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GW Auctions Forums - View topic - Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
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Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox 

What do you think regarding shoutbox policing?
The shoutbox is fine as it is. 55%  55%  [ 6 ]
The shoutbox could use a friendly rules reminder. 36%  36%  [ 4 ]
Ban them all! >:( 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
What's wrong with advertising my auctions? 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 11

Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox 
Author Message

Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:21 am
Posts: 5
Post Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
Someone really should add the shoutbox rules to the ToS page. Maybe I missed it, but I can't find them written anywhere on the site (aside from people repeating them daily in the shoutbox when a newbie messes up).

I also suggest putting a
"no advertising kthxbai"
-or-
"by shouting, you acknowledge you have read and understood the shoutbox rules (link)"
reminder somewhere on the shoutbox. Might help with discouraging errant behavior. It could go below the text entry box or somewhere else obvious. People wouldn't be able to claim ignorance and the mods should have less to clean up.

Discuss. :S
-E (edit: added poll)


Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:39 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 990
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
In two years we have added two rules and that was for trying to encourage people to mark their auctions (as either Buyer or Seller) as traded in-game after successful exchange within the game.

The problem with rules is that they are fine as long as everyone obeys them but if people choose to disobey rules then you narrow down options. If someone breaks a specific rule the Moderators lose any room for being able to cajole, promote or advise people - they sometimes have to move straight to taking action which inevitably creates reaction and we can end up with a flame war.

It's not that I am reluctant to be proactive and I will take proactive action where I deem it is necessary up to and including an immediate ban but I will always prefer a more gentle approach if I can do so.

At the moment (and for that matter for a long time now) there has been just the one major issue with the Shoutbox and that is people advertising their auctions. Typically they are new and typically they get cautioned by other members p.d.q. and they learn the GW Auctions ettiqette also p.d.q.

I think only on one occassion have I actually had to write to someone to end their persistent use of the Shoutbox to advertise their auctions and ignoring the deletions and comments from other members.

As soon as one of the Moderators or Maarten sees an advertisement they will delete it from the Shoutbox.

The more recent phenomena of using the Shoutbox to insult another member or the website itself is covered by the Terms of Service and if Limitation #2 doesn't quite fit then we have Limitation #20 which means I or one of the Moderators have absolute power to decide if it is a breach of #2 or not and I won't stand for insults.

The GW Auction website is designed to provide fun, it delivers excellent support and features that make it fun and Maarten trusts us Moderators to make sure it remains fun. That's what it is all about and anyone who tries to spoil the fun of everyone else will learn quickly not to or will have to face the consequences.


Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:02 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:30 pm
Posts: 30
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
To be completely honest, I don't mind people advertising stuff in the shoutbox. In fact, I have bought a few items that way.

I find a little annoying when person A asks person B to meet ingame, or if he/she is available, mostly because that's the kind of stuff that I believe to be supposed to be done via personal message instead.

And just like everyone else, I dislike abusive language, attitude, bs, etcetera.

On a final thought... if the misuse of the shoutbox becomes too unbearable for most users... well, it's the one feature I could live without...


Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:21 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
Bearz -
I'm fine with the moderators being allowed flexibility in dealing with stuff. Banning people for minor things would be silly and only give the site a bad reputation. As you said, it's mostly new members who advertise in the shoutbox and they learn quickly.

However, the new folks have no prior warning that shoutbox advertising is frowned upon. I think we can do better than leaving them ignorant and then yelling "no advertising" if they try it. I imagine that's an embarrassing way to find out.

Even if this were added as a rule or notice somewhere on the site (maybe the ToS isn't the right place), the moderators could still use discretion as usual. I'm just looking for the information to be posted somewhere, not for lots of bans. ^_^

Aesir -
I agree with you, I would prefer if people arranged trades via private message instead of the shoutbox. I can see the practicality of using shout to announce you're online when you have a lot of trades with different users pending, but I always send a pm if I'm trying to contact one user.


Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:16 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:05 am
Posts: 1587
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
Technically, advertising you auctions already is prohibited according to the TOS (rule #5). But I'm not naive, I know hardly anyone reads them.

More text in the mouse-over tooltip on the shoutbox might make the tooltip a bit large, but a possibility non the less.

As for using the shoutbox for personal communication, to stop that we would need a complete mental overhaul. And interesting stuff to discuss in the shoutbox :P


Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:24 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:34 am
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Location: Lower Mainland, BC, CA
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox


Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:09 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Россия
Post Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
I think that it could be useful... so you dont have to:
- open the Tournaments page
- scroll the page until you find the tournaments you are enrolled in
- avoid to miss the links just because you didnt hit the bold ones

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Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:40 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 82
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
at the end of the day moderators are only volunteers and martin is a human being, and neither can be there all the time.

while I don't find people talking about their auctions particularly annoying (and any chat about existing open auctions are... well advertising regardless) some times people look like idiots by swearing, bad spelling and generally being abusive. Thats more annoying.

Also the grey line between talking about auctions and advertising often gets blurred between moderators, some opting for total, some opting for "well chatter is ok, direct links are not"

Its like spamadan in the chatbox though, but not of the sales kind. Tends to be all "Im online". I personally would opt for opening the advertising/just chatter about active auctions to be either scrapped or thoughly guidelined for the moderators if and when moderators are available if the chatbox would get cleaned up of "Im online to trade" spam (yeah um.... martin put a little green light on your profile when you sign in lol)

maybe a select on sign in that you are online in game, and maybe a list on the front of members online ingame from that?

as for spelling.... who cares... its a chat box.... if you want to perfect your spelling grammar type it in a word prossessing document first lol


Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:19 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:05 am
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Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
You can view online members using the "Memberlist" from the menu. It's not 100% accurate though, and it doesn't mean people are online in the game, so it's not perfect.

I could set up an IRC server somewhere, or a channel on freenode for GW Auctions, if there's enough demand for actual real-time chat. I'm not sure how many people use IRC these days, but it's the best chat system in my opinion. It could take some of the spam away from the shoutbox, especially the "I'm online" type of spam. Any thoughts?


Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:04 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 82
Post Re: Discouraging misuse of the shoutbox
ok first off, I personally find IRC a right pain in the arse to set up.

OFC thats just personal.

OK if your going to java it into a page, but even then your snookered cus I block java and flash on the laptop -.- (I use laptop to monitor webpages/sites while I play on the PC) I perpously unblocked the chat/shoutbox on here to you know... CHAT

Can we have a minimiser for the stupid box? because the number of people too lazy to use the PM/message system on site and forums just to organise trades/whine are you offline or online/ignoring me is really annoying me poop less. I had to look up history to find out half missing conversation earlier and tbh really made me wanna just shut the site completely. 90% of the shoutbox is absolutely pointless and can be done via the message system, but they are just TO DAMNED LAZY and whiney. complaints pop up in the shoutbox that should be done using the message system and/or forums. Y'no moderators probably see the better that way than spamming the shout box. much easier to work through a inbox list of 'jobs' than have to go hunting for them. I know from experience (I moderate a few things, inc. my local Freecycle group) I pay more attention to my inbox complaint lists than random people contacting me on facebook, twitter or ny other social interaction medium

Anyway, really fed up of the shoutbox now (AGAIN). was a nice idea. maybe time to ditch it.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:12 am
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