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#1 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4297 posts) -

GameSpot is on the verge of momentous change as we prepare to re-launch the site in the biggest change its seen in 17 years. During this time of self-reflection were aiming to improve as many aspects of the site as possible. One of the biggest issue plaguing GameSpot is the abysmal practices seen in our comment section.

The gaming industry strives in partaking of past exploits in fantasy worlds and individual experiences that evoke emotional responses. Weve all come together to talk about the latest game releases or to recall the good old days in gaming, its the very reason so many of you participate in our forums and comment sections. Not only do we encourage it, we cant thank you enough for doing so on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some of you have decided to abuse our communal space with uncalled for levels of abusive and offensive language. We aim to fix that.

It is my pleasure to announce that we will be changing our Terms of Usealong with revising how we moderate the site. If we are to grow as a community, we must hold some level of respect towards each other and in doing so we must be able to communicate like proper human beings. Hate speech and threats have no place in any community that hopes to be welcoming and engaging towards anyone who simply wants to talk to likeminded individuals. I realize that simply saying we are changing things isnt enough so starting today anyone with moderating powers on the site will enforce our existing guidelines (and continue to do so once new ones are in place) in the following way.

First offense: User will receive a warning.

Second offense: Seven-day suspension from the site

Third offense: Permanent Ban from GameSpot

For the sake of clarity, this will include forums, comment sections, and blogs. The ban will be imposed to those that violate our guidelines within a span of 60 days of each offense. If no further incidents occur within the 60 day period, the user will be cycled back to good standing all is right in the world.

For most of you, the only effect of these changes should be a noticeable improvement in the quality of conversation across the site. On the other hand some of you might see this as an unrealistic request and to those individual Id like to remind them that there are plenty of vestibules in the online space that would welcome your closed minded views. GameSpot will not tolerate hate speech, threats, and we will ban accordingly at our own discretion.

GameSpot: Important Update to the GameSpot Community Code of Conduct

(abide by.) So, well I guess this happened two weeks ago and I didn't notice. With the new redesign comes new comments. With everyone getting the banhammer if they don't shape up, Over There. I've seen the new comments with the new site, and at least its comfortably better. GameSpot and IGN are where all the big news ends up. And to note, GameSpot, IGN, BGR, and TechnoBuffalo are where I've seen some of the most offending commenters. TB finally fixed itself, and BGR doesn't give one iota of a fuck how awful its commenters are. CNN and Forbes seem to be not so great. And I guess YouTube, and even they seem to finally be doing something to fix that, years later. IGN tried fixing themselves recently, and it went okay.

But anyway from some of those forum comments on this thread subject "We should go to a new forum, everyone." I guess some people can't stand not being a jerk, years at a time. Its weird thing they still have System Wars at all anymore, actually.

Dem spelling errors in the OP. Eh?

EDIT: Oh hey, and there's already a petition going. Not a nice change.org or whitehouse.gov thing, but a thread on the GameSpot Forums that says This Is A Petition, probably works just fine.

GameSpot Off-Topic: "We want the old site back!!" petition, sign here.

The new site absolutely sucks. If you want the old site back, or something similar, post a comment. Each comment equals a sign. There are no limits to your comment. If you dont want change, dont post

#2 Edited by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

The problem is not "disagreement". The problem is "quality". Without better moderation tools and the mandate to use them it is all too easy to degenerate into nonsense where the result is worthless waste time and energy (that is both volt/amps and mental). I'm all for any site changing their discussion system to be more stringent in specific topical areas.

#3 Posted by dagas (2902 posts) -

I've not visited Gamespot in a long time. I go to GB for videos and Eurogamer for news. It looks like they have taken the design inspiration from GB which I must say is a good choice. Better than before for sure.

#4 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -

So 2014's "Hi duders. I'm new here cuz I wuz banned from GAF" is now gonna be about Gamespot? Cool.

Really though, they just need to start deleting comments and outright banning people. I hardly look at that site anymore, but a lot of things I've seen don't even deserve 3 strikes.

#5 Edited by ChosenOne (207 posts) -

Sounds good to me, but I think anonymity is the real issue. Any sports fans out there can likely recall when not too long ago any ESPN comment section was a complete cesspool ripe with trolling. Then they made the switch from annoymous comments to Facebook comments and articles that would have previosly have had 1000 comments now only have 100, but with everyone being more or less civil and on topic. That said, I don't think it's a viable option for Gamespot.

#6 Edited by MildMolasses (3228 posts) -

I know IGN implemented stricter moderation policies a while ago, but I'm not sure how that turned out. I never went to the comments anyway so I can't say if civility increased at all.

I'm glad they are taking steps though. The comments section often devolves into a cesspool of ignorance and hostility

#7 Edited by MattyFTM (14424 posts) -

The only issue I have with the new system over there is that it could theoretically be abused by people. They could, in theory, post two extremely horrible things in close succession and end up with a 7 day ban. Then they can wait 60 days and do exactly the same again. I doubt many people would have the patience to do that - but I've come across some extremely persistent trolls in my time and it seriously wouldn't surprise me.

In my experience, moderations need some leeway. Judge the individual offense and decide a course of action based on the actions of the user and their intent. At least that's how things best work on Giant Bomb. This new system may work great for GameSpot - I don't know enough about the current GameSpot community to say for sure. Either way, it's always great seeing attempts at stamping out dicky behaviour and trying to have reasonable discourse on the internet.

Moderator
#8 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

Oh gamespot...

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Post apostrophes?

#10 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1874 posts) -

Sounds good to me, but I think anonymity is the real issue. Any sports fans out there can likely recall when not too long ago any ESPN comment section was a complete cesspool ripe with trolling. Then they made the switch from annoymous comments to Facebook comments and articles that would have previosly have had 1000 comments now only have 100, but with everyone being more or less civil and on topic.

I don't visit EPSN too often, but in my experience with various sports sites (which amounts to reading an article and then skimming some of the comments) sports fans are just as bad if not worse than gamers in regards to vitriolic and hateful comments. The thing I hate most about the video game community, irrational close minded fanboyism, is basically the cornerstone of all sports discussions.

#11 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1087 posts) -

Oh gamespot...

^ pretty much how I feel

Online
#12 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12006 posts) -

@joshwent said:

So 2014's "Hi duders. I'm new here cuz I wuz banned from GAF" is now gonna be about Gamespot? Cool.

Really though, they just need to start deleting comments and outright banning people. I hardly look at that site anymore, but a lot of things I've seen don't even deserve 3 strikes.

To be fair, "I was banned from GAF" is 2012's "I left Gamespot because of what they did to Jeff and possibly got banned along the way."

#13 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

1. Create space where people are able to have conversations about emotional subjects.

2. Watch arguments from both sides about how the other side are terrible monsters for not believing what the one side believes.

3. Install strict, powerful moderators.

4. Watch arguments about the moderators are not impartial and how they're terrible mongrels either for being draconian and biased or for being not strict enough and limp-wristed.

5. Rewrite guidelines for moderators to follow.

6. Complain about guidelines not being fair or not being followed properly.

7. Install a second class of moderators to moderate the moderating abilities of the first class.

8. Complain about the impartiality of the supra-moderators.

And the cosmic ballet... continues.

#14 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@mattyftm said:

The only issue I have with the new system over there is that it could theoretically be abused by people. They could, in theory, post two extremely horrible things in close succession and end up with a 7 day ban. Then they can wait 60 days and do exactly the same again. I doubt many people would have the patience to do that - but I've come across some extremely persistent trolls in my time and it seriously wouldn't surprise me.

Honestly, if they're that persistent... then they'll just create multiple accounts anyway.

I miss Son1c_h3dgeh0g

#15 Edited by spraynardtatum (3521 posts) -

I really hate this kind of stuff. I'm happy they updated the site but I don't think I'll ever be a fan of strict moderation.

#16 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

@chosenone: The 'just switch to Facebook, that'll shut them up!' thing is such a dodge. What happens when someone uses their Facebook account to say something someone doesn't like? You just see campaigns for Facebook to moderate them. Or people just start saying 'ugh Facebook comments are THE WORST they need moderators!' I've seen it happen, I've seen Facebook campaigns to close other Facebook accounts for being mean or obscene or insane.

Such are the travails of etiquette policing.

#17 Edited by CornBREDX (5839 posts) -

I'm not a fan of the site redesign (the look feels really cluttered and all over the place and I think the Gamespot shows should be higher on the page) but I'm no designer so it's just my opinion.

As for the code of conduct. Good for them. They probably should remove assholes. My problem will always be how moderation is handled. However, I believe in Giantbomb's rules: don't be a dick. That's really all there is to it. If you're a douche bag, you get hammered with the ban stick. It doesn't seem to be anything new for Gamespot (I'm pretty sure they were more strict 10 years ago than they are now) but sometimes the comments on that site get really gross.

Whether or not they can manage it is a different story. It can be difficult to deal with hundred of thousands of commenters. Hopefully the moderation doesn't get ridiculous. Like, I don't make mean comments but I can get passionate about something. Hopefully they can still see the difference. I'm pretty sure, though, this is for commenters that aren't me.

#18 Posted by JasonR86 (9763 posts) -

lol. First generalize comments as 'abysmal' and then say 'be nice to each other'. Right.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@brodehouse: @chosenone:

Wait, how would Facebook enforcement work for those without a Facebook account? Would they essentially be told to leave?

#20 Edited by Milkman (17201 posts) -

Good. The GameSpot community is a complete embarrassment.

#21 Posted by Sin4profit (2992 posts) -

Getalife

#22 Posted by Breadfan (6590 posts) -

@milkman said:

Good. The GameSpot community is a complete embarrassment.

It really is. I don't check out the site that often, but when I do, the comments on their content is fucking atrocious.

#23 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

@video_game_king: WE A FACEBOOK COUNTRY, IF YEW DUN LIKE FACEBOOK THEN GIT OWRT!

#24 Posted by iAmJohn (6134 posts) -

@joshwent said:

So 2014's "Hi duders. I'm new here cuz I wuz banned from GAF" is now gonna be about Gamespot? Cool.

Really though, they just need to start deleting comments and outright banning people. I hardly look at that site anymore, but a lot of things I've seen don't even deserve 3 strikes.

To be fair, "I was banned from GAF" is 2012's "I was banned from GameSpot, oh and I guess it sucks that they fired Jeff or something I don't know."

FTFY, cuz I mean let's be honest.

#25 Posted by development (2573 posts) -

My takeaway: I have no idea what "BGR" or "TechnoBuffalo" are.

#26 Posted by Marokai (3115 posts) -

@cornbredx said:

As for the code of conduct. Good for them. They probably should remove assholes. My problem will always be how moderation is handled. However, I believe in Giantbomb's rules: don't be a dick. That's really all there is to it. If you're a douche bag, you get hammered with the ban stick.

And this community is, on the cosmic scale of video game website communities, top-fucking-notch, really. When you create a modestly-sized community that attracts a certain kind of people, and encourage sensible interaction therein where people who act like assholes are going to be highlighted and remembered, things just work out super well. It's amazing how you'll see other site's comments degenerate into utter filth and viciousness, yet on this site, those problems are few and far between, usually isolated to one or two people, if ever any.

Some people will obviously hate on 'people on the internet' regardless, but despite everyone pulling their hair out over how to moderate discourse on the internet on other sites, Giant Bomb has a bigger problem with spambots than it does with actual trolls. Gamespot may need a crackdown, but this site doesn't, and that's great.

#27 Posted by csl316 (9266 posts) -

But what happens to Feedbackula???

Honestly, good for them. IGN has been trying to institute something similar, and as far as I know it's cut down on comments about Naomi Kyle's boobs. Still, the bigger you are the harder it is to enforce.

#28 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Welcome To Nazitown...@ Gamestop.com

They're going to notice traffic slow down, that's for sure.

#29 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4297 posts) -

@development: BGR is the newer 'BoyGeniusReport' ghost-run by Jonathan Gellar, that once did maybe four episodes or less on Pharell's YouTube channel 'IAmOther,' and a episode dedicated to Just Blaze that did BGR's intro song. He wears this big, gaudy watch that screams 'Wolf on Wall Street.' Although, Zach Epstein and Brad Reed run 95% of the articles, snarkily, by coincidence.

And TechnoBuffalo is this nerdy-welcoming-cool-website that's based in Arizona, and that's quirky. Fairly-annoying Aaron Baker from PhoneDog moved his life to working at John Rettinger's TechnoBuffalo, and lasted a mere two weeks, finding out that he didn't get to do alot of the stuff he wanted to do. Like be monotone and perky on all the PD videos.

#30 Edited by MB (12940 posts) -

This is more or less exactly what our rules have evolved into today from how we originally worded them five years ago. It works for us, because like Matty said we are a small team and when bans come up they are discussed at length amongst the entire team and not just automatically applied. For as many users as GS has, they are either going to need to be straight up draconian in their enforcement and have most things be automatic, or they're going to need to bring on a lot more moderators to handle the workload.

It's a good move, but I suspect it'll take them a year or so to really work out the kinks. I can't help but be a little proud of what we've managed to accomplish here with so few people on the team, evidently it's enough of a success that a much larger site such as Gamespot is adopting our procedures and rules essentially verbatim.

Moderator
#31 Posted by jerseyscum (913 posts) -

@marokai: Being a dick generally gets you shouted down by the community at large. I know from personal experience.

I'm worried about over zealous moderation or butthurt users flag spamming posters they disagree with. One more thing: Karma systems on message boards is the kiss of death. Nothing turns a community into a cliquish, groupthink nightmare faster than a shitty karma system.

#32 Edited by csl316 (9266 posts) -

@mb: Well, the mod crew does a fine job here. Not surprised that sites can become envious of what's been accomplished here.

But new rules in an established community seems like a tall, tall order.

#33 Posted by jerseyscum (913 posts) -

@csl316: Swing. The. Banhammer. Purging the scumbags who spew homophobic and racist garbage will fix the community.

At least I can still hurl abuse anonymously at strangers on Live without any fear of consquences.

#34 Edited by BoOzak (990 posts) -

@brodehouse: @chosenone:

Wait, how would Facebook enforcement work for those without a Facebook account? Would they essentially be told to leave?

It's not like you cant make a phony facebook account either. (I did it to get Ice-T in GoW3 for example)

The redesign looks good but it's kind of broken at the moment. It's really slow and I cant get any of the videos to work. As for the moderation stuff they were kind of asking for it with that Feedbackula thing they do. Giving noisy kids attention wont shut them up (quite the opposite) it'll just highlight how poor the community is and put people off the site. I dont know if the answer is to ban everyone who acts like a child but I think it's the only option they have at this point, other than ignoring it of course.

#35 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12006 posts) -

@animasta said:

@mattyftm said:

The only issue I have with the new system over there is that it could theoretically be abused by people. They could, in theory, post two extremely horrible things in close succession and end up with a 7 day ban. Then they can wait 60 days and do exactly the same again. I doubt many people would have the patience to do that - but I've come across some extremely persistent trolls in my time and it seriously wouldn't surprise me.

Honestly, if they're that persistent... then they'll just create multiple accounts anyway.

I miss Son1c_h3dgeh0g

The asians are crying jeff.

#36 Edited by jsnyder82 (762 posts) -
#37 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3511 posts) -

The only real solution is to force everyone to hand over their real mailing address when signing up, then mail all of their comments to their parents at the end of the month. This would ease at least 70% of our pains.

#38 Posted by SomeJerk (3364 posts) -

Good.

#39 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -

@geraltitude: Except maybe those parents just wouldn't give a fuck. Which is maybe why there are those kids saying horrible things in the first place.

#40 Posted by BigJeffrey (5148 posts) -

From Gamespot fan to Giant Bomb fan blog incoming.

#41 Edited by JJWeatherman (14564 posts) -

@mattyftm said:

The only issue I have with the new system over there is that it could theoretically be abused by people. They could, in theory, post two extremely horrible things in close succession and end up with a 7 day ban. Then they can wait 60 days and do exactly the same again. I doubt many people would have the patience to do that - but I've come across some extremely persistent trolls in my time and it seriously wouldn't surprise me.

In my experience, moderations need some leeway. Judge the individual offense and decide a course of action based on the actions of the user and their intent. At least that's how things best work on Giant Bomb. This new system may work great for GameSpot - I don't know enough about the current GameSpot community to say for sure. Either way, it's always great seeing attempts at stamping out dicky behaviour and trying to have reasonable discourse on the internet.

That's not a real issue, though. What they've laid out is just the broad idea for how their system will work for 99% of the community. There're of course going to be people trying to get around the rules, and I'm sure that'll be easy enough to spot and deal with.

Good on them for trying to improve this stuff.

#42 Posted by Trilogy (2683 posts) -

@mb:

That's what I got from that announcement. It sounds pretty close to our "don't be a dick" mantra. Not sure why some people are freaking out over there. Unless they're being dicks...

Hope they manage to clean up their community. I've never been a part of the gamespot community (even back when the crew worked there). The aggressive and almost comically dated and immature attitudes have always kept me away.

#43 Posted by Vuud (2035 posts) -

My new goal is to log on to my old ass Gamespot account that I've had since like 2004 and get permabanned.

#44 Edited by PulledaBrad (612 posts) -

Tell me more about this "Usealong"

#45 Posted by Tarsier (1076 posts) -

great way to relaunch a forum, by telling them about how horribly they will be punished if they disobey the authorities.

game spot.

#46 Posted by ManMadeGod (1584 posts) -

@trilogy said:

@mb:

That's what I got from that announcement. It sounds pretty close to our "don't be a dick" mantra. Not sure why some people are freaking out over there. Unless they're being dicks...

Hope they manage to clean up their community. I've never been a part of the gamespot community (even back when the crew worked there). The aggressive and almost comically dated and immature attitudes have always kept me away.

A few years ago Gamespot crack down on their ToS and ban the crap out of all the active users on it's message board. As someone that has been using their site since 2004 I can say that the mods were out of control and hurt the community. Once a mod decided that a user had too many moderations (that could be accumulated over YEARS) they were ban. Users with 80,000 posts were perm ban over nothing. After awhile the community go upset, some mods were demoted and Gamespot relaxed the rules, but they went too far. The site went from communist russia to anything goes over night. Now they're re-positioning back to more strict terms.

That's why some users are freaking out.

#47 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4469 posts) -

From Gamespot fan to Giant Bomb fan blog incoming.

lol yeah

#48 Edited by Sweep (8950 posts) -

I wish them the best of luck. They're probably going to end up working to a very similar system to the one we have here, but that's an evolutionary process and I imagine there will be a fair amount of trial and error involved until they figure out a realistic system that works.

If any gamespot mods want to chat about the current system we have in place here and want to get in touch, and how we operate within the current toolset, by all means feel free to contact us :)

Moderator
#49 Posted by RandomHero666 (3182 posts) -

I was on there for about a year, maybe 2, before Giantbomb. Weird thing is.. it was ok back then, there were no idiots outside of console wars. Swearing wasn't allowed, but mods seemed to be pretty trigger-happy about most things.

Last time I was on there, everyone was calling each other a cunt or something homophobic and spamming memes. Best of luck to them.

#50 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6999 posts) -

Kinda reminds me when of Giant Bomb first launched, people were posted that they came here because they were banned from Gamespot. Dear god, I hope that doesn't happen again.