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We need to have better server moderation


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I'll be blunt. The EU open servers have a racism problem.

How bad? Try a server currently open with a swastika in the middle, whose description mocks the 6 million jews killed in the Holocaust

How about the main FFA server(s) having a respected user with the user name "Dead N***** storage", who describes western liberalism as a cancer. And one of the main mods and person in charge of the bots in said servers thinks that spamming chat with the N word is a valid response to being told to stop tolerating racism. And considers criticism of said racism one of the few things worthy of actually preventing users from interacting with the server, not making mocking Holocaust and racism references.

And then users just going to other servers and adding swastikas in the landscape, changing signs to racial slurs, and making rides/stalls with racial slurs in the name.

 

I understand that these are all personal servers, but this is fucking disgusting, especially when they actually go into other servers to spread their racism. This is not a community we should be allowing. There needs to be a way for external moderation to prevent this, to make sure the impression of Open RCT2's community is not one of actual racism and fascism.

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Anyone can create a server. What people build on servers is nothing to do with OpenRCT2 - it's up to the individual server owners what they will allow and how effectively they moderate it. I suggest picking a server that isn't run by racists.

Many open servers are frequently vandalized. If a server allows anyone to build, then that means anyone can come in and build a swastika on the map and you can't really stop it, you can only ban the user after the fact (and it's trivial to create a new user, so bans are ineffective unless they are IP bans). The only way to prevent this is to play on a server that only allows trusted users to build, but of course that means you first have to gain their trust. Some servers have an associated Discord channel which you need to join to request permissions.

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As X7 points out, we cannot control what people do an a server. We don’t listen in on what’s being said in a server, because that would be a massive privacy intrusion and people would (rightly) not accept it.

We (or anyone) can _ask_ server owners to do something about it, but it’s up to them to cooperate - that’s assuming they’re not racists themselves. If they are, blocking their servers is also not really feasible - there is no account system or EULA to sign and thus nothing to reliably detect for a block, unless the server name or description contains anything offensive.

However, we can easily blacklist a few words from server names and descriptions to stop them from appearing in the server list. That would weed out at least some of the excesses.

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I do certainly understand that with what the game has right now, it is rather difficult to ban individual users. And whether you would be able to put a tag on an individual's install for more permanent block attempts than just banning a server name/IP is, I would suspect, more complicated than just adding the functionality (Even if it could also be useful to inhibit troll attempts, I'm guessing you'd need a lawyer or two involved?). And as much as I wish I could volunteer to moderate open servers for such things, I definitely wouldn't be able to do it on more than a temporary basis... That and I suspect I wouldn't be deemed "neutral" enough.

 

Thanks for looking into a server name/description blacklist though. Could it perhaps be worth including it as a more general feature than that? Like a general list of banned words for use on rides/stalls/in chat? Nothing overly restrictive (Unless you figured a child friendly mode would be useful, which I doubt, there's no real reason to drop general profanity), just most of the usual racist/anti-LGBT/Whatever slurs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Holy moly, I just logged on for the first time in a while and ran straight into the Dead N***** Storage guy.  What a fuckhead.  Gymnasiast, I know that it's not easy to fix for all the reasons you outlined in the thread, but it is an AWFUL look for OpenRCT2 for servers moderated by people like that guy to be at the top of the list.  

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  • 1 month later...

An effective way to deal with this is that a moderator who refuses to moderate the server properly will get their server delisted, and thus will not appear on the server list.  Basically, you can be a racist asshole, but your server will not appear on the list, instead you'll have to type in the IP manually.

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While it's certainly possible to block/hide servers or users, such blocks are not effective in any way for the reasons Gymnasiast pointed out earlier. The only possible way blocks would work on a free game like OpenRCT2 (where users can refresh their identity indefinitely) is to auto-block certain things in easily recognizable places like the server title, but those are usually easily circumvented.

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Solution: if it offends you, don't look at it. OpenRCT2 doesn't and should never moderate what other people do on their private servers. If you're offended by how people moderate their servers, either join another one or make your own. It's that simple.

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8 hours ago, Gymnasiast said:

@dartz I should point out that the server in question is listed on the server list and is not behind a password. That doesn’t exactly make it a private server, more a public server.

I see. Regardless I still don't think its OpenRCT2's job to moderate that. I do think that servers with slurs in the title/description should be blocked from being listed on the master server list (though I haven't seen that before so this might already be done) and maybe add an (optional) word filter to filter out bad stuff in the chat.

Edited by dartz
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Owner of the server in question here. I tend to allow such content with the intention that it would help keep the trolls/immature people out of the more serious servers. I very rarely actually play the game myself since I'm very busy so there is little moderation that I personally am capable of, although when I do see egregious behavior (such as swastikas being drawn all over the place) I do remove them.

With that being said I am open to guidance and suggestions from the community if more moderation or content rules are warranted.

 

On 03/12/2021 at 12:42, dartz said:

I see. Regardless I still don't think its OpenRCT2's job to moderate that. I do think that servers with slurs in the title/description should be blocked from being listed on the master server list (though I haven't seen that before so this might already be done) and maybe add an (optional) word filter to filter out bad stuff in the chat.

Curiously enough I actually have attempted to implement wordfilters in chat, but they were easily bypassed via the use of non-Latin characters or the insertion of {} into text which changes the word but doesn't displace any of the text.

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26 minutes ago, MrRoarke said:

I tend to allow such content with the intention that it would help keep the trolls/immature people out of the more serious servers.

I think that’s a good point - it might provide an outlet for them and take the heat off other servers. If all the tasteless stuff is mostly concentrated in one server, it should also be better for everyone - the trolls/immature people get their server, the “normal” users get the other servers. Simply removing the WTF server from the list is not going to cause the trolls to leave - they will just stalk other servers and I think that’s not what the OP (or most people) wants anyway.

I would also like to thank you for replying. I prefer dialogue and negotiation to simply laying down rules (except as a last resort).

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