December 17th, 2018: Changes to Censor Rules and Pokémon News Subforum Move

Typhlosion

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Hey there, everyone. We've got two important updates taking place today!

--We are updating the rules on censor bypassing: please make sure you read them so that you don't run afoul of the new policy! During the end of our time as Azurilland we became quite lax in how we enforced the rules regarding censor bypassing, but now that our community is changing we recognize that change is necessary on our part as well. In order to promote growth and become more inviting, we will be stricter going forward when it comes to enforcing these rules, and we'd like to ask you guys to work with us in achieving this goal. The censors should not be bypassed by misspelling, altering, or partially replacing swear words. The first instance of this by a user, whether accidental or intentional, will result in a verbal warning, followed by progressively harsher action for repeated offenses, and the staff team will take prompt action to remove any instances of censor bypassing that are brought to our attention. Additionally, slurs and their variants are never allowed, and their use will merit an immediate official warning. Let's all make an effort to work together and let the censor do its job! [Update 1/2/19: The censor bypass clause has been removed after discussion among staff and members.]

--The Pokémon News subforum is being moved from its current location under "Welcome to the Marriland Forums" to "Pokémon Central." This will help to declutter the Welcome forum while allowing the subforum to be placed with more similar content.
 
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seaturtle

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I don't like this change.
It's good to know you don't like it, but more feedback would be appreciated.

As far as censors go, this is the same policy we had on Azurilland. At the end of the site's life we got a bit more lax, but the same rules were in place. What about these rules do you dislike, and what would you prefer to have on the site?
 

Biohazard

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I'm not fond of the change either. People are way too easily offended, especially by things such as swearing. Swear words are just words.
 

theDINOsaurus

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Honestly, I wasn’t really going to post about this when it came up because I honestly don’t have much of a stake in it as someone who doesn’t swear often but isn’t particularly offended by it either, but I wanted to respond to Luna’s post which got me thinking a little more on the subject and here I am I guess.

So first off, to Luna, yes, swears are words, but words have power. Things aren’t “just” words because they have the ability to affect those who hear or read them. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” has been proven to be false time and time again, and I don’t think it’s our place to judge what offends a person.

However, I do somewhat question how much demand there is for something like this in THIS particular community. It’s a hard line to gauge - yes, we’ve definitely gotten a lot of new or returning members, but most of them seem to be older and along the lines of our current demographic anyway. Based on the population within the discord, at least, it doesn’t really seem like people are all that bothered by variations/misspellings of swear words.

I’m going to spoiler this next part because I have some questions about what exactly counts against the rule that can’t really be brought up without saying the things in question haha.
Is there a point where you get far enough away from the word that it no longer counts? For example, people say “fudge” clearly intending to reference a swear, but in most contexts this or something like “fug” which has come up on the Discord recently is used in a lighthearted or silly manner, often by someone who says the actual word as well. For that reason, substituting in the word itself would change the tone and meaning of the sentence - it’s not really a simple censor bypassing attempt where you can say “well just write out the word” because that probably isn’t what the person was going for anyway. But obviously you can’t censor the word “fudge” either.

I’m not necessarily saying that taking away this sort of expression is bad, just that it does limit people from saying exactly what they mean in some situations, so I do feel that the rule merits some clarification and examination or what is gained vs what is lost.
Also, my understanding from reading the rules is that there’s not even a way for members to enable the censors, and they’re only active for guests? In that case, I guess I see the point even less since any guests who are reading will just have the words uncensored if they join anyway.

I’ve written way more about this than I expected honestly since I don’t really mind the rules as they are, but since the conversation has come up I suppose I just think it’s good to put some thought into it, especially now as we’re forming this community in a new location. So I guess that's my two cents on the topic.
 

Nuuk

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this rule is a suck and everyone who actually gives a **** about this place doesn't give 2 ****s about swears.

the population on this tiny forum has grown up, its not baby's first forum anymore like it was back in 2007. i think the youngest people here are around 13-14 and are clearly on the internet where much worse things are said and seen constantly.

if seeing an uncensored swear word is going to shatter their innocence or destroy their life, they probably shouldn't be on the internet anymore. over censoring people here isn't going to change anything
 

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Although I get that this change is being made with the community's best interest in mind, I feel like it's kind of unnecessary. The rules state under Rule #2 that swearing is allowed as long as isn't derogatory or with intent to hurt, so I'm curious as to why censor bypassing specifically is being cracked down.

If censors are disabled for members anyway, what's the point? If trying to prevent people from swearing is the intent here, I would either a) enable censors for members and keep the new rule on censor bypassing or b) just ban swears completely.

Either way, I'm not really sure I can support either of those. I think that the previous policy on swearing works fine as it is. Although I personally try not to use them, swearing or not should be left as a decision made by the member instead of the rules making that decision for them.

I'd also like to propose a vote among the members to put these changes in place.
 
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Ice_Dragon

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I'll just add some quick thoughts since this change appears to have ruffled some feathers!

This change does come as a surprise given that we have, in the past, been moving away from the family-friendliness of the original forum. We have removed swear words from the censor list previously and generally have been increasingly liberal in our approach to words censors with regards to how and what words should be censored. So going back to a stricter enforcement of word censors seems to me, a step in the wrong direction.

Obviously, I'm sure the staff has discussed this prior to making the announcement but the reasons in favor of stricter word censors aren't very compelling in light of the current forum demographic and it's doubtful whether these censors will "promote growth" and make the forums "more inviting". I think there's a lot more to increasing traffic and a couple of word censors won't do the trick, as we've seen over the years.
 

Godot

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I can see the pros and cons of this rule change, and honestly I agree with Ben. If swearing on the forums is the problem, then enable censors for everyone or let us know that we won't be allowed to swear anymore. That said I do agree that slurs and the like should be banned outright, but I've not seen those around the forums very often if ever.

I assume that self-censorship won't be a problem, "**** to fudge" to use Dino's example. But this is just an assumption, if my assumption is wrong I'd like to know the limitations of what I can and can't type. And yes, I'm aware I swear a lot, but if I have to I can censor myself with ease.
 

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I was going to hang back and not comment but this is annoying me slightly more and more.

I think something like this is a huge slap in the face to the existing community. We were moving away from the whole "family-friendly" vibe for a few years now. This made the community feel more comfortable and arguably has led to a time where the forums felt more like a family than ever before since we weren't watching our backs for idiotic rules on swears.
I sincerely DOUBT with every fiber of my being that this was an oversight that's being corrected now. I feel it was intentional that this was not a thing before. There was no reason for it to be enforced. There's no way you all would make a new site and not make it transparent what the policy on swearing and "censor bypassing" is.
This definitely has influence from Marriland written all over it. I understand that I know he didn't force you guys to do it, but I am pretty sure he either said something or that just being affiliated with him made you guys wanna do the change. And again, that's a slap in the face to the community that was already here.
We asked time and time again before this ever happened if things would change and he said no and even the staff was worried about having to. So why is it now we are changing in a backwards way? This doesn't help ANYONE but the most extreme of individuals who hate swearing with their entire being. It is a blatant example of trying to cater to a few people by ****ing with the majority.
It is just disappointing.
 

Thundawave

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We realize that the way we presented the announcement may have sounded like we were making an earth-shattering rule change or being incognizant of the current community’s needs. If we led you to think that, we apologize. However, I must clear a number of matters up.

Back when we were transferring over everything from the old site, we completely reworded the official rules and a number of official threads in order to avoid having the forum flagged for plagiarism by search engines. In the midst this translation, we had somehow omitted the mention of censor bypassing in our rule thread on this site, approving the thread without really reading into it. This is absolutely our fault.

A week or so ago, a staff member brought up an instance of bypassing and wondered whether we were still enforcing it because it was not written in our rules. This was the point when we realized “oh crap, how did we actually forget that???” We needed to enforce censors because search engines could flag the Marriland domain for profanity or activate parental controls if it noticed uncensored variations of swears. So we edited the section to have statements about bypassing again, notifying everyone with this announcement so that you knew that this rule actually existed. We didn’t want to quietly edit the rules to cover up our oversight because that would simply be unfair to all of you - especially if we suddenly started contacting you that we had to edit your post because of x misspelling when no one had said anything earlier this month the last time you posted something similar. Notifications like these are part of our policy to let the community know of every single change that occurs on this site, no matter how small.

We will not retroactively punish any members for past misspellings of curse words. No one will need to worry about that.

We are currently contacting a developer to try to create an option where members can toggle the censors on and off. This will hopefully make our stance on bypassing - which I repeat has not changed from Azurilland - make more sense again.

EDIT: “Fudge” is okay because it’s a legitimately different word in other contexts. It’s like saying “oh my goodness” instead of “oh my god.”
 
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seaturtle

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We just had a long (and fruitful) discussion in the #support channel on our Discord (join if you haven't btw :hmmazurill:) and I'm gonna try to summarize it since it feels like we've reached a better place than where a lot of these messages left off.

Like Regine mentioned, we're working on trying to get a per-user censor option in place instead of it being just for guests. Might take a while because we either need to work with a developer to get it put into place or build it ourselves, but that's what we're gonna shoot for. Most people don't seem to be super upset by this since it's the same system Azurilland had. When we have more information about this we'll be sure to let you guys know, until then we'll just need to hang tight.

Something that I brought up was making a public censor list of what's being censored. We've already put common misspellings of swear words on the censor list, but if you guys don't know what misspellings are censored you can't tell what will get you a bypassing warning and what won't. I don't think every censored word needs to be on there since some words are either slurs or sexual in nature and wouldn't be allowed in any circumstance, but we can put standard swear words + their misspellings on it.

There was a lot of confusion/debate about why this change is happening right now. Like Regine mentioned, it was brought up when a staff member noticed it wasn't mentioned in our rules at all. We're sorry for the trouble it's caused, and we'll own up to it. Marriland was a part of the conversation, but the decision to re-implement the rule was made by staff, and we want to make sure you all know that. The staff team talked about it and decided that being accommodating to people who want a cleaner atmosphere is the way we want to go. We understand that some people might disagree, but the inconvenience caused by needing to spell swear words correctly is minor enough that we feel it's worth it to make the site more appealing to others, especially when it's our old policy anyways.

A few members expressed their concern that giving warnings to people for their second accidental misspelling is too harsh, and I think that's fair. There still needs to be a point where people need to receive actual warnings because it is still against the rules, but we can be more lenient with it. We'll have to discuss what the exact policy should be, but some ideas that were brought up were giving 3-4 verbal warnings before giving an actual warning, along with reducing the number of warning points the warning gives.

Lastly,
There was a lot of criticism about being more transparent/clear about the changes. This is something that I really, really want to address because it's something that we can do a better job at. Being clear about our intentions, reasoning, and explaining things in a way that makes it easy to understand is important. If you've got feedback about this, please let is know either here (for stuff specific to this change) or in the staff feedback thread.

Lastly, there's been a lot of people calling for a poll about it, but I don't want this to turn into a thread where people vote and then watch as everyone else talks about stuff. Instead, if you could make a post with your concerns and feedback about the change, that would be great. Your feedback is important to us!
 
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this is one of those changes that I think is really, really stupid. But I get it. SEO is a *****, after all, and you gotta make it count. In addition, you do have to have that presentable front, whether that's to the fresh faces from Marriland's minecraft streams or any wanderers we may get any other way.

However.

People are going to see this as an attack, and really can you blame them? It is a fact that the forums are small, possible smaller than the active amount of Azuri, but I cannot confirm that either way, since we lost people in transition but gained new people. But even with those new people, we are a very disfunctional family, and we treat each other like such. Less in the nature of mothers and sons but brothers and sisters, and borthers and sisters very rarely speak cleanly. Is there swearing on this site, sure there is. Has anybody complained about it? Is there such rampancy in the curses along the forums? If so, then so be it, I'll completely agree with your point and happily censor myself. If not, why is there a shift to the cleaner aspect, when a significant portion are either
a) not bothered by swears, or
b) actively swear?

Realistically, it's whatever, it really doesn't impact much of anything in the long term. There is a lot of people upset about it, but it will literally not change anything.
 

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People are way too easily offended
The thing is it goes both ways. Like you can argue that some people are way too upset with this change (taking into the account the discussion that went down about it in the Discord server). It's hard to make everybody happy since we all have different views of how things should work and different interests at heart.

I'll be straight up and say I don't really care about the whole censor bypassing dealio. It shouldn't affect me (I originally did say "wouldn't" here, but there's something I found that may change that, as explained below), and I honestly don't know how many people on here it actually affects. Being harder on slurs is always good imo.

One bad thing about this is it doesn't look like the censor system supports RegEx. So, for example, if I wanted to say "****" but extend the u a lot (so like "****" except with 10 u's), unless the censor is meant to check for that string it doesn't get censored. I did search and found a couple of posts that used "****" like this (one by me, no less) and they weren't censored when viewing them as a guest, so welp, I'm pretty sure that would mean we'd get dinged for doing this under this rule change. Obviously if there was a way to have the censor system support RegEx that'd be great, since what we can do with words like "****" and "****" is slightly restricted otherwise. But until something like that is implemented I know I'll just have to be more careful with things like that.

I do agree with having a master list of the words that are on the censor list be posted somewhere. It would help people know which words they can say, and also help towards people being able to request for variants of these swear words to get added so they can use them in their posts without being dinged for censor bypassing (if approved, of course). I also agree with discussing what the punishment should be when the censor bypassing rule gets broken, since I can definitely see how some feel it's too harsh as it is.
 

seaturtle

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One bad thing about this is it doesn't look like the censor system supports RegEx. So, for example, if I wanted to say "****" but extend the u a lot (so like "****" except with 10 u's), unless the censor is meant to check for that string it doesn't get censored. I did search and found a couple of posts that used "****" like this (one by me, no less) and they weren't censored when viewing them as a guest, so welp, I'm pretty sure that would mean we'd get dinged for doing this under this rule change. Obviously if there was a way to have the censor system support RegEx that'd be great, since what we can do with words like "****" and "****" is slightly restricted otherwise. But until something like that is implemented I know I'll just have to be more careful with things like that.
As far as I'm aware, the censor system on Azurilland didn't use RegEx either. Both systems have used substrings and exact phrases. A substring means that it will be censored if it's attached to anything else, which works with words like "****" because no matter where you put it it's a swear word. An exact phrase would be used for things like ass, where the word is part of other words (like assassination) and it will only censor if it's spelled out by itself.
 

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As somewhat of an outsider, I feel I might have something worth hearing.


As much as there is more of small community feel around here these days, it is important to still bear in mind that outwardly, this site presents itself as an open and welcoming Pokemon forum. The primary subject matter, the presentation, and the general atmosphere of this forum is inclusive, family friendly, and inoffensive. This appeals to younger people. This is not 4P or The Cave. Marriland was (re)created to keep the Azuriland torch burning; the decision has already been made as to what kind of place this is to be. If you want to argue the appropriateness of 'mature'-tinted language on this website, then you need to be making a case for the entire forum to be shifting it's presentation and focus.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how any one of us as individuals - or even how most of us as a majority - see the 'age level' of this site as being. The site's outward presentation is what matters. And if that presentation is at odds with the site's content, then that is irresponsible.

Really, it's no inconvenience to not bypass censors. You can still swear. If someone is sensitive enough that they feel the need to have a censor activated, then it is the job of the forum rules to ensure that those people do not see inappropriate language. There's no point in a censor without rules to ensure it works.



TL;DR

1) Bottom line, this forum is a 'family friendly' environment in the way it is presented, therefore it has a responsibility to uphold that.

2) Issues with guest-only censors notwithstanding: if someone (or someone's parents) decides that they do not want to see swear words, they should not have to see swear words.

[:

Edit: Am I allowed say to **** yet?
 

Wheegalure

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Alright I was asked to post this after discussing in the discord I’M FINALLY DOING THIS

So I think there’s no reason to not comply with this censor bypassing rule. It’s not like people are losing anything by not being able to get away with censor bypassing anymore. HOWEVER I think that while it should be enforced, it should only count for warning points when it is clear someone is intentionally doing this. Once, or even twice, in a month, is probably just an accident and I think is only worth a verbal warning and a mod edit on the post. No one should ever get punished for this with warning points unless it is multiple repeated offenses within a period of time to the point where you can safely say “yeah, this guy is intentionally breaking the rules.” This is NOT what is laid out in the intial post, as AT says:

“The first instance of this by a user, whether accidental or intentional, will result in a verbal warning, followed by progressively harsher action for repeated offenses, and the staff team will take prompt action to remove any instances of censor bypassing that are brought to our attention.”

I think that two offenses isn’t enough for warning points and it needs to be more lenient for people to adjust to the change and to account for occasional typos and such. Other than this, I am all for the change. It’s not a bother to actually say the word so it gets censored.
 

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aaalright cool thing to wake up to! I finally read through all the posts here and the several hundred message long discussion on Discord. I have a lot to say, especially since I was thrown under the bus eventually, thanks guys. ♥♥♥

My biggest point here is gonna be that I am not happy with the way staff has handled this. It is a very awkward and uncomfy situation and I understand why staff are acting the way they are. however, members are RIGHT that we are not transparent enough and we talk to our users like they are babbies who need to sit down and stop talking - like they are making a bigger deal out of this than needed, instead of addressing exactly WHY they are upset. We aren't acknowledging them. As much as we TRY to be open to criticism and discussion, it comes with very clear bias from staff against certain (louder) members, and I just see the same generic "This is a decision we made and it's not asking a lot from you" argument over and over and over.

BassToday at 9:46 AM
also it is extremely disappoitning we gotta pry to even get more of an answer regarding the situation
like a lot of stuff was revealed sure but we kinda had to fight for it
so like lol
this is true. if you're gonna be transparent after taking heat from members then just be transparent from the beginning.

So, let's be super transparent shall we. I'll be bringing up quotes from Discord to support what I say.

First of all, yes, this was the staff's decision. Marriland didn't bring it up, Marriland didn't force us to make any changes. BUT, would we have made this decision if Marriland wasn't hosting us? Absolutely not. Marriland doesn't agree with a more vulgar environment and, according to him, people have reached out to him that they aren't comfortable with our forums or discord. Marriland doesn't like it, people who follow him have said they don't like it. He may not like me bringing that up publicly but I feel like it's VERY important to the discussion, and again, we HAVE to be more transparent if we want the community to trust us. And you know what, not only is it super awkward to be hosted by someone who doesn't support us, we also care about Marriland as a person, and after he was nice enough to host us we wanted to come up with a compromise so he wouldn't just have to sit in a corner and deal with it. That wouldn't be cool. And that's just how it is.

Ya, it might surprise people that I brought up the change. Was really bizarre and uncomfortable to see you guys be all secretive about it but namedrop me to throw all the blame on me once things got heated. Thx for that.

TyphlosionToday at 9:34 AM
Katey brought up the point that we'd failed to carry over an Azurilland policy and it was getting out of hand.
But this is just wrong. I brought it up because I'm a babby mod now and I wanted to make sure it was ok to leave those censor bypassing instances alone, since that was indeed a rule on Azurilland but it hadn't been enforced in a while. If I recall correctly, the admins then brought up Marriland and how it may affect him on both a personal and technical level, so we continued the discussion with him in mind. And ultimately, the changes were made as a compromise for him. Was it BECAUSE of him? Did he hold us down and say YOU MUST MAKE THIS CHANGE? Nope not at all. He's been a super patient and nice guy throughout all this. But we care about him and, staff, you can't deny that that factor put on the pressure and influenced this change MAJORLY.

ShotoToday at 11:18 AM
I mean no disrespect but seriously, this is Marriland's site once again and it has never once belonged to any of you, it belonged to Marriland, then Curse, then Marriland.
This is just, plain and simple, the truth. I don't agree with this change on a personal level. But this decision was not made with me in mind, or any of the staff in mind, and unfortunately, it wasn't made with our loyal community in mind. I REALLY understand the argument that this was a slap in the face to our core members, so we could be (potentially) more comfortable for newer members. I really do understand that and bringing this up, having the discussion, and making the changes felt gross to me, but it's pure business and I do it for the site. How's that for transparency. I have always wanted a forum that is just OURS but that is simply not the case.

Was this the best decision, considering EVERYTHING, including our new members coming in and our host? I still don't know. That's why I appreciate everyone's voice here.

Another thing - I don't like the way staff have tried to insist it was simply an "oversight" from the rules on Azurilland, sure it technically was but why deny we were moving away from that family-friendly oriented environment? We definitely were. And none of the staff seem to be TRULY listening to the members about that. "Oh it was a thing on Azurilland." "Oh it's not much to ask of you." That's not the point. At all. Our environment really was changing to be more lax about censorship, swearing, talking like adults, whether it was intentional or not. And now we are jerking it back, and saying SPECIFICALLY in this thread that it's "In order to promote growth and become more inviting," but then just telling members "oh it's because it was an oversight." Which is it? Both? The switching around, being secretive, and only revealing information when pressured intensely is just not fair to our members and if staff doesn't understand that then, well you can't be upset when members get angry and stop trusting you.


BassToday at 9:43 AM
this is a pretty big thing to miss
seaturtleToday at 9:43 AM
If you find it that hard to believe and won't trust us on that, I'm sorry but there's not much we can do
ThundawaveToday at 9:43 AM
I was actually destroying my sleep schedule to create the site
seaturtleToday at 9:43 AM
saym
I spent hours working through the CSS
BassToday at 9:44 AM
i mean i get that but im not gonna take the
seaturtleToday at 9:44 AM
Trying to figure out how to use everything on the site
BassToday at 9:44 AM
boohoo we were working all week leab us alone we missed it
route
And I agree with boss on this, after switching your reasoning and then saying "wahh setting up a new site is hard," it even further pushes away the community and feels like you're just trying to shut them out and make excuses and make them stop criticizing you. Ya I get it, I was on staff on Marriland/Azurilland for YEARS and trust me I KNOW how thankful this "job" is. Tho staff would probably argue I was not around for the creation of the new site, w/e. All I know is if there's anything you should prioritize, it's taking care of your loyal community and making sure you're holding onto them for dear life. Not even I have been following that and trust me I am not happy about it.

BassToday at 9:16 AM
all i know is none of y'all making compelling points and the community agrees so far
it seems
we just not buying it
and its another case of
alienating the community
in the involvement
of things like this
seaturtleToday at 9:17 AM
Loads of other online forums have a censor system in place
BassToday at 9:17 AM
ok
we
are NOT
seaturtleToday at 9:17 AM
Azuri got small and close and ppl don't really care
BassToday at 9:17 AM
those forums
we already had our own system
so you're like
taking back
what we were used to
bubba i love you, you know that. but this is an example of completely ignoring your community with generic, irrelevant arguments like "well other forums do it"...
seaturtleToday at 10:10 AM
if you doubt the oversight
ask your girlfriend
...and shifting the blame.

It feels as if members were trying to speak their mind and got more and more aggressive and angry because they just weren't being LISTENED to. no one was LISTENING to them. all staff involved - Bubba, Regine, and Typhlosion especially (idek if other staff were part of the public discussion) was doing the equivalent of standing there and being like "uh huh... well it's because I said so..."

And then throwing in a super formal public warning because boss started insulting people

ThundawaveToday at 10:43 AM
@Bass , please do not resort to insults when making your points (e.g. “well ur bad” or “maybe this is why you have bad staff”). This is against our forum rules and will not be tolerated on the Discord either.
is insulting people ok? NO. but we need to start talking to people like humans. Sure, insults are against the discord rules and you have to enforce that, but if you're cranking out some Machine Formulated Warning Message during a heated discussion, no one's gonna listen. we are all adults or teenagers here and no one wants to be treated like a preschooler. you're gonna be laughed at and members aren't gonna feel like you see them as equals. like it or not, that's it.

i know we're all tired. i know being staff on a forum and trying to do the best thing for the community, and listening to everyone being upset (especially when you aren't transparent about the whole story), is exhausting and frustrating. but we have to learn to take criticism, even when it's heated, even when it isn't put across in the most polite or kind way, let's work harder to actually listen...

i know ppl will get mad at my post but that's kind of the point. i'm sick of members insulting staff, staff getting defensive and not being super open, staff not being able to take the heat, staff and non staff being at odds with each other,, i love people both on both sides dearly, it just broke my heart to wake up and see how all this unraveled.

ok that's all ty and sorry for post that is way too long. there were more quotes and people I wanted to give feedback on but I think I got my point across...
 

SarasaKat

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Yikes is there enough time to change the marriland's biggest drama award to this?

Anyway, I haven't been around the arguing surrounding this, so my perspective is kind of a huge tangent from above, but I definitely agree in wishing there was more transparency in the situation. I think like a lot of people, I assumed it was due to Marriland's influence that this was happening, and I was pretty :J about it. Now knowing it was a thing brought up because people have been like "hey this is uncomfortable", I'm a lot more understanding of it all.

However, I'm still not on board if I'm gonna be honest? Due to pseudo-swears, next point will be in spoiler.
Are the people complaining about swearing and the adult environment complaining about ****? ****? Or fuq? I have an incredibly hard time seeing people looking at our site complaining about fuq. For those not from the forums, I think it'd be even kind of hard to draw the connection between fuq and ****. If they're complaining about ****, then turn on censors for visitors. If they are complaining about **** (which is what I expect! Its very visually abrasive on the screen and if they were bothered by swears normally then the filter would do its job), then A. This rule change does nothing and B. If you truly want to make this appease them, then you need to ban swearing all together

Additionally, words such as fuq, dam, *****, and the like are words in their own right. Swears still? Yes, but they hold their own meaning, just as not including a period at the end of a sentence is now a valid tonal statement. Censor that, and you limit the ways people can express themselves.

Overall, imo, enforce stricter censorbypassing, sure. But I think a more elegant solition is taking the common pseudo swears and putting them into the list of swears. That way you maintain the clean enviroment while letting people still freely express themselves.
 

theDINOsaurus

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First off, Katey's post is wonderful. Thank you for being so open with us.

I read all of the posts and the discussion on Discord when I woke up, and I wanted to address some things particularly since Bubba's post invited feedback on how the staff handled this issue. Katey's post addressed a lot, but there are some other things I'd still like to bring up, especially with the way this situation was brought up in the first place.

During the conversation on Discord, the reason for this update to the rules came to light, and the staff brought it up several times after that with posts that said things along the lines of "this isn't any different from Azurilland tho." I had a problem with this, not necessarily because it's false, but because, frankly, you guys invited these issues with the way the initial post was worded.
We are updating the rules on censor bypassing: please make sure you read them so that you don't run afoul of the new policy! [...] In order to promote growth and become more inviting, we will be stricter going forward when it comes to enforcing these rules
There are two big issues here that I have bolded - first off, the part about "updating the rules on censor bypassing" implies that there was already a rule, especially when paired with the latter bolded phrase of being "stricter going forward when it comes to enforcing these rules." To me, this 100% implies that the rule already existed but that it has only been made stricter, which, as someone who was on Azurilland, implies that it'll be stricter than it was there. This kind of wording is nearly guaranteed to get people upset - it doesn't sound at all like "the same as it's always been." For all of the posts about how this was an "oversight" on the staff's part and that they "take responsibility" for it, this post didn't have any of that. This should've been clear from the beginning, not something we had to push for. The wording of this post makes it sound very authoritative and like there will be harsh censorship, and it's only natural that members of the community would get upset. Looking back with the information we have since been given, it sounds more like trying to brush the oversight under the rug rather than taking responsibility.

Another thing that bothered me with the Discord discussion, which Katey addressed very well, is the way all of the contrary arguments were just written off. I understand getting defensive when you feel like you're under attack, and I think some posts by members went a little too far, but like Katey said the staff wasn't listening and frankly had a bit of a double standard going where they wrote off points made by members then expected us to accept similar arguments in their favor. For example, Boss brought up the fact that the rule wasn't being enforced as strictly on Azuri in its later years, and he was told to present proof.
BassToday at 11:28 AM if it is an oversight then everyone should be gone for not enforcing it for literally like the past year or so then
seaturtleToday at 11:28 AM When wasn't it enforced find me a situation If it wasn't being enforced as actively as you say it was, we should be able to see it on the archive
BassToday at 11:28 AM considering how often i spell like a remard theres no way i wouldn't have gotten another warning for "censor bypassing"
The fact of the matter is, this frustrated me because the staff had already essentially admitted to this in the very post they announced the change but when it was brought up by members as an argument against things they were totally written off.
During the end of our time as Azurilland we became quite lax in how we enforced the rules regarding censor bypassing
It also bothered me when staff insisted their opinion was majority opinion but did not even consider requests for a poll, as this felt like they were doing the exact same thing they did to Boss - stating something without providing any proof. I understand the preference for posts in this thread, but a poll would supplement discussion, not stifle it. It doesn't have to be "do you like or dislike this rule." Something along the lines of "are you bothered by uncensored curse words or censor bypassing" is totally sufficient. People who would post here will still post regardless of the existence of a poll, but this would open things up to the voices of members who frankly likely won't post either way. It's not like anyone expects the results of the poll to be a huge influencer on the decision either, but if you're going to demand proof of statements against the rule, you also need to prove your own assertions that are for it.

I would like to clarify again that I'm not necessarily against this rule change. It doesn't bother me either way, and I don't have an issue with making Marriland more comfortable with having his name attached to our community considering his kindness in hosting us. Nor do I think it's ever a bad thing to make our community more inclusive for members who may not be comfortable with swearing. However, I do think it's important to look at the direction these discussions go and consider interactions between members and staff. I respect the staff team a lot and consider several of you friends, and I don't want you to think this is an attack. But I do think you need to be mindful of the way you present updates and interact with the community when discourse arises. I will say that I do feel more comfortable with the rule after things that have come to light, such as the idea of commonly used misspellings being on the censor list as well as a list of words the censor picks up, which are both fantastic. I also think this will make a heck of a lot more sense when a censor toggle for members is in place, so I appreciate that information as well.

Thank you guys for all you do, really, and I hope this post comes across constructively as it's meant to rather than as an attack. There were absolutely issues from how both sides made their arguments, and I think it's important to address that.
 
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