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It’s come to our attention........


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Question: when you send out warnings as an admin, do you say “it has come to our attention” or “a member brought this to our attention” even though nobody actually did? If so, why not just admit you saw something you didn’t like and say so directly? 
 

another question: how often do members actually come to you with complaints about a member?

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Personally, I usually go with "It's come to my/our attention" when I have to make announcements/messages like that because, to me, it's a little more neutral and doesn't necessarily call out that someone "snitched" or whatever (even if I'm the one who noticed whatever it was that's happening). 

 

I've generally had people come to me pretty often with complaints/concerns about other members. It all comes down to relationship building, really; if you have a good rapport with your members, they're more likely to actually tell you when something's wrong or when something feels off, about members or plots, or anything. If you aren't hearing what's wrong, that doesn't mean that there isn't anything wrong.

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TL;DR I'm a really honest person. Sometimes I'm a jerk. If I see something I don't like, I might be polite about it, but I'll probably tell you that it was me.

 

This is an interesting topic opener to me, because, here's a funny story, I'm exponentially more likely to tell you that it was me instead of another member, because I've seen saying that someone complained causing loads of unnecessary drama and paranoia. "Omg who didn't like it who said that who got me in trouble who hates me," no. I'd rather have my members mad at me than mad at each other. And most of the time when this happens, if I do say that someone complained about xyz it's likely going to be obvious who it was, too. It's just a nip it in the bud thing. I've even had players that were warned directly ask who it was that complained. I've always said it was me, even when it wasn't.

 

That probably makes me weird, but people take correction from staff much better sometimes than another member going "I don't like you doing that." Not sure why that is, but that's a topic for another day probably not started by me. Even weirder is that I don't really like confrontation, so having them mad at me actually stresses me out. WOO HOO! The things we do for our sites.

 

I've had many of my members come to me and tell me that so and so did such and such and they didn't like it. I've had players report other players for being pushy gits, I've had people point out issues with lore-breaking, I've had people point out that so and so did lots of godmoding in this post over here. Sometimes things get fixed behind the scenes, and no one hears a whisper of it. I'm always reading stuff on my own sites, so I will notice things before others sometimes too, and most of the complaints I get are from PM threads since I can't generally see those.

 

So, funny tale, if someone's ever joined one of my sites and had me say I noticed something wrong, it may have been someone else. Lol The world will never know...

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I personally haven't had to dole out many warnings, but one thing I do prefer is to say "our" or "staff" rather than "I" or some other first person singular indicator. It's important, when dealing with issues, for staff to come off as a united front. That way it's not "this is an issue I, personally, take with you, that may not represent the feelings of all of staff," at which point they usually go complaining to another admin looking for sympathy that will never come. That being said, there's a difference between a "hey, that joke was kinda insensitive, try not to do that in the future" and a conversation that all staff need to have about consequences, but the former can turn into the latter if the person does not cease and desist.

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I tend to stay on the more administrative side of staffing rather than mediating between members and upholding rules, so my experience in this department is rather limited.

 

If the member is not breaking any rules, I tend to just leave them be even if they are doing something I may not necessarily approve of.

 

As for complaints from members, I find that it is generally rare but on a forum I was previously staff on, we had someone who was on and off activity wise who was notorious for complaining to staff about other members. There was another member who enjoyed winding the guy up who was also on and off activity wise.

When the pair ended up active around the same period, we'd have complaints coming in two or three times a day.

I also find that rather than forums or role-playing, it was the chatboxes and Discords that were the main cause for a member complaining about another.

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I usually just tell them "We have noticed......" because I don't want to get into the situation where someone demands to know who told on them - Now, if it is something like harassment or whatever, I'll just tell them we routinely check PM logs for issues, even if that isn't the case, so they can't assume someone told on them. Since I literally ONLY use jcink, this can't be disproven, since PM logs are a thing there.

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I take more of a coach role than a parental one on my site. I know some people hate this kind of confrontation, but it works for us: if I see something that I think could be a problem, I point it out gently without beating around the bush. I'm mindful that I have a default position of authority and trust on the board. 

 

I do try to deal with things in public where appropriate because I know I've learned a lot of my problem-solving skills from people who have done similarly, and it's an effective way to show how you expect people to treat each other.

 

I don't see the point in lying or sugarcoating what the actual situation is. People aren't stupid. I'm a dude running a game among adults whom I trust to act like adults - not a playground monitor. If someone can't handle being told, "hey, this is negatively effecting [player] so you're going to have to find some different terms of engagement (including not engaging each other if all else fails) that work for both of you," then we're not a good fit.

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I’ve always just said “yo what you’re doing isn’t cool” and then if they keep it up they’re out. Like I had a member that came back every couple of months as different usernames with different emails and they would make 1-5 characters and rp for a few weeks and disappear. Rinse and repeat. I didn’t realize it was the same person until ages later. Like probably three years into the board’s history. When I did, I said I noticed the pattern and didn’t like it. I gave them a choice to merge all their accounts or delete the ones they didn’t want and to tell me which ooc account they wanted. They ignored me and made another new ooc account with new characters. So. I said “homey don’t play this game” and banned them. 
 

Tl;dr being I just say if I have an issue. I’ve never blamed it on a member. That just seems like a great way to breed problems between members. 

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I... don't say formal lines like that. XD I'm blunt and to the point, I guess. I do try to refrain from using an accusatory "you" when addressing the initial issue, though.

 

"Hey ,

The recent display of behaviour in the chat is unacceptable. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from doing [X] and would instead [examples of appropriate behaviour if necessary]. Please re-read the [rules link]. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask me. Thanks!"

 

If it's a much more serious (or frequent) issue, then I usually temporarily suspend them on the chat (if applicable) to prevent them from posting any more inappropriate material, and then I PM them to work out the issue. I start out by explaining why they were suspended (if applicable) and that it was temporary until the issue was resolved and go from there.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I treat each situation uniquely. I do try to avoid pointing out who complained if a matter was brought to my attention to somebody else, but to be quite honest, if somebody I have to say 'knock it off to' starts fishing to find out who snitched, I'm more likely to give them an official warning for that than I am for whatever they did. I don't care if people make mistakes as long as they want to fix them. But the moment they start caring more about being 'told on' than they do about fixing them is the moment I drop the 'final warning' bomb. Unpopular opinion? Probably. 

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@graceomalley I don't think that's unpopular. A while ago we had a member who was a bit of an instigator. And by a bit, I mean a lot. Everything was a debate and it was grinding down on everyone. I know things are tense when the quietest, nicest person on site starts to get snappy. And there would times when I would have to shut down the conversation in the discord. No one likes it when I do but sometimes I have to step in and say "It's time we moved on from this conversation".

 

The breaking point happened after a real life tragedy and the person made an incredibly insensitive comment. I realize they didn't know that certain members had been personally effected by this event, but a little tact would have gone a long way. Someone complained to me about it and I had to go to them and explain what they had said was uncomfortable for a lot of people. Relating to the OP's question, I start formally with "It has come to our/my/Staffs attention etc etc". I don't ever throw members under the bus, because I'm assuming they, like me, don't really want confrontation. This person immediately started asking who had a problem with them and wanted to talk to them directly. They then proceeded to call me a liar and not to assume things about them, when I'd done no such thing.  I didn't  give a final warning, but after our conversation and after telling them I was going to protect the privacy of the person who complained, they left. 

 

Unsurprisingly, the tension in the discord left with them. 

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Nah, trying to figure out who said what is drama-seeking behaviour and I don't tolerate it either. I mean, anymore, like I said, I don't make it obvious that someone else tattled anyway, but back when I was a young doe-eyed idiot, lol, some folk would directly ask who told on them and it was like "Yeah buddy that doesn't make me want to tell you, because you sound like you wanna start somethin'." I may hate confrontation, but my momma always told me don't start shit, end it, sooooo I do, before it even starts. Nobody gets told anybody else told on them anymore. I just don't wanna deal with it.

 

Legitimately, multiple people have accused me of hating them after I had to correct their behaviour more than once, so I'm like okay. At this point I don't even care when people get mad at me about it. It's whatever. Look, you are not the first one to get mad about being reprimanded, and you won't be the last. Totes McGoats.

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Don’t take my fighting with you for something that it isn’t. When I’m fighting with you, it means I still see something to fight for. When I’ve stopped saying anything at all, that’s when I’ve given up. That’s when it’s really over.

The opposite of love isn’t hate, it is indifference.

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Honestly, I prefer to say I have noticed that... It doesn't matter that I have noticed because someone called my attention to it. If I'm an admin or staff member, it means it's my job to handle problems. Sometimes people do question 'who told me that', but unless the person comes right out and says they did, I prefer to take whatever the problem was up on myself, since I'm the one with the responsibility to handle it anyway.

 

I'm too old and grumpy to entertain middle school gossip, and just saying 'I'm the one who has a problem with your behavior' doesn't always end it, but it helps.

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I just start off with something like "Unfortunately I saw...". Something to try and take the issue away from the community so that they're more likely to address any responses to me.

 

I find if you say "we had X number of members complain" or something, they are more likely to throw a tantrum and bring it to the public cbox.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm pretty direct - I basically just admit that I saw it and it bugged me. I don't see anything wrong with reporting on bad behavior; otherwise there's anarchy.

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