Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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Silentwings
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Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Silentwings » 16 Sep 2017, 12:45

We are making some changes to the way moderation is done on the lobbyserver.

I realize that some of you will wonder if this is a (perhaps, knee-jerk) reaction to viewtopic.php?f=16&t=36383 - in fact it has been discussed seriously amongst moderators since mid-August, and we're grateful for several ideas in viewtopic.php?f=16&t=35954 and following viewtopic.php?f=16&t=36185&p=582099#p582191.

> Botflags

Hosts that do not have a botflag will be limited to 10 players, plus unlimited spectators . Hosts with a botflag are "expected to encourage and maintain an environment in which users are able to play games, free from serious disruption and excessively hateful or obscene behavior".

We recognize (and the ToS of the lobbyserver explicitly state) that it is impossible for host owners/admins to live up to this at all times, but in serious, prolonged, cases where this expectation is not met, lobby moderators may require that a host adds/removes particular owners/admins/features/restrictions - or lose its botflag.

Details can be found on https://springrts.com/wiki/Botflags. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=28199 has been updated.

> Botflagged hosts access to data

Hosts with a botflag will be given access to the account creation times and ingame times of all users. This is to enable them to better protect against users who abuse the open-access nature of the lobby server - e.g. with a SPADS plugin that autospecs and denies voting rights to any account with <5 minutes of ingame/creation time.

> Lobby-forum moderation

All lobby moderators will also become forum moderators, and all forum moderators will become lobby moderators. (We need this for communication purposes.)

> Implementation

These changes require minor updates to the server, which have already been implemented in the backup server. They come at the same time as a larger package of updates to lobbyserver, including moves to TLS and Python 3, which might take some time to fully test and set live. Apologies for any downtime/breakages as a result (and thanks abma!).
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FabriceFABS
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by FabriceFABS » 16 Sep 2017, 13:49

:arrow: :arrow: Very good initiative, thank you !
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muckl
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by muckl » 16 Sep 2017, 14:37

i welcome this decision
nice work :)
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voodoomagic
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by voodoomagic » 16 Sep 2017, 23:00

Hosts that do not have a botflag will be limited to 10 players.
What is the use of this?
(what problem is the rule trying to solve, and how?)

All lobby moderators will also become forum moderators, and all forum moderators will become lobby moderators.
Who are the moderators?
I do not think I have ever never seen a lobby or forum moderator in the relevant autohosts (those with more than 10 players.)

I think in zerok-server moderators have power in lobby and forum. But ingame is as much troll and flaming as BA. What will you do different?
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Silentwings
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Silentwings » 16 Sep 2017, 23:47

What is the use of this? (what problem is the rule trying to solve, and how?)
I suggest reading the background links offered near the top of the OP. Short answer: in various ways, players wanted the big autohosts to be more like a public service, but previously there was no expectation for them to act like one, and previously we had no control with which to ask them to either.
Who are the moderators?
As it says on the link https://springrts.com/wiki/Botflags provided above for details, autohosts choose their own admins (who are the 'local' moderators). You can find a list of Springs 'global' moderators, who moderate this forum and oversee the lobbyserver, but are not normally involved with the day-to-day goings on inside individual autohosts, from https://springrts.com/wiki/Community_Docs.
zerok ... What will you do different?
Afaik ZK has a rather different set up - as you might expect from a community of just a single game. We haven't ever looked in detail at their problems, to whatever extent they exist, or tried to solve them.
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frju365
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by frju365 » 16 Sep 2017, 23:58

nice decision ! :wink:
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Jools
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Jools » 17 Sep 2017, 09:57

I think all changes should be done in moderation.
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voodoomagic
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by voodoomagic » 17 Sep 2017, 22:58

I have read some parts of the linked threads (and others about the same topic) but did not find much insight.
They contain too much flaming and posts where I wonder when the person was last playing online.
(For example someone had suggested that autohosts should go away completly, instead people should manually host and invite players by giving password. Anyone who actually plays from time to time should see why this would not work.)

From the moderators the only one who I have sometimes seen ingame is nixtux. But he plays more Tech Annihilation than BA I think?
So rules will be interpreted by people who never player on these hosts.

I find strange that on first look this topic and new rules appear to be new general server rules.
But actually the rules are worded that they will in practice only apply to one game: BA. More specifique, the one BA big-teams host.
It is the only game that reguarly hosts full autohosts with more than 10 players. All the linked threads are about BA too.
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Peet
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Peet » 17 Sep 2017, 23:35

I think many of these social issues we're seeing are due in part to the mechanics of autohosts and their dominance.

Preventing humans from hosting large games is not going to address this.
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Silentwings
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Silentwings » 18 Sep 2017, 00:03

Preventing humans from hosting large games is not going to address this.
I think you haven't read carefully - we are not preventing large human hosts, or interested in them.

As it says on the wiki, anyone wishing to be a big human host would now need to use a dedicated account with which to do their human-hosting, and would be given a botflag to do so. (In fact, there are no big human hosts anymore, and have not been for years and years, so the issue has not really featured.)
the rules are worded that they will in practice only apply to one game
This is wrong - the rules are worded without mention of any specific game and treat all games equally. They apply to every autohost that has a botflag; nearly all Spring games have at least one of these.

(Of course, since BA and to lesser extent PA/TechA have the most players and the most hosts, I imagine they will also be the most affected. Consequently, they also have an effect on the choice action that we've picked.)
the rules will be interpreted by people who never player on these hosts
This is wrong - the rules will need to be interpreted jointly by Springs moderators, autohost owners and autohost admins. There are many players amongst this group of people; in fact most are regular players, almost all play at least irregularly, and the remaining few are developers.
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voodoomagic
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by voodoomagic » 18 Sep 2017, 00:25

(Of course, since BA and to lesser extent PA/TechA have the most players and the most hosts, I imagine they will also be the most affected.)
Well, yes, that is excactly what I said.
You might as well make new rules that only apply to autohosts that play DSD more than average.
In practice all this is clearly about BA. The rules are worded so specifique that not all games will be treated equal.

Preventing humans from hosting large games is not going to address this.
When moderators forcefully limit a popular autohost to <10 players they might as well just ban it completly. Players will regard such autohost as "crippled" and move to a different host. Maybe that is the idea. But if the host is really so bad and better alternative hosts exist, then why players not go there now?

This is wrong - the rules will need to be interpreted jointly by Springs moderators, autohost owners and autohost admins.
Obviously I was refering to the new rules that come into play when the spring-moderators decide that autohost owners auto auto admins have "consistently not met" the new expectations.
Springmoderators will judge autohost owners/admins and enforce punishments on their host, justified by these new rules.


memberlist.php?mode=team - This is the list of spring moderators?
You want to tell me that "in fact most are regular players"? On the relevant hosts? I doubt it.
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Silentwings
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Silentwings » 18 Sep 2017, 00:43

treated equal.
I think I can only offer you what I've already said here. I can't see the reason for your concern; all games are treated equally in the new rules, and no mention is made of any specific game. Of course, this is not the same thing as claiming that the games themselves are identical. I find it hard to see what else could occur.
But if the host is really so bad and better alternative hosts exist, then why players not go there now?
It is not a one dimensional score - the same host can be very good in some ways and very bad in others. Since it is difficult to replicate/set up big autohosts that are generally liked by players, it is entirely possible for some players to find themselves dissatisfied in some respects with what is on offer at a given time, but without a better alternative. (It has happened often in Springs history, too.)
memberlist.php?mode=team - This is the list of spring moderators?
You want to tell me that "in fact most are regular players"? On the relevant hosts? I doubt it.
If you read my post, it doesn't say exactly that - nor is it true. You can see for yourself what I did say.

And, for this reason, autohost moderation is primarily done by autohost owners and admins - who are mostly regular players, plus a few gamedevs. The purpose of this change is to try and do something in situations where the regular players have found themselves unable to "encourage and maintain an environment in which users are able to play games, free from serious disruption and excessively hateful or obscene behavior". If you regard that as an unreasonable expectation, here we differ in opinion.
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Senna
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Senna » 18 Sep 2017, 06:29

These are nice news.

Good to see finally there will be some important changes!
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sprunk
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by sprunk » 18 Sep 2017, 14:54

Hosts that do not have a botflag will be limited to 10 players.
I think it's a bad idea to tie this to the existing bot flag.

* what if I want to host a 6v6 manually? I am not a bot so giving me the bot flag is inappropriate, especially since the wikipage also says
Note: A botflagged user account should not be used to play games on; it will not function correctly.
In theory I can get a separate account and run 2 springs but that's lame.

* the special case of the above: passworded rooms. I couldn't find whether they are handled differently. I think they could get an exception because if people can't get inside then they don't need to be protected.

* what if I have a hosting bot but cannot guarantee it being a safe space? I'm fine with my bot being limited to 5v5 but it still deserves the bot flag for being a bot.
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Silentwings
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by Silentwings » 18 Sep 2017, 15:46

what if I want to host a 6v6 manually? In theory I can get a separate account and run 2 springs but that's lame.
Ops, the wiki was not quite clear. Corrected in https://springrts.com/mediawiki/index.p ... ldid=30449

What you really wanted to know, I think: At present a botflag serves two functions (i) exemption from bandwidth limits and (ii) exemption from 10 player limit on battle size. If there is demand to separate this pair into two independent statuses, it could (and will) be done -- but since there are no big human hosters since years, I think its unlikely to be useful to anyone. Effectively, a botflag has become a "trusted semi-automated helpful user" flag.

Even a "non-autohost" human hosting a large game is a semi-automated user; its impossible to do without relying on SpringLobbys inbuilt functions for fixing colours, teams, balncing, etc, or some equivalent of them. Similarly, autohosts rely on humans to help them along, for moderation and settings votes, etc.
the special case of the above: passworded rooms
They are not a special case. Making this a special case was discussed but we didn't want to risk encouraging a (hypothetical) situation in which a game confined itself to a single passworded host and gradually died out inside it.
what if I have a hosting bot but cannot guarantee it being a safe space?
You aren't being asked to guarantee that your host is truly a safe space. You are only being asked to "encourage and maintain an environment in which users are able to play games, free from serious disruption and excessively hateful or obscene behavior". If you were consistently failing to do that, it seems appropriate to me to reduce the size of the host and (perhaps) reduce its visibility, and smaller hosts are typically easier places to manage.
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sprunk
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver (split)

Post by sprunk » 18 Sep 2017, 16:27

Effectively, a botflag has become a "trusted semi-automated helpful user" flag.
I thought the bot flag does more than just bandwidth limit, in this case it sounds fine to have them together (the name could reflect this new state of affairs but that's a minor cosmetic thing).
You aren't being asked to guarantee that your host is a safe space. You are only being asked to "encourage and maintain an environment in which users are able to play games, free from serious disruption and excessively hateful or obscene behavior".
Since the bot flag is not actually mandatory for a bot, this point is moot. (What I had in mind was a ZK autohost - since ZK has its own lobbyserver, an autohost on Uberserver would be mostly left unattended to without any moderation at all.)
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abma
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Re: Changes to moderation & lobbyserver

Post by abma » 10 Nov 2017, 19:51

https://springrts.com/wiki/Botflags#Bat ... _a_botflag

I've changed "autohost should list the usernames" to "autohost must list the usernames" as a contact really is needed, i.e. when rules are violated / maintainance is needed.
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