meditations on reporting

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay, so, this is a huge disconnect I didn't quite grok, but I think there's been a couple of years of not successfully communicating in either direction about a thing.

    Report anything you would like looked at by mods.

    It doesn't have to "break a rule". It doesn't have to be definitely in and of itself a thing we have to edit or delete or whatever. It can be nothing more than "this sorta bugged me" or "hey this user sounds really sad are they okay".

    I know a lot of people are used to feeling like their preferences or objections don't "count" unless they're aligned with an explicit formal rule or something. And I can see how, if you feel that way, it'd be really hard to report a thing when there's no "rules".

    But we still want to know about things. And we still do things about stuff that gets reported to us. We don't always do the thing you might expect. We may not ban people for being obnoxious or even sort of abusive... But reports help us make decisions like "do we need to find a way to contain this particular behavior", or "do we need to have a talk with this user about boundaries".

    I'm gonna try to draft some better words about this to get into the charter document, etcetera.

    But I think I want to start by reiterating a thing: When we say nothing anyone does makes it okay to treat them like trash, that includes you. If you are not happy with how people are treating you, it is okay to report that. It's okay to report that even if you think it sounds whiny. It's okay to post a thread in the Caring Void about how you don't think they're doing anything wrong, but that one user just really annoys you. Feedback like that is really important for us to be able to moderate effectively.

    If you don't report stuff, we are unlikely to know about it. And we've had complaints about abusive or predatory behavior, and sometimes we deal with them more effectively than others, and sometimes it works out and gets better, and sometimes we really don't know what the fuck to do. But we also get complaints about things that have apparently been happening for "months", and no one actually mentioned it to mods, so guess what, we didn't know and couldn't do anything.

    And if you're wondering how on earth we missed that people didn't feel like they could report stuff: I knew a few people had reported finding it hard, but we have always gotten at least some reports from at least some people, so I knew some people had gotten the intended usage, and I just assumed that at that point, if people weren't reporting stuff, it was because they didn't think it was a problem. Now I've found out that people are really upset about problems that no one's reported.
    • Informative x 5
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  2. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    Is there a word that doesn't have the connotations of "report"? "Report", to my ears, does indicate more of a "report criminal behavior to the police", although I'm not sure if there's a way to get around that without first dealing with the "mods as police" connotation that I think I and indeed a lot of us are still struggling with.
    • Agree x 5
  3. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

  4. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    • Like x 4
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  5. AbsenteeLandlady123

    AbsenteeLandlady123 Chronically screaming

    Is it even possible to change the name of the button?

    So here's a thing, and this isn't for seebs this is for peeps like me who are afraid to hit the button bc they're afraid they're over-reacting/just having a bad vibe/gonna be dismissed as crazy: Follow your instincts here. If you are uncomfortable, hit the button. try to explain why if you can. It's okay if you can't. Speaking from experience over the last 18 hours: hitting the button is like 98% less terrifying than direct confrontation, and can help to prevent direct confrontation down the line.
    • Useful x 2
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  6. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    Yeah I like "Notify" or "Notify a Mod" if the length is variable, I think it's... the closest to the literal function of the button as we use it probably?

    Oh yeah if it's possible to change the button's name at all oops
    But yeah I don't think I've ever been dismissed by a mod over a report and I've been trying to use the button for stuff I notice that could maybe benefit from mod attention for a bit now! So please guys tell someone if you're bothered by somethign or need help with something!
    • Agree x 1
  7. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    • Agree x 1
  8. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I like the idea of renaming the thing away from "report".

    And to be clear, we absolutely do, sometimes, decide that a report doesn't require action. But even then, it may be a factor in future evaluations. Like, if I get one report because someone "sounds creepy", I might look at it and think "this is probably just a misunderstanding, no big deal"... But if I see four or five more about similar things, I know there's an issue that needs attention.
    • Agree x 3
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  9. AbsenteeLandlady123

    AbsenteeLandlady123 Chronically screaming

    a good approach there might be to follow up with that person and ask them why they felt that way before concluding it was likely a misunderstanding too
    • Agree x 5
    • Like x 1
  10. Acey

    Acey a girl with a crown and a scepter

    Ooh, I like this one.

    Thanks for the heads-up, I always thought it was a report in the report-to-police sense button too.
    • Agree x 1
  11. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay, I want to point out another thing:

    WE DO NOT TELL PEOPLE WHO REPORTED A THING. And yes, sometimes people guess. They usually guess wrong. Frequently extremely wrong. And we will keep pointing out to people that their inferences are invalid.

    The people you report do not get to come after you for reporting them, because there's no way they can tell.

    And if you're mad about being reported, knock it the fuck off. Things to consider:
    1. You only know or speculate that you were reported because the mods actually thought there was a problem with your behavior. Take it up with us.
    2. Your speculations are horribly inaccurate. You have no idea who reported you, because you're thinking about people you have opinions about or people posting actively in the thread. We get a lot of reports from people who weren't posting in the thread, or even posting at all.
    3. Sometimes mods just happen to run into a thing and think about it. We are not required to wait for a report, we just don't always notice things.
    • Like x 6
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    • Informative x 1
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  12. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants feral mom energies

    Clarification is appreciated! If I may point out where some confusion may have been coming from: back before we had multiple mods, there was a post on the old meta forum asking that people used reports for forum-admin stuff instead of "someone is in a crisis" stuff due to limited emotional resources. While this was absolutely fair, I and probably others were confused on what exactly was meant by that, and I think it may have contributed to the mindset of "report with caution." Here's a quote of the post in question because otherwise I'm afraid I'll be misrepresenting what was said:
    Tl;dr thanks for the clarification, I was assuming that previous policy carried forward and now I know I can hit report for things other than "can you move my post to a different thread" and the like.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    • Like x 3
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  13. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Ahh, point.

    And it's still the case that we can't mostly do anything about a crisis. But also... There's a lot more of us now, and sometimes we can do a thing, so yeah, feel free to report things like that!

    But for stuff like "I'm feeling a bit awkward here and I don't know whether that's me or them"... Basically, since "that's them being creepy and we need to change or hide their post" is a conceivable response, then it's absolutely a reasonable thing to point the mods at!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    • Informative x 3
  14. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    I have no opinions about this other than the really strong opinion that the report button be namechanged to "OY!!"
    • Winner x 7
    • Agree x 5
    • Like x 4
  15. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    ... that's actually sorta good, because "notify" feels... I think a bit vague and unspecific. And I mean, so does "OY!!" but it actually sort of communicates the thing, potentially.

    We'd have to have a thing in the forum FAQ.
    • Like x 3
    • Agree x 1
  16. Lazarae

    Lazarae You won't be the death of me

    • Agree x 2
    • Winner x 1
  17. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I would like to cast my vote for "HEY, LISTEN!"
    • Winner x 16
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    • Witnessed x 1
  18. Wingyl

    Wingyl Allegedly Magic

    beldaran no
    • Agree x 2
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  19. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    So, basically:

    "Report" has implications that make people feel like a thing must be "Reportable", and we've got a lot of people expressing the feeling that, no matter what we say to the contrary, it's not actually okay to use it for a thing which doesn't violate a Rule. (And adding Rules would maybe help... except then we'd have an even stronger perception that it wasn't okay to use it to report a thing if it didn't happen to actually hit a Rule.)

    "Notify" is less clear about who gets notified.

    "Oy!!" is a little vague.

    Maybe something like "?!" to indicate that this isn't "only definitely horrible things", but ... I dunno. Still pondering.
    • Agree x 2
    • Like x 1
  20. Wingyl

    Wingyl Allegedly Magic

    "Notify Mods"?
    • Agree x 4
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