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Political sprays.

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Political sprays.

Unread postby Saint » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:40 pm

Due to the precedent set by the recent short banning of BAZ for using a political "free Palestine" spray I would like to suggest that all political sprays and conversation on mic and by text be dealt with similarly. This means domestic politics as well as overseas (assuming INC is a UK server) should not be part of the game at all. Failing to strictly enforce this may have people questioning how seriously INC takes its anti discrimination policy. I'm not talking about whether or not particular content is or isn't offensive here. That's something which would be discussed and decided when a good number of responsible people have voiced their opinion. I'm talking about content which falls foul of the blanket ban on political material, the same content that got BAZ banned.

I would also recommend that rule 5.4 is changed as it is misleading given how the servers are currently being policed.

"A spray should not make a mockery of any news events or incidences where there are high tensions in order to get a cheap laugh. Politics, religion and scandals have their place, but not on a gaming server if it is offending others. This comes to a discretion of admin as to whether it is suitable or offensive, but if reviewed and found to be offensive it will be treated as so, as such, the player should be made aware of the possibility and urged to refrain."
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Political sprays.

Unread postby Grandma » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:43 pm

Will post a thorough response in time, however, I disagree wholeheartedly with the first part of this thread that talks about 'precedent' as it is entirely misleading. This is not the first time this has happened - would estimate upwards of 50 times at least since that rule was implemented. So whilst it is the first time someone has got upset about someone not being able to put up their picture of choice, be under no illusions that it is anything new or has particular relevance to one incident over many others in the past, that is only relevant as an example, not precedent.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Saint » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:14 pm

Was BAZ's spray reviewed before the ban was implemented?

Does the spray make a mockery of anything?

Is there any evidence it was offending anyone on the server?

Who could "free Palestine" possibly offend? I am genuinely interested to know what people think on this matter and what their reasons are.

Was BAZ banned because the admin had discretion and decided that the spray was inappropriate/offensive? (Please disregard the fact that BAZ was ignorant/oblivious to requests on mic/text etc. Just talking about the content itself here)

Do you think that by the same token if someone were to voice their opinion that the Tories are doing a crap job of running the the country in comparison with Labour then they ought to receive the same ban? Please give reasons.


Everywhere in life, always, I look for equality and fair treatment for all. I get upset when I don't see it. Even when it's related to something I don't really give two shiny shits about I get upset. You need to tread carefully with discrimination and if you are really serious about being anti discrimination then every decision you make on the matter sets precedent. If you don't don't treat everyone the same way then you are being discriminatory. Simple as.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Ordog » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:25 pm

Saint wrote:Was BAZ's spray reviewed before the ban was implemented?

Is there any evidence it was offending anyone on the server?




Yes and Yes. When I asked him to stop spraying it someone noticed and started to argue with him about it.

I will leave the rest for Grandma to answer.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Saint » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:40 pm

What were their reasons for arguing about it? How did it offend them?

We are (arguing is a little strong) disagreeing about his spray now but I do not find it offensive. Am I right to assume that both you and Granny are also not offended by the spray?
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Grandma » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:44 pm

I'd caution against trying to change everything or simply bundle everything up and argue for it's implementation on the basis of "unless you do this you can't be doing this" mentality. It is stupid and counterproductive to do so.

The productive way of discussing it is to look at what is relevant within the context of the discussion and also to look at what is a desired outlook, what it relates to and what the consequences of doing that will be.

As it stands, the outlook as regards sprays is this as a TL;DR version:

If someone is likely to find it offensive, upon being questioned (within reason) it will be asked to be no longer used. This is because the ability to use sprays is not seen as crucial to being able to play or enjoy yourself, it's a 'nice-to-have. It's also a case of not wanting to ban all sprays because we also don't want to rule with an iron fist and be unreasonably restrictive in what people can do within the established abilities of the game. The policies on sprays are simply an extension on the simple basis of the entire community - which is that we want people to enjoy themselves in a social setting without upsetting others in every way possible. Whilst this will never be fully attainable as a goal due to human nature, we strive to get everyone to be able to play nicely. Whilst it would be entirely wonderful to sum up all our rules with this sentiment, there are many people that are incapable of doing so and will question every tiny aspect - so we took the effort of writing out rules to cater for specific common situations.

As Leader of INC I will be stating that our overall policy will be adhered to within discussing the rules - so whatever is determined by common discussion will follow the overall theme of the community which is to prevent unneccessary upset wherever possible. How that is put into words as far as specific rules, sure, that can be up for discussion.

The problem I have with what you are stating is not so much the sentiment but what I believe to be the short-sightedness of what you are proposing.

Saint wrote: This means domestic politics as well as overseas (assuming INC is a UK server) should not be part of the game at all. Failing to strictly enforce this may have people questioning how seriously INC takes its anti discrimination policy.
Irrelevant and IMO stupid statement - You've simply decided at this juncture that rule 5.4 covers everythign and have missed out 5.1 which states everything should also adhere to the rules above it about discrimination. The only people questioning the discrimination policy are those who have clearly read right past it!

I'm not talking about whether or not particular content is or isn't offensive here.

Then what are you doing? Because that is the basis of the rules you are proposing discussion about, as is your previous sentence. You'r either discussing it or not. If it isn't offensive then we wouldn't be thinking about clarifying a rule on what is offensive or not, nor would be looking to create a rule that specifically picks out additional content to be banned.

That's something which would be discussed and decided when a good number of responsible people have voiced their opinion. I'm talking about content which falls foul of the blanket ban on political material, the same content that got BAZ banned.

There is no blanket ban on political material so pointless statement. You are the one proposing that there should be one and that it should be written.

I would also recommend that rule 5.4 is changed as it is misleading given how the servers are currently being policed.

"A spray should not make a mockery of any news events or incidences where there are high tensions in order to get a cheap laugh. Politics, religion and scandals have their place, but not on a gaming server if it is offending others. This comes to a discretion of admin as to whether it is suitable or offensive, but if reviewed and found to be offensive it will be treated as so, as such, the player should be made aware of the possibility and urged to refrain."

This, as every other rule, is written in a tone that talks to the player reading it. It mentions politics, religion and scandals in order to provide some context as to what the rule is on about but goes on to say that it is not acceptable if it is deemed and found as potentially offensive. As such it also implies that if it is not found to be offensive by others there that it will be permitted. All it does is state not to post content that may be offensive and be aware that you may be asked to not post something if it is questioned.


For example. Lets now state we implement what you discuss. We have a blanket ban on all political sprays. I would imagine people would then ask why not on other similar topics too, such as religion and scandals as previously mentioned. At that point, we will then have anal people suggesting that anything which promotes one thing over another is deemed as political and that everything is a scandal.




All in all, I believe that this is a fuss about nothing and that it's simply ridiculous. Without pre-vetting every image that we could potentially allow, there is no question of doing anything other than 'discretion'. Blanket bans only apply if you can attribute anything and everything to a blanket. If you're going to be specific you need to damn well be specific, because other people will argue against it as often demonstrated by many of our guests - usually anyone who has ever found themselves or someone they once saw in passing be punished against said rulesets. For me, if this is the way that people wanted to go, the only way it'd be likely to work would be a blanket ban on sprays rather than trying to classify everything or vet every image. I also do not feel we have the resources to put every potential image to any kind of 'panel' or open vote after the incident because at that point the damage has been done.

In a number of categories - which were chosen because of their common occurrence on gaming servers - nudity and advertising - these are very simple to categorise as what is acceptable or not. Others however, are ridiculously open-ended as to what they could potentially apply to - such as politics, religion, news items, etc. At the moment the case is that if it's not one of a couple of commonly used easily categorised items that we simply urge people to not use things that could be considered offensive. The default position intended to be implied by these rules is that the discretion applied will err on the side of caution - so that if there is a possibility it will cause offence it will be asked to not be used. However, people are also urged to remember that in punishing for these things it will be light - due to the nature of it not being instantly identifiable by everyone. So people will simply be asked not to use it and light bans apply when consistently ignored so that people don't suffer for doing such.

~______________________________________________________________________________~

My suggestion would be that if someone can think of a better way of putting "if you use a picture which might upset of cause offence to someone else there is a good chance you will be asked to no longer use it" that we can also use to direct people to how it may be applied that that is what we should go with.

I think it would be a sad state of affairs to ban all sprays and without pre-vetting every potential image posted (not actually possible!) then we can never apply a perfect rule to all. With resources available and when put into the context of 'spraying a picture on a surface so that 31 other people can see it" I think it is not unreasonable whatesoever to ask people to consider that if someone else finds it a bit too edgy or offensive they're going to be asked to pick a different picture to share.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Grandma » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:48 pm

Saint wrote:What were their reasons for arguing about it? How did it offend them?

We are (arguing is a little strong) disagreeing about his spray now but I do not find it offensive. Am I right to assume that both you and Granny are also not offended by the spray?


According to the BBC, it is offensive. I will quote you a news article discussing their reaction. According to people who have been in a war over the principle behind it, it is fair to assume that one side of the Gaza war finds it offensive.

During the course of a long correspondence, the BBC’s head of editorial standards for audio and music, Paul Smith, wrote that the show’s producer “did not edit out the word ‘Palestine’ because it was offensive — referencing Palestine is fine, but implying that it is not free is the contentious issue.”

It is obvious why Israel, the occupier, would want to silence calls for a free Palestine, but not so clear why the BBC feels the same. PSC’s attempts to find out, backed up by a concerted campaign of pressure from members, resulted on 31 January 2012 with the BBC’s ruling that it had been “overcautious” in making the edit but that the final content broadcast on the Charlie Sloth show had not been biased and therefore did not breach its editorial guidelines.

http://electronicintifada.net/content/w ... tine/10886


This is taken from an excerpt on a pro-free Palestine website organisation. I agree with the BBC's stance on the matter and their reasoning behind it also. It also is showing that the BBC later had to clarify under pressure that they had been overcautious but were sticking by their reasoning. Again, I agree with this. Our rules on discrimination edge towards caution and this is in keeping with our overall policies and direction.



Again though, you are focusing on an incident which you have already been told is irrelevant in discussion of a rule. The purpose of this discussion area is not to discuss individual matters - which have already been determined - but to propose an alteration to the way rules are written and enforced if they are felt to be wrong or in need of alteration. As such, this is your last warning on this topic.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Ridge » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:02 pm

This particular situation i find lies within the foggy area of the rule in question. As Saint has said, was the spray offending anyone? If you have a look at the original thread it didnt offend anyone in particular, it was only brought up because the admin thought it 'might' offend someone on the server, no mention was made to it actually offending an individual (although fair enough Ordog has mentioned after it being known what the spray was someone began arguing about it). I believe in that respect the spray should have been allowed until someone specifically said it was offending them or making them feel uneasy etc.

And after writing that paragraph Grandma goes and says exactly what i was about to put in my next paragraph! Damn you Grandma and your oral abilities!

Overall, and this is just my opinion, i dont think Baz's spray was offensive but again different people judge things in different ways and this was just my viewpoint on the matter. The rule in question should be used in the exact context it is stated, being that it is up to the discretion of the admin whether or not a spray is deemed to be 'offensive' and i think that is the main point the rule makes. Although i really hope admins take a little more of a liberal approach to certain things and subjects on the server instead of sometimes ruling with an iron fist. There have been a few instances i know of where admins are being anal about subjects just for the sake of over policing.
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Political sprays.

Unread postby Saint » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:20 pm

OK. I'll shut up before you ban me for some wooly, easy to misinterpret reason too. GLHF.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Ordog » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:41 pm

Ridge wrote:Although i really hope admins take a little more of a liberal approach to certain things and subjects on the server instead of sometimes ruling with an iron fist. There have been a few instances i know of where admins are being anal about subjects just for the sake of over policing.


Bit of an unjust comment to make especially with how the latest incident related to this was handled.

Saint wrote:OK. I'll shut up before you ban me for some wooly, easy to misinterpret reason too. GLHF.


The rule has been discussed at length and you both have taken a lot of time out to say your views and have them listened and replied to. After all this I wouldnt expect a comment like that from you Saint, thought you were better than that tbh.

You of all people should know that was never implied. He mearly meant that you would not get another detailed reply and/or the topic would be locked.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Ridge » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:34 pm

Ordog wrote:
Ridge wrote:Although i really hope admins take a little more of a liberal approach to certain things and subjects on the server instead of sometimes ruling with an iron fist. There have been a few instances i know of where admins are being anal about subjects just for the sake of over policing.


Bit of an unjust comment to make especially with how the latest incident related to this was handled.

How so? I didnt mean it as an insult Ordog, far from it, you know i love INC and everyone in it, id give everyone hugs if i could, i was just stating that there are instances i know of when i have been on where admins tell people off or warn people for the most minute of reasons. I remember being told off by an admin for saying 'cunt' on the server once when it was about 1 in the morning with 12 people on the server.
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Political sprays.

Unread postby Grandma » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:14 am

Saint being told to shut up is wholly in relation to his inability to look past an incident that has been determined rather than looking towards his supposed wish to change the rules - it's no wooly reason, it's trying to ensure some constructive outcome rather than just having people be a dick about whether they found something offensive or not. It's the equivalent of bitching about the American subprime mortgages in European fiscal studies at present. It's happened, it was done and it was done according to rules at the time. Either decide to do something better in the future and work constructively or just be ignored by everyone else because you're of no help.




Still seeing little input from anyone as to the rule, how it should be written or how it should be enforced... does this mean people are happy with the rule the way it is or is there something they'd like to add to it?

Bear in mind - whatever is decided needs to be put into words in a way that leaves almost nothing to interpretation. I think that unless we're OTT on banning imagery a lot will be left to discretion - but again, it could be that the rule gives guidance to discretion in some format?

I am however, very aware of the fact that many complaints are raised after the incidents - as evidenced by our complaints section and messages I receive. This means that whilst in some cases it may not be offensive to some, in other cases it could be or could be annoying that people have brought serious topics into the gaming sphere without people wanting it there. It's a catch22 situation. You are either pro-active and ask someone not to use something if it could cause offence - or you leave it be and end up with a complaint from someone about how our admins were doing nothing whilst such an offensive image was present! I think that it should be the case that we do stick to being more cautious rather than not. I'd class it as 'safe liberal', in that we're wanting to let people be expressive but asking them when it becomes a little edgy to use something else. I mean, it's not as if they're being punished, banned etc - that only comes IF they decide that they wish to ignore our wishes and even then we state our lowest ban durations should be implemented.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby Ridge » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:01 pm

I think the rule is fine as is and should be left.
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Re: Political sprays.

Unread postby NeveN » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:51 am

Saint wrote:Who could "free Palestine" possibly offend? I am genuinely interested to know what people think on this matter and what their reasons are.


Holy shit how about everybody? First, we can look at anyone Israeli being offended, that's a no brainer as you are threatening their very state. Then, you'd probably have to specify which Palestine is wanting to be freed? Gaza? West Bank? If both, then you're offending both Hamas and the PNC, because they are currently at loggerheads deciding who is legitimate - there was an armed conflict on this matter in 2007 and the situation isn't particularly improved now. If the statement backed one or the other, then you're claiming the other is not legitimate and therefore taking a controversial political stance that has no place on the servers and will serve no purpose other than to inflame anyone who is actually involved or invested in the conflict.

'free Palestine' is a statement that, unqualified as it was, has the potential to offend pretty much everybody who actually has concerns about the subject matter. Believing in freedom for all and equality is good, that would be lovely, but the reality is that the Levant is currently a web of religious, political and ideological difference, disagreement and hatred - it is a matter that should realistically be left to the UN and the ICC to determine.

Most political matters will not have such divisive consequences - arguing whether the government is correct economically has occasionally made a few politicians a bit feisty and call each other names. It has not created a conflict that has lasted for 70 years, causing multiple wars between 5+ different states, accusations of genocide and terrorism and the deaths of thousands.

I think it's pretty clear where you can draw the line with the current rule - if it is outright offensive or has the potential to offend and somebody requests action, then rules 3.1, 3.4, 5.1 and 5.4 provide sufficient coverage to justify the admin decision.

As to granny's post: I'm in favour of the rule staying as it is. No need to overcomplicate things, or else we'd have to draw up an entire list of "too offensive" and "not offensive enough" - I believe it is far better to have a guideline as we do currently to allow an admin to take action if they deem that the political statement is offensive, discriminatory or inflammatory. I think this is far better than having a blanket ban on political statements, as what is "borderline offensive" in one situation could be perfectly acceptable in another.
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Re: Political sprays.

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