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EA, how you can improve moderation on this website  XML
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Callum9432


Joined: 08/29/09 08:52 AM
Messages: 7386
Location:Scotland
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To be quite frank, the moderation on this website sucks. What you can get away with here is just ridiculous and what you can't get away with is worse. And it's really starting to get out of hand.

I'm not talking about forum moderation like threads getting locked and such - that's not... bad. Just slow. And for that, I don't blame the moderators, I blame the lack of them. There are just three moderators, for the English forums - the most active forums of all. In fact, I think the French forums even have double that. Not only that, but there are 26 different forum sections, all active, all needing moderation and a new one is added roughly every 2-3 months (for the next SP/EP).

It's just plain stupid that the rule breakers get away with whatever they want, but the people that follow the rules, and even the people that try to explain to others exactly how they have broken the rules are the ones that end up getting warnings and bans.

And it's just ridiculous that we, the community, have been put in a situation where we have to rely on a certain "outside group" to deal with the serious trolls - the ones that get away with posting death threats, others' personal info and all kinds of pictures.

And the biggest problem - the main cause of all this nonsense - is that Customer Service are in charge of moderation. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but I've come to the conclusion that SimGurus can't even ban or warn people. In fact, some SimGurus don't even have moderating privileges. That I know is a fact, as a SimGuru them self said they don't. You've given better privileges to a volunteer you barely even know, than you've given to some of your own employees/co-workers. Going back to CS moderating, there is obviously some kind of system that counts the reports submitted about each user, and once a user has had a certain number of reports, a warning or ban is sent out to them. And the problem with that is that it's so easy to beat. I could go and report someone right now - I know how to find someone's post history in the member list, it's easy as long as you're good at guesstimating - and I could choose someone and report every post they've ever made on the forums, and they'd probably get banned even if they've never broken a single rule.

Just look at this forum's troll history. You even made the news for it once, and, at this rate, that could happen again very soon.

To keep this thread constructive, I have some ideas that could improve moderation on this website. I also have some ideas from friends and other people:

(The most important one of all) Give SimGurus - all SimGurus - complete moderating freedom on this website. This includes handing out warnings, giving bans, removing exchange uploads, etc.

More moderators I've even suggested and idea for more moderators in the past:
Callum9432 wrote:I have been thinking abot this, and I thought something like this would be a much better idea:


The General Disucssion section. There should be at least 2 moderators assigned to this section, as it contains 4 forums, one of which is the fastest moving.


The Sims 3 Store section should have at least 1 moderator, as it only has 3 forums, but it does have one of the fastest moving forums (Gift Gathering)

The Expansion Packs section should have at least 2 moderators, as there are 6 forums just now and a new one is added roughly every 4-5 months.


The Stuff Packs section should have at least 2 moderators, for the same reasons as the EP section.


The Game Tools section only really needs 1 moderator as there are only 2 (relatively slow) forums.


The Community section should have at least 1 moderator, and possibly 2.

I counted at least 9 moderaotrs for that plan, which really isn't much. There are unofficial Sims forums that have the same or less forums and sub-sections in them, and are much less active than this one, but they still have 3-4 moderators.

Of course, the moderators would be quite within their rights to go to whatever forum they want (and moderate where ever they want), but their assigned area would be their main focus area for moderation.


CS shouldn't be in charge Kinda the same as 1 - Customer Service should not be "in charge" of moderation, warnings or bans.

Post approval This one would be kind of hard to implement, considering how many users there are, but a user's first post (or first few posts) should be approved before it is posted. Just think how many of those trolls and how many of those "spam fests" could have been stopped by approving just their first post on the forums ("Oh look, incredibly inappropriate picture." 'Don't post', 'Ban User'. Done.)

Better privacy - Simple. When something is set to private, it should be private. None of this "a friend of a friend of a friend's friend can see this post" nonsense. I made a thread regarding this a while ago. Some of the ideas I and others suggested were added with the new My Page.
http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/488854.page

Valid email addresses This site doesn't even need a valid email address to make an account. It is the only modern day website that requires log-in, which I have used that doesn't require a valid email account.

Base Game registration You should be required to register a Base Game to create an account on the website. This site is for The Sims 3. In fact, one of the forum rules is that we should only be discussing The Sims (3) and related things. Therefor, it makes sense that you should have to have The Sims 3 registered to use the website. Again, this could have stopped many previous trolls - one major one in particular.

Moderator Suspending Moderators should be able to suspend accounts if they get reported enough. If enough reports are submitted - from people with games registered - the account can be suspended by a moderator and reviewed by a SimGuru

Reports going to moderators and SimGurus ALL reports that are submitted should go to moderators and/or SimGurus. Not Customer Service.

Requiring games and an account to report Users should need to have an account - with games registered on it - to report something.

Disabling friend requests - Having the ability to disable friend requests. This would remove the 'Add as friend' button from your page.

Private gifting option - If the 'Private Gifting Only' box were ticked, you would only be able to recieve gifts from those on your friends list.

'Allow gifting' option when accepting/sending friend request - With this option you would be able to allow individual people to gift you by ticking the 'Allow Gifting' box when accepting their friend request or sending them a friend request.

Username moderation - When you create a new account, you shouldn't get it straight away. It should be sent to customer service to be checked for inappropriate lagnuage in the username. If it does have any, it isn't allowed. If more than 3 accounts are made with inappropriate language in the usernames from the same IP address, the IP should be banned.

Blog moderation - Just like username moderation, you when you make a new blog post, it wouldn't go through immediately. It would be checked for inappropriate content. If it contained anything, the person would get either a warning or temporary suspension. Next time it would be a temporary susension or perma-ban. Then it would be perma-ban.

'My Story' moderation - This would function like the blog moderation, but it would be for your 'My Story' entries on your SimPage.

Studio moderation - Anything you upload to the Exchange should be checked, to prevent inappropriate content from being uploaded. The banning system would be the same as blog moderation.

'Report' button on gifts - Really? I think it is just ridiculous that we can't report gifts. It is used very often to offend people because it can be reported.

Decline gift - I think it is pretty stupid that we can't already do this. When you decline a gift, the sender would automatically be refunded. This would also stop people from recieving gifts they already have, which has happened quite often in the past to a lot of people.

'Disable Images on SimPages' option - We should be able to disable images on SimPages.

Device sign in limit - I am currently logged in on 4 different devices. If I can do that, it is incredibly easy for my account to be hacked on another device. We should be able to choose how many devices we can be logged on to at any one time.

Feel free to post your own ideas too.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 05/10/12 05:12 PM


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TheMomminator


Joined: 05/31/11 11:09 PM
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Goodness! You certainly want every move watched, don't you?

I think trolls are a fact of life on every forum. In fact this forum has the fewest number of trolls that I've ever seen.

There is something to be said for learning to cope with life's more unpleasant sides and ignoring people who just want this sort of attention.
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Callum9432


Joined: 08/29/09 08:52 AM
Messages: 7386
Location:Scotland
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TheMomminator wrote:Goodness! You certainly want every move watched, don't you?

I think trolls are a fact of life on every forum. In fact this forum has the fewest number of trolls that I've ever seen.

There is something to be said for learning to cope with life's more unpleasant sides and ignoring people who just want this sort of attention.

This may have the fewest trolls, but it certainly has the worst. You obviously haven't been around recently. A troll posted someone's home address (thankfully, it wasn't the intended person's address, but it was still someone's) along with death threats.

And, really, it's not hard to implement most if this stuff. And not really watching every move. Most of this stuff is already on the majority if websites.

Oh, and the good old "ignore them" excuse. Must have seen that one work... I dunno... 30% of the time? I think that was EA's plan with the last 'major' troll. Look how well that one turned out for them.

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Pepperbutt


Joined: 07/27/11 01:46 AM
Messages: 3154
Location:Chicago, IL

IIRC, the mods don't have any power to begin with. They only forward things to CS, just like gurus.

To clarify the post thing- a lot of forums moderate the first 5 to 10. Even 2 - 5 for this forum would be good.

The mod thing could be picked up by volunteers. 18+, background checks with SSN's and IDs. As in, legit volunteer jobs. Any idiot shouldn't be able to apply. You don't even need to hire people for that one. This is probably a little discriminatory, but it should be US-only applicants. I say this because these are the American forums, and let's be honest, CS can't speak English. (Generally, I think email ones are probably good.) Plus, SSN's are US only, IIRC. (You can't pass a background check without one.)

Checking usernames or blog posts might be a little excessive / hard to code, but there should be something done about them, or a way to report the username itself. I don't know if reporting the person's profile does anything. I don't know if a warning for content is a good idea, at least right now, since people get warnings right now for simple things, like giving out the CS phone number or a weekly bump.

I know some sites make you verify the device you're logging on with. If it's different than your usual one, you get an email verification. IIRC, Gmail also does this. Why not do this? I mean, I had my Facebook do that to me when I went to another country, because it didn't think it was me. They had this like, 4 page thing with random questions to make sure I wasn't a bot or hacker or something. Given that this site has payment information (I don't know if it saves payment methods, like Amazon?) it should be a no brainer thing.

Anyway, good thread Callum. I like the ideas, hadn't seen some of them before c:

Oh, uh, yeah. It'd be nice if something like 1-800-123-4567 (who owns that, anyway?) was posted, it would be caught by a filter. Sure, it wouldn't work with the EA's CS number thing, but personal information could be prevented from being posted. Or, for example, an address. Now, it might not work as easily with addresses, since they also pop up in game, but like '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500' or

'1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500'

could easily be caught, right? Strings of numbers are usually caught by filters, could it be too hard to do the same with addresses? (This is coming from someone who doesn't know much about setting up filters like that.)

Also, yeah, if you're gonna report me for that, that's the address for the White House. That's one of the most well-known places in the US.

Mental health issues aren't a joke. Knock it off.

http://simmeringsims.forumotion.com/ or @Pepperbuttz
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TheMomminator


Joined: 05/31/11 11:09 PM
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The troll posted:

You live at 123 Main St, Anytown, Anystate, USA and I'm going to kill you.

Is that correct?

If so that's a federal offense. Did someone report it to the FBI?
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DARIUSSILVERTO


Joined: 12/23/10 12:54 AM
Messages: 1233
Location:Unknown World in the Future

I wish there was a better way of organising our saved bookmarks. Like an actual box to check the ones we want to get rid of and also to highlight the ones we checked for either editing or deleting.

EDITED: Oh and to have the ability to also hide threads that you dont want to see.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/09/12 11:22 PM

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California


Joined: 06/12/09 05:55 AM
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Location:Somewhere only we know...
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I agree with your post. These forums are horribly monitored and it would give people some inclination to watch what they post.

The idea that pepper gave about the volunteer mods is a good idea as well. But aside from personal background checks, their forum posts should also be checked because as previously mentioned in the OP, those who spend their time telling others that they have broken the forum rules, have their own pile of reports, warnings, and bans.

And another idea, that I've noticed works very well over at the Bioware forums, is one that would help better organize the forums and the posts within them. It's quite simple, topics of major discussion should have stickied or tagged threads that remain at the top of the forum of choice. All threads posted that are the same topic are removed and users are directed to the already in use topic. This way, there is only one thread to monitor for rule breaking, as well as the removal of the spam of multiple threads about the same thing, an example being the over abundance of threads about how much people want seasons.

Blind loyalty (or people who hate something but keep buying it) isn't good for anyone
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Pepperbutt


Joined: 07/27/11 01:46 AM
Messages: 3154
Location:Chicago, IL

TheMomminator wrote:The troll posted:

You live at 123 Main St, Anytown, Anystate, USA and I'm going to kill you.

Is that correct?

If so that's a federal offense. Did someone report it to the FBI?


Saved Screenshot wrote:***** (blocked the house number) Something St

Miami, FL 12345

I now know who you are!!

<random things that aren't relevant to your question>

Banned or not I will be very busy visiting you at home.

PS. I LOVE THE TREES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD


Edit: I should clarify, he blocked the house number. Surprisingly. Address is in a huge college town (nothing but college students) at the local university, lived half an hour from there.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/10/12 12:02 AM


Mental health issues aren't a joke. Knock it off.

http://simmeringsims.forumotion.com/ or @Pepperbuttz
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Torres826


Joined: 07/07/09 01:09 PM
Messages: 248
Location:In my office cuddling my precious baby girl!

Callum and Pepper, I very much approve of both your ideas! Ea needs to get their act together and do a serious revamp of the way they handle the forums and moderation.
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catchme


Joined: 04/15/10 11:52 PM
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Oh callum already your being blamed for inadequate forum moderation. How people love to point fingers. Take a look at GD.

Saying [no] to social features. It may start with simport but im sure it won't end there.
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TheMomminator


Joined: 05/31/11 11:09 PM
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That isn't a death threat but it does imply that the troll is stalking the other person. That's pretty serious but none of the measures suggested would stop it.
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SirenHart


Joined: 05/11/10 11:11 AM
Messages: 209
Location:I don't know I am lost! Halp MEZZZ!

I love these ideas. You are right on Callum. This should have been done right from the start.

I have posted only a few times since joining and would have no problem having my posts preapproved. I was suprised when they were not.

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SIMplified


Joined: 06/16/10 07:17 PM
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Agreed. We just need better forum protectors but your ideas and pepper sounds fantastic and, if executed correctly should run in a smooth and helpful manor that will benefit the forums and us.

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Pepperbutt


Joined: 07/27/11 01:46 AM
Messages: 3154
Location:Chicago, IL

TheMomminator wrote:That isn't a death threat but it does imply that the troll is stalking the other person. That's pretty serious but none of the measures suggested would stop it.


That was in a thread directed specifically at me. Yeah, I'd say it's a threat, and trying to find my old address would be considered stalking.

Mental health issues aren't a joke. Knock it off.

http://simmeringsims.forumotion.com/ or @Pepperbuttz
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Torres826


Joined: 07/07/09 01:09 PM
Messages: 248
Location:In my office cuddling my precious baby girl!

Pepperbutt wrote:
TheMomminator wrote:That isn't a death threat but it does imply that the troll is stalking the other person. That's pretty serious but none of the measures suggested would stop it.


That was in a thread directed specifically at me. Yeah, I'd say it's a threat, and trying to find my old address would be considered stalking.
It seems to me that there was a definite intent to cause harm and I hope it doesn't happen again. So glad your back Pepper!
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