Mods shutting down threads for threadcrapping


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beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
That knife cuts both ways.

If one sees a thread about what some people consider racism, coming in to just deny the problem exists is not a productive way to engage in the topic either. And, to be perfectly honest, you'd need to make a pretty amazing argument to support the idea that folks don't generally know this will turn out badly.

What do you call a person who comes in, and engages in behavior they know will be disruptive but not constructive?
Where did I say or imply that racism doesn't exist or isn't a problem?

I genuinely had no ideas that offering a real solution would be considered thread crapping. I figured some people would disagree, or wouldn't think it was effective, but accusing me (in a passive aggressive ) way of being a troll is a bit reactionary.
 

As a general thought, I think that people using (+) threads more often would be helpful.

I've noticed a trend lately where (+) threads seem to get less posts than other threads. I think some people are afraid that if they are too argumentative in a (+) thread, they'll get in trouble. IMNSHO, the only way to change that ideology is for (+) threads to become more normalized.
+threads are great for pooling minds creatively for mechanics or fluff.
I suppose they could be used for topics such as these, but I don't know. I wouldn't want to make too many things a +thread. I enjoyed the sparring in the Arneson thread as I learnt things I didn't know about the history of D&D from both sides.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
When such collaborations are derailed and shut down, that can't actually happen.

With all due respect, the thread in question wasn't a collaboration organizing response to the issue. It was about the content of the issue.

We haven't seen anyone post, saying,

"Okay, folks, it is time for everyone to make a twitter account, a facebook account, an instagram account, and a tiktok account. Here are the relevant WotC handles and e-mail addresses to send to. Thursday morning, between 9 and 12 AM PDT, we will be messaging WotC about this issue via all these channels. Here's a draft of the message you can send. We intend to this once a week until such time as WotC at least speaks to the issue. Please tell your friends to join with us..."
 
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payn

Legend
As a general thought, I think that people using (+) threads more often would be helpful.

I've noticed a trend lately where (+) threads seem to get less posts than other threads. I think some people are afraid that if they are too argumentative in a (+) thread, they'll get in trouble. IMNSHO, the only way to change that ideology is for (+) threads to become more normalized.
I think if you have a deliberate purpose and are approaching a particularly incendiary topic, + threads can be helpful. Though they tend to limit conversation in ways that I don't think would benefit the community overall for them to become regular and or popular.
 



Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
With all due respect, the thread in question wasn't a collaboration organizing response to the issue. It was about the content of the issue.

We haven't seen anyone post, saying,

"Okay, folks, it is time for everyone to make a twitter account, a facebook account, an instagram account, and a tiktok account. Here are the relevant WotC handles and e-mail addresses to send to. Thursday morning, between 9 and 12 AM PDT, we will be messaging WotC about this issue via all these channels. Here's a draft of the message you can send. We intend to this once a week until such time as WotC at least speaks to the issue. Please tell your friends to join with us..."
A fair point, and one that clears up my concerns. Thank you
 

payn

Legend
I understand the frustration. These topics never get to blossom beyond breaking news and opinions phase. Might have to let the topic open up organically, and later start a new convo on specifics later.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
This what gets me, and why I started this thread, because I know you and the other mods are entirely sympathetic to this point. My question then becomes why shuttering threads has become the answer to deliberately disruptive behavior?
I think the answer to that one is mainly a practical/logistics one -- the alternative is babysitting the thread, which is incredibly intensive and time-consuming (and upsetting). I close a thread earlier because it was generating a deluge of thread reports, and I simply wasn't available to monitor it. It was a choice between closing it or just ignoring it and letting it do what it does, and I feel I chose the lesser evil.

Maybe the answer is more moderators. But moderators do burn out pretty quickly.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
My understanding is that (+) threads are, by their very nature, threads where you're not allowed to say "I don't agree with the premise that this thread is predicated on (and here's why)," which therefore means that it is acceptable to come in and say that for threads which aren't marked with a (+) indicator.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Maybe the answer is more moderators. But moderators do burn out pretty quickly.

So, we have considered, and had, more moderators before. This falls prey to a very common issue of staffing - the relationship between staffing, and volume of work.

Most of the time, the boards don't need many moderators. What we have typically suffices. Indeed, a while back I left off for an entire year, and the boards kept working. I don't even think many realized I wasn't here.

So, we only need more moderator capacity at unpredictable moments when the need spikes dramatically. Permanently staffing for that moment of high need is akin to the problem of perpetual vigilance.

If we bring on more moderators, the vast majority of the time there will be nothing for them to do. Some members of the moderation staff will understandably lose interest and wander away, and then won't be around for that unpredictable moment. This has happened at least twice before, if I recall correctly, so I don't think adding moderators is a great solution.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
My understanding is that (+) threads are, by their very nature, threads where you're not allowed to say "I don't agree with the premise that this thread is predicated on (and here's why)," which therefore means that it is acceptable to come in and say that for threads which aren't marked with a (+) indicator.

Nothing is acceptable if the author is a dismissive jerk about it, Alzirus.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Nothing is acceptable if the author is a dismissive jerk about it, Alzirus.
That's true, Umbarn, but presupposing that someone is being knowingly disruptive without adding anything constructive simply because they're challenging the premise of a thread does not, in and of itself, meet the "dismissive jerk" threshold.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That's true, Umbarn, but presupposing that someone is being knowingly disruptive without adding anything constructive simply because they're challenging the premise of a thread does not, in and of itself, meet the "dismissive jerk" threshold.

See above where I said that, to be fair, we have to review each report individually.

The "dismissive jerk" is not in the content, but in how the content is delivered. It is entirely possible for folks to come into such a thread, and raise an objection in a reasoned, thoughtful, respectful way. The problem lies with the ones who resort to dropping their objection in like steamy hot mess.

And even then, we generally leave a message of warning before we take meaningful action against the poster.

We give folks ample opportunity to reverse course, dude. There is only so much leeway you can expect.
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
1. How is wotc supposed to know why you are not buying their game unless people tell them

2. The fact wotc had made any changes to their races (floating asi etc) is not because of actual slumping sales but because of bad PR. That’s people noticing and complaining
Well, in the case of spelljammer, for example, if sales are below expectations, they'll look to understand why. That's why surveys and focus groups are used.

It's unlikely that WoTC monitors this forum to gauge the pulse of the community at large.

Writing a letter directly to the company would probably be more effective.
 

Retreater

Legend
I think a good course - once a problematic issue is identified - is to think of the positive we can do (rather than gripe about it for twenty pages). So we can start another thread about introducing a new homebrew species to Spelljammer that could replace problematic ones. We can highlight the works of diverse creators and encourage others to purchase/play/support them.
We can't punish the major producers when they cross a line - but we can lift up the smaller content creators and try to improve each other's games.
 

Well, in the case of spelljammer, for example, if sales are below expectations, they'll look to understand why. That's why surveys and focus groups are used.

It's unlikely that WoTC monitors this forum to gauge the pulse of the community at large.

Writing a letter directly to the company would probably be more effective.
They were trending on twitter because of this. I have to think that probably causes an exec to sit up an pay attention
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think a good course - once a problematic issue is identified - is to think of the positive we can do (rather than gripe about it for twenty pages). So we can start another thread about introducing a new homebrew species to Spelljammer that could replace problematic ones. We can highlight the works of diverse creators and encourage others to purchase/play/support them.
We can't punish the major producers when they cross a line - but we can lift up the smaller content creators and try to improve each other's games.

Yep. That would be a reasonable action.
 

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