Rethinking Community Management

Its no secret that lately we have been rethinking how we do community management, specifically within the constraints of social media. What are the boundaries of our community? When is it appropriate to engage criticism and when does it simply stifle individuals? Where do our community standards end? How do we handle disruptive players who receive a corrective action? etc.

We tend to operate with very hard rules and constraints. This is bred out of respect for the leadership positions we occupy, to provide assurance that decisions are not arbitrary, and to keep us sane.

While these constraints have served us really well over the years, it has become clear that they need to be updated. Therefore, we are going to modify some of those constraints


Standard: Community Border

We enforce community standards at events, and internet spaces that we moderate. (ie. Facebook groups with "DR" in the name). Conversations on your personal page, in a private group, or in your home simply do not matter to us. 

Problem: Some players stand on the border of where we enforce community standards and engage in all manner of behavior that would otherwise see them suspended or banned. The community is still damaged and abused but we cannot effect change. 

Solution: The Fifty Percent Rule
If a player is simply camping the line of community standards they are gaming the system and we will simply enforce the community standards anyway. Those standards exist to protect players and help us. They are not a safe haven for trolls. Does this mean we suddenly care that you think so-and-so is such-and-such in your home? No. But if you are causing wide-scale damage and harm to the community from the safety of your keyboard, then your day is up. If fifty-percent of your impact on the community is negative (not neutral, but negative), if you are playing the community equivalent of "Not touching you, can't get mad," you are not welcome. 


Standard: Corrective Action Privacy

We do not discuss corrective actions in public. We disclose information to Marshals because it is necessary to know if problematic behavior is repeating itself. However, because it is our mission to reform and educate, not to punish, we do not publicly discuss this. We do not want players to feel shamed, ridiculed, or branded because of a mistake. After all, we all make mistakes.

Problem: Some players exploited our respect for privacy, misrepresenting the truth about why they received a correction action, giving us an undeserved black eye. For those players, this policy became a vehicle for abusing us directly, and the marshals indirectly. 

Solution: Disclosure
Any marshal, storyteller, or director can discuss the details of a correction action if someone else is misrepresenting the truth. We will never be the first to discuss this information, because we want to respect players privacy. However, we will confront misinformation and set the record straight. 



When we see criticism on the internet we confront it to discover the source of dissatisfaction and work to correct it. Marshals and storytellers often do the same, not because we ask them to, but because they want players to have a better experience. Often this doesn't happen on our pages our groups, but on personal feeds. 

Problem: For community-oriented players, this feels like an intrusion where they cannot criticize, vent, or just be themselves without feeling like we are going to swoop in and give them the side-eye at game. (We won't. We simply have too much to do and honestly while we want you to have a good time, being critical doesn't make you a bad person. Our best friends criticize us at times.)

Solution: Disengagement
We will not engage in criticism outside of our space. If you want to vent or criticize, go for it. We do not mind. If you would like to express your dissatisfaction with us, to seek recourse to some wrong, to discuss quite literally anything then we are happy to do so. Our email is well advertised and we have been known to take a phone call or even meet face-to-face when the situation warranted it. 

The caveat to this is simple. We are also a part of this community, and while we are not players, we still deserve the same respect and courtesy we want everyone else to have. There is a difference between criticism and abuse. We welcome the former, but will no longer tolerate the latter. If someone wants to internet-punch us in our internet-faces, then we kindly refer them to the Fifty Percent Solution above.


What this means for you

Probably nothing. The overwhelming majority of players color well within the lines, because the overwhelming majority of players are good people who want a great community and positively contribute to it. They promote the lightening-survival fund, host tubing trips, introduce new players to new social groups, share plot, have costuming parties, etc. 

Mostly what you, the average player, will see is a better community experience.