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Abusive Language/Spray Rule Changes


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#41 Savage

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:21 PM

Doesn't this just give an excuse for people to use it in substitute?

 

No, as many people have already stated. Admins aren't robots. We don't operate on a YES/NO protocol when it comes to punishing someone. We already take into account what people are saying before we punish them. Just as we've operated for the past year, if we have any reason to believe that someone is skirting the rules just by switching a letter, they will be dealt with.

 

You are still welcome to report people for saying "nigga." Just recognize that sometimes we won't agree that they're being bigoted.

 

Imagine this: Someone on the server says "Can I say f***** here?" Do we insta-mute them? No, of course not. In this case, they're not using the word in a bigoted way (because they're referencing it as a word).

 

Is this an excuse for everyone to go out on the servers and say "CAN I SAY f***** HERE?" No.

 

If someone continues to say things like "Why can't I say f*****?" "Can I say f**?" "He got banned for saying f*****" they will be dealt with, even though they haven't used the word in a bigoted way, and on it's own, one of these questions/statements might not be considered bigoted.

 

Similarly, we're not going to punish someone for jumping on the server and saying "wat up niggas." Sorry. I'm just not comfortable getting in someone's face about that. However, just like we've been doing for the past year, if someone comes even close to using it to harass or attack another person, uses it excessively, or uses it in a way that seems bigoted, we'll deal with it like we deal with any other instance of bigotry.

 

I think there's a lot of confusion over what exactly we're "changing" here, and all it really comes down to is that we believe we're being too strict by punishing someone for saying "wat up nigga" (or something similar).

 

 

 

Let me be clear, personally, I don't use that word in real life. I don't have a particularly positive opinion of that word, or of people who use it. I think other admins feel similarly. There seem to be a lot of people assuming that we're "unbanning" it because we want or like to use it, which is not the case. 


Edited by Savage, 20 August 2015 - 08:28 PM.

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#42 UberActivist

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:33 PM

 

Let me be clear, personally, I don't use that word in real life. I don't have a particularly positive opinion of that word, or of people who use it. I think other admins feel similarly. There seem to be a lot of people assuming that we're "unbanning" it because we want or like to use it, which is not the case. 

The only time I've ever used that word is when I reference this: 

 


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#43 Sniper Pro

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:59 PM

Here's how I see it. First of all, we don't have rules against words that offend people, we have rules against bigotry. We're never going to be able to moderate everything that could possibly offend anyone, but bigotry is at least something we can work on defining and moderating. Some words are obviously not bigotry. Some words are obvious bigotry. Some words can be bigotry at times and not be bigotry at other times. When it comes to those words our policy has been to look at the context and make the best decision we can. I think that's a way more reasonable solution than a blanket ban on every word that could conceivably be used in bigotry.

 

Of all the clarifying posts here I think this is definitely the best one. It's true, you're not moderating what offends people, but what is outright blatant bigotry. In that sense, I can see how this change made sense. 


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#44 Κhαos

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:11 AM

I like the change :3 I like FP servers to be as clean as possible and if it makes people happy to use the word nigga (non offensively) without fear of having to be reported, then I can live with it.

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#45 Dattix NEO

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:40 AM

This is certainly a highly controversial change just because of how many issues it touches upon, but in the end it all comes down to common sense. If it's plainly obvious they're using words in a directly abusive manner, just client-side mute them (if it's over voice chat) and !report them. If they're obviously not, just ignore it and continue on. If you're really on the fence as to whether the person is being abusive or not, here are some suggestions:

 

  • Politely address the person and tell them that they're speaking in a manner which may be offensive to some people. Some people are just naturally a bit salty and will understand and cease what they're doing, or they may just not know better. If they say something along the lines of "f*** you," directly call you an offensive term yourself, or proceed to mock you, that's when you know they're being malicious.
  • If an admin is on the server, just step back and let the admin decide what happens. Most of the time if they're being abusive, they'll just get a comms block but remain on the server. We don't ban for comms offenses on the game servers anymore ever since Valve's Quickplay changes, and if they can't speak then they're no different from any other player then. We would only ban for comms offenses on the trade servers (where not being able to talk makes you dead weight), they start using name changes to get around the block, or they start engaging in other abusive behavior (griefing, shock/gore sprays, etc.).

 

Overall, we're not racist sailors but we're also not your hyper-polite nana. People swear, people use "wrong" words in casual conversation; you just have to learn to accept it. There are steps you can take to make sure it's friendly, though, as I say above. As many have said before, we've unofficially been operating like this for a while, and are now just clarifying it for people who think we're acting inconsistent with our rules. While certain rules we enforce are very much hard (scamming, cheating), others are quite a bit more subjective and require more of a judgement call. Enforcing the rules is tough, as I've come to accept, but making them is even harder because there's no test period for them. It is entirely possible the admins will decide to go back on this policy change in the future if abusing it becomes an issue, but until it has it's probably safe to leave it in place.

 

Would you like to know more? (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK)


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#46 waterandroid

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:41 PM

This is certainly a highly controversial change just because of how many issues it touches upon, but in the end it all comes down to common sense. If it's plainly obvious they're using words in a directly abusive manner, just client-side mute them (if it's over voice chat) and !report them. If they're obviously not, just ignore it and continue on. If you're really on the fence as to whether the person is being abusive or not, here are some suggestions:

  • Politely address the person and tell them that they're speaking in a manner which may be offensive to some people. Some people are just naturally a bit salty and will understand and cease what they're doing, or they may just not know better. If they say something along the lines of "f*** you," directly call you an offensive term yourself, or proceed to mock you, that's when you know they're being malicious.
  • If an admin is on the server, just step back and let the admin decide what happens. Most of the time if they're being abusive, they'll just get a comms block but remain on the server. We don't ban for comms offenses on the game servers anymore ever since Valve's Quickplay changes, and if they can't speak then they're no different from any other player then. We would only ban for comms offenses on the trade servers (where not being able to talk makes you dead weight), they start using name changes to get around the block, or they start engaging in other abusive behavior (griefing, shock/gore sprays, etc.).
Overall, we're not racist sailors but we're also not your hyper-polite nana. People swear, people use "wrong" words in casual conversation; you just have to learn to accept it. There are steps you can take to make sure it's friendly, though, as I say above. As many have said before, we've unofficially been operating like this for a while, and are now just clarifying it for people who think we're acting inconsistent with our rules. While certain rules we enforce are very much hard (scamming, cheating), others are quite a bit more subjective and require more of a judgement call. Enforcing the rules is tough, as I've come to accept, but making them is even harder because there's no test period for them. It is entirely possible the admins will decide to go back on this policy change in the future if abusing it becomes an issue, but until it has it's probably safe to leave it in place.
 
Would you like to know more? (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK)

 

Two things to add to this.

  • If you mute a player, it will block not only voice chat, but text chat as well. Source
  • If an admin/mod is not in the server, you are highly encouraged to use !report on players you think are breaking the rules, even if you aren't sure. We'd rather need to go through more reports than to let rule-breakers go by unnoticed.


#47 Dr. McKay

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:50 PM

I'm on vacation so I haven't been keeping up with the forums so much (limited phone Internet), although I skimmed the summary of the admin meeting in which this change was made.

 

It's a good change. There really isn't any change to how moderation is being performed, rather the rules are just being updated to reflect what's being done in response to certain offenses.

 

Since I've noticed that this has been brought up here, let me make it clear. If someone is harassing you, through language we punish or not, please report them. The quickest way to report someone is to use !report in-game, but if nothing happens then please submit a ban request here on the forums. We take harassment very seriously. Online harassment is a very nasty business and we absolutely do not tolerate it in any environment which we control. If someone's harassing you over Steam, you should block them using Steam's built-in "block all communication" tool. If they follow you to an FP server, please let us know. We're happy to remove troublesome individuals like that.

 

The bottom line here is, we're shifting from more of a zero-tolerance policy (which rarely work out very well) to an intent-based policy. Certain words (like f****t) are never used outside of a hostile intent. We're still not going to allow them. Other words (like nigga) can be used outside of a hostile intent, but if they're used that way, we'll remove the problem as we always have.


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#48 ChAirborne

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 04:39 PM


...we've collectively agreed that the word n**** can often be used in a non-bigoted way...

 

I wonder if Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and/or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with you.

Throughout American history, many courageous men and women have paid a heavy price to correct the injustices of this nation while preserving its virtues. Be they civilians or military veterans, the USA enjoys Freedom of Speech (and many other rights and freedoms) because of them.

Consequently, use your freedoms intelligently.  It belittles and demeans their sacrifices, when personal  freedoms are used to make moronic choices like this.

Rethink your decision. Choose what's right, not what's contemporary.


 


Edited by ChAirborne, 21 August 2015 - 05:14 PM.

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#49 Creatureface

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 05:08 PM

If wonder if Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with you.


This isn't the 1950's, and it is a completely different time so you can't ask what they would think...

Look, everyone consistently is bringing to light that some people are still uncomfortable with the word nigga being used. But, the rules are against bigoted language and the fact is that nigga isn't always bigoted. That is a fact, being uncomfortable with the word is an opinion that is completely fine. If you don't want it being said around you, then ask politely or call an admin in to get an opinion on the matter. It probably wont be said much but it is open to be used in greetings and with friends. If people try to bend the rules, they will be dealt with.

If we were to take a stand against every word that isn't bigoted but hurtful/uncomfortable, then a lot of words would be banned. Fat, smelly, dumb, retard, etc. All are hurtful but aren't banned for real reasons. Just my opinion
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#50 Dr. McKay

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 06:01 PM

Would a personal chat filter solve some people's problems? Where you could choose words to censor or outright block those messages?
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#51 Schellep9

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:44 AM

I feel as if I should reiterate my issue with the rule change. I am White. I can't say shit without being called a racist. Honestly the internet removes race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation from the mix. That means if we are being honest any word that could be considered racists to anyone should be legitimately disallowed since in reality we are all grey online. Since we don't know don't use it. Call it culturally insensitive if you like but if we are all one color online then either we allow it all or ban it all. simple shit easy peessee.

 

On a side note this whole three page forum post is all nothing more then an academic polisci exercise. the real issue here is a lack of transparency. Sorry admin staff but the issue may have been resolved already, but if your gonna do shit either give everyone a chance to chime in or hire a "Context Admin" to deal with the issue if you don't wanna deal with it anymore. That's the basis of the pissing and moaning on here sadly enough.


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#52 Dr. McKay

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:53 AM

I'm not sure what isn't transparent? A couple rules are being revised to reflect how they've been enforced anyway, and the reason was given. I've offered to add a personal chat filter for those who are uncomfortable seeing certain words which we allow based on context (which nobody has responded to), and the spirit of the rules hasn't changed.

 

Frankly, we can't possibly cater to everyone and make sure that nobody's offended by anything. Words which are explicitly offensive are still banned, and context is checked in others. And now certain words which to my knowledge have never seriously been used to attack anyone are now allowed based on context.


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#53 ChAirborne

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 01:13 AM

Would a personal chat filter solve some people's problems? Where you could choose words to censor or outright block those messages?

 

This is a good idea which I would like to try.


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#54 Sniper Pro

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:17 PM

I'm not sure what isn't transparent? A couple rules are being revised to reflect how they've been enforced anyway, and the reason was given.

 

The issue is not that you're now re-writing the rule to clarify, but that you changed it without telling us in the first place. I think that's what has Schell and a lot of others like myself upset. Clarifying the rules in writing? Perfect, no issue with that. But changing the rule without telling anyone? Doesn't sit well when the community as a whole could have discussed it. 

 

All it takes is one "what do you think of a change on this rule?" thread, everyone could chime in and a decision could be reached based on input.


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#55 Dr. McKay

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:57 PM

The issue is not that you're now re-writing the rule to clarify, but that you changed it without telling us in the first place. I think that's what has Schell and a lot of others like myself upset. Clarifying the rules in writing? Perfect, no issue with that. But changing the rule without telling anyone? Doesn't sit well when the community as a whole could have discussed it. 

 

All it takes is one "what do you think of a change on this rule?" thread, everyone could chime in and a decision could be reached based on input.

 

I agree that if someone sat down one day and decided that the rule should be changed, it should have been discussed. But this change kinda happened gradually over time.


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#56 Eisotopius

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 01:27 PM

The issue is not that you're now re-writing the rule to clarify, but that you changed it without telling us in the first place. I think that's what has Schell and a lot of others like myself upset. Clarifying the rules in writing? Perfect, no issue with that. But changing the rule without telling anyone? Doesn't sit well when the community as a whole could have discussed it. 

 

All it takes is one "what do you think of a change on this rule?" thread, everyone could chime in and a decision could be reached based on input.

I think it's much less that the rule was secretly changed and more that, over time, the way the admin team interprets and enforces the rules changed, and as a result the rules themselves changed to reflect what was already happening regardless.

And, really, there was always a clarification if a report was sent in and we didn't think it was actually worth taking action against; that still happens, and we still take action against people starting to get excessive, spammy, and/or offensive. It's not really the rule that changed, it's just that it's gradually been enforced differently and now it's just a change to reflect how we do things.


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#57 Humboldt

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 02:17 PM

I wonder if Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and/or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with you.

Throughout American history, many courageous men and women have paid a heavy price to correct the injustices of this nation while preserving its virtues. Be they civilians or military veterans, the USA enjoys Freedom of Speech (and many other rights and freedoms) because of them.

Consequently, use your freedoms intelligently.  It belittles and demeans their sacrifices, when personal  freedoms are used to make moronic choices like this.

Rethink your decision. Choose what's right, not what's contemporary.

 

I appreciate your post.  I enjoy supporting TF2 community servers.  I've been spending time on Fire Powered servers because I feel they are a welcome alternative to other community servers like Skial, etc.  I have a friend who enjoys joining me when he sees me playing TF2.  My friend is African American.  There have been other servers that my friend and I have been playing on and it made him very, very uncomfortable to be subjected to racist terms like the n-word.  I really hope the Fire Powered changes course and does not continue to allow any derivative of the n-word on its servers.


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#58 Savage

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 02:26 PM

I appreciate your post.  I enjoy supporting TF2 community servers.  I've been spending time on Fire Powered servers because I feel they are a welcome alternative to other community servers like Skial, etc.  I have a friend who enjoys joining me when he sees me playing TF2.  My friend is African American.  There have been other servers that my friend and I have been playing on and it made him very, very uncomfortable to be subjected to racist terms like the n-word.  I really hope the Fire Powered changes course and does not continue to allow any derivative of the n-word on its servers.

 

Please read this thread very carefully. If your friend is uncomfortable on our servers for ANY reason, he just needs to report it. 


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#59 Soof

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 07:28 PM

As long as the moderating team feels that they can continue to properly handle the usage of the word(s), I am in favor of this rule update/notification/announcement/watevs. It still seems like the whole situation may be a little grey when evaluating the offensiveness or lack thereof of someone's statement, but if it's true that this is how you've been operating for the past while then I think things should go pretty smooth. I'm just a little sad that some people left partly or entirely because of the fact that the handling of these terms is now official.


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#60 Fridgeraider™

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 12:26 AM

I don't even know how to word the stuff I'm thinking, all I know is I absolutely think this change is bad idea. Making the change official policy only announces to those that use n**** that it's time to let it fly anytime they want. I don't see why we're allowing chunks of the community to be placed in uncomfortable situations that has been avoided, for the most part, thus far. I don't see how you can fairly punish people for harassing a third party when they are following the rules with the language, just a third party person is upset. I don't see why this change was even necessary. 

 

Maybe I'm just old, maybe I just get sick of hearing that word every day because I work in a prison, maybe I just think it's ignorant and there is no proper usage for n**** in language, I don't know. All I know is I hate this change with a passion, and I'm absolutely disgusted by it.


Edited by Fridgeraider™, 26 August 2015 - 12:28 AM.

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