I have a query and possibly an issue with moderation around here... I don't think it is terrible but I do wonder if stuff is slipping under the radar and causing harm to the forums without Matrix being aware of it.
I've recently had a situation where I've been given a warning for "psychoanalising" a poster and told that that is always bound to cause offence - which is something I can't agree with. Describing someone's unwillingness to engage with the reality of a post when that's what they've actually done is just, I think, calling a spade a spade. It has been admitted by Erik Rutins that I wasn't offensive and didn't break forum rules but for drawing a link between the behaviour I saw and a psychopathalogical phenomenon I have been given a warning. I should point out that I'm a psychiatrist and lecture in psychiatry in a university and so, to me, describing behaviour in psychopathological terms is simply the stuff of daily life.
Still I accept that people can differ and someone can find offensive something that others think is just fine.. My problem with this is as follows:
1. When I AAR games I often try to discern what the opponent is up to. Right now the way the warning is worded it appears I could get banned for just doing what I normally do in an AAR in order to explain to those following the AAR what I think the opponent will do and why. I think that's unfair.
2. I find it stigmatising as a mental health professional to equate describing behaviour in psychopathological terms as being, somehow, sure to cause offence. Why should people be offended by having an appropriate descriptive label ascribed to their behaviour? Having a behaviour described isn't the same as being labelled with a diagnosis and it certainly isn't insulting. It is just using the appropriate terminology to describe what is going on.
3. In my sig is a quote from another poster on that very same forum. I felt so aggrieved at what I felt was clear bigotry which broke forum rules that I contacted Matrix management to report this poster. I tried several times but never, once, got a reply.
I find it highly questionable that people get warned for doing something on the basis that it doesn't break forum rules but, somehow, psychoanalysis is offensive whilst others who are developers or linked to developers can seemingly say things which are bigoted and quite possibly racist without any punishment.
If you don't think it is racist just ask yourself how you would react to it if you replaced "Euro Nazis" with "African Americans" or "Jews" or "Americans". I think it is clearly offensive when you do that.
With all of that said... I've got a warning. I happen not to agree with it but I'm willing to take the warning. I am however concerned that:
a) normal AAR posting and opinions about others may now be deemed fair game for warnings and banning - since according to the warning all people would find such "psychoanalysing" offensive
b) the implication that using psychological terminology is somehow "sure" to cause offence - I think that's highly stigmatising for those with mental health issues and also detrimental to normal discourse where correctly identifying what's going on is just factual commentary.
c) there be some sort of explanation about why the bigoted and ( IMO ) racist post which is quoted in my sig hasn't resulted in any action. Maybe Matrix think it isn't offensive or in breach of forum rules. I wouldn't agree but at least it would be an answer. As it is there's no evidence they ever even looked at the PMs or emails.
I attempted to PM Erik Rutins ( who gave the warning ) but his inbox is full. I wished to handle this privately but since that option isn't open I'm posting here. Hopefully an explanation can be given here also.
Also I'd be interested as to how others find the Matrix Forums' moderation? A lot of people on the AE forum have fairly significant issues since there's a general perception that some people can bully others and say anything and get away with it with the result that a fair few people have left the forum recently. Maybe that's only a perception, maybe that's true but limited to a single forum, maybe that's more widespread? I don't know, I'm not in every forum there is.
I really amn't sure. I don't see the same stuff in the BoB, Eagles over the Reich or War in the East forums but Matrix has a lot of forums so that's a small sampling of the forums. I think things are out of hand on the AE forums though. I'm not trying to create hassle, I'm actually just asking for some reassurance re: normal AARs not being overly restricted, some understanding that just mentioning a psychological description shouldn't be viewed as something offensive ( that's very stigmatising ) and, hopefully, some action ( via increased moderator input into the AE forums ) on some of the abuse which occurs on the AE forums and which, IMO, merits labelling as bullying by one group of players of those whom they, for various reasons, dislike - a clear breach of the forum rules.
John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.