Discord and Courtesy PSA
January 20, 2021, 11:06 AM
WOLF
Site Account

Discord and Ooc Courtesy PSA



From this point forward, staff will be adopting a very low tolerance policy against negative character remarks within the discord and ooc spaces.聽 We've posted about this before, but will now be cracking down on it double time.

These remarks include:
  • Insulting another player's character.
  • Questioning another player's character motives.
  • Questioning character or thread choices with regards to realism or policy.

Instead, questions around policy should be general in nature. They should include no specific references to threads or characters that are not your own.

There is a big difference between asking "Is _____ allowed?" and "Is _____ allowed to do _____?" 聽The former is a simple question; the latter implies (passive aggressively) that the thread author has broken a rule. 聽This聽is a public call-out and is unacceptable behavior within our courtesy guidelines.

The same applies to questions regarding character motive. 聽Asking "why would your character choose this" could (again, passive aggressively) imply that the author's choices do not make sense. 聽This in turn infers that you believe they've done a poor job writing the character thus far.

From now on, the above are strike-able offenses. It is not a hard ask to require members to be kind... if you have an issue with another player's character, take it up with them, take it up with us, or keep it to yourself.

If you see the above, please, don't hesitate to report it! We are going to try, as a team, to be better about shutting it down when it occurs firmly and decisively, as well as calling it out for what it is. 聽If you do not wish to use the !report feature within discord, you can instead copy a link to the message in question and DM or PM it to staff.

As always, we appreciate you all! 聽And we hope this lends towards a better, more positive space for everyone.

- CMs/ACMs
January 20, 2021, 11:08 AM
Zephyr
Ivory Rose
Arae
THANK YOUUUUU x500
January 20, 2021, 12:37 PM
Keres
Approved Members
Epsilon
I want to start by saying that I am deeply disappointed, hurt, and uncomfortable with today's events. I (and others) received a PM notifying me that I have a strike against me for "unacceptable behavior" in the Discord (before the new rule was even implemented), despite the things that were quoted to be weeks, if not months, old. Not only that but they were innocent comments/questions that have been twisted to paint me in a bad light, leaving me in a position to no longer feel safe here at WOLF. I find it very unfortunate that others took my comments to heart, and I apologize to those people. No offense or harm was ever meant, and I wish there had been some form of communication so that I could tell you as much. In light of all of this, I am leaving the site and the discord effective immediately as I feel unsafe after being attacked and berated for things that were misconstrued and taken out of context. I wish you all the best.
January 20, 2021, 12:46 PM
RIP Polaris
Approved Members

I am someone who struggles to speak out sometimes due to a lack of confidence and a need to always avoid conflict whenever possible which is why I found it very startling to realise that this negative trait of mine is likely one of the only reasons I did not receive a strike today like some others who did simply for having the energy to be curious and speak up about things they鈥檙e unsure about. Posting just this is nerve wracking for me but it does not gel well with me at all to see members targeted for having an opinion and asking genuine questions, and so I will be leaving wolf. I am not comfortable being in a community where I must feel nervous and second guess what I say especially as someone who does that enough as it is. Thank you to everyone here that has been welcoming and kind and provided me with amazing plots and characters to write with, you鈥檚 will be missed and I wish you鈥檚 the best.
January 20, 2021, 01:06 PM
Cyprin

In the beginning I had said I was leaving for college; and that part is true! I officially started on the 18th. However during that time I decided to give myself distance from wolf and it's general fustrations I've felt.聽 Maybe that was wrong to hide behind the college excuse instead of directly saying it, and simply leaving it on my profiles. I admit, I was afraid.

I was right to be afraid, as this morning I received a strike minutes before a new rule was implemented, but due to not being in the server, and the links being redirects, I cannot read my own reports. I'm assuming they were weeks if not months ago, for I have not been in the wolf server for some time. Though in question it states of my 'unacceptable' (light quotes), behavior, which once more I cannot read what I have done.

It pains to see younger members, and even older at the matter, be bullied outside of the discord and site, and yet nothing is done. Defense of others that invite particular conversations which was meant to be but a simple conversation, and in the end problematic scenarios are not acknowledged or addressed.

Few of us that have openly left have gotten a strike, and maybe our words weren't the best at times, but anything else was often shot down immediately. By staff, and members themselves who I felt have caused an aggressive environment for myself and others.

For these reasons I'm officially announcing my leave, even if I wasn't the most active or popular player. I hope you all have a good year, but should remember that there is no reason to take drama from an online RP game, and it is alright to leave or to back out. Never stress, be happy.
January 20, 2021, 02:03 PM
Cheeto

I will just be inserting my opinion on this whole matter and leaving it at that.

I personally think this could've been handled in a different light. I do not think it is fair for members to have received strikes for a newly implemented rule, ecspecially involving a聽situation that could've been handled through聽communication first because (in my perspective), this all just looks like a misunderstanding that could've been talked out and resolved between the involving parties.

聽In addition, I do not agree that the way sentences are formed can imply something passive aggressive as it is near impossible to read a person's emotions based on something they've typed rather than spoken in person or read through聽body language unless those statements are clear and direct insults toward the roleplayer, for example, saying "This character is played badly" or "You are not good at writing" or something like that. Using this same logic, I聽fear this will cause members to overthink聽or even be too scared to voice certain things during character discussions (which, to my understanding, is a聽common type of discussion on the WOLF server).

Thats all I have to say on my end, I just didn't聽understand how things escalated like this and wanted to share the way I felt about it.
January 20, 2021, 02:13 PM
Siro

I've not been around in some time, but I do keep up with the site.聽

I will say that reading this did leave me rather disappointed. It is of my opinion, which honestly doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things since I am not an active member of the community, that this is wildly mishandled. Text is not a natural conductor of intent, tone, or emotion. As someone who manages a team primarily through text in both my business life, and my social life, I've learned reports are easily misconstrued to favor one person rather than the situation on a whole. Assumptions of intent run rampant even among professionals.

These are instances that are best left to moderation, if need be, but not a strike system. While the reasoning for this implimentation is a genuine desire to see positive change, the only tangible impact it will have is locking down discussion in the community further, and causing pockets of toxicity beyond the official channels to spread.聽

I believe this needs to be something that is far more transparent. If there is reoccuring issues of negativity, or bullying, then there needs to be more moderation. The community can moderate itself, but only so far.
January 20, 2021, 02:15 PM
Rosalyn
Sapphique
Tanzanite*
I do not want to discount any of the above, but I do think there is one point that could have been better clarified.

This is not a new policy.聽 This is a policy that has been in place since early last year.

PSA posted early last year when we first saw this problem arising.

Quote:That being said, going forward, we will no longer tolerate the following. 聽
  • Things that you dislike about other players' writing
  • Things you dislike about other players' packs
  • Things you dislike about other players' characters

In addition, the following can be found within our discord server rules:

Quote:- When discussing IC characters or plots, remember that players have full ownership of how to write their characters. Respect the way others choose to write and BE CIVIL, even if you are disappointed in IC outcomes.

Failure to adhere to the rules may result in a forum strike and/or ban, in addition to a ban from the Discord server.

As a team, recent discussions and criticism have made us aware that we have been lax in upholding our own site policies.聽 This is simply an attempt to rectify that and to improve things going forward.
January 20, 2021, 02:26 PM
Siro

That is fair.聽

But the problem lies in the fact that people are receving strikes from a system that is hours old. It is a very hands-off approach, and really doesn't help the issue of disconnect between CMs, community, and interpersonal relationships within the community. It only serves to foster greater disatisfaction and unease.聽

If strikes are being approved and sent out without thorough investigation, it is only going to make the problems within the community worse. I do not disagree with the policies about negativity between members! I definitely hate to see that in聽any聽community, especially creative ones. But there also needs to be a level of understanding, and encouragment, for the people who feel wronged聽to聽reach out for clarification because many of those cases are likely to be misunderstandings.
January 20, 2021, 02:26 PM
Taikon
Ivory Rose
Algea
These seem like simple cases of misconstruing comments on in character actions as comments on the characters themselves and how they are played. It's unfortunate that people have felt discomfort from such commentary, but I think Siro is onto something that using strikes for this purpose will lead to further shutdown of communication instead of positive outreach.
January 20, 2021, 02:32 PM
Hydra
Lone Wolves

Taikon dateline='[url=tel:1611170812' Wrote: 1611170812']
These seem like simple cases of misconstruing comments on in character actions as comments on the characters themselves and how they are played. It's unfortunate that people have felt discomfort from such commentary, but I think Siro is onto something that using strikes for this purpose will lead to further shutdown of communication instead of positive outreach.
I... am... a little anxious to say my piece on this. But I agree with the sentiments shared. I think it warrants discussion if a member is really uncomfortable and conversations haven't been had before so that the party who is the offender (who's words may have been misconstrued or misunderstood... it's easy to do via the net!) in that scenario can at the very least say something to kind of alleviate concerns another player may have felt. But... that is just my thoughts and feels.
January 20, 2021, 02:32 PM
Noki

(January 20, 2021, 02:26 PM)Siro Wrote: But there also needs to be a level of understanding, and encouragment, for the people who feel wronged聽to聽reach out for clarification because many of those cases are likely to be misunderstandings.

On this being said, I did try to reach out to a staff member after seeing the PM sent out this morning to me and others - just to find out that the staff member blocked me. This is the same staff member I had a heart to heart last week about all of this and I thought we had a certain level of understanding.聽

I would like to remind staff that I have approached them multiple times in regards to discourtesy to me throughout the year from members, and staff members and yet for me to get punished for what I feel like is making myself finally heard (sure, not in the best of ways but heck all my other attempts were ignored) is extremely disappointing in how all of this is being handled.
January 20, 2021, 02:43 PM
Derg
Saints Of The Dying Light
The General
Just putting in a little suggestion to maybe help events like this in the future (idk if this is already a thing):
having a private channel in the discord that can have people of concern added to so the CM's can discuss what is happening and why, and how it can/will be resolved. Of course (for lack of better terms) 'victims' and 'offenders' don't need to be in the same space, but they can be involved in this much-needed discussion with the CM's or future discord mods.

(this is a loose concept I've used before and it worked in the smaller servers I've been a part of)
January 20, 2021, 03:02 PM
Jennifer

(January 20, 2021, 11:06 AM)WOLF Wrote: The same applies to questions regarding character motive. 聽Asking "why would your character choose this" could (again, passive aggressively) imply that the author's choices do not make sense. 聽This in turn infers that you believe they've done a poor job writing the character thus far.

To me this seems like the part that definitely seems a little grimacingemoji to have under zero tolerance. Wolf has a lot of characters with complicated histories and all kinds of baggage that developed on board or off, and not all of it is 100% known by everyone (or written down in bios, pawprints, etc). It could just be the wording, or that I need to wake up a little more, so YMMV.

Of course I'm sure there have been cases where it's been used passive aggressively without any question, but not being able to ask what might have brought about the Unexpected Response seems kind of weird to me? Like I wanna read how something lead up to that, or get a better understanding of the char involved, or if it turned out to be a case of someone misreading that'd be good to realize and聽fix too if that's what folks want. Maybe it's just me but I would find it more aggressive to have to PM the player to ask聽why their char did something -- but then again I don't get PMed a lot, so could be why.聽And if being like "YO WHAT DID I MISS, Y THIS HAPPEN" in public OR private would get the same strike that's just... Eek. How would you prefer us asking that? I'm one who definitely would prefer clarifying why my chars did something than leaving it in confusion since they're weirdos. Again, could just be wording! Or me being tired. Prob the latter.
January 20, 2021, 03:39 PM
Raven
Approved Members

嗖燺嗖 This seems like an excessively punitive approach to an issue that could easily be resolved with a little communication and perhaps a gentle admonishment from a CM if needed. 鈥淗ey, your comments are reading a little aggressive right now. Could you maybe take a step back?鈥

Tone is almost impossible to police when you鈥檙e dealing with text. It鈥檚 too subjective. Where do you draw the line? Am I not allowed to ask why a character did something if I am genuinely curious? Or speculate on what a character ought to do? Or express incredulity if a character does something outrageous or unexpected? If I do ask questions or discuss characters鈥 actions, will I be safe only if I make sure to litter my sentences with enough sugary niceties and smiley emojis to ensure everyone knows I鈥檓 not being aggressive?

This is roleplay discussion at its most basic, and at ANY point harmless comments could be construed as passive aggressive. This policy does nothing but make people fear discussion and sow further distrust and resentment in the membership against the staff (which has clearly become an issue here of late, from this outside observer鈥檚 perspective). My opinion is just another fart in a windstorm of opinions, but I really think you guys should reconsider this because yikes.
January 20, 2021, 04:33 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
I鈥檓 going to start this off by saying that I am in no way trying to undermine or discredit anyone鈥檚 feelings or what鈥檚 been said here; merely trying to express my own experiences and feelings and maybe give another perspective to this conversation. I feel like it needs to be said that I鈥檝e since learned over the past two years to not take things so personally; but given my own experiences, and the fact that I鈥檝e seen players ( besides myself ) get very upset when people spoke about their toons in an OOC space and feel like they were being bullied 鈥 I don鈥檛 necessarily see this change as a bad thing and here's why:

I鈥檝e had several of my toons over the years, 鈥渃alled out鈥 on the Discord server publicly and privately ( to other people, not to me ) for relationships, choices, what have you. As someone who has experienced it, I can only tell you from my personal perspective that every single time it has not made me feel good. I feel like regardless of the intent (i.e. jokingly, idle gossip or mere curiosity ), if it鈥檚 not an expressly positive callout such as a compliment, etc: it has hurt my feelings.

I鈥檓 not going to go into detail with the specifics of the callouts towards my characters because they happened year(s) ago and I don鈥檛 like to hold onto stuff; it鈥檚 too easy for players who鈥檚 had their characters called out to feel like their characters are being unfairly criticized, they are not good writers, that their characters are being made fun of or worse yet that they as players are being made fun of even if that wasn鈥檛 the intent.

I know I鈥檝e felt all of these things each time I鈥檝e had characters calledout in what I perceived to be a non-positive light and it鈥檚 an awful feeling. I鈥檝e almost quit WOLF a couple times over the years because of it, even if it was just a general misunderstanding on my part and as I鈥檓 not generally a confrontational person I wouldn鈥檛 approach someone and ask for a clarification of intent unless I felt it was absolutely, absolutely necessary.
January 20, 2021, 04:56 PM
Maegi
Yu猫l贸ng
L菧r茅n
I don't think public discussion on this is beneficial at all. Only admins are privy to all information needed to give out strikes. In my experience, strikes rarely exist in a vacuum. There has to be multiple reports from varied people. Then again, perhaps this is overly punitive and there is relevant criticism.

In any case, I think the best course of action would be for parties involved to handle this privately, and that this thread be locked. There's already a lot of tension between staff and players and the events of today made it worse.
January 20, 2021, 05:23 PM
Wylla
Yu猫l贸ng

I agree wholeheartedly with shutting down discussion of how other people play their characters, full stop, because nobody should ever feel obligated to explain the choices they make with their character.

That said, it's a weird choice to start this post with this:

Quote:From this point forward

only to start handing out strikes for stuff that happened prior to this point. That is unfair and heavy-handed, even if this rule isn't really a new one.
January 20, 2021, 06:28 PM
WOLF
Site Account

Hey all!聽 We are keeping an eye on this and appreciate the feedback.聽 Here's some clarifications, though, to answer a few of the questions and concerns so far.

First off, the "from this point on" refers to our 0 tolerance policy about discourteous comments.聽 That part is new.聽 The policies underlying it are not. Any strikes received came with multiple infractions of our courtesy guidelines, and serious deliberation by the staff.聽 We do not discuss strikes outside of admin spaces or private interactions with the users involved, as everyone deserves space to safely correct their mistakes.

This clarification is being made specifically because tone is hard to read.聽 There have been many occurrences in recent times where concerns have been raised, only to be met with these exact comments; that it was "just a question".聽 We have done our best to gently correct this behavior in Discord, but the trend has continued.

Rather than pick and choose arbitrarily where we draw the line, we've decided to make the line very clear.聽 The following statements are examples of comments that are not okay:
  • Why would <Character> do <some decided action>?
  • Why does <Character> think <something>?
  • I really hate that <Character> did this
  • Is <Character aspect> really realistic?
  • Is <Character/Pack> allowed to do this?
All of these infer critique on a writer's decisions.聽 There shouldn't be any reason to ask these questions - just avoid it.聽 If it's negative about a character, if it's questioning something in the public spaces of discord that your character doesn't need to know, simply don't.

The following questions and sentiments are perfectly fine!
  • What did I miss while I was gone?聽 What is <Pack> doing?
  • I can't believe that <Character> did <thing>; I can't wait to see what happens next!
Discussing character's positive aspects is fine.聽 Discussing your own characters is fine.聽 Discussing plot events, character events, and character actions is fine so long as you don't ask why the author chose to take them or how much you dislike the decisions.

If it feels like we are coming down hard, it's because we feel it's been enough of a problem to do so.聽 We've fielded and received multiple reports about the negative atmosphere in Discord and lack of moderation. We aren't looking to punish discussion, only to ensure that discussion remains friendly. What you think of your own tone doesn't matter nearly as much as the effect it has on the recipient.

When you go to make a comment about another person's character in discord, we ask that you think twice.聽 Is this comment being made in good faith?聽 Or is it an unsolicited attempt to critique another member's writing?

If you are kind and courteous, you will have no problem navigating our new enforcement of this old policy.
January 20, 2021, 06:49 PM
Maegi
Yu猫l贸ng
L菧r茅n
(January 20, 2021, 06:13 PM)Keres Wrote:
Maegi dateline='[url=tel:1611179812' Wrote: 1611179812']
I don't think public discussion on this is beneficial at all. Only admins are privy to all information needed to give out strikes. In my experience, strikes rarely exist in a vacuum. There has to be multiple reports from varied people. Then again, perhaps this is overly punitive and there is relevant criticism.

In any case, I think the best course of action would be for parties involved to handle this privately, and that this thread be locked. There's already a lot of tension between staff and players and the events of today made it worse.

@Maegi

I told myself I wasn't going to reply to this thread again but seeing your call to shut down the thread made me decide to do it anyway.聽

I received a strike this morning for things that were not in any way aggressive. They were comments every one makes, because I loved people's toons or I was interested in them. You have probably made some very similar comments.聽

To clarify, I called for the thread to be shut down not to silence anyone or shove the issue under the rug but because I think this is better handled privately between the parties involved instead of being drawn out publicly.聽

I have made similar comments. They were rarely in good faith -- or if they were, they had an undercurrent of not so good faith. I'm sure if CMs went through my past messages, they would find strikable offenses as well. I've also had those messages targeted toward me, and it does feel like criticism, especially in the moment.聽

I think this is the crux of it:

WOLF Wrote:When you go to make a comment about another person's character in discord, we ask that you think twice.聽 Is this comment being made in good faith?聽 Or is it an unsolicited attempt to critique another member's writing?

But I do agree with Chelsie -- I think the issues outlined in WOLF's last post should have been clarified and codified sooner, rather than remaining largely unspoken and applied retroactively. But mitigating that is not up to me - I am not an admin.
January 20, 2021, 06:53 PM
Keres
Approved Members
Epsilon
Maegi dateline='[url=tel:1611186548' Wrote: 1611186548[/url]']
Keres dateline='[url=tel:1611184403' Wrote: 1611184403[/url]']
Maegi dateline='[url=tel:1611179812' Wrote: 1611179812']
I don't think public discussion on this is beneficial at all. Only admins are privy to all information needed to give out strikes. In my experience, strikes rarely exist in a vacuum. There has to be multiple reports from varied people. Then again, perhaps this is overly punitive and there is relevant criticism.

In any case, I think the best course of action would be for parties involved to handle this privately, and that this thread be locked. There's already a lot of tension between staff and players and the events of today made it worse.

@Maegi

I told myself I wasn't going to reply to this thread again but seeing your call to shut down the thread made me decide to do it anyway.聽

I received a strike this morning for things that were not in any way aggressive. They were comments every one makes, because I loved people's toons or I was interested in them. You have probably made some very similar comments.聽

To clarify, I called for the thread to be shut down not to silence anyone or shove the issue under the rug but because I think this is better handled privately between the parties involved instead of being drawn out publicly.聽

I have made similar comments. They were rarely in good faith -- or if they were, they had an undercurrent of not so good faith. I'm sure if CMs went through my past messages, they would find strikable offenses as well. I've also had those messages targeted toward me, and it does feel like criticism, especially in the moment.聽

I think this is the crux of it:

WOLF Wrote:When you go to make a comment about another person's character in discord, we ask that you think twice.聽 Is this comment being made in good faith?聽 Or is it an unsolicited attempt to critique another member's writing?

But I do agree with Chelsie -- I think the issues outlined in WOLF's last post should have been clarified and codified sooner, rather than remaining largely unspoken and applied retroactively. But mitigating that is not up to me - I am not an admin.

here's the actual crux: did you receive a strike today, since you admit you've made similar comments? Or did they only go back retroactively for a select few?
January 20, 2021, 06:56 PM
Maegi
Yu猫l贸ng
L菧r茅n
If I received a strike, it's between me and the admins giving it out. I have no reason or obligation to give out that information publicly.
January 20, 2021, 06:58 PM
Keres
Approved Members
Epsilon
Rhetorical question. I already know that many players who have made similar comments did not receive a strike. Which, as a former admin, leaves the waters incredibly unclear and muddy when it comes to what's okay and what isn't.
January 20, 2021, 07:04 PM
WOLF
Site Account

We have closed this thread to prevent further escalation and disruption of the community, however, we are still open to feedback. Please use the Contact the Staff forum, or send a private message to the team with your concerns.

We will provide further clarification on this topic as received feedback warrants it. In the meantime, we also ask that players allow the dust to settle and experience what the new approach to enforcement feels like, especially with the addition of a moderation team.

We will also be removing certain posts from this thread to preserve privacy.
January 22, 2021, 11:06 AM
WOLF
Site Account

Update



Hey all!

The past few days have been a lot, but we do want to make an update on here that better aligns with our intentions. In looking over comments and speaking with a few individuals, very low tolerance is a much better phrase to use here than 0 tolerance. We apologize about that!

On reflection, no one on staff would have felt comfortable giving a strike for a single minor slip up. However, we wanted to make it clear that the above will be proactively shut down more firmly within the server, and as a result we came on too strong.

The initial post has been updated!

Previously, the going practice was to diffuse situations, but this was a disservice to members who were dismissed in bringing up concerns. From now on, staff will call this sort of thing out, address it, and strike on fewer and less egregious infractions than previously (IE the strikes given out that have been mentioned). Strikes have always required full unanimous agreement from CMs, however, and are a very rare occurrence.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the team <3