Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
LennyLen

The new 'Disallowed topics' rule

This topic is 937 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I would like to open some discussion on the new rule that has been posted about disallowed topics.

 

I myself am deeply against the idea of telling people what they can and can't talk about.  I do appreciate that this is a private forum and there are no granted rights providing freedom of speech and expression.  However, I've always felt that telling people what they can and can't talk about is a very, very narrow step away form telling people what they can and can't think about.  I'm sure we can all agree that any stifling of thought or expression is not something that we want or consider healthy.

 

I can also understand how from a moderation perspective, the idea of having to devote resources away from where they're needed to quelling the same discussion over and over again can seem frustrating and counter-productive.  If it is a problem of resources, would having more moderators help?  Or is there a way in which the members of the site can help to make the moderating easier?

 

If there is any alternative to telling people not to discuss certain topics, I would hope to think it's worth looking into.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

I can't say i'm a fan of such a new policy as well.  While some debates can get heated, i've always felt like things were still discussed in a relatively civil manner.  only a few times have i seen such conversations degrade into making personal attacks on others on this forum.  The mods for the most part do a good job of deceiding when a topic needs to be closed, and i also understand that requires more moderation support.  But instead of forcing topics to be disallowed, it might be more prudent to bring on a few more mods that can lighten the overall workload of ensuring such topics don't fall into the problem territory.

Edited by slicer4ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can think of arguments both for and against this particular decision. Both sides have valid points that can be made in support of their viewpoint. My only opinion on the matter is this simple question.

 

Why should we provide a platform for the promulgation of hate whatever its form or disguise, when the posters show no real evidence of learning (based on my subjective opinion) from their rebuttal by others on this site and willingly repost the same crap in a new "pseuso-intellectual" argument?

 

--------

 

If I want this type of content I can find it and argue it in places like 4chan or reddit where the moderation is somewhat more permissive in allowing you to fXXXing rip someone's head off, shXt down their throats, rXpe their lifeless shells and then mail various pieces to SJWs after doxxing their IRL details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that this is not something new, in the general sense (only in the specific sense). The posting guidelines (*) already forbid various topics; there was (possibly still is?) a long-standing rule in the Lounge forum that posting "just to post" wasn't permissible, et cetera.

 

I understand that there might be some negative reaction to this ruling, but at the same time I'd point that this is basically what we were going to be doing anyway. Several instances of these discussions -- indeed, probably the majority -- have gotten way out-of-hand and resorted it lots of behind-the-scenes hang-wringing from the moderation staff over whether or not we should close sooner rather than later. By putting these guidelines out in public, we're going for transparency: in an ideal world we wouldn't need to impose any such guidelines at all, but in the world we live in there are enough bad eggs that it has really started to reflect poorly on the community and become an emotional tax on the staff and we need to do something about it. Making the guidelines as public as possible is better, I hope you'll all agree, than holding quiet "secret tribunals" behind the scenes and then closing things without warning.

 

However, I've always felt that telling people what they can and can't talk about is a very, very narrow step away form telling people what they can and can't think about.

 

 

I can see that viewpoint, but I'd point out that while you may see as close to saying what you can't think about, it's not: it's still distinct. We are absolutely not trying to get people to leave the site, but at the same time, there are plenty of other places on the internet where you can engage in far more rough-and-tumble discourse than is permitted here. It is possible to be a member of many of those places as well as here; we have decided that hosting that kind of discussion is not what we want for this community.

 

If it is a problem of resources, would having more moderators help?

it might be more prudent to bring on a few more mods that can lighten the overall workload

 

It isn't really an issue of volume; we have plenty of moderators and staff to cover the site. It has been (at least from my perspective), primarily a policy issue. That is, we didn't have guidelines in place for how we should deal with this content and at what point we should be intervening. Now we do. 

 

(*) Perhaps, jbadams, we should update those with the new guidelines?

Edited by Josh Petrie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The topics listed have been consistent problems for us. The new rules are basically a pretext to end it right out of the gate, rather than having to wait until you all get into nasty little fights about it. Or think about things like, "well how racist is it to complain about XYZ" or "is that offensive enough to warrant individual action?" In general we prefer to take a light handed approach to individual moderation here and a heavy handed approach to topics and this makes it easier to do that.

Edited by Promit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I completely understand the need for moderation, and the reasons for the current rules, it does feel a little like sweeping issues like racism and sexism under the rug, which I'd say is detrimental to a healthy community. Refusing to allow discussion on the issues facing women, people of color, transgender individuals, and others in the game industry seems unfair to those groups and feels a little like pretending those issues don't exist. Which, while moderation becomes easier, you could see how from the perspective of someone within those minority communities, calling out any unfair behavior to yourself in the game development world would suddenly be against the rules. If the issue is hateful speech from members, I'd say a better approach would be to apply rules on hateful speech, and not gag the people you're trying to protect in the process.

 

Anyhow, my two cents. But, as I see it, blanket-banning discussion of discrimination really, in the end, protects the people doing the discrimination.

 

I understand the issues with these topics, and the difficulties moderating them, and while other solutions are imperfect and this solution seems cleanest from a moderation standpoint, I'd urge you to consider the wider impact of such a policy, and perhaps try to find a better answer that doesn't silence the people being affected by such topics.

Edited by Misantes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fwiw,
i'm a musician/tech. issue arisen many times. you'd think:
musicians are socially relevant, so social issues are relevant to music.

it you look at the mileu, you realise:
there are many interests present. not all of them are genuinely human - some "social interests" with public representation are the result of agendas.

 

whether the agenda is overt or covert or anything else, designing the rules based on "people just being people" won't work, because people are often representing agendas, not people.

 

 

 

 

my advice "for young lions" is forget about it. it just sh*ts (oops) things up and makes moderators petulant. if you wish to champion social causes, egalitarianism, tolerance, do it with your content. reserve the boards for technical discussion only.

 

basically, because you're wasting your energy. there's more to what is apparent than "a bunch of people who just feel differently than you do on a forum", there are agendas.

 

society isn't great, there are wrong things that don't get fixed, no matter how many champions, and there are things that are occluded. better to listen and learn from what isn't said than waste all your time and energy confronting something you have a very incomplete understanding of. there's a reason why predominant opinions are often insensate, and a reason why addressing them with reason and rhetoric is a total waste of your energy. it's not a reason i like, but if you can learn from what i've spent my last twenty years doing, forget about authority. let it be its own undoing, and hope it doesn't make life any more intolerable itm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one welcome the rules.

 

This is not a government, it's a privately-run facility for the discussion of game development topics.  One could argue that that could include both the political and religious issues surrounding game development (and there is some evidence those are indistinguisable for some), but the proprietors of this facility have decided that all in all such discussions were affecting the quality of conversations and made it clear this is not the place for them.

 

When I go to a library, I am expected to keep my voice down.  That doesn't mean the librarians want me to think only quiet gentle thoughts, but it does mean they want me to consider the other patrons before I stand naked on the card catalogue yelling "I'm a helicopter!" at the top of my lungs.  I have no problem with there being a time and place for various things, and I'm fine with gd.net making it clear which various things it is the place for at this time.

 

Thank you gd.net for making your policy explicit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The discussion of game development absolutely includes discussions of gender and race (they might not concern you, though). And, to outright ban discussion of these topics is to say to individuals in those groups that their issues within the game development community are unwelcome.

 

For example, if one were to start a topic on finding a job in the industry, then great, no rules broken. But, if one were to try to discuss the issues facing women or trans women or a person of color finding a job in the game industry, suddenly you may be breaking the rules for discussing one of the banned topics. This would absolutely be a game-dev concern for many people, and is only a "fringe" issue if it doesn't affect you. But the policy is basically telling people that there's no place for those concerns here.

 

Because certain elements of this community are unwilling to have a civil discussion regarding these issues, to outright ban the topic, rather than the person, is really ceding victory to the unruly elements. And this site really becomes only welcoming to anyone who isn't considered part of the "problem" minority groups.

 

There is plenty of discussion on this site that is not "technical" in nature, so pretending that the discussion is limited to that is misleading, they're only banning the topics that have loud, hateful elements, and instead of dealing with those elements, they're just banning those topics, to the detriment of anyone who may be concerned with them.

 

It's easier sure, and many people who aren't affected by these discussions will be perfectly content. But, it's a large disservice to many other people.

 

You can ban racism and sexism without banning discussions of gender and race. The latter approach only helps ensure that the industry largely stays its current predominantly-male, predominantly-white demographic.

Edited by Misantes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because certain elements of this community are unwilling to have a civil discussion regarding these issues, to outright ban the topic, rather than the person, is really ceding victory to the unruly elements. And this site really becomes only welcoming to anyone who isn't considered part of the "problem" minority groups.

 

 

Yes, but at the same time, I feel like if we just ban everybody we consider to be a "problem," we still create a discriminatory, homogenous culture. Only people who agree with the moderators get to stay.

 

People who are banned rarely feel like the ban was justified. They rarely doff their hat and say, "oh yes, thank you kind sir for demonstrating to me that my behavior was abrasive and unwelcome, I'll take these lessons to heart when I find a new community." They very often respond with extremely offensive private messages and threats, and there is very little in the way of an appeals process.

 

Banning is permanent. This injunction against particular topics that have shown to be extremely inflammatory isn't; it should be looked at as a stopgap until we have a more precise and objective toolkit (moderation policy) in place for dealing with it effectively.

 

To that end, I'd be very interested in hearing more suggestions from people who are strongly opposed to the new rules as far as alternatives go. How would you propose handling the scenario better without having us fall into the trap of arbitrarily banning everybody who misbehaves?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 937 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!