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Fixing Chatter on Discord

Discussion in 'Public Staff Forum' started by Melioa, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Melioa

    Melioa Guest

    So, in the staff meeting I had brought up the topic of the Chatter channel in Discord, and of Discord in general after noticing something.

    1) A significant portion of staff had muted chatter due to the environment and conversations held therein.
    2) A majority of staff, myself included, do not enforce chatter, which has fallen to the Head Developer to moderate as per their claim.
    3) A couple members of staff have mentioned, myself included, that players have come to them privately discussing discomfort with Discord as a whole. Personally, the incident I speak of has caused the player to become disinterested in the server and look for a greener pasture, so to speak.
    4) A smaller portion of staff has expressed similar worry about the causes of the toxicity in chatter, if toxicity is a correct word to use.

    From this, I'd honestly like to say we have an issue with how the Discord is not only moderated, but how the environment on the server and channels within has fostered, dominated primarily by a small portion of Bay Discord users. I feel it's not only alienated players from discussing on discord, but also from the server itself, I feel it paints an inaccurate picture of Baystation's community as a whole, and I feel that these statements are accurate because there is a similar feeling even within the staff community at large. I personally feel as though the Discord is catering to a small handful rather than the community as a whole, and this is a result of us, the staff, being afraid to actually enforce it.

    What I propose:

    1) Actual moderation of Chatter. Just like we force Trialmods to greet new players, I feel there needs to be an overhaul of how the Staff as a whole sees and treats the Discord channels. We can't be limited to just moderating ingame in this regard.
    1.a) An announcement that we will be actually enforcing Server rules on chatter. Even though we list that Baystation rules apply on discord in our information tab, I feel an announcement on the news channel will help give us something to point to as we do this, and make the effort more cohesive and fresh rather than seeming like we are trying to catch up and retroactively enforce rules that were not enforced.
    2) Isolating political or controversial chatter. I believe we should do a test-run of a #politics channel to see if it can be used without turning into a dumpster fire. Creating such a channel would not be an excuse to ignore what is going on inside, but we would not limit potentially controversial topics, regardless of your view. On top of this, I think we should just cut down on all the political talk we see going on in chatter, which feels out of place. If you want to discuss politics and get in an internet argument, there are other avenues. We're an atmospherics-based spaceman simulator, let's leave Chatter for actual light discussion and matters that pertain to the server or game itself.
    3) An AHELP bot, or an actual discrete way to allow players to request Discord moderation. Either by modifying Staffcoach to allow players to comment but not read unless staff, or by implementing a bot that when PM'd, will notify all staff on the Discord server, we will not be able to 24/7 monitor the channel, and as in game, will require on players to report situations to us in order to help moderate, and I do not believe players will feel comfortable to do so - especially starting out, without a guarantee of anonymity.

    Please, tell me what you think, if I'm wrong or not, but if we do consider the health of our community to be important, I think a step we need to take is making Discord less of a dumpster fire and moderating it like we moderate the game and on occasion, the forums. It's often a player's first introduction into our OOC environment, and it needs to be a good one.
    xales likes this.
  2. ParadoxSpace

    ParadoxSpace Mr. Roboto

    A good idea, which Aurora does, is have a bot be able to dispense 'strikes' on staff command. If you have more than three strikes in like, a month or two, discordban until appeal.
    Virgil and Melioa like this.
  3. Loaf

    Loaf Retired Staff

    Dedicated politics chat will just concentrate and excuse the circlejerking. Keep it blanket banned.
    Melioa and xales like this.
  4. Earthcrusher

    Earthcrusher SMASHER/DEVOURER Laser Tag 2019 Participant

    I don't even think a politics channel is worth trying, that's just a time bomb. Agree with the rest.
  5. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Retired Staff

    As long as people aren’t going to get striked or in trouble for convos related to neither politics nor the game this is fine.
    Personally I think a politics channel isn’t a bad idea and honestly wouldn’t be too terrible to moderate considering only some will pay attention there and if people mess up there you can throw heftier bans /shrug
  6. F-Tang Steve

    F-Tang Steve Developer Serpentid Species Maintainer

    What if there was an on topic and off topic chatter channel so there was a place people could talk about the game as a whole? Right now chatter is just a mix, but separating those things may help.
    Melioa and Earthcrusher like this.
  7. Earthcrusher

    Earthcrusher SMASHER/DEVOURER Laser Tag 2019 Participant

  8. Virgil

    Virgil Senior Administrator Game Administrator

    What's staff's opinion on the cause of the toxicity?
    What discussions are being held that are negatively impacting the atmosphere?

    Those points are very, very vague. Some elaboration would be helpful in trying to tackle this.
  9. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Retired Staff

    As I said in staff room, I don’t think it’s good for us to have the hands off approach. I don’t really see any toxicity beyond people not liking eachother or getting annoyed by certain styles of convos or bot meme chains. Seriously if staff just chill in chatter more and talk to people rather than treat it as needing lots of staff “big brother” watching it’ll be fine. It should be a chill out zone to just shoot the shit. Maybe an off topic channel will help but generally we just need to make sure people don’t get heated about stuff and bam it’s fine.

    The other issue people bring up is political discussions which can also be handled much the same way. I’ve been a part of PLENTY of those in both chatter and when it was just IRC and really it just comes down to -stopping the heated arguments and making sure people stay chill-. Civility and some decency is all ya need for a good chatter.

    Also I don’t think banning an entire topic from discord is exactly a great idea even if people don’t like having it happen.

    Also perhaps player insight into how they see chatter and any toxicity is important considering, from the staffmeeting, many staff members do not exactly pay attention to it.
    Phosphorus likes this.