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ArenaNet clamps down on open speech


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#1 MazingerZ

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:38 PM

A post has been put out by Martin Kerstein, Global Community Manager of ArenaNet.

I want to take a moment to give you an update on how we will enforce part of our forum Code of Conduct in the future. This pertains the part regarding personal attacks against staff members.

As we have mentioned in the past, these forums are here to facilitate discussions among yourselves and between you and our developers. We value all constructive feedback, be it positive or not. But we will draw a line when posts include personal attacks on members of the studio (yes, “cleverly” disguised ones as well).

Our goal is to have a healthy forum community and provide a place where people can have constructive and respectful conversations and dialogue with our staff members.

So from this point forward, everybody who personally attacks a member of the studio will get an immediate 2 week forum suspension on the first violation. Any further attack on studio members will result in a permanent termination of your posting rights.

You have been warned.

This comes on on the heels of Chris Whiteside's outreach to the community to foster 'Collaborative Development' and what ArenaNet laying out the feedback they have deemed worthy of hearing.

Commentary to follow after the three-minute rule... on the edit: Oh, the IRONY.

Edited by Feathermoore, 17 October 2013 - 01:03 PM.
Returned the thread title to the original state as this was moved out of news.

It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#2 Desert Rose

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:43 PM

Yeah, saying things like "Eles are worthless because an Ele player slept with ANet's CEOs wife" is totally constructive and a valid expression of my freedom of speech.

#3 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:46 PM

What do they deem as personal attacks? If I call them lazy and unimaginative does that count? What about the group of people that took a great game and crushed the soul of that game to try and sell it's rotting boring corpse to the masses in the name of corporate greed?

I have a feeling both of those things would get me suspended. Shame, because they would all be true.

#4 MazingerZ

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:48 PM

The tone of the post is very hostile.

Mind you, the forum was already slow by any measure of any other game I've played that's been out a year.

It seems as if the open hand from Chris Whiteside didn't have the effect they were hoping for and now I think they're dealing with it with a closed fist.

In hindsight, I think they're more inundated with negativity than most because they update the game every two weeks.  Every patch, for any game, is going to have some raging subsection of the community.  It takes time for that to die down, and a 2-week update cycle just kind of keeps the rage rolling on and on.  Probably another thing for future developers to chalk up to constant updates.

View PostDesert Rose, on 16 October 2013 - 07:43 PM, said:

Yeah, saying things like "Eles are worthless because an Ele player slept with ANet's CEOs wife" is totally constructive and a valid expression of my freedom of speech.

At that point, they'd be better served by an Ignore function then.  Guru has one, and I make full use of it.  It's their forum, but this type of hardline directive will backfire when one of the employees overreacts against someone that has the community's backing and they come across as fascists.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#5 Darkobra

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:49 PM

Freedom of speech doesn't exist. Anyone that uses that expression on forums doesn't really read the posting agreement.

I personally don't think they're cracking down so much on open speech as they are on personal attacks. I'm sure I could go there and write a 12 page report on what needs to be fixed within the game. They'll probably fix none of it but I could at least bring it forward. From the post, it just seems like it's an attack to the person and not the project.

#6 MazingerZ

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:52 PM

View PostDarkobra, on 16 October 2013 - 07:49 PM, said:

Freedom of speech doesn't exist. Anyone that uses that expression on forums doesn't really read the posting agreement.

I personally don't think they're cracking down so much on open speech as they are on personal attacks. I'm sure I could go there and write a 12 page report on what needs to be fixed within the game. They'll probably fix none of it but I could at least bring it forward. From the post, it just seems like it's an attack to the person and not the project.

That's why I use the term 'open' instead of 'free.'

They're going to decide what is acceptable speech on their forums.  They're well within their right to do so, but don't think that sort of tone and directive isn't being leveraged to cause disquiet amongst the community and keep them from fully expressing themselves.

It will harm the openness of communication, when one side has leverage on what's 'acceptable' versus the other.

The developers are big boys and girls.  I believe it's less about the developer's feelings on the matter and more about painting the picture of a functional community when the buying season is picking up speed and that is usually when an influx of new users happens.

Edited by MazingerZ, 16 October 2013 - 07:53 PM.

It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#7 raspberry jam

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Well on one hand it's their forum, their rules. On the other hand it's the official forum of some product that people have paid for.

This is not how to handle people having an opinion other than "it's perfect!" about your game, though. It didn't work for Bioware and it won't work for ANet.

#8 Darkobra

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:55 PM

I was referring to Desert Rose who used the term "freedom of speech." It annoys me seeing that on forums as if American laws apply to the world.

I'm personally thinking that the rule itself is fine. But as you've noticed, the moderation of ArenaNet is very heavy-handed and even sometimes developer posts get the censor and deletion. They need to communicate with their entire business and not be separate groups of people who happen to work together in the same building.

#9 Yui San

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 16 October 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:

What do they deem as personal attacks? If I call them lazy and unimaginative does that count? What about the group of people that took a great game and crushed the soul of that game to try and sell it's rotting boring corpse to the masses in the name of corporate greed?

I have a feeling both of those things would get me suspended. Shame, because they would all be true.

Can't say that I totally disagree with you but both isn't "true". Those are accusations that would have to be justfied and even if you brought examples, proof etc that could back them up A-Net would still ban you. :-/

I don't go to the official forums very often but I from what I have seen they don't seem to take (even serious) criticism very seriously. They often seem to come up with some kind of (more or less lame) excuse. I really used to like A-Net but I find them more and more "unlikeable".

#10 raspberry jam

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

View PostDarkobra, on 16 October 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:

I was referring to Desert Rose who used the term "freedom of speech." It annoys me seeing that on forums as if American laws apply to the world.
Ya know, a lot of countries outside of America has freedom of speech laws too. Sometimes those laws even protect speech to a greater degree than in America.

#11 Feathermoore

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:12 PM

View PostDarkobra, on 16 October 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:

I was referring to Desert Rose who used the term "freedom of speech." It annoys me seeing that on forums as if American laws apply to the world.

Freedom of speech has been deemed as a Universal Human Right by the UN. Article 19 if I remember correctly. It is a world wide thing not just a couple countries and far from just an American thing.

That being said, there is no such thing as freedom of speech on a private forum. You abide by the rules of the space you are in and your rights are not protected there.

I personally find it odd that such a broad, ridiculously easy to over enforce rule carries such a harsh punishment. Then again, I don't know what the "base" punishment system on the official forums are as I have never run into them. Rules like this are iffy. Not because they are used to inhibit comments, but because they are perceived to inhibit comments. To post this so soon after saying they want increased communication is just ass backwards.

Edited by Feathermoore, 16 October 2013 - 08:13 PM.

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#12 MazingerZ

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:19 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 16 October 2013 - 08:12 PM, said:

I personally find it odd that such a broad, ridiculously easy to over enforce rule carries such a harsh punishment. Then again, I don't know what the "base" punishment system on the official forums are as I have never run into them. Rules like this are iffy. Not because they are used to inhibit comments, but because they are perceived to inhibit comments. To post this so soon after saying they want increased communication is just ass backwards.

It honestly smacks of some "late in the game" directive to get their public-relations and front-facing community house in order, with the holiday season on the horizon and the belief that there can be a surge in sales around this time.  Anyone who visits the forums is in for a lot of reasons to not invest in the game.

Threats and dropping dox on a dev are one thing, but I have never read of a user being banned for making a personal attacks on them.

I'm pretty sure there were already harsh mechanisms in place for derogatory names and slurs, so ramping up seems to be for smaller offenses.  I've never known Blizzard or Riot Games (a company that's recently taken a hard interest in its community's behavior... between players) to do this unless the attacks were disruptive (like spamming).

Edited by MazingerZ, 16 October 2013 - 08:19 PM.

It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#13 Nabuko Darayon

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:24 PM

Well it took them a while. I know if I was in their situation I wouldn't be so polite to some of those disrespectful idiots that do nothing except BS on the forums.

#14 Featherman

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:33 PM

View PostNabuko Darayon, on 16 October 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

Well it took them a while. I know if I was in their situation I wouldn't be so polite to some of those disrespectful idiots that do nothing except BS on the forums.
These are the types of comments ANet let fly on their forums.

#15 Darkobra

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:35 PM

View PostNabuko Darayon, on 16 October 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

Well it took them a while. I know if I was in their situation I wouldn't be so polite to some of those disrespectful idiots that do nothing except BS on the forums.

There's a difference between you and someone successful in an industry who represents their company. Don't you remember what happened to the guy who stopped a GvG in WvW telling them they were playing his game wrong? It's not as simple as you're wanting to believe.

#16 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:39 PM

View PostNabuko Darayon, on 16 October 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

Well it took them a while. I know if I was in their situation I wouldn't be so polite to some of those disrespectful idiots that do nothing except BS on the forums.

Ah yes, the old tactic of the pot calling the kettle black.

#17 Robsy128

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

It's simple. If you really have a problem with the game, write it out carefully and considerately in a forum post using well thought-out language that really drives your point home without it being an attack. It's like writing a letter to any company in the world. If I were to write a letter to Tesco or Sainsbury's, or even the government, I wouldn't fill it with a lot of hatred and slang. I would take the time and effort to write it out well because then they will, in turn, take the time and effort to read it and possibly even respond. It has to be respectful and honest.

'Yo dawg, yo mama cud mk a better game dan dis p000p' is not considered a well thought-out forum post.

And do remember to sign it off with a nice little signature at the bottom ;)

Kind regards and many hugs and kisses,

Robsy128

#18 MazingerZ

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:51 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 16 October 2013 - 08:48 PM, said:

'Yo dawg, yo mama cud mk a better game dan dis p000p'

Yeah, that seems worthy of a two week suspension.  Those poor developer feels.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#19 the_brolice

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 16 October 2013 - 08:12 PM, said:

Freedom of speech has been deemed as a Universal Human Right by the UN. Article 19 if I remember correctly.
Uh uh not quite:
Article 19

A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.

source: http://www.un.org/en.../chapter4.shtml

#20 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 16 October 2013 - 08:48 PM, said:

'Yo dawg, yo mama cud mk a better game dan dis p000p' is not considered a well thought-out forum post.

I love the hyperbole people use in this thread. Has anyone ever seriously seen people be that rude? I know I haven't. There is a difference between telling developers that they are ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s and telling them that their decisions are bad.

#21 Robsy128

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:06 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 16 October 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

I love the hyperbole people use in this thread. Has anyone ever seriously seen people be that rude? I know I haven't. There is a difference between telling developers that they are ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s and telling them that their decisions are bad.

I've seen forum posts worse than that, actually. It's about time they cracked down on it.

#22 Specialz

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:08 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 16 October 2013 - 08:12 PM, said:

To post this so soon after saying they want increased communication is just ass backwards.

Actually, those 2 things are not mutually exclusive.

You can have increase communication w/o insulting someone. You can be clear and concise and not insult anyone. I think a rule like this is great, it protects the devs, it forces a population that has been used to acting like a spoil immature brat to behave and it cleans up the forum. All those things are great.

Anyways, I m glad they are actually going through their plans to have a clean forum filled with less vitriol. Admittedly, it might make it hard for me to call the balancing them birdbrains, but I am willing to give that up, it at least brings some dignity to an MMORPG forum, which I doubt it will happen, but you can dream.

#23 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:14 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 16 October 2013 - 09:06 PM, said:

I've seen forum posts worse than that, actually. It's about time they cracked down on it.

Ya, because normal moderation doesn't take care of that. Seriously, they don't need to come out and reiterate the same thing you find in every forum. What's the point of that?

Edited by El Duderino, 16 October 2013 - 09:15 PM.


#24 ZappBrannigan

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:22 PM

I highly doubt anyone would disagree with infractions on the extreme end of the spectrum...

The problem lies within what Anet decides is a personal attack.  They already use a very heavy hand in the forum, as many of the users here can agree with.  I've personally been infracted for posting a "Why should I Believe you Now?" type post, with documentation point -by-point on what Anet said then vs what they say now.    They truley don't like being called out or having the proof posted in the forums for all to read.

According to Anet, They never lied.  They just use the Obi-Wan tactic.  "What I said was true, from a certain point of view"

#25 Nabuko Darayon

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:26 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 16 October 2013 - 08:33 PM, said:

These are the types of comments ANet let fly on their forums.

View PostDarkobra, on 16 October 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

There's a difference between you and someone successful in an industry who represents their company. Don't you remember what happened to the guy who stopped a GvG in WvW telling them they were playing his game wrong? It's not as simple as you're wanting to believe.

I've successfully dealt with few trouble makers in my guild and earned the respect of the leaders and officers. It's about saying things how they are (without you turning into one of them) in a non-political way. The WvW situation was a bit different because he was a bit arrogant saying "You're ruining my game" there were other ways to say the same thing, but I get it. We're all human and burst out eventually. That was unintentional burst. But with the forum idiots you have intentional BSing all over. Everyone can make a mistake, but if you start repeating it disregarding warnings that's when you have to draw the line.

Edited by Nabuko Darayon, 16 October 2013 - 09:27 PM.


#26 Darkobra

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:27 PM

Sorry, how many millions of dollars did your guild make again?

#27 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

View PostNabuko Darayon, on 16 October 2013 - 09:26 PM, said:

I've successfully dealt with few trouble makers in my guild and earned the respect of the leaders and officers. It's about saying things how they are (without you turning into one of them) in a non-political way. The WvW situation was a bit different because he was a bit arrogant saying "You're ruining my game" there were other ways to say the same thing, but I get it. We're all human and burst out eventually. That was unintentional burst. But with the forum idiots you have intentional BSing all over. Everyone can make a mistake, but if you start repeating it disregarding warnings that's when you have to draw the line.

I see when you call people idiots, it's ok, but if you call the developers idiots, that's bad.

#28 Graka

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:53 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 16 October 2013 - 08:12 PM, said:

Freedom of speech has been deemed as a Universal Human Right by the UN. Article 19 if I remember correctly. It is a world wide thing not just a couple countries and far from just an American thing.

That being said, there is no such thing as freedom of speech on a private forum. You abide by the rules of the space you are in and your rights are not protected there.

I personally find it odd that such a broad, ridiculously easy to over enforce rule carries such a harsh punishment. Then again, I don't know what the "base" punishment system on the official forums are as I have never run into them. Rules like this are iffy. Not because they are used to inhibit comments, but because they are perceived to inhibit comments. To post this so soon after saying they want increased communication is just ass backwards.

I find this kind of hilarious considering on GW2guru, I'm fairly certain that when we call out moderators on the forums, or any staff we get a severe ban. I'm also certain that if I threatened you, or made wild accusations I would get banned for such activity, even permanently. Its all fair to arm chair coach that they are going overboard, but I'm not seeing anything different from the way stuff is done here, or on any other forum.

Edit: I am refering to your third paragraph, not the first two for clarity.
Edit2: I'm not trying to call out a moderator here, what I'm trying to say is claiming GW2 forums are too harsh, when GW2guru forums would treat an incident the same way is kind of ridiculous.

Edited by Graka, 16 October 2013 - 09:58 PM.


#29 Nabuko Darayon

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 16 October 2013 - 09:28 PM, said:

I see when you call people idiots, it's ok, but if you call the developers idiots, that's bad.

First of all, you're callling people who've proven to act idiotic and not just name dropping. Those two you compared are two different scenarios and should be acted upon in different ways.

#30 El Duderino

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:22 PM

View PostNabuko Darayon, on 16 October 2013 - 10:05 PM, said:

First of all, you're callling people who've proven to act idiotic and not just name dropping. Those two you compared are two different scenarios and should be acted upon in different ways.

So, you're saying that the developers haven't been proven to be acting idiot as well? To me, it's the same thing. If you can't show respect to someone, you are just as bad as the people that... well... can't show respect to people. So, when you call someone an idiot, whether they are or not, you stoop to their level and deserve the same punishment.




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