Changes to MKC's Ban Policy

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#1
Hello everyone,

Today we'd like to give an update on how we plan to do bans in the future. There's been an increased amount of complaints on recent bans on the site, and as a result we've decided to take a look on how to improve the consistency of our system. While we believed it worked well for the first year, it's been harder to keep up this year, and we believe we need to hold ourselves accountable and ensure that improvements are made. So a large goal is going to make bans feel more clear to every user, along with trying to have better communication with our banned users so they can hopefully be reinstated. We believe that we have not offered enough opportunities to people to truly help them avoid being banned again, and would like to change that with a new reinstatement system. To begin, we're finally going to be introducing a point-based warning system on the site, explained below.

The New Points System
Just to clarify, there aren't going to be any new rule changes. However, we've clarified instances of things that violate the ruleset in case you need a refresher on what is considered inappropriate conduct on the site, which you can read here.

To improve consistency, we will be handing out 5 different types of warnings/bans. This may seem like a lot, but compared to the past, it should be a lot more consistent and organized. Below we'll explain the different categories. Different categories will lead to different point totals. Points will not expire, and when 10 points gets reached for a user, they'll face an indefinite site ban. Unfortunately Xenforo doesn't really have a suitable system to see how many warning points you currently have, but if you want to know, feel free to message a moderator at any time to check your current standing.

Warnings (1 Point)
  • No ban is given, only a point will be given out.
  • Warnings will be given out to people with 0 points beforehand as a hint that they've gone over the line, but only for minor offenses.
    • An action deemed to be a major or severe offense will still be given out as a major or severe offense.
  • Only one warning will be given out, as implied by having 0 points being required. Please take these warnings seriously - because the same offense will lead to a ban next time.
  • Staff Members are not above all warnings, and may also be warned for abuse of power.
    • Staff are held to a higher standard - obtaining a warning will likely result in a removal from staff groups, even if no ban is handed out.
  • Incidents where full teams are involved and/or responsible for harassment in the community may result in the entire team obtaining a warning if no definitive offender can be determined, or if an attempt to cover up an offender is made. With repeated misconduct, the whole team may face a minor offense, which would effectively disqualify them from any current competitions and other events for the rest of the ban length.
Minor Offenses (2 Points)
  • Results in a 1-month ban.
  • Essentially the same as warnings, but for repeat offenders.
  • May be given out for considerable cases of harassment.
  • May be given out to people who lie to staff to prevent or lower punishment, as well.
Major Offenses (3 Points)
  • Results in a 3-month ban.
  • Reserved for cases that are notably more serious, such as bullying or making the community feel like a less safe place.
  • Likely also given out to those who come forward about an alternate account, rather than an indefinite ban when the staff discovers it on their own.
Severe Offenses (5 Points)
  • Results in a 6-month ban.
  • Reserved for cases involving extensive harassment, likely targeting a specific individual or group of people heavily.
Indefinite Bans (10 Points)
  • Indefinite bans will be immediately issued to people who are found responsible for completely egregious acts that are against the site rules. These bans will likely be permanent.
  • Indefinite bans will also be issued to those who violate competitive integrity (alting/cheating on site/site events), however with higher chances to be reinstated.
  • Indefinite bans will be issued to those who accumulate 10 total warning points.
  • Indefinite bans will not have a set return date, with a minimum length of one year and a maximum length of eternity.
  • Reinstatement options will be offered to users who display excellent behavior. Check the section below for more details.
    • Successfully reinstated users will start again with 5 points on their profile. These five points are permanent, meaning there likely will not be another opportunity after. The goal of the reinstatement plans will be to prepare users to not have to worry about reaching 10 points ever again.
    • People who are on a reinstatement path who obtain another weaker offense may set back the reinstatement or cancel the opportunity completely.
Notes:
  • Repeated minor / major offenses in a 6 month time period will likely result in higher offenses being applied per case.
    • (Ex: a 3rd major offense in a 6 month period may be applied as a severe case, bumping the point total to 11, over 10)
      • We feel the need to go harder on repeated offenses because if anything they show a lack of care / willingness to improve
  • No other ban lengths will be given out than the ones mentioned anymore.
  • Ban length won't ever be based on how many points you have, unless it's an indefinite ban.
    • For instance, being handed a minor offense and major offense later will result in 4 total banned months, despite having the same point total as one severe offense.
  • The overall goal of this system is to give more warning to what is deemed right / wrong actions. At the end of the day, everyone is still responsible for their actions, so if you're not sure if certain behaviors are deemed acceptable, you probably should not be acting in that way. It is our job to make the community as welcoming of a place as possible for the benefit of all users new and old, so if you're making it less welcoming, then you are subject to any of the above warnings/offenses.
  • Things such as criticism of staff, expression of opinion, and harmless jokes will never be considered to be against the rules. Users obviously have the right to say things like this. Legitimate harassment, hate speech, or excessive trolling is when action will start to take place. If someone kindly asks you to stop something that may be deemed offensive, then that's a gigantic hint that the behavior should not continue. Actions that make other members of the community uncomfortable are forbidden.

Reinstatement
With the way bans have previously been dealt with, we feel that a blatant flaw with the system is that players who were/are banned have had virtually no chance to prove they've changed or learned from their punishment outside of just no additional bad news. Traditionally site bans mean players are unable to play in any site affiliated events. However, we'd like to open up the lounge as a way for site banned players to get some competitive games in, with some quicker incentives to have a feel of progress towards unbans. Bans will typically start off with no access at all, but with time more abilities will be granted. Check below for more details.

In short, people who are banned will be able to play in Lounge again, with very close monitoring and restriction. The process that these players will be welcomed back varies depending on the offense they were marked with, which is explained further in-depth below:

Minor Offenses
  • For the first two weeks of their ban, they will be able to play lounge, however, they will be chat restricted with the JudgeDredd bot.
  • For the final two weeks of their ban, they will be unrestricted and will be able to chat freely.
Major Offenses
  • For the first month, they will be restricted with the JudgeDredd bot.
  • For the next two months, they will be able to chat freely.
Severe Offenses
  • For the first month of their ban, they will be muted in lounge and not allowed to play in any mogis.
  • In months 2, 3, and 4, they will be able to play in mogis, with the JudgeDredd chat restriction.
  • In the final two months of their ban, they will be unrestricted and be able to chat freely.
Indefinite Bans
  • For the first 3 months since they have been banned, they will be muted in lounge and not allowed to play in any mogis.
  • For the next 3 months (4,5,6 since the ban), they will be able to play in lounge with the JudgeDredd bot chat restriction.
  • After month 6, they will be freed from the chat restriction and able to chat freely. After 1 year has passed with no complaints, they are potentially eligible for reinstatement.
Note: People who are currently indefinitely banned, and have been banned for more than 3 months will be able to rejoin the lounge server and play with chat restriction, effectively immediately. It will be treated as "month 4" in the reinstatement system. For people with a set unban date, depending on how close they are to being unbanned will determine how long they are chat-restricted for. It will likely be proportioned with the remaining time they have left on their ban. Feel free to contact Cynda on Discord if you believe this applies to you, if we don't contact you ourselves first.

The reason we are allowing banned players to play again is based on trust. If a player is seen being toxic or harassing others during any point of their ban while being in lounge, their privileges will be revoked depending on what phase they are in. If they are unrestricted in chat, they will be restricted again for another month. If they are already on restriction and are going out of their way to harass others, they may be completely removed from lounge as they have shown that they are a threat to others in the community. Those who show excellent behavior may have a chance to be reinstated earlier as well.
With the way the ban system was in the past, players who were banned were often given a message and a conversation detailing why they were banned, and then had all their privileges removed. With no real opportunity to display change for the better, this system just set them up to be banned again as they may have never fully grasped why what they did simply isn't acceptable. Mods will be checking in with users throughout their ban now, to answer any potential questions or concerns they may have, along with making sure everything is ok in general.
 
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#2
First of all, thanks a lot for trying to make things better in the community and thanks a lot for giving us feedback.
I have some questions tho :
1. Will it be possible for the staff to be super clear on why a user has been banned or not?
In my personnal experience I only know when people get banned when someone post it on twitter and I don't know the reason at all. We will surely have more faith in the staff if you made it clear on why a people got a warning or anything like that. Because I feel like a lot of stuff has been "hidden behind the scene" sometimes and it causes a lot of interogations for us.

2. Is it planned to rewrite the rule or not ?
Because sometimes when I stream I don't know what I can or cannot say ( for exemple the N word ) and It may feel that someone can be banned for "no reason" because it's not specified in the rule.
I know it will be super time consimuing to do but I'm sure that if you do some "beta rules" and ask the community about it, we can all grow to be a better community.

3. Will there be a thread with all the persons that have some "points" on their account ?
It will be much better to all of us and it will drastically improve transparency!

Thanks for reading me and thanks again for your efforts to improve the community.
I will look forward to your answers ! ( I hope all the questions didn't already got some answers )
 

Asuna

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#3
First of all, thanks a lot for trying to make things better in the community and thanks a lot for giving us feedback.
I have some questions tho :
1. Will it be possible for the staff to be super clear on why a user has been banned or not?
In my personnal experience I only know when people get banned when someone post it on twitter and I don't know the reason at all. We will surely have more faith in the staff if you made it clear on why a people got a warning or anything like that. Because I feel like a lot of stuff has been "hidden behind the scene" sometimes and it causes a lot of interogations for us.

2. Is it planned to rewrite the rule or not ?
Because sometimes when I stream I don't know what I can or cannot say ( for exemple the N word ) and It may feel that someone can be banned for "no reason" because it's not specified in the rule.
I know it will be super time consimuing to do but I'm sure that if you do some "beta rules" and ask the community about it, we can all grow to be a better community.

3. Will there be a thread with all the persons that have some "points" on their account ?
It will be much better to all of us and it will drastically improve transparency!

Thanks for reading me and thanks again for your efforts to improve the community.
I will look forward to your answers ! ( I hope all the questions didn't already got some answers )
Yo, we've had a lot of work over the past week or so and we don't have a clear answer for some stuff you've asked yet but I'll assume the position of what I know so far.

1. I know that this ones a common question and I'm hesitant to give a clear answer. Staff tries to keep things on the down low because we value the privacy of the players in question. I currently don't know if the staff plans on changing that, but I understand why some think it would be beneficial for something like this to be public. Ultimately it comes down to this - You can either have the staff provide the reasoning for the player's ban for the sake of it being more accurate at the expense of the player's privacy, or you can ask the player themselves why they're banned and it would be up to them to disclose the reasoning (and of course, risk not getting the whole story, which I find happens like 90% of the time) and the player can then decide if they want to disclose or not for the sake of maintaining their own privacy. Personally if I were the player being banned, I'd want to keep it to myself because ultimately, for most of the offenses we deal with, it's no one else's business except for maybe my clan leader's, but that's just me. It's a bit of a touchy decision.

2. As mentioned near the top of the announcement, we currently don't plan on re-writing the rules but obviously since we have a new ban system, I imagine it will come with time.

3. This one I know for sure is in the works to some degree, since players currently don't have the ability to see how many infraction points they have and we definitely don't think that's fair at all. I don't think it will be in the form of a thread but we will definitely have a place to look to check infraction points and when they're handed out. For now, if anyone wants to inquire about how many points they currently have, they're more than welcome to contact the folks on Site Staff and we can give you that information.

I hope this helps, the staff are working on making this system more streamlined and accessible for everyone :)
 
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Rookie

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#4
Asuna covered lots of this, but I have some additional comments

First of all, thanks a lot for trying to make things better in the community and thanks a lot for giving us feedback.
I have some questions tho :
1. Will it be possible for the staff to be super clear on why a user has been banned or not?
In my personnal experience I only know when people get banned when someone post it on twitter and I don't know the reason at all. We will surely have more faith in the staff if you made it clear on why a people got a warning or anything like that. Because I feel like a lot of stuff has been "hidden behind the scene" sometimes and it causes a lot of interogations for us.

2. Is it planned to rewrite the rule or not ?
Because sometimes when I stream I don't know what I can or cannot say ( for exemple the N word ) and It may feel that someone can be banned for "no reason" because it's not specified in the rule.
I know it will be super time consimuing to do but I'm sure that if you do some "beta rules" and ask the community about it, we can all grow to be a better community.

3. Will there be a thread with all the persons that have some "points" on their account ?
It will be much better to all of us and it will drastically improve transparency!

Thanks for reading me and thanks again for your efforts to improve the community.
I will look forward to your answers ! ( I hope all the questions didn't already got some answers )
1) I think we're going to make it a goal to talk with the people being reported more to get their perspective, and potentially have chats with all parties involved. It may be ugly / make for more work, but if it leads to the right decision, it's better and probably less work in the end (hence, we don't have to redo the system again lol). I think a goal for everyone would be to perhaps get along better, hopefully we can achieve that and make people actually feel we're on their side even during a ban sentence. But yeah, I would expect us to approach people more before bans are handed out now, unless it's something egregious.

2. We aren't going to impact your ability to freely say stuff. The second it becomes an attack of any form, even if generalized, it may be used against you honestly. My answer to this question is that the best way to avoid this is to change your vocabulary if you're worried about it, I'm sure everyone can honestly just be better. We want the community to be better in general. This includes ourselves obviously. It sounds hypocritical for us to make a call out on everyone else, but I can say we genuinely want to self reflect on ourselves and wonder how it got to this point. I think it's important for everyone to try to recognize the greater good here for the community. It absolutely needs to be a safe space in short, so I would reword the question: rather than thinking about what you can / can't say because you don't want to be banned, we should just use better language in general. I believe everyone can, and that most controversies in the community are generally misunderstandings.

3. We're not sure yet; we wanted to let people check on their accounts, but the Xenforo warning system is not ideal and only mods/admins can see it. We have a spreadsheet up for ourselves up right now. We may make it public so people can just check whenever, but we kind of feel like bans are a personal business and we shouldn't just have it up for people to laugh at or use in malicious ways. If the community feels strongly that it should all be public data, then we can probably be swayed. I don't think we need to have details though on the sheet, just talk to the offenders. Some of the images in some of the ban cases are graphic, and probably not the best thing to have readily available for anyone to just see.
 

MATUS

Member
Founding Member
#6
well, in my opinion we can all be wrong 1 time but not more than 1 time so let's wait for all of us to behave as the MKC staff says, lately they are giving us opportunities but we must know how to take advantage of them, we are all human beings and sometimes We do not measure our words so all that remains is to be a good person, I know that we cannot get along with all of us in the community for personal reasons, some may have problems with other clans, others for psychological things so what I want To ask is that we all behave, since if we make a mistake we must admit our own consequences, and on gender problems that I have seen many also respect, whether they are different types of things, and I hope that this will be read by everyone in the community, and Hopefully all of us and myself can meet the new MKC Staff standards
i love MKC :)
 
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