I've Been Gagged in Chat - The What & the Why of Moderation

One my many responsibilities here at games.com is being the point man on issues inside the chat. Let me tell you, there are a lot of people talking inside our games. It's wonderful and most people are talking and making friends. There really isn't much to do on a day to day basis and I attribute that to our outstanding community. People on games.com are on the whole very good to each other and very cordial.

But there is a BUT and it is a BIG BUT! There are people who come into chat and are just out there to start trouble and disrupt the community. It is very likely a small portion of the community but needs to be handled. The first line of defense is YOU the community.

Here are the steps that you should following when dealing with an annoying chat room buddy

1. Ignore them. Now I don't mean using the ignore button (that's step 2.) I mean simply not replying to the person. People feed off of your reaction. In the lingo of the web it's called feeding the trolls. Trolls (as the snarky annoying people in chat are called) live off our reactions. If we ignore them they won't get the rush they need and they'll go away. Remember; DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!2. Use the Ignore feature in chat. This one is a little bit stronger but does work. All you need to do is double click on the annoying persons name and select 'ignore' Once you do that POOF! All their chat vanishes.

Exit chat. If you just can't take it any more and don't want to hear from anyone, you can click exit chat. Be careful when you exit chat as the only way to get back in is to restart the game.

4. Report Abuse. This is the final resort and should be used only when you're totally fed up. Please use the following guidelines.
Choose one of the chat abuse categories.
Describe the chat abuse issue with the time the issue occurred.
Submit the report. Please be aware that it can take up to 24 hours for the reports to all be handled.

The nuts and bolts
This folks is where the banning and gagging comes in. Let me describe the process of how one gets gagged or banned.
In the very recent past, you could be banned or gagged directly from chat. One of our moderators would review the chat in real time and make a decision based on the what was going on and decide to take action. This is within the bounds of the Terms of Service on our site. By signing up to play you agree to those terms and we have to right to enforce them as needed. Please be aware you should not be able to be banned or gagged that way any longer. If chat is being monitored live, the person reviewing the chat should make the chat room aware of their presence. The terms of service are a legally binding contract and can covers whatever we need it to. Ultimately, we're liable for what goes on in the chat and we reserve the right to act as needed when needed. Sounds heavy handed but it is necessary for us to offer chat.

How you can have action taken against you? You're in chat and are going at it with some one and they report abuse on you. A ticket is entered and you don't know about it. Then one of our moderators goes in and reviews all the abuse reports. They only have the information in the report abuse to go on. There is not a running log of all the conversations that have gone on. Only a last minute or so. The moderator only has that information to go on and you have retaliated to some snarky remark. Well, what happens? You get banned or gagged.

Not the best system right now and I'm aware of that. My advice to everyone is to ignore the abusive or disturbing characters on our site and do not retaliate with your own comments as they may be trying to goad you into saying something that will get your disciplined. If things get nasty, report them then ignore them.

I believe that we have wonderful players on our site and I would hate for a small number of people to ruin everything.
If you ever want to discuss any moderation issues with me please do not hesitate to post on this blog or email me directly. My information is always available via the About section
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