Lemon

SOTU April 2017

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Long Time No See. Here's a Forward:

So, everyone knows how a SOTU goes. We let you know things we're working on on our end, you guys weigh in. Many SOTUs in the past have resulted in abuse hurled at various moderators, so what I'm handling differently is this: You can express discontent without directly insulting the person you're unhappy with. Try to keep in mind that we're adults. Don't just offer something you're angry about without a solution. If you do begin being generally incorrigible, a mod will ask you to stop. Anything outside the purest of civility will result in a 1pt infraction. No memes, no shitposts. 

We all need to keep in mind that I intended SOTUs to be an olive branch. Let's all try to channel optimistic Lemon from 2016.

---

BULLET POINT SOTU APRIL 2017

  • We have two new mods, @Umbra.Exe and @Revates, which is exciting. Younger, active users who are around the forums, which is a plus. @Rhíulchabán had difficulties and we deeply sympathize with them, and hope they stick around either way! Elections are nice in that the community has a decision, and Rhiu, Rev, and Umbra were first, second, and third, respectively. We hope that Vote Checkbox will have usage other than for mod elections. 
     
  • We now have a name change thread! You can change your name once every six months. A forum staple.
    Keep in mind that Ariel and Zeke are the ONLY ones who can do name changes. 
     
  • LEMON: I posted in Phoenix Forums Graphics, but how do we feel about themes? Do we need more, or less? The Dark Theme is still on my mind because trust me, I want it too. How bout a purple theme? Green? Post in that thread to let me know. 
     
  • Ask the Mods: This SOTU is also serving as a joint Q&A with you, about how we run the site, our modding process, etc. If you'd like, feel free to ask questions in this thread about how we run this place. We acknowledge that there have been trust issues between users and staff, and we'd like to foster a better sense of transparency.

OPEN FORUM

That's all that is on our radars and burners for now. This brings us to our next topic: an Open Forum.

Reading some stuff from around the forums, it's obvious that the divide between mods and users has grown. For a long time the active moderators just moderated the more egregious things- basic rule breaking, spam bots, etc. There's also things we may not know about that a person or two has issues with. An open forum is just that. Talk, air out grievances, whatever. This is an attempt to mend the bridge between mods and users. 

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On 08/04/2017 at 7:09 PM, Sylver said:

Suggestion: give specific mods/admins the ability to wipe all of a user's posts, and possibly delete their account.

This should be possible for admins already, since under vBulletin it was possible for me at even basic moderator level. I can't imagine this setup would be all that different.

If things are similar enough then any of the mod team could potentially do it now.

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On 4/8/2017 at 3:09 AM, Sylver said:

Suggestion: give specific mods/admins the ability to wipe all of a user's posts, and possibly delete their account.

Myself and several others wish to delete all our posts, and our accounts if possible. The 'why' shouldn't matter, but it's generally because most of us don't want stuff we've posted existing on the internet and possibly coming back to haunt us -- something along those lines.

Personally, I shared fairly private info about myself under the assumption that this account wouldn't be discovered by anyone I know outside of the furry community. Unfortunately there was something I didn't know about and it's now a real possibility that someone outside this forum could find my account by accident, or if they were looking for stuff like this. I'd really appreciate it if my posts could be wiped, and possibly have my account deleted altogether.

Wiping all posts and account deletions are not something we want to do.
It creates issues on-site, and we're not really personal maids and janitors.

Understand that anything you post to the public internet will get around. That's the nature of the public internet.
You need to always exercise caution and personal responsibility when you decide to submit something to the public space.
If you feel like it would come back around to harm or inconvenience you, don't post it. Always think things through before you hit the "submit" button.

Users can, however, hide their own posts, but that is time and effort they have to be willing to expend. It's not unfair or unreasonable to expect people to clean up their own messes.

If you have a serious issue, like accidentally posting your address on-site or something, we can go through and edit any posts that contained that information in quotes.

Otherwise, you kind of just need to mind what you post in general, here and otherwise.

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5 hours ago, Vae said:

Wiping all posts and account deletions are not something we want to do.
It creates issues on-site, and we're not really personal maids and janitors.

What issues exactly? I've had to perform this numerous times and it has never interfered with site functions.

Also, if you were willing to close threads and change usernames on demand then the maid and janitor excuse doesn't really fly. :P

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As it stands right now there's 1 for ability to delete, 3 against, 1 hasn't said anything (busy) and 1 is investigating if we even can. So officially, we're standing by on the issue. 

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I personally think accounts shouldn't be deleted unless there's an actual, important reason. I feel as if people would abuse the ability to do so; I.E. someone gets into an argument and gets so mad that they delete their account.

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You should install devices in people's nipples  so that way when they attempt to mass delete all their posts and flee the forums, they're get a jolt so strong, their nipples will stay needle sharp for the rest of their life. 

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3 hours ago, Sidewalk Surfboard said:

someone gets into an argument and gets so mad that they delete their account.

like what already happens?

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4 hours ago, Sidewalk Surfboard said:

I personally think accounts shouldn't be deleted unless there's an actual, important reason. I feel as if people would abuse the ability to do so; I.E. someone gets into an argument and gets so mad that they delete their account.

I think there's legitimate privacy concerns for someone to want to delete accounts on things, especially on public sites. Most social networks and other kinds of sites like youtube allow it. People's lives change, so if someone e.g. is getting stalked or otherwise trying to prevent cyberspace/meatspace crossover, they should be allowed to have that option. We all know that furries like to storm off in butthurt and wipe their accounts only to return later, but I don't think that negates legit reasons.

It could be a good compromise to let members actually discuss it with admins on a case-by-case basis especially if they don't really use the site anymore, as opposed to giving them a magic button they can use willy-nilly to create new accounts afterwards. There are also other options that other forums use, such as letting users choose if their content is public or members-only.

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1 hour ago, Sir Gibby said:

I think there's legitimate privacy concerns for someone to want to delete accounts on things, especially on public sites. Most social networks and other kinds of sites like youtube allow it. People's lives change, so if someone e.g. is getting stalked or otherwise trying to prevent cyberspace/meatspace crossover, they should be allowed to have that option. We all know that furries like to storm off in butthurt and wipe their accounts only to return later, but I don't think that negates legit reasons.

It could be a good compromise to let members actually discuss it with admins on a case-by-case basis especially if they don't really use the site anymore, as opposed to giving them a magic button they can use willy-nilly to create new accounts afterwards. There are also other options that other forums use, such as letting users choose if their content is public or members-only.

I personally like the idea of users being able to make posts members-only or public since that helps with privacy concerns and also being able to talk about it on a case-by-case basis so that people aren't deleting accounts just like that and disrupting the flow of the forum. Another reason I'd like it to be on a request basis is the fact we have people like Eversleep and a couple more who constantly make alts and having multiple accounts popping up with the same ip's makes it difficult to control (I think).

As it stands all users are able to hide their posts that may be compromising their privacy and I don't think we should have users deleting their entire posting history and disrupting the flow of the furrums. So if they were to go through and find the posts they wanted hidden we could help change the posts quoting them to make sure nobody can see the original post. Also, I think it's a good idea to hide them over totally deleting them for legal reasons incase posts are ever relevant to any legal matters.

So those are my thoughts fursonally and I imagine there are compromises to mitigate privacy concerns.

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case by case basis on wiping users would be a good thing, if possible

kinda of a huge dick move to tell someone to fuck off for having legitimate reasons

especially if your reason for doing so is that it inconveniences you

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9 hours ago, Sidewalk Surfboard said:

I personally think accounts shouldn't be deleted unless there's an actual, important reason. I feel as if people would abuse the ability to do so; I.E. someone gets into an argument and gets so mad that they delete their account.

Unlikely, don't you think?  It would probably take multiple arguments for that to happen. If they clearly do not belong, they're just taking up someone else's potential username or position. It's unfortunate,  but it happens in both online communities and real life.

 

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16 hours ago, FlynnCoyote said:

What issues exactly? I've had to perform this numerous times and it has never interfered with site functions.

Also, if you were willing to close threads and change usernames on demand then the maid and janitor excuse doesn't really fly. :P

I'm not talking about technical issues. Forums and conversational mediums are like puzzles. Posts are interlocked and intertwining to create the whole.
You take away that, and you're missing entire chunks of that puzzle. It's the same reason that deleting an account on a chat application or leaving a chatroom doesn't delete your entire previous post history, and it shouldn't.

Additionally, if a user is the OP of a thread, it hides that entire thread when they hide their posts.
For some things, like the WIP art threads, and other types that we want to preserve for everyone to use, that creates even more work of fixing all of the shit that was broken by mass-deleting an entire account's history.

The username thing in discussion had a huge cooldown of 6 months.
If we have to go through and check to make sure nothing breaks because someone wants to delete everything and run, that's a lot more work than just "they want their name changed", which takes all of 5 minutes at best.

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9 minutes ago, Sylver said:

Deleting someone's posts isn't going to make life infinitely complicated and involve more work than anyone wants to put in. Tbh I think some people are blowing it out of proportion and don't need to be so anal about it. Go out and look at all the successful websites that allow you to delete your account and all your content; there are many. Phoenix isn't some special snowflake exception. It'll be fine.

What I'm trying to find is something that will let one do this in one fell swoop, but I'm not having much luck.  Also, this forum software has a reversible "delete" option (called "hide") and an actual, irreversible delete option.  Both do the same thing from both member and guest perspectives, remove access as if gone forever, so hiding is the better way administratively.  It's already possible to hide one's own posts one at a time, but so far I haven't found a way to do it all at once.

9 minutes ago, Sylver said:

I actually just asked Eversleep and he said he uses an IP program to change his IP

esIP.png.223f787ac183ecdf2a1ab9bdbac8b3a1.png

We knew he was using such a thing, but I didn't realize he was paying for one.  I can't help but admire that kind of dedication.

9 minutes ago, Sylver said:

When people made this point it actually made me chuckle a bit. They can already make new accounts, by adding the option to delete accounts they'd be cleaning up after themselves... unless I'm mistaken that's not a negative.

I agree.

9 minutes ago, Sylver said:

Jesus, a lot of rapists must pass through here for that to be a concern :v

Nazi rapist children of home-schooling furries who sign Bar-condemned legal documents with red thumbprints.  We get them all the time.  :V

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11 hours ago, Sylver said:

I think it's great that the people have acknowledge the gap between users and moderators, and that an effort is being made to bridge that gap. Honestly, I think it's pretty nice. But it feels a bit alienating that the discussion and decision for this is occurring somewhere users can't see or participate in it. The mods are more or less users who want to help the community, and have been trusted with some permissions that assist them in doing that.. so it feels alienating when you guys are separating yourselves and discussing this somewhere else.

Could you please share the chat logs and discussion you guys have so far, so users can discuss it as well? I have been a mod myself for a few years somewhere else and have experience working amongst/with over a hundred mods of varying ages and backgrounds, and one thing you cannot leave out is the opinions of your users. Let them criticise and pick apart your discussion, adds points of their own. When you don't all it does is widen the ravine between the users and mods

I'd just be asking a bunch of questions so I'll wait until Lemon or someone else shares the discussion before I reply to you.

I get an immediate knee jerk reaction to having chat logs posted, only because I know this rodeo. The second you post logs, you have people that latch onto something you had said and had since changed stances or whatever and its a massive, massive pain that isn't just a nice little roadblock to forget. Once a log is in the public hands its out there, forever, with our usernames attached and to be displayed without context. I have the same stance on wanting to protect anonymous internet- I may not be doing anything wrong but I still don't want everyone to see what I get up to. Discussions where we discuss amongst ourselves before we figure out the refined, unified response to post to the forums is better than you guys seeing the convoluted mess discussions can sometimes be.

 Speaking as someone who personally tried to post logs to prove certain things a few months ago and saw that blow up, massively, I absolutely would say a hell no to that. SOTUs are the public and visual discussion between mods and users, and that's whats been working..ish, with some tweaks. Its why I made the SOTU. 

7 hours ago, Sir Gibby said:

I think there's legitimate privacy concerns for someone to want to delete accounts on things, especially on public sites. Most social networks and other kinds of sites like youtube allow it. People's lives change, so if someone e.g. is getting stalked or otherwise trying to prevent cyberspace/meatspace crossover, they should be allowed to have that option. We all know that furries like to storm off in butthurt and wipe their accounts only to return later, but I don't think that negates legit reasons.

It could be a good compromise to let members actually discuss it with admins on a case-by-case basis especially if they don't really use the site anymore, as opposed to giving them a magic button they can use willy-nilly to create new accounts afterwards. There are also other options that other forums use, such as letting users choose if their content is public or members-only.

It might not be a surprise I was one of the mods that was for deletion. It wasn't for any particular reason, but dA, facebook, all of these other major websites have abilities to block, delete, or hide your data once you want to leave a community. We have two star pupils that would probably enjoy the freedom to delete every trace of them and then start over to their hearts content, so its why I had suggested a hide function instead of a delete function. However, the major point against for-hide position is that it massively disrupts conversation on the forums. The largest threads on the forums only exist because one person hasn't hidden their first post. This was the moot point we had arrived at before we got a really, I think, fantastic suggestion from one of our new mods @Umbra.Exe that I'll detail in a second. 

1 hour ago, Sylver said:

I actually just asked Eversleep and he said he uses an IP program to change his IP

esIP.png.223f787ac183ecdf2a1ab9bdbac8b3a1.png

The more I find out about this guy the more he creeps me out. He pays actual real life money for the ability to try and post in a forum no one wants him at. : / 

----

We were at a stalemate (while Ariel was investigating a way to even hide posts on a grand scale). We were kicking around having account hiding on case-by-case, as a user would have to message Ariel to get their account hidden, but it still came to the point that if a user with many established posts were to hide all of their content, literal thousands of posts run the chance of being deleted, like the GTWT and so on. 

Umbra came on earlier and asked if we could just change the username of the person when they requested a leave. And I was ??!!! because that's actually an awesome suggestion.

Pros

  • Anonymises the person who wishes to leave, and will no longer have that content tied to that username
  • Retains function of readability for the forums, entire posts won't get hidden or deleted
  • Easy enough to just change a person's name, and admins retain logs of the history of the username so we know who is which deleted user but no one else does
  • A one step process that just requires a person to message an admin to request an account anonymiser. 

Cons

  • ??? (I mean there are probably a couple but I feel as though they're inconsequential enough they don't warrant a bullet point, such as, "Do we name them Anonymous 001 or Deleted User 01 or DL1, DL2, so on so forth)

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2 minutes ago, Lemon said:
  • ??? (I mean there are probably a couple but I feel as though they're inconsequential enough they don't warrant a bullet point, such as, "Do we name them Anonymous 001 or Deleted User 01 or DL1, DL2, so on so forth)

All the times people refer to said person by their original username would still be on the site within people's posts.

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Just now, Battlechili said:

All the times people refer to said person by their original username would still be on the site within people's posts.

That would exist even if we full on deleted posts people made. Even if here was a 100% nuke option that would still be a thing, and that's definitely a too-tall feat to ask the mods to go through and edit every post that even mentions the user that would like to be gone. 

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14 minutes ago, Lemon said:

We were at a stalemate (while Ariel was investigating a way to even hide posts on a grand scale). We were kicking around having account hiding on case-by-case, as a user would have to message Ariel to get their account hidden, but it still came to the point that if a user with many established posts were to hide all of their content, literal thousands of posts run the chance of being deleted, like the GTWT and so on. 

Umbra came on earlier and asked if we could just change the username of the person when they requested a leave. And I was ??!!! because that's actually an awesome suggestion.

Is there a way to cherrypick which posts remain if they do get wiped? A user's megathread could remain in place while the other stuff goes goodbye

Umbra's idea sounds good, though I personally think it'd work best if:

A) The new username given to deleted users were all the same as each other rather than uniquely numbered. That way if 5 people leave, a person looking to abuse the posts of just one of those users will have a bad time. Or, the original username is just fully hidden except maybe to admins or something.

B) The posts can only be viewed by members and not guests, and the actual profile pages can only be viewed by admins. That stops people sleuthing for people via google.

C) A concoction of these things

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33 minutes ago, Sir Gibby said:

A) The new username given to deleted users were all the same as each other rather than uniquely numbered. That way if 5 people leave, a person looking to abuse the posts of just one of those users will have a bad time. Or, the original username is just fully hidden except maybe to admins or something.

Doesn't the forum enforce each name being unique?

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53 minutes ago, Lemon said:

That would exist even if we full on deleted posts people made. Even if here was a 100% nuke option that would still be a thing, and that's definitely a too-tall feat to ask the mods to go through and edit every post that even mentions the user that would like to be gone. 

I imagine a find-and-replace script through the back end should be possible. I see no reason it has to be specifically done by the mods through the UI. That said, I don't think this would have to be complete and total he-who-must-not-be-named wipe out, either.

Long-running-thread starters are a significant issue, however.

 

Actually, this brings to mind another thought I had a while. Is it possible to get a downloadable copy of everything we've posted to the site? I've made quite a bit of posts on the technical side of my 3D that I would hate to lose if something unexpected were to happen. If there was a site plug-in supporting that kind of concise download, that'd be much preferred to doing so myself individually.

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20 minutes ago, george99g said:

Doesn't the forum enforce each name being unique?

That's what I thought, yeah. But I think some forums create some kind of role that has a shared username like "guest" or "banned user" that obscures the previous username, dunno if it'd be the same for whatever software PCO is based on.

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15 minutes ago, george99g said:

Doesn't the forum enforce each name being unique?

I honestly don't know, but I would be shocked if it didn't.  Discussions on the IPS forum itself basically say yes.

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If it isn't possible to change all banned members' usernames to the same thing, then the idea doesn't really work. Anyone determined enough could do some digging, figure out which new name is which old user and dig up any number of posts from there.

I've done similar cleaning on Heresy before, there has to be a way on this software to differentiate between normal posts and threads started by a user. That way you could delete posts without erasing threads. If this function doesn't exist here, then holy shit this software sucks.

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Deleting the account but leaving the posts left to "Guest" would probably work best if that's what you want to do. Deleting posts and accounts can cause some disruptions in thread continutiy.

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The whole "mods deleting all of someone's posts" should be a very rare thing. I do believe that in most cases, users should hide there own posts. But I'm sure under emergencies, it would be great to have the ability to wipe a user's posts. 

The mod's should be looking into this being a possibility, but i never suggested they should be doing it all the time for whatever reasons.

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I agree it shouldn't be a common thing, and for the most part it shouldn't be something a user can just request because they're sick of the place. But for more important personal problem kinds of scenarios, I think it should be an available option.

Other than bots, the only accounts we ever erased on Heresy were one who threatened the site itself, and one who after four years of membership was caught out on identity theft. People were shocked, heartbroken and torn over that one but it had to be done.

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7 hours ago, Sylver said:

This point made me chuckle a bit. Users can hide their posts and threads. In other words, I can already 'disrupt the flow' and 'remove pieces of the puzzle'. You're implying that if users could 'remove pieces of the puzzle' and 'disrupt the flow' (which we already can) that it could be such an issue that we shouldn't be allowed to do it.

Hm, funny that. Almost as though I've said the same thing before myself.

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