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anencephalous

Censorship and the Wyrd Forums

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An interesting thing happened to me this week on the forums.

I made a post about the way people respond to queries about power imbalances in the game. It was designed to be taken in jest. It was a satire, but not a particularly damning one. It wasn't directed at anyone in particular, and I didn't think it was trolly or in poor taste.

Within a day it was taken down.

I did get a polite note from the forum moderator, explaining why. The note, ironically, started with “The Wyrd forums are intended to be inclusive and somewhere people can come to discuss issues” - well, some issues but not others, I guess. Or perhaps, discuss but not in jest.

The key identified problem was “Whilst the thread may have been intended as a harmless joke, it was viewed as too likely to head towards trolling and rudeness and so was removed.”.

In the exchange, in a further note, the moderator clarified “I couldn't think of a way to preserve the humour that you had put in without leaving the whole thread turning to the trolling that was starting.”

I went to bed shortly after I posted, and woke up to it gone, so I cannot comment on what was later added to the thread.

My question for the community is this, how do we feel about this kind of censorship? I am all for deleting offensive, lewd or insulting posts. Everyone here should have a good time, but is it ideal forum policy to delete posts because they are “likely to head towards trolling and rudeness”?

One of the things that particularly worried me is that it seemed like the moderator was implying not that the original post was not problematic (or not as problematic), but the thread had started down a bad path. Is it not normal in this instance to lock a thread, if it has come unproductive, rather than deleting it all together?

I find a precedent of deleting posts due to problematic responses concerning, because it seems to let the trolls win. If you don’t like a post, enough trolling in the thread and the whole thing goes away.

I probably look like I am brewing a storm in a teacup here, and I don't want to make out like this is some huge event. But I am interested in what our diverse community feels is an appropriate response to these sorts of situations.

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I read it and found it hilarious! Just wanted to say thanks for the laugh! I was guilty of atleast half of the offences. :D

 

As for their moderation policy they're free to do as they please if you ask me. I find this place pretty forgiving compared to other forums run by companies. We have to remember that any controversy here can reflect badly on Wyrd.

Considering you are still allowed to publicly dislike their models and rules as well as post painted stuff from other games I think they are pretty chill for an official forum run by the company itself. 

Not sure if you were around for the soapbox controversy but after that mess I understand completely why their moderators would want to nip things in the bud. The closing of the much loved off topic thread also signalled a step towards harder moderation which made a few people make the choice of leaving this place. At the end of the day this is not a government institution meant to guard free speech but basically Wyrd paying for servers and staff hours to ost the community that would oyherwise spring up on a third party site.

Sucks if you lost that great writrup don't suppose you could ask the mod to mail it to you? If they left it up but locked people would probably respond in other threads.

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25 minutes ago, Ludvig said:

I read it and found it hilarious! Just wanted to say thanks for the laugh! I was guilty of atleast half of the offences. :D

 

As for their moderation policy they're free to do as they please if you ask me. I find this place pretty forgiving compared to other forums run by companies. We have to remember that any controversy here can reflect badly on Wyrd.

Considering you are still allowed to publicly dislike their models and rules as well as post painted stuff from other games I think they are pretty chill for an official forum run by the company itself. 

Not sure if you were around for the soapbox controversy but after that mess I understand completely why their moderators would want to nip things in the bud. The closing of the much loved off topic thread also signalled a step towards harder moderation which made a few people make the choice of leaving this place. At the end of the day this is not a government institution meant to guard free speech but basically Wyrd paying for servers and staff hours to ost the community that would oyherwise spring up on a third party site.

Sucks if you lost that great writrup don't suppose you could ask the mod to mail it to you? If they left it up but locked people would probably respond in other threads.

I am glad you found it funny. Oddly enough, the moderator who deleted it said they found it comedic as well!

I believe you if you say the moderation here is light, I really don’t have much to compare it to. I also missed the soapbox controversy, whatever that is.

I certainly don’t think this is some civil liberties thing, where I have a right to post or something. Obviously this is a private company's forum and they can do whatever they please with it. The question for me is whether or not the community is generally okay with censoring this kind of thing or not.

For me, it seemed heavy handed, but I interested in what other people have to say.

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Ok, now I get it. The word "censorship" is pretty strongly loaded for me and probably others as well.

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As far as I can tell, the original poster is a few years late to, among other things, complaining that a private company on their hosted forum decided to exercise their discretion and moderate a thread to maintain the desired community standards.  See, for instance, the fact that this forum no longer has an "Off Topic" forum.

 

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9 minutes ago, anencephalous said:

The question for me is whether or not the community is generally okay with censoring this kind of thing or not.

Community has nothing to do with it. Like or not but it's Wyrd forum and it is as it is with their own rules. Yes i would like not to see any trash talking posts, whining/trolling/off topic themes and conversations cause it's pretty easy to make forum full of garbage and useless information.

Personally think Wyrd Moderators are very polite to things happening here and they do their job very good.

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Yes, I’m OK with the board standards. I have only ever gotten my nose flicked without a public mod-hat warning in the thread when I had (after simmering down) earned it.

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I was in the middle of writing what I didn't like about that thread when it was taken down.

This forum has pretty much always had a pleasant atmosphere. I don't think it's coincidental that the moderators are pretty strict about the grumbliness to constructive post ratio.

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I've been thinking of posting an ironic thread about nerf-calls myself to be honest, so sad panda for missing out on what you wrote... 😞

Onto the topic this is the internet, so some level og moderation, or censorship if you like, is neccessary. (Btw, the only difference between moderation and censorship is whether you approve or not in each particular instance). I think the Wyrd staff/moderators generally do a good job, but it's a fine balance; you need to allow as much as possible without allowing too much. I think Wyrd have made some mistakes (I thought the off-topic debacle was easily predictable and avoidable for instance), but I think they are remarkably polite and light handed for keeping the forum as constructive, friendly and simply as great as it is. I don't know if it was a mistake to delete your thread (I think it generally better to post a warning and locking a thread than deleting it, as locked threads serves to demonstrate the limits og what is considered ok), but if it was heavy-handed I'm more than willing to accept the over-reach as a neccessary consequence of good quality moderation; sometimes they will miss slightly, and better to stop one flame war too many than allow one too many...

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On 4/26/2018 at 4:48 AM, anencephalous said:

Everyone here should have a good time, but is it ideal forum policy to delete posts because they are “likely to head towards trolling and rudeness”?

 

Yes.

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I think what people  need to remember about forums and other social media is that your posts are not freedom of speech but rather the virtual manifestation of your use of a service provided for free by a private company.  You agree to abide by forum rules when you set up your account.  Think of your posts less as your opinions and more of a dress code you abide to at a country club.

Internet arguments can get so toxic and polarized that a bit of moderation is necessary.  Not only is it better for maintaining a constructive environment where people can get the answers to their gameplay questions but it's more inviting for new players.  I'm a comic book fan, and I can tell you, if I was a new reader wading into even some of the mainstream comic book websites, like Comicbook Resources' forum, I'd be turned off by the toxicity.  I've seen people harassed and basically shamed off of forums just because they didn't like Wonder Woman in the same way as "real" fans.  It's insane.  This forum is like a trip to Maui by comparison.  They should sell little cocktails with umbrellas in them.

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