i-Novae's community management is a disaster #3

#21

There’s a lot more to abusing a moderation position than just the final kick or deletion. That he started the conversation to begin with, the way he approaches arguments and never actually attempts to defuse situation, instead making them worse are also huge problems. These are not problems you can lazily point to there being too few logs to refute especially given there’s not much activity on the discord to begin with. That he knew before he made the deletion that no rules were broken to begin with, that he didnt recuse himself when dealing someone he knows he holds large personal bias against and did this with multiple people over two days… these are unacceptable traits in a moderator. And now he knows he can get away with a lot because you aren’t even recognizing the issue. Keith is even directly endorsing half of it given he told me “we have no problem with him kicking critic” when that situation and the lead up to it is still half the problem.

It hasn’t just been this incident either. You are probably ignorant of the other complaints since they happen in other community servers, but during the EA period he was the only mod who would instigate arguments by poking random people over petty points of order. This caused extended discussions over things that really just did not matter more than once, sparking complaints in other discord servers. If you look at it, it’s likely coach drove more people away from critic given he was acting as an official moderator and bothered more than just a small subset of people. At the time i was the one saying he was just learning… he has only gotten worse though.

Speaking of, why do you think listening to a small subset of people asking you to ban someone even makes sense to begin? Stop and use your head, do you think every complaint someone has is vocalized? What do you think separates the people PMing you their complaints about a particular user from the people who have complaints and don’t send them? Think on that. Critic probably hadnt sent repeated complaints about being forced out of the community by chee or coach whoever else despite the same shit going both ways, but maybe if he and others had now chee or coach would be banned instead, and it would still be wrong.

And are you not going to touch on who has actually contributed, since you brought that up to begin with? Do you think coach is more valulable than the guy who actually gives you useful feedback and maintained a server bot everyone constantly used to check when the servers were active?

This is empty talk until you actually do it. The situation in which this already should have happened has come and gone and the results are dissapointing.

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#22

Let me weigh in a bit on what happened from my perspective.

So I’ve been in this community officially from about 2006 and was lurking before then, I made hundreds of posts on the old forums, argued about atmosphere compositions, relativistic effects, warp drive frequencies, positioning of thrusters, the list is never ending. I have contributed over a hundred hours towards coding gameplay models, making ship models and Discord bots.

Back then on the old forums we were allowed to speak freely, nearly every thread was a heated discussion, however things rarely got personal mostly because we had a good community manager, Cray. Point is that we had minimal moderation and a very free speech based community, the content we were discussing was the focus, not the mild insults and personal jabs that came with it, most people could take it.

Now I get that the devs don’t like me, mostly Keith and this is because I have been giving him shit since he got on board. I’m not going to go into hundreds of instances where we clashed, but I could fairly say that many mistakes were made which were pointed out by the community when they could still be avoided.

On the subject of Chee, guy hasn’t liked me since his first day on Discord, he came in and claimed that he was a professional gamer, skeptical I asked what he plays or something to that effect, he quickly sent me a DM and told me never to call him out in public after which he deleted his messages. I really have tried to be nice to him on a few occasions, it doesn’t work, it’s basically impossible to have a conversation with him, he deletes everything. I can see his value to Coach and INS, he streams IBS, the number of viewers is dismal but he streams, guy has issues though.

Why did I get banned? I got banned because moderator Coach has a buddy named Chee and because they and the CEO don’t like me. Devs have been needing an excuse to ban me and it came along. The issue is that this was completely manufactured, on rails with no input from me whatsoever, they didn’t even tell me I was banned and I have never received an official warning in DMs.

The wider issue is that INS has set standards over a decade, they have allowed criticism and mild insults during argument for over a decade and now all over sudden calling someone unstable as a minor jab after the guy tells you to fuck off is a perma ban offence.

As for community management, INS should be ashamed, other devs would kill for the community that you have and all you do is neglect.

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#23

It is not just the chat of the Discord server. It is also the only VoIP system that Battlescape has and is used for official community events. So don’t act like it is just a chat server. Now granted, critic didn’t use Voice channels to my knowledge. But now he has no ability to do so as a Dev tier backer.

And I do not buy Keith’s promise of having your own VoIP in the future. Because you have no one to make it!

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#24

Thanks to everyone involved for working together to not escalate anything further.

Judging from all the Information I got and insight as well as reading back quite a bit from the past and the events, it seems to me that the problem arose long ago and was not able to be resolved until it escalated.
The problem being that I-Novae apparently has limits, honestly any of us have, of how much and what kind of talk they can and want to take from outside. Yet they were unable to communicate that fact and where they wanted that line to be drawn to the community or us community moderators until recently. All while feeling the effects of perceived transgression on themselves.

They try to explain it in different ways but it still uses that old style of communication that doesn’t convey what they actually want. Old community members may know what I talk about as some of the behind the scenes stuff can be seen by reading between the lines and seeing what is happening without any words being spoken.

There’s something important I personally learned a few years back, which is if someone is putting pressure on you and/or hurting you and keeps doing it even though you asked them to please don’t do it, it is best to take the measure of separating that relationship.
Which I-Novae has done with critic on discord. There might be other reasons, but this seems to me to be the main one, directly or indirectly.

Many are really unhappy how that happened and argue that some intermediary steps have not been taken, the “asked them” part. That’s one of the reasons behind the backslashes happening.

Dudes, it is ok to have limits and to be phased by what people say. We aren’t machines! We are humans. Acting like a big unmovable company while not being even remotely that isn’t helping.
Over the years we have seen that even though the scale of the first Infinity project has been lowered, it seems to still be a bit too much for I-Novae to take and there is absolutely no free time for anything else. We know and we are still here. If you think about it this has been ok for us for all the time we have been here.
I went around for almost two years now telling everyone new that fact so they would have the needed context and could sympathise.

Maybe I am wrong here but to me it sounds what really should have been told to be clear is something like:
“We have heard your concern and criticism, yet we are over our limit and are already doing our best. Even though you might think that your suggestions are helping it is forming up to be a source of pressure we can not handle anymore. We have and will decide how to handle things and would like you to stop talking to us in such a manner anymore.”
This direct communication has not happened, the most I have heard is telling people when things are obviously out of focus, yet always when it comes to game suggestions, not criticism in other fields.
Of course this isn’t just one sided and it is best if both sides could come closer to communicating on the level of eachothers. Yet if communication is failing so hard that the necesary information is not coming trough to even facilitate that, then it is a hard situation to resolve.

Other topics like the loosing of community members are in my oppinion indirect effects of that same pressure. Loosing current and potential community members is something scary that puts pressure on them to resolve.

Same goes for the appearance of how is being talked on the discord. I-Novae wants to hold a certain standard and is scared of us community members jeapardising all their other work by scaring away people. Something else scary that puts pressure on them to resolve.

This all coming together with dayjobs, personal things, financial thoughts and general overload and it’s not hard to end up with a sub-optimal situation like this.


What happened was that @TheCoach tried to suddenly enforce limits, which happened to align with what I-Novae wanted all along on the 28th of February 2020.
The way it went down almost nobody liked and Coach has been clearly reprehended for that by I-Novae. He agreed to not having acted well there. If it can be called abuse of his powers, that is debatable. Now I can see that some don’t believe that he is fit for the role and that he is learning or even capable of learning. I think that is going a bit too far giving him no chance to proove himself.

Reading back it surely didn’t make sense how it went down. New standards should have been announced by I-Novae or the community moderators in unison and publicly. Only then, afterwards, a transgression should have been moderated by pointing to that announcement. Similar to how we handle suggestions here.
Additionally the tone was not appropriate and not in context with how the tone of the conversation was before Coach acted.

Some important information. Like Flavien showed, Coach did only delete one message. It is important to not exaggerate from both sides. Be it what anybody said or did.

It is also important to release facts and Information as well as statements clearly and not drip feeding them, leading to confusion and rumors.

Another Information is that Coach has in fact been clearly reprehended, even if it is not publicly visible. He already has shown signs of following the input from I-Novae of first escalating to them before taking further action.

There have been complaints about how critic talks to people on discord brought forth by people to I-Novae. It’s in their hands how to handle that or what actions or inputs to give us community moderators. As such it also their responsibility to handle the situation well.

I myself can confirm that it is hard to not accidentally offend Chee. I treated him like any other community member but still offended him. It’s not just a one sided thing, I want to say with that. It is ok to be different but the differences between the community members have to be considered when moderating. Still, people also should be held to the same standard.

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#25

It’s not like the question is about whether coach should be permabanned like has now already been done for less, just remove him from his position. He isn’t entitled to it.

Mods need to be held to a higher standard and he’s done literally everything wrong, he’s abused his powers, has a terrible attitude and hasn’t shown any learning capability at all. Just because he says he can learn in some private convo between him and keith means nothing to anyone in the community.

On the message he deleted, It was a message and an image, but if you comment an image instead of posting them in sequence it counts as one message. I didnt remember the method i used (not like i expected it to vanish in the night) but frankly who cares, it’s besides the point.

  • By doing it while understanding it didnt break any rules coach made the mistake of abusing his powers.
  • By doing it quietly without telling anyone he was trying to silently censor someone he disagreed with, hoping i just wouldnt notice. And i wouldnt have if ark hadnt vaguely responded to it, i spent a moment wondering why i hadn’t posted the message i thought i did before realizing ark had made a comment about it.
  • By not responding to the general question until directly prompted, then following it up with a smug comment basically saying he thought he was doing me a favor by censoring me he proved malicious-intent.
  • Following this up days later by proclaiming “there was no abuse” after being backed up by the devs.

Sorry but you are out if your mind if you think there is any element of learning from mistakes in this chain of events, or any demonstration of willingness to learn, rather it’s the opposite.

And then his handling of critic, since this should be obvious but some who read the logs did not parse anything:

  • By using the position to publicly threaten the target of an obviously rule breaking attack (chee said to critic “fuck you critic”, then deleted it and asked hutchings to ban critic, then apologized after realizing people saw what he deleted, then deleted the apology too) because the aggressor was their personal friend, coach demonstrated an incapability to separate their bias from their role

  • By justifying the attack and insisting it was deserved Coach made another error. I quote, “When they feel that certain people will not stop going on and on about the things said they might delete it to cut it off there.” By, further commenting the target of the attack has “earned a lot of peoples ire”, he cements an even stronger, personal bias and even insists the target deserved it. The fuck?

  • By misinterpreting critic’s comment according to coach’s own bias to justify a public kick threat “Even if he did it would be his own personal stuff and you shou;dn’t be running around discord calling people mentally ill” coach shows well, again, he’s biased.

  • Coach directly accuses critic about lying about the facts despite multiple witnesses active in the channel confirming chee told him fuck you and deleted it, then tried to asked for critic to be banned then deleted it “A good first step would be to stop lying about such matters.” And again, by ignoring all relevant evidence except the part he already agreed with, including other witnesses he is also biased against, he is so biased you have to be willfully self-deluding not to understand by this point.

  • After setting himself to be goaded into a kick with the “Because critic enjoys an aura of untouchability and people buy into it.” comment coach is then obviously goaded into kicking critic by another of his friends. This demonstrates he is completely out of control and has no idea how to handle himself as a moderator.

  • By then making up the “mod sass” kick reason and also making up the “kicked for calling people mentally ill” kick reason, (again rewording critic’s comment from “Chee could have done community streams and events if he was stable” which made perfect sense in the context of chee’s deleted comments where he tried to get critic banned and past comments about it somehow being critic’s fault chee wasn’t in the server anymore) coach demonstrates extreme dishonesty and willingness to bend the rules to whatever he wants at the time. Oh, and he also lied further in the server ban reason Flavien posted, since he even further dishonestly exaggerates to say that critic was calling multiple people mentally ill. Nice.

Basically, he is happy to be shitting on people he doesnt like. If he’s still a mod then it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of all this shit especially given keith has actually endorsed the critic-relevant series of events by saying there was “no problem” with this. It doesnt matter if he’s pretending to be willing to learn in whatever private conversation. There is no room for behavior like this from someone given power over the rest of us, he’s directly targetted two separate people he has a well documented bias against in the same day. He wasnt a good choice for the optional position of moderator to begin with given how volatile his discussions with other community members usually were, holding arguments that lasted days.

I struggle to see how once you actually parse this shit there is any question of what to do. The solution here is simple, unban critic and just replace it with a cumulative warning for past behavior, if you had spoken to him maybe you’d see he’s been trying to wind down for months and given there hasnt been a new warning or anything that was actually his fault in that time, just run with that. Remove coach as a moderator. Clarify rules, procedures and moderator guidelines, there are various knowledgable people in the community who can help with this.

And Keep keith farrrr away from dealing with any of this, or the community in general, threatening to ban me as well for misrepresenting facts and then citing the misrepresented fact as “well coach didnt abuse his powers he only made a mistake” when obviously abusing his powers was the mistake is bonkers. None of the handling of this from the inovae side at any step has made any sense.

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#26

I just want to say publicly that I regret how I handled the critic situation, mistakes were clearly made on my part and I am sorry for behaving the way I did. I also should not have deleted that one message Matt made.

This has indeed all been brought up and discussed in a meeting with INovae and it was made clear that mistakes like these should not happen again and I fully agree and will do my best to be a better mod.

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#27

Would you say that I should be unbanned given how poorly this was handled?

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#28

Banning people is outside my powers and I am not the person to ask about these kinds of decisions.

#29

I’m asking for your personal opinion since you incited my ban, something that you are trying to show remorse for.

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#30

https://steamcommunity.com/id/cybercritic

#31
#32

To be honest, this thread shows quite a mature mindset willingness to handle the situation from both INovae and the plaintiff. At this point both sides have admitted to their mistakes, and agree that the way the situation was handled was highly improper. The main takeaways in my opinion are:

  • Would it hurt to revert the ban on critic? I don’t think so, it has been made clear that his style of communication was unwanted. Treat this as a warning and be fair with a second chance. I highly doubt anyone will complain if he gets banned a second time, and you can point to his messages saying “see, he’s being a dick”.
  • Please set up a better infrastructure on discord for the community moderators. There are plenty of one click logging solutions for discord that address all of the shortcomings that lead to the confusion in this case. Audit logs are better than nothing, and a big thanks for showing them, but can be deceiving because they do not show people deleting their own messages. (Which is something that played a major role in this case.) (Not to mention that apparently community mods can’t even see them?)
  • Someone tell @Chee to stop trolling.
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#33

Make your own game in a year with 1 to 1 planet’s that competes with and demolishes this one, you should not waste your time on a dead cancelled game that is a failure with 1.5 average players a month in a multiplayer only demo called infinity battlescape, All these devs, mods and “pro gamers” are complete nobodies that no one has ever heard of.

#34

Yes, you can do it, take UE4, there is the opportunity to create a seamless World, and in a Year or 2 create a great Cosmos Shooter, if you assemble a team of not only developers, but also experienced Players, then there are more chances for Success right from the first start!

1 Like
#35

Someone rename this thread to “armchair developers assemble!”.

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#36

as a longtime lurker, i have no investment on either side of this.
im totaly fine with negative communitymembers getting permabanned.
or giving a second chance by revoking the “permaban”.

the biggest lesson i hope gets learned here is that feedback is important.
let me take as example the “Karma” system in World of Warships. “Karma” does absolutely nothing in the game, but if you are a nice lad in chat or make a good play, people might give you a +1.
if you are hurling insults or completely f… up in game, they might give you a -1.
so if you hurl insults at you idiot team or your cheating enemys, you are likely to get a message after the battle about your karma loss and you go: “well i was frustrated, but yeah, i was a dic*, i deserved that”.

point is: feedback was given without any harm. for someone like critic this will let him know to turn down the toxicity before it gets out of hand. bans like this are never about that final transgression, but about the hundreds of small things that came before and went unreprimanded.(people dont remember the specifics, but every little thing adds up and once the bucket is full…)

having a way to let people know about their smaller transgressions without going at them head on in public or writing a PM trying to explain how you feel about that minor insult, should limit the filling of the buckets. even if the “transgressor” doesnt care at all, it still makes the “victim” feel better.

to mods: please have a ruleset in place for bans that includes several levels of severity from 1 day to 1 month and more. and always give a warning first. thank you. people sometimes need a little break, give em a day off.

#37

This could be a good time to hire a real community manager, PR expert and celebrity ambassador.

At the very least it would be good to get some external consultation on this issue.

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closed #39

This topic is temporarily closed for at least 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.

opened #40

This topic was automatically opened after 4 hours.

#41

Just to clarify not a single item listed in the many posts in this thread has been adequately addressed or resolved in any way yet.

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