Discord Staff Evaluation

  • Administrators

    Alright, so it has come to my attention that there has been some controversy over how the Scripting Helpers Discord is being handled. We have in the past couple days alerted users of a bot that will soon report to the staff of edited or deleted messages posted within the prior forty-eight hours. The bot will also mute those who post five messages in a matter of five seconds.

    There've been reports of admin abuse and backlash from the community. We are forming this thread to get your guy's feedback and so we may assess the current state of the server and hopefully better it for further situations.

    As of this time, I ask no staff produce feedback to the users replying to this thread. Once the evaluation of our current behavior is done, I will evaluate the staff in response to the feedback. Please provide accurate details and provide images if necessary as we perform this peer evaluation.

    Due to the fact I am having to write this thread, I am not too thrilled with the self-evaluation of the staff.

    Thank you for your time and feedback.

  • There's no point to log people's messages. I don't see why you're doing it. You're trying to make a solution for a problem that wasn't there. It's just annoying.

    I'm just [explicit] off you're giving me so many [explicit] notifications in the announcements channel. Megagamer, please shut the hell up with the announcements. Please use it for ONLY important things, and stop making multiple announcements for the same [explicit] thing. You're not the only culprit though; I got 6 notifications telling me it's Christmas.

    TLDR; Stop making things complicated, keep the server simple, and please only make IMPORTANT announcements ONCE.

    Thank you baby

  • I feel that this entire situation could have been prevented if the staff members had asked for users that had an issue to message them directly. Using this method, you can ensure that members do not jump on the bandwagon regardless whether what they say is valid or not.

    The fact that the staff team decided to tag @everyone about 3 times in the space of 15 minutes also would have definitely enraged this discussion, and caused even more members, including myself, to question the staff team’s overall moderation abilities. You can’t just send a notification to like 2000 people and expect a situation to be solved.

    I noticed that a few members of staff tried to prevent this discussion by telling them to do so. When you have such a large amount of people complaining, the best thing to have done, in my opinion, would have been to ask any users with a complaint to directly contact someone in the team, so the situation can again be resolved privately and correctly, without the huge amount of members. Instead, you guys chose to continue the discussion by responding to peoples’ complaints publicly.

    I often find that any sort of conversation diversion attempt that doesn’t relate to the situation helps prevent this kinda discussion quite quickly. I started to discuss fast food in attempt to divert conversation, which I believe to have worked almost instantly. It could have been done so much quicker if just one of the staff members knew what to do in a situation like this. There is no need to extend public conversation on this kind of topic, if it can be prevented so easily.

    love from josh
    the pizza guy that also likes bagels

  • You need stronger moderation. At most times (from my experience) there are little or no staff actually responsive. Yes, bots can be an extremely useful moderation tool, but the fact that you even have to use it in the first place signifies you have weak moderation. Even so, the bot only posts deleted/edited messages. So there's a chance that a message can go completely unseen if not altered.

    On another note, I've seen first hand instances of staff harassing others (not mentioning names). This, a) Sets a bad example for other members. And b) Is breaking the rules -- something staff must follow 24/7. As far as I'm concerned, these staff have went completely unpunished. They were deleting messages and as far as kicking/muting members to hide evidence. This is completely unacceptable.

    So what does this mean?

    1. You need more diverse moderation (more timezones = more uptime = good stuff :thumbsup:)

    2. Staff should only be able to kick/ban/mute with a legitimate reason that's actually breaking the darn rules. No false muting over childishness.

    3. Be a bit more lenient. I thought this was a "laid back" and "peaceful" community.


  • It should be mandated that staff always resort to constructive responses to situations and under no circumstances should they insult the users or direct profanity towards them.

    Constructive responses are ones that encourage the community to solve the problem and require the staff to be directly involved. In the example of the situation that led to this, the bot had a search function that was easily abusable. The priority in the minds of all staff members involved must first be to solve the problem, not punish those that found a vulnerability in the staff's product. The community was already engaged in offering creative solutions and suggested that a #bots channel is added for users that want to test the bot, that the command has a cool-down function due to it being easily spammed, and a filter added to prevent users from easily abusing the command to search for inappropriate content. These are all constructive criticisms and all would eliminate the problem. The response from staff should have been positive. Instead, we were disciplined, subject to verbal abuse, called vulgar names, muted, kicked, and put on a blacklist. That is thoroughly unacceptable and a formal apology on behalf of the staff should be issued. Staff members that abused their abilities to discipline users and mishandled or escalated situations they are trusted to handle should have that privilege revoked.

  • The bot is fine. I understand that the staff team does not have the ability to police 24/7, most of us are students or full-time workers. The channel that I hang out in (#math) is plagued by people posting and deleting messages, or performing jokes and then editing them away. It was a good idea, although perhaps communicated in a way that made it sound worse than it actually was.

    I find the community's ability to act like dummies even more aggravating when it comes in the form of being self-righteous. The level of stirring, bad-faith arguing and general arrogance from the people in the Discord yesterday was absolutely astonishing and a clear sign that the SH discord is losing its standard of quality. The decision to kick people for spamming the chat and attempting to inflame others was a good idea, but it should've been consulted with the rest of the staff and been carried out comprehensively.

    The staff have always had issues with acting as a cohesive team and this crisis really showed that the staff have no idea what to do in a situation like this. Multiple times during the problem, staff members actually proceeded to insult each other or attempt to dictate them in public instead of working together to solve the problem. Mega was the only staff member who I distinctly remember trying to take control - whether that's because he was the chosen sacrificial lamb or not is something left up to the staff chat.

    It is too simple and too reductive to blame the staff team for everything. What has transpired in the past week has tested the patience of everyone. As people administrating a server, I have to disagree with the way some staff members acted, but as fellow scripters in this community, I understand why they were so frustrated. I have never seen the people in this community act so repulsively, and it makes me ashamed to call myself a member of Scripting Helpers.

  • I must note that rachetandclank2 wasn't there during the described incident; if he was it was long after the context behind it. It is evident that he didn't have the full context because none of this was actually about the bot's ability to log deleted and edited messages (not to say that it's wrong to give your two cents on that as many have in this thread, but that message didn't address what actually happened that led to the need for a staff evaluation). The situation escalated because of the mishandling and abuse not by the staff as a whole but specifically one member of it followed by the errs of a couple other staff members. People were kicked for posting reactions to messages while muted even after staff higherups reaffirmed that you can't kick people for posting reactions, but even if reacting while muted constitutes "bypassing" a mute, many of those kicked weren't even muted. To describe it as only kicking for spamming and inflaming others is completely wrong. The situation largely escalated due to the inflammatory remarks and slanders that came from a specific staff member; at no point did I call any staff member names or use other forms of ad hominem personal attacks. We (certainly at least the people that witnessed the worst of it) were noticeably actively restraining ourselves from being vulgar and we even outlined plans to fix the situation. You'd be right to say that we were using the +gsearch command frequently, which due to how there were at least four of us made it very spammy, but we're also the same people that repeatedly pinged staff telling them how we think the spam could be prevented. I'm not trying to be harsh when I say this but I don't remember you being there for the context and I'm guessing you came after one of several @everyone pings.

  • I was, in fact, online and reading when people were spamming +gsearch, and I am not surprised that the staff members acted the way they did. Said staff member whose name you are dancing around happens to be a very respected and long-standing member of this community, who probably expected that the discord wouldn't act like a bunch of five year olds. Just because you did a good thing afterwards (reporting it to the moderators) does not mean that the way you acted originally was not worth punishment.

    This discord does not have a long list of rules because it has a very strong culture of people acting in a courteous and polite manner, and over the course of a couple nights (first the issue with the bot, then the g-spam), the community managed to stretch them to breaking point. People who very rarely post in that channel typically all came and dog-piled onto the staff members, and, to be honest, muting and kicking people was the right decision. These are all temporary actions, and after the situation calmed down, they could be invited back. I'm also fairly certain that people have been kicked for spamming emotes before, although the context of the situation was quite different.

    I am aware Panda did directly insult you for trying to help. I do not condone that sort of behaviour, but to suggest that the resulting aftermath was his fault is a gross distortion of the truth. You are people too, and you always have the ability to disengage and walk away. I also strongly suspect that he viewed your suggestions as some sort of condescension, as if you thought he hadn't thought about this before. That was a project that Panda worked on out of his appreciation for the community, and they managed to piss on it in one night. No doubt this situation has destroyed the staff's ability to trust the community, and I suspect the community will suffer consequences because they have signaled to the staff members that they need to be moderated much more closely.

  • That response goes back to the core substance of what I've been saying.
    "Just because you did a good thing afterwards (reporting it to the moderators) does not mean that the way you acted originally was not worth punishment."
    This kind of response is the reason why this problem arose in the first place. The issue needlessly escalated to the point where a staff evaluation was necessary because of how the staff responded.

    We found the command and begun using it, due to there being so many of us and the size of the richembed it produces the chat was quickly flooded, and we recognized it as a problem. We then pinged the staff making them aware of both the problem and the solution.

    What is more productive? Punishing those that discovered a problem, or listening to the community and implementing preventative measures? Which of these approaches would generate backlash, and which of these approaches would peacefully offer a long-term solution? In a completely preventable situation like this, step one is preventing it; if that didn't work, go back to step one.

    Moving on from my fundamental disagreement with you on how to handle the situation, your depiction of the community is backwards and even self-contradictory. Which is it: is this a community with a very strong culture of courteousness and politeness, or is it a community you're ashamed to be in? You criticize the community for dog-piling when they otherwise rarely speak, yet your self-defense of not being there was that you were actually lurking and that you rarely speak. To dismiss the widespread consensus for change as a product of only bandwagon effect and dog-piling is itself an example of the bandwagon fallacy as it judges their points' validity or lack thereof based off of the number of people speaking out above what is being said. Many of the actions you're still defending were already condemned by other staff members. When panda threatened that the next person to repost a criticism of him would be banned, shayner told him to "shut the (explicit) up" and when cntkillme and panda started removing people from the server people for posting reactions mondkatze said that you can't do that. It's also worth noting that the blacklisting of users of the bot was so sweeping and unhinged that even mondkatze was put on the blacklist. (Prevented from using all bot features: probiker123, BloodyDemon31, Loleydude, GingeyGamerYT, LifeInDevelopment, XenoOfTheInmortal, BrendonTheWizard, creeperladyman, spider, Mondkatze, lookVector, HardCoreDev) When one of them asked "what did I do" the next response by panda was "I'm gonna say you're a (explicit)" and when I said the bot should have a mute function the immediate response was "Why don't you (explicit) off?"

    You said you don't condone that behavior, but that is how the situation was handled and if you believe that it was handled in a satisfactory manner then you're not only condoning but encouraging it. The incident was handled in an entirely unconstructive manner and it entered a state of self-perpetuating escalation until we actively worked to change the subject; the need for an evaluation should be enough of a sign that the behavior in question should not be endorsed. To reiterate, if the top priority when handling a situation is always to just solve the problem then we wouldn't have this problem. Punishments should be used sparingly, temperament should remain calm and reserved for as long as possible, and the staff should always actively think of what the best approach to the situation is before dropping the ban hammer and infuriating the community.

  • There's no self-contradiction there. This is a community with high standards for respect and polite conduct, and the incident was very out of character. Do I believe that this was handled in the best manner possible? No, and in fact I criticised the staff in my original post. I think the staff response was mishandled, and it was very clear that they were working at cross-purposes. I am not trying to make the staff appear innocent - you and I both know that is not true. I do not, however, think that the situation warrants this, and it smacks up of a witch hunt. The community is out for blood now, in a way that I think is needlessly punitive and is only going to cause more problems.

    What I certainly don't want is the narrative to be manipulated so blatantly in a way that pushes the crux of the issue on the staff, because I don't believe the staff were the root cause of the issue. If you wanted the google search spamming to stop, does revoking the privileges of people to use that bot not count as a fix? Even if you think the initial response was heavy-handed, it prevented +gsearch being spammed in the chat. In your words, "step one is preventing it." Then you all proceeded to challenge the staff decision in #commons, and it makes you wonder why the situation escalated further. What you suggested will most likely be implemented though, so kudos for that. Perhaps pushing it so heavily at the time wasn't the correct decision.

    My point about the dog-piling was not that it means your point is invalid, but as an example of the poor conduct of the community on that night. It is clear that both sides were playing dirty that night, but who is going to suffer the most? The staff, because it is the opinion of the discord that only the staff can be held accountable. That is shameful. I don't know of any member that has been punished on an agreed basis (thanks to this staff evaluation, which has managed to paralyse the staff even further) for their actions that night. The discord has never had an issue with the community on this scale before, and I can only attribute it to the fact that the community has changed in a way that I find backwards.

    Panda pretty obviously flipped out because the community abused the trust he had placed in them. That is not an approval of his action, it is empathy. You would do well to remember that the staff members are just as much members of this community as we are. It is not remotely difficult to see the reasoning behind his actions, and this reductive narrative that is being perpetuated by those that he insulted will not help the staff come to the correct decision about the changes due to be made.

    There are certainly issues with the staff. I am not denying that. But there is much more to the issue than just the staff, and I do not want this situation to be misrepresented.

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