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Suggestion Server Gala - Lock all threads & restrict posting to OP only

Michael 4463

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Taking a quick look at the state of the Server Gala, I am confident that the owners of popular servers advertised there will agree that the conditions of their threads are toxic. Rather than being a valuable promotional tool, these threads have become plagued by a discontent minority of players voicing their opinions with damaging rhetoric and slander. I couldn't immediately find any exceptions amongst the larger servers advertised.

My suggestion to change this is essentially for all Server Gala threads to be locked in future.
  • Thread locked after posting
  • Posting enabled for OP only, maximum 1 post per week to summarize updates etc. (Or if an auto-merge system can handle this, that'd work well too)
  • All current threads to be archived (like 'archived distributions')
  • New threads to be created by the server owners

This will bring value back to the Server Gala threads beyond what they offer in the lead-up and first week or so after release.
With the way it is now, I actually think these threads are likely a net-loss for the servers.

Edit 01/04/21:
Key points worth considering before responding:
  • Server owners choose to post in the Gala - it is not some right of the players for the threads to exist (Roughly 60% of top servers, including Medivia for example, don't bother to have a presence and only 20% of top servers have an active presence.)
  • Nobody else is allowed to create a Gala thread for a server - only the owner
  • I am not suggesting that discussions about servers shouldn't exist or that anything should be censored
  • "There's no such thing as bad publicity" Yes there is - that's just an age-old saying that holds little truth
 
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Stank

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I don't agree. While it is true that a large group of people is unable to differ valid criticism from slander, and some toxic only come to throw shit and often lies - I certainly don't think closing it for any discussion is a good solution.
I think it would be nice to at least have the option
 
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Michael 4463

Michael 4463

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I don't agree. While it is true that a large group of people is unable to differ valid criticism from slander, and some toxic only come to throw shit and often lies - I certainly don't think closing it for any discussion is a good solution.
Fair enough, I think I understand your view - discussion is valuable and having a public platform for such discussion is important.
As server owners though we have no way to moderate these threads and remove destructive misinformation. It doesn't matter if we make considered replies and attempt to set the record straight, for the large group of people you have mentioned, the damage is done the moment the misinformation is read - not to mention it is all too easy for somebody malicious (or just upset) to reject and retort whatever you say without fear of recourse.

Personally I think it is more appropriate for such discussion threads to be managed by the advertiser if they choose to encourage it on their own platform.

Edit (to reply to the post below):
You make a good point about scam-like servers, I'm not quite sure what the answer is for that other than people needing to use their own judgement. Any new player actually reading through any established advertising thread at this stage is going to try exactly 0 of those servers because they all look terrible! xD
 
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kay

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I think it would be nice to at least have the option
I don't agree on that either. I fully agree that there're many toxic people and trolls around who shouldn't be allowed to post, like I said. But it's also not like all the hosters are saint and should be under protection. Such option would be used by toxic hosters with scam-like servers to keep players unaware.
People should be allowed to express their opinions and discuss, but it should be done in a proper manner and reasoned.

It doesn't matter if we make considered replies and attempt to set the record straight, for the large group of people you have mentioned, the damage is done the moment the misinformation is read - not to mention it is all too easy for somebody malicious (or just upset) to reject and retort whatever you say without fear of recourse.
That's true, but hosters just like players may have trouble differing properly reasoned criticism from mindless hating. Not everyone is predisposed to moderate. I'm pretty sure it would results in many hosters removing all the opinions that don't suit them.

The goal should be to somehow enforce civilized discussion from both sides, not just shut the mouth of one. But I agree that the trolls are currently in advantage.
 
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Michael 4463

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That's true, but hosters just like players may have trouble differing properly reasoned criticism from mindless hating. Not everyone is predisposed to moderate. I'm pretty sure it would results in many hosters removing all the opinions that don't suit them.
Absolutely agreed, 100% that would happen which is why I wouldn't ever suggest giving OP's moderation rights over their own Gala threads here on otland - but what they do on their own platform would of course be up to them.

I'd probably advocate for there always being a 'safe space' for discussion to occur without potential for malicious moderation, but maybe I feel like if there is a serious bad-actor that the community needs to be made aware of, people can post that somewhere else on the forum.
I'm not sure what the answer is here, but I guess I just don't see any value in the Gala for established servers.

In general, shitty idea. Anyone should have the option of free speech anywhere on this forum.
I'm not advocating for a removal of free speech or for over-moderation. I don't think your post is particularly relevant to the actual suggestion here.
 

Alpha

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As server owners though we have no way to moderate these threads and remove destructive misinformation.
Totally don't see how that could be abused /s

In general, shitty idea. Anyone should have the option of free speech anywhere on this forum. If you think a post is worth reporting, then report it and see what the very professional moderating team makes of it. Sometimes you have to point a broken rule at them with a red circle around it, but it can help to get the job done.
 
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dutchie1

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Quite funny.

I know why you post this, in the end all you want is zero criticism. Just like on discord you ban anyone. You cant do that here. People are allowed to voice their opinions on the server on OTLand because it's free speech. You wanna censor every post so that only the positive posts will remain in your advertising thread.

I dont wanna continue in detail about your server inside this thread because it's not the right place to do so. But if there is any corruption within a server, any favourism within the staff x players then people should be able to voice their negative opinion, same as people are allowed to voice their positive opinions.
 

Xikini

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The best way would be to make it option for the OP, if he wants others' replies or not.
If it get's implemented, I'd suggest that a secondary thread automatically be created in the discussion forum, and linked to the server gala thread.
Server Gala thread is for updates, discussion thread for everyone to chat and discuss in. Or flame. To each their own.
 

Silba

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If it get's implemented, I'd suggest that a secondary thread automatically be created in the discussion forum, and linked to the server gala thread.
Server Gala thread is for updates, discussion thread for everyone to chat and discuss in. Or flame. To each their own.
Agree, but this seems kind of redundant at that point.

Most people i'm sure can notice when people are being toxic or when there's a clear pattern of similar reports throughout a thread by a diverse group of people.

A prime example of why not to implement something like this is staff of dura advocating for it, since they get flack for silencing people and having abusive GMs... Of course they would want to lock out public opinion where they advertise. Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Run Dura better and you wouldn't upset so many players.

This idea is absolutely disgraceful and serves no one but the server owners malicious intent.
 

nugo

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Slightly off topic because I swear people don't know this but if you like the idea don't just like the post upvote it also (theirs an upvote button for feedback threads). It appears Otland staff take into consideration the upvotes of a post when determining whether to act on the premise of an idea or not.
 
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Michael 4463

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@Silba's post above is "case in point" unfortunately, though it is disappointing that such talk has spilled over to this suggestion.
@dutchie1 - I welcome criticism, as do the other two other owners of Dura (Aris & ZowN), and am always happy to talk at length about any decisions made. What I do not welcome however, using you as the example, are posts like asking to buy a character, when you know it is against the dura rules - That one might also be against otlands rules too, not sure how much their anti-commerce rule actually covers.

This proposal isn't just about Dura though and it isn't even about moderation or censorship really - this proposal is about the value of the Server Gala for all servers. I am not at all against there being a public platform for players to voice their opinions - but personally I don't think the Server Gala should be it. Servers are not forced to have a thread in the otland Server Gala. It is a choice, and looking at that choice objectively now I'm of the opinion that it is a bad choice, and so this suggestion was born. In its current state it might not be the right answer, but I think it is healthy to discuss it.

For those of you in this thread who disagree, take notes from how @kay voiced his disagreement, and do so in a way which actually contributes to the discussion.
 
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Silba

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@Silba's post above is "case in point" unfortunately, though it is disappointing that such talk has spilled over to this suggestion.
@dutchie1 - I welcome criticism, as do the other two other owners of Dura (Aris & ZowN), and am always happy to talk at length about any decisions made. What I do not welcome however, using you as the example, are posts like asking to buy a character, when you know it is against the dura rules - That one might also be against otlands rules too, not sure how much their anti-commerce rule actually covers.

This proposal isn't just about Dura though and it isn't even about moderation or censorship really - this proposal is about the value of the Server Gala for all servers. I am not at all against there being a public platform for players to voice their opinions - but personally I don't think the Server Gala should be it. Servers are not forced to have a thread in the otland Server Gala. It is a choice, and looking at that choice objectively now I'm of the opinion that it is a bad choice, and so this suggestion was born. In its current state it might not be the right answer, but I think it is healthy to discuss it.

For those of you in this thread who disagree, take notes from how @kay voiced his disagreement, and do so in a way which actually contributes to the discussion.
case in point of what? you think a comment like mine above shouldn't exist? No one's allowed to point out the absurdity of server staff advocating for censorship of users where they advertise their servers and are receiving legitimate heat? Or is it the part where i point out widespread reports of GM abuse? Or the part where i voice my opinion of it being disgusting behaviour? Idea, remove yourself before trying to censor everyone, it's much easier.

The way staff replies to 'toxicity' or legitimate complaints says exactly everything about the server and it's staff and is an incredibly useful way to get free bumps. Deal with it properly and toxicity is free publicity.
All criticism should be welcome and if you can't handle it, don't post. Ideally you'd just be better people and not make people consistently complain but that's out of the scope isn't it? Since you'd rather censor them instead.

Well done though, Streisand effect comes to mind, have fun playing with that one. Doesn't end well.
 
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Michael 4463

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@Silba No, you're still missing the point of the whole thread.
Your post is "case in point" because unfortunately many people will read your post and believe it at face value, and in this case potentially disregard a very valid suggestion with very valid observations based on your charged rhetoric about an individual server.

I'm not sure how many times I will have to say it - but I am not advocating for censorship in the Gala threads - I am advocating for no comments at all so that the threads can actually have positive value. I feel like you didn't actually read my suggestion.
In my opinion discussion can go elsewhere, and server owners can choose to engage with it or not.

The question I am left asking at the moment is ultimately "Why should I have a thread in the Server Gala beyond launch week at all?"
  • It is the server owners choice to have a thread there;
  • Nobody else is allowed to create the thread, only the owners;
  • The thread is a net loss for the servers due to a vocal minority of upset players.
 
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Silba

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@Silba No, you're still missing the point of the whole thread.
Your post is "case in point" because unfortunately many people will read your post and believe it at face value, and in this case potentially disregard a very valid suggestion with very valid observations based on your charged rhetoric about an individual server.

I'm not sure how many times I will have to say it - but I am not advocating for censorship in the Gala threads - I am advocating for no comments at all so that the threads can actually have positive value. I feel like you didn't actually read my suggestion.
In my opinion discussion can go elsewhere, and server owners can choose to engage with it or not.

Regardless, 5 minutes on the dura thread or various other places with screenshots is enough to know exactly what's going on with dura. It's all well documented.

You want to create a space that exists for free advertising separated from the community where users may not be aware of a separate 'discussion' thread. Instead of the advertising thread being the discussion thread too. Knowing full well that would decrease the amount of users exposed to the 'discussion' and force more users to only consume what you want them to.
What kind of stupid idiots do you think we are? that's just censorship but with more words. Say you're not advocating for censorship all you want but that doesn't change the fact that you want to limit community engagement or 'discussion' about servers.

Even my shitty 15 year-old 7.6 server found immense value in the gala, dozens of players from otland and it was barely even bumped and still players come from the locked thread. For you to say there's no value and that this absurd censorship 'idea' you have would increase it's value is just nonsense, it would help bad server owners stay bad, that's all.
 

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Post on Tuesday demonstrating Dura staff telling me furniture blocking is a feature, then banning me for it, then openly posting that they then unbanned me... and... This gets made on Wednesday. What a shock.

Spin the rhetoric wheel once again and see what tripe comes out, 'it's for everyone, it's not just for my server', he says a day after getting a heavy post of criticism about his shockingly rubbish staff and policies.
 

Aczkolwiek

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You can always ask admins to close your topic - it will be visible but no one will be able to post on it. Yeah, including you. If you want to dictate your own rules and decide what is a good criticism and what's not, I'm afraid you will have to apply for a moderator role or create your own "better" otland.

Let me copy a definition of word "forum" from google: a meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.
If you block/restrict that it won't be a forum anymore.
 

Granadier

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I’m in favor of this, but with the caveat that the secondary discussion thread be created and linked to the advertisement/updates thread.

As a user, looking at various servers for what they offer within the Server Gala section becomes a situation of “what they offered at launch” only unless the owners stay on top of constantly editing their OP as new changes or content are released. Any updates the share within the thread itself get drowned out by “discussion” and so someone looking for information has to wade through all of that overwhelmingly toxic discourse.

It would be nice to have a place to see the updates and form an opinion for yourself.
 
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