angelsk462,809 (295,432)England

Bleep! Bloop! https://teespring.com/stores/angel-on-xbox

angelsk has won 11,114 Achievements and 40 Challenges in 447 games and 3 apps

Registered on 29 Jul 11 | Last visited Today | Last scanned today at 18:37 by TA Pro Scanner 3

Feminist, Gamer, Geek
angelsk

angelsk's Blog (39 followers)

Sep
15
PermalinkA letter to @TrueAchievement on the subject of harassment and mental health
Dear TrueAchievement,

I love this site, I've met some of the bestest people on here and it's truly helped me; especially with the struggle I've had with my mental health over the last 2+ years.

But I've seen more and more people posting blogs sharing their struggles with mental health and talking about the hateful messages they've received; the bullying that's happened on site; accounts created purely in bad taste; and various other situations. This isn't a new thing either. This has been going on a while; but I'm hoping that with all these posts bringing it into the light we can maybe push to get better control over our experience on the site.
External image

I recently had the privilege of listening to a talk by Alex Chan at the Wellcome Trust about Designing for the Abusive Ex. It was a preview of a talk he was planning for Pycon 2018; and an adaption of a talk he'd done previously at Bournemouth University. You can find the slides and a summary of the previous talk on Anti-Social Media on their blog (and I hope to share the video from Pycon once it's been uploaded, edit: below).


Edit: Blog post for the new talk on Assume worst intent (designing against the abusive ex)
External image

Firstly I'd like to say that although this is a criticism of the current level of control over reporting and blocking users on site (because I know it does exist); I know how hard and complex it is to maintain a site of this size, especially considering how small the team is.

Secondly, I want to shout out to Rich and Jack for being super quick about implementing a delete blog comment feature (and not allowing blocked users to post on my blog) last year!!!!!

And also a shoutout for the awesome moderators on site!
External image

Now.....

This is not just me; the topic has come up many times in the Site Wishlist forum:
* Hide posts by blocked users
* Is there/could there be an ignore users posts option?
* Privacy in messages - Block Messages from people not on your Friends List
* Blocking gamers, a more thorough way of doing it..
* Blocking Gamers
* Chat Room Mute button.
* Forum ignore feature
* Can we talk about anonymous solution downvoting again? (tangentially related)

Oh and I also found this awesome suggestion whilst searching:
* Community support
External image

I would like to ask TrueAchievement to consider implementing a more thorough blocking, reporting and muting system on the site.

I think the main problems for me are:
* Block should actually block/ hide/ mute
-- I don't want to see them anywhere on the site, not on my friends feed (comments on other friend's items), in the forums, in competitions, etc - it should be like they don't exist.
-- I don't care about holes in the timeline or anything; I just need not to flashback every time I see their picture/ name
-- The holes in the timeline would only affect me - and this is the desired effect!
-- NOTE: It would also be awesome if you never got matched with them in competitions, but I can see how people would take advantage of this situation - so maybe it could flag to staff before the round started and potentially be dealt with on a case by case basis
* Move the block list to a separate page (rather than the bottom of the edit friends page)
-- I really don't need to see the list every time I edit my friends list cry

Additional useful features could be:
* Give users more granular control over who can see/ do what (like Facebook do)
-- e.g: sending friend requests, sending DMs, posting on friend feed, posting on blog, seeing posts on the site, seeing personal information
* Allow reporting of a specific user
-- e.g: For bullying/ harassment/ inappropriate comments/ usernames/ etc not just for cheating or a specific message on site.
-- Saying that we can contact a moderator is ok, but there's a huge list, and I have no clue who I should be "bothering" or who is online, or who is best placed to help
-- A common inbox for such reports would reduce the anxiety and feel like issues could actually be addressed
* Add a mute option (functions the same as block, but without stopping them from connecting)
-- This would allow you to mute a user if they are causing mental distress, but may not be doing anything wrong/ bad
-- For example, they are being argumentative, and you want to help stop yourself from jumping in
* Allow us to delete comments on our feed items
-- Gives the added benefit of being able to correct that typo ;)
* Restrict or remove site usage for habitual harassers
-- I believe this does exist in some form, with people's forum posting being restricted for repeated reports (not sure how fully formed this is)
-- Imposes consequences for poor behaviour
-- This shouldn't be automatic, and should have a committee (like with the cheat reports)

I think that these solutions would help people's mental happiness and health improve smile And hopefully (not holding out hope though) make people realise that their actions have consequences.
External image

Thank you for reading.

Jo

// CREDITS

Credit for the prompt to write this, the blog posts and the images used in this blog post:

Alex Chan: https://alexwlchan.net/
Posted by angelsk on 15 September 18 at 12:23 | Last edited on 24 September 18 at 15:32
ProfessorPluto It's an unfortunate and shocking surprise that several of these features aren't already available. I don't think I've had need for them but i just assumed they were there if i needed them. Especially considering how utterly toxic some users can get on this site.
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 15 Sep at 12:33
rockinroosters I had one gamer threaten to rape my wife...I reported it to TA and the police...only the police responded (to take action). To this day the gamer in question has not been penalised or his vile rhetoric inhibited. And after the initial contact TA never even had the decency to get back to me. I like yourself love TA and love gaming and its gamers.... I hope your words stike a chord and bring change.
Posted by rockinroosters on 15 Sep at 13:29
Xpovos Given the cesspool that was the community in Xbox Live, I’ve always been impressed that the folks at TA are generally much nicer. But that doesn’t mean they’re always nice, and you make some strong points about the value of user control and the limitations of staff moderation.

I don’t know if there is a perfect solution. But I know that if the user has a choice, it helps. One of the things I do is provide training to people about really awful subjects. Every session, we start with the phrase, “the material we’re about to cover is disturbing. If you feel the need to step away, please feel free to do so.” Before we used this phrase, people broke down and ran out of the room crying. After, very few people leave, and the emotional distress is much less.

Giving people the choice also gave them strength.

I think that also points to a developer concern: What if we spend all that dev time to build the features and it turns out no one uses them? Or only a tiny fraction do? It could be that just having the option to mute someone makes them bearable. It could also be obfuscation, though. This site has so many features that some are bound to be hidden/forgotten about. Whatever system is built needs to be fairly obvious.
Posted by Xpovos on 15 Sep at 13:36
TrueAchievement Hi Jo

Quite a few of those things already happen or are already available:

* Restrict or remove site usage for habitual harassers
-- I believe this does exist in some form, with people's forum posting being restricted for repeated reports (not sure how fully formed this is)
-- Imposes consequences for poor behaviour
-- This shouldn't be automatic, and should have a committee (like with the cheat reports)
The mod team have a suite of banning tools available to them, and they are regularly used. Minor offences (after being warned) result in a small ban, further offences result in a permanent ban. All decisions are made collectively by the team. To give you some idea how much work they do, there's currently 986 people banned from posting in the forums, and over 2000 banned completely from the site.

* Allow reporting of a specific user
-- e.g: For bullying/ harassment/ inappropriate comments/ usernames/ etc not just for cheating or a specific message on site.
-- Saying that we can contact a moderator is ok, but there's a huge list, and I have no clue who I should be "bothering" or who is online, or who is best placed to help
-- A common inbox for such reports would reduce the anxiety and feel like issues could actually be addressed
There's a Report PM button on every PM you receive, and a Report Post button on every forum post.
Or you can contact anyone on the mod team directly, here: TrueAchievements Staff - it says on that page who is online. All reports do go to a common Mod inbox.

The other requests are development requests, and while we would love to offer the granularity of control that Facebook does, we only have 2 developers and things have to be prioritised.

However, if you (or anyone) is experiencing harassment onsite (and I'm afraid it has to be on site for us to be able to act on it, otherwise it's a my word vs their word scenario), please contact a moderator and it will be investigated and dealt with appropriately.

I'll contact the other users regarding the specific issues above, because it sounds as though there's been some major communication or procedural issues there that I need to sort out.
Posted by TrueAchievement on 15 Sep at 13:55
ProfessorPluto If i understand correctly, you're saying the solution is to allow the pm or comment you be sent to someone and then request a third person to remove it? I think that the block feature should completely disallow anything the blocked person says or does to come in to contact with the person doing the blocking. The way Facebook does. I understand you say above that dev time needs to be allocated to it to get it done a la Facebook blocking, but it seems this user safety tools should be a high priority. But i don't know what it is you guys do so i really can't say what's more important than that.
I really appreciate the site you guys run and i spend far too much time here, and my money as a pro member for a while now. I just love this site and want to see a great user experience for all
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 15 Sep at 14:17
TrueAchievement No, PM blocking is already a feature - go to the gamer's page and their gamer dropdown and click Block Gamer
Posted by TrueAchievement on 15 Sep at 14:24
xSTAGGERxLEEx Shared. The blocking feature on this site is a complete joke and really needs to catch up with the rest of the social media world.
Posted by xSTAGGERxLEEx on 15 Sep at 15:51
imaidiot19 The trouble with social media in general now, is even if TA had the best harassment policy in existence, we all have our Xbox Live gamertag attached, most have our Mixer or Twitch account attached, we have our Twitter account attached.

Usually by the time you want to block someone, and realize they are a problem, they know all of your other account names. So the moron who wants to continue harassing, just moves on to another site since they know all of your information.

Social Media in general brings out the best and worst in people. Depending on who you follow on Facebook or Twitter, you can read a lot of positive stories in the world...but if you follow others, you would think the world is on the brink of destruction at any moment.

I personally can avoid or ignore people easily, so i'm fine with my account being open to all to comment or PM. Some people can't, or have past issues, and lock down their account so only friends can comment, and that is great to have that option.

Unfortunately, harassment won't end, but it could move somewhere else. TA has always been a great place to meet like minded achievement hunters, and I want to keep it that way. I think the Mod team does a great job at removing the few bad eggs that show up, and keeping them away.

Keep up the great work, Rich and team!
Posted by imaidiot19 on 15 Sep at 16:32
xSTAGGERxLEEx if they follow you to the other sites you can ACTUALLY block them or mute them and never see their comments anywhere on those sites again, not on here, here they still show up in your world and can still be a jerk via another persons wall.
Posted by xSTAGGERxLEEx on 15 Sep at 16:47
Kanchanaburi I had a bad situation. I had one gamer who trolled me and kept giving my solutions negative feedback. He would leave insulting comments on the solution. He even PM'd me to tell me that he would continue doing that. So I blocked/reported him. BUt that didn't stop him from commenting on my solutions. So, I deleted many of those solutions just so I didn't have to see him which is sad because it hurts the community. But there was no way to get rid of him at the time. I fear he has moved on to someone else because I have not heard from him in awhile.
Posted by Kanchanaburi on 15 Sep at 17:17
Healtti This was shared on my feed, guess I'll give my 2c while we have @TA's attention.
Shared. The blocking feature on this site is a complete joke and really needs to catch up with the rest of the social media world.
This.
Ten times this.
Posted by Healtti on 15 Sep at 18:09
Living Legends If you think you got no follow up to your situation it is because the decisions are dealt privately with each user individually. The team does not tell this is what we found and did.

As far as harassment, you will always find people who are mentally unstable. Stooping to their level makes you on their level. If you feel someone is harassing you then let a moderator know.

The reason more gamers are coming out with mental issues blog because they feel others have the same pain. The one thing I have read from each blog is they used gaming as their escape tool and it became a bigger issue
Posted by Living Legends on 15 Sep at 18:26
Devilmanic While I 100% agree that there should be much better abilities to block harassers and trolls like the majority of other social media sites, trying to remove people for "inappropriate usernames" or accounts created in "purely in bad taste" is going way too far. Blocking someone for harassing a specific person is one thing, but who decides what is "appropriate" and what does that even mean? I have the word "Devil" in my username and that has offended at least one very devout Christian. Does that mean we should all change our names to something milquetoast so no one gets offended?
Posted by Devilmanic on 15 Sep at 18:57
xSTAGGERxLEEx if they follow you to the other sites you can ACTUALLY block them or mute them and never see their comments anywhere on those sites again, not on here, here they still show up in your world and can still be a jerk via another persons wall.
Posted by xSTAGGERxLEEx on 15 Sep at 21:00
NCRRANGER1254 TA is first and foremost a gaming site not a social media platform if you've blocked someone because they trolled/annoyed and get triggered by seeing a post from said person you should toughen up this is the internet people will have different opinions than you. if you dont like the current block feature then in my opinion you should leave the site and make your own Hugbox.
Posted by NCRRANGER1254 on 15 Sep at 22:06
angelsk Seriously..... "grow a pair"? "Have a sense of humour". "Just leave"

Are you fricking kidding me?!?!??!

There's a difference between calling someone names and or sending them a message telling them to kill themselves after they post a blog about almost committing suicide. There's a difference between calling someone names and bullying them to the point where they do commit suicide. There's a difference between creating an account with an off colour username - and creating an account specifically designed to poke fun at a person who died.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have a harassment-free experience on a site; a site that you've invested a great deal of time into and have a lovely network of friends.

I hate it when people say, just ignore it or just leave. For crying out loud, I have as much right to exist on the site as anybody else. And I have as much right as anyone else to want it not to be stressful and full of arseholes who don't understand when something just isn't funny.

The internet is just a place where "words can't hurt you". If you even read the post I linked, they bloody well do! There are consequences to your actions.

Try some empathy. Try just being a decent human being.

And don't come into my blog and fricking insult me!
Posted by angelsk on 15 Sep at 22:25
YouCantSaveHer This sites a joke when it comes to this. The mods do nothing. They go and delete certain comments they feel are trolling. I even got blocked for 30 days for a comment I was told was trolling and it wasnt in the slightest bit. Of atleast like to block the ones who are rude towards others using hate speech because no mods here will do anything about it. So let me.do it.my damn self. If i don't want to see them or theyre posts i shouldnt have to delete friends on my list to make that happen.
Posted by YouCantSaveHer on 15 Sep at 23:59
ProfessorPluto While i agree these features need improvement, @youcantsaveher, the mods have actually moderated the comments on this post. There's are several commented i read last night that are now gone.
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 16 Sep at 00:05
YouCantSaveHer Yeah because people are reading it. You send a direct PM to these mods 99% don't do a thing. It's amazing that someone can get away with calling someone a pedo or gay and mods don't take action. But something as little as "trolling" is a bigger issue.
Posted by YouCantSaveHer on 16 Sep at 00:08
Living Legends I was once a mod and I can tell you that we handle the cases individually. There has been countless people being reported and dealt with. Because the site doesn't put the data add up does not mean the moderation team is not tpdoing their job.
Posted by Living Legends on 16 Sep at 01:05
angelsk And this is why I did a shoutout to the mods :D

Though now my comment makes much less sense.

Yes, the reporting system works. Yes, the mods are awesome.

However, my main point was that blocking someone doesn’t stop me seeing them elsewhere on the site; and that is the bit that I’m guessing Rich won’t do anything about because the site wasn’t built in a way that it would be easy to hide said people.
Posted by angelsk on 16 Sep at 07:19
angelsk Xpovos said:
Giving people the choice also gave them strength.
This, many times this.

Heck. Rich, give me access to the code base - I’ll sort it out for you :D
Posted by angelsk on 16 Sep at 07:22
Watty8883 I didn't realise this was written as a rhetorical blog, you won't get all the answers you agree with or want to hear. The intention was not to insult you Jo personally but if that is how you have taken it that's up to you. I just wanted to add another perspective to what you have provided. Thank you it was a good read and I have also noticed a lot of people have jumped on the 'depressed bandwagon' I wish them well but don't want to walk on eggshells around them in case they get triggered. However I certainly am not going to seek them out attacking them. There's the difference.

Sometimes people take things out of context. How Dandy Harkness just by name could be considered an insult I don't know ?(More like removing a UHH threat methinks warning) RIP handy keeping his name is important.It would be nice if some kind of tribute could be made on site that people could agree on but I guess not sadly.

I removed my own comment as it was agreeing with the above that Sera Di Siah wrote with an arrow. I didn't agree with the more provocative comment above that one although it did make me chuckle (yes I have a dark sense of humour which others may not get) As for empathy I will save that for the real situations I have witnessed not people calling each other names on the internet.

All the best toast
Posted by Watty8883 on 16 Sep at 16:01
Sashamorning Just saw this. This is beautiful. As someone who was a victim of some rather major vicious attacks in the past (including on TA), I agree that this is a serious problem.

I will say that in my own particular case, TA responded so swiftly that even I didn't know the extent of the abuse that the party in question had spread until after much of it had been deleted. TA even banned 2 users (essentially alt tags) before I knew what had happened.

TA can't catch everything, but having seen the response so immediate, I know that the site takes abuse seriously. Can it be better? Things can always be better. Is any system foolproof? No, unless draconian measures are taken. There's a middle ground, and I think TA is working to find it.
Posted by Sashamorning on 23 Sep at 11:29
TrueAchievement Also, just to say, I've got some plans to improve the blocking features I the near future
Posted by TrueAchievement on 23 Sep at 11:52
ProfessorPluto Thanks Rich. We all appreciate the work you do here. We're only this concerned because we all want to spend too much time here!
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 23 Sep at 11:56
angelsk Agreed, Rich and Jack have always been really responsive; and the mod team are amazing.

I just wanted to raise some awareness after the recent spat of opening up; because I absolutely love this site to bits and I just want it to be amazing for everyone else.

Thanks again Rich for listening :)
You rock!
Posted by angelsk on 23 Sep at 12:52
MattiasAnderson Hi angelsk!

This is by far the one of the best read I have had! You put so many of my thoughts into perspective. The most important thing is that if someone is blocked that you wont see their comments on mutual friend feeds and they wont see yours.

And so nice to see your response here as well Rich!
Posted by MattiasAnderson on 23 Sep at 18:54
erod550
* Block should actually block/ hide/ mute
-- I don't want to see them anywhere on the site, not on my friends feed (comments on other friend's items), in the forums, in competitions, etc - it should be like they don't exist.
So much this. I actually saw a pretty long comment fight take place over someone posting the same thing on every single completion a certain person had. It has annoyed me before too and I tried blocking them but blocking them doesn't stop you from seeing their comments on friends' items in your feed, so was basically useless. Turns out I wasn't the only one annoyed by this person and the other day a 40+ comment feud ensued over people complaining about it and other people defending the person. I was not involved but I saw the comments. If the block feature worked like it should, those of us annoyed by this person would be able to block them and never see it again and the whole squabble could have been avoided.
Posted by erod550 on 24 Sep at 01:53
ProfessorPluto I don't think writing PRETTY is what was intended by Angel's blog, but if a feature was implemented as requested, then you could use it for that purpose i guess.
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 24 Sep at 03:08
MattiasAnderson I think it is cute with that person who always say Pretty! Does not annoy me one bit. :) Its not to be rude.
Posted by MattiasAnderson on 25 Sep at 06:21
ProfessorPluto Yeah she's nice, but I did see the incident (or one of the incidents) Erod is talking about. I saw about 5 people pile in on her and some people supporting her and the thread ended up super long of people complaining and supporting.
Like I said, I don't think that's the main reason but implementing a better blocking feature, but if people want to use it for that reason, so be it.
Posted by ProfessorPluto on 25 Sep at 06:51
Living Legends I find it annoying but since it is not on my feed it doesn't bother me. I wouldn't be friends with her because of it but I am also not going to gang up on her for her actions. I'll just move on and not let it affect me and bring unnecessary drama
Posted by Living Legends on 25 Sep at 08:19