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Harassment in Private Messages
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Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

May-17-2004 13:55

Up until recently, we had not had much trouble with people using private messages to harass other players. It appears that the honeymoon is over. Iíve received several complaints about various detectives sending unwanted private messages. The accounts seem to have been set up expressly for that purpose, so deactivating them would do no good. This leaves me with a few options.

Iím going to add an Ignore User function. This might happen as soon as tonight. This should help quite a bit. Of course, if the person sending the messages can just keep creating new accounts, but that takes a little time.

Do you all think that is sufficient? There are some other steps I can take.

1) I can not allow detectives with under a certain amount of experience to send private messages. This would make it much easier to enforce the no-harassment policy. It would, however, make it harder for newbies to ask other players for help.
2) Something I have been thinking about doing for awhile, for a number of reasons, is moving away from the popup windows for private messages altogether. I could make a location called the post-office, accessible from the toolbar. You would have to go there to read your messages, and you could manage your ignore list there, etc. This would make unwanted messages less annoying, because you would see a list of messages, instead of having them pop up, one at a time. I could also expand the maximum size of messages, because they wouldnít have to fit into a popup window. Additionally, users who have their popup blockers on could receive messages. I kind of like the popups though.

What do you all think?


Replies

lazymuse
lazymuse

May-17-2004 14:09

I like the pop ups too. I have another suggestion for you: what if only subscribers have access to the pop ups? That way everyone who is really interested in the game could have the privledge, no matter what their level of experience.

Dr. Watson
Dr. Watson

May-17-2004 14:18

The pop-ups are handy. I do like lazymuses idea.

Once you are dealing with people of have paid for the privilage, deactivating the account would have an effect.

Admin, can you track PM's. Otherwise, you'd be open for another kind of abuse, whereby they get one player banned even though they hadn't send an harassing PM.

Holden Fast
Holden Fast

May-17-2004 14:27

Can we do a hybrid of the original idea? I only use PM with people in my agency. It's easy to use especially when people need help with cases etc. We could allow only agency members to use PMs and then establish this Post Office as a place for other people to communicate with each other if not in your agency. Then we can add them to our PM list if we want to, otherwise we still have the Post Office to get information from them. [Make sense?]

Greyling
Greyling

May-17-2004 14:39

Here's another one for your unfortunately rapidly growing collection.

Message

From: play girl305
Sent: May 17 2004

u are the ugliest bitch ever ok hoe

Reply
Delete


Not sure about the idea of it only being subscribers who should be able to use pop-ups since they already have quite a lot of privileges compared to non-subscribers - although that would probably be a pretty effective way of putting a stop it.

Since I've also gown to like the pop-ups (despite all the trouble I had getting them to work properly :D ), is it possible for you to block IP addresses of people who act like this? That way these people would at least have to find another computer.

Kitten
Kitten

May-17-2004 14:42

Today I got harrassed like most of us, but frankly - do you really believe idiots like that will have the patience to keep creating new accounts day after day, just to offend people? They will move on to something else, to bug other people. I think a "block user" function would be more than sufficient, at least until proven otherwise.

I have a lot of experience of people asking for help via PMs (I suppose they look at my exp on the list and decide I'm a good person to contact). 99% of the time these people have been nothing but respectful, and helping them has been a pleasure. I think private messages are an important channel of communication, and because of their function in getting help much more quickly than via a message board, I do not think it would be fair to deny non-subscribers access to PMs. Also, I don't like the idea of denying non-subscribers that channel of interaction when they already have to go without taking part agencies.


I like the pop ups and see no reason to stop using them. If Admin has the energy, though, a post office could be a nice additional feature in the future. I would enjoy the chance to receive longer private messages with a less real-time feel, but in addition to the current quick pop ups, not instead :)

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

May-17-2004 14:43

There are issues with blocking based on IP address. Some ISPs (AOL for instance), use proxies where it appears that lots of different users come from the same IP address. So, we could run the risk of blocking a whole bunch of people from playing, just because one person was misbehaving. I could just block people from those IPs from sending messages...


kouraditsa
kouraditsa

May-17-2004 14:45

I don't believe that PM's should be only for subscribers. It will have the same effect as requiring some amount of experience to send messages. I believe that most people don't immediately subscribe in their first contact with the game, so again newbies won't be able to use this function.

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

May-17-2004 14:54

OK, here's what I'm going to do:

1) I'll add the Ignore User function, hopefully tonight.

2) I'll start tracking users' IP addresses.

3) If enough people start ignoring users from a certain IP address, I'll take a closer look at the types of messages they are sending. If I think it's necessary, I'll add their IP address to a no-message list. Users from those IP addresses won't be able to send private messages to anybody but me.

Anyway, I'm very sorry for everyone who's had to put up with any harassment or abuse. Unfortunately, it's something that happens in any social forum where people feel anonymous. I hope it doesn't ruin anybody's enjoyment of the game.

Canucklehead
Canucklehead

May-17-2004 16:39

How about a hybrid of the pop-up messages? I agree without the pop-ups you can't have much of a conversation. You could add the PM box accesible from the toolbar. But when you get a message the pop-up would tell you who sent you a message and would provide a link to go directly to it.

I don't think we want a restriction of the use of private messaging or anything that would frutrate new players.

Wayne Williams Jr.
Wayne Williams Jr.
Well-Connected

May-17-2004 23:30

I hope the prankster will stop this of his/her own accord. That is the best way.

Of course having some technical system to stop such things is fine, but people should not do this in the first place.

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