Removal of the warning system

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Removal of the warning system

Post by BA on Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 am

Awhile back, I removed the "warning bar" from each user's post and relocated it to the user's profile page; my primary reason was that it gave the forum a less cluttered look. However, an additional ethos I had for moving it was that having the warning system displayed everywhere promoted a culture of punishment and made it so certain members would be immediately identified as being troublemakers. After some thinking, I believe it should be removed altogether.

A few things the warning bar doesn't provide is context nor does it allow for forgiving/forgetting. A simple bar only says so much, so the rest is up to the individual to fill in the facts. If a user has a low warning bar, it simply labels the individual as somebody who is in trouble. There is no context provided. Having a warning system also continually reminds the user and others of past deeds. People make mistakes, or do things they later regret; having an ever looming warning system prevents that history from going away and really prevents the user from being able to start fresh.

Furthermore, this system represents an "administrative" solution rather than a "community" solution. WOA has never been large enough to justify strict regulations and a powerful authoritative body. In WOA, the community should be held accountable to the community, not to administrators. While most of you may trust us, there are times we need to be held accountable as well. Solutions to these types of issues are more enduring if the community comes to a consensus on what we believe is appropriate action to an unwanted behavior rather than having arbitrary deductions on a warning bar from a system administrator.

At least, that is what this guy thinks. What do you guys think?
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by Tal on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:47 pm

I'd have to say I agree. As much as I personally dwell on the past, I hate it and try not to, so that's a plus.
We've never really had anyone banned because their warning bar went all the way down (at least, I don't think so. Correct me if I'm wrong), it's usually just been an insta-ban for whatever it is they may have done.
So yeah, I really see no issue with that.

While most of you may trust us
Debatable.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by BA on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:47 pm

I vaguely recall one person being suspended for a full warning bar. It can be difficult to call out someone for misbehavior, and most moderators past and present aren't really into "behavioral enforcement," which was something administrators would get on their case about. In a small community where everybody knows each other on a somewhat personal level, it's more important if desired behavior is showcased by the community itself rather than enforced by a select few. If only one person or group is enforcing community standards then it loses creditability and effectiveness.

Tal wrote:
While most of you may trust us
Debatable.
I trust you and I trust that you trust me. I feel there is more to gain from trusting somebody first rather than not give them a chance and assume bad faith from the get go, especially those we don't know. Even if people do act in bad faith, the damage done on the internet of all places is always negligible. Annoyances perhaps? But that's something that comes with the territory of a free and open community and always in our realm of handling.

If there isn't trust in the community, then it becomes a priority to establish it.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by REN on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:26 am

It doesn't make any difference to me, if you think that is a measure that has to be taken then so be it.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by Tal on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:19 am

BA wrote:
Tal wrote:
While most of you may trust us
Debatable.
I trust you and I trust that you trust me. I feel there is more to gain from trusting somebody first rather than not give them a chance and assume bad faith from the get go, especially those we don't know. Even if people do act in bad faith, the damage done on the internet of all places is always negligible. Annoyances perhaps? But that's something that comes with the territory of a free and open community and always in our realm of handling.

If there isn't trust in the community, then it becomes a priority to establish it.

I meant it to be a simple joke, but I forgot to mention, oops.
But yes, these are valid point and I do agree. And yes, I do trust you d:
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by Kurono on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:09 am

I agree with the points you made BA. I have to say that the warning bar has become irrelevant because it is always the same people that mostly post in the forums. Also if someone does get out of line, i think the best way to handle the situation would be a PM.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by BA on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:23 am

@Tal Good! Good.

@Kurono Good to hear, but I have a question. Who would be handling these conversations via PM, and what kind of situations are we talking about?
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by Kurono on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:39 am

That is a good question. For example, someone new comes and spams like crazy. One of the admins or mods can PM then and notify them about the problem. Instead of putting them on blast in a post, in which everyone can see.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by BA on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:44 am

I suppose it would depend on the severity, but if someone was just casually making large amounts of double posts or posts with absolutely no content, it would probably need to be handled in kind by the community. A private solution such as PM conversations implies that a single administrator or moderator would be the lone arbiter in enforcing community standards. This defeats the purpose of a community solution because instead of having the community enforce these standards we both single out the troublesome member and the enforcer who has to approach the situation alone.

I suggest a more open approach; a lot of people who go on posting sprees mean no harm and don't know any better, so identifying the problem and briefly mentioning the community expectations in a post is all that would be needed. Normally at this point, a serious newcomer will conform to meet these expectations. In situations where said user became disagreeable, the community is allowed to easily step in and defend one another. In situations where the user just doesn't get it, patience and continual role modeling would be required. Banning or any other extreme action would only be in cases where the user was acting maliciously and again, this would be discussed in the open with community involvement where we could easily defend ourselves, one another, and our community's standards.

It may seem like a complicated approach, but stuff of this nature rarely escalates to the point I described above. What I'd like to emphasize is the building of a strong community through shared responsibility and stewardship towards each other.
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Re: Removal of the warning system

Post by BA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:48 pm

I almost forgot, if we do take out the warning system, we'll have to reexamine the rules page.

Something to plan for, but we'll cross the bridge once we actually get to it though.
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