Moderator Punishment Regarding Abuse

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Midnight Aura, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. TL;DR: Coinston and Alucard were suspended for 2 weeks, Alucard quit, I think their punishment is stupid and I want to know what you think. Post your opinions, keep it civil.

    Hey, so I'd like to start a friendly discussion about Coinston and Alucard's recent punishment.
    I want to note that I'm not trying to change anything, not like I could anyways, I just want to know what the community thinks.

    What happened is on the late night of 3-24-2020, Alucard and Coinston were abusing their moderator powers by:
    - Bringing each other to reachable and unreachable places,
    - Giving each other false slays (and removing them),
    - Editing the world (cosmetically using sprays, it did not impact game play).
    As a result:
    - Coinston and Alucard were given 2 weeks suspension,
    - Alucard quit the mod team,
    - That's all I know as of right now.


    My Opinion (Please dont read if you are easily triggered by opinions that disagree with yours.)
    I get that it's mod abuse, and abuse of powers should be punished. However, in my opinion, I think that 2 weeks suspension is way too long. After all, it was only between the moderators, no one was hurt and gameplay was minimally affected.
    (I say minimally because they both were teleported to unreachable spots, which slightly disrupts gameplay.

    In my opinion, I think one week would've been great for what was done, because let's be honest, no one was hurt except butt-hurt people who reported them.

    @Woet explained to me that this is SeriousTTT, it's not serious (which goes against "SERIOUSTTT") and it's unprofessional, and this is all true. HOWEVER, what I disagree with his statement is that it makes the server look bad, and will chase people away.

    Come on now, really? Goofing off will chase people away? I don't think so. It's possible, but what has a higher chance of chasing people away is the insane amount of RDM, mic-spamming and harassment from players and mods that goes on unchecked or unpunished, and other more malicious mod abuse, like false punishments. Personally, I would be scared away from the crap that players give each other rather than seeing a giant player in the skybox (which I admit was suprising, but funny).

    The temporary and possibly permanent loss of Alucard and Coinston not only lowers the severely needed mods available to watch the servers, but it also causes the community to lose part of it's spirit, and part of what makes it enjoyable. I have heard multiple users say they enjoyed the relaxed nature of these mods, and preferred to see more of it.
    "They brought more to the community and made it feel fun" says a user.

    This viewpoint was proven during gameplay in the early night of 3/26/202. A user who's IGN is currently "Donald Trump" asked the players for a moment of silence to mark the suspension and loss of two great mods, and the entire server went quiet for an estimated 17 seconds. If you're a regular on the server, you know that no one gets that respect when asked, but these two moderators got that respect. Why? Because they earned it.
    (Please note usernames may or may not represent political affiliation).

    In Conclusion, I tend to disagree with the punishment, as I seriously enjoyed my time playing with these moderators while they displayed this behavior. It showed that they are relaxed, kind and willing to have fun, while still enforcing the rules. They have both done great jobs in the past making sure that rule-breakers (including myself) are punished for wrongdoings. Considering they were having a bit of fun while impacting gameplay minimally, their punisment should not have been as severe as it was, which pushed Alucard to leave. I will consider them both as fantastic moderators, and they will forever have my respect.

    Closing Thoughts

    - I would love to hear why @(Alucard)~[Towel] decided to leave, and if we may see him on the server in the future.
    - I would love to hear from @Coin about how this will impact him in the future, and if he will find another way to bring that fun spirit to the game.
    - I would love to hear from any other mods, specifically Admins for a little more context and reasoning behind their decision.
    - How do I add a poll :V
    (I can't, rate Like if you agree with me, rate Disagree if you agree with the mods.)
    - Please keep the comments civil... or not, your choice.

    And now, a moment of silence for our friends, both lost and MIA.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  2. To add on, both Coinston and Alucard have helped me avoid being banned or punished by giving me clear warnings before punishments (when applicable). They did this by either talking in chat or DMing me. These are clear warnings, vs. moderators who give one warning in the refular chat, where it might not be seen. I have also observed that they have also done this for other players as well, including malicious ones, meaning this behavior is not biased, and is meant to add to the gameplay on the servers.
    • Dumb Dumb x 4
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  3. Aquast

    Aquast lordy was here :sneaky: VIP Bronze

    I would love to hear from @pekka26 about her opinion on this matter and how this will impact her active playtime on the server. In my opinion, it is absolutely horrendous that this kind of people (abusers and hackers, what not) are able to roam free and even get accepted on the staff team. What if one of them became an admin? The abuse with the powers an administrator holds can be absolutely devastating!

    That being said, I truly agree two weeks of suspension is far too harsh of a punishment. They're just human beings after all, just like us. I don't think they deserve to have their moderator powers taken away for merely having fun with each other! They weren't even metagaming! I can't believe how cruel the admins are here. They have literally destroying Alucard's career as a community moderator. I will now spend a day in complete silence in his memorial.
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  4. dazza

    dazza Mythical Member Moderator Bronze

    Quite a lot of the time when new people join a server and see 2 moderators dicking around with their powers (which are meant to be used for keeping people's playing environment fair and enjoyable) they will just "go nah I don't wanna be here looks like they will abuse their power on me" , I've seen it happen many times where people have left because of a "joke abuse"

    There is a big difference between a one off teleport or false slay to entertain the community and just outright acting like children with your powers and being unprofessional personally I don't think a 2 week suspension is even enough I've seen people fully demoted and barred from applying for a lot less
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  5. Bogdanoff

    Bogdanoff VIP

    Sorry bro, regular players can't goof off, neither can mods

    its not gmod, its SERIOUS GMOD.
    • Like Like x 1
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  6. Well, that's debatable. Me and other users who I consider game friends kill each other. Sometimes for fun, sometimes on accident. We are goofing off and thus, forgive each other. It's not like goofing off is stopped, most of not all mods and admins allow this. (Just one of many examples.) So I wouldn't say that SeriousGMod is completely serious, but I do see where you're coming from and what you mean.
    • Dumb Dumb x 3
  7. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    Everyone is allowed to have fun, right? But our staff are charged with the responsibilities that come with staffing. Their expectations are clearly stated in the "Staff Rules & Etiquette" thread in staff discussion. Staffing comes first and, as dazza said, staff have to set the environment and image of the community.

    I can imagine when players join a server they've never been to and see two staff abusing their powers, even if it doesn't affect the player, they will see that they don't take it seriously and leave. The ones that seem okay with it probably aren't the type we would want in the community anyway.

    You guys may not be too worried about new people, but that should be the big picture for staff. How do we get new people and how do we keep current people? The latter of the two is a lot easier on platform like Garry's Mod. Think back to your first days on SGM and why you decided to stay. That's only one reason why they need to be held accountable.

    Other reasons are the view of passive leadership. When leadership takes no action for something like this, there becomes this lack of accountability. Staff will see that they can get away with certain things and continue to blur the line of acceptability and before you know it, it becomes a serious problem.

    If someone decides to quit the mod team over receiving discipline, then they either weren't appropriately explained the reason for discipline or they weren't dedicated enough to be a staff member in the first place.

    To summarize it all, our staff need to understand they're the face of the community and that new players will judge SGM based on their first interactions with staff. Staff must be held accountable to maintain a standard of staffing. Finally, staff need to be disciplined appropriately and understand the reason for discipline.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  8. Zuko

    Zuko VIP Bronze

    fuck no they deserved that
    abuse is abuse smh
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  9. Pacifist

    Pacifist Cynically Insane VIP Bronze

    First of all, yes, staff members should remain professional, and this is definitely in violation of that. However, it does not make sense to suspend them over this transgression. Jabba himself said that they were relatively new mods. We like to think that admins give their mods the "if you abuse your powers in any way you will be demoted" speech, but I can assure you that this is likely not the case anymore. Admins have become much less involved than they were in the past. This failure should reflect negatively on them more than the moderators that got suspended. The fact that a lead admin even had to get involved in such a case is tragic.

    With that being said, I don't necessarily think that a suspension is a good idea. Personally? I would have just gave each of them a stern talking to. The problem I see with the above arguments is that they deal only in platitudes and "should be's" that they fail to accurately address the case that was dealt with. I see a situation where a few mods were being stupid with one another, and little was effected. No players were hurt by this, and I doubt anyone actually left as a result. We all like to say shit like "well, we lost players because of this, or because of that" but in reality none of us have any idea what the fuck we are talking about. I have played on servers where moderators have literally slapped the hell out of people to the point where they were flying, and those servers maintained their numbers pretty good. So long as this was a one off thing, we have nothing to really worry about. Trust me, no player is going to leave as a result of this.

    Finally, I am not sure what Mango means about "passive leadership" but I figure that he means that the leads should absolutely demote people in these situations, or at the very least, come down hard on them. I find this utterly ridiculous. Any person who knew me understood that I wasn't really interested in demoting people. I always felt that it was only going to harm the servers if someone got demoted over a petty thing, and indeed it has. Coin and Nell are fantastic moderators who were (at least to my knowledge) quite active, and now for the next two weeks we have handicapped ourselves out of two moderators that could have otherwise been staffing the servers and dealing with the troublemakers that ACTUALLY cause people to leave. This could have been handled with a lecture, and if they'd have let me do it I would have scared the shit out of those moderators.

    All in all, I am just glad they weren't demoted over something so silly.
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  10. RhazhBash

    RhazhBash Professional button presser Moderator VIP

    Two weeks suspension isn't too harsh of a punishment. They were lucky to not be outright demoted.

    One of the rules for staff that's been around since the beginning is that staff should never use their power for anything other than doing their job. It's one of the first things new trials are shown before they start their training. If they show that they can't follow that rule after being told it, how can they be trusted to follow the rest of the staff rules? If they're gonna abuse their power for kicks, can they be trusted not to leak staff info for kicks? The outcome of their actions wasn't what got them suspended. Their blatant disregard for the staff rules was.

    Even if they were just doing it for fun, Dazza and Mango already said why it reflects poorly on the staff team as a whole. Obviously experienced players like the people in this thread could tell that it's a one time occurrence, but new players might come on and think we allow that stuff. A staff member has to show a good image to both regulars and new players to make sure everyone (barring people who came to ruin the game for others) has a good time on the servers so they come back and keep playing.
    • Like Like x 1
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  11. Panduh

    Panduh I love ass VIP

    While I do agree with the opposing side of the topic here, I like how you kept everything organized and stated what was your opinion and what was not. : )
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  12. AndrewB

    AndrewB Trial Moderator Elite

    I definitely think that Coinston and Alucard abused their moderator powers and they do deserve to be punished. So, they’ve been punished for a two week suspension. I believe that punishment is reasonable. But I don’t think you needed to make a post about it because it’s unnecessary. You said that Coinston and Alucard’s actions justify a short punishment, maybe 1 week instead of 2 weeks punishment. You went on way too long and just ended up telling yourself and everyone else that Coinston and Alucard deserved a punishment for abusing their moderator powers in the first place, perhaps not as long as one week.
    • Dumb Dumb x 2
  13. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    It's not what you think. It's what you said previously.
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  14. Coin

    Coin "But what if Robots" - Crhis Wedge VIP

    Honestly I am kinda glad that I was able to receive a punishment for it, I knew I wasn't supposed to be using my powers like that but I continued anyway. There was more then just those two clips, we had also been teleporting each other to the top of the map to make us fall to our deaths which has a bit more impact on the game. This punishment should be reasoning enough to prevent me from doing this in the future. I think Alucard felt he had it worse because he was the one who taught me (and I think Nell) how to use our powers like this so he felt more guilty. I don't actually know but I can only assume this. But honestly 2 weeks isn't bad just annoying it's at the perfect time where I have all this excess time staying at home all day. Since going on suspension I have played twice and one of those times I had to stop playing because it was so bad without any staff on, I can imagine that kind of behavior would scare off literally anyone (Indy made a forum report about it) and I felt bad that because of my mistake I wasn't able to help others actually play during this.
    • Like Like x 5
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  15. Peach

    Peach sweet c: VIP Silver

    My biggest issue with the whole thing is the way their behavior was impacting the rounds. From what I saw when I was on with them, the majority of the times where Coin brought Alucard, Coin was already dead, and Alucard was still alive. We give out harsh bans to players who ghost because they influence the round while they are dead. I don't see how repeatedly teleportation one of the last remaining Detectives from the grave is really any different from that. Especially coming from a moderator, someone who is supposed to be held to a higher standard than your average player. Mods have been outright demoted for far less in the past for similar situations.

    Also something that wasn't mentioned in the OP, on one of the hidden rounds Coin actually slays Alucard when he gets the hidden. Again, this may just be two mods having fun, but it also greatly impacts the round for players who look forward to playing the hidden.

    IMO the two week suspension was justified. I'm glad they weren't demoted since like others have mentioned, they're new moderators who have a lot of potential with helping out the servers. Hopefully this will be a good learning lesson to them, and all newer staff.
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  16. Rules are there for a reason and The punishment should match the crime. Staff are held to a much higher standard than the average player because of their rolls on these servers and they have to know the rules better than most, They knew what they were doing was wrong their for they knew they would get punished for it, I have seen staff demoted for much less than abuse of powers so a 2 week suspension and a stern talking to is much better than the alternative.
  17. wink

    wink strangers like me VIP Emerald

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. If muffinman got a full on demotion for one mistake that affected one round severely , I totally think a situation affecting multiple rounds ranging in severity from minor to pretty severe is letting these guys off pretty easy tbh.
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  18. Frost

    Frost Frosted Pun King Moderator VIP

    This community has a strict perception and history of "abuse of powers" for the administration. With that being said, you can use an example of other communities that'll allow their administration team to goof off and jokingly abuse each other. It can deter some people, but however most will not really pay much mind to it. However if it's done to random players and or regulars, then you have a definite issue, unless they asked to get involved in the goofing off, but that's not how it is here. In my honest opinion staff having fun with one another using commands isn't the worst sin in the world. In previous communities I've been staff on, we fooled around with commands, but not as often nor did we involve any non-staff. The communities still ran a long and successful course, but we very much limited the abuse. ULX has a "Fun" tab in !menu for a reason, it's just at it's proper place and time.

    However here in SGM, staff abusing their powers is not very well looked upon. Which is understandable, SGM is supposed to be a "serious" gaming server, and so it'll be strict upon it's staff team to uphold that standard of professionalism. Coin and Alu went a bit too far in this scenario, when the situation came to light, and then these videos were shown, it was way to much, even the staff who slightly defended Coin and Alu saw the videos publicized by Jabba, it was confirmed to have been too much. I like to see the staff having fun with one another, and also with the players of the community, but what transpired that day was not at all good. It made us look unprofessional and did upset some within the community. They're gonna learn from their mistakes, we all make them. Coin is a good mod, and will continue to be a good one after this, Alucard found it fit to resign, hopefully for the reason of he did not see a future as a mod here with his actions. Like some have stated, other's have been demoted for lesser reasons, but the ones stated, 1 clearly broke a server rule and counted with a Mass RDM instant ban, that to me is a bit worse than mods abusing each other with powers, because then that'll leave the mindset of "if a trial mod/mod can mass RDM and get away with it, so should I" and then we have more problems.
    I feel that punishments were fit, the duration however was up to their admins.

    But 'tis just another viewpoint from another lowly mod.
    • Confusing Confusing x 1
  19. Pokeben10

    Pokeben10 no, no lordy Moderator VIP

    Being part of the staff team is firstly about doing your job, in my opinion, and secondly having fun. You don't have to screw around with moderator powers to be a fun staff member. @olivia did that easily.
    • Like Like x 1