Firstly I'd like to point out that official chats are poorly managed. Due to the nature of this thread and it's moderators I am not at liberty to openly discuss why I feel this way. Can do outside of the forums for those curious though → /f1337873972. Solution here is as simple as it seems. Enforce chatbox rules for everyone including staff members and don't ignore user reports. If you feel the report is weak, let the reporter know. Use arguments.
This part is less personal but I still feel like it's attached to a bigger issue that I'll bring up later on; chatboxes are being used as target practice. Before this year I'd rarely see a chat get permanently delisted and if that did come up, it's usually because said chat had heavily inappropriate content displayed. Now however, I see chats like Ennui get permanently delisted because a volunteer thinks a user posted inappropriate content without double checking the link that was posted. As a solution I suggest we ease up on the power tripping and go back to the basics. Volunteers are not babysitters in charge of children. If a chatbox is reported in a ticket you need to make sure the user has gone to the chat's rightful owner to sort the issue first - I have seen malicious users go on toons to post inappropriate content then immediately report it in a ticket playing victim. Once you're sure the chat owner knows what took place and refuses to do anything about it then you should step in. Not before.
Here we have a sub-section of the previous part with delists, I noticed chats with "inappropriate ban reasons" are being given 7 day delists off promotion as well. Why? Chat is off promotion and xat is supposed to be used by a mature audience. Nobody promotes chats anymore because users were run off to the point where promotions aren't worth it anymore and they'd rather be themselves elsewhere without moderating every word/action, why disturb non promoted chats now? Bored? Solution here would be to just ignore it? God knows I've reported chats in the past when I used to be banned and the reason was just "n****r". Nothing ever happened, now all of a sudden it's a deadly sin whenever someone feels it's convenient and needs a reason to delist just for the sake of delisting.
Speaking of promotion; Who knows there might be a miracle and people start using xat again after their fears of being abused is dismissed and will want to promote their chat. I suggested this before (and was ignored as usual) but it would be nice to have a little 10 question quiz for a user to complete the first time they try to promote and said user can only promote once they've scored an 80% or more on the test, showing that they are a proper chat owner and know enough of the rules to not get themselves delisted instantly. Yes I've seen some horrible things on promotion before. And-Surprise-Nothing-Was-Done-Even-Though-I-Reported.
USERS & ACCOUNTS
xat has become a breeding ground for trolls and jokers who believe they can say anything they want and get away with it. The official word on this is "xat does not get involved in user disputes" but xat gets heavily involved in user disputes either way. Pick a side. Either you take responsibility or you don't.
If you do, I have a perfect solution to these trolls who disrupt the use of xat: 1-14 day gag similar to other games and their mute system. Prevent said users from harassing the main chat by only allowing them to speak in private chat to users who have them added. This shouldn't be too hard to implement since gagging is already a feature of xat, you'd just need to make it apply to every chat they connect to.
When did xat move from torching to deleting? The system seems to be in place solely to be used as a griefing mechanism. Purging someone's account that they've spent money or time on does absolutely nothing.
If the user is a repeat offender, they'll register a new account or worse, they'll stay on a toon ID and carry on.
If the user was attached to their belongings they'll be left with a horrible taste in their mouthes against xat as a whole and be more inclined to leave, potentially encouraging other friends to leave aswell.
Using the example of games once again: when you violate a rule; depending on the severity of the offense you're given a TEMPORARY BAN which can range from a day to a year. If you've been caught cheating or abusing the game's systems to gain an unfair advantage then and only then is your account lost. The system makes sense. The system is based on logic. The system works. As a solution I'd like to refer to a previous one I brought up with the gag system for trolls ranging from 1 day to 14 days. Repeat offenders can then start receiving bans.
Extreme cases like scamming, "doubling powers", doxing, hacking etc can be bundled under a temporary to permanent ban.
The action needs to be proportionate to the offense, I've seen my fair share of people losing accounts for saying "kys" one time in one chat to one user when a simple 24h ban from said chat would suffice. Point to my previous point again, volunteers are not babysitting children, you do not need to involve yourselves in every little fight you come across.
On the flip side there are users who do good for the community and they're paid with insults to the face. We've already seen the designers of xat ragequit because they ran out of patience for this mess. Designers lack any sort of support and were forced to create their own private militia through xat.com/Graphics by banning people from entering contests on their forum that the host could easily choose to ignore or not. I've been permanently banned from the xat forums before for opening a thread that people agreed with that was in no way inappropriate or causing drama about an image host concern. Once again I will share information on this event off of the forums for those needing to know. Solution here once again is simple, listen to suggestions. I remember posting multiple suggestions on the old forum that a few old volunteers found really interesting:
Allow chat owners to edit the opacity of the chat's transparent boxes.
Allow chat owners to grant a designer rank to people letting them edit the chat's visual style without having access to main owner powers or chat password.
Once again, nothing ever happened even though they were solid and well thought out with examples. If a suggestion is turned down, it would be nice to inform the user with a simple reason as to why.
Lot of contributors & forum staff were quick to point out that the "active" volunteers can't be removed as they're not lazy, their department is just delayed and the "inactive" ones barely have any tickets to answer hence them being "inactive". The solution is so painfully obvious that it shouldn't even need to be said. Let some of those volunteers handle the delayed departments temporarily, have them trained and formed so they can lend a helping hand otherwise hire active staff experienced with dealing with tickets I'm sure you can find millions (ok let's be realistic, dozens or less now) on xat with real life qualifications if you just asked rather than allowing a small circle of friends to suggest their own friends to help them and furthering the "favoritism" rumors.
I've quit using the forums because the forum moderators used to be thought cops destroying any post they don't agree with. This is largely still the case. A forum is a place of expression where messages are meant to be permanent for all to see and be able to read on their own time.
Wanting to prevent inappropriate discussions is okay.
Wanting to prevent fights between users is completely understandable.
Censoring posts that people agree with? No.
Making posts vanish for no reason at all? Definitely not. Force forum moderators to have a valid reasoning for deleting a post and have an unbiased user decide if the reasoning is right or not to prevent the usual "You're my friend, I trust you, do w/e".
Most of my concerns here mention the single fact that xat has actively become more aggresive with it's rule enforcing towards users. Reports against users used to be "We don't get involved", scammers are roaming free or getting their account transfer blocked but petty drama destroys you. The enforcing is not only extremely aggresive but also inconsistent. If aggresivity is your choice then communicate. Update your terms, specify clear rules and guidelines to follow. None of that broad "no trolling" nonsense that allows volunteers to hide behind empty reasons for their actions.
Saved the best for last. xat is in desperate need of a stable communication flow between the community and the developpers. Install a community manager. Look no further than Mike too (He's literally the only person trying to look out for users now that Jamesey is gone. Muffins does what he can but is limited).
Current projects, user concerns, suggestions keep him posted on what's coming to xat, feel free to keep some things a surprise but communication is generally positive.
Wake up the twitter account, use it for things other than a vague sentence everytime a power is being released. Interact with your users.
That is all. No censor pls.