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Their Time Is gone wrote:
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B030 - Brendan Harte: "F-Family..... Thank you, thank you, t-thank.... you, Alba, Jon...."
G014 - Scarlett McAfee: "I always liked you, y-you know...?"
G044 - Maria Cucinotta (Adopted): "Hah..."
There's actually a really specific reason for this, and I don't think it's an incorrect choice on staff's part (bar the "midway through a discussion" bit). The short of it is, killing characters off takes a lot of staff time and effort and is usually a last resort. If a character is rolled but the death is taking forever, staff is faced with a choice. If they intervene, they either have to do the scene in progress on the handler's part (which produces roughly the same results as letting it go, but potentially actually slower as staff has to catch up, and likely at lower quality as staff isn't as familiar with the character) or do something totally different (burning those currently involved with the death, and also being kinda slow and not as great). If they don't intervene, that stuff is avoided.RC wrote:Why is a character who has not posted for a month without an away allowed to have a proper death thread written by their handler, but Jeff and Aura have a death post handled by SOTF_Help mid through a discussion? Staff has the right to declare inactive characters dead, but at least let the death be handled by their handlers when they're active. Equality, guys. A month is the double of 2 weeks.
I would disagree here, even in technicality. The rule in question is:Malloon wrote:If both side of the issue have broken the rules, however (which I would disagree with, since on a purely technical basis, only Ciel broke a rule (sorry Ciel)) and the consequences of both are inconsistent, then the only option left is inconsistency. If there were a rule in place to deal with conflicting rules, then there wouldn't be inconsistency, but there isn't, so whichever option offers the least inconsistency, it seems, would then be the best option. Murder and Riki have said that what Staff says through SOTF_Help should be considered true for fairness for the handlers on the receiving end, even it it's because of an individual member going rogue, but while that might be a good policy and perhaps a good rule, it isn't official. Since it isn't official, even though it perhaps should be, the only inconsistency is perhaps the lack of leniency. I'll get back to this later.
I think arguing that Help isn't binding based on stuff outside handlers' knowledge is a very slippery slope. After all, if that's the case, how are we to trust this rule? And what does it mean for the vast majority of the site's rules, which are posted from individual staffers' (or former staffers') accounts? Is all of this stuff unofficial?Inactivity PM wrote:If you wish to appeal this inactivity, please respond to this PM within three days (seventy-two hours) with your appeal. Failure to respond within the time limit will result in your appeal being denied, unless you are validly listed as Away and thus unable to respond.
I sort of agree here, but the big thing is that there is an enforcement mechanism already in place for rogue staff decisions: internal discussions, procedures, and consequences, as necessary. As I've said before, that could range anywhere from "Please do not do this again," to "Okay, you need to check everything with at least three other staffers before posting and failure brings dire consequences," to "Sorry, you're off staff." It's all about magnitude and results. I think making everyone wait a day to see if staff means what they say is an unnecessary slowdown--that sort of thing should come before they say it! Especially since staff check-in has been something that's been harped on a good bit internally (I don't have the text anymore, but I had a couple rambles on this a few months before dropping from the team).Malloon wrote:For Ciel's case, which might or might not be a moot point at this point, some people have said say that we can be lenient despite the importance of rules, as long as it's stated that this is a one-off thing because of the mistake made by the member of Staff or because that would be more conducive to the fun we're to have here. The counter-argument that has been made to the first point is that this is not a one-off thing and gives individual staff members too much power, whether or not they're punished afterwards, since this does set a precedent for any case in the future where a staff member makes a mistake - it's either that, or more inconsistency, which would also counter the second point, since that would impact the fun for other people in the future, among other things. In essence, if and on whatever grounds leniency is/would be granted here (since this has been thoroughly discussed and will be brought up in later cases), whatever is granted has to become a new rule.
This same counter-argument above has been used against the idea that there should be a rule that everything that Staff says in official capacity should be true - having individual staff members make a decision that can't be changed can definitely be dangerous. I don't have to say why, I think. That fact that staff members are thoroughly vetted before joining mitigates this somewhat, but staff members are people, and people can make mistakes, as demonstrated here.
This was not an official handler-facing rule, but it was internal policy. References:SOTF Help wrote:While staff has, at some points, allowed a 24-hour grace period prior to sending activity notices, this was never an official rule and it is no longer in practice as it made properly keeping track of activity and keeping staffers all on the same page difficult.
Logs have been posted. I respectfully disagree with the interpretation in question; Ciel requests that the staffer check Help, the staffer does so and claims to be consulting with the staff team, and then a response is issued.SOTF Help wrote:Immediately after receiving his notice, Ciel messaged a single staffer personally to state that he had been in the process of posting when the notice was sent. In light of this, that single staffer, without allowing for deliberation from the staff team as a whole, erroneously rescinded the notice.
This has come up a few times in discussions, but what constitutes an official appeal? Where is this defined? The initial response was sent through SOTF_Help. This is logged. As I've said, it's certainly not a good appeal, but I see no evidence it's not an appeal overall, and I do think it's incorrect to frame it otherwise.SOTF Help wrote:When the rest of the staff team was available to review the decision, it was ruled to be incorrect and the terminal notice was reinstated. At this point, Ciel had not made an official appeal and was now given the chance to do so through the proper channel of Help.
This isn't quite correct. He contacted me to discuss the situation. I smiled and nodded and expressed condolences until the granting and rescinding came up. That became a pretty major issue for me. It remains so. I was aware of the other facets of the issue, but I don't think staff handled them inappropriately in any way and have no interest in arguing them.SOTF Help wrote:At this point, Ciel contacted MurderWeasel to claim that staff had unfairly declared his character inactive without giving him a chance to appeal.
This is true, though all conversations were individual staffers speaking for themselves, as I've noted before. The general consensus was that I had not misunderstood the situation.SOTF Help wrote:MurderWeasel contacted staff through Help to share his concerns about the situation. Multiple staffers spoke with him and explained the situation, but he felt that this merited public discussion and made this thread.
Respectfully, I do not see evidence of accepting responsibility for the initial error. To accept responsibility is to admit fault and set things right within one's power. That either has not been done, or the way staff sees handling fault varies from how I see it (differing opinions are of course fair, but I'd argue the results here are unfair). In this case, I do feel that the fair way to handle things and show true acceptance of responsibility would be to honor the original appeal, then take whatever internal actions are necessary to prevent recurrences (personally, I doubt that much beyond a simple "Staff don't do this again" would be required, given that this has become such a wide topic of discussion.SOTF Help wrote:It must be reiterated now that at the time, the matter had already been settled. A decision had been officially reached almost a week prior to this threads creation. Staff accepts full responsibility for the initial error in handling this case and any confusion or inconvenience that it caused, but that error had no bearing on the eventual outcome.
I mildly disagree here. Had Ciel posted at the same time without any initial warning PM being sent, would staff have marked him terminal? Clearly no--people go over two weeks all the time and get away with it by sliding under staff's radar. Retroactive enforcement has, to my recollection, been brought down on someone once in site history. It was on Mini, and it came after several explicit warnings that retroactive punishment would be applied. It still didn't feel very good.SOTF Help wrote:Ciel is not being punished for a staff error. His character was terminally inactive and was taken care of in the same way as any other terminally inactive character would be at this point in the game. He was allowed to appeal through the proper channels, he did so, and his appeals were denied after the proper amount of staff deliberation.
Thank you for the clarification. As noted, I don't think the thread in question really applies here at all since the procedure it outlines is the one Ciel followed, and if this is a recurrent issue elsewhere it's not my place to address it.SOTF Help wrote:Since this has also come up, the recent PSA about contacting staff through the proper channels was not a direct response to Ciel's actions either. It was written in response to multiple instances throughout the current version of handlers messaging individual staff members through PM, chat, or other channels with questions or concerns better sent through Help, which just makes it harder to keep all of staff on the same page.
While I still disagree with all the stuff I've noted above, I do want to pull this out as the incredible act of lenience it is. If staff are settled in the other matters, this is, as stated a few posts ago, way above and beyond and a major exception. I think it's pretty important to highlight this and give massive credit where it's due (while, of course, continuing my poking at the issues I have with other facets of this).SOTF Help wrote:While it is important to uphold the rules of the game, it is equally important to maintain an enjoyable writing environment for handlers and to avoid complete character destruction as what may have happened with the characterization of Bart and Scout. As such, Aura and Ciel may have five days to draft a one-shot death for their respective characters and submit them to SotF_Help. Staff will work with you on any questionable details such as time, location, or any other requests you may have.
I never made such a claim. I have said nothing that even remotely approaches "Staff didn't give me a chance to appeal". Not once. Not in this thread, not in public chat, not in private messages to Toben.Staff Post wrote:At this point, Ciel contacted MurderWeasel to claim that staff had unfairly declared his character inactive without giving him a chance to appeal.
It is troubling that staff still have not officially addressed the message I sent SOTF_Help.Staff Post wrote:Immediately after receiving his notice, Ciel messaged a single staffer personally to state that he had been in the process of posting when the notice was sent. In light of this, that single staffer, without allowing for deliberation from the staff team as a whole, erroneously rescinded the notice.
My argument was mainly about the revoking of the appeal approval, as the explanation was vague and made absolutely no sense to me at the time. Staff error is grounds for immediate appeal of terminal activity. I also felt extremely uncomfortable talking about the real life emergency in question, and I saw no reason to bring it up because I thought I had a case.Staff Post wrote:Ciel made his appeal, which did not include details of a medical emergency. The appeal was denied on the basis of consistent inactivity without an away post or other notification to staff.
My grounds for appeal were due to my laptop's keyboard, which broke the evening before the inactivity notice was sent, and that I was posting as all of my characters up until that point. Here are two pictures that I submitted as evidence. As I recall, 'technical errors' are sufficient grounds to appeal. I only mentioned real life circumstances in passing at the time because I felt like I owed staff an explanation for the earlier activity warning and the inactivity leading up to the Christmas holiday. The technical problem was the crux of my argument.Staff Post wrote:A similar communication occurred when his character Jasmine Reed was marked terminal in December, and he was informed that he could post as Away without having to give out full details of the situation.
Because there was no medical emergency when Audrey went inactive. Why would I mention something that did not occur yet? In truth I did post as Audrey in order to get her and another handler's character out of a dangerzone, and my appeal was mainly concerning the situation Audrey was in at the time.Staff Post wrote:His character Audrey Reyes was marked terminal just two weeks before Scout went terminal, and Ciel made no mention of an emergency in his appeal on Audrey.
I was never considered terminally inactive in v5. I was warned once, that's it. You said something similar to this in your official denial of my appeal.Staff Post wrote:This pattern of consistent inactivity followed by multiple appeals from Ciel goes back to at least V5.
I sent you a response stating that I did not recall ever receiving special leniency, let alone requesting any. Also, I do not see why something as flaccid as an activity warning that happened three years ago would matter in the grand scheme of things. Lives change in that amount of time. People marry and bear children twiceover in that amount of time.Staff PM wrote:We received appeals in similar context dating back three years ago in V5 that were handled more leniently at your request as special exception.