Community-Driven Moderation

SpindleyQ's picture

Hey everybody! This is a thread where I'm hoping to nail down and make explicit my perspective on how Glorious Trainwrecks functions as a community, my role in that as the founder and absentee landlord of the site, and how the community can hopefully be empowered to protect itself if necessary.

Over the past... lots of years, it's become clear that I'm no longer very involved in the community; I don't regularly read the posts, I don't play the games, I don't post games here. As such, I don't quite think of Glorious Trainwrecks as "my" site anymore - it's your site! I just keep the lights on, and as always I promise to do so for as long as I am capable of it. So every so often, when a problem comes up, I have made noise to the effect that I think the community needs to have the tools to moderate itself.

However, it's also becoming clear to me that people really like the way that I have run this place -- that my early work shaping the community continues to shape it, and that the community, over the past 13 years, has built up a lot of trust in me to do right by them. I don't want to betray that trust and I want the community to feel confident that no one else will betray that trust either. As such it seems that my role is probably always going to be a little bit bigger than just the janitor who keeps the lights on.

So here is what I am thinking:

  1. If anyone sees something on Glorious Trainwrecks that is not okay, and they would like me to take action, I will continue to be responsive to PMs, as I have always been. (I'm also reachable quickly on Discord - SpindleyQ#2039.) I will continue to intervene, when necessary. I will continue to publicly reaffirm my vision of GT as a place where people are kind to each other, and where bigotry of all sorts is not tolerated.
  2. There are a few community members who have moderator-level abilities, currently they are sergiocornaga and Danni. They are longstanding members of the community who have consistently shown good judgement; I trust them to take the well-being of the members of Glorious Trainwrecks seriously, and to ask for help when they need it.
  3. Moderation is to be used as a response to harm. I will continue to post detailed justification about significant acts of moderation that I do; it is always important to make it clear and obvious to all that harm will be taken seriously, and that our response will be appropriate. And if our response was not appropriate, it is important to have a clear place for that conversation to happen, and to learn from mistakes.

Moderation guidelines:
  1. If in doubt, talk to the larger community, other moderators, and/or me.
  2. Prefer reversible actions (unpublishing pages, blocking users) to non-reversible actions (deleting, editing).
  3. Take the necessary action to reduce harm to the greater community quickly, but _always_ follow up with the appropriate level of transparency. If the offending user is active, they should always be informed of what action was taken and why; they are going to notice, and it is important that they know what happened, even if they have been acting in bad faith. (This doesn't necessarily mean you are starting a dialogue, or that the moderation action is up for debate.) If serious deletion-level moderation was required, a community post should also be made with similar information; again, this makes it very clear to everyone what we stand for and what we will and will not tolerate.
  4. Do not feel like you must take any action alone. We are all here to help.

Does this sound good to everybody? Is anything missing?

gisbrecht's picture

I'm glad my mentioning of an

I'm glad my mentioning of an uncomfortable kitten based game posted a long time ago prompted this but unfortunately I dont have much else to contribute to this conversation...

SpindleyQ's picture

Moderation log

Deleted "Booba Game", which was just porn, and banned its creator "TheDoctorCrow", who, outside of GT, appears to spend his time tweeting the n-word and talking about how pride flags aren't real. Bigots are not welcome here, and kindly host your porn somewhere else unless it has something to say.

spiral's picture

I've banned the user speedos

I've banned the user speedos and their most recent game, uploaded a few minutes ago, which was titled a racist slur, and the description of which was a depiction of harassment against the site owner.

Blueberry Soft's picture

Thanks for the quick work

Thanks for the quick work mod people

SpindleyQ's picture

"Flag for moderation" button, and reopening registration

Lately I've been considering reopening registration. While I think the moderation team handled the previous crisis well, I've been noticing a pattern in the way issues are brought to my attention - namely, that the most common method of bringing up a problem is for somebody to speak up on the Altgamez Discord. This works fine... so long as the person who sees the issue is on Discord and knows who to ping. This may not always be the case. The site is far from easy to navigate and I feel like it would be easy for someone to not be sure who to reach out to or how. I was thinking it would be a good idea to make sure that there's a very obvious method of flagging content for moderator review.

So, I've installed a new (ancient) Drupal plugin that adds a "Flag for moderation" button beside... pretty much everything on the site. This is a way of quickly bringing something to my attention - whether it be spam, a hurtful comment, or a problematic game. It will take you to a form that lets you give some more details, and once submitted, it will send me an email and add it to a moderation queue that our moderation team has access to.

Please let me know how you feel about this change! If it's too intrusive I can try to dial it back, it's very configurable. And let me know how you feel about the prospect of opening up registration again!