Warning Appeals forum and process

cim

happiness is such hard work
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The title is pretty self explanatory. There should be a public forum for users to post to get a warning appealed.

The current system for getting an unfair warning removed is weird and lacks oversight. The most intuitive thing for a user to do is to immediately reply to the moderator. This rarely works (why would they give an infraction they feel is unjust?) and the immediate nature after being pissed off about a warning tends to make these PMs uncivil and just get them in deeper shit.

The best solution is to PM an smod or admin, but first you have to find one who actually gives a shit about your warning, then you have to hope they're active and willing to look into it if it was really unjustly applied. This is tricky because most appealed warnings are borderline, and no one's going to make a gargantuan effort to resolve a warning that was probably out of line but "not that big a deal"...

So thus I'm proposing a simple public forum where users can post when they get an infraction. Here's some ways I think something like this should be implemented.
  1. It should be in the rules of the forum that users must wait 24 hours before making a thread about their infraction, or they forefeit their right to appeal it. This will give users ample time to reflect upon their actions and not do anything rash in what might have been a justified opinion.
  2. The forum should be public because all users should know exactly how the rules are enforced and what behavior is good or bad. Warnings are not "none of your business" if you're not involved in them, because the same rules apply to all users. Mderator discretion is still a factor and that should be emphasized, but this will help with issues of consistency. (also, you know at least a few of these threads are bound to be hilarious...)
  3. All users should be ABLE to comment, but any comments that don't add anything to the discussion ("that's unfair" or "if i was a mod i would / wouldn't have warned for it") should be deleted. This lets members chime in with potentially relevant points while making sure the forum does not become flooded with public support or opposition.

I realize this suggestion isn't a simple one and it would require a time commitment, but I think it's valid. I have 24 infractions in my history and 5 of them were overturned, in part because I had "the right friends" who could vouch for me to the admins. I mean, we essentially do the exact same thing for Pokemon Online, so it's not like people don't feel appeals are never justified...

Thanks for your time.
 
24? Damn thats almost worse than me.I should give my sig to you.

All jokes aside i think that this is a good and bad idea.This is good because there were times where i felt like i got an unfair infraction and got icbb and could not get a clear answer from the mods.For example I think the first infraction i got was that i said "lol" or "gg" in the battle me thread, but now you see it all the time.Also when i insulted another user when he insulted me first. Or when i ran from a wifi battle.

The in-between is There are times where i feel certain users can get away with some things and others can't.Might be a battle of badged users vs non-badged users again.

The bad is that the current system is not an issue. The rules are pretty obvious: Don't insult anyone, no obvious bad things like pornos and spam and follow individual forum rules.Also I make stupid post all the time and the moderators just delete them. I get upset when they do that but its better than an infraction.
 
I'd suggest that most will be appealed and many of those will be unwarranted or trolling. It is a novel idea but at the same time very time consuming. At the very least, a positive might be for mods to think things through a smidge more so there isn't some backlash of time consuming defense of their actions, but that's never been within the mod philosophy of smogon as I understand it.
 
Posting in full agreement with this. It especially sucks to get ICBB because your access becomes really limited and everything is made inconvenient (ie, you can't search so you have to log out and deal with the anti-bot measures). Sometimes a mod is just being a bitch and there needs to be a way to check mod abuse.

This something that the community needs if it's trying to come across as not elitist and not a 'dictatorship'.

My main concern would be that it would be bogged down by bad users complaining and the few reasonable requests are drowned out, and eventually everyone stops giving a shit. I think this problem would be lessened if 1 point infractions couldn't be appealed (unless you're ICBB / it puts you into ICBB range).
 

Firestorm

I did my best, I have no regrets!
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Decent idea overall.

#1 sounds good
#2 I'm iffy on as we don't want people parading around the bad posts they got warned for
#3 is an absolutely terrible idea

And as morm said, almost every warning will be up there anyway and most of them will not be overturned. Even of your 24 warnings, 19 were not overturned. How many did you appeal?
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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My main concern would be that it would be bogged down by bad users complaining and the few reasonable requests are drowned out, and eventually everyone stops giving a shit. I think this problem would be lessened if 1 point infractions couldn't be appealed (unless you're ICBB / it puts you into ICBB range).
I'm thinking the 24 hour rule will solve this. Bad users will ignore the rule and post in a rage, then their thread gets locked right on the spot.

Users with good intentions will follow that rule and post a very thought out thread OP. Between being actually unlocked and having many replies / page views it should be pretty easy to avoid a drowning out problem.

There probably should be something like a 3-day review period before the thread gets locked, just to make sure it's seen and weighed in on.

---
@Firestorm: Of the 19 that stuck, if I actually waited 24 hours I would have probably appealed maybe 3 or 4 of them. I specifically mentioned that rule because I would always get pissed right away, but only the ridiculous ones would bother me after a day.

My model for this system is the Gamewinners Court, which implements all but the first suggestion with no problems. It's very well understood and strictly enforced that "Peanut Gallery" posts are not to be made.
 
I agree with the op except on props 2 and 3. The main issue for me on those is that it's no one else's concern beside the mod and appealer. Also it can be embarrassing for the person appealing which may dissuade some otherwise legitimate concerns. Letting others reply is also ridiculous. What could the say other than "mod abuse!" or "I dis/agree"?

The only suggestion I might have is to use some concerns as examples which don't reveal usernames.

Otherwise sounds fresh to me.
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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Letting others reply is also ridiculous. What could the say other than "mod abuse!" or "I dis/agree"?
Obviously most cases wouldn't require comments from randoms, but sometimes there ARE situations in which more than one person is relevant, and it makes sense to let them comment. As Chris said, as long as it's made clear that "peanut gallery" posts are prohibited, it doesn't make sense to rule out comments from non-moderators. There's also the issue of badged members that aren't Moderators (or are project mods that can't infract) who should have the right to chime in on something they find important. So really, as long as the forum is well-managed and it's made obvious that "random" comments aren't allowed, allowing general comments should be fine.
 
As it stands though, and correct me if I'm wrong, mods are taken to be right pretty much every time when handing out warnings. So all this would do is undermine the dictatorial power they have, which isn't really a good way to whip the troops into shape.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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I agree with the op except on props 2 and 3. The main issue for me on those is that it's no one else's concern beside the mod and appealer. Also it can be embarrassing for the person appealing which may dissuade some otherwise legitimate concerns. Letting others reply is also ridiculous. What could the say other than "mod abuse!" or "I dis/agree"?
I completely disagree on both counts (duh).

First, the way the rules are enforced affect EVERYONE. All questions as to how rules are enforced are good for the average user to know. Precedent is important. People should see what side of the line actions fall on.

Secondly, yes the majority of the time people will have nothing to add (in which case their posts, if made at all, will be deleted). However, sometimes people have insight that the mods missed. The whole point of the forum is that mods aren't infalliable. If we're going with the idea, restricting posts to mods limits the perspective to the idea being challenged. Say someone got infracted for something that I was previously infracted for and got overturned. I could post about that and make an argument as to whether that rationale applies - or doesn't apply - to the situation. This is an insight the infracted user doesnt have if they don't know me, and one the mods may not have if they weren't around 3 years ago.
 
i agree with this idea because i feel like all mods should be able to defend discipline decisions in a public forum, especially given our recent internal discussions. the battle sim appeal forum works decently well and there are rarely any problems with it.

however #3 sounds completely worthless and to be honest it is probably the part that will fuck your chances of getting this approved the most. really... what kind of insight will randomuser1 have about why randomuser2 was infracted, especially if the infracted post was deleted? or if the infraction was given for a pm offense? other than the completely useless "i like this guy" posts, the best i can see coming out of random comments is "this guy usually posts in a well-mannered fashion", which is also completely useless given the specificity of an infraction appeal thread.

also morm i think you're incorrect there... i for one do not have a whip
 

jrrrrrrr

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I like this idea a lot. Some moderators are more infraction happy than others, and this can help to remedy it. Something that gets posted in one subforum could get infracted even if it would have been ignored by other moderators on different subforums. The rules aren't always clear, and that is a good thing because blanketing "zero tolerance" type rules often cause more problems than they solve. It's a great idea to hold all of the moderators accountable for their actions, which is something that the current system seriously struggles with (I know this from personal experience on both sides).

It can be insanely difficult to reach the higher-ups at times, which can leave people banned because of unfair infractions while they have nobody on the site to turn to. Then there are always the moderators who either leave or ignore you on purpose (hey the site is founded on trolling, can't expect everyone to be mature all the time), leaving people hanging out to dry. There are too many instances of these things happening to just brush it off as bad users trying to get out of trouble. Put it out in public and end it quickly, that is a solution that benefits both sides of the coin. If the moderator's decision was truly fair, then they shouldn't have anything to worry about.

I disagree with #3, the only people who should be allowed to post in the forum should be moderators themselves. The last thing I want if I'm questioning an infraction is randomUserX butting in where they don't belong. With that said, I don't know if there's a way to allow everyone to post topics but only allow mods to post replies, so my objection might not be relevant.

Another issue I could foresee is "Where do we put this?" It's not like this proposed forum will be seeing that much use. Most moderations are completely justified, and most users don't get infracted in the first place. Even a lot of the questionable moderations can be answered in one or two posts. Maybe we could make a separate "appeals" forum and combine it with the PO Appeals forum?
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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I disagree with #3, the only people who should be allowed to post in the forum should be moderators themselves. The last thing I want if I'm questioning an infraction is randomUserX butting in where they don't belong.
Who's to say they don't belong? It's their website too - and yes, 75% of the time RandomUser posts will be deleted - but yes, "random users" sometimes have good points in discussion. That's why we allow unbadged users in Policy Review, even posting PMs from unbadged users that are sent to us. I mean, what makes their comments more relevant than yours? You happened to be the one infracted, but the effects of the moderator's rule interpretation extend to everyone.

Basically, what I was thinking was this. A moderator-only reply system wouldn't be ideal because the whole point of appealing is figuring out if a moderator made a mistake - so you'd want non mod input just for the sake of an outside perspective. But then from there how do you restrict it? Badged members seems logical. But that too is arbitrary; alumni are grandfathered in when they may have done no more for the site recently than anyone (not referring to you, you've contributed). Artists get a badge for drawing, and then they're more important too.

Then consider that infractions may be forum specific in an area where no one gets badges. If Firebot infracted, having TIK or Mountain Dewgong weigh in might not be a bad idea if they actually had something to add, but neither user is getting a badge tomorrow. Same with Wi-Fi; you don't get a badge for being a prominent Wifier. You can go forum by forum and find exceptions / good users and let them post here or something, but then that's far too much work.

Seriously, it's not going to be that bad. Look at this forum, which basically encourages the kind of posts that would be strictly prohibited in an appeals forum. The threads here still average only 6 or 7 replies at best. Nothing will die if a few users post "ban that guy", and we have more to lose from silencing a voice than dealing with a little pc++. The Delete button takes under 5 seconds to use.

If people are really against the idea of the public being allowed to post in any random thread, we could do it PR-style where you either need your post "approved" to make it visible or you need to PM your content to a moderator... But I really think that if the "don't post frivolous bullshit" line is really strictly pushed and enforced it won't become a big problem.
 

Firestorm

I did my best, I have no regrets!
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Maybe it's because I started on GameFAQs, but here's how appeals go in my eyes:

Moderator
Second Opinion from Moderator on same area of site
Super Moderator
Administrator but at this point you had 3 people agree with the warning so seriously what are you doing if this fails you go straight to ICBB so this shit better be important

This is a decent idea if we do it like we currently do Pokemon Online / Pokemon Lab appeals. I disagree heavily with #3 and somewhat with #2. We have enough moderators, super moderators, and administrators to keep each other in check.
 

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