A lot of things have happened just now and in a very short period of time. It happened very suddenly, and many of you were unprepared (as is to be expected).
Now, I'll ask you to please put down your torches and pitch forks for a moment, and allow me to explain just exactly what happened, and why.
As many here were aware of, there were some serious staff problems behind the scenes which needed to be addressed.
To address those problems, removing the previous staff was the course of action that was deemed neccisary. I will, at this time, avoid explaining why each individual staff member was removed out of respect to the previous staff.
Due to the nature of the attitude that has developed as of late of widespread open rudeness and misbehavior, more strict rules were needed to be put into place until this behavior can be curbed.
This problem developed due to a laxness and inactivity of the previous staff, and it is something that we are going to have to make up for now.
As you've seen by now, "TA was made Admin."
This is probably a bit misleading, and rather confusing considering I just resigned as a Super Mod a few days ago. So, let me explain...
During my time as a Super Mod, I experienced quite a bit of drama and negativity towards myself. This was created in no small part due to the massive prevalence of cliqués here on Nation and the fact that I was one of the most active staff members, coupled with the fact that much the other staff members were incredibly lax. Some unfortunate events happened where it seemed like I was the only one that happened to be "lucky" enough to have been on at the time to deal with them, and as such I ended up coming off to many people as the bad guy as I was the one who was either punishing them or their friends.
In an environment that laxness is the norm, when action is taken it is easy to see the one who does take action as on a power trip or somehow unfavorable in some way or another. And when you throw the fact that it was your friend into the equation, well it just makes the decision all that much more easy.
With that said, I do from time to time tend to come off as condescending, which I apologize for. Unfortunately I do not notice as it is simply a facet of my personality and is not intentional. Though this coupled with the prior, it does make it very easy to misread a situation when you only see what happens on the outside while looking in, without actually knowing what goes on behind the scenes.
So, I did resign. There was constant stress, and I explained my reasons for resigning in that thread; I'm not going to repeat them at this time, but overall it was much stress and drama piled on regularly that I did not want anymore.
I had been planning to for some time, but I could not due to certain circumstances, but when Baku quit I saw it as a good time for me to go ahead and throw in the towel as well.
Despite my stress, I never stopped deeply caring about the future of this community and I understood that if the staff previously had been inadequate, the only 2 active mods (besides Arsik) leaving wasn't really going to help matters. All that did was put the entire workload on him.
I thought at first that perhaps I could start a talk with the community and try to get everyone to come to an agreement that the kind of behavior that has been so prevalent lately needed to stop if we were to survive as a community, but I realize that even if this were to happen (and I do encourage such a talk to take place), there are still certain members that are oblivious to their actions and would continue the behavior regardless, and for that we need a strong united staff that will do the job that they need to do.
And so, I took this concern to Osay explaining what I felt needed to be done to save this community, both as rules go, and as staff changes go.
I knew that we needed new staff or none of this was going to work, and there's no way a new staff is going to be successful without a clear leadership that will be there to train and direct them. So, I offered to come back for the sole purpose of training a new staff so that they will be good mods and do their jobs how we envision moderators here should. I knew that nobody else could do it.
I expected some sort of head mod, or mod trainer position, but to largely not be involved with moderating the forum myself, or acting as a head Admin.
When Arsik decided to leave suddenly with not even half a day's notice, Osay needed to make me an Admin to fill in for the time being. But I was never intended to take up the mantle as the head admin of this site right now, nor leading the community.
Honestly right now, largely due to the reasons that I resigned in the first place, I'm in no position to take up such a position.
So, don't misunderstand what I'm here for. My job, is as follows:
1) To handle the recruiting of mod staff, the firing, and replacement of mod staff.
2) To be the primary contact for problems or questions regarding mod staff.
3) To make sure the mod staff knows what their job is, and that they do it properly. In other words, to train them.
4) To be there to support the mod staff should they have any technical issues (e.g. don't know how to ban someone for example).
5) Help the admin team (Osay and Juno now) with changes to the rules.
To quote Osay,
In short, I'm here to teach our new staff to be good mods. As I won't be directly involved with the moderation of members, my personality and any problems you may feel you have with me will be wholly irrelevant, as it will be our super mods, whom I hope you can come to like and respect, that you will be dealing with.
More or less, it's laziness for the time being. I'll get a unique title and badge that more accurately reflects my new role here pretty soon, tomorrow probably. Everything was just a little rushed.
Now at this time, I would like to go ahead and address the rule changes we've had today, just to outline them and explain just why they, specifically, occurred:
Do not use excessive profanities on the forum. The censors have been removed and you are now trusted to use your vocabulary responsibly. Derogatory terms such as "nigger" and "faggot" are still not allowed.
This rule already existed, while the red text was added. Although it was already understood, we wanted to make it clear that such use of terminology is not appropriate here.
We've been seeing a huge influx of people lately speaking as if they're on a 4chan board with a "fag" added to the end of nearly everything, calling one another "faggots" and et cetera. This is not the kind of atmosphere we want to have here, and we wanted to get rid of this posting behavior right now.
I think that overall, most people do not enjoy that type of environment, and we don't want Nation to become similar to that. Nation is not that kind of place.
Do not harass, bully or otherwise intimidate other members, be it in public threads, profile messaging, or private messages. Anything seen even remotely as harassing or insulting another member will result in an infraction. Depending on the severity of the act you will receive anything from a warning to a permanent ban, at the discretion of staff.
This rule, again, had already existed for some time. The red text was the amendment to it added.
The reason this specific stipulation was added was to make it clear that the staff is going to take dealing with this type of behavior much more seriously now, and we just wanted to make that really clear right within the rules so that there would be no question of it.
We want to reduce the negative hateful type of behavior that has been going on around here down as quickly as possible, and making it clearly stated in the rules seemed like the best option.
A lack of the finer social graces or simply ignorance is no excuse for posting blatantly offensive and/or intolerant messages or bluntly in a manner that could be considered in poor taste (at the Staff's discretion).
This rule here is a wholly new one. Though it is generally expected to be understood, most people don't seem to "get" it. So, we wanted to make it a rule just to be very clear that it would no longer be allowed.
An example of this would be stating in a State Legislature thread that they should just fence in and nuke the entire area.
So, hopefully everyone can understand why these kinds of messages will no longer be allowed.
Do not publicly question or criticize staff members or staff actions. If you have concerns or feel you or others have been treated unfairly, please direct them to an Admin in a private message. Your concerns will be heard, and any mistreatment will be dealt with.
Oh boy... this one... This has caused much upset among the community it seems.
Alright. So, there are a few reasons we added this rule. The first being that criticizing a member of staff is generally taken to a derogatory level, and although concerns may be valid, staff are forum members too and insulting other members of the community is a no-no and not the kind of behavior that should be occurring, for the same reason that flaming other members is disallowed.
You are not being ignored however. You can still bring your concerns and complaints to either an Admin, or Osay, and given that they aren't just outright senseless flames of that particular staff member, then they will be heard. But you need to keep in mind to remain civil and to offer your opinion politely and without insult. It's entirely possible to express your opinion about someone's performance without personally insulting them. Though, you should provide examples and give some kind of backing to your concerns rather than simply come off as an angry rant.
Angry rants are not useful to us, but constructive criticism is. It is very useful, and we wholly encourage it. Privately.
As for questioning staff actions, this is a problem because it circumvent the staff's authority and creates meaningless drama. If an explanation is desired, privately messaging a staff member is just as effective as posting about it somewhere in the forum. But one will create a massive uproar and a ton of drama, while the other will not. The answer will not change just because you create hell for the staff. All that does is cause more work for us, which means because we're dealing with your uprising, we're dealing less with posts that really need our attention.
The biggest problems with these things is not so much that people are questioning the staff's authority. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of people get flustered and are incapable of remaining civil and instead resort to derogatories and insults, with very negative near (or fully) flame-like tones.
You have to understand, staff members are members of this community as well. Just because they have special responsibilities never makes it okay to insult them.
Unfortunately since most people can't seem to control themselves and think that insulting staff is A-Okay just because they're staff, we can't allow it. Doing so would only result in punishment for flaming/insulting of a member due to people's inability to make constructive civil posts on this type of subject. Then that only enrages them more, and harsher action has to take place. To simply disallow it, curbs having to punish our members for the fervent hate of any particular staff member or action (which regardless of what we say, is going to happen), so if it can be in a private message rather than openly insulting a member, and in creating an entire thread for the purpose of insulting said member, then we can avoid a bunch of senseless drama and needless punishment.
The last thing you need when you're upset about a punishment is to be punished yourself. So, this rule is for the best. Please follow it, and hopefully we can still resolve your concerns while protecting you from yourself.
Do not disrespect or disobey members of staff. If a member of staff gives you an order, you are expected to obey it. If you don't understand why you have been given this order, you are to send the issuing staff member a private message POLITELY inquiring. If you feel you have been or are being treated unfairly by a member of staff, you are instructed to obey whatever it is they have told you (even if you believe it is unfair or ridiculous) and privately message an Admin and calmly explain your situation. Your situation will be resolved, and you will be informed of the decision. You, however, MUST comply with the previous orders you have received from a member of staff until an Admin tells you otherwise.
This one is another new one, and it was largely created to make it clear that this is the proper course of action, though it should be common sense.
When a staff member gives you an order, it's best to follow it even if you disagree or don't understand it. Acting out immaturely only serves to get yourself punished, perhaps severely, and does nothing whatsoever productive as per your disagreement to begin with.
Instead, we need to act like adults and go through the proper channels.
Do not spoil content for others. We have spoiler tags for a reason, please utilize them, or at least give a warning of some sort. It's just common courtesy. This is a minor offense that will likely only result in a warning, but repeat offenders will be treated more harshly. What will be considered punishable will remain at the staff's discretion, though this rule will be dealt with more laxly than the rest.
Spoiler is information that reveals any plot element which will give away the outcome of a dramatic event or the conclusion of an entire work. Because enjoyment of fiction sometimes depends upon dramatic tension and the suspense which arises from it, the external revelation of such plot elements can "spoil" the enjoyment that some other viewers of the narrative may have otherwise experienced.
Another new rule. This one was added although it was already common sense just out of common courtesy, but it's gotten quite bad lately. So, we do want to make it clear that this type of behavior is not okay.
We understand that things may happen by mistake, but if you make a thread like "omg guys.." then inside "x kills y." That's just unacceptable, and ruins the experience for someone else. Not cool.
So anyways, we decided to just make it official that it's not acceptable.
Do not partake in “backseat moderating”. Use the report button ( ) for any and all posts, profile messages or private messages you come across that break the rules or are otherwise causing problems.
There was an amendment to this rule "Backseat moderating will result in you receiving the same consequences as the person you were backing moderating against." which had existed for the longest time, and that was removed today.
Equal punishment as an offender for backseat modding is a bit too extreme. So, it's been removed to reflect that.
It is still a rule, and you still can't do it. But you aren't going to be permabanned for telling someone they can't post child porn. The punishment will match the crime, and your crime wasn't posting the child porn. So, expect a warning, or minor infraction. Though if you have a nasty habit of repeatedly doing it, then we're going to have to get more serious and punish you more harshly, despite your good intentions.
When someone quotes something that is breaking the rules and tells someone they are breaking the rules, a few things are happening here:
1) They are doing the job of a staff member, yet they are not a member of staff and do not have the authority to do so.
2) They are potentially starting a fight with another member (especially if they were rude in the way they said it).
3) They are creating more work for the real staff to have to deal with, and potentially fueling a fight (which the staff will in turn have to deal with, and may result in many more punishments to members who would have otherwise gone unpunished, had they not felt provoked)
All in all, the rule is in place to primarily keep order, and then to protect our other users from undue punishment they may incur from stepping into a hostile situation.
When you see someone breaking the rules, it's best to just report it and let a staff member deal with it.
Hopefully you can understand why this type of rule exists.