Over the last few years, our core game moderation strategy has remained largely the same, with reports being taken both in-game, and also through our dedicated website report system. This has been with the pledge that every website report will be handled, which in doing so, takes up a lot of resources.
Arguably, this has led to many web reports being generated - 53,934 in Q2 of 2023 - and time being focussed on processing these instances, rather than spending time in-game, looking at the game report system, and rule violations that are occurring in real-time. Additionally, these website reports come with the added complexity that evidence is not always of the best quality, or in line with our reporting rules, found under section §1.4 here.
Furthermore, the fact that every website report will be reviewed at some point has led to a toxic, ‘rec-ban-culture’ forming, where some players make it their mission to report every single rule violation they may come across, no matter how small or trivial, even when it doesn’t impact on their experience majorly. Again, a large portion of time is spent dealing with these reports by our team, some of which involve incidents that occurred weeks ago. This puts undue pressure on our system, and leads to genuine reports being delayed, with perpetrators being able to continue in-game - you can see how a cycle can begin to form, where serious instances are piling up, due to dealing with these trivial reports, and time is detracted from being in-game.
TruckersMP aims to stay true to our players, making changes that enhance the gameplay experience. Ultimately this is a game, and there has to be an understanding that there are instances when a simple mistake may be made, not requiring further action. We believe that allowing our moderators to focus more of their time and resources towards being in-game brings a multitude of benefits, such as increased community interaction, visible presence and also the ability to utilise on-the-spot tools, such as teleporting or kicking a player, which can prevent or deal with incidents, without having to resort to banning a player. At the moment we are very responsive, rather than proactive in our moderation.
In order to make this transition, we are implementing some changes to the way that we handle reports that are made through the website system. This will begin with the maximum number of website reports a user can create being capped at ten. This is because we’ve found that this hits the balance between the need to report genuinely disruptive or inappropriate behaviour, compared with misusing the system and reporting a multitude of trivial rule violations. Reports will continue to be scored, and those who continue to make reports that do not meet the reporting rules will eventually be left in a situation where they may only create one report. In addition, the reporting window on the website has been reduced from fourteen days to seven, once again to ensure reports are relevant, and it is the serious issues being passed onto us, through that system.
We’re trying hard to put a stop to the attitude some players take, being against one another, reporting for very minor things. Equally however, we still intend to deal with those who cause serious issues in-game, that impacts upon players severely, with stringent moderation actions. As touched upon before, it is our hope to be able to be more proactive, focussing our efforts on the here and now, in the game itself.
On an additional note, we have also introduced a system to anonymise our moderation. This means when you are banned or have a report handled, you will not see the name of the moderator who issued a punishment. This aims to reduce the abuse and harassment that unfortunately some of our team have to endure, when they issue punishments in-game. You will still be able to discuss with this moderator in your appeal, but they will just remain anonymous.
We hope that you can see the vision here, and share our thoughts on wanting to make improvements with the way that reports are handled. If you do have any feedback, you can contact Game Moderation Management, by creating a feedback ticket here.
Keep safe, and see you out on the roads!
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