First things first, I know the admins will want to close and unlist this topic as fast as possible, as well as ban me forever. With the new announcement, I guess they won’t do that, but they surely still want to. I shouldn’t need to say this, but before unlisting, please read it. Also, having discussion below would be nice.
Let’s Make This as Good as it Was Before.
I first joined the WFC in late 2020. At the time, the community was a welcoming place, with nice moderators, nice members and good discussion, and showed lots of potential. After a while of being active, I became a regular, and after that, a moderator. I was a moderator for more than a year, and the rest of the team was very pleasant during most of that period.
Then WFC 2.0 came along.
When WFC 2.0 was launched, I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was just a general rebranding with a unique name. Then @Rolls, @PlanesAndGames and myself were fired for no apparent reason and without any warning. In the case of PlanesAndGames, he was hired temporarily for the summer break when Zac and Zack were gone, and stayed as a moderator for longer than expected. However, me and Rolls were permanent moderators, and both of us (or at least me) had no warning prior to being fired.
This was the beginning of what I’ll call “The WFC’s Downfall”.
After being removed from moderator, I started to reflect about how the WFC wasn’t what it seemed like, and how much was actually wrong with it. With that reflection, a few key points were reached:
For this argument, I’ll use an example which happened to me, but I’ve seen this happen to other users. While I was a moderator, the admins were all very nice to me, being extremely welcoming. In the demotion letter and in every contact following that, the admins treated me like a total stranger, being extremely aggressive and unwelcoming. I was treated like garbage, as if I hadn’t volunteered to help them for over a year, despite having done so.
I also feel like the users aren’t really heard within this community. The new #ideas category might change that, but overall, it’s just a #features for topics and events, nothing exactly groundbreaking, and it also limits what a user can suggest.
Finally, there is the deletion of PMs from users. A while ago, I inquired with an admin about something, and he did not reply. When I asked about it again, the PM “disappeared” from my inbox. When I asked about that in another PM, the staff member answered with an answer which was so aggressive that if it was someone else they could’ve been warned. The staff member also closed the new PM, because that’s how discussions with admins work here. Normal conversation isn’t allowed, because when an admin says something, that opinion is the correct one and they aren’t open for discussion, literally, because they close the PM. This is extremely disrespectful to the users, and some could even leave the forum due to this kind of situation. This is strongly related to the second key point.
This title doesn’t need to be explained. This can be seen because there are cases of both overmoderation and undermoderation, which shouldn’t be possible.
We have a small tale about a “certain user”, you may know him, but we prefer to keep that private. He was obnoxious, and angered just about everybody in the forum, and felt like he could fight everyone and everything, if he didn’t agree (which wasn’t much anyway), with his comments always relating to a pop music artist doing something better than somebody else, as a general example, and being very combative, and aggressive. He always got into arguments with other people for the same reason, with chats being closed multiple times, due to his arguments. Guess how long it took the WFC mods to actually give a punishment that wasn’t as much as a slap on the wrist? 4 Months. And even after he’d made almost everybody his enemy, he only got a month in suspension time.
Now, this is just my personal opinion, but the user deserved a much longer ban, like a year, and with his 12 billion flags that followed wherever he decided to go, this would be reasonable. According to the Suspension Chart, the 4th violation of this type of issue would result in a one year ban, but he only got a one month ban after much more than 4 violations, and this long of a ban isn’t even an option in the Suspension Chart. I’ll go over the breakage of the Terms of Service and Suspension Chart on the overmoderation subtopic, but this is already a strong example.
As another example, we have another user. He happened to use an IP grabber link, which could be traced to a real life address, and could be very dangerous in terms of privacy. According to the Terms of Service “You may not submit content to the forum containing malicious computer code, such as computer viruses or spyware.” This should have resulted in a permanent ban immediately. Guess what happened to him? At the time, nothing. One admin even joked about the situation, which was considered inappropriate by some members (and they would happen to be correct). After a while, the user was banned, but it should’ve been immediate, without any second thoughts.
Overall, we can see a lot of undermoderation and reluctance from the mods to banning or, in fact, using any moderation tool on users when necessary, especially in safeguarding cases with physical locations involved.
This has been increasing a lot within the community recently. I feel like staff are deleting everything which could compromise the community’s status, which includes every single piece of criticism or anything which could be linked to something bad. From a business standpoint that’s fair, however, deleting all criticism is a bit extreme, and some criticism should still be allowed. For example, yesterday, while Off-Topic was gone, I created a topic asking where it was, and the topic was closed and deleted immediately. How bad would it have been to keep it open, or at the very least not unlisted? I understand there was something in Off-Topic which had to be deleted, however, this wasn’t related to that, it was just about the status of the topic. It feels like the admins were so ashamed of what happened in Off-Topic that they were afraid of keeping anything related to it visible.
Secondly, there is the deletion of bios. A while ago, I created a bio which stated my feelings about the community, but since criticism is not allowed, it was deleted. When I readded it, they deleted it as well. I’m currently on the third bio, which is more constructive than the other too, however, I feel like it’s just a matter of waiting until they notice it’s there, and after this topic, it’ll probably be deleted too.
Overall, staff moderate too little in some aspects, and too much in others.
This isn’t necessarily about the community itself, but more about the users. Some people within the community are anything but nice, and only interfere in the other’s experiences. Staff took care of some of those users recently, but that’s not everyone, and there are still toxic people here. I won’t elaborate further than that.
There’s still hope for this community, but only if it starts to steer on the correct path.
I would love to help to restructure this place, and know other users who’d want to help too. The new announcement is only a bunch of words put together until now. We need to see actual change. Actual movement from the users to make this place nicer. Less strict mods regarding criticism but also not reluctant to banning people. More activity from the mods in the community. It can be done, we just need everyone’s help.
Thanks for reading.
PS: Please don’t close this. Doing that will just prove that the new announcement is a bunch of words put together with no actual meaning.