Whats currently happening with Mods and Reports

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I get mods have lives and everything but when I see 4 people out of the whole mod team actually doing their job and the rest doing nothing while there is a massive backlog of reports.

What's happening.
Because at the moment it seems the moderation team is just freely allowing people to ruin faf games and not caring.

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I am wondering the same thing. I appreciate that they volunteer and don't get paid but if they can't devote a reasonable amount of time to it then why have they volunteered? It seems to me that some people just want the mod/admin title and not the responsibility. Still see many game lobbies named things like "no gays" and worse while a half-dozen mods are online.....ask about it in chat and retarded idiots like Thomas and his group of small-minded "friends" attack anyone who has a problem with free hate speech. I don't engage him anymore but I have watched him time and time again attack people for them having a problem with "no gays" "no niggers" lobby names........pretty sad that the good-hearted honest people around here have to just forget about the community aspect of our game and just shut up and play.....I love faf but I miss the sense of community and respect I got from playing other games....now I am certain someone like Thomas will chime in and tell me that I should leave faf and go back to those other games if I miss it so much.....such a great solution. Free speech comes with responsibility.....people have no understanding of that concept. Its unfortunate that the small minded people are fast with their keyboard so they mistake being clever for being intelligent.....and even more unfortunate that many of those have found themselves into the senior ranks of FAF.

I understand FAF better than I can play it

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Is there still a massive backlog of reports? I thought it was down to a reasonable amount now.

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Free speech comes with responsibility

Such as not throwing weird accusations in the room with no data to back it up? Your post is a punch in the face for every moderator going through peoples trash talk. It's not the moderators fault that people behave like shit and/or people feel insulted by every tiny thing (I don't know what the real driver is here).

I'm not a moderator, but I looked into the data. The overall number of reports per month is massively increasing over time since the official report system got introduced.

Year Month Reports created
2021 10 237
2021 9 311
2021 8 379
2021 7 292
2021 6 284
2021 5 331
2021 4 247
2021 3 299
2021 2 203
2021 1 190
2020 12 191
2020 11 201
2020 10 164
2020 9 171
2020 8 237
2020 7 178
2020 6 183
2020 5 125
2020 4 163
2020 3 191
2020 2 190
2020 1 168
2019 12 159
2019 11 188
2019 10 125
2019 9 104
2019 8 143
2019 7 186
2019 6 219
2019 5 48
2019 4 44
2019 3 57
2019 2 20

Looking at these numbers we have a backlog of roughly 1 months which is pretty good (it used to be more than 3 months).

report_status count(*)
AWAITING 387
PROCESSING 5
COMPLETED 2488
DISCARDED 3349

"Nerds have a really complicated relationship with change: Change is awesome when WE'RE the ones doing it. As soon as change is coming from outside of us it becomes untrustworthy and it threatens what we think of is the familiar."
– Benno Rice

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I think the Mods are doing a pretty good job.

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There are about 200-300 players per mod. I don’t think it fair to be upset there’s a bit of delay unless it’s a severe matter.

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So it seems like people lost the plot of the thread already.

Issue 1: Mod Team Bloat

055dbb2e-ad6b-4055-ac6c-9580484f33fb-image.png

Moderators that I know do work (process reports, moderate chat, etc):

  • Giebmasse
  • Resistance
  • Swkoll
  • Deribus
  • Tex
  • Medicraze

Keep in mind this is just based on my knowledge, I would not be surprised if arch and angel also process a good bit of reports since they are pretty active I just don't really hear about it at all.

No idea why Gorton is still a mod. He comes online once a year for 5 hours. No idea why Legion is a mod, he comes online once a year for 5 hours. Haven't seen nemir in ages. Voodoo is around more than these three but I have no idea if he does a decent amount of report processing, he is still not really around in chat that often to regulate it. Also no idea why Viking is an irc mod, his last moderation activity whether banning or looking at reports was in like 2014.

But Giebmasse already has tried to fish for more people to join the team, which is good. I also think he does a good job of onboarding decent moderators that have the ability to enforce rules properly. Mostly I just wish the list was pruned of dudes that only have the role because they were involved either in GPG or zep-era FAF.

Issue 2: Reporting Processing
I don't think it "just" taking a month rather than 3 months for a report to process is some rebuttal. The issue is more about the pool of people available to take the role of moderation. So either promote Giebmasse's posts where he is looking for more moderators elsewhere or lower the quality of standard when deciding whether to onboard an applicant. Those are the only two real options to address the problem.

It's actually funny because I know people that did some bannable stuff this month and they might only finally get their punishment (if it actually got reported) around LotS which they could play in. I see that as a problem, most of the time you don't even remember the game that got you banned.

I'd also say it's probably closer to 2500 or 3000 active users per moderator.

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I'll try to address some of the questions/topics briefly as I'm short on time right now.

Stating that we the moderators "freely allowing people to ruin faf games and not caring" is just not correct, furthermore you can probably imagine how uplifting it must sound to a moderator who spends part of their limited freetime moderating misbehaving users in our community.

About the report backlog, we had recently cleared all the report backlog, but as work and school starts again so does the time decrease for our voluntary moderators. The current backlog brutus already provided. Besides clearing reports we also moderate our other platforms (aeolus, discord, forums) and help community users in other ways, acting as first point of contact to pretty much any issue/question our community members might have.

As brutus kindly already showed the amount of reports, and thus moderator workload, has also grown steadily since the report system was taken into use. Partly because the community has grown and partly because people report more minor offenses more actively (this is a trend I've clearly seen happening since I've been moderating at FAF going a few years back). Certain maps also attract a large amount of the users causing a majority of the reported misbehavings, which often happen at min 55 of a large team game -> moderators often need to watch the replay which is quite time consuming.

And yes, moderators have lives too. As with any voluntary project some people have time to do more than others, and we can't force anyone to spend X amount of hours each week on moderation tasks. I am also not in favour of imposing some activity requirements on FAF moderators. I'd rather have a moderator who might not be too active e.g. with reports, but is online from time to time and might help with other things not directly visible to the public eye (such as team communication, helping with consistent moderation etc.). Additionally simply having a moderator presence acts as a deterrent for misbehaviour, you would hesitate robbing a store if a police car was parked outside, right? A potential risk with requirements could also be that we'd start running out of moderators, I remind you again it is a voluntary project.

As FtX pointed out we have been looking for and onboarding new moderators. You might still ask why we simply don't get more moderators on the team and hand out a moderator badge to anyone interested? For this I'd like to highlight a few requirements/key points we have for a FAF moderator:

  • Moderation standards, applying and enforcing the rules in a consistent, just and fair way I'd say is
    the most important bit. For instance I doubt anyone in the community would like a moderator who bans people for their own gain, or just outright bans a reported user from a report even if the supposed offender actually did nothing wrong.
  • Game and community knowledge, hard fact is if you don't know the game well enough you can't enforce the rules properly either. Same applies to community aspects, if you are really new to the community you can't be expected to help out users and be the first point of contact.
  • Moderators need to be representing the community, a misbehaving moderator might even cause overall more damage to the community by setting a bad example for other community members.
  • Communication skills, english is a must and you need to be understood by community members and other moderators.
  • Onboarding takes time too from the rest of the team, like with most job positions, you need time to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the job and everything involved with it.
  • How do we know how motivated the applicant truly is? As this thread is a statement to also, moderating is most often quite a thankless job. Do we spend our already limited time onboarding a new moderator only to see him/her going silent after a week or two? I atleast prefer to see some longer time commitment or previous contribution within the community from potential applicants.

If we onboard a moderator who is not fit for the position, I bet you'd quickly have different kinds of moderation related threads popup here and the rest of the team would have even more work on their hands.

@FtXCommando If some user has broken the rules in a major way before a big tourney, feel free to pm me or another moderator about it and we'll look into it with a higher priority.

I'll end with a plug here, if you feel qualified and want to help, feel free to apply: https://forum.faforever.com/topic/433/moderator

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I definitely don't disagree with your post @Giebmasse but I do think it's a bit incoherent to expect such criteria from new moderators but then everything is alright when you have mods with full moderator rights but are essentially entirely alien to the community at this point. No one on FAF after 2019 likely even knows who Gorton is and god knows how old you have to be to know the first thing about Legion. They basically don't fit any of the criteria you posted.

Like I said I think the criteria is fine, it's just uncanny that it feels like you only really need to meet it once and once you have, you're in forever.

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I really don't think it's unreasonable to require a certain amount of time from a moderator each week. Any organization that requires volunteers requires them to give a certain amount of time and to commit to that. My sister has a non-profit that is quite successful simply because her volunteers can commit to a certain amount of time and she can rely on that. If she had a hundred volunteers but none of them could spend time on their duties then they aren't really volunteers because they're not doing anything. Any non-profit has a volunteer backbone and it is a requirement for them to spend a certain amount of time on their duties. If they are so busy that they can't devote a certain amount of time to something they are volunteering to do then they shouldn't be volunteering to do it. Volunteering to doing something and then turning around and saying "well I have a life so I can't spend any time on this" is just playing garbage.

I don't think every moderator needs to be a senior level moderator either do they? Could you not have junior moderators who work under a senior moderator? After their onboarding they would handle reports and submit them to the senior and the senior would have less work to do to review them before approval. Or if any red flags came up with the junior moderators reporting then the senior moderator was there to step in.

I understand FAF better than I can play it

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This post is deleted!
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First of all,there is much-much more that we have to do besides reports,as one member of the team i can tell you that we did have a huge back-log during the summer but this doesn't mean we were afk or just sitting there for "status" that we got,there were huge issues with the vault,servers and the bots going offline so we couldn't handle either bans/warning,then we had to go through almost 1000 reports during almost 4 weeks.
i don't want to bitch about 15% of those reports being fake,20% missing report descriptions/evidence,another 5% reports being a pure joke or meme,moreover there're not always games that last 20-30 minutes,there were games that lasted for 2-3 hours and we had to go through the entire game to the X point and NO,you can't do that via the "pause replay at a time" as you NEED to look at the reporter/reported and the situation itself which is extremely painful for someone who has a bad/medium PC.
On top of what Gieb has brought up,i have to also point out that the mod team doesn't work on it's own,we constantly need to keep in touch with the balance team due to multiple potential and existing exploits,creative team for handling unbalanced maps /mods,PC when there's a tournament related issue and admins that are already beyond busy to fix some the client side issues.
No clue what you guys are doing besides being "forum" warriros instead of trying to get in the team,we are trading our opportunities so you can enjoy the game,yet still being thrown with garabge at.
Also no,your idea of having different levels of moderation is just bad,not it requires a good leader to build up the team,it also forces a hierarchy that we don't have resources to set up and control,there is a bunch of more stuff lurking around.
There's a good amount of mods that have already left due to the insane amount of toxicity and time needed for that job,you think you can take it on for at least 2 months? i very much doubt that but you can always appeal and get in.
Also besides reports,there's also the ban appeals that requires almost always the entire mod team to go through and judge if the mod was not abusing his powers so we could maintain the "good" name up.
In the end,some mods have their reports time bigger than actual play time so please either stop your pointless accusations or provide proper examples of why can't 12 mods deal an active 2k player base daily.

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

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Some of these points have already been addressed but I'd like to take a stab at it as well.

The reason organizations typically require some sort of minimum activity level is because their activity usually requires coordination regarding shifts or other real time cooperation. If someone doesn't show up to their shift at the food bank, they interfere with operations and might not be invited back. There is no equivalent issue in FAF moderation, mods complete tasks almost entirely independently with a small amount of asynchronous communication on zulip. If we institute some minimum activity requirement, that doesn't turn low activity mods into high activity mods, it turns them into not mods. This just reduces the total amount of moderation work being done and you've just made the problem worse. That said, we probably should remove some of the totally inactive mods because users may be attempting to contact them regarding moderation issues but are possibly being ignored.

Of course the main issue is that mod work is generally terrible: it's stressful, time consuming, and tedious. People do it because it needs to be done, not because it's fun. The mod team receives about 10-15 reports per day. Of those about about 2/3s can be completed in ~5 minutes because they are malformed/duplicate reports or are easily processed (insults in screenshot/replay, etc), the other third require lots more effort. I'd estimate they take about 30 minutes average with very high variance because they require replays to be carefully analyzed, sometimes multiple times. Some back of the envelope math would say that roughly 2-3 hours of moderation work per day is required to process reports, every day. This rate assumes it is an experienced mod who can process reports efficiently by doing them in parallel and is well versed in the rules and moderation policies. If a new mod is doing them it can take 3-5 hours to process 1 days worth of reports.

That doesn't include the time moderating the many other moderated platforms: aeolus, forums, discord, the time handling the reports that don't make it into the report database because they are made direct to a mod, the time sent on anti-smurfing efforts, the time helping people with random issues, the time spent on training and onboarding new mods, or the time spent reviewing appeals and other issues. It takes about the equivalent of a full time employee's time to moderate FAF at the current level of moderation.

In addition, the overlap between the people that should be moderators and the people that want to be moderators is quite small. Most applicants are generally unsuitable due to prior bans or limited time as part of the community. For the remainder of applicants that aren't completely unsuitable, a conservative approach is generally taken to avoid ending up with mods that could cause serious issues down the line. Of the people we do accept and onboard only about half of them end up being active mod after a few months anyway.

Creating two tiers of moderators may seem like it solves the problem, but does not actually provide any sort of benefit. Say a junior moderator reviews a report and says we should ban Player X, I can either trust Player X and ban them in which case we could have just made them a full mod, or I can review the report myself to see if their call is correct, in which case they just wasted their time. Part of the training process for new mods already includes an existing mod walking the new mod through our moderation process so their is no real reason or benefit to creating two tiers.

It'd be great if their were a wealth of qualified people ready and willing to volunteer many hours per month moderating FAF. It would also be great if everyone on FAF was nice and respectful and didn't require moderation, but both are fantasies. The only concrete policy that could be made to fix would be to lower the bar for the qualifications we look at to accept moderators, but that's a dangerous thing to do and I don't think the mod team is ready to do that.

Side note: angelofd347h is one of the most active mods right now and should definitely be in the "does lots of stuff" column.

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Well Swkoll just the other day I watched as someone in faf chat complained about a no gays lobby name and was asking for an admin. That's when Thomas and superintendent and leprechaun attacked that person saying that it was free speech even though it's a clear violation of the code of conduct. When you finally responded you simply said "no gays is a meme" so the fact that people have lost faith in the moderation effort shouldn't be that surprising to you. It wasn't until a high ranked player summoned you in chat that you finally did anything about it and even then your attitude was one of like fine I guess I'll do it rather than actually caring about the code of conduct and the fact that people were upset by this. I've gone through this before in a post where I tried to address this and was immediately attacked because there is a large group of people in this community who think that racism and hate speech is part of free speech. I'm not even going to try to get into that debate anymore but when moderators don't care about the code of conduct they are supposed to uphold everyone loses faith and then you get really good people who would want to contribute their time to help out deciding to stay away from it because they see how it is at the top. A lot of people in this community hate me for my views and hard stance against hate speech and so I can just imagine I would be laughed right out of the room if I tried to apply as an administrator even though I'd be really good at it. I have plenty experience moderating from previous gaming communities but those gaming communities actually cared about the code of conduct and about having a standard for its player base and didn't mind banning people who couldn't get on board with it.

I know nobody cares but I've already pulled my patreon support the person in chat that day said they were pulling their patreon support and everyone just laughed at him and said that the Patreon support isn't needed so screw off. There's talk about how there's no resources to do certain things but yet nobody cares if players are choosing not to support the community financially or with their time because of the way certain things are done? Maybe FAF doesn't need any money or anyone's time but I disagree. I think the more people who are willing to donate their time and money to faf the better off we are. Maybe that's something we spend money on is moderation but when the majority of people are really good people and can't stand certain things and they choose not to support the community and just play and have no other input....well.... I think the effects are obvious.

I understand FAF better than I can play it

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@rezy-noob said in Whats currently happening with Mods and Reports:

First of all,there is much-much more that we have to do besides reports,as one member of the team i can tell you that we did have a huge back-log during the summer but this doesn't mean we were afk or just sitting there for "status" that we got,there were huge issues with the vault,servers and the bots going offline so we couldn't handle either bans/warning,then we had to go through almost 1000 reports during almost 4 weeks.
i don't want to bitch about 15% of those reports being fake,20% missing report descriptions/evidence,another 5% reports being a pure joke or meme,moreover there're not always games that last 20-30 minutes,there were games that lasted for 2-3 hours and we had to go through the entire game to the X point and NO,you can't do that via the "pause replay at a time" as you NEED to look at the reporter/reported and the situation itself which is extremely painful for someone who has a bad/medium PC.
On top of what Gieb has brought up,i have to also point out that the mod team doesn't work on it's own,we constantly need to keep in touch with the balance team due to multiple potential and existing exploits,creative team for handling unbalanced maps /mods,PC when there's a tournament related issue and admins that are already beyond busy to fix some the client side issues.
No clue what you guys are doing besides being "forum" warriros instead of trying to get in the team,we are trading our opportunities so you can enjoy the game,yet still being thrown with garabge at.
Also no,your idea of having different levels of moderation is just bad,not it requires a good leader to build up the team,it also forces a hierarchy that we don't have resources to set up and control,there is a bunch of more stuff lurking around.
There's a good amount of mods that have already left due to the insane amount of toxicity and time needed for that job,you think you can take it on for at least 2 months? i very much doubt that but you can always appeal and get in.
Also besides reports,there's also the ban appeals that requires almost always the entire mod team to go through and judge if the mod was not abusing his powers so we could maintain the "good" name up.
In the end,some mods have their reports time bigger than actual play time so please either stop your pointless accusations or provide proper examples of why can't 12 mods deal an active 2k player base daily.

I'm really not interested in the list of stuff beyond reports because I still know the afk mods I listed don't do any of it. Processing reports is the bare minimum you should expect from any global mod.

The accusations are not pointless because you have a month backlog. Clearly there is a manpower problem there, the argument is about potential ways to resolve it. On that note, it's 5 pm EST, prime US evening and no moderator is online. Right now that's 0 mods to deal with 1300 users at this hour.

Also, I wouldn't be allowed to be a mod.

I'd also like to specify that I'm not calling anybody lazy here. I'm well aware of the time invested in moderation, but I don't really have any desire in going into the details of it because that stuff is just circling back to there being a manpower problem which is not a point I contest.

I talked with Gieb for a bit and so one thing that is important is that global mods are able to actually answer questions in regards to user accounts/emails since they are the only ones with access to that information beyond server admins. One problem is that global moderators need to be people trusted to have access to that information without, you know, giving email addresses out and other GDPR violations.

One thing is creating some sort of moderator tier that can actually access reports (which only global mods can do) but cannot access information about account information. No idea how you can make it clear to users that this division exists, but ideally it would not matter as global mods would be the highest tier of active, respectable moderators that should be able to answer requests for account information within a day or two even if a mod without the rights to that information is contacted.

Another thing is you could potentially divide "community ambassador" from "faf moderator" and maybe add a new list of users in aeolus which is focused around people that are interested in answering questions about FAF. It can be encouraged because those people would have a role at the top of aeolus and maybe even some unique avatar. These people would mostly be selected for activity and community knowledge, they should be able to answer many questions individuals face but they should also be knowledgeable on who to direct others to if they do not know the answer.

I have no idea what the ratio of questions moderators actually get is. If most are about account information or actual moderation issues, then the latter idea doesn't do much. If they get a lot about tech support or gameplay advice or explaining how things work on the client, then the latter idea becomes better.

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@tsirkitna First off, this is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. In general the mod team does not like to discuss specific cases but I'll make an exception here. What happened is one player had an inappropriate lobby title, and I was notified of this via a ping in aeolus. I warn the player that this is inappropriate and they changed the lobby name. At no point do I say "no gays is a meme" in aeolus. I don't know why you have an expectation that the small handful of moderators are constantly aware of everything that's happening on FAF, or that we don't deal with issues like this.
'
I'm also not sure why you think the patreon is relevant to the moderation team. Do you think the mod team is paid? The only thing that would happen if all the patreon money went away is that we'd eventually just shut down the servers because we couldn't pay for them.

With regards, to you applying to be an "administrator", a quick check through your replays indicates that you would not meet the standards of conduct that we require of people joining the mod team in the first place.

@FtXCommando with regards to creating a lower moderation tier, I'm not sure there exists a significant group of people that could be trusted with banning users, but not be trusted with the information in the user database. If you can be trusted with one, you can be trusted with the other.

In my experience, the ratio of questions is about 50/50 between tech support and moderation, but it is such a minor time investment compared to everything else that having dedicated community ambassadors is unlikely to affect the overall moderation workload. Although creating such a role likely has other benefits. The only real solution is finding trustworthy people willing to spend lots of their time doing FAF moderation, but that's extremely difficult for the reasons in my original post.

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@swkoll I find it very hard to believe that a "quick check" through my replays could indicate that I would not meet the standards of conduct that are required of people joining the mod team in the first place. It makes no sense at all to say such a thing. What could you possibly see in a quick check? Most people I play with enjoy playing with me. Those that don't usually start shit with me because they are raging and I stand up for myself and for the peace of that particular game. Others are just assholes because I am not very good at FAF having played 1000+ games and they feel inclined to tell me what a pos I am for that fact. Kinda why I haven't logged in for a month or so. Im not saying I am perfect, I am guilty of raging to but for you to tell me that a quick check disqualifies me is just silly. If you "quick check" everyone who applies then nobody will ever be accepted and/or many wrong people will be. BTW I haven't applied nor do I plan to.

My point about Patreon is that there are many people who decide not to donate either time or money or both because of the way things are run or the perception of how they are run. A lot of people choose to just log in and play and not be a part of the "community" Instead of being active in the community. Imagine if most people decided to donate their time and money and efforts? The manpower issue would be solved and perhaps then the admin or devs could be paid for certain things or at least money could be spent on growth and development and infrastructure improvements and a variety of other things that aren't possible right now. It would be a whole different thing to consider if there was a huge excess of money and manpower. There would be a lot more options available.

Also, I was pretty certain it was you who said that "no gays is a meme" or I wouldn't have said that. It wasn't a deliberate misrepresentation it was a mistake. I thought it was you but it must have been someone else. So I apologize for the accusation against you that way.

I understand FAF better than I can play it

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https://controlc.com/370f1d61

people who write like this.... are very fun to talk to.... because the whole world is against them.... and nothing anyone does is ever good enough....

Of course people make fun of them when they are so overdramatic.

Using your Patreon cancellation like some kind of persuasion method to make people act like you want is ridiculous, too. Especially when it's just based on a false assumption, in this case that mods don't do anything.
At that point you are just a clown.

Can this thread be closed? No evidence that mods ignore valid reports has been presented so far and I doubt anyone will be able to.

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Locking as requested by the thread author.