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Server time (UTC): 2021-08-04 23:17

Unwritten Rules


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  • Emerald

Some things have recently come to my attention and I would like to know the Staff Team's position on it. I'm not sure if only Admins will be allowed to respond to this, or if they'll funnel their responses into a single message sent by Hofer as a sort of "official message", but I would like to know all of the Admin team is aware and reading this.

Writing this I am also worried that it will be shrugged off. As of late most responses coming down from high-ranking Staff have been dismissive, angry, sarcastic, unprofessional, etc. I understand the Staff is human, and so they have flaws like all of us, but I also know from experience that if your judgement-making is compromised by your spite or bias due to anger, you should not be making decisions, specially when they affect others. I come here in good faith, and I hope I'm treated with the same attitude. So, with all of this in mind, here's my question: The Staff team (primarily Administrators) have had a bad reputation for as long as I can remember for a bunch of reasons, mainly the enforcement of "unwritten rules" (more context below) and the use of their own often biased judgement to make decisions, like R4ing people or handing out arbitrary punishments based on how frustrated they are. Is this something that the Administrator/Owner team can see and understand, and will the team work to address it?

In terms of examples, I can bring a few from recent memory, but also speak in generalities that I'm sure many other community members can recall from their own experience. The biggest and closest to memory is the subject of politics within DayZRP. While the idea of banning politics is completely understandable and I actually agree with it, the way the Staff have handled it is embarrassing, to put it bluntly. Instead of making it clear in the rules and/or guidelines that real life politics within DayZRP is banned, the Admin team have decided to enforce an unwritten rule, which seems to be the following:

"All mention of real life politics with some partisan leaning is prohibited (i.e. propaganda, praising or denouncing political parties or ideologies, etc.), and very specific people from very specific groups can be punished for flaming/flame-baiting because by posting political content, they are indirectly referring to previous drama, therefore it is implied that it is abusive in nature."

Seems like simply adding the first sentence to the rules should fix all problems. If anyone does spread a political message, just warn them based on Rule 1.X which bans this content. And any more complaints can be directed clearly to that specific rule. But the Staff team have decided against that, and are instead punishing people for flamebaiting by drawing temporal lines to previous events, said events being months old by now. New users are also directed to this unwritten rule, of which they have never heard. This is not the only case in which rules have been created by the Admin team and have not been written down, making users have to guess where the lines are. This is but one example, I'm sure the community as a whole can find others where this may apply. Should the Admin's rule enforcement be based on drama, or carefully constructed rules?

Secondly, I would like to talk about accountability. It is known (although not mentioned explicitly anywhere in the Rules or User Guide) that Admins have the final say on pretty much anything. If an Admin wills it, thy will be done (nothing inherently wrong with this). That is true in most cases, but none are as explicit as in punishments and rule enforcement. This has resulted in cases like the aforementioned politics kerfuffle, where admins punish people based on how frustrated they are with members' attitude, and that results in arbitrary warning points and permabans which can't be directly causally linked to written rules. Who are we to complain to if an Admin does something which is not written in the rules and the community's trust in them is compromised? Have you fallen so comfortably in your position that being wrong is not a concern anymore? What if an Admin breaks a rule, how do we report them? Who's going to warn an Admin if they make an UP, or flamebaits? (Both of which have gone unpunished in the past simply because moderators don't have the ability to warn Admins on the forums.)

Finally, I'll just say that this is not a post asking whether or not there is an issue. I'm asking if it will be dealt with. The fact that the Admin team does a poor job enforcing their own rules and keeping up with the community is demonstrably true, what would happen if this community were in its booming days, with hundreds of new users every week? And if the Admin team reads this, scoffs and writes a demeaning, dismissive and angry response which completely ignores all points brought up here, what will that say about maintaining the Staff team unbiased? What happens if the Admins and Co-Owners are biased simply because they are too angry to make the right decisions?

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