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Enough is enough - Social engineering among our peers [Flappy Bird]

HenroidHenroid Radio DemonInternet HellRegistered User regular
edited February 2014 in Games and Technology
I was going to make this over in D&D but decided to put this in G&T since it is video game playing / player related, and it may help to reach more people.

News has broken this morning that Jen Hepler is quitting Bioware after receiving more shitheel internet-user abuse, ranging from general abusive comments to death threats against her children. Article in full:

(Edit - I will note at this time that it turns out the Metro news source put a slant on the story; Hepler left Bioware to work on a book. However, the abusive / threatening shit was still a real thing happening, and this correction to her reasons for leaving doesn't suddenly make shitheel behavior on the internet OK - we now return you to our regularly scheduled thread)
The senior writer on Dragon Age II has decided to leave developer BioWare after ‘graphic threats’ were made to kill her children.

Jennifer Helper was working on sequel Dragon Age: Inquisition but is quitting BioWare this week to go freelance, in large part thanks to threats she and others of the team received in the wake of Dragon Age II’s release.

The game was unpopular with many hardcore fans and although Hepler was able to ignore most of the threats and abuse on the BioWare forums and Twitter she also received emailed death threats and threats against her children, as well as abusive phone calls.

Hepler revealed the threats in a wider article on the subject of fan abuse on website Polygon. The story is also reminiscent of an incident last month, when fans threatened to murder a Call Of Duty developer because of minute changes to some of Black Ops II’s weapons.

The catalyst for Hepler’s abuse was a six-year-old interview in which she admitted she didn’t enjoy combat in games. This was enough for fans to blame her for unpopular changes in Dragon Age II, describing her as a ‘cancer’ that was destroying BioWare.

‘I was shown a sample of the forum posts by EA security,’ says Hepler ‘And it included graphic threats to kill my children on their way out of school to show them that they should have been aborted at birth rather than have to have me as a mother.’

The situation highlights both more general problems with cyberbullying and the targeting of women via Twitter, both of which are likely to see more strict legal sanctions in the future.

Another part of the problem for Hepler though was BioWare’s sympathetic portrayal of homosexual characters, which has not only been the catalyst for some of the abuse but also much of the positive support from fans.

‘The outpouring of support I received — large amounts from female and gay fans — was incredibly heartening,’ said Hepler. ‘Without the negativity, I’m not sure that I would ever have heard from all of these people confirming that there is a need for characters that tackle touchy social issues, for characters who are untraditional or even unlikeable.’

I'm starting this thread not to discuss "oh people on the internet are being insane," because what is there to discuss - anyone over 12 years of age knows that this kinda crap is not okay. No, I'm starting this to say that enough is enough and people need to start taking action. Start pressuring their peers into being better people. The reality is that as this kind of crap goes on, it fuels the flames of doing away with anonymity on the internet and we get more instances of people being arrested for their crappy comments. Hell, after reading this story my initial reaction was, "Fuck it, we don't deserve this good thing we have going." It infuriates the hell out of me.

We all play games with random folks, not just people here on the forum. And plenty of PA forum community members are community members on other sites (be they big and notable or just small club house type affairs). It's simple really - if you see shitheel behavior, don't condone it. If you see or hear someone being a rageaholic and/or making threats, tell them why they're being ejected from your game or community and just do it. Unfollow their accounts, urge others you know to do the same, because those jerkoffs will just shout into the void literally at nobody.

Community managers also need to crack down with use of their authority. It's time to discard that, "Speak pleasantly to any customer regardless of their behavior," crap. "ZOMG BLIZZ I WILL KILL YOU" should not be met with, "I'm sorry you feel that way." It should be met with, "You just made a threat. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." Take away their toys.

Never be silent. That doesn't evoke change.

Obviously this kind of ugly behavior goes on beyond the media that surrounds video games. People need to put effort in those places too if it is seen. Ignoring this crap and hoping it goes away is just going to let it fester.

So that's that. I'm out. Droppin' the mic.

Edit - An article was posting to Polygon yesterday about this topic and it's worth a read. Read it. No seriously read it.
http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups

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Posts

  • SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    I agree with your overall message. Everyone should take some responsibility when it comes to this kind of thing, even if it's just calling people out on their shitty behaviour. While I think it's nearly impossible to completely eliminate this kind of thing, it doesn't mean we shouildn't at least try.

    This kind of thing makes me appreciate you guys all the more. We don't have that kind of crap here (at least from what I can see). I really do think the internet in general would be a better place if more communities had moderators that were willing to crack down on unacceptable behaviour.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Turns out Polygon has an article posted since yesterday about this topic. I just started eying it over but it's quality stuff. Amending the OP with this link.

    http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    That article is so compelling and so depressing. Men and women are being terribly harassed and there is little recompense. It is a dirty little secret. I'm also a little perturbed that the companies are not providing adequate support for their creators in dealing with this.

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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I have been saying this in threads, such as those discussing feminist issues with games where I inevitably bring up Jennifer as an example, for some time. People try to claim they are to be ignored as just an irrelevant blip, but that's just giving them the power they actually want and the hidden "volume" to their crap they need to feel important. What is worse are the people who try to apologise for these people's disgusting behaviour as just jokes or trolling: It's not. Abhorrent, disgusting behaviour is disgusting no matter if the intent was just to be trolling or as some kind of idiotic joke.

    Because either way, it has the same effect on the targets of the abuse and it shouldn't be tolerated. It's time that many gaming websites, twitter and similar start actually enforcing consequences on people saying hideous dumb shit. For example, this forum has cultivated a wonderful and highly inclusive atmosphere over numerous years by not allowing people to be tremendous assholes on anything they feel like. You only have to compare this forum to say BSN or the comments over at Gamespot (I recommend the Call of Duty article about adding women) to understand the difference that actual consequences for poor behaviour has on discussion.

    I am really sad to hear about Jennifer Hepler quitting over the attacks she suffered, bearing in mind that her main crime and reason for these attacks was because she dared suggest skipping combat should be an option. People on BSN took the quote from an old interview from years ago, blamed their problems with DA2s combat on her and then started a wide scale hate campaign (with say, 4chan and others joining in).

    This has to stop. It's not doing us as a community any good and I can only imagine how outside media or parties perceive gamers as a whole because of it. I also feel it's about time that gaming websites (Gamespot for example), twitter and YouTube start to actually do more about the relentless abuse and idiocy in comments. It's not acceptable to be sending death threats, rape threats and just acting like a juvenile delinquent to an aspect of a video games design or similar you dislike.

    There is free speech, but nothing says that you should be free of consequences of acting like a complete turd on the Internet and people throwing you out of their community. That's exactly how it should be.

    Edit: And as I moderate the official 2kgames forums, I am proud to say that at least there we don't tolerate people doing these things whatsoever.

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  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    I don't think death threats fall under free speech even in America with its vast free speech protections.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    If you are in the public eye in any capacity, you are going to get impotent threats from faceless nobodies, and no amount of "social engineering" will ever change the fact that a small number of people just flat out suck. The responsible thing to do is to treat them like streakers, turn the cameras off and direct them to the authorities.



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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    I dunno, I feel like this will pull far more attention to the issue.

    Also, who are you to say how much abuse a person should tolerate? I don't think Bioware wants to add "Must be receptive to threats on your children" to the job description...

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  • EdgieEdgie TampaRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    If you are in the public eye in any capacity, you are going to get impotent threats from faceless nobodies, and no amount of "social engineering" will ever change the fact that a small number of people just flat out suck. The responsible thing to do is to treat them like streakers, turn the cameras off and direct them to the authorities.

    You're being a goose. The streaker isn't threatening to murder your family.

    She signed up to make a video game, although frankly, no one should have to sit through that sort of abuse.

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  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    If you are in the public eye in any capacity, you are going to get impotent threats from faceless nobodies, and no amount of "social engineering" will ever change the fact that a small number of people just flat out suck. The responsible thing to do is to treat them like streakers, turn the cameras off and direct them to the authorities.

    The 'direct them to the authorities' part is the part that I agree with most strongly - though it should be 'direct the authorities to them.' If someone is willing to put in the time and effort to put in the work to follow up on it to see who was making the threat, it can and should be treated every bit as seriously as someone putting a letter on the victim's front door.

    Grumbling that people on the Internet are being horrible does nothing. Being charged for death threats does something. If it happens often enough, it'll stop happening.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    I dunno, I feel like this will pull far more attention to the issue.

    And that is pretty pointless, because the "issue" is only solved when you have 100% buy in from everyone on the internet. Even if you get 99.99% saying "Goddamn. These people are awful", you are still signaling to the other 0.01% that sending developer threats will influence their behavior.
    Also, who are you to say how much abuse a person should tolerate? I don't think Bioware wants to add "Must be receptive to threats on your children" to the job description...

    Dude, you misunderstand. No one should have to tolerate that shit, but let the police handle it. Saying "You win, I quit"
    encourages these people.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    The problem is that the tools and ability for police to actually do anything against people making rape and death threats is surprisingly little. Especially when the first call of responsibility should be the likes of twitter, who happily allows the same people to send the same death and rape threats to anyone they disagree with. Even before police get involved, ostracising and simply kicking these people out of "our" communities would be the first step - exactly like what Penny-Arcade has already accomplished.

    Edit: And what gives them power has everything to do with giving them open platforms to spew their inane shit free of consequence.

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  • BrocksMulletBrocksMullet Into the sunrise, on a jet-ski. Natch.Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    I dunno, I feel like this will pull far more attention to the issue.

    And that is pretty pointless, because the "issue" is only solved when you have 100% buy in from everyone on the internet. Even if you get 99.99% saying "Goddamn. These people are awful", you are still signaling to the other 0.01% that sending developer threats will influence their behavior.
    Also, who are you to say how much abuse a person should tolerate? I don't think Bioware wants to add "Must be receptive to threats on your children" to the job description...

    Dude, you misunderstand. No one should have to tolerate that shit, but let the police handle it. Saying "You win, I quit"
    encourages these people.

    "When asked if the harassment led to her depature, Hepler told Polygon "No, leaving Bioware was for family reasons. I am going to be working on a text book on narrative design among other game-related freelance projects."

    I, for one, enjoyed the Mako.

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  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Trying to eliminate attention seeking behavior by "raising awareness" of the issue is only going to encourage more of the same behavior. It might seem like game developers are getting severely abused but that is happening with every type of public figure in every arena. Look at any random youtube video or any news article on cnn.com and look at the cesspool of comments that are published. Trying to confront trolls is just attention so their trolling is rewarded - the only way to respond is by ignoring it. Companies could do more to isolate their employees from this type of behavior by limiting public interactions and not releasing employee info to the trolling public though.

    Rhiley on
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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    I dunno, I feel like this will pull far more attention to the issue.

    And that is pretty pointless, because the "issue" is only solved when you have 100% buy in from everyone on the internet. Even if you get 99.99% saying "Goddamn. These people are awful", you are still signaling to the other 0.01% that sending developer threats will influence their behavior.
    Also, who are you to say how much abuse a person should tolerate? I don't think Bioware wants to add "Must be receptive to threats on your children" to the job description...

    Dude, you misunderstand. No one should have to tolerate that shit, but let the police handle it. Saying "You win, I quit"
    encourages these people.

    "When asked if the harassment led to her depature, Hepler told Polygon "No, leaving Bioware was for family reasons. I am going to be working on a text book on narrative design among other game-related freelance projects."

    "Jennifer Helper was working on sequel Dragon Age: Inquisition but is quitting BioWare this week to go freelance, in large part thanks to threats she and others of the team received in the wake of Dragon Age II’s release."

    Guess they got it wrong in the OP's article.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I don't think "empowering the trolls" makes sense. Like, they're going to behave this way with or without validation, because it's effortless, safe, hive-mindy through anger engines like 4chan, and a vent of their unrestrained wrath. I don't think anyone who isn't already doing death threats is going to look at this and say, "oh, death threats are a valid and effective way to provide feedback. Hoooooooo!", and I don't think anyone who is doing it was in danger of having their will sapped by...well, the zero resistance anonymous commenters have to stick around and face. These missiles are fire and forget.

    Plus authorities are pretty much powerless over things like this.

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    If you are in the public eye in any capacity, you are going to get impotent threats from faceless nobodies, and no amount of "social engineering" will ever change the fact that a small number of people just flat out suck. The responsible thing to do is to treat them like streakers, turn the cameras off and direct them to the authorities.



    Tell you what, when someone sends death threats to your family, you can talk about how it's the 'worst way to handle it'. People called her fucking house. Where the hell do you get off telling people 'you should just ignore them, you're empowering them!' This is victim blaming bullshit of the highest fucking caliber.

    It's irrelevant, anyways - she left for completely unrelated reasons. But let me tell you, if someone did feel the need to change professions because someone threatened to murder their children, the last person you fucking blame is the victim.

    Christ.

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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Rhiley wrote: »
    Trying to eliminate attention seeking behavior by "raising awareness" of the issue is only going to encourage more of the same behavior.

    Bullshit, it only allows them to keep on doing it and affect the people they want while everyone else gets to go "It's just too hard to do anything!". However, making noises about disgusting behaviour can have the opposite effect and making people aware this is not acceptable is the first step. Take this account from a female gamer harassed on Xbox live after playing Call of Duty, who posted this description of what happened. I highly recommend the creepy voice message this guy sent, because it can give you a good idea of the kind of crap some people get all the time.

    In any event, she found an outpouring of support and while reporting to Microsoft accomplished practically nothing, posting it publicly seems to have motivated someone to do something against the offending user in question. A far more positive outcome than just outright trying to forget about it or ignore it. So while you claim we should just ignore them, but when for certain people in particular this happens all the time that's like trying to avoid someone standing next to you shouting obscenities at you constantly. There is a point where sheer fatigue sets in and you don't want to have to bother ignoring them in the first place, because you can't drown them all out constantly.

    What should happen is that ignoring them shouldn't be required, because they shouldn't be allowed to continue with this crap all the time whenever they want.

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  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    Being loud doesn't create change either. If you really want change, you need to find a way to change the hearts and minds of people. "Shaming" people is only going to entrench their behavior.

  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Being loud doesn't create change either. If you really want change, you need to find a way to change the hearts and minds of people. "Shaming" people is only going to entrench their behavior.

    That depends.

    I've had several experiences while playing DOTA2 lately, for instance, where someone has started bullying someone else and I've told them to chill over voice chat. It's actually worked quite a few times. There is still the occasional outlier who just continues to go nuts regardless of what I do, but when I enter an argument as a third party and tell people to lay off, it works enough that I wouldn't discount it.

    The key seems to be not hurling insults at them, just telling them to relax a bit and have fun.

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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    Good Job.

    I dunno, I feel like this will pull far more attention to the issue.

    And that is pretty pointless, because the "issue" is only solved when you have 100% buy in from everyone on the internet. Even if you get 99.99% saying "Goddamn. These people are awful", you are still signaling to the other 0.01% that sending developer threats will influence their behavior.
    Also, who are you to say how much abuse a person should tolerate? I don't think Bioware wants to add "Must be receptive to threats on your children" to the job description...

    Dude, you misunderstand. No one should have to tolerate that shit, but let the police handle it. Saying "You win, I quit"
    encourages these people.

    "When asked if the harassment led to her depature, Hepler told Polygon "No, leaving Bioware was for family reasons. I am going to be working on a text book on narrative design among other game-related freelance projects."

    Bear in mind she also says this in the same interview:
    "It's something that comes up in almost every conversation with female developers," she said. "Overall, people seem to try to shrug it off publicly and fume privately, and younger women contemplating the field are reconsidering whether they have the stomach to handle what it currently asks of them. That's the biggest risk, in my opinion: that we will lose out on the talents of people who would make fantastic games that we would all be the better for playing, because they legitimately don't want to make themselves into targets. A lot of the best artists and storytellers (and quite a few great programmers too), tend to be sensitive people — we shouldn't lose out on their talents because we are requiring them to be tough, battle-scarred veterans just to walk in the door."

    Hepler, like many of the people who talked to about this, believes that gamer-on-game maker harassment is one of the biggest threats to the video game industry.

    "Games cost much too much money to focus on a niche market," she said. "To survive, they need to be such a broadly popular part of entertainment culture that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't play games. Women represent over 50 percent of the population, tend to be in charge of household finances, and are the majority purchasers of games (when factoring in games bought by women as gifts for husbands, children, friends, etc.). To indulge a community that is actively trying to alienate this powerful market segment (not to mention gay men, casual gamers of all types and anyone new to the hobby), is suicidal.

    "It's important to listen to fans about what's important to them, but it's equally important to listen to people who are not currently gamers about why they aren't playing. Hardcore gamers want a product that is made specifically for them and is actively unfriendly to anyone new. They will beg and bully to get this product and then praise and wax nostalgic over any game that lives up to their standards even if the company that made it went bankrupt. They don't care about keeping companies in business or artists employed. Their only job as fans is to say what pleases them, and it would be foolish to expect them to think beyond that. But to cater to those desires without thinking about how to bring new audiences in and make them comfortable will ultimately result in a stagnant and money-losing industry.

    Which certainly does imply the are having a tangible actual effect.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Being loud doesn't create change either. If you really want change, you need to find a way to change the hearts and minds of people. "Shaming" people is only going to entrench their behavior.

    You don't insult your kids to teach them to behave properly.

    People who act like this should be treated like children, and by that I mean they should be scolded in firm but moderated tones; told that their behavior is unacceptable not through further insults and shaming but through the language of adults, specifically ones teaching children.

    So I guess my advice is to be the grownup in your gaming group, if you want things to get better. Calmly point out the bad behavior, briefly and clearly say why it's bad, explain the consequence of continuing, and follow through 100% of the time.

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  • HH AustereHH Austere Registered User regular
    Treating adults like children simply because they're acting like one is a good way to make sure that adult never listens to a word you say, regardless of how much of a moron/tool/dipshit/goose they're being. It's condescending, so careful balance of tone and content have to exist, and for most people that's just too much work for something that doesn't affect them directly.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Aren't most of the people being shitlords literally children? Like, teenagers? I mean I have no idea but that's what I'm picturing when I hear the high pitched voice calling me gay over voice chat or whatever.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    HH Austere wrote: »
    Treating adults like children simply because they're acting like one is a good way to make sure that adult never listens to a word you say, regardless of how much of a moron/tool/dipshit/goose they're being. It's condescending, so careful balance of tone and content have to exist, and for most people that's just too much work for something that doesn't affect them directly.

    No.

    If you are being condescending to actual children, you are not doing it right. Being "treated like a child" is not condescending if you're a good parent (though being treated like a toddler sure would be).


    It's not condescending to model this behavior:

    "Look, the way you're behaving isn't acceptable in public. It's rude and insulting and upsets everyone around you. If you keep doing it, I'm going to kick you from the party / ask you to leave / block your access for 48 hours / ban your account." Then if it keeps up, you calmly and without drama follow through.

    That is what I'm talking about - it's the language of adults, of good parents. It's clear, it's not passive aggressive, it doesn't beg for agreement or bargain or make deals. It's not condescending - it's straightforward, honest, and predictable.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Sadly, acting like a good parent to some of these people might be their first encounter with that sort of behavior.

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  • HH AustereHH Austere Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    HH Austere wrote: »
    Treating adults like children simply because they're acting like one is a good way to make sure that adult never listens to a word you say, regardless of how much of a moron/tool/dipshit/goose they're being. It's condescending, so careful balance of tone and content have to exist, and for most people that's just too much work for something that doesn't affect them directly.

    No.

    If you are being condescending to actual children, you are not doing it right. Being "treated like a child" is not condescending if you're a good parent (though being treated like a toddler sure would be).


    It's not condescending to model this behavior:

    "Look, the way you're behaving isn't acceptable in public. It's rude and insulting and upsets everyone around you. If you keep doing it, I'm going to kick you from the party / ask you to leave / block your access for 48 hours / ban your account." Then if it keeps up, you calmly and without drama follow through.

    That is what I'm talking about - it's the language of adults, of good parents. It's clear, it's not passive aggressive, it doesn't beg for agreement or bargain or make deals. It's not condescending - it's straightforward, honest, and predictable.

    Ah, I misunderstood. Sorry. I was envisioning the tone that people use.

  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Rhiley wrote: »
    Trying to eliminate attention seeking behavior by "raising awareness" of the issue is only going to encourage more of the same behavior.

    Bullshit, it only allows them to keep on doing it and affect the people they want while everyone else gets to go "It's just too hard to do anything!". However, making noises about disgusting behaviour can have the opposite effect and making people aware this is not acceptable is the first step. Take this account from a female gamer harassed on Xbox live after playing Call of Duty, who posted this description of what happened. I highly recommend the creepy voice message this guy sent, because it can give you a good idea of the kind of crap some people get all the time.

    In any event, she found an outpouring of support and while reporting to Microsoft accomplished practically nothing, posting it publicly seems to have motivated someone to do something against the offending user in question. A far more positive outcome than just outright trying to forget about it or ignore it. So while you claim we should just ignore them, but when for certain people in particular this happens all the time that's like trying to avoid someone standing next to you shouting obscenities at you constantly. There is a point where sheer fatigue sets in and you don't want to have to bother ignoring them in the first place, because you can't drown them all out constantly.

    What should happen is that ignoring them shouldn't be required, because they shouldn't be allowed to continue with this crap all the time whenever they want.

    Literally ANY action other than completely ignoring this behavior is a reward. It is not a matter of doing something is too hard, it is that getting someone upset is the goal and getting someone upset enough to complain about it is like winning the lottery. That xbox live person is now internet famous, he got what he wanted. Internet trolls are by no means a new phenomenon, there is a reason that the phrase "don't feed the trolls" exists.

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  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    spool32 wrote: »
    People who act like this should be treated like children, and by that I mean they should be scolded in firm but moderated tones; told that their behavior is unacceptable not through further insults and shaming but through the language of adults, specifically ones teaching children.

    I'll let you in on a little moderating secret: the by far most effective soft moderation I do (hard moderation being infractions and bans), is the sentence "You need to be thirteen years or older to post on these forums."

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Spool speaks the truth.

    The way to treat that behavior is to acknowledge the behavior, note that it's unacceptable, and follow through with the appropriate punishment / response. If it means reporting to administrators, kicking someone from your group / ignoring them, or going and playing on another server, that's how you handle it.

    You don't engage in a debate about why it's ok or not ok to act some way - you don't feed the trolls. They know how they should / shouldn't act, and if they aren't mature enough to act that way after getting called out, there is nothing to gain by engaging them directly. You say what you are going to do and why, then do it. Report, ignore, or take whatever steps are warranted.

    I personally don't involve myself in any online communities that accept that sort of behavior. If moderators / administrators won't / can't address it or ignore it, the loss of community members may allow them to re-evaluate their priorities.

  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Being loud doesn't create change either. If you really want change, you need to find a way to change the hearts and minds of people. "Shaming" people is only going to entrench their behavior.

    You don't insult your kids to teach them to behave properly.

    People who act like this should be treated like children, and by that I mean they should be scolded in firm but moderated tones; told that their behavior is unacceptable not through further insults and shaming but through the language of adults, specifically ones teaching children.

    So I guess my advice is to be the grownup in your gaming group, if you want things to get better. Calmly point out the bad behavior, briefly and clearly say why it's bad, explain the consequence of continuing, and follow through 100% of the time.

    I think this is a pretty broken way to look at adult, or even anonymous, discourse. If you punish someone, at best they will simply avoid a behavior. More likely, they will just continue that behavior elsewhere where it will be supported. The idea of "socially engineering" people through a series of punishments strikes me as ridiculous. Yes, it works with children because as adults you are the world to them. Adults and teenagers simply have a much wider array of social outlets and don't have the same need for approval from any single source.

    Charisma leadership work by making people feel good about adopting target behaviors, not by punishing them for undesirable ones.

  • MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    This is the absolute worst way to handle this. She just empowered the sort of chucklefucks that like to make anonymous threats on the internet.

    What in the very real fuck.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I think it's a short term vs longterm question, Cygnus. We should be the change we want, and so forth. Model the positive behavior and encourage others to do the same. But there needs to be a sharp side as well. Reinforcement for good behavior, and consequences for bad. We don't solve the problems here by merely encouraging better behavior.

    Boundary setting is important. I'd say it's critical. It's certainly not a broken way to look at adult discourse.

  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    Rhiley wrote: »
    Literally ANY action other than completely ignoring this behavior is a reward.

    But it isn't a behavior that withers in absence of reward, so ignoring doesn't help. Plus I think most people would find it hard to ignore a steady stream of abuse that has the appearance of coming from a mass.

    And I don't imagine fame ever entered that guy's head as a motivation for threatening to rape someone.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Being loud doesn't create change either. If you really want change, you need to find a way to change the hearts and minds of people. "Shaming" people is only going to entrench their behavior.

    Please, you'd be surprised how effective Persona Non Grata is.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    You know, the best solution is likely what Henroid already suggested.

    You threaten a staff member or another customer? Banned for life.

    Every other place I worked responded that way if a customer threatened to murder one of the staff. Why are developers excused from protecting their staff from abuse by customers?

    Nova_C on
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  • NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    You know, the best solution is likely what Henroid already suggested.

    You threaten a staff member or another customer? Banned for life.

    Every other place I worked responded that way if a customer threatened to murder one of the staff. Why are developers excused from protecting their staff from abuse by customers?
    I suspect it's kind of hard to ban people from buying your games when they don't have to personally come to your building to buy them.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    NEO|Phyte wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    You know, the best solution is likely what Henroid already suggested.

    You threaten a staff member or another customer? Banned for life.

    Every other place I worked responded that way if a customer threatened to murder one of the staff. Why are developers excused from protecting their staff from abuse by customers?
    I suspect it's kind of hard to ban people from buying your games when they don't have to personally come to your building to buy them.

    But in the day and age where you have to have an online account to play the game, you can lose that account in the same fashion.

    ... OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I BECOME.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    This thread is reminding me that I should go do a set of Tribunal reviews.

    This is a pretty interesting system imo, and it seems to be working at least in part.

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  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Oh hey I forgot to do this before heading out on errands. It turns out Hepler left Bioware because she's working on a book full time now (this was the point of me posting the Polygon thing actually, the correction in the story).

    But the abuse was still present, it just wasn't the reason.

    It also doesn't suddenly make the shitheel behavior a non-issue either.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
    Aegeri
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