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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    It's been brought to my attention thanks to Iron Poet that certain posters have, well, disappeared.
    I'm not going to ask why exactly they were banned, as I know fully well you can't exactly reveal that, but I would like to ask what general areas were taken into consideration when the decision was made.
    I ask, because I can't help but notice that it's some of the longer posters who have gone, likely because of slips in obeying the rules. I've been here a while now, and I'm starting to get quite paranoid about slipping myself. I'm just hoping I can have something of a warning so I can stop before I start.
    Of course, it's going to turn out that these question is going to turn out to be against the rules in a way that I missed while perusing them, so, hey, I'll ask anyway and wait for Irony.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    You're right that this topic is probably destined for locking. We don't discuss posters' (or former posters') infractions with other posters, and we definitely don't do so publicly. We also don't permit much talk about banned posters.

    That said, there have been a few recent bannings of posters who have been here awhile (as opposed to the instant banning fate that true ad spammers get). Each instance that I am aware of (which is probably all of them), the banning was the result of accrued Infractions. The recent bannings were the result of accrued infractions (at least 3 major infractions and sometimes as many as 6). Often there were zero-point warnings given as well. Really the only ways to get straightaway banned for something in a single post are ad spam, hate speech, engaging in criminal activity, or insulting Rich personally.

    Don't worry. If you run afoul of the Forum Rules you'll get a Warning, or if it's blatant enough or you've already been warned, an Infraction. You'll get a PM explaining what you did from the moderator who issued the Warning/Infraction. You'd have to do that a couple more times to be considered for banning. We don't insta-ban people (except in the narrow categories mentioned above) and we don't sneak up on people with a banhammer. I can say with confidence that all the recently banned posters saw, or should have seen, it coming.

    If you get a warning or infraction, and have any question about it, please PM the moderator who issued it to you. If you still have a question or issue, PM WampaX, the head admin-type reptomammal. In fact, if you ever have a question about the Forum Rules at any time, please PM the moderator of your choice and ask. We're here to help you get the most out of the boards and to do so within the Forum Rules.

    From a broader perspective, the moderation here hasn't changed at all. It's just that there's been an uptick in hostility due to the recent D&D 3e/4e edition conflict. For some posters, this was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of accrued infractions. For others, this was a topic that touched a nerve and earned them a whole slew of infractions.

    Again, if you have any questions about Forum Rules, forum operation, or moderation policy, I encourage you to PM me or one of the other moderators.

    I'm going to leave this open for now for questions or comments. But please don't use this thread to argue or discuss specific instances of moderation (those should go, via PM, to the moderator who took the action) or specific banned posters (that's plainly against the rules).
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2008-07-24 at 09:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Thank you for the information and clarification on the status of the rules.
    It is good to be reminded what to expect in warnings and what are instant banning offenses.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    or insulting Rich personally.
    This I have a problem with; not that I endorse insulting Burlew. It is just that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime; and the rule is slightly egotistic in my opinion. I am not going to try to push the issue but, in my view, insulting Burlew should be on the same level as flaming another member; his website or not.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral_Kelly View Post
    This I have a problem with; not that I endorse insulting Burlew. It is just that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime; and the rule is slightly egotistic in my opinion. I am not going to try to push the issue but, in my view, insulting Burlew should be on the same level as flaming another member; his website or not.
    Eh. It makes sense. I mean, even if it is online, it's still his place. It's like a house...only shared with thousands of people. I know I wouldn't invite someone over who is just going to sit there, draw on my walls, and insult me while doing it. I think he's justified.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Nice metaphor, by the way.

    Anyway, since it's the basic idea of the thread, and the question has been stirring in my head, is there a standard length of banning? Like, is it all permabans or is it up to the disgression of the admins. I ask because I've been on forums of both types, and I wonder where this falls.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Eh. It makes sense. I mean, even if it is online, it's still his place. It's like a house...only shared with thousands of people. I know I wouldn't invite someone over who is just going to sit there, draw on my walls, and insult me while doing it. I think he's justified.

    The thing is, I don't think Insulting Rich is on the same par as engaging in criminal activity. It's one thing to insult the man who owns the house you are in. It's entirely another to start an illegal business from his garage or turn his roof into a bill-board.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral_Kelly View Post
    This I have a problem with; not that I endorse insulting Burlew. It is just that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime; and the rule is slightly egotistic in my opinion. I am not going to try to push the issue but, in my view, insulting Burlew should be on the same level as flaming another member; his website or not.
    The way I look at it, his board, his rules.


    Anyway, I'd like to thank the Moderators and Admins here for doing a great job. I post on the gamefaqs site quite a bit, I do reviews, and even a couple sticky topics for questions and answers there.
    The mods there... Ugh... I posted an opinion on the SSBB boards there saying... "I'm not a big fan of tier lists, yeah, they exist, but I hate them... I'm sick of tier debates being thrown around like crap, and the fact every tornament I go to ENTIRELY consists of Snake and Meta Knight."

    I got that modded for... Flamming... Huh...

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Frigs View Post
    The thing is, I don't think Insulting Rich is on the same par as engaging in criminal activity. It's one thing to insult the man who owns the house you are in. It's entirely another to start an illegal business from his garage or turn his roof into a bill-board.
    Well, I think it's because there is no more serious punishment available for criminal activity that the moderators can enforce. It's like the death sentence...it applies equally to someone who murders a single person in a swift and painless manner, as well as to someone whose deeds extend to dozens of people and cannot be described within the PG-13 nature of these boards. Both deeds are horrible, but the latter is far worse. Still, both receive the same sentence (death or life in prison) because we aren't capable of a worse punishment within the confines of our laws.

    So basically it's a lack of a more serious punishment that merits criminal activity receiving the same results as insulting Rich, not some over-inflated ego on the part of the Giant.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Frigs View Post
    The thing is, I don't think Insulting Rich is on the same par as engaging in criminal activity. It's one thing to insult the man who owns the house you are in. It's entirely another to start an illegal business from his garage or turn his roof into a bill-board.
    It's a pretty serious thing to insult the man who owns the house you are in. IRL, depending on the circumstances, being banned from that house might be the best you could hope for.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Flame Master Axel View Post
    Anyway, since it's the basic idea of the thread, and the question has been stirring in my head, is there a standard length of banning? Like, is it all permabans or is it up to the disgression of the admins. I ask because I've been on forums of both types, and I wonder where this falls.
    As far as I am aware, only one poster in the history of this forum has ever been banned and allowed to come back, so permabans seem to be the rule.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    I would also like to clarify something Roland said. We are not out to 'get' anyone, we would all much rather encourage you to fit within the confines of our community than to see you leave. The system is set up to give everyone a chance to correct their mistakes, we issue warnings (which earn no points) a lot of the time to encourage people, infractions where necessary. Again, infractions are set up to allow people the chance to correct their mistakes, you're not instantly banned for one incident and are indeed given several chances. I'm stressing here that we would much prefer to help people fit within our community than to kick them out and will give every chance to make it happen.

    As for the few instant banning offences, no one said that they are on the same 'level', as mentioned, there is a ceiling to what we can do, and that ceiling is banning. We are also not a law enforcement agency, so no parallels can be drawn between a here and a country. Using the the house analogy, the host would be allowed to remove anyone from their premises for any reason. Criminal activity and hate speech is completely unwanted here and anyone involved in either will be removed from the premises (and possibly reported to the authorities, depending on the circumstance). Spam is obvious and the only other instant ban is reserved for extremely serious offences, it is rarely, if ever, used. And don't think its egotistical of Rich to have it, as the infraction was not suggested nor implemented by Rich, but by another moderator (though I forget who).

    After accruing 300 infraction points, it is not an instant ban. Your entire account history is reviewed and taken into consideration. Again, we are not out to 'get' people and would rather see them improve.

    Hopefully you can see that we would like this to be a nice place to hang out with a good community. We want people to enjoy it and give lots of chances to rectify mistakes and for personal improvement, reserving banning only where necessary.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    or insulting Rich personally
    I suppsoe its his playground but it seems a bit...immature...for so respected an individual to pass such a proclamation.

    But does this mean that i can insult a mod personaly? Cuz only insulting non-mods is boring. They usualy dont do anything that i think warrents an insult.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Well, I think it's because there is no more serious punishment available for criminal activity that the moderators can enforce.
    I think this apt reasoning. Except the metaphor I'd use is not the death penalty. We don't have that ability. (Rawhide is that in the next version?) I'd say, the most we can do to you is throw you out. So whether you insult the host, call another guest a racial epithet, start handing out leaflets for your new Nokia phone business, or try to set up an international drug smuggling outfit here, the most we can do is throw you out. So we do that. Other than those things, we go to great lengths to remind you what the standards of behavior are here. And we take a very long route to eventually showing you the door if you don't meet those standards.

    As for the other question, all bans here are permabans and we prohibit banned posters from returning. Once, partly under the old system of Official Warnings, someone was reinstated. I doubt that will ever happen again, though I suppose it's possible. Because the road to banning here is a long one, replete with warnings, infractions, and often a good deal of PM exchanges about the rules, it means that when someone has finally reached their limit, we know they don't intend to follow the rules here.

    And, to echo Rawhide's comments, I certainly view individual moderation as part of a larger goal to keep this place the fun, friendly, and relatively light-hearted oasis on the internet that it is. And I think you'll find that we as moderators are involved in a number of other things from simple conversations to PbP games to running or participating in forum contests, all in an attempt to make this a fun place and enjoy it ourselves. I answer PMs about all manner of questions that people have. I'd view moderation of individual posts a small part of what we do here and bannings an exceedingly rare part of that.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2008-07-02 at 10:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    And I think you'll find that we as moderators are involved in a number of other things from simple conversations to PbP games to running or participating in forum contests, all in an attempt to make this a fun place and enjoy it ourselves.
    And this freaks me out. Everytime i see a mod doing something non-modd-y i am reminded of that line in 1984 "it occured to Winston that, for the first time in his life, he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police."
    I know that it doesnt really apply but thats what always pops into my head.
    Your not supposed to see mods! They watch over us all and cannot be found or controlled and its very unnerving when one makes itself known to you. I have never been directly addressed by a mod and felt calm or in control.
    Last edited by Stormthorn; 2008-07-02 at 11:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormthorn View Post
    And this freaks me out. Everytime i see a mod doing something non-modd-y i am reminded of that line in 1984 "it occured to Winston that, for the first time in his life, he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police."
    I know that it doesnt really apply but thats what always pops into my head.
    Your not supposed to see mods! They watch over us all and cannot be found or controlled and its very unnerving when one makes itself known to you. I have never been directly addressed by a mod and felt calm or in control.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Y'know, I've never seen the whole "Advertising" posts anywhere else until I came here. What makes us so attractive?
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Boo.Blahblahblah.
    HOLY CRAP!
    Ok...that was scary. A third mod. I wonder if he knows me by reputation...?

    Hey! Mod-boy-person! Am i on some site database of flagged people to watch out for?!

    EDIT:Wait...i just checked my user CP. Yea...he knows me. He might not remember (i certainly dont) but it says right here he has had a run-in with me in the past.
    Last edited by Stormthorn; 2008-07-02 at 11:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
    After accruing 300 infraction points, it is not an instant ban. Your entire account history is reviewed and taken into consideration. Again, we are not out to 'get' people and would rather see them improve.
    This may be the answer to my question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway.
    There seems to be a substantial backlog of complaints resulting in a good deal of lag between doing something wrong and getting an infraction or warning for it, the time of which lag may be taken up with further misdemeaners because the perpetrator hasn't yet been told that they're doing anything wrong. One person has complained that this was the reason for them being banned, so I wanted to check: Is it possible to be banned some months after doing things wrong because you kept doing those things wrong and it all backed up before you were actually told about them, resulting in a sudden rush of infractions you didn't even know you deserved?

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    This may be the answer to my question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway.
    There seems to be a substantial backlog of complaints resulting in a good deal of lag between doing something wrong and getting an infraction or warning for it, the time of which lag may be taken up with further misdemeaners because the perpetrator hasn't yet been told that they're doing anything wrong. One person has complained that this was the reason for them being banned, so I wanted to check: Is it possible to be banned some months after doing things wrong because you kept doing those things wrong and it all backed up before you were actually told about them, resulting in a sudden rush of infractions you didn't even know you deserved?
    Yes. Yes it is. But do they deserve it if no one warned them about it? In the eyes of the law they cant use that as an excuse but thnk about it...if they never knew and the intent wasnt to be troublesome....

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    Is it possible to be banned some months after doing things wrong because you kept doing those things wrong and it all backed up before you were actually told about them, resulting in a sudden rush of infractions you didn't even know you deserved?
    I'd say it may be possible, but I really don't know if that excuse holds water in all instances. I mean, most of the time where there's a serious enough violation to warrant an infraction there's going to be some indication of it (scrubbed text, a locked thread with a warning or info about the broken rules, etc.). You're probably going to know you did something wrong, and that should be enough to tell you not to do that thing again.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    This is extremely unlikely. We try to get to any Warnings or Infractions as quickly as possible, for one. For another, we do recognize the concern you mention - we don't have a "statute of limitations" for Infractions or anything like that, mind you, but we also don't go trawling old threads or someone's post list looking for old offenses. Generally speaking, if we find something months old in a thread, we tend to go towards Warnings instead. Otherwise, we may check to see if that sort of thing is still going on and Warn or Infract for a recent offense instead and start from there.

    Of course, certain things it won't matter how much time is passed. If an instant ban offense was somehow missed, it doesn't matter when it happened, it's going to result in an instant ban as soon as we see it.

    It would be very unlikely that someone could continually act in an Infraction worthy manner for quite some time and not receive a Warning or Infraction before it reached a point where they would be banned.

    We try to do our best in every situation, and if there is a reason for concern the situation can be reviewed. That in no way assures the decision will be changed, and it certainly isn't something that can be done immediately. Regardless, that's not something that we can go in detail on in an open thread.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    ...There seems to be a substantial backlog of complaints resulting in a good deal of lag between doing something wrong and getting an infraction or warning for it...
    You've been misled. There isn't such a backlog. The current backlog of Reported Posts right now is zero. A small backlog may occur over any given day, but things don't sit around for days or weeks waiting to be dealt with. Some things don't get reported for days or weeks after being posted and then they get acted on. Not too many but it happens. Occasionally something sits for a few or several days while we discuss it or work through a particularly problematic thread. But we're pretty on top of things.

    I especially agree with Gorby's point that:

    It would be very unlikely that someone could continually act in an Infraction worthy manner for quite some time and not receive a Warning or Infraction before it reached a point where they would be banned.
    I just don't see how that could happen. I certainly don't recall seeing any such instances.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2008-07-03 at 12:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormthorn View Post
    And this freaks me out. Everytime i see a mod doing something non-modd-y i am reminded of that line in 1984 "it occured to Winston that, for the first time in his life, he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police."
    I know that it doesnt really apply but thats what always pops into my head.
    Your not supposed to see mods! They watch over us all and cannot be found or controlled and its very unnerving when one makes itself known to you. I have never been directly addressed by a mod and felt calm or in control.
    Hey, man, I hope you're kidding. Mods are people too. Their presence may be intimidating, but they aren't some sort of violent supermen to be feared. They're regular posters who happen to be working security, as it were.

    Gorbash Kazdar, for example, is a killer fanartist. And years ago, I was in a PbP game of his, which was started, set up, run, and died within two weeks, just like everyone else's PbP games.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Gorbash Kazdar, for example, is a killer fanartist. And years ago, I was in a PbP game of his, which was started, set up, run, and died within two weeks, just like everyone else's PbP games.
    I'll have you know I kill PBPs far more thoroughly than everyone else.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Well, I would have replied to this sooner but I was, ya know, asleep.
    Anyway, thank you for replying so thoroughly, indeed, thank you for replying at all. I was worried this would get a short answer and a quick lock. My fears have been appeased for now though, and I think I'll stop worrying for a bit.
    Again, thank you.
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    A non-mod's perspective:

    When I get curious about someone vanishing, I look up their last known posts. Roland's being accurate when he said that the 3e/4e changeover inflamed people; I can think of only one person out of the recent spate who hadn't been scrubbed in that area just before being asked to leave. (That entire post, second in the thread, was a model of good communication. Thank you for it.)

    Stormthorn, I am no respecter of authority, so it's been fascinating to read your posts and get the view from inside a head where authority exists and is set apart from humanity. Disturbing, but fascinating.

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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    Once, partly under the old system of Official Warnings, someone was reinstated.
    To clarify this: The account was not "banned" but suspended, then, after a full review, reinstated.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stormthorn View Post
    And this freaks me out. Everytime i see a mod doing something non-modd-y i am reminded of that line in 1984 "it occured to Winston that, for the first time in his life, he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police."
    I know that it doesnt really apply but thats what always pops into my head.
    Your not supposed to see mods! They watch over us all and cannot be found or controlled and its very unnerving when one makes itself known to you. I have never been directly addressed by a mod and felt calm or in control.
    I am terribly sorry you feel that way and to be honest it is a little saddening that you do. We are not machines or inhuman monsters, we are just people, people with the added responsibility of ensuring that this community runs well.

    Perhaps it might help you to remember that there is a person behind our screen names, someone who really cares about this community and the people in it.

    "My Hobby: Replacing your soap with gravy" by rtg0922, Doll and Clint "Rawhide" Eastwood by Sneak

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    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
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    The sunny South
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    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Hey, man, I hope you're kidding. Mods are people too. Their presence may be intimidating, but they aren't some sort of violent supermen to be feared. They're regular posters who happen to be working security, as it were.
    Ooo yeah that Rawhide fella, he's particularly intimidating, I'd never do nothing to prevoke his wrath, oh no... and as for thet RSJ well he's just terrifying... whut?
    I've still not forgiven you two for that April fools prank, you will pay *shakes fist*

    Quote Originally Posted by Jibar View Post
    Well, I would have replied to this sooner but I was, ya know, asleep.
    Wuss.

    I still don't know who we're all not talking about here, lob me a PM Jib it appears that I'm out of the loop again.

    Oh and
    Last edited by Charity; 2008-07-03 at 05:33 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lilly View Post
    I am now going to begin blaming everything that goes wrong on Charity. Just for gits and shiggles. And not even just things on the forums. Summer! Charity!

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Male

    Default Re: Concerning the Disappearence of Some More Prominent Posters

    Quote Originally Posted by Quincunx View Post
    A non-mod's perspective:

    When I get curious about someone vanishing, I look up their last known posts. Roland's being accurate when he said that the 3e/4e changeover inflamed people; I can think of only one person out of the recent spate who hadn't been scrubbed in that area just before being asked to leave. (That entire post, second in the thread, was a model of good communication. Thank you for it.)
    I tried that. It didnt gave me no clue. Maybe the last 2-3 posts of that person were deleted or something.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    and we don't sneak up on people with a banhammer.
    If I turn this into a funny banner, would you use it ?
    **** Photobucket ; RIP avatars

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