Leave My Forums Alone! UPDATED 5-4-09 11:44pm

Okay, I’m taking a step away from the game itself to discuss something that has been brought to my attention in a pretty ugly way lately.

I admit, with my hand upon my blog screen, that I am a “Forum People.”  (That’s what Ultraking calls it).  I haven’t been as on top of them lately, because I’ve been playing and blogging more, but I used to be addicted to my realm forum and its drama.  Yes, sometimes the drama was too much, and we begged people to stop feeding the trolls, reported irritating and inappropriate posts, and hoped that the Big Forum Gurus (BFGs) would slap the idiots around a little.

Boy, have they swung in the other direction.

In the past several weeks, they have started deleting everything on the Durotan forum regardless of its drama or nondrama if it’s not explicitly GAME RELATED.

I liked the forums.  They allowed people to get to know each other in ways that can’t be done in the middle of an instance group or in Trade chat.  On the forums, you have time to think and express yourself in paragraphs (or lack thereof) for better or for worse.  There are many, many people I have rarely run across in the game itself that I feel I know fairly well from the forums.  I love that community and camraderie.

And now: this.  It started with a song thread.  That’s right; nothing obnoxious, nothing dramatic, nothing even rude.  It was simply a place for people to share lyrics from their favorite songs.  It was deleted.  The next day, a thread wondering why it was deleted was also deleted, and a new one was started.  Then a few more posts were deleted.  And then a thread about the fact that the moderators seemed to be coming down pretty hard was deleted and resulted in at least one ban that I’m aware of.

I’m sorry, I really try to avoid any allusion to immaturity on my blog, but WTF?!

Here is a the most recent thread about it, assuming it is not also deleted within hours.

I want to know if this is widespread or just our little corner of the forum globe–I used to also follow the druid forums closely, as it used to be a particularly strong community class forum, but I was downsized when I became a stay-at-home mom (young children are much more demanding than any of my former bosses)–so tell me, fellow Forum People, have you seen this happening on your favorite WoW forums?

Some of my favorite things have been unrelated posts about songs, poetry, books, and family.  So we’re not allowed to list the 5 most important things in our life, share poetry we’ve read or written, link pictures of fun trips or guild meetings we attended?

Good game, BFGs; GG indeed.

Update:  The thread I linked has indeed been deleted, so let me sum up what it said for you:

Person 1 said, “this is getting out of hand.”  Person 2 agreed and suggested complaints be emailed to Blizzard.  Person 3 posted what I can only imagine was a response from such a report that said something to the affect of: the forums exists for players to talk about game-related activities.  If you want to see the content changed, use the Suggestions forum.  A few more posts, and then someone postulated if someone is just reporting every post and the forum moderators are just deleting each one they receive.



Filed under Blogstuff

9 responses to “Leave My Forums Alone! UPDATED 5-4-09 11:44pm

  1. Jonnz

    Hey guess what? I got my first ever forum banning!

    I am growing to hate the Blizzard mentality. Going from one extreme to the other is ridiculous. They allowed every type of nonsense to now banning EVERYTHING that is not part Warcraft, regardless of how benign it is.

    Wanna see what I got banned for?

    Account Banned

    Ban Type Temporary
    Expires 05/07/2009 01:50:05 PM EDT
    Ban Reason Other

    Suspended from the World of Warcraft forums for a 72 hour period for posting about moderated threads. Threads may be deleted for violating Forum Guidelines, being redundant or there are existing threads talking about the same issue.

    * 21. Re: Been gone all day… 05/04/2009 06:26:09 AM PDT

    I rarely see a point now perusing this forum anymore if posts that I become accustomed to are now summararily deleted. I had a nice post in one of the deleted threads outlining how I felt, fortunately I saved it thinking of the very real possibility that it would vanish. Apparently I was right.

    Here goes the previously deleted post:

    I find it surprising that there is now sudden attention paid by the moderators to these realm forums in general. For the longest we always had to deal with the idiocy of Kryps, Elchictardo, Mudkipzzz and several other anonymous alts. For the longest the trolls just went unchecked, making as much of the annoyance posts without fear of reprisal.

    Now, posts get deleted where they violate the letter of the ToS, even if they are benign in nature. Things that bring us closer as a group, now are deemed “unlawful” and are summarily deleted without any apparent explanation. This is to be expected, after all these are not “our forums” rather these forums are maintained by the resources provided by Blizzard. We don’t have any lawful claim to freedoms of speech, nor are we given a right to post anything we want in these forums.

    What I think has happened here is that the forums were seen as a “drain” on company resources and as seen as a loss on the books. Ever since the forums have started implementing banner adds, the revenue stream has started to turn a profit for the forums, which leads to new hires set to moderating these forums. As a consequence, they are probably judged on performance upon a metric of how many posts removed meet the forum’s ToS.

    This is both good and bad. Good that it eliminates the idiots and their posts, bad that it eliminates posts that bring the community together as a group. The hope is here that these new moderators get a feel for the way the forums are just more about the game, more so as a gathering spot for the community of folks as it has become for our realm in particular.

    While I do have my suspicions as to the “reporter” of the posts (let me be frank and honest here it is the returning retard Kryps, even if I am wrong it is something he would do) I think it would be a great disservice if posts of this and others such as this one get deleted. Lets be honest with ourselves here, these posts tend to foster a big community spirit, they tend to let us at least relate and make connections to our fellow players not readily accessible in game.

    What I do like to see implemented though, is a mechanism by which these anonymous alts are somehow connected to their “mains”. This would go a long way in reducing the idiot, inflammatory, troll posts we have become known for. In addition, it will greatly reduce the costs associated with the moderating of said forums given that you can single out the idiot who makes the troll posts, making said troll think twice before he shoots his mouth off. Granted, there has been much talk of such a thing happening in the past, personally I hold some hope something of this nature is implemented sometime soon.

    End post.

    I firmly believe the idiot who keeps reporting these threads is Kryps. I even was the first to say it outright after Langston implied it in a previous post. This is yet another reason why he just fails. Hooray for him quitting the game numerous occasions, ultimately leaving us for another server, sucking on that server, then coming back to ours sucking even more. The point I am trying to make here is that Kryps should have tanked Gruuls in quested greens pre-nerf when it really mattered.

    Anyway, I expect this to be deleted sometime soon, courtesy of Kryps.

    Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. -Sun Tzu fl. c.500–320. B.C.



  2. Jonnz

    Looks like I am on my final warning!


    Suspended from the World of Warcraft forums for a 1 week period for reposting a deleted thread or discussing forum moderation. Threads may be deleted for violating Forum Guidelines, being redundant with existing threads talking about the same issue. Further violations of Forum Guidelines could result in a loss of posting privileges. This is a final warning.

    * 0. World of Warcraft: The Game! 05/08/2009 12:27:54 PM PDT

    I guess a goodbye to the forums post was too much to ask for not to be deleted.

    Go on report this too, get me banned. Honestly, who ever moderates this forum should be moderated themselves.

    I am asking a direct question, as it specifically and directly relates to this game, what is the e-mail address to report or refer to the moderation of these forums?

    “These forums are here to provide you with a friendly environment where you can discuss ideas, give game play advice, role-play, and converse about any other aspects of World of Warcraft with other players.” – Introductory first sentence of the first paragraph of the Blizzard forum guildlines

    [ Post edited by Jonnz ]
    Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. -Sun Tzu fl. c.500–320. B.C.

  3. Jonnz

    This is my e-mail to Blizzard concerning my “goobye forum” post:

    To whom it may concern:

    Hello, I am one of the many 11 million plus customers that play your very fun and entertaining game known as World of Warcraft. I have been an avid player of your product Since September of 2005, of which I have near total of some 350 days played combined total from of all my toons.

    When I first started playing your game, I became an avid follower and contributor of my realm forums. I established connections, friendships and relations that still endure to this very day because of the forums. I was an avid participant of the forums, even during it’s darkest when troll posts spouting all sorts of nonesense, from vulgarities to racial epithets, pretty much had free reign. Many of these posts remained to fester and atongonize some of the more decent forum folk even though the community reported, and reported, and yet reported some more.

    It has now reached a point where any and all posts not deemed specifically related to Warcraft are summararily deleted, without any explanation whatsoever. Things of a benign nature are now off limits apparently. We have had posts dealing with song lyrics, poetry, political discussions deleted for good. It also appears that the interpretation of the forum guidlines has changed drastically, without warning. Where once things that broght us together as a community, now are deemed off limits.

    In addition, because of such strict and intolerant interpretation, the moderators are now deleting anything reported. This has set up an environment where the abuse of the current system is easily attained. Anyone who just doesn’t like that particular poster can have that post deleted with a simple click of a link.

    I am going to quote from the forum guidelines the first sentence of the introductory paragraph:

    “These forums are here to provide you with a friendly environment where you can discuss ideas, give game play advice, role-play, and converse about any other aspects of World of Warcraft with other players.”

    I will also quote the post, my post, which was deleted:

    “This goes out to all the warriors of the Durotan community! I am working on this fantastic idea in order to determine who the “best of the best” warrior is on Durotan. I am proposing a tournament to see which warrior has the best PvP, PvE along with several other skills on Durotan. This event will be bracketed, timed and otherwise judged by me. All judgements final.

    We will also be judged on the following categories:
    1. Best tank/DPS looking gear
    2. How successful you can tank five man heroics in quested greens
    3. How many growths from Gruul you can survive in one go

    4. Show your skill to create plans within plans and yet within other plans and watch these plans bear fruit
    You will also be judged according to your achievements. Also asked to explain the mechanics of tanking, DPSing and otherwise playing as a warrior (this is the “essay” portion of the tournament titled “The Way of the Warcraft Warrior: How to survive in gear ten or more levels below max level”) and also explain how warriors are probably the best at everything they do.
    Rewards for the ultimate winner will be a metaphysical realm title of “Best Durotan Warrior EVAR!” to be prominently displayed over your swelled head, because, let’s face it, this tournament will be so awesome as to over inflate any warrior’s ego beyond measure!
    In addition, I will craft anything and everything for free in any of my maxed out professions! Yes free provided of course you are in front of Stormwind!

    Legal disclaimer: I will not hold a tournament, until I am leaving the game (but maybe I won’t), in which case I will come back after a month of “quitting”. I will then come back, transfer to a PvP server, show off my leet PvP/PvE skills, then come back claiming victory! I will also not craft anything of value for free or otherwise because it was all a trick, a joke if you will. Void where prohibited. Any and all sales, judgements and rulings are final. Residents of Durotan are prohibited from participation. If in the event this post is reported (and I am sure it will and we all know who by), I will be most likely perma-banned. It’s been great ride folks. Enjoy the new sterile forums! I am sure we all know who to thank for that!
    So on the off chance this is read before deletion, let me say goodbye to the regulars I grew to know through postings on here:
    Ricca – On the remote possibility you still view this forum, let me say you are probably the sweetest person I know, being a gnome notwithstanding. Sad days that you are no longer here to grace us with your presence.
    Langston – What can I say about you? Funny, acerbic, intelligent, and always the guy ready to pounce on the unsuspecting. I grew to respect you as you are uncompromising in your view of things, regardless of how much you are loved/hated.
    Greenwidow – I hate you! Warlocks be damned! Seriously, probably the biggest enjoyment I had here was the fact that I could joke with you. Gone are the halcyon days when my little illigitimate gnome child sparked such funny postings and how we used to spar back and forth. Many found the bickering to be humourous, many found it to be retarded.
    Crumbbum – You slimy green orc turned beyond effeminate blood elf female paladin. Both races are just two sides of the same coin. Orcs, both ugly on the inside and outside and Blood Elves, both uglier on the inside and the outside. Let it be known that poptarts suck royally. Pie is the only true constant in this universe.
    Galstaff – You noobsauce Shamlock! How dare you give up your shaman?! You sir, fail! Yeah I know, Death Knights are fun, but come on! Really? I shed a tear when that troll met his end. No more running through IF, no more tram shenanigans, no more dancing naked in the alliance held cities. Just remember who the true fatty, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, roly poly, weeble wobble is.
    Melkoran, Stolfusmcgee, Ignatz, Roguemachine, Omnifiend, Herfjones, Tomten and the many others through the four years I have gotten to have known here, heck would have only come to know through these very forums for some of you – Let me say that I enjoyed the ride. The forums are not what they were. We can no longer connect like we used to. This makes me sad. I understand the reasoning behind the recent changes, but I disagree with what it has left us.

    While I will continue playing the game, let me add that I will most likely not be using the forums to any sort of degree, if at all. And to the person who made this possible, let me add that regardless I still win. Never have I ever hid behind an alt or felt it necessary to. Never have I ever been the coward or did back down I always left myself open to anyone whispering spewing their hatred of me in game, of which there have been several. Thankfully though, the ones that support and “get the joke” have always managed to make my day. You win, if you can call it that.

    Goodbye folks, enjoy the new and improved forums.”

    This post was not tartgeting or demaning anyone specifically. It was a post that contained humor, heartfelt emotion to friends who were part of my gaming life and what I thought a cute and novel way to say goodbye as it specifically related to the game.

    My concerns and questions are as follows:

    If we look at the above mentioned quote to your realm forum guidlines…

    “These forums are here to provide you with a friendly environment where you can discuss ideas, give game play advice, role-play, and converse about any other aspects of World of Warcraft with other players.”

    and compare it against the post that was deleted, my question would be then where, against the quoted sentence, did I violate the realm forum guidelines?

    I would also challenge you to acknowledge that such recent practices of the arbritrary post deletions do not foster a friendly environment. In fact, I would dare conclude that the quoted forum guideline snippet is no longer being adhered to.

    Therefore I challenge the following:

    Please strictly define what is not allowed and cite examples comparing my post to where it violated current policy.

    Please change your current policy to reflect this recent shift of forum moderation or rather, and more appropriately, soften the guide by which forum moderation is being currently determined.

    I would like to conclude by saying that this is making me seriously consider the cancellation of my account. I realize I am only one customer, however I would like to believe that you hold the values of good customer service and that some sort of resolution or compromise can be established whereby people posting do not have to worry about post deltions, or worse yet, forum bans.

    Thank you,

  4. They don’t like when people post about moderated threads, and it’s one of the fastest ways to get banned on the forums. It always has been something you can’t post about. Once a beloved thread is gone, you are supposed to just move on to other threads & not dwell on why Blizzard’s forum moderator crew makes the decisions they do… Sometimes, they delete things without any rhyme or reason, and we’re just supposed to accept it…

  5. battlechicken

    If that were the only problem, Lissanna, I’d be okay with it. And Jonnz has never made it his practice to tread lightly (I say this with the utmost respect; Jonnz is a guildy and I consider him a good friend).

    As much as I dislike it, I would be okay with receiving a slap on the wrist if I posted about a deleted thread. But song posts? Poetry? Goodbye and real life and humor threads? I’m just not buying it. I could probably go on the forum right now, report every post, and get half of them arbitrarily deleted. That’s just not cool.

    This thread: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=16903574713&sid=1 has been spared so far. Our suspected troll reporter must be busy annoying people elsewhere. It’s not just our realm; it’s permeating.

    Sadly, I doubt this is going to change. I think this is a permanent change. If you can’t keep up with the forum moderation when you have to read every post, simply delete all the ones that get reported–the people who care about the moderation will leave and you’ll strain out some crap along with the good stuff–problem solved, I guess.

    • T. J. Harrigan

      My note to wowreportedpost@blizzard.com
      No reply as of today:

      I would like a clarification on the rules used to decide when threads are deleted from realm forums.

      In the past homophobic, raciest and harassing threads were tolerated for weeks and even months, I am extremely glad this is no longer the case and join what I know is the majority of users in welcoming the new faster and stricter enforcement of the rules.

      However, entirely new and undocumented rules seem to have been put into effect at the same time.

      Is it no longer permitted to make a post where the topic is anything other than the game?

      This is not what the guidelines say and has never been the case in the past.

      The game tips, guild recruitment and comments about loot rules have always been in the context of a community united by a common interest (this game), not the sole permitted subject of discussion within that community.

      We have exchanged poetry and favorite song lyrics, as well as good natured banter and occasional comments about current events in the real world from release of the game until now without any indication that this would no longer be tolerated.

      If someone were to become abusive or insulting in any thread, game related or not, I could see deleting their posts and even taking further action if warranted.

      But regularly deleting whole threads on any and all topics not directly game related, threads that would not ever have been deleted in the past, without any change in the published rules seems counter productive.

      If the intent is to have a simple bulletin board for realm announcements and to discourage a sense of community within the realms; it’s your game you can do that. But such a radical change in the paradigm should at least rate an announcement of the new rules.

      (I was directed to this e-mail address for this issue by the Customer Service forum)

      Thank you and I look forward to your response,

      Tomten & Jari – Arygos
      Grímaldur – Durotan
      Fuffy – The Venture Co

      • battlechicken

        I know I speak for quite a few people when I say that you appropriately and concisely covered all of the things we’ve been wondering and fuming about. Please let me know what response you get; I’d be highly interested on how seriously they take our concerns.

        By the way, for you non-Durotanians, Tomten is one of those people I have never seen in game but truly appreciate on the forums. Kudos, sir. 🙂

  6. Silapolxxzz

    Hello !

    I’m new on this forum so I introduce me…

    My name is Jason I’m 23 years old, I’m French.

    I like: holdem poker and dogs…

    Nice to meet you

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