS; it is solely a member's own responsibility.
I'm on a horse.

  • [JAZ]
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #11
I think Snash point was not so much about the moderator <-> user interaction, but the user <-> user interaction, when a TOS violation (or what seems so) appears.


Users (me included) tend to react to those comments in a way that doesn't facilitate the discussion (if it has to be one). Like sometimes having three consecutive posts saying almost the same.

What is to be talked about here is a better way to globally react to it. A protocol, if you want. How should users specifically deal with it.

A suggestion (mostly what Snash has said) could be that the first user who see that, write a post saying "Possible TOS violation" (point to the TOS), use the report button to get the attention of a moderator, then the usual moderator <-> user talk takes on (maybe temporarily closing the thread) and when the subject is cleared, allow the talk to continue.

So the questions now are:
a) Is this new regulation needed.
b) Is this method adequate

  • odyssey
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #12
As a frequent poster and long-time user, I can say from personal experience that I think the Warning-button is sometimes being hit a little too aggressively. I think the TOS is fine in general, but sometimes a warning is a little too harsh imho, whereas some mods forget that there's actually also a PM-button... This is called dialogue - There's no such thing when a user has been warned, but I think that dialogue is often more powerful than warnings (especially with old hangouts).

Another thing that seems missing to me is dialogue between mods/admins. I got a warning once for replying to a spam-post - Actually it was a very nice post for some software I thought maybe could be useful, but I was curious as it looked somewhat commercial and wanted to see if he intended to respond to the thread (which would not be a TOS-violation then) - So I posted asking for the price of the software. A mod contacted me that he had deleted the thread - Very nice move. A few hours later i got warned... by ANOTHER mod!
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

  • Yirkha
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • FB2K Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #13
I think the TOS is fine in general, but sometimes a warning is a little too harsh imho
Well, what's so harsh about it? The warnings are just notes from the moderators to users and also for other moderators. They could as well be called simply Notes or whatever, that might better describe what this forum software's feature is used for here on HA. Already said many times, solely 100% full warning level doesn't mean anything, any bans are decided much more thoroughly.

whereas some mods forget that there's actually also a PM-button... This is called dialogue
As a warning doesn't impact user's ability to participate in further discussion in any way, I don't see why its usage should be restricted. If somebody doesn't understand why she or he got warned, feel free to ask, we sure are open for dialogue.

Actually it was a very nice post for some software I thought maybe could be useful, but I was curious as it looked somewhat commercial and wanted to see if he intended to respond to the thread (which would not be a TOS-violation then) - So I posted asking for the price of the software.
I don't want to open old wounds and I wasn't even involved in this in any way, but that topic was a typical spam one, with big promotional images and lots of links to increase page rank. Moreover your reply was a brief "You forgot to mention pricetag.". It seems at least like a dumb move to reply in such a way, because that sentence doesn't really sound like an honest curious question to me. But anyway, if that should ever have any impact on more serious administrative action taken upon you, that post would be reviewed again, so if it were only a moderator's mistake, it wouldn't be naturally taken into account.

Another thing that seems missing to me is dialogue between mods/admins. I got a warning once for replying to a spam-post (...) A mod contacted me that he had deleted the thread - Very nice move. A few hours later i got warned... by ANOTHER mod!
Each moderator does its job here at different time, from different place, etc. Consulting each action beforehand with others is just not really feasible. As stated in the explanatory topic already linked here earlier, if you are not satisfied with your warnings, contact an admin.
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2009, 09:15:21 PM by Yirkha
Full-quoting makes you scroll past the same junk over and over.

  • Synthetic Soul
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #14
What is to be talked about here is a better way to globally react to it. A protocol, if you want. How should users specifically deal with it.

A suggestion (mostly what Snash has said) could be that the first user who see that, write a post saying "Possible TOS violation" (point to the TOS), use the report button to get the attention of a moderator, then the usual moderator <-> user talk takes on (maybe temporarily closing the thread) and when the subject is cleared, allow the talk to continue.
I may be missing the point, but I thought this was what the Report button was for.  If you spot a post which you believe violates the TOS hit the Report button, and briefly explain why you think it has.  That is all that is required.  Any direct interaction with the poster is likely to drag the thread off-topic.

The above text may sound curt, I don't mean it to be.  As I say, I may have missed the point.  Basic upshot: if you spot a violation that has not been dealt with please use the Report button, and do not start a flame war.
I'm on a horse.

  • Canar
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
  • Your mom's favourite moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #15
Synthetic Soul has it exactly. ToS violators are like trolls. Don't feed them. Report them. The "Report" button is an underutilized but handy way to open a private dialog to the moderation staff.
  • Last Edit: 19 October, 2009, 06:50:24 AM by Canar
1. Attack the argument, not the arguer.
2. Assume good faith.

  • Jens Rex
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #16
Filing reports is much much more effective than anything else. The response time for reports is just a few minutes, most of the time.

  • Tahnru
  • [*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #17
Quote
The above text may sound curt, I don't mean it to be. As I say, I may have missed the point. Basic upshot: if you spot a violation that has not been dealt with please use the Report button, and do not start a flame war.


It's implied by a couple of the existing TOS, but perhaps a new rule: "Enforcement of the TOS is for the staff.  Do not attempt self-enforcement by flaming."

  • Canar
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
  • Your mom's favourite moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #18
That's a bad rule. I've seen users ToS8 people before, and I find it useful, as ToS8 is a more complicated rule to follow.

In short, everything's fine by us mods.
1. Attack the argument, not the arguer.
2. Assume good faith.

  • Tahnru
  • [*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #19
Duly noted.  On the topic of #8 (and as far as ABX tests go) would a simplified test script be a useful addition?  I'd be happy to help write one.

  • greynol
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #20
I've seen users ToS8 people before, and I find it useful, as ToS8 is a more complicated rule to follow.

I completely agree with this as it concerns TOS8.  For most other situations I think the report button is what should be used so that the conversation does not derail.  Of course conversations can derail over TOS8 as well but it can usually be handled by a mod or admin posting something in either green or red instructing people to cease and desist or else.
Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Akkurat
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #21
I vote for the current system, it's working fine (from my POV).

I remember back when I was slapped with warnings and even a small suspension (oh the shame ), the forum software didn't allow me to even log out when I logged in after I was suspended. This of course meant that I couldn't read ANY topics whatsoever and only clearing out the cookie manually rectified this. Pretty dumb if you ask me. Dunno how it is working with this new forum version.

@MODS: If you "enforce mod preview", please write a note of that to the user. I was rather puzzled after my suspension when none of my posts appeared. I had no idea that my posts were suddenly pre-moderated.

  • odyssey
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #22
...the forum software didn't allow me to even log out when I logged in after I was suspended. This of course meant that I couldn't read ANY topics whatsoever and only clearing out the cookie manually rectified this. Pretty dumb if you ask me. Dunno how it is working with this new forum version.

It's still like that. Even more stupid is that you can't see (you don't even get an e-mail) why you've been suspended!
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

  • Akkurat
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #23
I almost wrote about that too but I couldn't remember if I got an email or not about the suspension. Can't you see the reason after you log in while suspended? I don't remember that either. If not, an email notification would be nice.. or the board could show the info.

EDIT: oh my, just realized that this is (probably) OT.. am I violating TOS in a "TOS Violators - How Should We Respond" topic?!
  • Last Edit: 19 October, 2009, 05:42:40 PM by Akkurat

  • odyssey
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
TOS Violators - How Should We Respond?
Reply #24
Can't you see the reason after you log in while suspended?

Nope. Personally I see that as a serious bug/inconvenience that should not exist in commercial software like IPB. Also why should I delete my cookies just to at least be able to read the debate?
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P