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Kat

"Case by Case" and "Standard Punishment"

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Kat    101

We hear so much about staff looking at things on a case by case basis, which is all well and good, because every case is different.  (I do this type of thing every day, so I know of what I speak).  However, when you then go and apply "Standard Punishments", this totally disregards the case by case system.  Punishing someone for mediocre RP the same as someone who doesn't try at all seems to be all kinds of wrong. 

If you are going to stick to the case by case mentality, you need to do the same for punishment.  To me, it seems that all punishments can range from a warning to the max.  There shouldn't be a mandatory verdict outcome if each case is looked at based on its own merits.

So, with all that said, I guess my suggestion is to take that step back, look at each case individually, and then decide the punishment based on the evidence presented, within a specific set of punishment parameters, such as guilty of Bad RP can be punished by a Verbal Warning up to a 5 day ban.  This will require the staff to clearly justify their rationale and base it on the evidence of the report, rather than solely on their opinion of the definition of role play.

Arguments??  Bring it on, I wore my BGP's today.

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Pussy    311

I guess that's why the aggravated punishment rule also exists. Someone who has truly horrendous RP might have a higher case for an aggravated BadRP punishment instead of just the standard. 

There is already a  judgement system based on the severity of the rule break. Verbal warning, then standard punishment, then aggravated punishment.

Edited by Meowtica

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Cid    332

Whether it is case by case or standard punishment, staff needed to decide what the hell they are doing and stick to it rather than flip-flop and confuse the community.  If it's case by case, revamp the punishments because they are still based on standard punishment, if not just stick with standard punishment and use aggravation when needed.  It's pretty simple.

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Caesar    438

 

Quote

 

It is my view that a system that is fair, just and less prone to tyranny (bias) is a system where:

1. The rules are easy to follow and understand.

2. The evidence is rigorously considered and all sides are given a fair chance to respond.

3. The outcomes follow a clear precedent. This does not mean that verdicts cannot vary. But such variations should be a minority and should be stated clearly and should ideally be above reproach.

It is my view that all three are currently not working to a standard that I would be comfortable with.

1. The rules are long, tedious and require simplification.

2. The heightened number of recently overturned reports and the recent occasion where a report verdict was literally redone after a ban appeal to re-punish someone shows that the evidence on more than one occasion was not appropriately appraised. We all make mistakes, but a good system should not have this many easy to find examples.

3. "Case by case" by definition flies in the face of the third point.

If it were up to me I would work with the staff team to overhaul the current processes. I have said it before, while it may sound scary to some. Basing our reports of a basic legal framework is a good idea. While not perfect the legal systems of many first world countries are generally regarded as incredibly robust. Quite the feat considering the sheer volume of cases that go through even a single court in a year.

 

A standards based system is always best for fairness and impartiality. You can have modifiers used on appropriate and hopefully rare occasions with the current "extenuating circumstances" and "aggravated" rule breaks. However these must be argued well and be beyond reproach.

Without standard claims of bias are far to easy to make. Situation A may be clearly better than situation B to GM X, but GM Y may think it warrants a standard punishment. Not to mention what the community thinks.

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Para    180

I mean, aside from things like murder most legal systems have a range of punishments with a maximum standard. With this, mitigating / aggravating factors can be taken into account that would change how long somebody's ban is for or if their whitelist is revoked. Personally, I think this system fits very well as it allows discretion to take into account certain circumstances that would mean the standard ban or whitelist revoke is overly harsh or lenient.

 

Essentially, change the punishment system to be one that has a range of punishments available. E.g: maximum BadRP ban is 7 days, but GMs can reduce it to say 3 days if it is 'mediocre' rp but not whitelist revoke worthy.

And on the comment of bias, if it is clear that somebody is being biased towards their friends / people they dislike then there are ways of getting around that (such as Rolle or the Admin team stepping in.)

Edited by Para

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Guest

It wasnt very well written, but I made a thread on this a long time ago. It wasnt given much attention at all and died rather quickly. Here it is in case some points in it were brought up that should be brought up here:

 

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Kat, such a system you are proposing requires a staff team which knows what they are doing.

I do not think that the current team is ready for it, nor will it be ready for it ever, there is simply not enough quality.

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Dusty    1044
19 hours ago, Cid said:

Whether it is case by case or standard punishment, staff needed to decide what the hell they are doing and stick to it rather than flip-flop and confuse the community.  If it's case by case, revamp the punishments because they are still based on standard punishment, if not just stick with standard punishment and use aggravation when needed.  It's pretty simple.

Lol nobody is flip flopping. When we say "case by case", it means we look at each situation differently and all of the context in the situation.

Regarding standard punishments, we don't have those anymore. We have a guideline we can use, but we don't absolutely have to give a bad RP verdict a 5 day ban. 

You're right, it is pretty simple. Not sure why people are getting confused about it now.

19 hours ago, Kat said:

We hear so much about staff looking at things on a case by case basis, which is all well and good, because every case is different.  (I do this type of thing every day, so I know of what I speak).  However, when you then go and apply "Standard Punishments", this totally disregards the case by case system.  Punishing someone for mediocre RP the same as someone who doesn't try at all seems to be all kinds of wrong. 

If you are going to stick to the case by case mentality, you need to do the same for punishment.  To me, it seems that all punishments can range from a warning to the max.  There shouldn't be a mandatory verdict outcome if each case is looked at based on its own merits.

So, with all that said, I guess my suggestion is to take that step back, look at each case individually, and then decide the punishment based on the evidence presented, within a specific set of punishment parameters, such as guilty of Bad RP can be punished by a Verbal Warning up to a 5 day ban.  This will require the staff to clearly justify their rationale and base it on the evidence of the report, rather than solely on their opinion of the definition of role play.

Arguments??  Bring it on, I wore my BGP's today.

Everything you just described is something we already do. We use the old standard punishments as a guideline to go off of when giving punishments. 

There is no mandatory punishment/verdict. If the team of staff members handling a report thinks that the accused deserves a 3 day ban instead of a 5 day ban, or even a 7 day ban over a 5 day ban, then they will do that. We usually stick to the old standard punishments because they worked so well. 

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Keione    49

Just because Case by Case works does not mean it is efficient. It's apparent many people have a problem with it and it has lead to similar appeals resulting in different verdicts, unclarified rules becoming the center of the reason someone was banned, verbal warnings given out for rule breaks others received bans for, etc..

Personally would've chimed in during the Q&A to find an answer or more opinions about it but was busy with classes. 

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Dusty    1044
17 minutes ago, Keione said:

Just because Case by Case works does not mean it is efficient. It's apparent many people have a problem with it and it has lead to similar appeals resulting in different verdicts, unclarified rules becoming the center of the reason someone was banned, verbal warnings given out for rule breaks others received bans for, etc..

Personally would've chimed in during the Q&A to find an answer or more opinions about it but was busy with classes. 

It works, and is not broken, so why attempt to fix something that is not broken. It works just fine for our community that is run by volunteers with limited time. Bans and points received in verdicts have always had the potential to be appealed. That is nothing new, and it is not happening more often than it has happened in the past. It's going to happen when there are so many different opinions and view points in staff. In the past, the former staff teams may have been more unified in their opinions, but the amount of points/bans being revoked and verdicts being overturned is still not happening more than it did before.

Just because someone got banned for something in an entitely different situation doesn't mean that every single person who did something slightly similar in a different situation should be banned as well. Case by case means we look at each situation as its own entity, in which most reported situations are. We look at every detail and all the context and come to a verdict regarding it. Verdicting bad RP isn't the easiest thing sometimes. Some reports can be borderline or difficult to come to a verdict on. It's difficult to use other reports as precedent when every situation we look at is very different and has different circumstances.

So how exactly would you change the system? How would you make verdicting things that are almost impossible to be completely objective (something like bad RP that is on the edge between punishment worthy and not worthy) into something that is easily objective?

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Para    180
11 minutes ago, Dusty said:

1. It works, and is not broken, so why attempt to fix something that is not broken. It works just fine for our community that is run by volunteers with limited time. Bans and points received in verdicts have always had the potential to be appealed. That is nothing new, and it is not happening more often than it has happened in the past. It's going to happen when there are so many different opinions and view points in staff. In the past, the former staff teams may have been more unified in their opinions, but the amount of points/bans being revoked and verdicts being overturned is still not happening more than it did before.

Just because someone got banned for something in an entitely different situation doesn't mean that every single person who did something slightly similar in a different situation should be banned as well. Case by case means we look at each situation as its own entity, in which most reported situations are. We look at every detail and all the context and come to a verdict regarding it. 2. Verdicting bad RP isn't the easiest thing sometimes. Some reports can be borderline or difficult to come to a verdict on. 3. It's difficult to use other reports as precedent when every situation we look at is very different and has different circumstances.

So how exactly would you change the system? How would you make verdicting things that are almost impossible to be completely objective (something like bad RP that is on the edge between punishment worthy and not worthy) into something that is easily objective?

1. Even if something works, it's not about fixing it. It's about improving the current system so it works better. keione even stated maybe it isn't working efficiently. 

2. If it's borderline why is his punishment still the full punishment? Why wasn't it lowered to 3 days or verbal warning because that would've resulted in them keeping their whitelists. You shouldn't be giving full punishments for something so borderline like the situation in the report recently for badrp.

3. If every situation is different, you shouldn't be viewing things objectively. If everything is based around the circumstances of the scenario then the way the staff team needs to view it is subjectively from the viewpoint of the accused. Objectively viewing things implies a standard applied to ALL scenarios regardless of context or circumstance. Subjectively viewing things is case by case basis. The staff team either needs to decide to go subjective and stick with the viewing things case by case, aggravating or lowering punishments when they see fit (like in borderline cases), or they need to have a set standard that they apply to all scenarios. 

Edited by Para

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Keione    49
27 minutes ago, Dusty said:

It works, and is not broken, so why attempt to fix something that is not broken. It works just fine for our community that is run by volunteers with limited time. 

Of course, I never stated it was broken, only that isn't as efficient. 

27 minutes ago, Dusty said:

Just because someone got banned for something in an entitely different situation doesn't mean that every single person who did something slightly similar in a different situation should be banned as well.

Maybe there is more to your statement than I am inferring this early in the morning, but if someone get's banned for breaking said rule in one report, then it would be expected that every person who breaks that rule is going to be banned as well. Of course everyone has opposing views on new members and rules they may break, but members who have been through the ropes and have a clear understanding of what is allowed and isn't shouldn't be given a slap on the wrist for rules they break. 

For instance, if someone talks OOC over VOIP by accident as their computer crashes vs someone obviously talking OOC over VOIP knowingly, that is a case by case judgement. That is a go to moment where you judge them differently.  However, if one person is knowingly breaking forum rules and not receiving punishment, yet someone else is receiving punishment, then that should not be a case by case judgement - they should both be handled in that they both broke the rules and receive the punishment for it.

27 minutes ago, Dusty said:

Some reports can be borderline or difficult to come to a verdict on. It's difficult to use other reports as precedent when every situation we look at is very different and has different circumstances.

Every situation is different and is under different circumstances, yes. That does not mean the rules are different. If I kill someone in Novy after a complex dispute broke out and the kill was on someone not even involved vs I kill someone in Balota and I did it thinking they were following me to kill me, it doesn't change the fact I KOS'ed/RDM'ed someone and will be punished. Different circumstances, same rule breaks.

27 minutes ago, Dusty said:

So how exactly would you change the system? How would you make verdicting things that are almost impossible to be completely objective (something like bad RP that is on the edge between punishment worthy and not worthy) into something that is easily objective?

I would change the system firstly, as Para suggested, in having Staff decide on one set way to judge cases. It is apparent some verdicts/appeals are handled by what is stated in the rules and some are handled by Staff jurisdiction, and some of those cases did not need to be handled by way they were handled, but rather the other. There are always cases that require case by case, I've never stated otherwise. BadRP is one of those, but I will say it's a nice help to view old cases of BadRP and find verdicts to help justify new verdicts. 

27 minutes ago, Dusty said:

 It's going to happen when there are so many different opinions and view points in staff. In the past, the former staff teams may have been more unified in their opinions, but the amount of points/bans being revoked and verdicts being overturned is still not happening more than it did before.

This is an issue of Quality > Quantity. If opposing views are why some cases are handled with Staff jurisidiction when its clearly in the rules and vice-versa, that is something that needs to be handled in Staff. 

As for your statement of amount of points and bans, quality players have been punished for various reasons that could've been handled much better. Just because the amount is the same doesn't mean the quality is the same.

 

Sorry if any of this is incoherent, I'm pretty tired.

Edited by Keione

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Everyone should have the same set of rules that anyone else has. Back in the 2014-early 15. You knew who was getting banned and why. Now you never have any idea the outcome because case by case, which I think is literally do we feel bad if so don't ban them. 

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Dusty    1044
4 minutes ago, Diamond said:

Everyone should have the same set of rules that anyone else has. Back in the 2014-early 15. You knew who was getting banned and why. Now you never have any idea the outcome because case by case, which I think is literally do we feel bad if so don't ban them. 

Case by case has been used the entirety (at least the entire time I've been in the community) of the time the community has been a thing. Nothing has changed except for the people in staff and their view points. 

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2 minutes ago, Dusty said:

Case by case has been used the entirety (at least the entire time I've been in the community) of the time the community has been a thing. Nothing has changed except for the people in staff and their view points. 

Didn't know that, but even when that's true it still seems like that has been used more often for fuck ups. Like I said way back you knew the outcome now a days you don't know. Whether it be case by case or staffs thoughts. 

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Dusty    1044

Rather than quoting and snipping it all (I'm on my phone so it's difficult), I'll just @ you.

@Keione everything I said was in a situation where the reported situation was being reported for bad RP. If you KOS someone, it's still KOS if some of the circumstances are the same (no contact, nothing that grants kill rights, etc). 

In a situation that is reported for bad RP, it's difficult to come to a conclusion that fits for every single following bad RP report when everything that occurs is so different.

Staff handles every report in the same way. We look at all point of views provided, as well as all evidence. Unless a mistake is made, we don't give out a guilty verdict without povs that don't conflict and/or video evidence. 

When there are many different view points in the staff team, it can be easy to sometimes get certain bans/points revoked depending on who did the verdict and who did the appeal. This really only happens when a mistake is made (very rare, like if someone legit KOSd someone and wasn't punished, or when the kill is legit but they are punished) or when the teams handling each thing have different viewpoints on the situation. The part where the different viewpoints can create inconsistency only really happens in cases that rely on subjectivity (certain bad RP cases).

11 minutes ago, Diamond said:

Didn't know that, but even when that's true it still seems like that has been used more often for fuck ups. Like I said way back you knew the outcome now a days you don't know. Whether it be case by case or staffs thoughts. 

The only cases where the outcome is debatable are certain bad RP cases. If there is evidence and/or matching povs, then there is little to no variance in what the verdict would be.

When it comes down to bad RP cases, it can be difficult if not impossible to come to a conclusion that fits every single other bad RP report.

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Kat    101

@Dusty, just a couple issues.

Yes, the appeal process is there for a reaon.  However, if the system weren't broken there wouldn't be overturned verdict after overturned verdict.  Period.

Staff opinion should NEVER be a factor when coming up with a verdict.  The rules are there in black and white.  As for BadRP, yes, it is based on opinion, but as @Rampage has pointed out, there needs to be a "standard" requirement.  You have to attempt to roleplay.  Following this, your opinion can come into play when considering Punishment.  How bad was it?  Non-existent or just lacking?  Trolling or inexperienced?  That is where the discussion should come in.  Just how bad was it and what can we, as staff, do to help prevent this from happening again.

And finally...this thread was started, not as a debate about verdicting reports, but to discuss how punishments are determined. 

Edited by Kat

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Caesar    438

The simple truth is. The more "subjectivity" and variability you add into a system the more likely that errors will occur. 

By using a standard everyone from the accused, accuser and the staff team know what the outcome will be for a particular violation. Yes we understand that situations can vary to the point that different punishments are warranted. However these should be the exception, and should be well stated as to why these variations have occurred. Treating issues on a "case by case" basis allows fallible humans the added leeway of not needing to rigorously challenge their determination because the policy allows for any and all punishments. This can and arguably has lead to occasions where a lack of intellectual rigour has been exercised.

I have always believed the staff team should be their harshest critics and should apply as much serious thought to verdicts as possible.

As an example of my point.

Situation One:

Someone has clearly demonstrated bad RP and I feel this is quite a bad example of it. As such I feel that I can go heavier, after all every case is unique and "case by case". Since this is the case I have no reason to challenge myself and explain why it needs a harsher punishment.

Situation Two:

The same situation as above, however, changing a verdict to a harsher punishment requires me to justify why the situation is "aggravated". I think it over and figure out why it is. I start to struggle as I cannot really put my finger on why it is really so bad. This leads me to reconsider the punishment. Alternatively I can express extremely well why I believe it is worse than most situations. I explicitly state this in the verdict. This simple act already minimises the chance that any ban appeal will be successful because I have thought of the objections and provided a logical counter argument. The reviewing GM's see this and take it into account.

As a side note, it is clear the current staff team has a PR problem. Using the terminology "Case by case" screams intellectual laziness and bias to a lot of people. If people see you change the terminology and practices behind them you will give your detractors far less ammunition and maybe even convert a few onto your side. Ideally the staff and the community should be in lockstep. 

Edited by Caesar

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