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DragonKnight (User)

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"Respect is not something to just be given. It is the result of accepting principles as worthwhile."

The Mods of N4G

DragonKnight | 1013d ago
User blog

A few years ago I was one of these users that thought the mods of this site were either grossly negligent/incompetent, or randomly prone to bouts of fanboyism depending on what mod I "dealt" with. Like many on this site, I had moments where I felt there was a huge injustice being done to me, or just as big an imbalance of who could speak out the most and who couldn't. Thanks to many encounters with a specific mod who will remain nameless, my impression of them never truly improved during each and every encounter.

Over the years though I had interactions with other mods and a couple of admins and started really looking at the system in place here at N4G. Looking deeper showed me that my long standing opinion was pretty inaccurate due to not possessing enough knowledge of the entire situation. So allow me enlighten those people who have been running their mouths off about how the mods of the site are corrupt and allow certain things to happen in favour of a certain group, and disallow other things to happen in order to keep another group down.

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a certain group of people who have been claiming, and complaining, that mods have been blocking certain positive story types and allowing certain negative story types. The reasons that these people believe the mods are doing this is because the mods apparently want the site to be a certain way, with a certain group of people being the dominant force of the site. That's completely ridiculous.

The Basics of the Approval/Disapproval system: Whether most of you want to believe it or not, mods have a very hands off approach with the approval or disapproval of most of the site's submissions and instead let the community handle what gets put up on the site more often than not. If any of you have a problem with certain types of stories not making it passed the approval process then the reasons lie in the following areas.

1. Many don't bother going through the 3 story submission process to grant them the privilege of approving or reporting a story. If you don't believe me about that, first ask yourself if you're one of those people, then look at who approves stories and you'll definitely come across repetition of names. So if most aren't even bothering to get themselves the privilege to approve or report stories, or if most don't even bother to visit the pending section to even try to approve or report stories, then there will obviously be a slant in what gets through and what doesn't. Not enough of the community is exercising their power to control content on the site and that's not the fault of mods.

2. Mods have 10 votes towards approval. This means if mods really wanted certain stories to get through the way some of you claim, they could approve them themselves with only 1 vote to instantly make those submissions approved. Think about that for a second. Why would mods give a damn about what you think if they were truly "corrupt" enough to make this site favour a certain group over another? Why waste their time with failing some stories when they could insta-approve the really bad/flamebait articles themselves? You don't pay them to be a moderator of this site, so they don't have to care what you want, and yet you can't see that they have the power to really make this site filled with the worst trolling nonsense you could ever find on the internet.

3. Actually take a look at what mods fail. 9 times out of 10 they always give a legitimate reason for failing an article, and if you don't see "submission changed from pending (or approved) to failed (or deleted) by ____" where blank shows a name instead of "community" then a mod didn't fail the article and instead it was the community that failed it. Remember, there is a system put in place. After 5 reports (I could be wrong about that number) or 48 hours without being approved, a submission is instantly failed. So in reality, the community has more to do with failed submissions than mods do.

The Basics of the Responsibilities of Mods: As previously stated, mods take more of a hands off approach to story submissions so that they can focus on more important things like disruptive users, bot accounts, etc.. They also have to worry about the technical side of the site causing THEM problems they never intended. For example, a few weeks ago a mod marked one of my posts as Offensive and gave me a Warning. I created a ticket mentioning that my comment was obviously a joke and that below it was far worse so I don't understand why I lost a bubble for something so minor (but I also mentioned I don't care about my bubbles, I was just making a point). The mod responded and said that it was just a warning and that I shouldn't have lost a bubble at all and that they'd look into it. Sure enough, the system removed my bubble when it wasn't supposed to and the mod restored my bubble.

This should show that sometimes things happen the mods never intended and if you don't bring it to their attention then nothing can be rectified and you just end up being pissed off for something that was an error. I was also informed one time that mods pay most of their attention to the reporting system set in place and that they have, at times, up to 500 reports an hour to go through. Now can you imagine how many "Trolling" reports get through to a mods inbox? The mods pay most attention to Spam, Offensive, and Personal Attack reports because they are the worst of the worst that they have to deal with. The moderator job is the most thankless job on this site because they have to deal with irate members who outnumber them vastly (this site has members from all over the world) and think they are corrupt and prone to favourtism. I'd bet most haven't even looked over the requirements to even be considered a mod on this site.

The Bubble System: This is something we all agree is broken, but this is also something the mods don't have as much of a presence in as most people think. It's my experience that mods normally take care of the Offensive, Spam, Personal Attack, and Off Topic reports more often than not, but I'm sure most people will notice that the most amount of reports that cause debubbling are "Trolling" reports. That means that enough people debubbled a person as trolling. Some are malicious, some are legitimate.

I've also found out that each member has a level by which their bubble or debubble vote counts. A more trusted member, that is to say a member that hasn't been a huge troll and has been a generally good part of the community, has more of an ability to bubble up or debubble a member than a troll does. This is to curb the malicious debubbling that plagued the site back during the Open Zone days. You have to remember that members outnumber moderators here and the site was designed to allow for self-moderation between members. So if you are debubbled, chances are high (though not absolute) that it's your own damn fault.

The idea that there is mass corruption and that a specific group of people control this site is nothing more than confirmation bias and an inability to see that there is actually a huge lack of participation in making this site better. The mods don't have as much an involvement as many think they do in everything most people are complaining about.

In my experience and observations, mods are too busy trying to keep the site free of bot accounts, duplicate accounts, and worrying about the more serious reports that come their way. Remember, you have the ability to create a ticket and voice a problem you have with what a mod has done as well. If there was a real oversight or your complaint is legitimate, it will be fixed.

Complaining that some articles are failed by mods due to their policy against anonymous sources, and yet some other articles are allowed to pass through and thus there is a huge conspiracy involving the mods, merely shows that you aren't looking at the bigger picture and just want your own preferred articles to be approved or ones that you hate to not be approved. It all comes back to confirmation bias and fanboy mentality. Fanboys are rampant on this site, and not of any particular group either; just fanboys in general.

majiebeast  +   1013d ago | Funny
"I had moments where I felt there was a huge injustice being done to me."

Injustice: Mods Among Us ;)

Good blog. I have had some simillair experiences with mods.
DragonKnight  +   1013d ago
That was pretty punny.
Donnieboi  +   1013d ago
Yeah we needed a blog like this. I've had times when I didn't fully understand the process by which Mod's and Admin's work on this site, and have blown my top overzealously. But as I took the time to consider them (and the rules) I've come to see that it's a very fair process. And they don't take sides--they just want to guarantee that the site doesn't end up being filled with all kinds of baseless rumors. So that is why a lot of Xbox 720 rumors get rejected--because almost all of them are based on bogus "inside sources" that have no evidence that their "information" is solid.

Look at the recent debacle with that MGS 5 fake voice actor video on youtube. It was all a lie, and yet we all ate it up like it was true for many days. So, hopefully many of us have learned that we need to trust the process the site requires for submitting CREDIBLE articles, instead of lame, baseless rumors.
DragonKnight  +   1013d ago
@Donnieboi: Those rumours you're talking about is part of the reason I wrote this blog. Enough people were complaining that negative 720 rumours were getting through and positive ones weren't because mods wouldn't let them through. It was getting ridiculous.
DK286K   1013d ago | Spam
DragonKnight   1013d ago | Off topic | show
Root  +   1013d ago
No offence Dragon despite being a good STUCTURED blog I still think the mods on this site are a train wreck who either ignore you OR accuse you of things you havent done and despite trying to explain to them again they won't listen......too ignorant to admit they might of made a mistake.

I know you trying to make peace but there will be a time in the future you'll be done again by them and you'll be p***** off again.
#1.1.5 (Edited 1013d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(3) | Report
solidjun5  +   1013d ago
thebudgetgamer  +   1013d ago
Iinteract with the mods everyday, and while they will sometimes do things that make me crazy for the most part they are really cool people and do their best.

Except Smokey, he stinks.

coolbeans  +   1013d ago
I'm anticipating Smokey editing your comment. [o_o]~

On topic: Perfect timing to make a blog like this with all the rumor articles flying about. I would try to squeeze in a Mod Mode joke for the sake of grabbing it before someone else does...but I got nothing. :/
GreenRanger  +   1013d ago
"Not enough of the community is exercising their power to control content on the site and that's not the fault of mods."
I don't think a lot of users know that they can have that type of control over the site in just a few clicks.
A lot of people don't even know that there's a 'pending' section.
Some people even think that the person that submits an article is the author and they moan at that person over its content.
#3 (Edited 1013d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
zerocrossing  +   1013d ago
Haha yeah, that moaning at the submitter as if they are the author always gets me.

The thing is there's still too much of a fanboy mentality on this site (or a fear of one at least) a person can't even have a conflicting opinion without being labelled a "hater" or "troll" and then getting bubbled down by half of the community (a slight exaggeration I'll admit but you get my point) things do need to change here but then again they could be worse.
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zerocrossing  +   1013d ago
I've never really had an issue with any mod on this site, which is a surprise really considering how difficult it must be to moderate N4G of all places.

I think I've had at least 2 bubbles taken from me since I joined this site, one for trolling (aka bad mouthing COD in a COD article) and another for bad language (aka using bad language)... So I don't mind admitting that it was my own damn fault, lol.

Anyway, the topic is definitely worth thinking about and all in all good blog.
GreenRanger  +   1013d ago
Mod of War.
"If all of Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will lose a bubble!"
DragonKnight  +   1013d ago
LOL! I wonder if this is going to be a thing with this blog, making puns about it. Might be cool.

@BitbyDeath below: Can't be secretly modded. I don't have 10 bubbles. Lol.

P.S. I agree.
BitbyDeath  +   1013d ago
'I don't have 10 bubbles.'

Hence the secret :-p
DragonKnight  +   1013d ago
They'd never make me a mod though. Lol.
BitbyDeath  +   1013d ago
So DragonKnight has been secretly modded and is now trying to convince everyone they are the good guys.

Get em!

PS. This site would be better if it allowed for pics/gifs on your actual post (and not of the text variety). Even clickable thumbnails would be better than the current situation.
#6 (Edited 1013d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
TheNocturnus  +   1013d ago
Lol, front pagers bitching about mods. You guys got it easy. Come to the forums and see where they rule with an iron fist.
thebudgetgamer  +   1013d ago
Please stop telling front pagers about our oasis.

He lies, there is no forum.
zerocrossing  +   1013d ago
N4G has a forum!? I gotta check that out.
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coolbeans  +   1013d ago
You can only check it out if you give the super secret password.
WildArmed  +   1013d ago
This post is going to cost you in the fourms ;)
maniacmayhem  +   1013d ago
Most of the people that complain about the mods usually have one bubble themselves. I have also had discussions with some mods on how this site is ran and what they feel is a definition of a troll. It was definitely interesting.

There is a flaw in the bubble system like you mentioned. How to fix that, i haven't a clue at the moment. But I do find that since this is the internet a lot of people on here look for the obvious flame/troll comments to respond or bubble down rather than the intelligent, well rounded non biased comment to bubble up. IMO of course.

Of course I could fall into a conspiracy mindset and say that Dragon has sold out and wrote a great piece about the mods since he now has 6 bubbles. Has Dragon become the new Dennis Miller?? /s
DragonKnight  +   1013d ago
Lol, I was expecting more people to say I sold out or am sucking up since I posted this. It's still early too. Haha.
ZoyosJD  +   1013d ago
I was going to make a joke about that, but this really was an informative piece that is as accurate as can be portrayed of how the system really works here*

The mods take a lot of crap for things they can't control, mostly because uses don't have a clue...not that it's outright obvious*

Nonetheless, good blog...enjoy you mod snuggling*

*as far as I know
FamilyGuy  +   1013d ago
I don't think I've ever had an interaction/warning from a mod, if I did it must've been years ago. I really like this post though, I knew almost everything mentioned already but it's nice clarification for those that don't.

I was actually drawn here because the site seems off, where the big N4G logo that usually sits in the top left corner of the site? Why do all the articles have black backgrounds now? Switching to "classic" didn't help me get back to what I'm use to either :/
Manac0R  +   1013d ago
Think its time to exercise my right to vote, been a member for over 6 years. Time to earn some stripes. This is a community driven site, if you don't like it get pro active, not offensive.
Nineball2112  +   1013d ago
This is a good blog and I'm glad DragonKnight posted it.

Are we as Mods perfect? Hell no. We're humans doing the best we can and for all of us (as far as I know) this is NOT our normal job. We have families, normal jobs, life issues, etc. all going on and we do our best to make some order out of the chaos that N4G is at times.

Another big thing to remember is that we are all individuals. We have a hierarchy like any other business. If I'm unsure of a situation, I'll defer to Cat or Cgoodno. I'll often ask Columbo's opinion on things since he's been here a lot longer.

We often ask each other's opinions on things to see if we've been too harsh or lenient on someone. We all have our own views of what's acceptable and what's not. What I consider trolling or offensive might not be the same to another Mod. My point is that we do our best and try to be as fair as possible.

There are a limited number of Mods and this site is obviously "live" 24/7, 365 days a year. We cannot catch everything. Hell, I spend a large part of my time on here deleting spam accounts, spam tips, spam comments, etc. We are a user-driven site. That means we rely on you guys to submit, approve, flag comments, report, etc.

And DragonKnight is right about his comments about the pending section. There are a TON of submissions that I think are lame, but I don't fail them if they meet the submission guidelines. It's up to the community whether they are approved or not. I, and the other mods, don't want to overly influence what you guys want on the front page.

Ok, TLDR...

We do our best. We are humans and aren't perfect. If you have a problem or an issue, please bring it our attention and we'll do the best we can to help out.
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Septic  +   1013d ago
Fair enough and hats off to you guys for trying to keep things civil but you have to understand that, there clearly is an obvious bias pervading through the N4G community as a whole (not the mods but the community).

Surely the mods can get a bit stricter in their approach? Ever since I have been a member on here, it has simple always been a case of one particular group, I don't think I need to say which one, constantly bullying and flaming others.

Also, have you ever considered a three strike rule for one bubble users which eventually leads to a ban?

I love N4G and it's format; it's by far the best gaming website in my opinion but the community lets it down tremendously. I don't envy you guys and your task in keeping things civil but I do feel more can be done to filter out the b.s that pervades the comments section.
Nineball2112  +   1013d ago
"Have you ever considered a three strike rule for one bubble users which eventually leads to a ban?"

I don't think it's a big secret that by using proxies, ppl can set up dup accounts. We do ban users for continually breaking the rules, but often they will create duplicate accounts which we have to spend time finding and then banning those accounts.

And again, some Mods are more strict than other ones. We have an escalating restriction methodology that we use, and we will ban members when appropriate. We'd rather they change their behavior and become productive members of the community if at all possible. Sometimes it is... sometimes it's not.
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loulou  +   1013d ago

you hid my comment for being immature! are you joking or what?

instead of censoring it, why didn't you reply? perhaps tell me that i was mistaken or just plain wrong.

the instant removal means that i was not far from the truth no?!

"We'd rather they change their behavior and become productive members of the community if at all possible" ofcourse banning results in hits dropping...
#11.1.2 (Edited 1013d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(5) | Report
Nineball2112  +   1012d ago

Arguing the same point that falls on deaf ears doesn't help things.

Your comment wasn't constructive, it was insulting and immature.... hence, why it was marked as immature.

I'm not going to reply or engage people who continually hurl insults around.
Root  +   1013d ago
Remember when I first joined Nineballs and I was banned, then my Spanish friend who knew what he was doing being a member himself messaged you on my account (with terrible embarrassing English) and you un banned me (thank you again), which you made it out to be a misunderstanding I'm guessing that I was someone else...CE1LL/C3LL/CELL1 something like that

"I've removed the ban on this account Root.


Why is it you have people like cgoodno who still think that I'm a dup account despite you knowing that I'm not since you un banned me. I'm obviously not that other guy (CELL whatever) so why does he think that. Apparently he's spread word around to other mods that I am so they ignore me. I'm guessing you could straighten this out

I know sorry this is off topic but I just thought I would bring it up now and grab your attention since were talking about mods and stuff.
loulou   1013d ago | Immature | show
urwifeminder   1013d ago | Trolling | show
Emilio_Estevez  +   1012d ago
I'll reply to you lou,

Mods DO NOT get paid, common misconception. I know it's shocking we put up with the crap for nothing, but it's true.

I personally have never been advised to do anything here based on money. The mods aren't here to worry about hits as there is no instruction about that and there is nothing for us to gain in doing so as we aren't part of that equation.

In a perfect world there wouldn't be a need for mods, but unfortunately there are just too many people who don't want to follow simple rules. Ultimately, you guys have the power to control the content and we just spot check here and there. We can't see everything.

It's funny how we're supposedly all buddy, buddy Dragon. I recall specifically 2 situations to the contrary. The star something game you wrote a blog about (that was my bad, I bit my tongue at your blog, but I approved it with the wrong game in the title, leading to hopes being built and squashed) and the lame report thread in the forums (your bad :P).

A few things to add:
We are all individuals just trying to do our best. Take the tin foil hats off (unless you just like the style), there is no conspiracy to do anything.

Bubble voting the same person over and over makes the votes count for nothing (+ or -). So using your friend/alt account to bubble vote doesn't actually work.

We really do need more contributors, take the test:
I can count on 1 hand the amount of people that approve regularly just for the sake of getting the news. The other 5 hands are filled with staff members from smaller to medium sites. Then there is a hand or 2 of people approving to push their agenda.

Someone else trolling doesn't justify you trolling. Don't bother opening a ticket if it starts off with 'INSERTUSER' said this or that.

People also need to realize not everything is black and white, yes or no. Most often it's very hard to determine what's right or wrong, allowed or not. If something is questionable we usually try and get a second opinion. Also, it's not unheard of for decisions to be reversed. That doesn't mean yours will!, but mistakes are made, we're only human (except Smokey, he's a bear).

We are gamers just like everyone here.

If someone wants to verify this feel free to hit me up in DUST514 tonight (8p-11p est), that is my current addiction. My in game name is Dr Stabwounds, saw an N4G guy in DUST once. I'm not amazing or terrible, just like playing games.
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WildArmed  +   1012d ago
Hmm.. I think we know what blog is going to get blog of the month award for April.
coolbeans  +   1012d ago
Indeed we do.

Episode IV pioneered the way we craft big-budget blogs. coolbeans' "Trench Run" that destroyed the monolith of how users' held LA after their disposal was unseen before its time. :P
#14.1.1 (Edited 1012d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report

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