My 2 cents: How to handle troublemakers

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ravenouswolf
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My 2 cents: How to handle troublemakers

Post by ravenouswolf » Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm

Hey guys! :)

Lately, I've seen a lot of trolling/troublemaking on various BZFlag servers. In each case, the admin has done a poor job of handling the situation. So, here is my two cents on how to handle either a troll or a troublemaking/argumentative player.

Firstly, it's important to know why troublemakers are troublemakers: they want attention. So, in order to nip the problem at the bud, it's important not to give potential troublemakers attention.

So, suppose the player in question starts to question the rules. Whatever you do, do NOT attempt rationalize with the troublemaker. You have nothing to win and everything to lose.

When someone questions the rules, respond with something direct, succint, and authoritative. A little humor wouldn't hurt either. Say something like, "Them's the rules, thanks for following them. :-)"

If he attempts to argue with you, do not respond. If you feel you must say something further, say something like, "Thanks for your comments, I have noted them and will pass them onto the server's owner for consideration." This is the best way to avoid a conflict.

Whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do NOT argue with the troublemaker. Nothing good can come out of that, at all.

Admins who respond to troublemakers and let themselves get drawn into lengthy arguments look foolish, and let the troublemaker achieve his goal.

Also, not all people who argue are troublemakers. Some have a legitimate concern. So just because someone tries to argue with you, doesn't mean that they are meaning to cause trouble. That's why it's a bad idea to reach for the Ban button whenever someone questions the way things are being run.

Better is just to say, "Thanks for the comments", and move on. It will throw ice water onto the situation, and you will be respected by everyone on the server for handling the situation maturely, and without resorting to banning. People always, always have more respect for those who peacefully resolve a situation, than for those who resort to force for resolution.

Anyway, I hope everyone will mull this over a bit. :)

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toaster
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Post by toaster » Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:57 pm

On the day this was posted, a trolling troublemaker was irritating people on viper.pimpi.org. This was a continuation of previous problems with the same player, and several of the admins had dealt with him. When asked to abide by the rules, this person questioned them, insulted the admins, swore, and otherwise irritated them.

I was the last to deal with him. I received several complaints about him from some of the regular, well-behaved players as soon as I joined that day. The complaints were about offensive behaviour including trash talking, swearing, insults, etc. (sigh) He didn't respond to my polite requests to behave, or to directives, or to warnings. And though I used a lot of private messages to him, he responded publicly to everything.

He eventually got permanently banned, but he was warned along the way plenty of times by the admins. If it had not been a repeat problem with him, he would have just gotten a one-day ban.

I think it's important to remind trolls that each server has specific rules set by the owner, and that admins and cops enforce them for a reason. We have many regular players on viper.pimpi.org, and while some folks complain about the rules on occasion, most of them at one time or another have also asked one of us admins/cops to step in and resolve a problem for them, and they know we'll do it. And those that don't like the rules eventually migrate to other servers, one way or another.

A lot of players also frequent other servers where swearing and trash talking is allowed. That's fine. Then they come to viper.pimpi.org and have to be reminded "watch the language." Heheh. Usually, we get a "sorry" or "oops" back and they play a long time.

We have a lot of very young kids, as young as 5 and 6, that play there a lot, sometimes with their parents watching over their shoulder or helping them. We have even received personal thank yous and compliments from adults who bring their kids to that server to play because we police the foul language. I even know of a couple of young kids who are only allowed to play on the server when one of the admins are online.

The troll also needs to remember that when the admins are online, they are usually on for one of two reasons. (1) they are observing, checking out the server, and frequently dealing with problems players are having, helping them with client configurations, etc., or (2) they are on to play and want to play a friendly game without irritations.

I always figured it was useful to answer player's questions about the rules. And I do.

I often remind players that the English language is comprised of tens of thousands of words, and only a few hundred are swear words. I wonder why it is that so many people have such limited language, that they can't handle playing without swearing?

I didn't use smiley faces on that day. Nor did I see it as necessary. It's hard to be humorous when dealing with troublemakers who are intentionally trying to aggravate rather than just questioning things. Trolls should respond to politeness and directives without having to be coddled.
-toaster
"So there I was, all alone, facing all of the enemy. I started driving in circles, until I had them surrounded, and then I escaped in the confusion."

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SilverFox
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Post by SilverFox » Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:31 pm

Toaster, I couldn't agree with you more.

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sid6.7
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troublemakers/abusives

Post by sid6.7 » Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:54 pm

hmmmm...

the proverbial question about admin'ing....

so i dont have to write alot i'll ditto 99.9% of toasters
comments...i really hate doing that casue i am
starting to agree with toast all the time anymore...LOL
:)

im not sure what server your playing on ravenouswolf
but (esp the last 5-6 months :( ) conversations with
bad people on my servers is very short, thier easy to spot
and after 1 sentence you can tell how its going to go...

kick,kick again probably,ban 1 hour, ban forever....
you'd be suprise how quickly people become polite
after 2 kicks and a ban threat..

i've rarely had someone "ask" questions about rules
its 99% of the time a vulgar comment or accusation/complaints
about the rules and the server and the admin...

and i just ignore comments like "this server sucks"
"thats a stupid rule" these are just mild comments
that dont harm anyone...now sometimes they
try to scroll one of the above comments to crowd
out the normal game msgs...i pop them right away...

a crochty old admin
Image

doing my uttermost best to make jeffm2501 pop a blood vessel or cry..which ever comes first..

BZrand Random map maker 6.4 , BZchecker map validator 1.5

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toaster
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Post by toaster » Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:23 am

You're really beginning to scare me, Sid6.7. :)
-toaster
"So there I was, all alone, facing all of the enemy. I started driving in circles, until I had them surrounded, and then I escaped in the confusion."

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