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Anonymous

Staffing Pre-Banning/Asking To Leave Immediately

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I'm really curious about peoples' take on this.  I recently opened a small, very chill community second to my main site, and a couple of people we've had to ask to leave on my main site have found their way to this community.  Over on my main site, we worked tirelessly with these individuals who just weren't up to the writing quality we were looking for in the community and we ended up deciding to gently ask them to leave, providing them with resources to help them find a place that might be better suited to them.  I'm not sure I have the energy or desire to work with them extensively on this site, too, in hopes that they might improve and was wondering what everybody's take is on asking a member you know isn't going to mesh with your community to leave before they can get in deep.  I never like asking people to leave and always feel guilty, but seeing them interact with the community and start filling out applications, I can already tell it's most likely going to be the same issue.

 

I wouldn't be so hesitant if it were a serious behavior issue that I've dealt with in the past, but obviously that's not the case with this.  It's really poor writing quality, a ton of hand-handling, and what in the past became a source of frustration for staff and members trying to interact with them.  Do I give them another chance on this new site even though I'm seeing the same signs again?  Or do I save people what could be a potential hassle and headache?

Anonymous poster hash: a9d8a...4d3

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This is your choice anonymous, if you don't want them there then don't have them. I wouldn't blame them or call them a hassle though as it's your preference of community. I personally don't believe in some of the things that you put in your post.

 

When I see things like "quality" posting I actually feel like that is a bit elitist attitude as it's an arbitrary measure of a writer's worth. What your version of quality posting is could very well be a "garbage" version of posting to me. I find short posts that continue plot to be "quality" whereas some people believe that more introspective posts that have more "fluff" to be quality.

 

So overall, it's how you want to run your community.

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If you and your staff aren't up to the Handholding required to bring these Formerly-turned-away-once up to what your community considers a quality post, then don't do it. Explain to the newbies that you are the same people from xyz site and the same conditions that you asked them to leave the first time still apply. 

 

HOWEVER: I also suggest placing a blurb somewhere in your rules stating exactly what kind of post quality you expect from your members so that going forward you might "weed" some of these unfit members out prior to the registration process - or at the very least have a standard to quote if you need to ask somebody to leave in the future. 

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When it comes to people nobody wants to roleplay with, you get just that. Usually a community that doesn't want an individual will slowly drive them away naturally just via the fact that threads can be harder and harder to come by. If these people are terrible writers you could just let them be. I'm not sure how much hand holding you are actually doing, but at the end of the day they need to sink or swim on their own merits. I'm not a fan of judging people's style. Everyone is different. Some prefer large posts, some small, some like high description while others prefer a dialog. The beauty of our hobby is that we get to enjoy it. We write to tell our stories, and if people can't mesh with that then we move on to the next partner. 

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Yeah, that sounds a bit tiring.  Those members can be challenging, especially if they're really nice people.

 

Maybe you could let them give it another shot.  How long has it been since you removed them from your first forum?  Sometimes when I have to send people off the forum, I'll tell them that they can re-apply after X months.  That gives them time to improve their writing.

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Is it just their writing you're concerned about? Or their ooc behavior, too? I think, if it's just writing ability, it's worth seeing if they've been able to improve. If their application still shows that they haven't, then you're allowed to deny them membership (I mean, you're allowed to do anything, it's your site lol). Each community has different expectations, and if someone's application isn't up to those expectations? Well, it sucks, but that's tough tits. If it's major behavioral issues that you're concerned about, I'd probably send them a message that says if x happens on this forum, they're banned no questions asked. But I'm notorious for giving second/third/fifth chances so take that with a grain of salt - I'm not great on following through.

 

At the end of the day, though, it's your site. You ultimately get to choose who you invite into the community. And if you don't want someone there, you don't have to let them in.

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My personal philosophy is that what happens on one site is irrelevant to what happens on another. 

 

That said, it's just up to personal preference in this case and very much determined by what kind of site and atmosphere you have/want to have. 

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My knee jerk reaction is to flat out tell you to get the heck over yourself and let them join! You don't have to hand hold. Don't hand hold! Just be flat out "Oh hey buddy you wanna do the thing? Do the thing, but you have to do it on your own. I feel like I help you a lot and frankly on this one, it isn't how we do." I've learned this the hard way. 

 

But I guess I can almost see where you are coming from. I like quality over quantity myself, but to me epic writing isn't pages and pages of fluff. Some of the most powerful and moving posts have just been a few little things.

 

So it is a tough one, but man...I sure wouldn't want to play in a sandbox that made me feel I wasn't welcome.

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Are you complaining about the type of posting or the quality of work? I have a LOT of hair-pulling and repeated issues in trying to explain to people when their profiles are problematic (inherent and unintentional, sexism, racism the list goes on and on we are in the woke times now). It is so difficult to explain to people their own ignorance about an issue and how something can be offensive to others when it isn't to them. That kind of hand-holding is a headache and absolutely necessary.

 

Teaching people how to write in a style that you prefer though is absolutely unnecessary. I don't like it, and I think it's a pretty uncool thing to do in a game. You don't HAVE to teach anyone anything. You don't HAVE to hand-hold anyone. It is your right to write as you please and to curate your sites to your taste, but I don't believe at all that it is a good idea to ask someone to leave because you expect them not to "fit in". I think your gut reactions of feeling guilty about it every time it happens is a big indicator that you know something isn't quite right with that kind of elitism.

 

With that being said, it is absolutely okay to be elitist, you just have to be upfront and serious about it. Be thorough! Do your homework to actually curate your community and the requirements you have. Make it an "elite members only" kind of thing. We all know there is a VIP list that certain people can jump lines to get through, so make your site becomes one of those things. Private clubs with a deep sense of rules are certainly capable of thriving IRL and so I think they definitely can for roleplay. You just have to get over feeling bad when you hurt someone's feelings and really stay true to your exclusive club. Be picky, but do so fairly and with purpose. That way when people get bummed about not making the cut they won't be able to fault you for being a snob, but a serious and dedicated head of an exclusive group.

 

Make an extra step for applications if you have to. Be honest and do so quickly as you can! Don't wait and agonize over things.

 

"Thank you for your application and your interest in joining our site. We regret to inform you, however, that your entry has been denied. We are looking for a certain type of player for this game and unfortunately, we do not believe you meet the extensive criteria we require from new players to join our elite community. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and wish you luck in finding a place that suits you." - Recite rules on resubmission if applicable & bonus points if you link to your guidelines because if you're going to be picky you absolutely need them!

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As someone who has been asked to leave a site during my younger years due to actually being the cause of the problem.....I never left. I just dealt with being banned via username and IP.

 

I don't know how much of a fan I am of asking someone to leave if they're a troublemaker compared to if it's due to their character application or OOC things they said in the OOC section. (think racism, sexism, etc) If their app is the cause of asking them to leave, then I'd send them a PM explaining the reason why they're being asked to leave and wish them luck on their RP journey. 

 

 

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If a user's writing is not in line with the general accepted standard of the site, to the point that it is difficult to interact with them, I'd say it's better for you AND them to just cut them loose.

 

Because if you let them hang around, and their writing means that other members don't want to thread with them, then not only is it a waste of your time trying to offer corrections and advice to them, but it's a waste of their time as they sit around trying to find threads and getting nowhere. And it's a waste of your other members' time if they get roped into a thread out of "niceness" and find that working on a reply is like pulling teeth.

 

Every site sets its own standard. It's not elitism, it's just people making the spaces they want to play in. If you already know that a potential member does not fit the standard of your new site, what is the point in letting them join?

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I was once banned from a site. Some other members had been banned and the admins had chosen to delete all record of every one of their threads, without asking the other people involved in said threads. So I said it was petty and childish to delete all existence of them, and within seconds, had received the 'ban-hammer'. Knowing this fact, I wouldn't say that banning or denying someone based on their writing style is proper. Hand-holding isn't exactly necessary if their app isn't up to par. If you feel that denying the app is best and they wish to fix it, maybe sending external links of how to develop characters and writing styles is needed. It isn't hand holding, it's providing resources.

 

If the reason for the problem with this individual is from OOC matters, then you should consider that this forum is different. Sure, there may have been a problem with this person and another member, but the other member may not be on the new site. Or, some time may have passed since that incident. There's a multitude of variables at play here and without knowing most of them, it's hard to give advice. But, if you feel that they won't do well on the site, then you have a right to turn them away as an admin. I would just recommend that you state reasons for your turning them away, and not just use the reasoning of what happened on the other site. 

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16 hours ago, rahzilla said:

Some other members had been banned and the admins had chosen to delete all record of every one of their threads

 

I was one of those members xD I admit, I did  a terrible thing; knowing that someone had recently been told not to give advice of any kind to other players as he weren't staff (he was asked to ignore questions addressed to him personally), I told a different member entirely that any advice I gave them should be considered non-canon. I got yelled at and insta-banned, having never had a single problem in the game, having the most active character, and being the second longest-standing member. But then everyone else got BANNED BANNED BANNED one after the other so, I'm just go out on a limb here and say it wasn't bad players, it was bad staff. All but 2 players got banned and then the game folded the next day.

They seriously deleted someone's shipper/plotter because a banned person had expressed interest in plotting with them. Then banned that player when they protested. You couldn't make it up.

 

Back on topic though - staff only have so much time and energy. No matter how well-meaning a player is, if they are taking a LOT of handholding and need coaxing to improve/post/whatever on a constant basis, they're using up the staff's time and energy - draining a valuable resource from the game, and giving little back in return. IMO, it's okay to ask them to leave.  It just feels really, really bad to say it because they're not bad people, they're just bad for the game 😕

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2 hours ago, MechanicalDragonfly said:

 

I was one of those members xD I admit, I did  a terrible thing; knowing that someone had recently been told not to give advice of any kind to other players as he weren't staff (he was asked to ignore questions addressed to him personally), I told a different member entirely that any advice I gave them should be considered non-canon. I got yelled at and insta-banned, having never had a single problem in the game, having the most active character, and being the second longest-standing member. But then everyone else got BANNED BANNED BANNED one after the other so, I'm just go out on a limb here and say it wasn't bad players, it was bad staff. All but 2 players got banned and then the game folded the next day.

They seriously deleted someone's shipper/plotter because a banned person had expressed interest in plotting with them. Then banned that player when they protested. You couldn't make it up.

 

Back on topic though - staff only have so much time and energy. No matter how well-meaning a player is, if they are taking a LOT of handholding and need coaxing to improve/post/whatever on a constant basis, they're using up the staff's time and energy - draining a valuable resource from the game, and giving little back in return. IMO, it's okay to ask them to leave.  It just feels really, really bad to say it because they're not bad people, they're just bad for the game 😕

 

This is why I have a strict policy as to who gets banned from my sites - If you're not stalking someone, harassing someone, constantly arguing with staff (and not about little things either), you might be asked to leave, but I'll never ban you.

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I was on a site where several members were banned in a row. The first ones, just because the administrator believed things untrue and did never try to check if their assumptions had any grain of truth. The others, because they pointed out the truth. No wonder that the site died shortly afterwards - so this is what not to do.

 

Telling to leave, yes. I have done it to a few people who didn't adapt to our site or were toxic, and to one who didn't know enough English and used Google translate, making the post unintelligible. I banned only trolls who sent porn pics.

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