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Topic: Voice your opinion about ACC and the rules
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Sonnic
 
Name
Callum
ACNL Town
Last Active
6/11/2020 10:38am
Wow, lemonlimelipstick, that was a wonderful post that I think perfectly captures my current feeling towards the ACC rules system at this point of time.
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VenusKamal
 
Name
Renly
ACNL Town
Last Active
6/25/2020 10:14am
Mindless BORG reporting for duty

The question was asked about who is in charge of this site.  Jader of course is the Site Owner.  He has a general vision as to how he thinks the site should be.  That being said, how involved is he in the overall, day-to-day running of the site as it comes to the rules and policies?  Not that involved.  He only becomes involved if the Admins needs his input on something.  He leaves the management of the site to the Admins and the Admins along with the Mods work together to help shape rules, guidelines and policies for the site.  And of course the Mods main duties of course is to uphold and enforce site rules and policies.

Are there a lot of rules here at ACC?  Yes.  Can it be convoluted in trying to understand and abide by all the rules?  Admittedly, it can be difficult.  Are there issues with some of the site rules and policies? Yes.  Many a Modmin has recognized and said as much in this thread and elsewhere. Let me just say that there are A LOT of open discussions among the Modmin team at this moment.  Some are new.  And yes, unfortunately, some have been open for years.  All of these discussions, regardless of age, have a varying degree of urgency and importance as well as have varying levels of complexity therein.  

So, yes, changes to rules, guidelines and policies can be a very slow process.  Anyone who has been a member of ACC for a long, long time knows that change is often a very slow process here. It may seem as if that if no action is seen on the general membership side of the house that this implies there has been no movement on the Modmin side of the house.  That is not always the case.  But I totally understand how the not knowing the status of X, Y or Z discussion can be frustrating.  I'd only ask that there be recognition for some of the changes that have come in recent years.  Not all may be what you wanted, but I feel there has been a significant effort to make changes to some rules and policies.  More work is left to be done, we do realize that.

In an ideal situation, discussions on rules, policies and guidelines wouldn't take years.  I think many a Modmin would love if all discussions could be concluded within a couple weeks.  But it doesn't always happen like we would like it to happen.  It is difficult to fully explain why it sometimes does take years for discussion on a rule change or a policy change to reach fruition, i.e. to result in a viewable change the whole community can see. Hopefully many of you will participate in this Community Exercise to get just a bit of an idea of what actually is involved in a Modmin discussion.  But just know that it is more involved than you would think.  This has been said before and just because it has been said before doesn't make it any less true.  

Not all Modmin discussions are constantly popping either.  There may be a lot of activity, then perhaps a lull due to any number of factors which pulls Modmins away from said discussion - family and job obligations, another Modmin matter that requires more immediate attention for example.  Discussions sometimes reach a stalemate and things cool off as again, there are other matters, both inside and outside of ACC, that require attention as well.  Another discussion pops up which takes focus away from the 1st discussion that slowed down.  Again, something takes a Modmin away from the new discussion and the new on slows down too.  So now both discussions have to be reinvigorated and pushed forward.  Y'all can see where this leads, yes?  

While there are currently 2 Admins and 8 Moderators on staff, each and everyone of these 10 people has unique personal experiences, worldviews and opinions which factor into all discussions.  In selecting Moderators for the team, traditionally we look for members of varying viewpoints and experiences so that when it comes to discussions about policies and rules we will get a wide spectrum of opinions and viewpoints.  This is a great strength, IMO.  But this also can lead to lengthy discussions as well because we want to hear everyone's opinion and try to come up with changes or solutions that the team agrees upon and is in the best interest of ACC as a whole.  And if there are varying opinions, it will take time to come up with an agreeable rule change, policy change or what have you.  Add in that the Modmin team is not sitting in the same room, hashing out details of how to change the Topics Not Allowed rule, the Spamming rule or any other rule or policy, the pace can be slowed even further.  

Collaboration takes time.  Sometimes it is not in the best interest of ACC or any enterprise if discussions conclude too soon.  But equally, I understand and acknowledge that it can not be in the interest of ACC or any enterprise if discussions take too long.  Point well taken and received.  Still, I and other Modmins have shared some of the factors that show how and why Modmin discussions sometimes take so long and I hope you can understand the difficulty in moving discussions along at a fast clip.  

Sound like excuses to some of you?  I totally get how some may feel that way.  I totally do.  But this is part of the reality of being a Modmin and how our communication set up can be limiting.  None of the ACC Staff are spending 40 hours a week doing work for ACC.  Many are working full time or going to school full time on top of raising a family, caring for elderly parents, participating in sports leagues etc.  Things will take time to get done.  It would be awesome if things didn't take so long, but sometimes, they just do.  And perhaps there are things we can do to help speed up discussions.  I'll have to examine ways of doing that.  There are a number of things recently proposed that would impact policies and some rules.  The Modmins have begun to discuss these changes.  We don't expect it to take years, but we also don't expect conclusion of discussions to be moved to the proposed changes being implemented within the span of a couple of weeks either.  

Hope this sheds some light on things.  
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michael444
 
Name
Michael
ACNL Town
Last Active
3/24/2020 1:17pm
VenusKamal cheers I think I got myself a bit worked up over everything so maybe what I said was a bit uncalled for but it's pretty much how I feel

lemonlimelipstick I'm sorry if it appeared that way I was only saying I could see where you are coming from and maybe i did translate what you said for my own gain which could have been wrong but what I said was largely my own issue and I'm sorry if you felt I was relating you to what I think too much but I stand by what I say that the rules just annoy me
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JellyBeans97
 
Name
Zora
ACNH Town
Last Active
3/20 9:56pm
Firstly, a huge congrats to the new Researchers - whenever I log on, there is always a Researcher online now.

"Jader of course is the Site Owner. He has a general vision as to how he thinks the site should be. That being said, how involved is he in the overall, day-to-day running of the site as it comes to the rules and policies? Not that involved. He only becomes involved if the Admins needs his input on something."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't Jader be more active on the site? Obviously everyone had priorities outside of ACC, but he is the site owner, and sometimes it seems as though the staff are just left to run the site without much guidance from him. (Having said that, I still feel that the staff are doing a fantastic job).

From the most recent post regarding the bell shop, the message conveyed from the post was that the Developers are working on the Bell Shop and other updates, without a lot of guidance. It's as if the Developers do their job and once coding has been successful, Jader implements it to the site, without really helping much at all.

And as lemonlimelipstick has mentioned earlier; "Many responses from modmins give off this impression that you hear people's thoughts and maaaaaybe you'd like to implement some changes but nothing can really be done yet, or your hands are tied, or it's out of your control."

lemonlimelipstick  - Are you literally involving every single researcher, developer, and scout in all of your rule discussions?"

GoldenCelebi - "As far as I can tell, this is not the case. (Nor should it be, really; computer programmers, for example, are hardly the best people to make decisions about rules.)"

Why not? If someone is a staff member, they should still be able to voice their opinion on something, even if it isn't entirely related to their role. Again, it's as though some staff members are kept in the dark about some topics and ideas, and aren't allowed to express their belief. Obviously there are sensitive items only Modmins should see such at UTs, but general ideas should be viewed by all staff.

And when staff members say that it isn't as easy as just hiring more members, well you just hired a large group! Time and time again, it is mentioned that Staff members are volunteers, but the combined time they do spend on ACC is more than enough to implement ideas from discussions; it's just they are blocked from doing so.

In an ideal situation, there should be as many Mods, Scouts and Developers as there are Researchers, but obviously this isn't an ideal world. Having said that, there are still members which have contributed greatly to the site and who would make great staff members, but haven't been added - names which I will mention via the Staff Nomination link.

I apologise if I have offended anyone, particularly Jader and the ACC staff from this post, but member are tired of the same excuses.

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Amrasje
 
Name
Michael
ACNH Town
Last Active
12/13/2020 5:38pm
Thank you for leaving the ACC staff a message on here. It's always nice to read members think the staff are doing a good job. Let's see if I can reply to some of it!

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't Jader be more active on the site? Obviously everyone had priorities outside of ACC, but he is the site owner, and sometimes it seems as though the staff are just left to run the site without much guidance from him. (Having said that, I still feel that the staff are doing a fantastic job)."

To this, I would just like to say that Jader can be reached just about any time he's not asleep by the ACC staff members. The fact that he's not online on ACC, doesn't mean he's not around when he's needed. In fact, he generally responds to us very quickly whenever we get in touch about some kind of issue which is taking place here on the site.

"Why not? If someone is a staff member, they should still be able to voice their opinion on something, even if it isn't entirely related to their role. Again, it's as though some staff members are kept in the dark about some topics and ideas, and aren't allowed to express their belief."

This, of course, would depend on what is being discussed. Everyone is different and has different backgrounds, beliefs, lifestyles and views. Whenever we can, we will take the opinions of everyone into account when discussing changes on ACC. In fact, the team of Modmins here on ACC has a wonderful mix of different people of different ages and backgrounds. This is deliberate, so the team can always take a wide range of views into account when discussing rules or, indeed, enforcing them. We always try to make sure we are balanced, consistent and fair. You would be surprised by what is acually being discussed by the entire ACC staff as a group as well. It really is more than you would think. However, there are so many different things which need the attention of the staff members on ACC, that it's quite impossible for everyone to be involved in everything. Because we are all so different, it's often better that everyone has got their own role on ACC and mainly gets involved with the role-specific tasks. Personally, I wouldn't dream of getting involved with the work that the Developers do, I don't know the first thing about coding.

"And when staff members say that it isn't as easy as just hiring more members, well you just hired a large group! Time and time again, it is mentioned that Staff members are volunteers, but the combined time they do spend on ACC is more than enough to implement ideas from discussions; it's just they are blocked from doing so."

Unfortunately, it's not always about the combined time spent on ACC, but the time an individual spends on ACC. This is even more true for Developers than any of the other staff groups. The "large group" (7 members) of new staff we hired, are Researchers. It's Developers we are currently lacking a little. In fact, I think I've recently seen only one or two members apply for a position as a Developer on ACC. When it comes to implementing new features on ACC, or so I've been told once, often means one Developer needs to spend several hours at a time on ACC. It's not something which a Developer can work 20 minutes on and then take a break from, to continue the work a few days later for another 20 minutes. I welcome the ACC Developers to correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this is more of a fact, than it would be an excuse.

I hope this will help you to put things in perspective a bit more. When I joined the staff here on ACC in 2014, I was quite simply overwhelmed at first by all of the things that required attention. I'm sure the seven new Researchers will have felt the same. But we take things one step at a time and as long as we keep a steady pace and don't try to do too much at the same time, we'll get where we want to be. The only thing I could possibly ask of the members of the community, is a little patience.
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yankees24cano
 
Name
Cano
ACNL Town
Last Active
2:05pm
To add on a bit from the perspective of one of the new researchers who was just a regular user 10 days ago,

"Why not? If someone is a staff member, they should still be able to voice their opinion on something, even if it isn't entirely related to their role. Again, it's as though some staff members are kept in the dark about some topics and ideas, and aren't allowed to express their belief. Obviously there are sensitive items only Modmins should see such at UTs, but general ideas should be viewed by all staff."
We are allowed to voice our opinions, but in the end, it is the modmins who make final decisions about rules.  That's really the only way it could work, because the modmins are the ones who enforce the rules and they need to be supportive of them.  That being said, anyone is able to give their opinions on rules, and they will always be heard.  Even people who aren't a part of the staff.  Some discussions are only for the modmins, but some are in places where all of the staff can see and give their opinions.  From those threads, it is obvious that the modmins take into consideration what others want, both other staff and regular users.  That's the point of this thread.  If anyone on this site has a strong opinion, they are allowed and encouraged to express it, and the modmins will take it into consideration.

"And when staff members say that it isn't as easy as just hiring more members, well you just hired a large group! Time and time again, it is mentioned that Staff members are volunteers, but the combined time they do spend on ACC is more than enough to implement ideas from discussions; it's just they are blocked from doing so. "
All of the new people who joined the staff were researchers.  We are limited in what we can do (mainly from our knowledge and ability).  I can't write code, so if there is a specific thing that is ready to be coded, there is absolutely nothing that me or any of the researchers can do to move it along.

It seems like most of the issues people are having are with the rules.  The researchers don't really do anything with the rules.  We can give our opinions and have them heard, but we could do the same before.  Modmins are the ones who enforce the rules, so they are the ones who should be deciding what is okay and what isn't.  The modmins try to consider the views of everyone, and that isn't easy.  It isn't as simple as having a vote and doing whatever gets the most votes.  If that happens, slightly less than 50% of people end up unhappy and potentially offended.  Instead, they try to come up with a compromise so that both sides get some of what they want.  Look at the community activity for rules related to LGBT issues.  The 2 activities have been open for months, and they aren't close to being finished.  Progress has been made, but there are still many things to do.  It doesn't matter that there are so many members who can contribute to the discussion (more than there are modmins).

"Unfortunately, it's not always about the combined time spent on ACC, but the time an individual spends on ACC. This is even more true for Developers than any of the other staff groups. The "large group" (7 members) of new staff we hired, are Researchers. It's Developers we are currently lacking a little. In fact, I think I've recently seen only one or two members apply for a position as a Developer on ACC. When it comes to implementing new features on ACC, or so I've been told once, often means one Developer needs to spend several hours at a time on ACC. It's not something which a Developer can work 20 minutes on and then take a break from, to continue the work a few days later for another 20 minutes. I welcome the ACC Developers to correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this is more of a fact, than it would be an excuse."
This is absolutely true.  There are hundreds of discussions and ideas out there that the staff are considering/working on.  Not all of us are suited to do all of them.  For example, we are working on the AC:NL guides.  AC:NL is a complex game, so we would like to have a lot of guides for it.  Let's look at what it takes to make a guide.  First, someone needs to do the in game research.  Look at the face guide as an example.  Someone needed to go through and create 24 different characters, one for each of the 24 different options.  While this could have theoretically been done by multiple people, they would have had to spend a lot of time communicating with each other to come up with a system of making sure they get the right information and take the pictures the same way.  Then, someone needed to write the content of the guide.  Depending on the skills of the person who did the research, it may or may not have been the same person.  Then, someone needed to cut out the pictures.  That is more of a specialized skill, so while there are multiple people who can do that, not everyone can do that.  After that, a dev had to upload the guide.  Then, people had to check the guide for errors.  That is something that multiple people have to do, and something that takes knowledge of the English language.  As people make corrections, the dev needs to go back in and change them.  This isn't a one time thing, it's a process of making sure the guide is the way we want it.  After that, the guide is published.  After all of that work, including some that require specific skills, the end product is 1 single guide.  It's not really an excuse, it's just the nature of the issue.  Not all of the researchers (or developers, or any staff group) are the same.  We aren't interchangeable.  So while more people helps (which is why the SPT is being created), it's not something where you can simply say "this will take 4 hours" and then once staff members have been online cumulatively for hours, it is done.  I'd imagine that this applies even more with developers, where there are so many different skills involved with coding, or modmins, where different people have different perspective.

"I hope this will help you to put things in perspective a bit more. When I joined the staff here on ACC in 2014, I was quite simply overwhelmed at first by all of the things that required attention. I'm sure the seven new Researchers will have felt the same."
You are correct.  There is just so much stuff going on at the same time.  It's one thing to say "I want this", and it's another to make it happen.  I can't give specifics, but a while back, I came up with an idea on the public board.  It took me about 10 minutes to type up my post, and a bit more to follow up on it.  Now that I'm a researcher, I am working on it from the staff perspective.  I've spent at least 45 minutes on it so far just trying to come up with a way of approaching it, and I know a few others have spent time on it too.  When I first posted the idea, I thought it was something that could be done by the end of the week.  Now, we have spent a decent amount of time on it and we still aren't even done with the first of many steps.  Then, you have to look at the big picture and decide whether or not it is worth it.  There are some things that we think are important (for example, the bell shop) and we would love to do, but we've decided that there are better uses of our time right now (for example, guides).  I know I personally found a few things I liked and worked on them, and then realized that there was just so much stuff to do that what I just did (or even what I could do over a longer period of time) couldn't even make a dent in the list of stuff to do.  Instead, we have to prioritize and strategically work on certain things.  Sadly, it means that other things won't get done in the near future.
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GoldenCelebi
 
Name
Ethan
ACNH Town
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1/2 11:05am
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't Jader be more active on the site? Obviously everyone had priorities outside of ACC, but he is the site owner, and sometimes it seems as though the staff are just left to run the site without much guidance from him. (Having said that, I still feel that the staff are doing a fantastic job)."
"To this, I would just like to say that Jader can be reached just about any time he's not asleep by the ACC staff members. The fact that he's not online on ACC, doesn't mean he's not around when he's needed. In fact, he generally responds to us very quickly whenever we get in touch about some kind of issue which is taking place here on the site."
I'd also like to add that lot of the time Jader does have free for ACC is, at the moment, being spent discussing ACC 2.0.0's architecture with me. Because this doesn't take place on ACC itself, it means that he doesn't show up online, even though he is in fact working.
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spyro879103
 
Name
Owen
ACNH Town
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4/8 9:26am
Is there a reason why the q-slur is still blocked by the filter? For most LGBTQ people, it's a self idenfier, and there's very few people IK who are offended by the word, even if they don't identify with it. Surely if it is used as an insult, it should just be handled the same as someone using gay or lesbian as an insult. It's not usually considered a swear-word by most now, and those who do don't have to use it.
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FeraligatrFTW
 
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3:25pm
I believe all self-identifier words should be allowed. It gives people a way to express themselves. A while ago, I suggested that there be more than just two options under the gender box in your profile. I was told that it really wasn't needed because you could state it in your profile. Unfortunately, I still think we should have more than two gender options, solely because this site is more open as of recent.

Is this ever a possibility? People shouldn't be limited to choosing just male or female. I understand that this site is mainly for a video game rather than a LGBTQ forum, but it's just an idea. Does anyone have any input here?
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spyro879103
 
Name
Owen
ACNH Town
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4/8 9:26am
"A while ago, I suggested that there be more than just two options under the gender box in your profile. I was told that it really wasn't needed because you could state it in your profile. Unfortunately, I still think we should have more than two gender options, solely because this site is more open as of recent.

Is this ever a possibility? People shouldn't be limited to choosing just male or female. I understand that this site is mainly for a video game rather than a LGBTQ forum, but it's just an idea. Does anyone have any input here?"
I've currently got a thread on the topic Here
(sorry, slightly OT)
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Da ninja piggy
 
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Holo
ACNL Town
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3/28 11:25pm
In reference to the "q-slur", the modmins have been discussing several words in the filter lately and evaluating if they should remain in the filter, with that word being one of them. I'm not going to guarantee that it's being removed, but there's quite a bit of agreement on removing the word, so in all likelihood it will end up being removed from the filter. Of course if we do remove it, the word will not be allowed to be used in an offensive manner.

About the gender options in profiles, I wholeheartedly agree that there should be an alternative option for people that don't identify with either of the genders currently listed. We have a staff discussion underway about it, and it's looking likely that we'll implement some alternative option. Again, I can't guarantee anything, but I wanted to at least let you know that it's being considered.
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spyro879103
 
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Owen
ACNH Town
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4/8 9:26am
^Thanks, that sounds like a good movement, it does kinda suck that people can't have the representation they deserve
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FeraligatrFTW
 
Last Active
3:25pm
Thank you for considering it. I feel like it will be a good decision.

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FeraligatrFTW
 
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3:25pm
Hello. I’m not sure how active this topic is, but the long duration between posts gives me an idea. I have not posted here in a while, and my opinion towards the rules have changed. There were a few changes to the site between now and the last time I posted here.

First, I would like to thank the Staff members for allowing discussion of the LGBTQ+ community. I understand that this is a controversial topic, and it probably took a lot of discussion to allow this. I am thankful we can openly state our preference and not be punished. This was a step in the right direction. I feel like everyone should be able to express themselves. Being part of the LGBT community, I feel more comfortable being able to state my preferences and have it not be against the rules. In addition, I am glad that same gender couples can be in the Creative Writing section. Thank you for discussing this and giving this community a chance to express themselves.

I have mixed feelings on the Topics Not Allowed rule. We aren’t allowed to publicly discuss politics, religion and health-related issues according to this rule. I understand the reason in not allowing discussion on such topics, but I do not quite agree with it. My problems with this include if that we have a topic, and no flaming or insulting is happening in the topic at the time, why do Staff feel the need to stop it? The rule states:
"Some topics are not allowed on the public forums or in signatures due to their controversial or inappropriate nature and because they often lead to arguments."
In my opinion, there should be a way to allow these types of discussions. Members of this community have shown the maturity in private threads to handle these controversial topics, so why wouldn’t that mature discussion translate to the public boards?

You may say that Animal Crossing Community is not the place for these discussions. This site is for video games, and is supposed to be family friendly, and isn’t meant for heavy discussions like these. However, I have to disagree with that statement.

This community allows these types of discussions in private threads. If this community is strictly family friendly, these topics wouldn’t be allowed in private if the topic was that bad. The fact that these discussions are allowed in private means that the Staff are okay with the topics, as long as they are privately discussed. This brings me back to my question I previously asked, which I will mention again.

Members of this community have shown the maturity in private threads to handle these controversial topics, so why wouldn’t that mature discussion translate to the public boards?

I hope to hear from a Staff member on this. Thank you.
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Superpie
 
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4/1 11:57pm
Both ACC and the West have changed a bit since the last time we all had this discussion. The West has grown more divided and these divisions have destroyed many friendships but we've also had time to adjust. Meanwhile, the members of ACC have grown older and more mature; over the past few months I've only seen two members under the age of thirteen and they're both the children of longtime members.

With ACC's userbase aging, mental health has become a bigger issue here. Mental health seemed to be more controversial  before almost everyone under 25 became mentally ill. Lots of, if not most, users have varying forms of anxiety and depression, among other things. It would likely be beneficial to many users to allow mental health discussion in public, at least on the GG Off Topic board.

I am a bit on the fence about politics (*insert lame centrist joke*). I could see it working out nicely if political discussions were allowed because I've seen some really mature political discussions, but I've also seen political discussions handled really immaturely here. If political discussions were to be allowed on the public boards, the site rule against flaming would need to be amended to explicitly forbid ad hominem arguments. As long as that rule gets amended, I think it would be fine to allow political and religious discussions on the public boards.
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FeraligatrFTW
 
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3:25pm
"With ACC's userbase aging, mental health has become a bigger issue here. Mental health seemed to be more controversial  before almost everyone under 25 became mentally ill. Lots of, if not most, users have varying forms of anxiety and depression, among other things. It would likely be beneficial to many users to allow mental health discussion in public, at least on the GG Off Topic board."
I believe that mental health discussion can be allowed. Our members have shown their maturity while these topics are being discussed privately. I truly don’t see harm in allowing discussion on the public boards.

I completely agree with Superpie on the topic of political discussion.
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Dimentio95
 
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Chris
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11:42am
I personally think it's still important that one of the goals of the site is to be family-friendly, where parents can be comfortable about what their children find on the website when they first look at it. Younger people obviously aren't likely to have fully-developed opinions on topics such as religion or politics, so keeping some of those discussions away until they/their parents are comfortable with them entering such discussions with others is a way to keep up the family-friendly atmosphere. Your argument is reasonable that it's not fully family-friendly if they're allowed somewhere, but I find it to be a reasonable compromise to keep it family-friendly for someone just looking to come here and use our public boards.

It is valid that the average user's age is increasing, but we are choosing to use a website that focuses on being family-friendly for our discussions nonetheless. It's a fundamental component to ACC and the very beginning of our TOS, and I don't think it would be easy to undergo any revisions that could compromise that image.

Now of course there's always room for improvement and making changes that help users find these types of discussions. One solution I have always been a proponent of is making an advertising sticky such as what we have for RPG games, but there are rules that would need to be reconsidered, consequences as a result of those changes, and different views that would have to be reconciled. This thread here provides a great example - though we can suggest an idea, it requires a lot of thought to reach a point where it can be implemented and not clash with ACC's family-friendly image. If you really want to see a change in how things on ACC work, taking the time to have discussions like those in that thread and come up with answers to the tough concerns will undoubtedly bring your idea closer to reality in some form.
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GavinGoneGlobal
 
Name
Gavin
ACNH Town
Last Active
4/15 7:09pm
I'm going to preface this by saying this is just my opinion given my experience as a Mod here, but my post is not being previewed/discussed with anyone else, and I'm not speaking on behalf of the other Modmins. Some Mods may disagree with me; the Mods are all diverse, of course, so discussions can get all sides. So please, nobody think this is the "official ACC stance" on anything.


On the subject of Topics Not Allowed, I definitely respect that many users have varying health-related issues. But it's not always as clear-cut as "I have depression", "Me too!", "Me too, here's how I found out", "Me too, here's what my therapist told me". If discussions were just like that, then I'd personally be in favor of amending the rule.

However, it can sometimes take a much darker turn. If people haven't dealt with their depression so well, they may have "darker" posts they want to share. Is it fair for someone to be able to say "I'm taking these meds, and they work well :)", and someone else is not allowed to say "I tried that and the side effects were horribly, because [something dark happened]"? There's a huge line that will need to be drawn, and it may be unfair if all we can do is promote "positive" discussion about illness, while ignoring the very true & very real other side to it.

And obviously there's more than just depression -- what if someone has another type of mental illness? There are many out there. It would be quite offensive for us to cherry pick which illnesses are "allowed" to be talked about.

There's also the issue of the fact that taking online medical advice from strangers, for anything physical/medical, is never good, and I don't want ACC to be doing that.


On the subject of "ACC's average age", that's true that the average user isn't so young. But, something I did not know until after I became a Mod is that ACC was once #2 or #3 if you Googled "animal crossing", so we had a lot of young folks. Nowadays, you'd have to Google "animal crossing forum" specifically.

With the re-write, our SEO might go up more, and make it easier to find us. I certainly doubt we'll overtake Nintendo's own websites/ social media pages, but I do think it'll be easier to find us. We can't take the short-term approach of "The average user now is in their late teens/early twenties", since in the future, that may change, and be lower again.

Obviously ACC does re-assess the rules, like when damn was removed from the filter, but we also have to think of the long-term about the future of ACC, and what our changes we make today will do in five/ten years' time.


I can't necessarily say that "the users have proven to be able to handle such public debates", because it's largely untested. The PTs are mostly users with their friends; they typically either all agree, or those that disagree refuse to speak in order to avoid drama. Public threads will certainly be different. I don't want users to hold grudges against one another due to differing opinions (I do think we have some isolated cases of that going on already).


I am personally fully against political discussion on the public board. This isn't even "ACC being strict", this is something that even families agree is off limits.
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FeraligatrFTW
 
Last Active
3:25pm
Thank you for the Staff response, Gavin and Chris.

I can definitely understand the issue regarding sensitive topics that can be caused by mental health discussion. The talk of such deep topics shouldn’t be allowed as it could trigger somebody. However, I do think that the rule can be a bit more lenient. There can be mature discussions on social anxiety.

I believe that topics should be allowed if they are not causing a problem. I do not want to get specific in this thread to avoid getting a notification. However, this topic is to discuss rules on ACC and to voice your opinion, and that is what I want to do.

I personally disagree with a few of the topics that get locked by Staff. I’m finding it bit difficult to state my opinion without bringing up account status information. To be vague, let’s just say someone creates a general topic to discuss dogs, and then the topic gets locked because the personal dog was mentioned to be a registered Emotional Support Dog. It wasn’t discussing any major health issues. It was just mentioning that a dog was a support dog. It didn’t mention any websites, how to obtain a support dog, or anything. Just the fact that the dog was a support dog was mentioned.

"There's also the issue of the fact that taking online medical advice from strangers, for anything physical/medical, is never good, and I don't want ACC to be doing that."
Yes, users do not need to be giving medical advice. However, discussing problems can often be a huge help. talking has been proven to solve many social anxiety and other related issues.
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MagicPengy
 
Name
Sophie
ACWW Town
Last Active
4/10 2:03pm
I have not been on this site for years, so perhaps I am less qualified to comment, but I will respond with my personal opinion having been very involved with ACC in the past. Granted, I was a teenager () but I did spend a long time as a regular user and some time as a scout which will influence what I am about to say.

In regards to mental illness and topics not allowed, I can understand the reasons behind the rule, and I don't think it is stigma or shaming related, nor is it an attempt to shut out people who would like to talk about their experiences.

There is a level of extra safety measures a community or forum has to take when mental illness is discussed online because - as Gavin has said - it does have a darker side to it. For example people can sometimes say they will harm themselves or share details about those things, talk about medications, suggest treatments, etc. Discussions can get heated if people come along and make derogatory or stigmatising remarks. There is the added risk of vulnerable people getting taken advantage of, though, I'm not sure if that would really happen here.

In this situation staff will of course feel a responsibility to 1) protect members from being negatively influenced, affected or upset and 2) make decisions on what to do if they think somebody is at risk.  That is a very big job for mods to do and also compromises the experience and safety of members.

I had no idea about the average age being older now, what is it now? (sorry, have failed to find the post). I joined this site when I was a kid and there were lots of people my age around. I was a scout at 13 and there were others around the same age I think.  I don't think ACC should reduce its filters/banned content because of the raised average age, though. Nintendo games are popular amongst children and I suspect there are still lots of young people here.  

I do agree that political, religious, or other sensitive topics should be avoided on public threads. 1) due to the younger people here.  2) because that can become quite messy with people having strong views, people will get offended, etc. I can imagine mods having to constantly lock threads that have got out of hand.  3) this is not really the place for debates and it would take from the friendly, open minded atmosphere that this site has or aims to have.
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Superpie
 
Last Active
4/1 11:57pm
"We can't take the short-term approach of "The average user now is in their late teens/early twenties", since in the future, that may change, and be lower again."
We may get younger teens signing up but the under-13 age group isn't going to sign up unless we change the signup process. As it stands now, kids sign up, are asked to pay 30¢, and then leave ACC for a website that won't cost them money.

No other family-friendly website I've seen tries so hard to keep kids away.
We could change the sign-up page to be more like other websites, where you can only sign up with a birth date on or before this day thirteen years ago.
"I personally disagree with a few of the topics that get locked by Staff. I’m finding it bit difficult to state my opinion without bringing up account status information. To be vague, let’s just say someone creates a general topic to discuss dogs, and then the topic gets locked because the personal dog was mentioned to be a registered Emotional Support Dog. It wasn’t discussing any major health issues. It was just mentioning that a dog was a support dog. It didn’t mention any websites, how to obtain a support dog, or anything. Just the fact that the dog was a support dog was mentioned."
As much as I agree with Gavin's comment explaining why mental health issues are prohibited, I also agree that discussing social anxiety, general anxiety, and emotional support animals should be allowed. I could understand anything beyond that being considered too adult, because even depression and OCD can symptoms outside the range of family friendly, but a thread as innocent as emotional support dogs shouldn't be deemed to controversial for ACC.
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MagicPengy
 
Name
Sophie
ACWW Town
Last Active
4/10 2:03pm
"As much as I agree with Gavin's comment explaining why mental health issues are prohibited, I also agree that discussing social anxiety, general anxiety, and emotional support animals should be allowed. I could understand anything beyond that being considered too adult, because even depression and OCD can symptoms outside the range of family friendly, but a thread as innocent as emotional support dogs shouldn't be deemed to controversial for ACC."
Yes, I think these issues are OK to discuss also. It's just the discussions they can lead to which may make it difficult as they open the conversations of mental health. I personally think it's sad that discussions of illnesses isn't allowed but it is also understandable. I think if ACC continues to prohibit these conversations on illnesses then it should explicitly state why as many people may feel rejected or silenced. Would ACC have the same attitude towards asthma or cancer? (genuine question, not rhetorical).

Also its really easy for someone to just lie about their age when they sign up so perhaps making rules more relaxed due to age isn't the best approach, though I guess you can say that about anything online. It's tough to know where to draw the line.
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FeraligatrFTW
 
Last Active
3:25pm
"I also agree that discussing social anxiety, general anxiety, and emotional support animals should be allowed."
This 100%. The topic was only mentioning that the dog was a support dog. It was a harmless detail. I don’t understand.
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GavinGoneGlobal
 
Name
Gavin
ACNH Town
Last Active
4/15 7:09pm
"I believe that topics should be allowed if they are not causing a problem."
The problem is that the threads have caused a problem in the past. Imagine if I make a thread called "What's your religion?" and fights keep breaking out, so the Mods agree to lock it. Am I allowed to then immediately re-create it, allowing the same fights to continue? Of course not. Eventually, the Mods will have to say "no more", and write it into a rule.

We can't always go with the "allow it until things get out of hand" route every time the same thread is created. This actually gives the troublemakers more power, where they could just fight until a thread gets locked. It's easier to say "These specific topics cause problems, these ones don't", and lock the ones that cause problems. If fights break out in the threads that don't normally cause problems, we can point to the rule, and say "This is not deemed a controversial topic, so therefore, the users who are taking it too far are the ones at fault, so they should be punished; not the thread creator".

"However, this topic is to discuss rules on ACC and to voice your opinion, and that is what I want to do."
Right, I hope nobody feels like I'm "shutting them down", I'm definitely wanting to have a serious discussion so the users can see how my mind works when it comes to the rules, and myself (& other Modmins) can see the users' opinions of the rules, which will help for future rule discussions.

"To be vague, let’s just say someone creates a general topic to discuss dogs, and then the topic gets locked because the personal dog was mentioned to be a registered Emotional Support Dog."
Since it's a hypothetical, let's just say that I happened upon a thread like that right now. It would depend on the specifics. Take the following examples:

"Here's my dog [name], he's so cute, here's a picture of him! He's also a registered service animal <3 What type of dog do you have?"
^ This would be OK in my views, as long as the following discussion is primarily focused on dogs in general.

"My dog is an service animal. I have him because of [x,y,z]. I've ran into [this problem] and [that problem] because of him. What are your struggles with service animals, especially if you have [specific mental struggle]?"
^ This would be more focused on the health-related aspects of a service dog, which is not allowed.

So while I don't consider "service animals" to be an outright violation, it's all about what the thread's purpose is.

And of course, if this hypothetical scenario were to happen at some point, and the user wanted to discuss it further even after reading my post, I'd hope they'd discuss it privately via their Violation directly.

"We may get younger teens signing up but the under-13 age group isn't going to sign up unless we change the signup process. As it stands now, kids sign up, are asked to pay 30¢, and then leave ACC for a website that won't cost them money.

No other family-friendly website I've seen tries so hard to keep kids away."
I'm not really able to comment on this, as the COPPA stuff was added before I even signed up, much less became Staff, so I wasn't involved in the discussions of how strict it should/shouldn't be. But I don't want you to think I'm ignoring this point, because it does make sense.
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GavinGoneGlobal
 
Name
Gavin
ACNH Town
Last Active
4/15 7:09pm
"Would ACC have the same attitude towards asthma or cancer? (genuine question, not rhetorical). "
Sorry, missed this in my above post -- we do not allow physical health-based topics either, including injuries, life-threatening illnesses, and so forth. Mostly because they are too dark, or they may delve into the "advice" column, or they're just not appropriate for younger members. I know there have been times where I would've liked to have had a topic here to talk about dealing with a loved one getting a serious illness, but I know that it wouldn't be fun if a younger user were to stumble upon that thread.
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