N4G Guideline Update: Long Overdue Edition

As of today, N4G will be using a new set of guidelines for communication, submissions, and reporting. Please follow the link below to the blog post that will direct you to the appropriate pages.

These guidelines supersede those shown in the footer and will be linked to by the moderators when moderating the content of N4G moving forward.

It is important for contributors especially to take note of the new guidelines.

Any future updates to these guidelines will be notified via a post like this.

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kalkano349d ago

My only issue is the way people perceive "trolling", since it is often times a simple case of "you said something negative about something I like", or even as simple as "I disagree, and don't understand how someone can have your point of view".

Sometimes it is obvious, as you laid out with "XBOTS, Ponies, Nintendrones, etc.", but often times it is not. We need to be careful about how we throw that label around.

Christopher349d ago (Edited 349d ago )

The definition is spelled out in the guideline. And we even mention that having different opinions doesn't mean trolling. The onus is when it's apparent that the intent is to elicit a negative response.

Edit: though, admittedly, we do get to make that final call. But, I think there's plenty of 'opinion' comments that have been reported as trolling and haven't been touched because we understand that it's opinion in the past and going forward. It's also impossible for us to write up every possible type of trolling we will encounter, so we live by the definition as best as possible.

Veneno349d ago

In practice it never seems to work as it should

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DragonKnight349d ago

"In addition, certain terms are used solely as a means to troll and are not allowed, such as ponies, xbots, umadbro, and 'salt' references."

Lol really? You can't say "salty" anymore? Wow. Talk about nannying everything.

rainslacker349d ago (Edited 349d ago )

Why not extend that particular rule to include those who decide to completely change the argument of the one they're replying to, often bringing up something completely irrelevant, or pulling the whole, "Company XYZ does it too"(as an example), in a way that presents a hostile tone? Sometimes those kinds of comments are applicable to the discussion, but most of the time they're just a way to derail the actual conversation, and more often than not, they absolutely do derail the conversation. I'd say 9 times out of 10, this is where you see the inappropriate comments that are blocked by mods.

While I know this can happen with anyone, I've done it at times myself, there are some who do it so often and it always illicits the kind of response that trolls go for. A good troll knows what they're doing, and even if they don't mean to troll, they still act like trolls almost religiously.

Truth be told, if you curb that kind of behavior from certain individuals, then they either change or go away, and then your moderation work becomes much easier in the long run.

Trolls are nothing new. I used to moderate and I know what a pain it can be. I understand you skirt the line of not being too restrictive that everyone is afraid to say anything, and being forceful enough to keep as many of the trolls at bay as possible. I also know that the way the internet is now is 10X worse than it was 20 years ago when I did it on my own rather popular for the times forums. But that doesn't change the fact that strong, consistent moderation actually does work, and makes an overall better site, which in the long term brings in more users, thus more revenue for the sites parent company.

Plus, I think you need more mods. I know this isn't your guys job, but seeing the list of mods on the links provided is kind of pitiful that that is all there is for a site this active. Tens of thousands of comments a day. Hundreds of stories posted a day. It's too much for what?....6 mods?

UltraNova349d ago

I totally agree with Rain above. We need more mods and a stricter policy on known trolls.

Almost no one around here is innocent of even the slightest off topic or even the now banned "salty" reply but how can it be helped when the very culture of this site makes almost natural to act that way? Trolling should be met with serious penalties even permanent banning.

I will not hide the fact that I always knew that some level of trolling is... welcomed... because it keeps the posts alive in the comment sections but seing you guys taking steps against it gives me hope. We have ways to go still.

Personally, going forward I pledge to do my best to adhere to our site's engagement policies.

PS: Christopher if you are not allowed to recruit more moderators - do not reply to this comment 😎

4U2NV348d ago

I hope things change in this site im new here and i joined around e3 times for gaming news etc and to have conversations with fellow gamers but this site is so volatile i dont even bother. I do notice the same trolls and instigators already and thats with me being here a month - funny thing is they cause the drama with their submissions and posts but yet are never actually 'moderated' or sanctioned its strange this site is.

Well hope these changes sort things out for the better!

BeOpenMinded348d ago

Thank you. I'm glad there's some work done on this front, it seems to have worsened lately IMO. Many comment sections are held hostage by deliberate attempts to stir up arguments. I hope this will lead to more constructive and on topic material. I have faith that there will be no censorship and will lead to more thoughtful dialogue even if it is critical. Thanks once again, very happy to see this has become apparent to mods as well

-Foxtrot348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

So when people state their opinion and get a "dickish" response where it attacks the user, going off topic, will that be sorted now. Not a "I'm counting your comment with my argument" but more "I'm going to call you and bring up other comments you've said in your history which has no relevance to this convo other then I hate you and your opinion on something I like"

You know...that stuff.

I don't see why there's not more mods to be honest. You've said in the past you can't be there all the time, this is something you do in your own time, nobody is being paid etc but the simple thing to do would bring in more people who have been on this site for a long time so it reduces the amount of stuff you are expected to do. More people, less work.

eyeDEVOUR348d ago

You're in the wrong line of work if you guys can judge someones intent. People need to man up and stop being hurt and hysterical over internet posts. All these "safe spaces" is ruining your culture.IMO

RacerX348d ago

Well, since we are adding rules... How about no more "comparison" articles or topics???

Seems that would resolve 99 percent of all trolling around here.... That's not a real suggestion, but it's true.

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GottaBjimmyb349d ago (Edited 349d ago )

Oh geez, back to a policy of mods silencing the opinions they don't like again. -_- (sadly all the mods have the same opinion, so it ends up leaning heavily one way)

Biggest issue is mods abusing "off-topic" specifically. If your opinion is not a specific one, you get targeted with extreme prejudice. Have seen people banned for things like:

Article name - "executive for console manufacturer A says _____"

Comment - "this is why console manufatcurer A is _____" (no mod action)

Reply - "Executive for console manufacturer B has said the same exact thing" (temp banned and marked as off topic)

Sono421348d ago

Exactly, Nintendo fans label me a troll every single time I point out why BotW was very lackluster. I could not be more serious, i'm a huge Zelda fan you think I wanted to be disappointed? pfft get that trolling excuse out of here.

-Foxtrot348d ago

It's the same ones aswell. Most of the time it's tough love with love them but you know they are winging it most of the time or don't have your nostalgic glasses on...even pointing out double standards with reviewing their games to when people review and nitpick others yet it's always "hater, troll, Xbox/Sony fanboy"...nothing is done.

rainslacker348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

It's the same no matter your console preference. For instance, I could talk about the good and bad things in The Order in a very concise and elaborate way, all in one comment, which doesn't call into question any other game in comparison.

But in doing so, I can get called out as being too much of a Sony fan boy, despite my analysis being more in depth and logical than any review on the matter. It's my opinion on the matter, and I'm open to other's opinions on the subject. But 99% of the time, the counter arguments to my analysis are just accusations based on my own personal console preference.

Being there are more Sony fans around here, I do get more support than someone in the Nintendo or Xbox camp, but it's like around here having some opinion that is against someone else's is taboo, and cause for treating others like they are idiots.

I love discussing contrary opinions when they are logical and not vitriolic. It's just rare we get those, and like many, I do get wrapped up in more trollish comments.

I think there are too many people around here acting like they, or their console of preference are some sort of victim of a hate campaign, when all this is is a forum to discuss matters of gaming and games. Obviously, with a diverse community, you're going to have different opinions and outlooks, and sharing those opinions and outlooks in a positive and constructive way is what would make these forums much better....and would go a long way into making the site a lot better. The content itself is only a launching pad for the content wars because we make it that way. But improve the community, and the content will have to adjust to survive.

Probably wishful thinking, despite knowing there are plenty of like minded people, as there are the "instigators" as foxtrot calls them. They tend to be the ones who constantly bring down any discussion.

348d ago
subtenko348d ago

I'll chime in on an example. I typed M$ like 3 months ago and someone equated that with Xbox bashing or some stupid sh**. I was like....are you serious? Must have been a newbie. Ive been on this site since console gen was leading up to xbox360 and ps3 cycle. Back when people wernt offended by stupid BS. And even when it came to fanboy bantar it was friendly and at times hysterical. Not anymore!

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Bnet343347d ago

Been here for a very very long time and I can tell you the site never really had a handle on things. The moderation on the front page was either never there or just atrocious which is why N4G never really rose to the likes of sites like neoGAF or even now reddit.

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lptmg349d ago

you better start looking out for some users spouting bigot and racist comments towards other countries round here as well

totally unrelated, I know, but it's happening and nothing is being done about it

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subtenko348d ago

welcome to a slippery slop then because Ive seem people labeled bigot or racist for the most random idiodic things. Someone labeled sexist just because they say they like playing as a male character even tho the protagonist is female.

5 years from now it'll be worse and you'll wonder where did it all go wrong.....

lptmg348d ago

Eh dude I don't think that's quite the same as being blasted as a famished prick from the shit third world just because I wasn't born north of the border...

aaronaton347d ago

Freedom of Speech states otherwise, say what you want and let the public reflect upon it.

fenome349d ago

Right on, keep up the good work guys! I've noticed that you've been clearing the spam out too, much appreciated! :)

347d ago Replies(2)
SpaceRanger349d ago

Glad there's updates to the guidelines!
My only small bit of feedback is that the reporting of "Off Topic" seems much less common since the Bible feature was dropped. Any chance we could flag for 'off-topic' content? It could possibly solve a lot of the trolling issues.

Christopher349d ago

With the new system it seems the developers want just 'inappropriate' and 'spam' types of flagging. Inappropriate flagging should be made for any comment that breaks our guidelines and isn't spam, including Off Topic.

Tons of off topic comments do get marked, but definitely not all.

SpaceRanger349d ago

Appreciate the clarity!

freshslicepizza348d ago

So is there any relevance at all towards the agree and disagree feature?

SpaceRanger349d ago

*bible was meant to be bubble


UltraNova349d ago

I was like, Space takes this... religiously serious! Hehe