A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

This new stand alone release based on the legendary War in the Pacific from 2 by 3 Games adds significant improvements and changes to enhance game play, improve realism, and increase historical accuracy. With dozens of new features, new art, and engine improvements, War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition brings you the most realistic and immersive WWII Pacific Theater wargame ever!

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Erik Rutins
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A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Erik Rutins »

Hi everyone,

I have a very busy weekend with a major project deadline early next week, so I will not have time to engage further until Tuesday most likely. I'm just putting that up front. I'm posting this here and relying on you all to keep the discussion civil until such time as I can read your responses and reply again.

I've read through all the threads here relating to the recent moderation decisions, exchanged some PMs with Edmon, responded to a few others from community members and I also plan a follow up voice call with Edmon on Monday to make sure I'm fully up to speed and that he and I are on the same page moderation-wise.

I have a lot of thoughts on all of this, so I decided to write down a bit of a treatise with all those thoughts as I believe much of the problem here is a result of negative assumptions or misunderstandings.


First, I know many of you have been with us pretty much from the start and I am grateful for you all and the support you've given Matrix Games through the years. As you likely know, I was one of the co-founders of Matrix and before we merged with Slitherine, there were two owners remaining, me and David Heath. Dave and I both grew up in wargaming, both in stores, at conventions and at homes. We played with and made friends with folks like you, frankly we are both a lot like you all in the love of history and wargaming that created this company. I've been playing wargames since before I was 10 years old.

Therefore I do feel somewhat protective of wargaming communities like this one and I see is as one of the positive things that we at Matrix can and should do in terms of making sure that wargamers have a forum here where they can share their interests, discuss history and find friends to play against. In addition to that, the historical wargaming community, compared to many other gaming communities, is relatively small and we also feel a responsibility to help make sure it grows and continues beyond our generations.

I also want to make sure that anyone with an interest in history and wargames, whatever their sex or age, can find this a welcoming and appropriate place. This is what Dave and I both always wanted, to have a family-friendly forum, so that just like taking your kid to the local game store, you could also feel comfortable having them login here and read the threads.


Second, the forum rules haven't changed significantly in the 20 years since we founded Matrix. What I pasted in here was written 99% by David Heath back at the beginning. Through the first 10 years or so, Dave and I were both very active on the forums and with the help of some dev team members, we handled all the moderation. Dave left not long after the merger and around 2013 my personal life took a turn, requiring me to reduce my responsibilities to be able to split my time between keeping all the key wargaming projects going and caring for my ailing father (we moved him and my mom into an apartment in our house). When looking at what should be set aside to make time for that care, we moved some projects that could be handled by other producers over to them and also took away other time sinks, like forum moderation.

The period from about 2015 until late last year as a result saw my forum involvement reach an all-time low. I would occasionally stop in on a thread here or there and remained active in the projects I was working on, but otherwise I did not have the time and probably 99% of posts were not being read by me. Instead, other staff as well as community moderators stepped up to help in my absence and kept things on the forum from falling apart. I'm very grateful for those, like Edmon, who were able to take on some of that load while I was not.

Last year, unfortunately my dad passed away. After grieving, I started gradually expanding my workload back to its previous levels. A lot of that went into the game projects I work on daily, but I also started re-engaging on the forum more often. I'm sure that over those 5-7 years, I've changed to some degree, but my approach to moderation remains the same as it was during the first 10-15 years. I'm also still in the process of making sure that now that there are more moderators, that we're all on the same wavelength.


Third, throughout the 20+ years I've spent on this forum, there have periodically been posts and threads that crossed the line, that needed moderation and sometimes resulted in bans. This is unfortunately unavoidable. There is also a tendency, in the absence of very visible moderation, for posters to forget the forum rules and for communities and sub-communities to develop their own traditions or understandings of where the line may be. There's also the change with the Derby House principles, which we are in the process of living up to.

Let's talk about the last one first. I explained my thoughts in the previously linked thread here: https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5082641

I know that in the wider world around us, everything is becoming politicized. I know some of the words in that statement have become politicized and in the actions of some, take on an inverse meaning. That's not what this is about. The vast majority of you are mature enough to understand that what we are aiming for is to make sure our games and our forum are welcoming to everyone, regardless of their age or body. We are not trying to create a political revolution, we just want a truly welcoming community.

Since we announced these, some forum members responded very negatively. If you take my statement above at face value and understand that there's no hidden agenda here, but you still are against a family-friendly and welcoming community, then maybe this isn't the community for you. However, if you are against this because you think of it as an attack on free speech or some other small skirmish in a wider political war and this is the hill you think you can die on, please check that baggage at the forum entrance. That's not what this is about and that's not where this is going. What you're really practicing is friendly fire when you engage in that and it will harm the community.

If you think of this as a private wargaming club, with rules that enforce civil behavior, good manners, a family-friendly atmosphere free of swearing and sexualized adult content, but open to all of history, with camaraderie, good sportsmanship and both casual and competitive gaming, then we're on the same page. That's what we're aiming for here, period.

With all that said, we are human and we make mistakes. We're also not perfect, so we may at times be inconsistent. Letting us know when you think we've made a mistake or a misjudgement or been inconsistent and doing so in a civil way, will be well received. We may not agree in each case, but we'll listen and take that feedback seriously.


Fourth, regarding the specifics of recent moderation. Let me start with when I first rocked the boat when I banned Alfred. I've explained this before and there was a lot of evidence in favor of that ban, but I should have for the sake of the community laid out the evidence clearly and in public and I should have issued a formal warning seen by the public before jumping to a ban. Hindsight has made that clear. My private messages with Alfred have also made it clear that he takes no responsibility for the bullying and personal attacks he was engaging in and unfortunately at this point, I'll be surprised if he ever agrees to the forum rules and returns. I don't think it's likely that handling that differently would have ended up differently with regards to Alfred, but I'm sure it would have helped a lot in terms of the community feeling less blindsided by that moderation decision.

In terms of Edmon's recent actions here, I think that along the same lines, a public warning and explanation first along with a request for the offending posters to police their own posts before a thread lock would be the better way to go. Edmon was within the his rights as a moderator and following the rules, but I think again the suddenness of the action caused a lot of additional friction and created a lot of misunderstanding. I want to be clear for those that have been upset with Edmon - he's also a gamer and his heart is in the right place. He is a moderator and whether it's me or Edmon, publicly taunting, attacking or trolling moderators will not be tolerated.

I'd like those upset at Edmon to also take a look at the posts that have clearly crossed the line of the forum rules, directed against both me and him and realize that this situation could have resulted in far more enforcement than what actually happened.

Our standard practice going forward should be as follows:

1. We will only act on recent infractions. If something is dug up from a year or five or ten years ago, it will be noted as context for future actions, but it will not result in immediate moderation.

2. We will always issue a public warning first with a reminder of the forum rules and ask posters to live up to those rules themselves.

3. If warnings are ignored, a one week ban for reflection follows. Any poster can return at the end of any ban simply by affirming that they once again agree to follow the forum rules.

4. If the same member further violates the forum rules, a one month ban is the next step, return as above.

5. Finally, if violations continue, a permanent ban is the last step. We've had to do these rarely. It generally takes someone deciding they want to earn one to get here.

The rules should be enforced objectively and neutrally, as much as that is humanly possible. The rules also apply to us.


Finally, there are a few specific counterpoints I'd like to address. there was a recent example posted of some art from our in progress Master of Magic re-make as an example of our hipocrisy or double standard. This isn't one of my projects, though it's one of our projects. I know that the art is a significant improvement over the original, but I also agree that it's not exactly an example of the principles I espoused above. I'll be discussing that internally at the next opportunity to make sure that feedback reaches the right folks.

There was also some art posted from the original Distant Worlds of the Securan faction, which look a lot like the classic green "Orion women" from Star Trek. Distant Worlds is 12 years old at this point and pre-dates our recent efforts to be more consciously and actively welcoming to strategy gamers of the female persuasion as well as more kid-friendly. In Distant Worlds 2, though the Securans are not in the initial release, they will be somewhat different when they do appear. I can say that they are shape-shifters who in situations of diplomacy are focused on taking on the appearance most pleasing to their audience, but they'll be a tad more modest/equal opportunity about it.

There's also been the question of "nose art" from WW2 planes. I consider this part of history when it's shared in historical context as part of a picture of the whole plane. As Edmon explained in another thread and I agree with him, an entire thread on "nose art" that focuses on those images would obviously have a different purpose and would not be within the forum rules.
However, an AAR that shows a historical plane from the period and theater that happens to have a pinup as part of the nose art would not be an issue here.

I expect that those who are bent out of shape by all of this can try to find and leverage the balance between what's ok and what's across the line and try to exploit that seam to drive us crazy. I'd ask that you please do not, but if that does happen repeatedly I'll just state that we will see that as a form of trolling. I think everyone here is mature enough to understand the rules of this club and the spirit of the rules as well as the letter.

To be clear again, this is about what we put in our games and on our public forum, which is different from what you can put in your private e-mails or communications, or what you may choose to do in private surroundings.


I'll conclude by repeating this one paragraph:

If you think of this as a private wargaming club, with rules that enforce civil behavior, good manners, a family-friendly atmosphere free of swearing and sexualized adult content, but open to all of history, with camaraderie, good sportsmanship and both casual and competitive gaming, then we're on the same page. That's what we're aiming for here, period.


For those that read through this, thank you. Please keep any feedback and replies civil. Keep calm and carry on.

Regards,

- Erik


Addendum Jan 18th, 2022: I've added these additional posts with more comments and replies:

fb.asp?m=5130707

fb.asp?m=5130852

fb.asp?m=5131008

fb.asp?m=5131858

There is also a new thread explaining the Alfred ban here:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=5130821

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC


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DConn
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by DConn »

Erik, I have been on the forums since almost the beginning. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful post.


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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by DesertWolf101 »

Erik, thank you for this. I am fully on board with the desire to achieve a friendly and inclusive environment and appreciate your candid self-reflection on where things could have been been communicated better towards that end. This is an excellent step in that direction and I urge fellow members of the community, especially those with any lingering frustrations, to receive the message in good faith.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Evoken »

Agree with Erik and Desertwolfs messages
mind_messing
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by mind_messing »

The spirit of this message is very much appreicated.
Fourth, regarding the specifics of recent moderation. Let me start with when I first rocked the boat when I banned Alfred. I've explained this before and there was a lot of evidence in favor of that ban, but I should have for the sake of the community laid out the evidence clearly and in public and I should have issued a formal warning seen by the public before jumping to a ban. Hindsight has made that clear. My private messages with Alfred have also made it clear that he takes no responsibility for the bullying and personal attacks he was engaging in and unfortunately at this point, I'll be surprised if he ever agrees to the forum rules and returns. I don't think it's likely that handling that differently would have ended up differently with regards to Alfred, but I'm sure it would have helped a lot in terms of the community feeling less blindsided by that moderation decision.

This completely misrepresents the situation, in my view.

Any diligent examination of Alfred's conducts on the forum would have revealed the following:

1) Alfred has consistently been a source of accurate and considered advice on the game mechanics.

2) There was an element of the community that sought to repeatedly diminish Alfred's insight into the game, attempting to marginalise him as either "google boy" (in an attempt to demean his extensive ability to reference developer discussion/comments in relation to a particular topic) or to dismiss his commentary out of hand because Alfred didn't publicly post any AAR content (and therefore his views were automatically invalid). Language used would certainly be seen as abusive in quite a disparaging manner, but I won't go in to detail here as we've currently got enough fires burning on the forum for me to start stoking another.

It is the failure to appreciate the second point that has stoked unease in the forum at the implementation of the moderation policy, as there is a clear evidence of double standards, in so far as:

- a number of those involved in consistently and repeatedly seeking to denigrate and marginalise Alfred's contributions have faced no consequences. From follow-on comments it appears they now never will.

- a smaller minority that have since looked to turn their attention elsewhere have received notably different treatment compared to Alfred - in every case (that I am aware of) there has been a warning followed by a ban. This was not the case for Alfred's treatment, which was an outright ban with no warning. This is contrary to Matrix policy.

Little surprise that Alfred is unlikely to return to the forum under such treatment.

I won't go in to the optics of Alfred's banning, but suffice to say that the optics on it from a wider community perspective certainly could lead someone to the conclusion of favouritism in the moderation process, or that the moderation process was applied inconsistently.

Given the above, it's little surprise that subsequent moderation actions have not been well-received by the community.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Maallon »

I also wholeheartedly agree with Erik and Desertwolf here.
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dr.hal
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by dr.hal »

Thanks, good post Erik. PM sent. Hal
Nikel
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Nikel »

I am an outsider of this forum but would like to comment.

The statement of Mr Rutins is impeccable and compresible in the modern world where we live now.

However I do not like where our world is going, and only causes that melancholy of the past increases, I am the only one that misses the 80s? [:D]

Nevertheless, considering we all won't see that future, just who cares where the world is going.


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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Nikel »

Double, sorry.


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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by littleike »


Well, if censure will be acted with moderation and at least there will be a warning in every critic situation before shooting the gun and
we will not be always obsessed from pornografy, mercyifying and other political stuff whenever someone post an image of a woman in any form
photo or art design in an appropriate discussion without exageration, maybe i will post again somewhere sometime.

I love this community more than you can imagine, there has been no day without i lurk into and rarely write, so i hope everyone who
care this community could make a step toward the other without see in conflicting opinions an enemy but someone who try to make the site
the best and the more inclusive he can.




Three jet pilot useless things: The sky above you, the airstrip behind you and half second ago.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by ReadyR »

Thanks for this very thoughtful and positive message. I support wholeheartedly. In my view, elaborating the process so all are aware is important. And a phased approach will let people know where they stand and hopefully allow for "auto-correct" before things get out of hand.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by USSAmerica »

My condolences on the passing of your father, Erik. I remember your concern for him back at the start of the pandemic.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by castor troy »

+1 Erik!

A very good statement and I hope this will calm things a bit. Sorry to hear your father has passed.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by HansBolter »

Erik,

I find the arrogance both you and Edom evidence in presuming that any of us are going to "choose a hill to die on', as if this forum, and your business, are in any way, shape or form, something ANYONE is going to die for, absolutely appalling.

I will not continue participating in a forum infected by the cancerous scourge upon humanity known as feminism.

You have succeeded in divesting yourselves of this customer.
Hans

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Kull
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Kull »

Erik - You have always been a thoughtful commenter, and this is clearly a heartfelt explanation of policy - even an olive branch. However there are a few items I'd like to expand upon. My posts yesterday were devoted to three things:

1) Heavy handed moderation
2) A lack clarity on the full extent of the "Decency Policy"
3) The hypocrisy of banning suggestive female images from the forums while using similar ones in Slitherine's game products.

There's no need to repeat them since the deleted threads have been restored, but I stand by everything posted both in content and tone (well, except maybe the first, but that was a deliberate use of irony as a rhetorical device with perhaps a dusting of Irish wroth).

As to my concerns (and obviously these are not just "mine"), you've added some clarity to the "Decency" policy, in particular by acknowledging that some things will always be a grey area, and that moderators will be sensitive to that. As for the hypocrisy, well it will always be present to some degree, at least so long as Slitherine decides to pursue gaming opportunities in the Fantasy/Magic arena, since the presence of attractive and suggestively clothed females is part-and-parcel of that gaming space. At a minimum however, that means your moderators should dial-back on any use of a high moral tone when critiquing forum offenders, since it simply heightens the obvious paradox.

Lastly we come to "Heavy handed moderation". Everyone in this forum watched - the majority, frankly in horror - as the events of yesterday went down. Before I continue, let's put things in perspective. Nobody died, and it was an entirely "textual" experience. But nevertheless, in the context of a decade-plus of community experience and interaction, it was a complete and total violation of all the norms of behaviour. And yes that certainly spread to several forum members who's responses were inappropriate at best. But it all began with the moderator. Here's what you said on that subject:
ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

In terms of Edmon's recent actions here, I think that along the same lines, a public warning and explanation first along with a request for the offending posters to police their own posts before a thread lock would be the better way to go. Edmon was within the his rights as a moderator and following the rules, but I think again the suddenness of the action caused a lot of additional friction and created a lot of misunderstanding. I want to be clear for those that have been upset with Edmon - he's also a gamer and his heart is in the right place. He is a moderator and whether it's me or Edmon, publicly taunting, attacking or trolling moderators will not be tolerated.

I've highlighted the important part. Let's be clear, within the span of a few hours, this moderator locked at least six threads, DELETED 4 or 5 of them (in order to "tidy up the forum", lol) and banned an as yet unknown number of forum members, many guilty of nothing more than trying to debate his actions, and most with no warning whatsoever. If all of that is "within his rights as a moderator", well I'm flabbergasted. To your credit, the statement on moderation practices going forward would appear to explicitly forbid that sort of gotterdammerung in the future, so thank you. Also, as a former manager and a fervent practitioner of "praise in public but punish in private", I can read between the lines and won't push it further here - but a PM will follow.

All that said, I reiterate my appreciation for your moderation - in all things. And my deepest condolences on the passing of your father - mine is 92 and failing, and yes, it's hard and will get harder. God bless.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by warspite1 »

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

The spirit of this message is very much appreicated.
Fourth, regarding the specifics of recent moderation. Let me start with when I first rocked the boat when I banned Alfred. I've explained this before and there was a lot of evidence in favor of that ban, but I should have for the sake of the community laid out the evidence clearly and in public and I should have issued a formal warning seen by the public before jumping to a ban. Hindsight has made that clear. My private messages with Alfred have also made it clear that he takes no responsibility for the bullying and personal attacks he was engaging in and unfortunately at this point, I'll be surprised if he ever agrees to the forum rules and returns. I don't think it's likely that handling that differently would have ended up differently with regards to Alfred, but I'm sure it would have helped a lot in terms of the community feeling less blindsided by that moderation decision.

This completely misrepresents the situation, in my view.

Any diligent examination of Alfred's conducts on the forum would have revealed the following:

1) Alfred has consistently been a source of accurate and considered advice on the game mechanics.

2) There was an element of the community that sought to repeatedly diminish Alfred's insight into the game, attempting to marginalise him as either "google boy" (in an attempt to demean his extensive ability to reference developer discussion/comments in relation to a particular topic) or to dismiss his commentary out of hand because Alfred didn't publicly post any AAR content (and therefore his views were automatically invalid). Language used would certainly be seen as abusive in quite a disparaging manner, but I won't go in to detail here as we've currently got enough fires burning on the forum for me to start stoking another.

It is the failure to appreciate the second point that has stoked unease in the forum at the implementation of the moderation policy, as there is a clear evidence of double standards, in so far as:

- a number of those involved in consistently and repeatedly seeking to denigrate and marginalise Alfred's contributions have faced no consequences. From follow-on comments it appears they now never will.

- a smaller minority that have since looked to turn their attention elsewhere have received notably different treatment compared to Alfred - in every case (that I am aware of) there has been a warning followed by a ban. This was not the case for Alfred's treatment, which was an outright ban with no warning. This is contrary to Matrix policy.

Little surprise that Alfred is unlikely to return to the forum under such treatment.

Given the above, it's little surprise that subsequent moderation actions have not been well-received by the community.
warspite1

Well this post is wrong on just about every count.

Yes, Alfred was excellent in terms of his knowledge of the game, its rules and its mechanics. From that perspective he is missed. But then so was Symon....

I assume you haven't bothered to read the thread he received a temporary ban for (and plenty like it). If you had you would not have drawn the conclusions you have.

What effectively you are saying is that so long as one contributes helpful posts and tips every now and then, one can behave as one wishes. Well no, they can't.

A lot of people - including yourself - appear to suggest that there has been a lot wrong with posts and posters down the years, and that people have got away with too much. Well you appear to be selective in how consistently rules should be applied.

I think Alfred's messages to Erik - in which he takes no responsiblity or blame for his, often, bullying, condescending and thoroughly rude remarks says it all.

If you want change in behaviour, and for rules to be applied fairly, then that applies in all cases - not with a favoured few getting select and preferential treatment.
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by RangerJoe »

ORIGINAL: HansBolter

Erik,

I find the arrogance both you and Edom evidence in presuming that any of us are going to "choose a hill to die on', as if this forum, and your business, are in any way, shape or form, something ANYONE is going to die for, absolutely appalling.

I will not continue participating in a forum infected by the cancerous scourge upon humanity known as feminism.

You have succeeded in divesting yourselves of this customer.

Edom is an area south of Judea and the Dead Sea. Petra, now in Jordan, was its capital. Maybe you saw part of it in an Indiana Jones movie . . .

To me, it is not feminism that is the problem . . .
Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

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actrade
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by actrade »

Message boards are forever about lines, with moderators having to enforce when a line is crossed. It is Matrix's forums so they set the lines. It is their property and they can do as they see fit. I have no issue with a private company saying, "this is the line, please don't cross it." I do have an issue with anyone doling out bans prior to issuing a warning as there is rarely a case that is completely clear cut. If after a warning we don't agree, as customers we can simply vote with our feet and walk away.
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Tanaka
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RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Tanaka »

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

The spirit of this message is very much appreicated.
Fourth, regarding the specifics of recent moderation. Let me start with when I first rocked the boat when I banned Alfred. I've explained this before and there was a lot of evidence in favor of that ban, but I should have for the sake of the community laid out the evidence clearly and in public and I should have issued a formal warning seen by the public before jumping to a ban. Hindsight has made that clear. My private messages with Alfred have also made it clear that he takes no responsibility for the bullying and personal attacks he was engaging in and unfortunately at this point, I'll be surprised if he ever agrees to the forum rules and returns. I don't think it's likely that handling that differently would have ended up differently with regards to Alfred, but I'm sure it would have helped a lot in terms of the community feeling less blindsided by that moderation decision.

This completely misrepresents the situation, in my view.

Any diligent examination of Alfred's conducts on the forum would have revealed the following:

1) Alfred has consistently been a source of accurate and considered advice on the game mechanics.

2) There was an element of the community that sought to repeatedly diminish Alfred's insight into the game, attempting to marginalise him as either "google boy" (in an attempt to demean his extensive ability to reference developer discussion/comments in relation to a particular topic) or to dismiss his commentary out of hand because Alfred didn't publicly post any AAR content (and therefore his views were automatically invalid). Language used would certainly be seen as abusive in quite a disparaging manner, but I won't go in to detail here as we've currently got enough fires burning on the forum for me to start stoking another.

It is the failure to appreciate the second point that has stoked unease in the forum at the implementation of the moderation policy, as there is a clear evidence of double standards, in so far as:

- a number of those involved in consistently and repeatedly seeking to denigrate and marginalise Alfred's contributions have faced no consequences. From follow-on comments it appears they now never will.

- a smaller minority that have since looked to turn their attention elsewhere have received notably different treatment compared to Alfred - in every case (that I am aware of) there has been a warning followed by a ban. This was not the case for Alfred's treatment, which was an outright ban with no warning. This is contrary to Matrix policy.

Little surprise that Alfred is unlikely to return to the forum under such treatment.

I won't go in to the optics of Alfred's banning, but suffice to say that the optics on it from a wider community perspective certainly could lead someone to the conclusion of favouritism in the moderation process, or that the moderation process was applied inconsistently.

Given the above, it's little surprise that subsequent moderation actions have not been well-received by the community.

This will probably get me a month long ban but this is so wrong on so many levels and I cannot just stand by and let this be justified...so I apologize ahead of time to Erik with his excellent post and I understand if I get another ban:

This completely misrepresents the situation in my view.

Any diligent examination of the so-named conduct on the forum would have revealed the following:

1) The so-named has consistently been a source of accurate and considered advice on the game mechanics. Yet his constant attacks on newbies and vets alike regarding their posts and discussions with personal insults and a superiority complex was degrading to the forum community and turned off so many to being here. It was a very unwelcoming divided community under the so-named ruler.

2) I have also seen others respond to the so-named as you say after the above happened. As for me personally I never attacked the so-named knowledge of the game and appreciated the detail the so-named had gone into on the forum about the game's mechanics. I am happy to be told I am wrong without insults as I think most of us are. It is the most complicated game on the planet none of us will always be right. That is why we all love the game. I could care less if the so-named posted AAR's or not. So you are obviously putting me and others in the second smaller minority you mention.

Yet I have not seen any denigration or marginalization of the so-named contributions of details about the game that has not come from others responding back to the so-named attitude and superiority attacks to them. Pretty much every case I have seen is the so-named attacking and insulting first and the responding defense by the attacked that you mention. This just created more of a divided community.

I was banned for calling out the select few by name that want to continue to keep coming into my posts to continue to stir things up by still slyly insulting me without naming me. I lost my cool and the ban was fair. They wanted a ban retribution and they got it. Congrats on them succeeding. Now can we all move on please without anymore insults and toxicity? I don't come into your posts to do so and I would like the same respect.

Considering the so-named behavior and division has been going on for years and years the so-named epic rants and attitude are well known on the forum. Because of this I would say the so-named ban is much different because something had to finally be done. The so-named was only given a week long ban as I was. The so-named can come back if he wants. Yes maybe Erik could have given a better warning after the so-named ranting but we all know that would have changed nothing when it comes to the so-named. And the so-named ego will never let him agree to come back.

Given all of the above, it's little surprise that two factions formed and divided this community and the toxicity still remains with this picture mess. How about we all finally start the healing process and stop insulting one another and give Matrix some slack?

Who cares about this picture silliness. Historical aircraft nose art within historical context is allowed but I cannot post fruit vaginas so I quit the forum this cracks me up [:D]

M-M this mess about sexualized pictures we are actually in agreement. Nice posts on that subject.
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Tanaka
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Location: USA

RE: A discussion about our Community and Moderation.

Post by Tanaka »

ORIGINAL: warspite1
ORIGINAL: mind_messing

The spirit of this message is very much appreicated.
Fourth, regarding the specifics of recent moderation. Let me start with when I first rocked the boat when I banned Alfred. I've explained this before and there was a lot of evidence in favor of that ban, but I should have for the sake of the community laid out the evidence clearly and in public and I should have issued a formal warning seen by the public before jumping to a ban. Hindsight has made that clear. My private messages with Alfred have also made it clear that he takes no responsibility for the bullying and personal attacks he was engaging in and unfortunately at this point, I'll be surprised if he ever agrees to the forum rules and returns. I don't think it's likely that handling that differently would have ended up differently with regards to Alfred, but I'm sure it would have helped a lot in terms of the community feeling less blindsided by that moderation decision.

This completely misrepresents the situation, in my view.

Any diligent examination of Alfred's conducts on the forum would have revealed the following:

1) Alfred has consistently been a source of accurate and considered advice on the game mechanics.

2) There was an element of the community that sought to repeatedly diminish Alfred's insight into the game, attempting to marginalise him as either "google boy" (in an attempt to demean his extensive ability to reference developer discussion/comments in relation to a particular topic) or to dismiss his commentary out of hand because Alfred didn't publicly post any AAR content (and therefore his views were automatically invalid). Language used would certainly be seen as abusive in quite a disparaging manner, but I won't go in to detail here as we've currently got enough fires burning on the forum for me to start stoking another.

It is the failure to appreciate the second point that has stoked unease in the forum at the implementation of the moderation policy, as there is a clear evidence of double standards, in so far as:

- a number of those involved in consistently and repeatedly seeking to denigrate and marginalise Alfred's contributions have faced no consequences. From follow-on comments it appears they now never will.

- a smaller minority that have since looked to turn their attention elsewhere have received notably different treatment compared to Alfred - in every case (that I am aware of) there has been a warning followed by a ban. This was not the case for Alfred's treatment, which was an outright ban with no warning. This is contrary to Matrix policy.

Little surprise that Alfred is unlikely to return to the forum under such treatment.

Given the above, it's little surprise that subsequent moderation actions have not been well-received by the community.
warspite1

Well this post is wrong on just about every count.

Yes, Alfred was excellent in terms of his knowledge of the game, its rules and its mechanics. From that perspective he is missed. But then so was Symon....

I assume you haven't bothered to read the thread he received a temporary ban for (and plenty like it). If you had you would not have drawn the conclusions you have.

What effectively you are saying is that so long as one contributes helpful posts and tips every now and then, one can behave as one wishes. Well no, they can't.

A lot of people - including yourself - appear to suggest that there has been a lot wrong with posts and posters down the years, and that people have got away with too much. Well you appear to be selective in how consistently rules should be applied.

I think Alfred's messages to Erik - in which he takes no responsiblity or blame for his, often, bullying, condescending and thoroughly rude remarks says it all.

If you want change in behaviour, and for rules to be applied fairly, then that applies in all cases - not with a favoured few getting select and preferential treatment.

Here here. Thank you sir.
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