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Teach staff that it is okay to have an opinion.

Discussion in 'Server Discussion' started by officer401, May 2, 2022.

  1. Before reading: I have censored the names of the official staff in the discussion to prevent hate from going to them. I do not dislike them personally, and it simply is more a lack of understanding than anything. If those staff members decide to reply to this thread, it is no longer my fault they are the known subjects in this thread.


    ==========

    Hiya! I do not usually talk about politics or religion day-to-day, but I sure do love a good critical thinking challenge! While it is controversial, it is stuff that affects our lives whether we like it or not. I do not, however, like it when someone tries to shut down the productive conversation, especially those in a position of power.

    Today, in Lobby-1 where most people like to converse, there was a simple discussion that turned into a topic about religious beliefs, then the coof virus, and inevitably politics. This conversation was polite & allowed for new thoughts to form, each side can hear different points of view; Then two staff members jumped into the mix by "encouraging us" to stop the conversation, and that it is just a Minecraft server. While it is a Minecraft server, that argument's only purpose is to undermine the conversation, it simply implies that the discussion being had is not viewed favorably by the person saying those words. I will be providing a few screenshots of that interaction (I will not include the debate itself, as that is its own topic or all of this interaction unless more examples are wanted).


    Screenshot #1
    [​IMG]



    First Point: It is ironic that we were talking about free speech being an important right, and then a staff member attempted to curtail the conversation. This is a common mistake that staff makes when it comes to this. Just because it "might lead to escalation", does not mean you should try to stop the conversation itself. I am fully aware of the rules, and I have not insulted anyone directly. A staff member's role is to enforce the rules, not interpret them nor indirectly put the fear of a punishment being issued either.


    Second Point: This term gets thrown around a lot, but it still holds true. The term "Streisand effect" means when you try to hide something in any way, you might accidentally make it more known. These staff members tried to hide something not inherently against the rules, guess what? The chat explodes with differing opinions. When they are challenged in their attempts to hide it, they turn it around and just shrug it off saying "it is just a Minecraft server"; Yes, this is a "very well thought out" argument that completely undermines what is being said. I do not blame these staff members for not knowing this, but I do want there to be some sort of notice in the staff guidelines issued upon being added to the staff team to say: "Please understand, while debates in chat may lead to some heated argument, do not try to stop it unless there is nothing but insults being hurled at one another!". This would clearly paint the picture to staff that unless some rule is actually broken, they should not try to warn/punish people for simply talking in chat. The purpose of a warning is to inform a player what they did wrong, they have the opportunity to correct their behavior before any further punishment action is taken. Trust me, I have plenty of experience in this field when it comes to getting warned, which leads to the next screenshots of a punishment that was from years ago.

    Screenshot #2

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    First Point: Before you tell me "why didn't you just stop talking when asked?" because it is not against the rules, nor should it be. That day was crazy, and a perfect example of why staff should not try to stop a conversation unless it is explicitly breaking the rules. I am glad this time, however, that these particular staff did not make that same mistake and just warn me, I give them huge credit for that. Many staff filled that lobby on that day, (lots of Mods & Sr.Mods) they did correct the trainee who issued me the warning and removed it. A couple of years later, an awesome ex-staff member named Idut told me it was not against the rules in the screenshot below that I still have:


    [​IMG]


    Second Point: This is why current & new staff should be given the proper education when it comes to this, as sadly it happens more than I like. Because of that false warning, I took long breaks from Mineplex, it was a hate-love relationship. The staff today have gotten less strict overall, which in my opinion is great, back then it use to be way tougher to speak normally without talking like an emotionless robot because of the threat of a mute or ban.

    Third Point: I will say it again, I will accept punishment for "Rioting" if it is appropriately issued. If I am just proving a rebuttal to another's point of view, a staff member should not even be verbally warning us that we should stop. I understand the need to prevent this, but these staff members could have done a much better job of just saying "Hiya, friendly reminder to not insult each other in your debate!", instead of indirectly saying we are close to a mute in a passive-aggressive way. Unless I am constantly pinging someone about a topic that they do not wish to discuss (which itself is more General Harassment than Rioting), I or they should not be told to stop. I friendly reminded the staff that /ignore exists, along with others.

    So let's go through this again, we have not insulted each other, yelled in caps, started a riot, or harass anyone. We were simply having a discussion or debate. Can anyone tell me why a staff member should tell us to stop or we might get muted? I do not personally see any logical reason.

    Several more screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    First Point: So the staff is immediately met with challenges to their potential mutes they might issue. This is not an ideal situation for the player or for the staff member, both can be met with consequences. It is best if staff is taught not to do this, I know it's a broken record at this point but it's true!

    Second Point: I have had several debates in Lobby-1 without any issue, why these staff members decided they need to intervene this time is up for your own speculation. I have provided them with an example of "people can talk about NFL, but I don't ask them to stop talking about it".

    Staff member -> "It wasn't the topic that was the problem, it was the direction it was going for some parties involved, I could very easily see it becoming hostile, hence why I asked for it to be moved: not ended"
    My response - > "NFL is hostile"
    BlazingAsian -> "?????So the topic driving the people and the parties wasn't the problem??, what, or are you implying you see the parties driving the topic rather??"
    My response -> "anything can become hostile, blue > red, cat > dog"
    Staff member -> "I mean you can literally just ignore me?, It was advice, Lol"
    My response -> "Well you are a staff member, kinda hard, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

    While I do question this staff member's responses, I want to say again, do not blame the staff member, blame improper staff guidelines on this issue.


    Third Point: There is a person with the username: Every1is_awesome who comes online occasionally and likes to talk about our life being in a simulation, we disagree, and our debates are calm & fun to pick apart from one another in order to provide the basis for our claim. No one was abusive, harassing, or even being rude. Many chimed in with their two cents on where we came from and had a wonderful time. We even gave each other "<3" at the end when we finished up. All this with staff members present, some even joined in & did not try to stop the conversation at all. It is also interesting to point out that one of those staff members is also the same one present here trying to stop this particular conversation from going further. Due to the verbal actions of these staff members today, people left out of fear of getting muted, and the chat inevitably was dead. Good conversations regardless of the topic should be able to be discussed so that others can hear other points of view and also join in.

    Fourth Point: Staff needs to be able to handle criticism, and respond with constructive feedback. If a staff member is unable to exactly explain why something needs to be done, they should go to their assigned mentors before acting on limited information. I am honestly sad that this is still happening, and that a player can potentially be falsely muted which also puts Mineplex in a more negative picture. I do not want Mineplex to be seen as a negative network with negative staff. I wish the best for Mineplex, which is why I am making this thread. If you still insist on dishing out the argument of "it's just an mc server", I will refer you to my friend (who wished to remain anonymous) who has a dog in this debate.


    Opinion from a prominent person on Mineplex:

    From my point of view, I think staff members shouldn't determine whether a specific conversation that is going on on the server is relevant to the server or not based on their opinion or pov due to the fact that humans have bias and plus conversation can happen anywhere. It doesn't matter that when you're on a Minecraft server, you only have to talk about Minecraft. Some conversations about ethics, religions, or beliefs don't always turn into bad ones. You can have a creative conversation on those topics. Mineplex should have a specific rule to cover these rules, not just the pov of a staff member to decide.

    Final thoughts:

    I want to keep stressing, not to harass these staff member's as they were coming from a good place, but it was not appropriate action taken due to the lack of guidance on this issue. This could cause an actual riot, which is never the goal of my conversations personally. We can not let this potentially cause something bigger to happen, where Mineplex gets a lot more bad publicity than they already have.

    To those staff reading this: I still see you in a positive light, quality staff for the Mineplex network, and good friends!
     
    Posted May 2, 2022
    Fusafez, xKen, Abreaction and 13 others like this.
  2. From a more pragmatic point: over-zealous moderators like shown here threaten one of this servers' core business advantages.

    Out of all minecraft servers, Mineplex has (and always had) the best chat experience and community-buiding. Chat & persistent game lobbies are arguably the reason Mineplex is still around, so you better make sure to keep them in as good a condition as possible.
    If you start killing conversations, all of a sudden it won't matter as much that non-payers don't have a 3-second chat cooldown like on certain other servers Mineplex wants to compete against.
     
    Posted May 2, 2022
    BlazeFire, GRGoodGame and Storeroom like this.
  3. Hello Officer,

    I was there at the time who said 'Lets not let this boil over'. I want to make it clear I think its great you guys have your conversations and debates and also at no point was any form of punishment on the cards. Lobby-1 is a very open forum, therefore newcomers to the conversation could change the calm nature to something more hostile as debates about politics and religion can get quite heated, quickly. It was just a friendly reminder more than anything, not me telling you to stop in any way.

    Feel free to message me, on any platform, if you have any more issues regarding this subject.
     
    Posted May 2, 2022
    Fusafez, rejudge, Arshaad_73 and 4 others like this.
  4. When carl the creeper asked you to see him, it was clickbait to ban you for ignoring the warning or it really was a reward?

    "I have sssome amazing rewardsss for you! Come sssee me!"
    Creepy.
     
    Posted May 2, 2022
  5. I completely agree! Mineplex has a charm that Hypixel just doesn't have, and I still feel it is superior in terms of what it offers. Moderators should not be imposing their powers to stop any conversation unless a specific rule has been broken, there is no reason they have to imply they are close to muting. I will say again, moderators may friendly remind people to be civil, and that's it, nothing more to try and derail any discussion.

    While I do appreciate you enjoying these conversations taking place, it is difficult to have conversations when there are staff members passively aggressively saying to stop talking now or you will be muted. The other staff member claiming to have no bias is ludicrous as everyone has a bias in any shape or form. This is why we have appeals & other departments to check others' use of power. I do find it humorous that this staff member had no issue with other conversations, but arbitrarily decided this one was just not acceptable in chat. Just like I was wrongly warned years ago for this exact same thing, it makes Mineplex look bad, and makes staff less credible in the eyes of the public. It could have been worse, a moderator could have banned someone, and they don't even want to appeal when they feel the network is too negative to come back to anyways. These types of scenarios should be limited as much as possible in terms of it happening. Staff & new ones should be taught this specifically, so as to not cause issues like this to happen.

    Unless a specific rule has been broken, staff should not try to stop any conversation. I say again, /ignore exist, and no one is insulting each other; In fact, people were heavily invested in the chat, then said it is not harming anyone.

    Carl is sus tbh
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted May 2, 2022
  6. honestly this is one of the reasons why i left mineplex and why i just decided to drop most of the community

    i think you stated this perfectly because staff nowadays can be very overzealous to get in punishments or activity and such for quotas and whatnot, when it can also do harm to the community and the business. not saying that staff suck or anything, i'm still friends with some and in contact with them as well. i just believe that some are just ruining the reputation, and giving others a wrongful perspective of what mineplex is like, which is also the perspective that was inflicted on me at one point. kudos to you
     
    Posted May 2, 2022
    xOeuf and officer401 like this.
  7. I 100% agree with all the things you said. Btw respect, you wrote it down perfectly.
     
    Posted May 3, 2022
  8. The big problem with "friendly reminders" from staff is that they carry a very heavy "or else" undertone. Very chilling, even if not intended.
     
    Posted May 3, 2022
  9. Thank you for voicing your opinion! it is something I am passionate about and care deeply about how Mineplex is perceived.

    This is a large part of my thread, telling people they should stop talking because they might get muted is crazy. Unless a rule is broken, I feel staff should not impose their positions of power on people having a discussion. At the very least, just a simple reminder not to insult during discussions on Mineplex should be enough. Who is to determine what topic s okay & not okay to speak about? If it's calm, and not being disrespectful, no harm no foul. I feel even though staff claim to have no bias, that is just plain dishonest fundamentally.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted May 3, 2022
    Arshaad_73 and GRGoodGame like this.
  10. love how mineplex just can’t take criticism
     
    Posted May 4, 2022
    officer401 likes this.
  11. Really well stated. Political discussions in general, whether it be on a minecraft server or IRL, tend to be a pretty touchy subject, especially in today's climate. That being said, as long as they're handled appropriately without resulting to mindlessly insulting the opposing party, they're useful conversations to have. Unless an actual rule is being broken, there isn't any merit to enforcing what types of conversations are allowed to be had.
     
    Posted May 4, 2022
  12. I personally believe that all discussion (within reason) should be allowed in a lobby. Yes, political conversations can get heated quickly and as can any other discussion even about a mini game. Especially with the current events in the world right. I believe that staff members should not impose such restrictions to limit what you are calling free speech, however staff member should give friendly reminders to try and keep topics appropriate and non-hostile. While I believe this staff member was doing that I can see how that could have been taking another way.

    Obviously topics here also have to be appropriate to be talked about on a server that is more geared towards younger players. However, I do think your points are valid about not stepping in if a conversation that has the potential to be hostile comes up. Staff members should not assume a conversation about politics or even current events, etc will automatically get hostile. However, when those topics come up they should give reminders to keep it calm.

    Overall as a staff member myself I agree with your points, however I do still believe staff members should keep things calm and non-hostile. and I think you wrote this thread very maturity in mind and didn't want to call anyone out which is awesome and I thank you for that. About the warnings you received from a while ago things have been adjusted on staffs end to "hopefully" make sure those don't happen again. However they can arise since each staff member has their own personal way of dealing with things within certain guidelines. Once again, I liked the thread and the points you brought up and I hope you understand the points I have made as well.
     
    Posted May 4, 2022
    officer401, MathMan1234 and xOeuf like this.
  13. The intended audience is not reflective of the server's actual playerbase, given that most of the individuals playing are 12-20. Regardless, most people wouldn't:
    A. Care about other's political opinions if they oppose those of their own, especially any opinion coming from Minecraft.
    B. Have issues with others talking about these subjects given that any social media platform we use contain overly politicized content. Current popular culture is quite literally based on global politics and thus religion/politics are unavoidable regardless. The server might as well allow any form of political discussion as long as it doesn't devolve into garbage.
    The issue is to what extent the server allows such conversations and at what point a debate deemed an argument.
    I think most staff do agree, this seems to be more of a personal moderation point in which select staff can use their discretion to deem a conversation inappropriate. In this case it just seems that the staff arguing with OP wanted to avoid the situation altogether and shut it down.
     
    Posted May 4, 2022
    officer401 likes this.
  14. Thank you for this wonderful response! it makes me more happy & confident Mineplex will continue to improve with staff such as yourself on the team. I understand it is important to be appropriate, and I try to chat with the understanding that there are still younger people than me playing. Yes, any conversation can get hostile, I agree with you that staff should give friendly reminders to not insult or discriminate, but nothing more that can end lobby chatting in general. Thank you for clarifying the guidelines have been updated, it brings peace of mind.

    I understand your points & completely agree.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted May 5, 2022
  15. Carl the Creeper has always been an odd fellow, some things never change I guess. I underlined the important stuff in my reply.

    This is a well articulated thread, so kudos to you... It's good to see that some staff members have responded to this with respect to your stance while offering their own opinions; cordial debating in the good ol' Socratic tradition, much like kindness, is its own reward.

    I'm evidently not a staff member (never have been, but would like to after being somewhat active on Mineplex in modern times as I've been away...), but I do have some experience in being in an authority-based role, so maybe that gives me a good perspective.
    The application of a law in real life, from how I understand it, requires two things - knowledge of the law, and a sound constitution. As it pertains to staffing Mineplex; I've no doubts about the staff team here being deficient in either (rules being the proverbial law), but the importance of the latter cannot be understated. It seems to me that this thread perceives issues of it with respect to some individuals. Based on your screenshots, I'm inclined to agree.
    It doesn't make sense to use a rhetoric which serves to stifle the debate when no rules have been broken. Your screenshots suffice as an example of what I'm hinting at. People on the butt of this will naturally react in different ways.
    Were I staff, I would simply react to what is in front of me, not what I think might happen or even fear. If I detect some heat, I'd remind people of the rules, but if there's a flame war, I'd be following punishment protocols. I would say it's important to not do anything without a reason, including reminding people of the rules - doing this wantonly would be a trigger for some. Essentially what I'm making of this is that experience is important in doing a "good job" in staffing. An individual in question in some screenshots here seems to be a trainee though, so they're still developing as a staff member and we should respect this and do our part in helping them.
     
    Posted May 12, 2022
    officer401 likes this.
  16. I agree although the other person in the thread was a relatively high-up staff member. It is not a matter if they are a trainee if the education is not set in stone where a high-up staff member can still be doing this. As Epicbuilder435 said, they have done more recently to try and prevent this type of thing from happening. I want to stay optimistic for the future of Mineplex, and hope it makes a comes back.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted May 14, 2022
    Icarys likes this.
  17. A higher ranked staff member doing it is a different story, I do agree. The mechanism for reporting staff members for misconduct could be better highlighted so the community can act more decisively, e.g. in the Support Hub, as it doesn't seem to be as easily available as reporting players for example.. other than that it's good that internal steps are being taken.
     
    Posted May 16, 2022

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