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Bannon DC

Is it time to start a sub-forum for CM:N?

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GSX, please note that you have received the Infraction from me, not Steve. We're easily distinguishable. For example, I have much more hair on top of my head (although it's much more grey) :)

The Infraction is not a sign to withdraw from the forum at all. If we'd want that we don't have to ask you (or anyone else), we can ban. The Infraction you have received is a fairly gentle reminder (without any negative implications as such) that you have reached a certain line. Infractions are public, because we want a track record that is transparent for others.

The Infraction has nothing to do with being positive or negative in your opinions towards one game or another. It has everything to do with how serious you take that opinion. An Agent Provocateur takes it way too serious and rides it out at any opportunity that he feels presented to him. The fact that you think you should refute anything is a good sign of taking things that have nothing to do with you way too seriously.

Your post that earned you the infraction has nothing to do with the topic of this thread and is loaded with an agenda that is barely disguised. It comes with a backlog of previous history, too.

I have therefore given you that infraction this morning without even talking to Steve or the other admins.

Since infractions are public and establish a track record...

You gave me an infraction for posting a commercial link...

I tried to discuss it with you privately...

I tried to tell you that it seems unreasonable to me, and every person I asked (yes I talk to people in real life too) to issue "infractions" for "violations" of "rules" that aren't posted.

The only posting rule I could find in the FAQ that comes close to prohibiting commercial links is the one prohibiting "blatant advertising". Considering the context of the post that contained the commercial link it seems patently ridiculous to call it "blatant advertising" since there was no effort to upsell the product. Had your FAQ - the document you advise newly registered people to read in order to understand your posting rules - clearly stated that commercial links are unwelcome I would have happily accepted your decision to issue the infraction. But no such prohibition exists in the FAQ, and since you took the time to warn about commercial links in the header of the forum you moved the post to, it's omission from the FAQ rests solely on BF. And since it's not in the FAQ, any commercial links posted in forums where this warning is not present are partially a result of your negligence. As it stands, you issued an infraction for violating a secret and unwritten(in the forums I visit) rule which not only seems ridiculous on its face, but grossly unethical as well since you are unwilling to take any responsibilty for poor board administration in this case.

I had moved on from this until now... I didn't think it appropriate to discuss it publicly until after reading this post that says infractions are public and establish a track record. So be it. Since it's public your responsibility in this should be public as well.

The bottom line for me; I've enjoyed your forum for many years without having to post a thing here and can easily revert to that model. I have nothing to do with running this forum, but it seems obvious to me that issuing infractions for secret rules is a good way to engender discord and contempt and little else.

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I got hit for posting a commercial link by Moon. I found this game that I had never heard of and thought it was interesting enough to post the website to see if others were aware of it's existence. I can see now how it might have appeared as if it was simply someone posting spam links, but I'm not gonna sweat it either way.

As far as the level of latitude for discussion that we enjoy on this board, let's just say that I have noticed on many, many occasions a first-time poster on a gaming board being banned by the moderator for even making the mildest critical comments about the publisher/developer or any of it's titles.

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GSX,

So I think I really will take my 'hate filled rage' somewhere else for a bit.

The "hate filled rage" is not something I've ever accused you of having. That's what the people in the forum you moderate are filled with :D You can moderate your Forum the way you want to, but we do try to have standards here. For example, I'd never let anybody talk about your genitalia here on this Forum, though of course you can't say the same thing, now can you? Which is why I only check in to your Forum every couple of months to see if the half dozen usual malcontents have managed to talk about anything useful. So far even the occasional visit has been a waste of time since any reasonable content is simply a carry over from discussions on this Forum. Not worth wading through all the personal animosity, paranoia, and counter-productive behavior.

As for the infractions... the purpose of them is to send a warning about specific behavior without making a huge deal out of it. It should cause no more offense to someone than a polite public rebuke since, from our perspective, they are the same thing designed to fulfill the same purpose. We could hide it from public view, but that defeats the purpose of it.

So, I suppose we could return to posting reminders of rules violations instead of infractions. Either way we have to remind people of the rules one way or another.

Steve

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I would like to request one hour per month of pure anarchy on the BF forums. The Peng thread is nowhere near hardcore enough. It'd be a small window of time where anybody can say anything and post anything. Everything from porn to cussing people out and posting a pic of a guy with his pecker in a tailpipe. That always get a laugh! :D

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I'll put in my two cents' worth (especially since Peng-thread denizens seem to not post much outside the Peng thread):

The Peng thread seems little more than ruthless spouting of highfalutin' rhetoric. In other words, a lot of hot air.

That, however, is merely my opinion. :D

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GSX,

...

As for the infractions... the purpose of them is to send a warning about specific behavior without making a huge deal out of it. It should cause no more offense to someone than a polite public rebuke since, from our perspective, they are the same thing designed to fulfill the same purpose. We could hide it from public view, but that defeats the purpose of it.

So, I suppose we could return to posting reminders of rules violations instead of infractions. Either way we have to remind people of the rules one way or another.

Steve

I don't think many people like being rebuked, publicly, politely, or however. But it borders on being truly offensive when one takes posting privileges here seriously (which is something I thought appropriate) when there is no way for one to know that an act is a violation prior to being rebuked for it.

When one registers for an account here one is directed to the FAQ to read the posting rules. From reading SlapHappy's post it's clear he fell into the same trap I did. And yes, Steve, enforcing rules that are not posted in the document you ask people to read so they can understand what the rules are is a trap.

I'm really at a loss as to how you can operate this way without major cognative dissonance setting in. I mean, you do view yourself as being both thoughtful and ethical don't you? Maybe I'm the one who's wrong on this, if so, please explain to me the ethics that underly your decision to issue infractions for violating rules you don't tell your posters about until they violate them.

So basically, you guys are politely and publicly rebuking me, and others, for not being mind readers... Well, excuse me if I'm not impressed. What is sad is that you guys at BF have impressed me many times, not only with your products and support, but with the thoughtfulness you usually put into your operations. But hey, its your forum, you might as well politely and publicly rebuke me for not secretly wearing women's underwear while you're at it, or for not going to work in a bunny suit.

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I would like to request one hour per month of pure anarchy on the BF forums. The Peng thread is nowhere near hardcore enough. It'd be a small window of time where anybody can say anything and post anything. ...

The "mad minute" were people fire at every rock, shrub, and sniper or griper hiding in a tree. Maybe we DO need a separate sub-forum for that!

... and posting a pic of a guy with his pecker in a tailpipe. That always get a laugh! :D

That happened to a guy I knew in college... or maybe it was his tailpipe stuck in a pecker... any way, it was still good for a laugh. :D

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sfhand,

I don't think many people like being rebuked, publicly, politely, or however.

So, when someone breaks a rule we should congratulate that person? Obviously that doesn't seem like a good option, so we're left with informing the person that they've broken a rule. Since this is a public Forum, the philosophy for the last 11 or so years (prior to this specific form of the Forum existing) has been to make such things transparent. Obviously that isn't always agreeable, but there aren't too many alternatives.

Maybe I'm the one who's wrong on this, if so, please explain to me the ethics that underly your decision to issue infractions for violating rules you don't tell your posters about until they violate them.

Well, we did BUT I can see there is some need for clarification. That's not a sign of some huge "cognative dissonance" but rather a simple misunderstanding. Those do, in fact, happen in the real world.

I didn't give you the infraction or saw the thread where it happened (or can't remember), but here is the rule in the FAQ that apparently you ran afoul of:

"5. Blatant advertisements for non-Battlefront product , chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also prohibited from these Forums."

Obviously there is a difference of opinion about what an "advertisement" is. Perhaps you shouldn't have been given the infraction, perhaps you should. I don't know because I have no idea what the context is. Either way... the infraction goes away automatically and there's nothing else beyond that unless the poster in question does something else. Which is why the infraction system is in place because, like it or not, there ARE people who break the rules in more than one place at one time.

And since you brought up SlapHappy's post, he appears to understand why he got the infraction and that it wasn't a big deal. He also points out that we moderate with a very light hand here compared to other moderated forums. In fact, notice that you've received no infractions for your posts, though they are quite critical and IMHO making a bigger deal out of this than necessary.

If you would like me to reword Basic Rule #5 so that it is more clear to you, please suggest alternative wording. This policy about links/promotion has been in place for more than a decade and we've not had a problem with the wording (which I think has been unchanged the whole time, not certain though) until now. However, that doesn't mean a change wouldn't be a good idea. Just suggest what it should say that would clear things up for you.

As for GSX's infraction, Moon felt he was in violation of the Agent Provocateur clause and so gave him a gentle reminder of that. On another Forum he might have been banned. On balance, I think he was treated fairly, and rather leniently, given the circumstances.

Steve

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sfhand,

So, when someone breaks a rule we should congratulate that person? Obviously that doesn't seem like a good option, so we're left with informing the person that they've broken a rule. Since this is a public Forum, the philosophy for the last 11 or so years (prior to this specific form of the Forum existing) has been to make such things transparent. Obviously that isn't always agreeable, but there aren't too many alternatives.

Well, we did BUT I can see there is some need for clarification. That's not a sign of some huge "cognative dissonance" but rather a simple misunderstanding. Those do, in fact, happen in the real world.

I didn't give you the infraction or saw the thread where it happened (or can't remember), but here is the rule in the FAQ that apparently you ran afoul of:

"5. Blatant advertisements for non-Battlefront product , chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also prohibited from these Forums."

Obviously there is a difference of opinion about what an "advertisement" is. Perhaps you shouldn't have been given the infraction, perhaps you should. I don't know because I have no idea what the context is. Either way... the infraction goes away automatically and there's nothing else beyond that unless the poster in question does something else. Which is why the infraction system is in place because, like it or not, there ARE people who break the rules in more than one place at one time.

And since you brought up SlapHappy's post, he appears to understand why he got the infraction and that it wasn't a big deal. He also points out that we moderate with a very light hand here compared to other moderated forums. In fact, notice that you've received no infractions for your posts, though they are quite critical and IMHO making a bigger deal out of this than necessary.

If you would like me to reword Basic Rule #5 so that it is more clear to you, please suggest alternative wording. This policy about links/promotion has been in place for more than a decade and we've not had a problem with the wording (which I think has been unchanged the whole time, not certain though) until now. However, that doesn't mean a change wouldn't be a good idea. Just suggest what it should say that would clear things up for you.

As for GSX's infraction, Moon felt he was in violation of the Agent Provocateur clause and so gave him a gentle reminder of that. On another Forum he might have been banned. On balance, I think he was treated fairly, and rather leniently, given the circumstances.

Steve

Actually, just about any book on discipline of childern will tell you that rules need to be explicitly stated and enforced fairly. They suggest this because that is how children see adults being treated in the real world and children want to be treated with the same respect.(yeah, I know I'm feeding you quite the straight line here...)

The reason the rules need to be explicit is so people can understand what is allowed and what isn't.

You bring up the possibility of differing opinions about what constitutes "advertisement" but your FAQ refers to "blatant advertisement". I'm sure we can agree that there is a difference between "blatant advertisement" and "advertisement". Why bother including the word "blatant" if it is without meaning or context? Surely a poster's intent must come into consideration in cases of "blatant advertisement". Read SlapHappy's recent post again, he didn't say he thought he was advertising another game.

If you want to grant me a one time immunity to Basic Rule #5 I'll be happy to post something that I'm sure we will both agree is "blatant advertisement".

Given that I am not the one responsible for the lack of clarity in your Basic Rule #5, and given that this is your forum, I suggest you don't need me to reword it for you. But don't take my word for it, mosey on over to your Off Topic forum, which is where Moon moved my "blatant advertisement", and read the header there. As I asked Moon, why not include that header in the FAQ if you are going to issue infractions for posting commercial links? Since that suggestion didn't pass muster, why not post that header in every forum if you are insisting on doling out infractions for it? Or, how about when a person registers, in addition to advising them to read the FAQ advise them to read the header in the Off Topic forum? The point is, at some level you already know an ambiguity exists and instead of doing something to correct it (like adding that header to Basic Rule #5) you issue public rebukes.

You have everything to gain from adding clarity to your rules. Were this another forum, run by different people, I'd be wondering what it is you don't want to lose... You know there are people in this world who get their jollys publicly rebuking others just as I know there are people in this world who get their jollys stirring up as much trouble as they can on forums. I accept that you aren't in the former, can you accept that I'm not in latter?

You think I'm making a bigger deal out of this than necessary; I have no problem with you thinking that. You point out that I haven't received any infractions for criticizing you on this. I'll point out that I haven't received any infractions except this one, which I dispute on ethical grounds. Your actions define your forum, so go ahead and issue an infraction, or a ban, or stick needles in a voodoo doll of me, or do nothing; it's your forum and I won't lose any sleep regardless of your choice since it defines you and not me.

But understand that your rebuke (public or otherwise) implies that you think I wasn't treating you respectfully while I have made every effort to treat you with respect. You didn't clearly state what you expected from me and yet you are holding me responsible for not living up to those expectations rather than taking responsibility for your lack of clarity.

When we read SlapHappy's post we each draw different conclusions, apparently. I don't see him stepping up and saying he was "blatantly advertising" another game and he deserved to be publicly rebuked for it. I hear him saying he'd just as soon drop it (interestingly enough he still posted about it). That's where I was with it too: when I thought it was a private affair. But I happen to think if something is public then both sides should be public. It's your forum, maybe you think only your side should be public; there are plenty of forums out there that operate that way and clearly you hold all the cards here.

But other forums aren't the bar by which yours is judged; your forum is it's own measure. I've already given you plenty of credit for what you're good at - not only in this thread but in others - but that doesn't mean that you should expect me to sit back and hold my tongue while you publicly rebuke me for breaking a rule that you think needs to be explicitly stated in the Off Topic Forum but not in the FAQ. Steve, the only time I've been to the Off Topic forum is when my "blatant advertisement" was moved there. The fact that others have broken the same rule in exactly the same way for exactly the same reasons would seem to indicate a problem on your end... unless we're just a bunch of jackasses trying to make trouble.

Now about advertisement, Steve, I took the badges off my car - to the point that the one time I got a ticket in it the cop asked me what kind of car it is - because they weren't paying me to advertise for them. I totally get that you don't want to advertise for other companies here. But consider this, many times I've seen you refer, in glowing terms, to other games. An argument could be made that you, too, were advertising here.

Now I'm not suggesting that you should be "infracted" but rather that you are setting an example, and while it's true that you don't post links, I referred to you in my "blatant advertisement" precisely because of things you have said about wargame development and because you have specifically mentioned other wargames in your comments. Note: I'm only advocating that your FAQ be explicit about posting links if you are going to issue infractions for posting links; I'm not suggesting that you made me do anything or that your posts are in conflict with your own rules, although you may make that case yourself when you define "advertisement"...

And finally, just as other forums aren't the bar by which yours is measured, other posters aren't the bar by which I prefer to be measured. If you feel you can point to a post where I was trying to be disruptive or purposefully a bad citizen I'd be happy to discuss it and offer an amend as necessary - since you can impose "punishment" arbitrarily I won't offer to subject myself to it. Until then I prefer to be judged on my own merits... or lack thereof.

Sincerely,

George

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sfhand,

Honestly, I don't know what to make of your response. I've said we want clear rules so when someone violates them it's not a mystery to the person as to why. To that end I asked what would make Basic Rule #5 clearer for you and I get a 10 paragraph lecture/rant but no suggestions on alternative language. We've had literally hundreds of thousands of posts here over more than 10 years... I don't can't recall anybody having such a problem with such a minor rules issue. In fact, I did look up your violation and you wrote:

"Hey Moon,

Sorry for my ineptness, I'll be more careful in the future..."

Great... and since then the infraction has evaporated. No harm done. I'm honest baffled by why this is such a big deal now, other than obviously it has hit some sort of raw nerve with you.

Since in all of what you wrote above you didn't offer any alternative language for Basic Rule #5, I'll offer an alternative for you:

"5. Advertisements for non-Battlefront products, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also prohibited from these Forums. Threads or posts which appear to be intended to discuss non-Battlefront products, outside of direct context to Battlefront products, are also prohibited"

In your case you started a new thread to talk about Kharkov 1943, which is not a Battlefront product. There appeared to be no reason for this post other than to draw attention to this other game. This probably wasn't your intention, however there was no way to know that based on your post. Also notice that your post wasn't deleted/removed, just the link.

Now, was that overreacting? Perhaps Moon should have waited to see what came from it, but according to our enforcement of #5 over many years Moon's actions were consistent with the past. Does the alternative language I suggest above help clarify things for you? If not, then please offer an alternative suggestion as to the language I should use.

In any case, I'm still scratching my head about what the big deal is here. The rule was clear to us, not clear to you, so I'm trying to clarify it so there isn't further confusion for someone like yourself. Not sure what you think is wrong with the process.

Steve

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Ach, I was just going to say, "yes, it needs it's own forum." Then I saw the drama spam.

Yikes.

It's just a game.

Shock Force is a good game now. It sucked at release. Good job fixing it. I've been playing the vanilla campaign and it is totally different then at release.

That being said, I'd like to read about Shock Force on the Shock Force board, not yet another WW2 game that I'm not terribly interested in. No offense, I'm sure it will be a good game, but I'm tired of WW2. There's a zillion WW2 games out there. Men at War just came out. It's not a wargame sim, but it's close enough in the same way that the Total War series is close enough. Personal taste.

I just can't get interested in 70 year old warfare anymore (we're as far away from it as the Civil War was from WW2) when we have two wars going on right now and who knows what in the future. There used to be a lot of modern what-if wargames about NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict, or Gulf Strike, or something like that. Now there's just WW2, WW2, and more WW2. ZZZZ. Here's a hint: the Allies won. I get a kick out of gaming hypotheticals to see what happens. I remember sitting down with Gulf Strike in 1990 and realizing that the Iraqis were screwed before Desert Storm ever happened. That was cool.

Shock Force taught me more about the current capabilities and limitations of US forces then I could learn from watching Discovery Channel for a decade. The M1 is not invulnerable. The main advantage of the US Armed forces is precision firepower. AK-47s and RPGs work just fine if you get too close. That's cool.

How about some more armies for Shock Force, or its successors? The Chinese, maybe? Israel? I know this has all been settled, and it's not happening, but if no one says it nothing will ever happen.

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Steve,

In my last post I tried to point out that the Off Topic forum actually had a header saying not to post commercial links. Here is the wording:

General Discussion Forum Off-topic posts go here! (NO POLITICS, NO COMMERCIAL LINKS, NO SPAM)

My reason for posting the "blatant advertisement" wasn't to advertise, what was then and most likely still is, a non-existant product in your forum.

My mea culpa to Moon:

"Hey Moon,

Sorry for my ineptness, I'll be more careful in the future..."

was written when I thought the sum total of his actions was moving my post to the off topic forum and removing the link. It was some days later that I discovered an infraction had been issued.

and here's my blatant advertisement minus the link:

"Kharkov1942

Until it's released it is an unknown, but Steel Fury is getting some pretty good reviews...

Personally, as a wego player, I doubt it will compete for my gaming dollar, but all the real timers may be persuaded to check it out."

My saying it's an unknown and that I'm probably not going to buy it doesn't seem like much of a selling point to me...

I feel it's worth mentioning that what prompted me to post such "blatant advertisement" in your forum is that in my twisted reality, after reading your posts about how non-viable wargame production is and how you welcome all the competition you can get, I thought it would be an acceptable topic of discussion here.

Obviously I was wrong about that...

As I read your proposed fix, I think there is still plenty of ambiguity re: what constitutes direct context with BattleFront products.

Here's what I suggest:

"5. Blatant advertisements - including commercial links - for non-Battlefront products, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also prohibited from these Forums.

See, this way people can continue to post their game threads in your Off Topic forum (even though I suspect that according to you they are advertising... and without incurring infractions I'd wager) and when you then issue infractions for commercial links, people like me won't complain because they were directed to read the FAQ when they signed up.

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this.

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sfhand, none of the forum admins can read minds, and often there isn't enough time to properly investigate all the nuances of someone's postings to get an idea of what the *intention* is.

Also, truth is that there are various "underground marketing schemes" out there that are very skilled at hiding their true intentions - which is to use "viral marketing" via forums etc. to advertise product - and some of these people go to great lengths to appear like a normal user. I know because we've been offered such services ourselves (and declined).

The rule "no commercial links" entirely avoids that. Instead, it is very short, precise and easy to act on: if you link to a page which has a "purchase" button or link or is an ad for a non-Battlefront product or otherwise "commercial", then you've violated the rule to not post commercial links. It's VERY simple. There is no ambiguity. Your intention is not even relevant.

The Infractions system allows us forum admins to remind people (or, in your case I guess, make aware) of this rule (and others). Pretty gently as there are no immediate consequences. It is public because we want transparency. And it applies to anyone likewise - including forum regulars who post a commercial link purely by mistake.

I have changed the Forum Rules in the www.battlefront.com/community/faq.php accordingly, so that now we all can sleep better :)

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sfhand, none of the forum admins can read minds, and often there isn't enough time to properly investigate all the nuances of someone's postings to get an idea of what the *intention* is.

Also, truth is that there are various "underground marketing schemes" out there that are very skilled at hiding their true intentions - which is to use "viral marketing" via forums etc. to advertise product - and some of these people go to great lengths to appear like a normal user. I know because we've been offered such services ourselves (and declined).

The rule "no commercial links" entirely avoids that. Instead, it is very short, precise and easy to act on: if you link to a page which has a "purchase" button or link or is an ad for a non-Battlefront product or otherwise "commercial", then you've violated the rule to not post commercial links. It's VERY simple. There is no ambiguity. Your intention is not even relevant.

The Infractions system allows us forum admins to remind people (or, in your case I guess, make aware) of this rule (and others). Pretty gently as there are no immediate consequences. It is public because we want transparency. And it applies to anyone likewise - including forum regulars who post a commercial link purely by mistake.

I have changed the Forum Rules in the www.battlefront.com/community/faq.php accordingly, so that now we all can sleep better :)

Thanks Moon

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It appears the Piranha brothers couldn't have done it any better. Both fair men... cruel but fair!

To sfhand: It appears you broke the unwritten law.

Response: Yeah, I done that!

To sfhand: What was it that you did?

Response: I dunno! It's unwritten!

Regards

Jim R.

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