This site has gone to the dogs without an open zone.


CRank: 5Score: 0

With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility (N4G and the state of mods).

So yesterday on N4G, a rather fiery topic hit the front page regarding Crysis 2 running in subHD on the PS3. As you can imagine, it was a "lively" thread.

Over the course of that thread, a poster brought the 360's resolution with this particular title into the debate and how "sad" it would be if the PS3 was alone in its subHDness. I disagreed with this, as it has been known for some time that the 360 SKU was running in subHD resolutions as well.

A rather excited poster, "T" (likely a duplicate account as they joined a few months back and have done nothing but relentlessly troll) replied that I was wrong. To that, I linked the Digital Foundry article that showed that the 360 too, was subHD. The discussion degenerated from there into a riot of epic, fanboy proportions. Feel free to follow the thread here:

Over the course of the day, my comments were applauded. I received a bubble (bringing me up to 5) and THREE "well saids". Now imagine my surprise this morning when I logged into N4G and had been stripped of TWO bubbles, had all my "well saids" removed, and had my final comment marked as a "personal attack".

Now the issue is not about the bubbles themselves, getting upset over digital status like that isn't something someone grounded in reality should worry about. What I am confused about is the flippancy and general disregard for certain offensive, bigoted or trollish remarks (the number of times I've reported people on this site for saying "f*g" or "n*gger" and nothing happens), and a totalitarian policing of others. I'm also concerned that a mod can take a generally well received and stated comment and REMOVE its accolades, even when it does not violate any ToS, simply because they do not like what is being said. If one comment is deemed offensive, it does not negate the other non-offensive comments. That is not moderation, its an abuse of power.

The real problem is that this is no longer a community-driven site, it is instead a fanboy cess-pool (getting rid of the open zone was a TERRIBLE idea) that is devoid of any constructive thought, comments or sensibilities. The community bubble system is an illusion. Much like Metacritic, the general consensus matters little, the WEIGHTED opinions matter far, far more. Beyond C-Rank though, I suspect that even a long-time contributor with a high C-Rank carries significantly less power than a Mod. What has been happening lately, are mods ignoring the general consensus altogether and bubbling or de-bubbling as they see fit, effectively corralling the opinions and posters that they do or do not want to hear. Yes, mods are necessary, but they can not moderate without REASON.

While I do not advocate this behaviour, it is little wonder that we have so many duplicate accounts and childish comments around here when the community is really just mimicking the actions of those few bad apples who hold positions of power within the site. I'm sure that there ARE good mods somewhere - in fact I know that there are - who silently toil away behind N4G, but my encounters with them have been sparse at best.

I'm curious to hear others opinions on the issues of mods, personal encounters (good and bad), and the effect of disseminating the open zone.

Edit: I'm not disregarding my general snarkiness by the 3rd post I'd made to the gentleman who felt the need to persist in arguing a dead issue. What I am essentially trying to focus on is why some voices are censored whereas others run unchecked.

Update: It seems that the other individual involved in the disagreement was finally moderated - a day later - for "trolling". However the two "well saids" have not been reinstated (or the associated bubble) by whatever mod REMOVED community opinion. That is the real issue and its an abuse of power.

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WildArmed2616d ago

We need to start a bring back the Open Zone petition ;)

Active Reload2616d ago (Edited 2616d ago )

The open zone made no difference. In most articles I couldn't tell the difference between the two zones. My opinion of course...

I think what most people are upset about is the tweaking of the bubble system. It seemed before, the bubble system was in the hands of the community way more, while now its harder for us members to affect people's bubbles. Before it was like if one crowd is larger than another, the larger crowd bubbled each other up, while they bubbled down anyone else who didn't see things their way.

INehalemEXI2616d ago

Maybe a smarter filter is needed.

Wenis2616d ago

I suggested the open zone come back on the forums a while back, but it the post seemed to have been ignored. :(

rockleex2615d ago (Edited 2615d ago )

The old N4G had it perfectly balanced.

The people who trolled articles of their rival console and post nonsense never had more than 1 bubble, while the ones who post constructive comments usually had 6 to 10 bubbles.

On the new N4G, I've experienced what Chris399 is speaking of multiple times.

By the way, it seems like the mods have closed Chris399's account.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2615d ago
HolyOrangeCows2616d ago (Edited 2615d ago )

Totally agree. Not only was Open Zone a fun place for harmless trolling and silly fun, but it kept the crazies at bay.

"Over the course of the day, my comments were applauded. I received a bubble (bringing me up to 5) and THREE "well saids". Now imagine my surprise this morning when I logged into N4G and had been stripped of TWO bubbles, had all my "well saids" removed, and had my final comment marked as a "personal attack"."
Welcome to my world. Just replace "personal attack" with trolling. The beauty in it is that "Trolling" is a broad and ambitious term, not discriminating those with genuine feelings and points with relentless trolls.

I lost all 5 of my bubbles (Over the one I have now) in TWO WEEKS. After having them for several months, BOOM. Mods started targeting me and marking me for ridiculous things. Contacted several active mods with very pleasant responses. Not a SINGLE response.

I constantly see trolls from one side flourish while the others always get what's coming to them.
Comments sucking up to the mods get instant "well said's".
Good comments often get swept up in comment "raids" where every comment, in a row, that looks even remotely like it's not saying "Yeah gaemz!" gets marked as "trolling"

Oh and it's always that 5 day old comment that gets marked as "trolling" for me. Like they don't even want me to know.
I try to take a look at old comments up to 5 days old, and by my count, I should have gained more bubbles. But for all I know, I've received "Trolling" markings for 10+ day old comments...who knows?

As for your tangle with Mr. T (as I shall call him to avoid "Personal Attack" markings myself); this character is a troll, likely another Bungie clone. He enjoys considerable immunity as he spouts lies and rhetoric.

Check out the insane "well said" markings being handed to the usual antips3 trolls, as they say things completely off base about Geohotz (Using Geohotz's BS excuse that he's tampering with HIS ps3, when the issue is him distributing tampered copy-protected code) and calling people "retards"
*Still don't believe that the mods here are bias, anyone?

Parapraxis2616d ago

Yeah, I lost several bubbles in the span of 2 days, it was frustrating and confusing, to say the least.

Yes, I can be opinionated and harsh at times, but sharing ones legitimate opinion on N4G often seems to get you in trouble.
"certain" people mark you as trolling and then the MODS do their work without reading in context or actually considering that I do have a VOICE.

I've also never once saw a person who is at 1 bubble ever re-gain bubbles.

Plenty of times I've seen them with "funny" or well said" next to a comment, yet apparently, while 1 mark as trolling makes you lose a bubble, the entire community liking a post and marking it as such does in no way grant you a new bubble.
It's a broken system, as I've said many times now.

Mr_Bun2616d ago

There should definitely be more transparency with regard to the bubble system. It doesn't help when people can get banned/lose bubbles for using language that is often found in the articles posted here as well as some of the titles.

NiKK_4192615d ago Show
Nate-Dog2616d ago

I wasn't around when the Open-Zone was (so I don't know myself what exactly you're referring to there) but I agree with everything else you have said completely. This place really could do with some changes.

Chris3992616d ago (Edited 2616d ago )

In the former - open zone- you'd find all the crazy, unbridled fanboy rage that we see today in place of general chat. In the gamer zone, people had to post more moderate and intelligent things or they were marked as 'off-topic' or 'wrong zone'.

It was a MUCH better system. Since the merger, all the usual suspects who generally stuck to the open zone have polluted any reasonable level of discussion - regardless of console preference, we actually had some good debates back in the day. Not only that, but new members coming to the site assume that this is the modus operandi and jump right on the nonsense train.

Not only are we ruining the more moderate posts/ posters experience here, we are creating new trolls by not having proper guidelines or moderation.

Nate-Dog2616d ago

Ah I see, thanks for the info. Certainly seems like a better system. I think someone on one of the previous blogs here about the N4G layout mentioned something about having possibly something like different categories such as a "Deals" section and mapping out exactly what an "Article" should be (i.e. a more stricter, definitive category) among other things, which sounded like a fairly good idea to me, could make moderation easier too as well as those open and gamer zones.

-Alpha2616d ago

Have you tried PMing the mods/talking to them? Perhaps they can give you some clarity/reverse the actions that may have been wrongly done upon you.

Chris3992616d ago (Edited 2616d ago )

And I'm not for abolishing mods at all - that would be insane. I'm all for having clear, delineated rules and order in this place and people who don't abuse their positions of power, there's a difference :)

Worth noting is that I did not receive a notification or notice of any sort as to why I was debubbled/ moderated, it just happened. In any other case where I've stepped out of line, I have been contacted by a moderator.

-Alpha2616d ago

Well I can't speak from experience though I can tell you that you aren't the only one who has been bringing this to attention.

If it helps I'll try to bubble you up when I can, as you tend to post thoughtful comments.

DelbertGrady2615d ago

I've tried getting their attention through the forums on several occasions but they just don't give a sh*t as long as the site generates traffic. That's the sad state of affairs.

sdtarm2615d ago

if you ask something in the forums they will answer Shut up

-Alpha2616d ago (Edited 2616d ago )

I like moderators because "community driven sites" aren't without flaws. For example, we all have a general idea of trolling but nobody considers it trolling when people always troll every COD-related article (E.g. "who cares about this POS, K3 is all I need")

Unpopular games, despite having its fans, gets trolled on usually with the approval of the community. I've seen it many times here, and I'm not exactly a fan of community-driven sites if minority opinions are undermined regardless of if I'm in that minority or not. That's where the mods step in.

Now, imagine that situation reversed and you have the problem of community driven websites. (A Killzone article with Halo fanboys or COD fanboys trashing the article and pretty much going off-topic/trolling Killzone news)

Communities tend to have popular attitudes, and thus moderation is required.

As for moderation abuse, I've had people tell me about them getting attacked/targeted by mods. Not only on this site but nearly every site with moderators has this issue. I think sometimes it's to do with lack of clarity and people feeling that they were wronged against when maybe perhaps they had sufficient reason to be moderated. Problem with this is that mods can't moderate every offensive comment and thus moderation seems selective, almost as if some particular users get moderated more than others (and they probably do).

Also, when you have absolute strict moderation it becomes impossible to comment without somehow breaking a rule. All of this I assume is based on the discretion of the mod who must rely on his/her understanding of the rules and the degree of an offensive comment. Not every comment can be deductively assessed.

It's a sticky topic but I hope you find your answer. I think it's best to talk to a mod first too if you haven't already. Good luck, buddy

GarandShooter2616d ago (Edited 2614d ago )

This site is the way it is because that's the way site ownership wants it to be. Nothing more or less. One can only assume they feel proper moderation would impact negatively on revenue, and hence this is what we have. Would permanently banning well known trolls, and demanding decency, and civility really reduce site hits and click-throughs to the point it affects the bottom line? Apparently so.

Strict moderation can and does work. Allow me to quote from the final section of their rules:

'As we can never convey a philosophy through a few rules, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to edit or delete posts and/or to revoke Membership. No Second Chances; No Arguments; No Trial; No Way. At best you will receive one warning.

Subject to these few constraints, which are intended to foster and protect civility towards each other and maintain focus on our purpose, we hope you'll join us and actively participate in the discussions. Our Members are the reason these Forums exist. We welcome questions, opinions, product reviews, humor and more.'

People disagree very much with each other, but requiring the discussion to adhere to a code of thoughtfulness and civility under the threat of a possible 'one and done' penalty, alleviates a lot of the stupidity seen on N4G.

blackburn52616d ago (Edited 2616d ago )

I feel your pain. If you look at me you will see I have one bubble. One was taken because I told a person to stop lying about PSN in a article about Xbox Live AND PSN (sited for TROLLING) and the other because I said Kotaku can't be trusted with thing involving the PS3. There are dozens of trolls who always are in PS3 articles especially and you see them with 5 and 6 bubbles. One of them, FailOverHero trolls constantly but always has 3 or 4 bubbles in his possession. I have had one bubble for months and no matter how many bubble ups I get or agrees I get it never changes.This site IS a mess.

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