Do you want them?
As long as spam etc... Is cleared up. If that's logistically possible for full time site staff or other systems are in place, I'm not really worried.
The amount of spam recently has been mental though.
Also, if people have mod status removed, they should have an 'exit ceremony / parade' to say 'thanks'.
A up/down vote, karma system like Reddit would be fine.
Its surprising how effective virtual approval from strangers is at controlling a community.
The alts are getting out of control, and the staff don't have the time to manage it all. Some outside people to keep the most extreme trolls off the site will only do the community good.
Who would be good mods? That's up to you. People with no personal connection to the site might be capable of more objective actions, but long time members know what to look out for. There's benefits and downsides to each. As it is, I trust everyone whose a mod on the forums right now to be responsible in the position.
That said... a well implemented karma system would go a long way, especially if there's a way to monitor who is thumbing up / thumbing down system. Reserve bans only for people who abuse the system (multiple accounts, etc.) for instance. The karma system itself would bury most of the problematic posts.
Joe's post below says it a lot more succinctly than I can. I would thumb that up ad infinitum... if I could. =P
Well, someone has to remove ad posts and boot out the ad bots and we all know staff's time is better spent on the creative front than tackling these every little things themselves. So I guess we need some kind of community moderation.
It is easy to get the answer no, like asking a child if they need a timeout. But the truth is we do need them. Maybe not in the form we currently have, but they are needed.
Community is a very large part of what VG247 is. When a group or even a couple of posters have the ability to ruin the experience for other members that hurts the site. We don't need mods for a couple of artards arguing over who has the sexier toy. But for comments that are beyond that. For the sexist, the racist, attacks on char, on country. For the thread to thread relentless pursuit of one or another poster.
It is very easy for a few posters to turn a community toxic. This site has already lost contributions from long timer posters, guys that have been here 3, 4 and 5 years.
To ask that question here is going to prolly get more no then yes answers.
However if not mods...then who? Does Dave, Steph, Brenna or you have enough free time to make sure things aren't getting out of hand?
A up/down vote system can help. But it plays more like a popularity contest then anything else. It certainly isn't unbias. And it doesn't take into one of this sites largest problems(community wise) - Alt accounts.
Alt accounts voting down people they don't and up voting people they do like is going to be an issue. I am not sure how that can be countered.
I think the site needs a community manager. Someone on staff if possible. That can address the poster side of the site. Someone that can get to know people, and provide a fair and objective set of guidelines for all posters. And that person or people need to have the ability to hand out bans. Mods aren't about spam bot protection, they should be about community protection. And more so Site protection. A toxic community is bad for everyone. Including the site.
It is about more then just someone or another getting thicker skin. About more then a fanboy out of control. The sad fact is sometimes, it seems, grown adults need babysitting lol.
So if the choice is between active, empowered mods and trying to build a fool proof "hands free" system that polices itself....give me the mods. Any system can be abused and manipulated...including mods. But, I think, it is the lesser of two evils. Esp if you get someone on staff to watch over mods(or do the entire job him/her self).
I think we need mods on here. Even if it's only helping the staffers tag spam and edit the odd typo, or give a stern warning to some of the over-enthusiastic posters who go to far and post racist/sexist/hateful shit on here.
I think that asking people if they want policing on the internet will always evoke the knee-jerk "No!", but the truth is as this site grows and grows, a few extra hands would lighten the workload for the regular staffers.
That's my two cents anyway. I sense that you don't want them Pat, and I can understand that if it is the case, but I think the need for them is inevitable and undeniable. Especially when we get bigger...
@OG Spot on, 110% agreed.
The need for moderators is dictated by
a) VG247's approach to fostering and maintaing a community
b) the other tools on the site that can control undesired behaviour
Very few games news sites have active moderation.
Many games forums have moderators.
If moderation is going to continue as a sort of 'janitor' role. Addressing spam etc then it's possible the tools of the new site will be more robust and prevent this automatically.
If the users are subject to automated moderation (comment voting, personal ignore functions etc etc) then human moderation really won't be needed.
If human moderation is adopted then it must always be consistent. Full time not part time. Neutral, not biased. Lead by example, not by hypocrisy.
A moderator isn't a regular user with extra powers. Because power corrupts and people exploit that. They already have - as others have observed. And subtly introducing a class system into your community is going to poison it from within.
Proper moderation means removing yourself from what's going on and remaining objective. If you've a moderator that's contributing to the imbalance, however subtly or covertly, it will rot the community.
In short: nobody should want to be a moderator. It's a job, not a holiday. It's a position of responsibility not of power. Act by the laws of the site more than anyone - not consider yourself above the law.
If moderation isn't consistent and neutral then you're going to create community issues rather than prevent them.
So, all in all, it depends on VG247's desire for community. It depends on the capabilities of the site software. It depends on knowing people aren't going to abuse their position.
I'd favour a 'wait and see' approach.
Yes, because from time to time some shit is just too stupid to be acceptable.
Also spam in the comments sections.
i am on the yes side too. in the last year or so it became pretty obvious around here.
mods and an ignore option would be great.
upvoting could be nice. downvoting stinks.
i'm in a rush atm.
good to see that stuff is actually happening now.
Also, less 'bright house' adverts...
If advertising has to happen, for fucks sake don't reduce it to that kind of shite.
What next, Pat becoming Icelands 'Mum of the Year' and having his photo taken with Kerry Katona?!
This might not make much sense if your not British...
US equivalent would be: adverts for a 'Pawn Shop' then Pat staring in the next 'Honey Boo Boo Child' spin off.
When shit like this can be allowed to sit on the site for any amount of time, then yes mods are (sadly) needed. A down/upvote system is too easy to manipulate, you'll have the Sony fanboys negging any positive MS comment and vice-versa (and of course the Nintendo fanboys negging everyone :P).
Updated my original post after thinking about it more. Joe's post makes a lot of sense
Making mods means putting everything into the hands of one individual, with a bunch of individual biases. That's practically never gonna be fair, unless you find someone who's laid back enough not to get involved most of the time - Which in turn runs counter to accepting the task of being a mod almost anywhere.
It is frustrating to have a bunch of trolls run amok, but I think it's just as frustrating to have a mod exacting frontier justice.
If you're gonna do it like that, make it a system that's equal to all. X amount of reports means something gets deleted, or X amount of downvotes means something gets hidden. That's easier to accept because it's everybody's call, not just the one random guy.
The day this site adds a fucking up-boat Reddit system is the day I never come back.
The internet is far too stupid to understand that the purpose of down-voting is for removing unwanted discussion not something you don't agree with. The thought of it makes my skin crawl.
Having been a part of many many forums using a hell of alot of different techniques to handle this same problem a good team of mods is great, an anonymous set of mods is better. So they can just work away behind the scenes without ever having to set themselves up to be a target.
HELL yes. PLEASE.
Also, the up/downvoting is what killed the Joystiq community.
I favor Kotaku's system - deletion and banhammers.
People should just let all discussions go freely and not ban anyone or downvote them to try to get them removed.
I'm with Joe on this one, I think something different to a mod could be favourable (vote system, ignore functions, as JM said), that way no one's motives get called into question.
However, if this is not possible, mods might be better than nothing.
I would assume the new design site is ready?
I can't imagine Pat going back to the drawing board based on peoples likes / dislikes? Also, am not sure about staff skill set, but surely the re-design would be 'outsourced' to a different company?
If thats the case then I presume the vision will be based on profit / increased presence, rather the user input / requests?
Saying that, Im not really sure how a complete site relaunch works. It sounds complicated though.
Sorry if that sounds cynical, but with the increased advertising space and the fact trolls / alt accounts are going crazy right now, Im not sure what to believe.
A up/down vote system would just get abused, so please don't bring that in.
However I do believe moderation is required at this point, and the staff should be focusing on bringing the news to us, not filtering out spam and trolls etc.
Do YOU want them, Patrick? That's the question. Doing nothing about those troll infested comment sections can hardly be the solution, imho.
@manamana - We could just, you know, ignore them? Threads pointing them out just feeds them to be honest.
Whats with this 'ignore them' bullshit? How can you have a nice read, scroll down to see some opinions or disussions going on on the matter and then stumble upon troll crap over and over and still having fun reading because, you know, you *ignore* those comments trying to derail the comment section?!
Sorry but I prefer to ignore (most of) the articles and just look at the frontpage and scroll down the news now. And then move over to Polygon to have some discussions. Noone cares anyway, just my 2€.
I know ignoring them isn't optimal, but feeding them is worse. If you see someone posting some crap like "XBOTS LOSERS LOLOLOLOLOL", instead of raging at it, just pass it by. Respond to the comments that actually add discussion. Without attention, they should soon stop.
The problem with mods is that things get political, following politics you have cults of popularity, and then things get ugly. See, at that point you can't like someone because it then becomes sucking up.
I like the VG24/7 guys because they give us news, but at the same time they don't drown us in their own personal bias and preferences, unlike some other sites. If they do want to give their opinion on something, they actually do it in the comments, like the rest of us. That's amazing to me, because I haven't seen anyone else on the Internet handle things like this.
The rest of the Internet tends to be this cult of celebrity/popularity thing, where you have powerfully charismatic people who end up in positions of power, then what they say is law. And their own biases and preferences become law. So people try to get on their good side, and certain opinions and ideas are repressed because people get so sucked up in the person, and making a religion out of the person so that they have more leeway to not get banned themselves, that they go out of their way to align their opinions with that of their chosen mod.
It's human nature, really. You can trust a human to be flawed and biased, but you can't trust a human to be 100 per cent objective. This goes for me as well, which is why I would never want to be in a position of moderation. I've done it in the past and I went crazy because, yes, I had people sucking up to me. DO. NOT. WANT. Other people do, though, they actually like it. That's the problem.
You either have moderators who like the cult of popularity and encourage this kind of thing, banning outliers, or you have those that don't like the cult of popularity and slowly go crazy until they quit (that'd be me).
By having a hands-off approach to moderation, however, they've done something wonderful. If a person is being a nuisance by spamming the same message everywhere, then sure, take care of that. But if we have too many moderators patrolling the boards, it turns into a Thought Police situation where everyone has to be careful to not step on toes.
Everyone, every person... every person alive has buttons. You. Me. Even the people who manage VG24/7. We all have buttons. And depending on how life has treated us, we may have more or less buttons, and we may be more or less good at hiding them. But we all have buttons. Someone accidentally pushes those? BAN'D. And the thing is is that rules will be subjectively levied with too many moderators as I've seen too many times before. If a moderator agrees with a troll, for example, they'll be much more lenient with them.
Call me crazy, but I don't want that to happen to VG24/7.
I actually like that we have a huge gamut of opinion, here. I wouldn't even want it the other way, I wouldn't want a walled garden where people couldn't disagree with me, I'd hate that! I just like that anyone can offer their opinion, and I think it works.
The problem with moderation is that we humans all too often get caught up in making a god of the person. I've observed this and tried very hard to not fall into that particular pit trap. We all look for alphas, basically. We want alphas to show us what the right ways of being are, because we're too indecisive to do things for ourselves. And we get into that kind of social rut where we have those alphas, and we're all expected to behave as the alphas desire (damn the rules, the rules aren't relevant at that point).
I've spoken of this many times before... I just don't want the cult of celebrity/popularity to overtake VG24/7. At the moment it's almost singular and completely unique in that there is no cult of popularity. You can like, or dislike, or feel however you want about a person or their ideas. That's brilliant, that is.
Do we have to turn VG24/7 into a cult of popularity love-in?
That's just my opinion, anyway. Feel free to disagree.
Anyway, if we're looking for a solution, I say we should let the solution be crowd-sourced. There are good and bad ways of doing this. An example of a bad system is Reddit, because that can allow for politics and abuse of the system. An example of a good system is Stack Overflow, because it has systems of checks and balances to prevent that.
So that's my suggestion.
What might help is to have an ignore function on the site, so that we can just check off users we don't like and we'd never have to see their posts again. That would probably solve a lot of problems.
@TheWulf - Agreed. However, a solution to this wont be instant, and people on here are looking for an instant fix. I think that, although there are methods to dealing with this, all we have to do it wait. Come November, there is a website update (correct me if I am wrong) and then after that, we can get down to dealing with this problem.
From E3 to the website update and everything else, the editors of this website have been busy. Giving them a break wouldn't be too much to ask for. All we need to do is wait, and let things roll out. In the meantime, we ignore the trolls. It might solve the problem, and if it doesn't, it will at least give people a break and wait for a later solution to be implemented (such as an ignore feature).
Yeah. I can definitely wait for it and I think everyone else can, too. Eventually, maybe a Stack Overflow-like solution can be instituted as well which can stand alongside the ignore to allow people to handle this themselves.
I imagine a Stack Overflow system as being something like this:
- Each person has karma.
- You have one karma vote point per day which you can use to increase another person's karma.
- Karma can't be decreased by other people.
- Your karma is decreased by one when downvoting a post.
- Your karma is decreased by one if you get downvoted eight times in a day.
- If your karma drops below zero, you have to wait eight hours for it to recharge.
- A post can be upvoted and it doesn't affect your karma.
Something like that might work well, and would stop people from politicking and abusing downvoting. I also think that the karma and up/down voting systems should be subscription-based, this would help VG24/7 out more financially, and it could be used to lock one paid account to single name & address. So that once you've registered an account with that name & address, you can't register another.
This way, most people won't be able to register more than 2-3 fake accounts, they'd have to pay for the privilege, and it would be easy to spot.
Just my opinion.
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