I have decided to ban some of our regular users. This comes mostly from a discussion that was held in the lobby where things spiraled beyond basic name calling and into straight up harassment. We have many rules for the chat rooms here, and am I most disappointed in the regs that have been around our site for a long time, as they know that we have rules, and they know most of them. They also know how to use the features of our chat rooms and how to use the block button.
Going over some recent chat logs I can see clearly that some of our regular users ignored the use of the block button in a situation that certainly warranted it. They also ignored our rules for ongoing arguments in the lobby, and harassment among others. We expect people to keep name calling and threats out of the lobby, and most who have used our chat system a few times should know this.
This decisions was not easy to make, and it took much longer that it should.
One of the reasons the decision was not easy to make is that there were several stories from several people about what happened and why. Pouring over chat logs and trying to determine what was over the line and what was not in this situation was difficult, as there were many people involved. All these chat logs and opinions were sent in at a time when we were super busy with server code change overs and paperwork that could not be delayed, so I could not determine for sure the best course of actions to take and with who in a timely manner. For this taking so long, I apologize.
Part of me wanted to post snippets of the chat that caught my attention and made me lean towards making these decisions, and part of me wanted to call out the names of those who were banned due to this recent issue, but I will leave all that out at this time. I had to read these chat logs several times, and ask others to give me opinions on what was said, and how it would be viewed by others before I could decide on this.
I tried to give some the benefit of the doubt, I tried to say to myself (and others) that one statement made could be construed as meaning something horrific and sexually abusive, yet the same statement in it’s intent may have been a type of slang that was meant more as a joke and less of truly disgusting statement. In the end, those little benefits of the doubt and trying to decipher what was intended and how it was perceived by others did not matter, as the banning issue is not hinging on one statement.
Instead the decision to ban these people is based more on the overall tone, the refusal to use the block button, and the fact that they have had other discussions in the lobby that either crossed some lines or came close to that. Most of these users have been warned about things in the past, and I am sure that all of them have been around enough to know that we strongly discourage flaming or fanning the flames of an argument in the lobby. I have taken to the time watch some of the public interactions of these users, and I know there have been other occasions when their discussions were not appropriate for the lobby.
I apologize to the others people who were in the room and say these statements made, it makes me sad and a little sick to my stomach that a few of our regular users who should know better decided to say some of the things that were said in the room about a week ago. I debated this situation with several different people, and considered permanently banning all of those who were involved. I can say that anyone who is not banned over this situation, and yet was a part of it, even in a small way will not find themselves on any kind of future un-ban list should they cross similar lines in the future.
We do not want arguments in the lobby, every user has the ability to use the block button. There are many other ways to debate issues rather than clogging up the lobby chat area with a bunch of drama. Harassment is taken seriously, even if you harass with slight bit of humor and jest. These things are clearly stated on our rules page.
As has been brought up several times around here before, you need to be aware of the statements you make, and how others may perceive them. You might be thinking one thing with a “jk lol” in your head, while others may see your plain text statement in a completely different way. Jumping into an argument to defend one of your friends is not the best method for getting along and having a good chat environment for all the other users. The best thing to do is to encourage your friend to click the iggy button and make someone you do not want to hear disappear. Had our long time regular users taken that advice, they would not be banned.
If you are one of these regs that has had a ban notice placed, this is your official permanent ban notice.