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  The TTT News Bulletin
Posted by: Gabe - 10-17-2019, 10:20 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (7)

The TTT News Bulletin Episode 1: A New Beginning

Greetings and salutations folks,

I apologize for the corny thread name.. if anyone else has any suggestions for these new regular updates please let me know...

Halloween is quickly closing in on us, so that means it's time for some spooky updates! Before we get to that, just a few general announcements.


  1. This has been an issue for a while, but there has been a bit of a disconnect between staff and players, and we would to close that gap as much as possible. Going forward we will try our best to try to eliminate a lot of the confusion from the get-go. we want to be as honest, transparent, and approachable as possible, and I'm sure the rest of the staff feel the same way.
  2. For those that do not know already, we have a test server located at 74.91.121.29 to test out some new things that could possibly be added to the server. The test server is there for the purpose of the community providing feedback and suggestions, so test away.
  3. A little over a month ago, @queef commando and I launched our prototype version of the "Committee" system in order to move away from the perception of an autocratic rule by the Admins when it comes to things like unban requests and staff apps. We have been monitoring the system and have found it to be pretty good so far. But with every prototype, you are bound to run into some kinks and issues to work out, so that is something we are going to workout to perfect the system in the coming weeks. I will also be making a more in-depth document regarding the committees so it clearly lays out its purpose, Admin oversight, internal rules for committee members, expectations, etc.

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New Additions to TTT Upper Staff!

After much shuffling of upper staff and resignations of upper staff, I am pleased to announce two new additions to the TTT Admin team! We've monitored several candidates over the past few months and have chosen two individuals that exemplify everything we seek in an upper staff member. We currently do pretty well defined rules and procedures but we lack is a functional Upper Staff Team. So what we need is a strong team of Admins that can get the often stressful job done. One of my many favorite quotes comes from that of James E Baker. Mr Baker says, "law and process provide an opportunity for success, but do not guarantee results." Mr. Baker then goes on to list that leadership, culture, personality, and good luck are just as important as the law itself, which I firmly agree with and think it applies well here in choosing new Admins in regards to having good leadership, cultures, personalities, and a hint of good luck can help prevent future issues that may arise, and these two individuals have demonstrated time and time again these traits. On top of that these people are also smart, diligent, and knows how to think for themselves. These two individuals are:
@Avi 
@Hani 

both of these people have been role models to our players and lower staff members. On top of being an Admin, they will also serve in the dual capacity as a Committee Leader to provide oversight along with the other current Admins. Now that we are back to a sustainable number of Admins there should always be one that is around when others cycle in and out of activity.  

side note to those that keep pestering me to update staff list: I was waiting for this to happen and will get to it soon.
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Prototype Weapons Update

Our fabulous makeshift R&D team of @Christian and formerly @Laced Xanax have been working with Dinkleberg and @Everyjuan  sparingly for the past couple months on pushing out a new weapons update aimed at finally attempting to balance weapons, which to put bluntly will never be perfectly balanced the way everyone wants. Christian already made a thread about this here so I won't type another long paragraph here. After hearing some feedback from the test server, this prototype update will be released tomorrow on the main server. if there are problems with ANY weapon please comment it on Christian's thread or tell an Admin, but there shouldn't be anything too game-breaking in a balancing update... right?

Again, this is just a prototype and more changes to to come.
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Halloween Items

So this part is pretty self-explanatory. Our suggestions committee will be working towards getting some new Halloween skins/items out that can be added to our annual exclusive Halloween crate. So they have to be Halloween themed or close to it. I will be making a thread right after this for skin suggestions. Sorry @TheUltraFish, I'm copying and pasting your thread. So credit where credit is due.
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General Server Performance Updates

So not promising anything here but this is something that has been haunting us for a while and we will try to fix some of the big issues here with server performance and quality. Y'all have heard this speech so many times so I'm not going to repeat myself, you know what the big issues are.
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Future Plans and Conclusions

Perhaps this newsletter kinda thing can be done every month or so... depending on if anything noteworthy comes up that should be communicated. As far as future plans go, we can't predict the future but expect some more positive things to come. Happy Halloween. I apologize for any typos in here wanted to get this out quickly. I guess I will leave this thread open. Don't make me regret it. You guys know the rules... don't shitpost and all that jazz.

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  [TTT] Committee Voting System
Posted by: queef commando - 09-08-2019, 01:02 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (24)

Hey all, we want to make some changes to how voting works in TTT. To give some history as to why voting is the way it is: Voting used to be open to all staff, but it ended up turning into a situation where you had to be friends with the right people to get anywhere, and certain groups would just force people out they didn’t like. So in 2014ish the co-owner, Tyler, restricted voting to admin and higher. The original system and what it turned into are kind of on the extreme of possibilities for voting, so we want to now try something in the middle. The aim is to greater involve the entire staff body in objective conversation without things getting unruly.

Essentially, voting for different things will be divided into different committees. Staff members will be able to join a certain number of these committees and will be appointed by the Admins based on their skills and preferences. For example, someone who is uniquely impartial and a good judge of character may be appointed to a staff app committee if they desire the role. Members of committees can drop out of their committees or can apply to transfer between committees on request.


These committees will have tiered voting where different roles get more votes such that different groups in the committee largely have the same voting power. Members would also need to maintain activity on the server to retain voting ability in their respective committees. Admins will serve on ALL COMMITTEES and as Committee Leaders to help keep things on track. For some committees, a mod may be assigned as the point man who will take over the majority of organization and planning.

The directive and requirements for committees are as follows:
Committee Leadership Team: Sets the agenda for the committees and provides oversight. All TTT Upper Staff members will serve on this team. ADMIN+ ONLY.
Moderator App Committee: Approve/Decline Mod Apps    MOD+ ONLY
Test Mod App Committee: Approve/Decline Test Mod Apps    MOD+ ONLY
Trusted App Committee: Approve/Decline Trusted Apps    TMOD+ ONLY
Ban/Unban Committee: Approve/Decline Major Scale Bans when deemed necessary(ban requests/routine in-game bans will still function the same as before). Also Approve/Decline Unban Requests    TMOD+ ONLY
Training Committee: Design training schemes and assign members of committee to train new and rising staff    TMOD+ ONLY
Suggestions Committee: Consolidate suggestions for new server content, decide what does and does not make sense, keep track of changes that are implemented   TRUSTED+
Discord Moderation Committee: Determine rules and regulations for the discord server, discuss bans for individuals, moderate the chats, enforce rules, help select new members for committee   TRUSTED+

--------------------------------

Initial committee assignments are as follows:
To create these assignments we got the preferences of each staff member and assigned them such that they were assigned only to committees they listed as wanting to be in, there were enough people on each committee, and staff were in no more than 3 committees with a preference towards 2.

Moderator App Committee: 
Test Mod App Committee: 
Trusted App Committee:  
Ban/Unban Committee:
Training Committee: 
Suggestions Committee:   
Discord Moderation Committee: This is a joint TTT/PH committee and will require an application, located in Discord Staff Applications. 


Notes, Requirements, and Rules

  1. As a result of this system, sponsors are no longer needed for staff apps in TTT.
  2. Admins(Committee Leaders) are the supervisors of these committees that set the agenda and keep things in order. Admins also reserve the right to remove disruptive individuals that violate the committee rules with Dinkleberg's approval. This can include but isn't limited to showing favoritism and other bias behaviors.
  3. If a person receives the rank of Trusted, Test Mod, or Moderator they MUST wait a minimum of one month from the time of promotion to be eligible for those rank-specific committee assignments.
  4.  If a staff member has not opted to join a committee yet, they may contact an Admin for further instructions and then the Admins will determine which committees they will be assigned to.
  5. A staff member may only be in up to three committee assignments and can resign from the committee at any time or request a transfer application that will either be accepted or denied by the Admins.
  6. In order to be vote eligible on a committee, that staff member must maintain a minimum of 10 hours in a span of two weeks, same for Admins.
  7. Admins shall be the ones to comment the final decisions on that specific thread/topic.
  8. There are no limit to how many people can serve on a committee, but the number should always be odd. In the event of a tie, it shall be broken by deliberation of Upper Staff on the best course of action.
  9. There are also more internal rules and procedures for committee members to follow.

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  Community Toxicity Bans. The Follow Up.
Posted by: Gabe - 09-06-2019, 04:56 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (38)

Report on Community Toxicity

I will start by giving a fair warning that this is going to be long. I ask that you read the whole thing to fully understand everything. Just reading bits and pieces won't tell you anything and will lead to misconceptions. I will provide a brief outline summary for those that don't want to read... or "principle conclusions," if you will. Again, you must read the entire thing to fully understand something not just based on a summary. If you're just reading the summary I hope you realize that we have learned in the past through many reports and commissions established by government entities that summaries don't reveal the whole scope of things and don't matter that much. The report itself is the thing that matters.

Outline

  • Was unanimous Admin decision, not one single Admin was the mastermind behind it. Yes, this did have Dinkleberg's approval and he has been watching the whole thing behind the scenes and agreed it has started to become an issue and raised his own concerns on occasion.
  • Bans were never intended to be permanent. This was a placeholder until users appealed and admitted their wrong doings/acknowledged they had some things to work on and then would be reduced on a case by case basis. This was done with the aim to send the message that after many failed attempts to curve toxicity/harassment post after post and announcement after announcement that something actually needed to be done and we aren’t going to tolerate it anymore from here on out. There are more threads, internal discussions, and announcements out there regarding this but you should get the point. Toxicity/Harassment has been an issue for a very long time and a lot of think that there has been very little done about it in the past
  • So essentially, these posts and announcements just weren’t working and a yet another simple post addressing that matter wouldn’t of changed anything nor would a simple warning have benefited us, as a community, in the long run if we truly aimed to reduce the amount of community-wide toxicity/harassment present. This was supposed to be an eye opener. To send a message. Yes, it did come out the wrong way.
  • Some of you were staff as well and should’ve known better. We know a lot of these people were well-liked, they were our friends too, and it was hard for some of us. However, we cannot give special or preferential treatment to these people just because they are well-liked, everyone must be treated equally. 
  • To put this in better perspective, if any random guest/group of guests were doing this kind of unfitting behavior and multiple people were afraid to post and interact because they are not a part of this group, wouldn’t we instantly punish them?
  • We also felt since you guys have had warnings in general before(some individually, some as whole, and some as a community). Just before the ban, behaviors and conduct was brought up yet again. It felt unneeded to keep repeating ourselves time after time again. But I can honestly see where talking about it individually would have benefited everyone more but would not have solved the problem in the long run and would’ve been another temporary band-aid fix.
  • Majority of evidence is NOT from a private discord, it is actually the minority of evidence, think of it more as secondary/supplemental evidence. 
  • As said before, we CANNOT post every piece of evidence due to some of these users requesting that we do not go public with their evidence. Some of them we can explain in words without showing the pictures, but others we cannot even explain due to the sensitivity of the matter. It was a very large diverse group of people that have submitted evidence to us and have requested not to go public with it and keep it sealed, it was not the same two-three people over and over again with some sort of crusade to get rid of you guys, it was a very diverse group of people.
  • If I had to describe this whole situation I would describe it through the words of the great Sun Tzu, "Disorder came from orderfear came from courageweakness came from strength." What this means in my perspective is that Chaos and backlash came from the decision made by the upper staff. There was a bit of disorder in terms of communication between and from the upper staff, the order figure. There was order inside of disorder, most of the community initially coming to oppose this decision and express their opinions. Fear came out of the courage of the Upper Staff to act on this issue and what it would mean for the future. Weakness came from the strength of the community to speak out, as expected when making this hard decision. But in the end, all will hopefully understand why this event took place and we will turn that weakness into strength, in the long run, accepting the short term backlash and perceived weakness in the Upper Staff. I do expect people not to get it still.
Why It Happened

Let’s just reiterate one thing here. This decision was made unanimously by the Upper Staff in principle and was not one Admin was the mastermind behind it all, which seems to be popular opinion. Did we rush it? A little. Could’ve we planned it out better? Yes. Did this need to happen eventually? Yes, it was inevitable. Let’s dive in here and explain in the most rational way I can. Again, this was a decision made jointly between Queef, Gabe, Nuru, Fish, and in consultation with Dinkleberg, who was also growing concerned with these several issues for some time.

As far as previous warnings and punishments, there have been general warnings given out regarding toxicity as a whole. Those that were staff should also know better than to act that way as well. The truth is a simple warning could not have avoided this, absolutely not, it was time we put our foot down to fix this plague of toxicity and harassment that has run rampant for far too long without serious consequence or serious punishment. Again, a simple warning or another pointless thread talking about toxicity and harassment would have solved nothing in the long run and would've been another "bandaid fix." Contrary to popular belief, not everyone was banned for the same reason and we will go through every case individually down below here in a bit. This may have not been communicated that well, and we apologize for that.

One of the many concerns regarding this crackdown was that these punishments were too harsh, but taking a look beneath the surface actually shows that this is not as harsh as you think. As said in the original post, “These members may appeal this decision and each will be decided on a case by case basis.” Decided, meaning a chance to reduce. As many have seen, Tdawg has appealed, and his ban has been amended. Everyone else this far has not exerted their right to appeal for reduce but instead decide not to admit any fault at all and have essentially claimed that they have done nothing wrong. We get this came out the wrong way, but continuing some of the same behavior for certain individuals and proving the overall point of the ban in part is not the way to go either.

Many people have suggested that these users were banned for “giving their opinion,” that is categorically false. The reason on that front was how they CONVEYED their opinion and attacking other people’s opinions when they did not agree with it, most of the time in unison whether it be via reputation or replies. 

Some may argue “people have a right to express an opinion” and “freedom in speech” but speech is not necessarily free and has its limits. We do agree free speech is fundamental to us and allows us to discover the truth, to benefit from a diverse group of opinions to make rational decisions, and to enjoy having a good community. However, free speech has to be fair and not be used in a way that is detrimental to our community. In the 1969 Supreme Court case, Brandenburg vs Ohio, dealt with our first amendment right and dealt with a response to the advocacy of illegal conduct. For context, the defendant had given racist remarks and anti-semitic speech at a KKK rally. The Court ruled that a state could not criminalize “advocacy of the use of force or law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such an action.” In basic terms, you do have a right to freedom of speech but you are also going to be held to what you say to others and face the consequences when neccessary.

Now you may be asking how the heck this relates to this ban? The answer is simple, the majority of these people were banding together making comments that were likely to advocate and incite (or) produce a lawless action against our MOTD, specifically rule 6. Mob mentality. Going against people that didn't agree in an uncivil way, attacking others for their dissenting opinions, and making others across the community fear giving their opinion on certain important threads because they feare receiving intense and unneccesary backlash from these individuals or they just not want to have to deal with the likely consequences of giving a dissenting opinion. Both of which are ridiculous and should not happen. We are supposed to be problem solvers, not creators, and figure things out in a civil way, not turning it into an all out war. Wars like this have its consequences and create a domino effect. Once a few people fall victim to fearing to comment on important threads due to this group of people specifically, others will eventually fall and continue to do so. Again, a simple warning wouldn't of fixed this issue in the long run, not at all. 

Every "War" has its consequences and you will lose some battles, but that does not mean you will lose the "war." We always knew there would be backlash. We thought it was better to deal with the short term consequences of an unpopular decision that will be beneficial in the long run. To put this whole thing in a better perspective and I truly hate to use an example like this.: On August 6, 1945, then President Harry S. Truman had the strength to make the the heavily divided decision to drop the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima knowing there would be backlash but be successful in the long run in a sense. He said, "It is an awful responsibility that has come to us." The other alternatives Truman practically had was launch a bloody invasion on Japan that a study concluded would've cost around 1.7 million american fatalities and about five to seven million Japanese casualties or drop the bombs in a different place. Truman's overall goal was not to destroy Japanese culture or people, but had a goal was to destroy Japan's ability to make war. So why am I bringing this up? Because much had Truman, we had an awful responsibility that came to us with this situation, but we had to make the choice to save the community from much further harm knowing it would have severe consequences but would benefit us in the long run and would've been a much better alternative to make the courageous decision to make a decision like we did here. 

I guess where I was trying to go with this, in short, is that we had an awful responsibility brought before us and had to make the hard decision knowing it would also cost us a lot of casualties with people not involved and have a lasting impact on the community both ways, but strength would ultimately prevail. The other thing I'm trying to connect here is the debate over dropping the atomic bomb in ethical and legal justification terms will never be resolved in a sense of who was right and who was wrong, much like I anticipate this debate to never end. Some people will always say it was "unethical" to ban these people without "warning" and if it was even justified. I do still stand by the decision made here and it was inevitable, and so do the rest of the Admins.

That’s what this part of the bans was essentially... minus the history lesson, I get a bit carried away. Again, each individual’s case will be explained below.


Judge, Jury, and Executioner. Why the Bans had to be Issued.


Laced Xanax: Where to begin here… Essentially, your ban was a part of this “hivemind” that we did not want to continue existing in our community that was detering players from wanting to participate in community activities outside of the server itself, such as commenting on apps, voicing opinions, etc. Instead, these people were afraid to speak their mind out of fear of receiving heavy backlash from a certain group or not wanting to deal with the backlash. Essentially, going out of your way to put people down for their opinion, even if you might think you aren’t. Apps are mainly supposed to be to give input and for maybe small debate at most, not an all out war. Admins are the ones who debate the apps mostly while heavily factoring in community input a lot. Once again, no one was banned for expressing their opinion, it was how it was conveyed and uncivil in most cases as well as “attacking” others for their opinions. The way you have responded to certain people that have been pushed out of this “group” shows as well. There was also your ban for using a certain bind and one or two other minor things. We know you were a big proponent of combating toxicity in our community, and we appreciate that. But the issue is that in your fight against toxicity, you yourself were becoming toxic and you started realizing that too and should be noted. One of the many fascinating things Confucius has said is, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.” Again, these bans are not intended to be permanent. They are placeholders until the user appeals, can acknowledge some of their wrongs, and try to right those wrongs.The other thing worth mentioning is that after this ban took place, some of the behavior you have exhibited has proven the overall point of this ban and reaffirmed the need for it. You obviously had a reasonable right to be upset over it, but some of the things were just too far and has shown that you and a few others were handling the whole thing poorly. Obviously there are still going to be some things for some people that they have requested it not to be shown for privacy.


Lily: The most blatant way to put this is that you were the epicenter of this “hivemind” and it all revolved around you somehow, either directly or indirectly. Some of it was direct and some of it was equally indirect. Again, there are some things we cannot show publicly still but directly relate you to most of the ongoings that were happening. Further evidence that we do have the shows you being the epicenter of these things sadly is what we cannot show, and we apologize for this. However it’s enough to warrant your ban. I do get that people will say "you guys are lying, you don't have any evidence and are trying to spin it." I get your point, I do, but there will just have to be a level of trust here. Given by the three separate responses at the top regarding the privacy of evidence, I think it should be reasonable to believe that we can't show some.


WILD: Wild, your punishment was more revolved about your mentality and us feeling it was just not fitting to be staff on our server any longer. As a Moderator, you’d always act like you were the one in charge and still the Co-Owner. Similarly, on occasion, you would throw around that you used to be Co-Owner when someone did not agree with you. At one point you had also approached a ph staff via dms trying to tell them off for what they were saying in general chat during the whole thing between dong/link/etc was happening. You also tried to act intimidating here towards this staff member. This is one example of trying to make people feel inferior to you. So this, in short, explains the demotion aspect. Also yes, this was one piece of evidence that we could not show nor are we going to show at the moment. This person knows who they are and if they would like to speak out on it, it is up to them. As far as the ban goes, what wild said has said in other discord shown in the original posts has always been very concerning to us. The things wild said were really concerning, to the point where  we couldn’t trust him or his motives We felt that he was trying to grow his influence which played a big factor in the mob mentality incidents. The way he put others down while trying to put his supporters and friends on a lime light in a sly manner was something we did not want happening here. As stated in the Brandenburg case, advocacy directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such an action, we felt this was going to lead to a scenario like that, started seeing signs and trends, and had to act upon it. 

I’m just going to copy and paste this line from the original post as well I guess since it was there. “It is not okay to lie about your history and actions, belittle others, falsify situations, pathetically brag and be toxic just to feed your own ego.” Again, bans were NEVER meant to be permanent, was merely a placeholder. It was meant to get the message across and for these individuals to acknowledge their mistakes, show us how they will improve upon it, then either be reduced or unbanned. After the Ban: not to mention that some of the behaviors you have chose to exert after the ban, which again we know was poorly planned and executed, that sort of proved the whole point of our crackdown, it should not be hard to figure out.


Tdawg: In all honesty, your ban was the least justified and has been amended accordingly via the appeal. I genuinely do not know how to begin here. Just a message in general to people is to not begin a match of your personal opinion is right, there is wrong and not acknowledge it. You don't have to like everyone's opinion, but you have to respect people and respect their reasons for holding that opinion. People should be treated the way you would like to be treated. The only thing that was considered "wrongdoing" would've been those messages in part, and we've been over that. I genuinely do not know what else to say here.


Rits: Your ban took place for multiple infractions, after returning from a previous community ban. You have been banned for harassment, kicked for racism, warned multiple times for racism, and still continued to break rules. Just because the person you are talking to in this way is okay with it, doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to break the rules. Upon warnings, you still went out of your way in the public main discord to ping and target Proper as well, after being told to ignore it. She was punished. You were also kicked for keeping it going, and doing it back. At this point it was suggested that your community ban come back. Too many incidents have occurred where you were punished or heavily warned. This warranted your ban. This is a compiled a list of all evidence we can show.


Link: Your ban took place due to your inability to make your own decisions and follow someone who was becoming highly toxic, and copying them. When Rits would be punished, or someone else that you were close with, you would in turn mock the person that punished said friend publicly, or would pm the person responsible and try to correct them or make them believe they were wrong. (Example of this is chats with Nuru, when you would run to her and tell her she was wrong for kicking/banning rits, and then when explained why, you would form your own opinion finally instead of trying to take hers) This happened several times. Among this, other things you have done have added onto why you were banned. You repeatedly crossed lines with jokes. What would be simple jokes to others, you would cross lines and take it too far. An example of this is the warning you received over Kuono. It was merely a slap on the wrist, and instead of expressing you were upset and leaving it at that, you took it to public discord and mocked for receiving said warning, and then refused to drop the topic until it was made clear that you were going to far and upsetting people, when it was visible before this fact. This was after Kuono and you both had been told to avoid one another, and she did so, and blocked you, and left all discords you were in. So you went out of your way to take jabs at someone. For all these reasons above, and repeatedly doing so when told it was wrong, you were added into these bans. 

Battons: Your ban was apart of what we called a “mob mentality” and attacking people publicly and privately for disagreeing with you/others that are a part of this. Again, this has nothing to do with expressing an opinion, it was how it was conveyed and executed to attack another person. This is something that cannot happen. Like I said before, this makes people afraid to comment on applications and that is something that is absolutely not okay. It will also deter others from wanting to comment on an application out of fear of backlash and not wanting to be a part of the community for that reason, and that’s now okay again. As said before, a simple warning wouldn’t have any benefit, in the long run, to fix this issue once and for all. We needed to set an example and show that we are not going to tolerate this anymore. Also to reiterate: bans were never meant to be permanent. They were intended to be permanent as a placeholder, users would appeal, and would be reduced on a case by case basis.


Not Done Yet. More Explanation Based on Your Comments! 
(may be some repeats in here in case people are skipping over sections.)
We’re reading what you’re all saying. We are not ignoring the community but the community doesn’t have full context of the things that have been pointed out to and shown to us for the past two months. For some time now we’ve been having this ongoing problem of toxicity of a majority (above and below the surface) crushing those of the minority that are too scared to speak up.

For this, we don’t think that the punishments were too harsh and never had the intention of remaining permanent indefinitely. We in the upper staff team have not forum banned anyone so that those banned can make their case whether they feel they have done any wrong or not and could be reduced on a case by case basis.

Onto the next topic of people claiming that they’re being banned for their opinions- this isn’t true. That’s just another perspective to take a narrative on. We don’t believe we’re strictly restricted to Dinkleberg’s Discord if it is harming another player in the form of one negative standpoint to one hiveminding biased viewpoint. It’s very damaging and unwelcome to single anyone out like this when it comes into the forums, server, or discord. Some examples are hiveminding on recent staff applications to attack people that don’t agree with their viewpoint via replies or by a show of forum reputation.

For example, something we all know of is freedom of speech. Not everyone knows though that that right has limitations. We’re trying to reduce the amount of toxicity happening working off such a model. That kind of expression is what’s causing this mob mentality.

A prime example is the original thread Addressing Toxicity. This is on a mass scale of mob mentality; we’re mostly seeing people trying to state that this wasn’t a unanimous vote and that it was rigged and pushed by Queef. I’d like everyone to know that every upper staff, both active and inactive voted and came to this mutual understanding. This isn’t just a community backlash on a whole because there are two sides to this situation. Really inactive staff like Drew and EveryJuan were not around when this took place.



Upper staff had either noticed or were made aware of a couple different groups forming. Nothing necessarily wrong with that as groups of friends grow and change constantly especially in such a large community as this one with many sub-communities as well. However, no matter how two of these particular mini groups started, if not more, they became toxic and harassing in nature. Common things that they would do is go after other groups or individuals that did not agree with their mentality. These groups would go into such things such various threads on the forums, on server, individual’s dms, and follow them through Discords depending on what thing was done that they disagreed with. I can understand and respect standing up for your friend but going farther than that to the point of harassment should not be tolerated here or in any community. Multiple individuals who fell victim of just having different ideals and perspectives from these individuals went silent and would not comment on things either in fear of being targeted once or again. Several of these individuals would contact trusted upper staff to relay their concerns either to be known in the threads of concern, quite a few, not even that. Some even left the community to either find or build new communities away from these issues constantly occurring.



A constant notice of the announcement was lack of evidence that subjected to some of the individuals to said crime that they committed. They were not all banned for the same thing or that is what the discussion before the bans took place were believed to have meant. We are here to make it CLEAR that not everyone is banned for the same thing. We have explained why each person is banned which is what we should have done to begin with. We cannot and will not make some of the evidence that we have made public due to the sensitive nature that said evidence contains. This is not to say that the bulk of the community would not be able to handle or understand the situation that becomes clear with the evidence but that with every community, there are people who will go after those that they harassed or that reported them. That could happen from the harasser specifically or members of the groups that were previously mentioned could go after them. In a perfect world, we would release said information, but in said world, this would have never happened in the first place.



We wanted to be clear that no one is above the rules when it comes to such rules as harassment, being extremely toxic and/or going out of their way not to just disagree with but attack individuals with a differing opinion. We also saw that it was clear that we need to make things more clear by the community seeing the aftermath that has been caused because of it. We are only human and many times we are looking from the outside in. This is not to dismiss everything that each individual was a part of either together or separately, but clarification is key. Completely inactive upper staff did not vote on this particular issue. Again, most people are blaming Queef solely for this, and it was not him alone. It was all of our decisions. We knew that when posting the thread and doing the bans that there would be backlash. We accepted that as friends of the community members being banned would obviously object to said bans. We understood that not all the evidence would be made available due to their sensitive nature.


We understand some of this evidence is months old, but when it comes to many of these things like “hive minding” or “toxicity” or “harassment” sometimes those are things that happen slowly over time and then build. This is the case with several of these people, they were guilty of repeatedly doing one of the above. It took a few months for each of us to gather evidence. While we received many complaints, nothing could be done at the time, and alone, each of us had evidence, but not enough to place a ban or punishment. When we as admins got together and began to share our evidence, we realized just how much we had, and how bad the issues with each were. That is what ultimately led to the final decision of the community bans. Again these weren’t meant to be forever bans, just place holders for each person, for them to realize their actions, and make up for them. This was also to be a message to the community in general that we were no longer going to tolerate this, and that people should not be afraid to talk. We want everyone to feel welcome here, and feel like they have a voice. Several of these people have prevented that for many users, new and old. We never meant for the harm to come that did, but this is what we can do to explain our thought processes, and show you, the community, what brought us to these decisions and bans.



Some Direct Comments Responded to by Admins

[Image: 994a6780013b106573042d1d0e48345c.png]
You are absolutely able to report admins. The staff abuse section is for this. Nobody is above anyone here. Not even admins. If you feel that they are deserving of punishment, post here. If you’re not comfortable doing so, message dink, or an admin you trust. It will be handled. Keep in mind this doesn’t guarantee it’ll go your way, just it will be handled properly.

[Image: 72ffbf2941f48963de0d4735813f577d.png]
Our intention wasn’t ever to keep anyone permanently banned, but for them to see their wrong doings, admit to it, and then when we see sincerity and the want to change, unban fully, or reduce, based on the severity of each case. As for evidence, some of it is weeks or months old, because things like this take a while to gather enough on to be able to do anything about. This is due to the acts themselves being sneaky. Yes, several of you were previously punished/talked to for some things either community wide, individually, or as a group. But a community ban comes when you’ve either reached enough punishments, or the acts are severe enough to warrant one. In this case, some were the first, some were the second, some where more than seconds.

[Image: 90ad4cf9efe5d50a73ee594f614b8769.png]
Many of the people that were banned, have received multiple warnings over time for multiple things and for toxicity previously. Some should've known better too. It shouldn't have to be restated every time it happens. Do you warn people in the server 12 times before a ban? No of course not. It’s the same principle here. They had a few warnings, got punished a few times, now it’s up to the big punishment and stepping up efforts besides just ineffective warnings and ineffective posts/announcements regarding this topic. Again, please read the entire thread before commenting on something like this to understand it fully.

[Image: 6ac64d5dcb353788c50333727536ac94.png]
When we originally posted the thread, we grouped it all together as mob mentality and toxicity, and that is our fault for not being more thorough. By this we in no way meant that everyone was doing it together, but that they were almost all guilty of one, the other, or both. As for the evidence, we are going to show as much as possible. But there is a lot. It’s why it has taken us so long to do this.


If there are more questions you as a community have, after this, please ask them and we will do our best to address them in a timely manner. We only ask that instead of witch-hunting like before, you talk to us calmly and maturely. 

Conclusions

  • Just going to say this again in case people just skip down to the bottom. Read. The. Entire. Thing. First. To. Fully. Understand.
  •  I think it is time we all lay down our arms and become whole again... or partly. To the people Banned: Appeal if you desire to come back. They were never meant to be permanent.  
  • This is supposed to be a community, not a High School. Some of our players may be in high school, but this is a Garry's Mod Community, not a place for toxicity, harassment, or petty drama. We need people to stop screwing around on the forums when it comes to brigading and derailing important threads, mass-downvoting, and excessive necroing/shitposting. It needs to stop. These are just some of the things.
  • No one is better than anyone else. You certainly don't have to like everyone. You don't have to like everyone's opinion, but you have to respect people and respect their reasons for holding that opinion. People should be treated the way you would like to be treated. 
  • I might have more stuff to add to this after initial post. Also btw ik there are probably some obvious typos in here, will slowly get them out

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  Addressing Toxicity in the Community
Posted by: queef commando - 08-25-2019, 12:40 AM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (91)

The Problem
It has come to the attention of upper staff, including Dinkleberg and the PH/TTT Admins, that a set of toxic cliques has formed in this community. 
These groups are spiteful and childish, harassing any player that does not agree with their actions. Commenters on staff apps regularly get 
attacked for not agreeing with their outlooks. People are harassed on the forums and on Discord. This has led to quite a number of users being 
afraid to comment on applications or participate in the community for fear of backlash and harassment. 
This is not okay.

Further, while these people openly attack anyone who doesn’t listen to their hivemind, they decry anyone that is not a part of them as “toxic” and 
oppressing them. This is not just sad, but undoubtedly wrong. Frankly, these actors have been allowed to continue for far too long, and we apologize 
for not doing something about this sooner. It took time for us together and review evidence, and to form a consensus. It took far too long. This 
community should be safe for all members. In a desire to not act too quickly we have neglected certain members and let them be attacked. 
We left you without a voice. We can only apologize for not acting sooner. 
But now is time to end this.


The Evidence
It is not okay to lie about your history and actions, belittle others, falsify situations, pathetically brag and be toxic just to feed your own ego.

It is not okay to attack people for making valid criticisms on staff apps or other threads.

It is not okay to harass members so consistently that they fear voicing an opinion.

It is not okay to egg on further conflict just because you think your friends are never wrong.

It is not okay to mindlessly hivemind support for your friends despite logic and reasonable outlook.

It is not okay to literally tell people their opinions are wrong because they disagree.

Besides the evidence of toxicity here there is more that cannot be shown. Some evidence involves users who we hoped to keep anonymous to 
protect them from backlash. Other evidence cannot be captured. The offhand comments, the tone with which people speak, the short tempers. 
Everyone knows how it is when someone is throwing shade. We all know the feeling. And that shade being thrown by a large group against single 
individuals who won’t be a part of the hivemind is unacceptable. Making people feel unwanted because they don’t agree will not be tolerated. 


The Punishment
Thus, in a unanimous joint PH and TTT Admin decision, and with the blessing of Dinkleberg, we hand out the following punishment:

Battons, Lily, HalfDemonLink, Laced Xanax, Wildfire, TDawg, and ritsuneru are indefinitely community banned. 
These members may appeal this decision and each will be decided on a case by case basis.


The End
This decision was not made lightly and was given much thought by all members of the Admin team and Dinkleberg. 
If you have any questions or concerns please direct them towards the TTT or PH Admins. Thank you.


Edit: Post edited to more clearly show different hyperlinks

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  TTT Upper Staff Changes
Posted by: Dinkleberg >:( - 07-13-2019, 03:12 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - No Replies

Hello everyone,
Just wanted to make a quick announcement to let people know what's going on. As of today, Scoovie will no longer be joining us as an admin. Please know this is not due to any one specific reason, and out of respect for him I do not want to go into detail on this thread, however a failure to see eye to eye on issues/controversial server decisions would be a very general reason. Scoovie has done a lot for this server in the time he has been here and I don't want to take away from that.

Second - We will finally see a real co-owner entering the scene on TTT. The main reason I have been waiting so long to give someone this role is because I've been waiting for someone that can actually help me with the entire backend of the server and genuinely co-own the server with me. Everyjuan has been taking on increasing responsibilities as his Vice President role, and now is in a perfect spot to take over as the co-owner. If any emergencies or needs arise, he should be able to help you in the same capacity that I would be able to. We will also be closely working together in figuring out performance issues on TTT and then hopefully moving into some new content updates once we can figure things out functionally. Server functionality, crashes, and hitreg be our primary focus moving forward.

This does not mean that because he is the co-owner his opinion is held higher or viewed as more valid than that of the admins. This should be a team working together to make decisions and valuing the opinion of everyone. Juan has agreed to take on 1 vote (rather than 2 votes as previous co-owners have had - this was never something I had set up) in admin voting. He will balance out the voting now that we are down 1 admin, and I will still be around to break ties.

Also something to note: I plan to keep tabs on admins activity once again. For those admins who do not maintain 10 hours per 2 weeks on the server, they will be moved to the "inactive admin" rank and will not be allowed to cast votes on apps, unban requests, etc. This is because these opinions of players should be formed by their activity on the server primarily.

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  Reminder
Posted by: matt_st3 (Strongrule) - 06-21-2019, 04:10 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (6)

This thread is meant to address several general concerns that have been brought to the admins. In this will be a couple announcements directed at staff and donors, but also some points members will to read for their benefit. This should serve as a general reminder on what staff should do and not do while moderating the server, and how we should generally act on discord and forums.

In general staff members should try and keep from mixing staff powers into play. Teleporting, kicking, and banning your friends in the middle of the round can be funny if everyone is in on the joke, but it’s also not what the commands are there for. And also not everyone has been in on the joke lately. Staff members set an example to players, and lately it’s been a bad example when it comes to commands. We have received many complaints about staff members from players and even other staff that they are being abused mid round. So if you must fool around, know your audience and when it’s too much. If we keep getting complaints then we’ll have to start keeping track of who is misusing commands for jokes.
The same goes for RDMing your friends too often. They may not want to report a friend but it does get on their nerves after a time. If you have to break a rule to do it, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

We also want to address staff discretion. Please remember that you should use your discretion where appropriate and not just what you want to do. Some rules are very clear about what happens when you break them, but the ones that are not generally have some kind of guideline written. Three rdms in a round is mass rdm, but the moderator has discretion on whether they think it warrants a permanent ban or if the rdms were accidental and just deserve slays. That kind of thing. We’ve had some complaints of bias in discretion so let’s try and keep it consistent.

There exists a /loose/ hierarchy in staff ranks, but that does not mean what the highest rank online says goes in every situation. Please do not ungag the guy a trusted gagged just because you’re a mod and would have handled it a bit differently. If the action is actually wrong and going to cause a problem, talk to the person and get them to fix it. Or if it’s just different discretion like they gagged for a word you would not have, seek clarification or try and get a rule changed to have less grey area. We try not to be too restrictive and allow for different situations within the rules, but are willing to review rules.

There may be an upcoming change to how the relay system will work in TTT. We are talking with dink about this. If changed we will make some kind of notice, but if we do change it don’t abuse it.

Some other changes will be made on keeping staff guidelines clearer. The guidelines themselves have been rewritten recently, and some documents for promotion, demotion, and training may be written and presented. Staff activity will be better represented on the forums by updating the active staff list on the 1st and 15th of month. We should also have something out for how to use the warn system since everyone uses it differently, but we’ll have to figure that out too.

I think that’s it for now.

This thread will be left open for any general comments, concerns, or complaints you may have. Please keep specific names out of this; if you have a concern with a specific member pm an admin. I want this to be open so anyone can respond to this message and any suggestions.

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  Discord Server Boost
Posted by: matt_st3 (Strongrule) - 06-06-2019, 10:19 AM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (1)

Hey guys, I was browsing some of my discords this morning when I came across this link in an announcement. 

https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/...-Boosting-

Discord nitro now has an option for its subscribers to boost one server at a time without additional cost. There are three levels of boost we can get with 2, 10, and 50 people boosting our discord. The benefits at differential levels include:

Higher quality Voice Chat for laced to blow your headphones out
More emoji for more Pepe and ban (person) emotes
Higher upload limit in the server for better quality memes
And some icon, background, and banner customization we can add to see more dinkleberg 

From what I’ve read it looks simple enough to select our server to be boosted. It would be awesome if you guys would add our server and I think we get through the 2nd level easy enough. Let’s get this BOOST

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  1 RDM = 1 Slay [JK]
Posted by: Dinkleberg >:( - 05-22-2019, 09:44 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - No Replies

Hello Dinkleberg's TTT players and staff,

I'd like to preface this by saying this is not a thread to argue with me about this, this is simply a further explanation because there seems to be a lot of confusion about why a rule change is taking place today.

The only time I ever intended for a player to be able to be slain twice is when he/she intentionally RDM's his/her T buddy. This rule was heavily misunderstood by the staff team, and somehow got worked into our staff guidelines as 2-slay punishments for things other than what I have intended.

There will no longer be any 2-slay punishments of any sort. 1 RDM = 1 slay.

Here's why the change is occurring:

1) Intentional T on T RDM should be something that is very rare. Many T on T cases that were handed 2 slays in the past were likely unintentional. Consistent RDM is already something we ban for, and if someone is consistently RDMing their T buddies I believe that staff can handle this as it occurs.

2) Subjectivity. It's much easier for the staff as a group to follow one specific rule rather than having rules that apply to specific situations. This is the main reason that I believe this rule got bent so heavily out of shape from what I had intended it to be. Situational rules can also make it seem to new players that staff are picking favorites or protecting friends in certain situations.

And that's pretty much it. Don't know why this became such a huge deal, but wanted to clear this up.

[EDIT] A good leader can admit when he has messed up, and I think I jumped the gun a bit here. While I'm really frustrated at the way my rule got bent and misunderstood, I remember how confusing of a rule it was to enforce and how staff were frequently unsure on whether someone should be slain twice or not.

And honestly... Fuck those people that come in and ruin the game for our players, and I don't want them to feel excused for their behavior at all. 

For now, continue enforcing the Intentional T on T RDM rule as you have been, but please avoid from putting 2 slays on a player in any other situation. Once I solidify the warning system a bit and outline how it will work, I may change the way this rule works a bit.

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  Address to PH Staff
Posted by: Dinkleberg >:( - 12-09-2018, 07:56 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (40)

Hey guys,

So I know we are sort of in limbo right now as far as upper staff goes, and most of you are probably aware at this point that Traitor has resigned from his role of Admin. I wanted to update you guys on a couple things, as well as address a concern I have as far as the way the server is administrated.

First, I will address the Admin application of Kasumi/Tori. While I do believe you are still the best candidate for the position, there are a couple reasons I am deciding not to give you this position just yet. First of all, having one admin is really not a great situation, and I think we need more than one person deciding on staff applications. Instead, I am now requiring that all moderators respond to all staff apps, and I will make a decision based off mainly their comments, but also the rest of the community input on the app. I think we will keep this as the system until I see two admin applicants that I could promote simultaneously.

The second reason I am denying your admin application Tori is because the key complaint on your application was that you are quick to punish before warning. This is not something that I want to single Tori out for, because I see SO much of this from so many staff members that it seems out of control. This is really not the way I want to see my servers run, and I want all staff but especially the leaders of the server to demonstrate more of a "chill" attitude. If someone is using foul language or has a word in their name that you might think is inappropriate, just give them a warning or honestly just leave them be if no one is offended by it. The reason staff are there is for the people who will not stop and are persistent and obvious trolls. I want to see the staff as a whole take it easy on the punishments, and only use powers to enforce rules when absolutely necessary. I do not want to see staff be quick to punish and use commands. In consideration for future admins, this will be one of the main things I consider. I want the server to be fun for everyone, and I don't want new players on the server to be afraid to use their mics in fear of breaking rules and being muted or gagged.

I know it's a very full and busy server and things do often get out of hand, but I can't say that there's a single staff member who isn't guilty of prematurely punishing or being too harsh. Try to make it a fun experience for everyone, and realize that not everyone who breaks the rules is trolling or doing it intentionally. 

Tori, please don't feel singled out by this post. You're a great staff member, a huge asset to the server, and I still consider you as the best qualified person for the position. Work on demonstrating an attitude of warning as much as possible before punishing and demonstrating this to other staff as well, and I think this is a position attainable for you in the near future.

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  Forum Bug Reporting
Posted by: queef commando - 11-13-2018, 09:45 PM - Forum: News and Announcements - Replies (4)

Hi it's come to my attention that a few people have or had error messages appearing for them on the forums. If you see or saw anything like the errors shown in the link below please comment on this thread. If you are currently getting them try to include a screenshot. If you used to get them tell me when they stopped. Thanks.


https://puu.sh/C1rIK/43c7b2aa35.png

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About Us
    This is Dinkleberg's GMod, a gaming community based in Garry's Mod. We have a Trouble in Terrorist Town, and Prop Hunt Server. Come check them out sometime.