Dear Small Giant – a plea for changes to in-game chat reporting

It’s also difficult to advise by rules if there are no rules. I’m about to post some screen shots. Normally when you enter a chat room, some guidelines are visible for about half a second before it is scrolled away by the myriad chat messages. But those rules don’t always come up. So if there’s nothing in GENERAL chat saying “general is any kind of chat except recruiting” then there’s no way for anyone to know that what they’re doing is wrong. Also as an example, as I was in general chat just a moment ago. I read through about 15 minutes of a variety of messages. Some were questions about the game, people needing advice, people recruiting, people looking for an alliance, and friendly conversations about themselves. This is all something I would broadly define as “general” chat, so I don’t see what the issue here is except that the people who seem to think “general” means either peer support, or off-topic and are causing a fuss about it appear to be in the wrong chat room.

But I digress, here are my screen shots upon entering a chat room and the rules are not popping up

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As someone who is frequently attacked in global, this is a campaign I stand firm behind! There are so many of us getting attacked and bullied in global. Why are the bullies not banned? The report feature is abused based on one players dislike for another. We demand change!!!

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@DEW gave me exactly the kind of example I am looking for. I appreciate that.

I did not say I did not enter chat, I said I do not hang out in chat. Subtle difference in phrasing. I find the forum and Line groups a much more relaxed and amiable place to haunt.

I am trying to discern if this is directed at me, or to the general “You”. As I have not taken a stance on the matter. If we are discussing what was posted after I asked questions about the validity of the issue, then yes, that shows a prime example of a person behaving poorly.

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Never really used the chatrooms because I was always disgusted from their behavior their. Since a year I just throw ads any 5 minutes and read rarely what’s going on there.

People spamming, talking about xxx or being totally off topic. I mean to be friendly is fine but in AR are people who talking for hours about personal stuff. No, I don’t want to read anything about your love life or that your refridgerator is empty and what you need to buy later in the supermarket, I want to recruit! Except the xxx stuff I think those are topics for gloabl chat. I never reported anybody just blocking people if sb. gets on my nerves. There’re also a lot of nice people no offense to them.

Something should be done not in a year but rather right now.

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@Petri @zephyr1 are there any rules for in-game chat posted somewhere? I recall seeing something about it, but I can’t remember where.

I think SG should stand firm against those that bully in game and I dare to say that they should get a ban from the game completely. As a former victim of (intense) cyberbullying I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.

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I personally received a final warning without a first warning, why? I also just received a 7 day chat ban and have asked why. I haven’t chatted in a week and have my ads 3-5 mins a part. I personally am being bullied. I’ve played this game for almost two years and never had any problems until the last month. As far as ads in general. I feel there are more important things to be concerned about such as the conversations that take place at any given time in the other rooms. They are obscene and graphic. But they are there and those of us who are just trying to recruit are banned. How does that make sense? Also it states in the TOS we have no rights to our accounts but this should be changed because aren’t we essentially investors in your company? If your ratings tank and people leave as well as new people don’t join because of word of mouth(which is the most powerful tool) certainly would hurt the companies bottom line as well as reputation. We as a community are asking to be treated as people in a fair manner and not just disposable micro transactions.

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These issues of late, should come as no surprise to the devs/SmallGiant/Zynga. The gradually quickening process of misuse of its members, and simply prioritising making money over the game running… is shocking.
The community E&P has is quite amazing, the people are amazing… come on devs or whoever the hell matters, work WITH us.
Why ban really good people for helping, or placing ad’s in a recruitment room… why ban people for simply chatting in CHAT room. It seem potential sexual predators or at the very least pest’s… have more rights and protection than the good people.
Even this very day… the paying customer is completely ignored. The only things left to enjoy are the people and wars. That combination brings the best out of our community… yet you ban the people and disable wars… but no answering the pleas of many people.

My biggest fear of all this… the whole game may collapse due to issues that are relatively easily fixable.
If more staff are required to moderate rooms and help in anyways… why not ask for help, instead of ignorance?

#justiceforHeyAlexa

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This topic is important. General Chat is a mess. One night an under level 10 player sent the word “help” every few seconds for over 40 minutes. I did report that as spam, but feel that was legitimate. The amount of sexual banter is out of hand. I am in no way a prude or narrow minded, but truthfully, I feel like I need a shower when I step out of General Chat. The lack of clear rules for the forum makes it a problem.

Peer Support used to be a place to go for great answers to game questions. It still is, but many of the high level players who used to frequent it have backed off because of being reported for numerous things. I’ve seen the evidence. It’s not mine to share. Let me tell you that after seeing the evidence, I think SG has a very narrow view of context in which certain things are said. THAT is part of the problem with the report feature. One major problem is that people will find a way around an in chat profanity filter, yet if they do and are reported, they get a ban after multiple reports. Interestingly enough, that reporting can be done by a game player named (as an example similar to what I have seen): Fuk Uall. So one gets a ban and the other gets to run around all day in any chat room without an issue. HOW is that keeping chat free from profanity when you’re forced to look at a player name such as, Peter Pness, one slang term for male genitalia and a filter work around for male genitalia, or Fuk Uall? In the USA, there is a legal concept of equal protection under the law. It means that while two things may be different, they still receive equal consideration under the law. SG should, by comparison, apply bans to player names that include profanity. You cannot have a community respect a profanity filter without equal application. Oh, Peter Pness is a real name of a player who took top position in one category in Grimforest recently. As for complaints that questions don’t get answered in Peer Support, they almost always do. Sometimes they get lost in discussions, but the volunteer players who are in that room usually stop whatever banter they have going on to respond, especially to a new player.

I said before that I’ve been an admin/moderator on three large international message boards. SG should strongly consider adding a role of moderator to the chats because it would help clean up and keep the chats on topic, safe for children (who I’ve seen targeted by older players), and the report feature use would decrease. Giving moderators the ability to determine what goes to SG as a violation would also help ensure that context of a reported posting is included.

Alliance recruitment is a mess too. Ads move so fast it’s hard to read them, you can only scrol back so far and read, something needs to change. I made a suggestion in another related post about how SG could look to improve alliance recruiting. But also not allowing players under level 20 (or even 25) to create alliances would help keep clutter out of the rooms because more experienced players tend to understand the in game etiquette a bit more than the low level players. I run a training alliance (going on 9 months now) and I have sat as a volunteer in Peer Support answering questions and in General Chat looking for new players who are confused so they can be in an alliance that will teach them. My new players take time to settle into “game mode.” At about 2500 TP, they seem to have a grip on the game and game etiquette.

Numerous times, I have seen others say they’re going to report people for various things. Occasionally they are warranted. Occasionally they are not. I’ve reported people for a few things, but I’m extremely selective in doing it. Post something over and over again every few seconds for two minutes will earn one of my reports. Many people, however, are not so selective. I say that from over 5 years of experience moderating international message boards and reading personal responses to why people reported things. I am no longer shocked that people will go to great lengths to make someone’s life miserable for any reason or how they will argue with you as an enforcer. I’m also trained as in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution, and i am professionally trained to be objective and make arguments on either side of a situation. So perhaps my perspective on what merits reporting and what doesn’t is a bit skewed. Lol

In any event, things need to change. SG seriously has a problem on its hands and HeyAlexa’s situation is just one of them. SG needs to step up and seriously consider changes to prevent the abuse of the report button to get people banned because of a personal vendetta, spite, or whatever invalid reason another player has against a particular player or the world in general. When you get very experienced players who have invested significant amounts of time (and money) into the game quitting because of being reported and/or banned repeatedly for no discernible reason, it’s an issue. Not having a dialogue with a reported player is an issue. Not taking entire conversations into consideration is an issue. Not providing logs of conversations resulting in warnings is an issue. SG should show good cause, in context, for bans and should give a player a chance to respond. It may not change anything about the ban, but it does give insight into that person and their personality or surroundings of the reports. Pay attention to who is reporting and how often, especially multiple reports against specific players by one person. Trends in reporting are important and telling.

PAY ATTENTION, SG. THIS IS BROKEN AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED QUICKLY.

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Just to let you know, you can screenshot offensive player or alliance names and email them to support@smallgiantgames.com
Speaking from experience :roll_eyes: they will deal with it very quickly.

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I have a ban for 30 days
because there are people who do not like me.

SG showed me what I got bana for - it was like spitting in my face.

They will never get a dollar from me again, I will never help anyone anymore, no more chatting, only an alliance

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There is another factor behind all of this, and that’s the privacy being invaded to ban members.
2 examples…
As it is allowed to have multiple accounts, it is wise to form them from different devices and IP addresses…
how do SG manage to block all accounts from certain members?
1 of the 2 examples… 3 accounts are from one household. 1 of those is for a young child in the family, who received a ban from all chats having never even sent a message in global. The 2 other accounts are held by same person but hadn’t actually been in chat rooms since a previous ban…
then banned again.
All 3 accounts banned for no reason… they wasn’t even in the global rooms.
Now invasion of privacy must be the only way, which is surely breaching human rights.

Example 2… this member had main account banned for helping others. So to continue made another account from a different location and IP address and different device… though that was also banned?

This seems to be a huge invasion of privacy…
which is magnified with the clowns that are ■■■ pests and the not so decent type.

SG/Zynga… you need to get a hold of this before the whole thing blows up. You are leaving yourself wide open for potential legal action. Which is warranted when people’s time and money is lost, and innocent children of these members are being affected.

#justiceforheyalexa

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My alliance is in that video. As a member I do not support this #Justiceforheyalexa nonsense.

How about instead of inflammatory rhetoric and grandstanding with imaginary allies we reduce this down to something actionable and reasonable for SG? Probably because that would not satisfy the entitled feels sigh but I’ll try:

  1. can we have some warning before we hit an automatic ban?

  2. can you check parameters on thresholds for automated actions? Assume some number of posts reported by some number of users in some timeframe is involved. It is suspected by our hurt feelings that a small number of reporters may be triggering the action

  3. can you elaborate how you see report working? It seems community standards have developed for some chats enforced by reporting, and since those community standards are not explicitly spelled out they cause us stress. We don’t know what you can do about that, but knowledge can help

  4. perhaps we can have a meter or something that shows the percentage of the threshold we are currently at? It won’t stop us from being reported for our actions but would help us moderate our own behavior

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Agree that action points help.

Some possible quick fixes:

  • make rules explicit, how often can people post in each chat, etc.
  • don’t accept reports from alts, easy fix is to not accept report below lvl20 for example, more advanced variant is not accepting several reports from same device/ip

More advanced actions:

  • send out warning before applying ban, with rule description, reset report counter
  • apply manual check before serious action like permanent ban

Even more advanced actions:

  • tidy up the recuitment madness: better alliance search, new players should land in training alliance recuitment chat instead of global, graded recuitment rooms (by tp? by casualty?), possibility to send invites for alliancesless people, etc
  • tidy up the general chat madness: introduce rule to get non-English chat out of global, make chatroom change button more visible, other things?
  • introduce recuiter role in alliance, leader can assign, different banning rules for recuiters because of much higher exposure
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But I’m still here lol

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There seem to be lots of substantive issues to discuss in this thread. But this post is really inflammatory rhetoric. Tracking what IP addresses different devices log in from is hardly a violation of human rights or an invasion of privacy.

Your IP address is available, publically, unencrypted, on every packet you send across the internet. I’m sure SG just chat bans every device using the same IP at the time the ban is handed down. No invasion of privacy needed.

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See here (“Do, #3”):

https://support.smallgiantgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003970574-Chat-Rules-Guidelines

https://support.smallgiantgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001171554-Alliance-Recruitment-Chat-Dos-and-Dont-s-

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A better clarification of do not be an annoyance to others is definately needed. To john one ad every 5 minutes might be ok but to jane thats an annoyance. The rule cant be based on one players perception or it leaves room to be abused. John posts one ad every 5 minutes. Tom, dick, and jane all report john because his mere name annoys them. Broken system.

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Clear rules are a must. If the rules are made clear, people have no excuse. And they must be enforced uniformly.

Multiple reporting from the same IP should be curtailed. If it’s a truly reportable offense, there will undoubtedly be others in the room that can report them.

There needs to be a better recruiting method introduced to this game. I know it’s not a priority for SG, but it’s a source of frustration from the top alliances down to the trainers. We’re begging for help.

I LOVE the idea of a recruiter role! Much needed!

Keep the suggestions coming folks!

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This is a good point, and goes back to having clearly defined rules for each chat room.

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Here’s what I think… the general chat is pointless and have nothing to do with the game… close it all up tomorrow, keep only the alliance chat as a tool of comunication, and a few sole purpose rooms like support, recruiting and mercs and everybody will be better of without having to suffer the stupidity of the general chat ramblings…

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