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Community Disciplinary System

Discussion in 'Chat' started by Ortheore, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Host Emeritus

    May 16, 2013
    Likes Received:
    It's time to talk about something no-one really wants to talk about. As some of you may have noticed, when it comes to disciplinary actions, in the past we've been relatively light-handed. Something like a discussion growing too heated would usually be dealt with by taking action against the toxic discussion itself (deleting posts etc) and that's if we decided that it required moderator action at all. Punishments were basically never dispensed against those involved. However there have been a few incidents recently that have gone well beyond a mere angry discussion, such that there should be significant consequences for those at fault. The problem is that our disciplinary system is largely undeveloped, creating something of an obstacle in implementing those measures.

    The purpose of this thread is to develop our disciplinary system so that it can be effective. This means describing how punishments of differing levels are imposed, as well as identifying when we should use this system as opposed to merely removing unhealthy elements without punishing those involved (as described above).

    In terms of punishments, there are tournament bans and forum actions. Tournament bans I think are best implemented by simply making a list of all those who receive a tournament ban, which is publicly readable but only editable by staff members (this also has the option of distinguishing between team and individual tours if appropriate). Such a list might as well also detail those who are barred from managing team tours.

    Regarding forum actions, we have the ability to assign infraction points much like Smogon does (I'm guessing it's built into Xenforo?). How many points should be enough for a ban? I'm not sure and it seems arbitrary to me since we'd need to map points to specific offenses to make it non-arbitrary, which I'm not going to do in this post. The only difference would be the level of precision with which punishments could reflect severity (e.g. if a ban occurs at 6 points there might be an offense where 2.5 is appropriate but more or less doesn't seem right). Another question is should we implement a borderline state (similar to smogon's ICBB) and where should it be in relation to the ban threshold. Lastly, should we standardise how long infraction points persist for, or leave it up to mods?

    Another key point is that all sides of an incident should get a chance to state their case, even if it is unlikely to change the decision that's being made. I think that's just a basic rule for making sure everything's fair.

    As for when to apply this system, I think it should be reserved for serious or recurring offenses. I think the way we handle discussions that grow too heated as of right now is acceeptable, and I wouldn't want to impose a heavier hand in directing discussion as I think that relatively laid-back approach is a good thing. The exception to this I think would be if someone were to repeatedly ignore warnings from staff by continuing to incite flamewars. In that case, if they're going to ignore us, we need something to back up our warnings. Note however that in that scenario a reply ban to a specific thread(s) may also prevent the need for disciplinary action.

    So what scenarios would this system cover? Well I haven't come up with a comprehensive list, but all the incidents that I referred to in the first paragraph involve some level of fraud. Specifically, one incident where evidence was fabricated (as an attack on another user) and another where a user impersonated another user in a tournament match*. However I'm sure there are other scenarios that would call for some sort of punishment, so please be sure to let me know!

    *Please do not discuss the specifics of those incidents here, as that is not what this discussion is for!

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