Talk:Community Guidelines

From BlogNomic Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Political correctness

The intent is noble but I believe we’re more often hurt by grievances specific to the game than social justice issues. I believe its mostly because matters of race, ability, etc are very rarely relevant to Blognomic. We’re mostly just having friendly competition with rules, enjoying an intellectual sport.

I believe Com. Glines focused more on sportsmanship rather than political correctness would be more appropriate. --Cuddlebeam (talk) 12:13, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

We don't know that - just because nothing has been raised doesn't mean it's never happened - but more more importantly: unless anyone disagrees that we object to harassment on any of those bases, it doesn't hurt to include it. Josh (talk) 12:48, 4 August 2021 (UTC)
Alright. I just hope it doesn’t slip into being overly cancelling, because I still want to make jokes about PC Master Race and the sort without getting into official trouble for making a joke about Master Races, or being called androphobic for calling someone a dick, for example.--Cuddlebeam (talk) 13:19, 4 August 2021 (UTC)
If you're under the impression that the BlogNomic community as a whole would generally be fine with jokes about master races, this definitely needs clarifying. --Kevan (talk) 17:03, 4 August 2021 (UTC)
Seconded. --Brendan (talk) 15:01, 5 August 2021 (UTC)
I would like to clarify that I am personally fine with jokes about uncomfortable topics. Pokes (talk) 18:16, 5 August 2021 (UTC)
Whatever the split on particular topics, Cuddlebeam hoping that they can "still" make master race jokes implies that those kinds of jokes are currently considered acceptable among the group, which they're not. --Kevan (talk) 10:28, 6 August 2021 (UTC)
It's still a fundamentally exclusionary clause. It's telling me that I am not welcome at BlogNomic on a technicality.-Bucky (talk) 16:08, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
The current wording specifies behaviours, not beliefs. I'm not sure whether I'm interpreting your comment correctly, so I will try to maintain some kind of objectivity, but I will stand behind a statement that says that whatever a player believes outside of the game, they aren't permitted to bring it in, and I don't find that to be a technical distinction: I can't conceive of us permitting a situation where a player uses racist or sexist or homophobic language against another player with an intent to harass, or mocks a player for their religious or political beliefs; and I am prepared to put that to a vote, and I am prepared to accept the outcome whereby the loser of that vote leaves the game, whichever way it goes. Josh (talk) 17:08, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
Sure, "BlogNomic rejects..." isn't exactly the same thing as "all players of BlogNomic must reject..." in that it tries to establish an abstract will that, uh, doesn't exist. It's not requiring me to reject people. It's just rejecting me in some abstract way that might not correspond to any particular player's behavior or for that matter to my own behavior. I'd say cut the laundry list and leave it at "We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form."-Bucky (talk) 17:49, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
I am personally not open to cutting the list of protected characteristics but am open to wording the way that it is presented in a way that maintains the separation between thought and action without undercutting the specificity of the protection. Josh (talk) 18:41, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Attacking motives

I think the GF code of conduct is a good starting point, and you're right, Josh, that it is overdue--BlogNomic is not a large community of active people at any given time, but viewed historically, it comprises a significant number of people. Large groups benefit from clear expectations and a team dedicated to acting on them.

In addition to basic safety, I have been thinking quite a bit about the thread in the comments of "Breakpoint Arrived," started by Clucky and continued by Josh and Kevan: the tension between it being a good strategy, even perhaps the best available strategy, to attack another player's motives, and the resultant emergent effects on perceived standards of communication. I think it's worth considering a trial of clearly stated game etiquette and accompanying definitions. I would want to draw those less from abstract social expectations--which may not be shared across different cultural upbringings or neurodivergent populations--and more from the things that, from experience, we have seen have cascading negative effects. I know there's some community opposition to putting things like this in the Ruleset, but maybe we could get to consensus on a page to link in the sidebar, at least. --Brendan (talk) 15:01, 5 August 2021 (UTC)

I agree with this. Let's start, then, with the issue presented here: attacking motives and where it crosses a line from an acceptable play to a corrosive behaviour. I've put some wording in but it's fluffy; how do we strengthen it? Josh (talk) 17:11, 5 August 2021 (UTC)
If we're trying to stake out a line so that everyone understands it in the same way, examples would probably help. --Kevan (talk) 08:08, 6 August 2021 (UTC)

Discord discussion, 5 August 2021

This section has been edited for clarity and lightly anonymised.

Re. prior art

I think you're right that it's good to go looking for prior art. But narrowing from the set of multiplayer games to the set of debate-based persistent games reduces that universe of discourse quite a bit.

But MUDs are close cognates, for as far as they run on player-generated scripts.

However, MUDs handle behavior problems with a moderator judge, while a nomic natively operates more like a jury trial.

If there's one thing to take away from the document, it's that players should not be punished without some clearly rules-defined reason.

[not said on Discord but I'll put this here:] Wikipedia is something of a debate-based persistent game, and has a civility policy and a well-explained stance on personal attacks.

Re. how this exercise should manifest outputs

The ruleset totally could contain "Generals SHOULD NOT post a comment on an official post for the sole purpose of preventing its author from altering it" or something to that effect. It does not. If there are some rules norms that are enforced but can't be modified by the rules, they're fundamentally non-nomic.

Yeah, I'm looking for things that can be drawn on for discussion and social conduct, not things that need to be backed up by enforcement right out of the gate, especially because they're likely going to be prototypes for a while.

Just speaking from my own experience, I've made statements in comments in the very recent past that are pretty clearly ad hominem, for instance--disgruntled accusations of bad-faith voting rationales, for one. If there were a prominent page in the wiki that said something like "don't make ad hominem attacks, including accusations of bad faith in voting," and someone had pointed it out to me, I would have stopped.

Re. validity of the exercise and viability of the discussion

I think this is an unnecessary exercise, doomed to fail, that will end up alienating more people than making people feel more comfortable playing BN

Do note that the accused here are also members of the community; assuming no blatant hypocrisy, the "community standards" in question are standards that only part of the community holds, but tries to apply to another part.

We already have a set of standards that we all agree to play by - the Ruleset. For everything else, we must accept that some players will not agree to play by them.

I think there are also general standards of human conduct

and that while it doesn't hurt to clarify some of those standards

an attitude of "anything the rules don't explcitly state is illegal is legal" I think is harmful for the game

I agree that some players will not abide by unenforced rules. I don't agree that we have to accept that. Social pressure is real.

Yes, we can have a minority bullying the majority to achieve standards that couldn't pass by proposal.

With respect, I think typifying this process as "bullying" or dictatorial is unreasonable. I think we're very early on in a process that is designed to be as open and consultative as possible, and where the outcome is very much up for grabs

"Open and consultative" would have discussion taking place on the official discussion channel

I guess my point is that there shouldn't be one discussion. Everybody should have a go at this conversation on whatever format they feel comfortable with; I'm not precious about it and don't feel like I want to see every discussion that happens about it. If there's a useful dialogue that happens on slack, or on Twitter, or in DMs, great. I said "open and consultative" and that's not bad faith

I specifically think that it's important that the effort gets input from skeptics as there's no point in implementing it over anybody's heads

It either has community buy in or it's pointless imo

"Optimal" Play

BlogNomic is a time-based game: its pace is malleable, but edit windows expire, proposals time out, and many successful gambits have historically required actions taken in very quick succession. There seems to be a takeaway among some players that success therefore requires paying attention to the game 24 hours a day, or at least checking in every edit-window-sized chunk, without an allowance for sleep or other human activities. This issue is expressed in ais's comment of 06-08-2021 14:49:05 UTC, but that's not the only time it's been brought up, nor is ais the only player to voice it.

I don't think there's a viable rule that can prevent this kind of behavior, but it's not good for the game, and I don't think it's good for anyone's mental health either. I've noticed a tendency in discussions to display annoyance at the prospect, but also to shrug and say "well, it is the optimal strategy..." Which I don't agree with. If BlogNomic were a game that was reduced directly to "chance of victory approaches 100% as daily attention approaches 24 hours," there would be no point in having any other rules, and anyway the dynastic history indicates pretty clearly that it isn't true. The first rule of optimization is: don't do it.

I think there's an opportunity here for a place to "tap the sign," as Kevan has put it, when players display stress over perceived need for commitment. I think that kind of sign can fall under the heading of etiquette, too. I'm thinking along these lines:

  • You will not be able to give feedback on every proposal within its editing window. No one expects you to.
  • A note to point out a missing word or a contradiction within the window so the writer can adjust it is a welcome courtesy; an argument toward convincing someone to fully reconsider major elements of a proposal within that window is rarely welcome or courteous.
  • Sacrificing other parts of your life (like sleep) to potentially increase your chances of victory can contribute to a vicious cycle where other players feel compelled to do the same. This turns BlogNomic into a game of beggar-thy-neighbour where the only victory is Pyrrhic, and is best avoided.
  • Even at the point of borderline dormancy, no one player, even the Emperor, should try to shoulder full responsibility for the state of the game.

I don't want to come off overly mannered or preachy here, so I'd appreciate feedback on whether this seems like a good inclusion or a good way of stating things. Brendan (talk) 17:46, 6 August 2021 (UTC)

I like this addition and think it's good. I do wonder whether a useful ruleset inclusion would be something long the lines of "The standard lifecycle of the game of BlogNomic is half a day" - which is to say, really enforce that you never need to check BlogNomic more than twice a day, and that any strategic opportunity that can arise and be realised fully in less time than that is probably not good design for the purposes of our game. Josh (talk) 18:58, 6 August 2021 (UTC)
I'm one of the (few?) players bothered by timing stuff, although not by edit windows: just that when we build a dynastic game where an action is ten times more powerful at a few specific points in time, there's some pressure to try to be around for those, especially towards endgame. Not very much pressure, but enough to be annoying - that it might force me to decide whether to pause a film, or to stay awake twenty minutes longer than I was intending to. I'm impressed if other players would be entirely sanguine about checking in later and finding that their decision to finish a phonecall or watch the end of a TV show had cost them the game.
I'm not sure how much it helps to say that making sacrifices to play the game is "best avoided", when some players might not consider these things (including similar timesinks like simulating the gamestate or drawing up lengthy backchannel plans) sacrifices at all. It feels more like something to address or avoid at the dynastic proposal level - if there's a proposal to tie FitBit data to gamestate, it doesn't help to say that a player pushing themselves too hard to win would be valid but "not expected" and "best avoided"; we should instead change the rule so that it doesn't reward that.
Ais's angle about the huge tactical importance of making feedback during an edit window seems completely out of the blue to me, for what it's worth. I don't remember them (or anyone else) playing like this in the past, or feel particularly convinced by it as a strategy. --Kevan (talk) 11:01, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Wikipedia policies

These can't really be applied wholesale, with all the bits about warnings and blocks and reporting to administrators (and to a lesser extent the importance of clear and neutral edit summaries). I don't know if we should take what we want from it into our own civility policy (the text is all CC-licenced, after all), or add a clarification about the differences. --Kevan (talk) 12:25, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Laboriously recreating chunks of it seems fruitless, to me; a diff-note would work, or just a general clarification that we mean the definitions where applicable, and not where not relevant to the game, feels like it should do. Josh (talk) 13:50, 7 August 2021 (UTC)


As of August 2021, an effort is being made to establish an approach to resolving community issues that rose above the level of game- or ruleset-challenges. This page is to document that process and provide a community platform for discussion of the outcome.

Statement of Purpose

This section aims to arrive at some mutually agreeable language regarding the purpose of the community resolution process. It is separated into elements to allow for the discussion of separate issues.

The BlogNomic (BN) community is dedicated to providing an enjoyable, tolerant, and harassment-free environment for everyone. Antisocial conduct should not be accepted in this community, including (but not limited to) intolerance of another person's gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This process has a slightly awkward tension, in that it should be appropriate to use for both interpersonal tension that can't be resolved by the participants (at the lowest extreme) and incidents of violence or harassment (at the greater extreme). Given the nature and size of this community, we probably don't need something heavy-duty, and least not every day, although we may end up being grateful that we have a process for serious cases if one emerges. Josh (talk) 09:44, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

This code of conduct applies to all BlogNomic spaces, including the blog, the slack channel, and the wiki, as well as any other spaces that BlogNomic hosts.

This document sets out the process for reporting and seeking redress for antisocial or harassing behaviour on BlogNomic. Its key principles are to be fair, objective and transparent, and to take the needs of the complainant, the community, and the subject of the complaint into account.

The principle of transparent decision making is important but needs to be balanced against the needs of the participants, particularly - where appropriate - the need for anonymity. Josh (talk) 09:44, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

Community Standards and Etiquette

The following are consistent throughout all BlogNomic spaces, including non-game spaces such as the slack; it may also apply to interactions between BlogNomic members in non-BlogNomic spaces.

Ad hominem and personal attacks are not accepted under any circumstances. In game settings, it is reasonable to attack plays or proposals, but this should stop well short of attacking players. In non-game settings players are expected to be cordial at the very least.

The Wikipedia civility guidelines, via Kevan
The Wikipedia statement on personal attacks, via Kevan

Approach for Resolutions

Some models to consider:

If you are being harassed by a member of the community, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the Anti-Abuse Team. If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

This code of conduct applies to our spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of the community outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by community members, especially bloggers, seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The abuse team reserves the right to exclude people from the community based on their past behavior, including behavior outside out spaces and behavior towards people who are not in the community.

In order to protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. The Anti-Abuse Team is not here to explain power differentials or other basic social justice concepts to you. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the Anti-Abuse Team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Geek Feminism spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other GF members or the general public.

Speaking up form

Members and non members can speak up via a form available on {form}. The form makes it clear that the information provided will be directly and solely communicated to a site founder and asks the following from the person wishing to speak up:

Name and email address of the person speaking up Identity or description of the member who did harm What happened? It is reinforced with this last question that 'Our stance is that [the person speaking up] feelings are always valid. What might seem minor to [them] may be part of a larger pattern of behavior that has affected many members.

Members ad hoc committee An ad hoc committee of 6 members is called by the founder via the app general feed to address what happened. It is key that members:

  • represent a diverse range of identities and experiences,
  • are not related to any protagonists in what happened,
  • respect at all time the privacy of the matters discussed.

Process The founder receives an email with the data shared by the member speaking up and contacts on the spot the person to gather as many information as possible and identify what would be a satisfying outcome for them, the member who did harm and our community. The members ad hoc committee is called in a video meeting to discuss the matter, information gathered by the founder and come up with a plan to be submitted to the person who's spoken up for a final go before it is implemented.

Once the plan implemented, the matter and the chosen community response are documented anonymously, shared with all protagonists, archived to support the treatment of matters and a communication is made community-wide.


The resolution process should have a wide array of potential tools available to it, including

  • A domain-wide ban, including removal from the game
  • Enforced idling for a period of time
  • Temporary or permanent exclusion from non-gamestate channels, such as the slack
  • Do-not-contact orders
  • Public statements of sanction
  • Public statements of findings