Thursday, October 22, 2009

The "rude" button

There's a new button on the message boards of Atlas Quest, that I affectionately call the "rude" button. Basically, it's to be clicked whenever you think someone's post has crossed a line--it's inappropriate, unnecessarily harsh, or just plain rude. I expect everyone to be civil to each other, and while disagreements are fine, being just plain mean is not.

Unlike the other buttons, you will not see how many people have clicked the rude button--this button is basically for the moderators to keep an eye on potentially problem areas. There's a special widget available only to them that allows them to see which posts are considered the most rude or might require more attention than usual. If you've clicked on it, it'll show a 1 in parenthesis so you can see your own vote--but that's as high as you should ever see the number.

It doesn't show the real counts since there are people on the boards who may think it's funny to click the rude button on posts by people they don't like even if there's nothing at all rude about it. I don't want someone who's abusing the button to be able to hurt the feelings of such people, so only moderators can see the real rude counts. It's really for their use anyhow.

On a related note, AQ does do some extra processing with these clicks. If you do think it's funny to abuse the button by clicking it all over the place, AQ will stop reporting the clicks to moderators. Essentially, if you cry wolf too often, we start ignoring you. =) So if you want your clicks to count for something, it's best not to abuse the feature.

Right now, the rude simply helps keep moderators informed of potentially problems that are brewing. I've thought about adding auto-timeouts for those who regularly cause problems on the message boards, and it may still happen at some point, but for now, it's purely a moderator tool. Regardless of your opinion about a subject or person, however, you are expected to act in a civil manner. Remember that--you don't want to draw the attention of moderators to your posts, and such posts are considerably more likely to do so now.

If you haven't read it yet or it's been awhile, you might want to review the message board's Best Practices. There's always a link for it under the 'Boards' menubar option, and there's good advice in it. Use it. Believe in it.


Goofy girl said...

Crud that means I will have to start being nicer...

; )

Sue KuKu said...

I had already noticed this. I was wondering, could you flip-flop it with the hug button, so hug is still on the end?

There are some of us who hug alot and I don't want us to accidentally be rude-ing a lot!

Just a thought . . .


Kaaren said...

Veeeeeerrrry Interesting. Can't wait to hear how it works for the mods.

Ryan said...

I don't really want to put it in the middle of the other buttons because this one works SOOO differently that the others, but I added a small gap between it and the others to make it more obvious that the button is distinctly different from the rest. Does that help? =)

Sue KuKu said...

I just logged back on and saw the gap. That makes a big difference! Thank you so much for listening!


Miss Morgie said...

I think this is a great idea and a valuable tool for the mods...hope it works well. :-)

Trailtracker said...

I think this is a great new option for a couple of reasons, but perhaps most importantly because hitting that button may prevent someone from needing to vent in response. A sort of therapy. lol

In other words it may stop some of the flaming that occurs from time to time. Thanks GT! BTW---I like the space between the "hug" and "rude" buttons, too.

K.C. said...

Is correcting my spelling on San Luis Obispo considered rude? LOL -- kidding, I clicked the "funny" button. Good idea that rude button. I have yet to see someone be rude, and that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh!

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight..
we will not see any one else's clicks, at all? Only our own, right? So no sense looking back through others posts to see if one is any where there? No sense in paying any attention to it all, unless we need to use it, right?

Ryan said...

I didn't correct your spelling of San Luis Obispo. I just asked if the mission you posted was near it. =)

And yes--you can pretty much ignore the rude button unless you have a reason to actually use it. Looking back at old posts won't show you anything.

-- Ryan

shiloh said...

The only two people that I concider truly rude,I have put on 'ignore' so I'll not wear out the rude button.

Anonymous said...

where was the rude button when the chief moderator was cheating in Reno last summer? how holy thou hath become

Anonymous said...

thanks for being the 'dad' of letterboxing..i think this feature is 'rude'

gentleawakening said...

Hmmm...I wonder if it would be possible/helpful if the person whose comments were labeled "rude" were able to see that this had happened?

Kaaren said...

Shiloh, same here. I'm "ignoring" some so my "rude" clicking should be low.

I also think it's funny that the people who "poo-poo" the idea of the rude button are hiding under the invisibility cloak of anonimity.

Teresa said...

Honestly, I find really rude comments to be extremely rare on AQ. I hope people aren't confusing differences of opinion with being rude. Wait, I wasn't just rude was I?

Ryan said...

> I wonder if it would be
> possible/helpful if the person
> whose comments were labeled "rude"
> were able to see that this had
> happened?

Not unless a moderator contacts them about it. I deliberately don't want people to see that so the button can't be used to hurt feeling and so people don't freak out about someone clicking a rude button on a post they thought was undeserved. (Maybe they meant to hit the hug button but got the wrong one?)

So no, only moderators will know about. If there's a serious problem with the post, however, moderators can do something about it.

-- Ryan

Cyclonic said...

This is a stupid idea. And yes, that is meant to be rude too.

Kay said...

WOOOW I see the rude button is going to be needed already :) I love the idea, I have witness some rude comments to newbies on here just for incorrect spelling, I would hate to run any one off this great Hobby Site because someone was having a bad day or just down right rude. Yes opinions are good, but that's what it is just an opinion, not the way it has to be. Thanks Ryan I think it's a great button. Sorry cylonic in my opinion it's not stupid. :)

Sue KuKu said...

When I was on staff at my church, we had a policy. If someone left a note complaining about the organist or the reader or the newsletter, etc. we only passed on the comment if the person signed the note.

If they left an anonymous note, it was never passed on. We were a community and if they couldn't express themselves as part of it, then their comments were not even considered.

Ditto for this blog. If you have an opinion on Ryan's subject, you should sign your name or, if you don't want everyone to see what you're saying, email Ryan privately.

Coming on and saying something negative about this and not signing your name is cowardly. I see no reason to even consider your comments and opinions.

Anonymous said...

This is the next best thing to the "slap" button that I always hoped for...thanks!

Anonymous said...

If, reading boards upon AQ
You deem some posts profane or crude,
A new icon should bolster you.
Just click the button labelled "rude."
But careful how you use this tool;
Abuse we cannot tolerate.
A single click obeys the rule--
Too many will its goals negate.
But if you spot some poetry
That lacks good meter or good rhyme
Avoid this button carefully--
Bad poetry is not a crime.


Anonymous said...

better be carefull KuKu- your hugs may start getting "ignored" if you click it too many times

Mina said...

Ryan, I can tell you've put a lot of thought into how this button might be able to work while minimizing potential abuse of its use. I appreciate that.

Cyclonic said...

I find it interesting that folks here complaining about those posting a difference of opinion anonymously have no problem with a button that complains about a posting on AQ anonymously.

I think that is my biggest problem with this idea.

Cyclonic said...

To further my point, it makes it too easy for folks. A simple click of the mouse does not take the time to explain why you have a problem with the post. I think it will end up making more work for the moderators in the long run, and produce no perceivable results on a site full of Hallmark Card posters anyway.

Anonymous said...

Oh please! Everyone knows that public disagreement with dictators yields unpleasant consequeces for dissenters. Why not just publicly oppose Obama while you're at it and see where that gets you.

There is enough micromanagement BS in everyday life without it infiltrating a once pleasant hobby. At the extreme of ridiculous, when will sanctions start to be imposed for breaking the growing list of dictated rules?

Ryan said...

Ironic in another way, Cyclonic. Those who post mean messages anonymously to my blog don't want others to be able to express their opinions anonymously on the boards.

This dictator doesn't punish people for disagree with me. You might run into trouble for being a snotty-nosed jerk, but nowhere have I ever said that it's okay to be a snotty-nosed jerk. I'll generally take more abuse that I wouldn't allow against others, but if you get into trouble for expressing your opinion, it might not be WHAT you say as much as it is HOW you say it.

But then, those that have a hard time distinguishing between the two are usually the ones who have the biggest problems with me. Coincidence?