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About bans and my new policy on discussing them…

So yesterday I had a bit of a ACU-like explosion. Why? Well, I had a bunch of crap games yesterday. But even more so, I’ve spent hours in the last few days discussing recent player bans with people. I am no longer going to discuss player bans. At some point we will put a system in place for bans to be protested and perhaps reviewed by the council – in purely exceptional situations. But I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the subject.

I hate bans.

The problem is, we have players who repeatedly cause problems; players who are warned 3-4 times and ignore the warnings; players who cheat, and all kinds of other things that require us to – very rarely – ban people. 

One infamous case is Katherine, who has a 4-page long thread in the private moderators forum filled with complaints, discussion about what to do, review by other moderators, review of game replays, etc. 

For a bit of history, Zep banned Katherine outright in the past; because Katherine made 42 smurf accounts, because Katherine appeared to be loosing games on purpose to keep his/her score down, and because Katherine was given several warnings and did not stop doing these things.

Sometime after that banning, Zep made a deal where Katherine could come back so long as she did not rename her account again. Then Zep left, and I stepped in, and we didn’t think much about Katherine in the last few months.

Within the last month we received two complaints about a player called JellyCreamDonut. When we went to investigate, we found it was Katherine. Based on a review of the second game replay, and the reality that Katherine was basically on parole from being banned previously, with the parole condition being “do not rename your account”, followed by the final reality that Katherine has renamed her account 3-4 times in the last few months, the exception to the Katherine ban was revoked.

Somewhat separately, one of the things I’m trying to do is be much more open and accessible than Zep was. I try to be available on chat, I try to interact with as many people as I can. However, the thread below (a chat session with one of the players protesting Katherines ban) is an example of why I’m getting frustrated and finding myself less eager to engage all the time. I’m starting to understand why Zep increasingly isolated himself. Some days being the “administrator” of FAF can be a real pain, to be frank!

I try to be exceptionally reasonable and fair. I’m not perfect, but I sure try. However, I am really getting tired of people attacking moderators and myself, questioning our “fairness”, coming up with conspiracies about why actions are taken, etc when decisions don’t go their way. 

Twice in the past 5 months I have asked moderators to undo a ban they put in place. Both times were mistakes: the players had to be re-banned within weeks. I am not in favor of changing moderator decisions from now on. I am not here to be the “supreme court” and reverse moderation decisions. So please, stop asking me to do so. I will not be changing moderator bans from now on.

Additionally the moderators, the coders, the administrators, and many other people volunteer their time (and in my case, money) to keep FAF running. Just like their is no perfect government, their is no perfect way to manage a community. Everyone is trying their best – for free. At the same time we are managing a big change from the Zep era to a new era of pure community leadership. 

I would like to ask everyone to try to be more appreciate of all the people who volunteer time to help FAF. You may not always agree with them, but it is undeniable that FAF wouldn’t exist without them.

I will also try to continue to be accessible. But, chats like the one below are an example of something I’m not planning to engage in anymore:

[Ho2]Unique: how are you ?

visionik: eh, had a shitty day here yesterday, but it’s a new day now ;-)

[Ho2]Unique: lucky you it was just yesterday

visionik: yeah i don’t have many bad days but i had enough of it yesterday.

[Ho2]Unique: i guess its a good thing then

[Ho2]Unique: this way you will know how other days are blessed

visionik: yep

[Ho2]Unique: thought about kathrine ?

visionik: i have, but not to a conclusion.

[Ho2]Unique: …

[Ho2]Unique: lets try to sum things up

[Ho2]Unique: maybe we will get somewhere like that

[Ho2]Unique: i saw the replay you mentioned

[Ho2]Unique: i have to say that kath team sucked really badly

[Ho2]Unique: the game was ~22 min

[Ho2]Unique: and just 1 ml owned the whole team

[Ho2]Unique: when one player could stop it

[Ho2]Unique: but all blamed kath

[Ho2]Unique: 1 ml to kill the whole team makes the whole team bad not just because one player wanted to lose 1 ml killed all

[Ho2]Unique: there was another 3 who did not stop it

[Ho2]Unique: yet the blamed one is kath

[Ho2]Unique: the other player who reported kath was me

[Ho2]Unique: and i am saying kath does not deserve this ban

[Ho2]Unique: its really unfair

[Ho2]Unique: if the mods saw that the replay worth banning kath for it i am sure they would have done that

[Ho2]Unique: but they wanted to gather small things to justify the ban when they do it

visionik: so i don’t have a conclusion but i will say three things:

visionik: first, no one really *wants* to ban anyone. I know you feel like Gorton is against Katherine, but honestly no one is.

[Ho2]Unique: he is

visionik: People are just tired of dealing with Katherine. It’s work basically, and it is a great deal of work. That’s what people are against.

[Ho2]Unique: when he tells me he wa8ed for this ban

visionik: Players who cause problems and work.

[Ho2]Unique: it was

visionik: you are turning his words into something they were not.

visionik: do you have the exact words he said?

[Ho2]Unique: i wanted to ban this user for long

[Ho2]Unique: and another thing

[Ho2]Unique: first

[Ho2]Unique: Gorton

[Ho2]Unique: does not deserve to be a mod

[Ho2]Unique: when he bans kath for something i told him

[Ho2]Unique: and does not verify anything

[Ho2]Unique: its like he wanted someone to say something to ban kath

visionik: that is not what happened at all, and I have seen the proof first hand

visionik: two people complained

[Ho2]Unique: and the replay you told me about does not prof anything

visionik: a game was reviewed

visionik: multiple mods were involved

[Ho2]Unique: one of them was me

[Ho2]Unique: the replay proves nothing

visionik: and ultimately the cause was because katherine renamed her account after we had a very specific agreement not to do that.

[Ho2]Unique: the game was ~22 long

visionik: ok look, we’re not going to agree.

[Ho2]Unique: this does not show that she lost on purpose

visionik: i will still think about it. but you have put yourself in a mindset and are not open to change.

[Ho2]Unique: no

visionik: you have made decisions about what happened that I am telling you – honestly – are not true.

[Ho2]Unique: i am just looking at this ban

[Ho2]Unique: and really think its unfair

visionik: ok, i understand your opinion is that it is unfair

visionik: i get that

visionik: but when you say:

visionik: [Ho2]Unique:

visionik: [Ho2]Unique:does not deserve to be a mod

visionik: [Ho2]Unique: when he bans kath for something i told him

visionik: [Ho2]Unique: and does not verify anything

visionik: [Ho2]Unique: its like he wanted someone to say something to ban kath

visionik: that is simply not true at all.

visionik: and i will never agree with you on that, because I have the facts.

[Ho2]Unique: ok

[Ho2]Unique: 2 people complaied about kath right ?

[Ho2]Unique: one of thim is me right ?

[Ho2]Unique: what i complained about ?

[Ho2]Unique: since he does deserve to be a mod he should check if what i said is true

[Ho2]Unique: he did that ?

[Ho2]Unique: and again that replay means nothing the game long was ~22 min in that time she was getting her eco up and we did not see if she just was setting idle to make the team lose

visionik: look what happened is really simple: two people complained about “jellydonut”. It was reviewed, and during the review we realized it was katherine. We made a *very specific* deal with katherine in the past to unban her so long as she did not rename her account again. She renamed her account, so the old ban is back in effect. This is not a new ban. It’s like she was on parole, and she broke parole.

[Ho2]Unique: omg

[Ho2]Unique: just tell me

[Ho2]Unique: i am one of them

[Ho2]Unique: arnt i ?

visionik: yes, you are

visionik: you are one of the two people.

[Ho2]Unique: and what i said is not true

[Ho2]Unique: yet

[Ho2]Unique: she was banned for that

visionik: no

[Ho2]Unique: she was

[Ho2]Unique: she was banned after i talked to gorton

visionik: she was banned for like 50 reasons. she was unbanned on the condition that she not rename her account. you and one other person brought something up, that made us realize she broke the agreement not to rename. so the old ban is back.

[Ho2]Unique: wasnt she ?!

[Ho2]Unique: oh

[Ho2]Unique: then for long she did nothing

[Ho2]Unique: so they forgot about her

[Ho2]Unique: but then someone reminded you of her so you banned her ?!

[Ho2]Unique: that what you are saying now

[Ho2]Unique: not knowing who kath is and what she is doing

[Ho2]Unique: means she did nothing wrong in the time

[Ho2]Unique: means she changed

[Ho2]Unique: give me just 3 reasons for why she was banned

[Ho2]Unique: and dont mention that replay because as i said it proves nothing

[Ho2]Unique: the whole team was retraded

[Ho2]Unique: if i was in her place i would control k my acu at min 13

visionik: there was a complaint about her in late november; and then two complaints in early Feb.

[Ho2]Unique: november

[Ho2]Unique: not even dec

[Ho2]Unique: it was ages ago

[Ho2]Unique: i will see to you how i see this ban

visionik: ha. it was two months

visionik: 60 days maybe.

visionik: and during that time

[Ho2]Unique: we are in feb

visionik: she renamed her account again.

[Ho2]Unique: march*

[Ho2]Unique: what i see is

[Ho2]Unique: someone complained about kath long ago

[Ho2]Unique: they said this does not worth it

[Ho2]Unique: lets w8 and see if she does another thing

[Ho2]Unique: oh she did not

[Ho2]Unique: and someone complained about her

[Ho2]Unique: we dont need to verify if its true

[Ho2]Unique: but we know she changed her name

[Ho2]Unique: lets ban her for that

[Ho2]Unique: thats all

[Ho2]Unique: and this what happened

[Ho2]Unique: you bring a complain from Nov last year

[Ho2]Unique: 11 and we are on 3 today

[Ho2]Unique: 4 months

[Ho2]Unique: surly they saw that

[Ho2]Unique: if it was really to get her banned they would have done so

[Ho2]Unique: i can see and sure you are too

[Ho2]Unique: that if kath is unbanned she wont be banned for at least 3 months

visionik: you know

visionik: i just looked

visionik: she renamed four times in the last few months

visionik: i hadn’t seen that.

[Ho2]Unique: but from what i see you keep verfiying the ban

visionik: so, i have my decision. the ban is final.

[Ho2]Unique: how nice of you

[Ho2]Unique: really fair ban

[Ho2]Unique: you seem the same as all mods

[Ho2]Unique: Gorton banned my friend too for his name

visionik: i can’t please everyone all of the time. the facts are we made an agreement to unban her so long as she didn’t rename, and she renamed four times in the last few months.

[Ho2]Unique: while the rules say if you choose an offending name

[Ho2]Unique: you will be banned from chat

[Ho2]Unique: vision i am sad to say things but really things are very much fucked up here

[Ho2]Unique: but i have to say

visionik: dicktator took it above and beyond. a year of coming up with problematic names, trying to play games, acting obtuse. so, finally, ban.

[Ho2]Unique: the ban for someone because he changed his name

[Ho2]Unique: is just so fair

visionik: dicktator has a long history of trying to use crude names

visionik: and he kept doing it

[Ho2]Unique: then ask him to change it

visionik: again, people do not get banned for one thing. but people who demonstrate a repeated behavior will get banned.

[Ho2]Unique: give a fucking warning before the ban

visionik: we have

visionik: over multiple names

visionik: at least 5 times

visionik: and he just comes up with a new crude name

[Ho2]Unique: look i wont spent energy talking with you

[Ho2]Unique: because its useless

visionik: have a good day.

[Ho2]Unique: fair my ass to say the least

visionik: you mind if i post this on the blog?

[Ho2]Unique: you can ban me too

visionik: is that approval for me to post this ?

[Ho2]Unique: post evry thing

[Ho2]Unique: how you ban someone

[Ho2]Unique: without even virifying if the complain is true

[Ho2]Unique: dont just post the part you like

I’ve also posted this on the forum, and it can be discussed there:

http://forums.faforever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9532&p=95286#p95286

-Visionik