Forum:Impersonating Moderators

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This thread was archived on 18 September 2009 by Sir Revan125.

On this wiki we have always blocked those claiming to be player moderators or Jagex staff or with the prefix "Mod-" so as to avoid confusion and stay within accordance of the Rules of RuneScape, recently Robert Horning has unblocked an account named Mod Cole, misguidedly labeling the block as an assumption of bad faith. Simply put, we either follow precedent and block this account (and allow the user to create a different account as always) or we might as well go back and unblock all accounts that have been blocked under moderator impersonation. The edits of said accounts are irrelevant, if the block had anything to do

with their editing then they'd be disallowed from creating accounts.

In short, I am requesting to add an amendment to the User block policy to specify that users impersonating moderators be blocked.--

Helm of neitiznot (charged).png Azaz129 Crystal shield.png Talk Edits Contribs

01:21, September 11, 2009 (UTC)


Discussion

Support - As proposer.--

Helm of neitiznot (charged).png Azaz129 Crystal shield.png Talk Edits Contribs

01:21, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Question - What if someone had a "Mod-___" username from another Wikia wiki and then decided to come here to edit? Butterman62 (talk) 01:34, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Then they would obviously be exempt, this applies to accounts created on this wiki.--

Helm of neitiznot (charged).png Azaz129 Crystal shield.png Talk Edits Contribs

01:38, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Did the user actually do anything wrong according to the UTP or any of our other policies? Did they even claim to be a moderator of any kind? If not then the block was unjustified and should be removed immediately. I say we distance ourselves from Jagex's "Our way or the highway" routine. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 01:41, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Actually, no, this particular user did absolutely nothing wrong with any current wiki policy, and in fact made what I thought were some pretty fair (if minor) edits. They didn't claim or assert to be a moderator, or claim any affiliation with Jagex on any level. --Robert Horning 13:55, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Support - anyone that creates an account with the prefix "Mod" on a wiki about a game that has "Mods" obviously knows what it means. It only creates confusion and so it should be avoided as it always has been. Anyone that does create an account with the "Mod" prefix is always told that they are more than welcome to create another account so there is no harm done anyways. Andrew talk 02:42, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Conditional Support - What if they just-so-happen to be actual mods? Now that's a throwing weapon!Doucher4000******r4000I'll eat you! 02:56, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Support - As per above supports.

Bonziiznob Talk

03:25, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - How many of you actually treat anyone differently because they claim to be a mod? Ingame I don't behave any differently around them, and if someone claimed to be one here I wouldn't care unless they tried to use it as leverage somehow. In any case, its just a name and in the case presented before us the user was blocked after making a few positive edits. I don't know about the user, but what if you were blocked for no real reason and it wasn't discovered until a few days later. Would you even know to come back and try again? What if the day Jagex decides to contact us and makes an account named "Mod MMG" or something similar and got blocked immediately? Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 03:32, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure that Jagex would be smarter than that, lol. Andrew talk 03:36, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Username are the same across ALL wikia hosted wikis. What if someone was a Moderator on a different game or website or if Mod was a nickname. It's wrong to assume bad faith. Only block if they make any claims about being a Runescape moderator/Jagex staff. I support that people impersonating moderators should be blocked but I oppose any blanked ban on 'mod' related usernames. Isn't there even a Runescape player with Mod in their name from Runescape classic that still plays?--Gold ore.png Mercifull UK serv.svg (Talk) 07:53, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

See above, it's been mentioned that it's only if they create their account here. C.ChiamTalk 13:10, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Support and Comment - Remember when Christine blocked the gertjarrs user for impersination? If a user is a mod on another site or something that gives them the mod prefix, they do not have to use that same acount to edit here, do they? don't answer that Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 09:14, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Yes they do. Your username on the RSWiki is the same as for Wookiepedia or Memory Alpha. --Gold ore.png Mercifull UK serv.svg (Talk) 09:51, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Uhm, Hello World. The proposal says that an ammendment to the user block policy about impersonating moderators to be added. The only way someone can impersonate a moderator is actually tell people they're a moderator. Just because their name begins with "Mod" does not mean they are trying to impersonate a mod. We should not assume bad faith of these accounts. — Enigma 13:01, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

It's already been explained above. The fact that they sign up here means that they play RuneScape, which means that they do know who Mods are. Therefore, them creating RuneScape Wiki accounts starting with "Mod" can be labelled as Moderator impersonators. In the case that the creator of the account is new to playing RuneScape and is not aware of this, we simply ask them to create a new account, and no harm is done. This is not an assumption of bad faith. C.ChiamTalk 13:10, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
We're still assuming bad faith, you cannot ignore that fact. — Enigma 13:14, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
How are we assuming bad faith? I just explained how we are not doing so above. C.ChiamTalk 13:16, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
You explained that if a user knowing anything about Jagex Staff or Player Moderators created an account with "Mod" as a prefix they they know what it means. That does not, however, mean they are trying to impersonate a mod, thus we are assuming bad faith. They aare only impersonating a mod if they go around telling people that they're a Jagex mod and they'll ban you if you don't do this or that. Simply banning for the prefix "Mod" is assuming bad faith. — Enigma 13:21, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
Then explain why they are creating an account starting with "Mod" since they are aware of this fact. C.ChiamTalk 13:22, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps because they want to be a mod, and having a username starting with "Mod" raises their hopes. Perhaps someone would just think it would be cool to have a "Mod" prefix. It's just a username, really. — Enigma 13:29, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
Having "Mod" in your username only serves to confuse other users by giving the impression that you are a Mod. Imagine a new user going to "Mod [insert name]", "Hi, since you're a mod, can you [insert request]". It's best to avoid this sort of confusion. C.ChiamTalk 13:33, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
I suppose. But we should at least leave a message like "Your username is unacceptable. Please create another account under a different name." — Enigma 13:36, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
That is what we are going to tell them (either on their talkpage or in the block summary). C.ChiamTalk 13:39, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Support - per some of my above comments. C.ChiamTalk 13:10, September 11, 2009 (UTC) See below

Oppose - On this issue... well, I did reverse the actions of AzAzaz129 here because I thought it was a wrongheaded move. The use of the word "Mod" has absolutely no standing within this wiki, and I fail to see why we have to be so very, very much uptight about somebody trying to create an account on this wiki with that prefix. Yes, I will say that somebody creating an account of that nature and only editing on the RS Wiki is likely demonstrating a substantial and serious immaturity. I think that most people on this wiki would see that level of immaturity for precisely what it is about.

Also, when a user signs up for an account on this wiki, they don't merely sign up for the RS Wiki, but for every wiki that operates on every Wikia website as well. There is no way to possibly know the motivations that somebody may have for creating a user name, and there very well may be some strong motivations for somebody trying to select such a name when editing on one of the other Wikia sites. There is a strong argument in favor of a single unified login for all of these wikis, and questioning names of somebody can be quite harsh.

Furthermore, I have a strong and very personal motivation on this issue. My own account that I am using right now, yes merely using the name formally as "Robert Horning", was challenged when I was editing on this account as giving too much personal information and breaking the rules and it was demanded that I change my name. Change my name? I'll leave that one alone, other than to note there are strong personal and legal reasons why I choose to edit with the name that my parents gave to me upon birth. But this was considered a violation of Jagex's terms of service, and it would be true that this user name would be blocked by Jagex if used within the game. I'll also note that I edited for years on wikia websites prior to any edit on the RS Wiki, bringing up my previous point too.

That gets me to the next point: This is not Jagex. Wikia and the RS Wiki have absolutely no relationship with Jagex, any of its developers, or really even the game Runescape other than this is about Runescape. The rules of Jagex simply don't apply. No, I don't encourage players explicitly writing articles about how to break rules or take advantage of obvious glitches in the game to your favor, nor articles written with a tone that encourages rule breaking. But the rules of Jagex simply don't apply here as this is not a Jagex website.

If this particular user had done something overt to pretend to be a Jagex staff member, such as coming onto a user discussion page and saying something on a page had to be modified, removed, or a page deleted due to its violation of Jagex terms of service, it would be somewhat wise to challenge them on that point. Claiming some sort of extra privileges or asserting that they are a moderator (aka "admin") because of the "Mod" prefex to their name and acting on that as well to intimidate new users to this wiki... that would be wrong as well. I would certainly support banning an account if any of this happened, and in that case it really wouldn't matter what the spelling of the name might be, it needs to be banned.

Do keep in mind, as surprising as it might be to some of you, that some of those "celebrities" of all types do come by every now and again to check out even mundane websites like the RS Wiki. Heck, there may even be some good reason for a Jagex employee to come onto here. I would recommend that they use an account name other than something starting with "Mod", but it is advise and not IMHO a requirement. On other wiki projects I have interacted with some people that I consider to be a minor hero of mine for other things they've done in real life. Banning an account that is named "Andrew", "AGower", or some other similar variant may not necessarily be a smart thing.... if he really is who he claims to be or by birth happens to actually have that same name for some reason.

I really don't see the problem here, and users that want to pretend for a little bit that they are getting away with some big secret by pretending to be a jagex moderator for a few seconds when setting up their Wikia editing account... I say let them have their fun. Watch what they do, and for those on recent changes patrols I would monitor those kind of accounts even more closely than even IP edit accounts... at least for the first couple dozen or even hundred edits. But to blanket ban new users testing the waters (often for the first time) based solely upon the spelling of their user account when they have done nothing else wrong... that is IMHO something worse to do than simply watching what they might be up to.

This is not the same thing as using profanity or something offensive as a user name, and those can and should continue to be blocked, but I can't support a permanent ban of a player because of a test of what a user name might be. --Robert Horning 13:55, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Those interested in a slightly less confrontational explanation, see also User talk:Psycho Robot#User names with the prefix "Mod". --Robert Horning 14:12, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - As long as they do indeed never try to impersonate a mod. I think the use of crowns in signatures causes enough confusion for newer editors and this is close to that same thing, but we allow that. I would like to see anyone naming themselves mod put that way early on their userpage that they are not a J mod, that will show they do not intend to cause confusion. But I would only ask them to do this, not make it a rule that they have to.--Degenret01 16:14, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Degen and Robert --Joe Click Here for Awesomeness 18:05, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment -- One more little tiny thing. I am not advocating the unblocking of all of the previous accounts that for whatever motivation may have been blocked earlier by other admins that start with the word "Mod". The reason I unblocked this particular contributor to our wiki is that I did review the edits, saw that they were in my opinion reasonable but minor edits, and that it seemed damaging to let this particular user have to be halted so quickly when he (or she) was helping to improve the wiki. I thought it was a bad message to send to a user that they should "go away". I do believe that admins should have the power to reverse each others actions, although I'm also glad that AzAzaz129 has brought this issue up here for the community to decide as well. User talk:Mod cole speaks for itself as well. --Robert Horning 21:47, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment to Robert - I'm Az. Azaz129 is Azaz129. Please don't mix us up. Smile   az talk   07:10, September 12, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per above. Amethyst II Talk 18:50, September 12, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - We should only block people if they really impersonate Jmods, not if they have a name starting with the prefix. Quest point cape detail.png Brux Talk 01:03, September 13, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per my previous comments. — Enigma 02:00, September 14, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Now reading Robert's argument, and I see where he's coming from and agree with him. C.ChiamTalk 12:22, September 16, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per all opposes thus far. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 20:08, September 16, 2009 (UTC)

Neutral - While AGF is a factor here, one must consider when AGF stops being an assumption of good faith and starts being naïve. For instance, what if someone were to make an account "Andrew Gower of RuneScape"? Would the principles of AGF apply here? I say they should not. While its true that someone playing RuneScape might coincidentally be named Andrew Gower, if naïve to assume that this is the case. Let's say that the account is banned after it is created, but the fellow's name really is Andrew Gower? Well naturally he could just make a new account.

However, I also see the futility in banning accounts based only on their name. First of all, while it is naïve to assume that an account named after some of the more recognizable staff members was not created in an attempt to fool others, it is presumptuous to assume they will do so and ban them on the spot. Secondly, by the time players migrate to a fan site, they're typically smarter than your average RuneScape player. That said, they are unlikely to fall for this ruse. That said, there's probably no harm in letting them stay and seeing what they do. And of course, suspicious admins like Azaz (not an insult!) will monitor their actions closely, so any rule-breaking activities originating from the account will be found and stopped in mere hours.

That said, while banning them on the spot is not usually justified, accounts named after staff members should be watched closer than other accounts. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 21:07, September 16, 2009 (UTC)

Closed - Doesn't seem like this has a snowball's chance. WWTDD? 21:14, September 18, 2009 (UTC)