[Discord] DM Harassment

Cookie Kat

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#1
Hello, today I will be addressing an issue that I'm quite familiar with- DM harassment, specifically over Discord.

Recently, I have seen an inexplicable increase of DMs on discord that are hateful, or disrespectful towards me or other people. This is not okay, I understand that this is the internet, and people are going to be rude; however, it is starting to get to the point where it feels like people are intentionally harassing people in DMs to evade punishment. I know that the staff are not responsible for anything that happens outside of the server, but some of the things that people are able to say in DMs can be very hurtful and detrimental to people's mental health and self-esteem. I see it like this- staff punish players in the discord for being rude or disrespectful. However, a player can just as easily go into someone's DMs and harass them there. Yes, I am well aware that it is easy to just block them, but when it happens over and over again, it gets very annoying very quickly.

I have a simple solution to this problem. I believe that DM harassment should be a warnable/bannable offence. In doing so, it will hopefully encourage players to stop abusing this loophole in the rules.
 

Icebarge

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#2
Heyo, and nice seeing another one of your posts!

First off I'm sorry to hear that you've been having some more negative experiences lately, that's never fun and hopefully you're able to find a bit more positivity in the coming future! I totally agree with most of what you're saying, where if someone wants to further insult or argue with another player it's very often they'll move to private messages for a variety of reasons, one of which could be to evade punishments. Personally I have my discord set to only allow friends to message me, and this prevents a lot of scams / bots from messaging me, and also would probably prevent scenarios like this.

As for punishing players for Private messages within discord, I do think that there are some instances that might call for staff action, however overall I don't think staff should be responsible for platforms outside the Manacube server, forums, or Discord server. A big reason for this is that it's very difficult to moderate several different platforms, and also it's hard to tell who is who when punishing for private messages where someone's name is not linked to them in any sort of way. I know firsthand that forging discord evidence is incredibly easy and also very hard to identify as forged, which results in a problem for the staff team, since they don't have logs for private messages. While I'm sure that this wouldn't be a huge concern, the possibility of forging evidence along with an inconsistent lack of information makes it hard for any staff team to moderate external social media platforms. Also, note that staff can only ban players on Manacube platforms, so if you're being harassed outside of these platforms or servers it's not like banning them from Manacube will prevent or stop them.

That being said, I do understand your point that sometimes harassment in DM's can go to far. If this is a constant issue, blocking the player or simply not reading there messages in the first place is a great way to avoid that situation. If you constantly have people targeting you, turning on friends only messaging is a great choice, and will also help out. I do think that if you can sufficiently prove someone is taking lengths outside the server to harass you, DDOS, or anything more severe that may also impact other community members, then it would be best to report this to staff so that they can prevent other people in the community from being affected. I think at the end of the day a lot of Private Messaging problems can be prevented by taking initiative without the help of staff.

Thanks for reading, and look forward to seeing more posts as always,

- Icebarge
 

iFlame

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#3
Hi Stormy.

As Icebarge has mentioned, we can not punish anyone outside of Manacube. If the harassment is an ongoing thing, I suggest disabling direct messages from strangers to prevent it from happening.

Regards, iFlame
 

Cookie Kat

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#5
Heyo, and nice seeing another one of your posts!

First off I'm sorry to hear that you've been having some more negative experiences lately, that's never fun and hopefully you're able to find a bit more positivity in the coming future! I totally agree with most of what you're saying, where if someone wants to further insult or argue with another player it's very often they'll move to private messages for a variety of reasons, one of which could be to evade punishments. Personally I have my discord set to only allow friends to message me, and this prevents a lot of scams / bots from messaging me, and also would probably prevent scenarios like this.

As for punishing players for Private messages within discord, I do think that there are some instances that might call for staff action, however overall I don't think staff should be responsible for platforms outside the Manacube server, forums, or Discord server. A big reason for this is that it's very difficult to moderate several different platforms, and also it's hard to tell who is who when punishing for private messages where someone's name is not linked to them in any sort of way. I know firsthand that forging discord evidence is incredibly easy and also very hard to identify as forged, which results in a problem for the staff team, since they don't have logs for private messages. While I'm sure that this wouldn't be a huge concern, the possibility of forging evidence along with an inconsistent lack of information makes it hard for any staff team to moderate external social media platforms. Also, note that staff can only ban players on Manacube platforms, so if you're being harassed outside of these platforms or servers it's not like banning them from Manacube will prevent or stop them.

That being said, I do understand your point that sometimes harassment in DM's can go to far. If this is a constant issue, blocking the player or simply not reading there messages in the first place is a great way to avoid that situation. If you constantly have people targeting you, turning on friends only messaging is a great choice, and will also help out. I do think that if you can sufficiently prove someone is taking lengths outside the server to harass you, DDOS, or anything more severe that may also impact other community members, then it would be best to report this to staff so that they can prevent other people in the community from being affected. I think at the end of the day a lot of Private Messaging problems can be prevented by taking initiative without the help of staff.

Thanks for reading, and look forward to seeing more posts as always,

- Icebarge
I thought of turning my DMs off so only friends could message me- the only issue with that is I can't message anyone who isn't on my friends list either. If I wanted to report something to staff, I'd have to have one of them added, seeing as it's caused issues in the past for me to report things via the help channels. Though, I still appreciate the suggestion.

As for the forged evidence, if someone is accused of DM harassment, and someone "forged evidence," whoever is being accused of harassment can screenshare with a mod. A friend of mine was accused of being "racist" and the accuser created false evidence against her- after talking to a mod and streaming her DMs with that person, the mod dismissed the situation and said that if she got punished for the false claims against her, to let them know so they could clear the situation up. I believe that a ban would be sufficient for excessive DM harassment because you can't message someone unless they have you added or you share a server with them. However, I would also add that the person should be warned a couple of times before being banned to make it fairer and less strict.

Really I just want to stop things like this from happening...
However, I do appreciate your response, and I'll definitely think about turning my DMs off to prevent further incidents.
 

Ja_son__

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#6
That's a good point, however I think the answer lies in the fact that advertising is easier to find that just people that harass, as one takes more time than the other to settle

For me, if there're proofs of it like pm leaks, a punishement should be given, that's all
 

Cookie Kat

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#7
The other problem I have with turning DMs off is the fact I love interacting with the community, and because I am perm muted the only way for me to communicate is through DMs. In fact, many of the staff and players I talk to today probably would have never met me if I hadn't messaged them myself. I understand that this is more of a "me" problem, but I'd say it could apply to other people as well.
 

Ja_son__

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#8
If people are harassing you, considering yourself as being a problem or a part of the problem is already a mistake

Harassement should be at least muteable on the game, but the problem is that you have to find the Discord IGN and check if the two IGN's check, then mute and then make a report that you muted him I guess

I think it'll take too much time to do it, but imo it still has to be done
 

Cookie Kat

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#9
"Extra work" or "too much work" I feel are invalid excuses. It's implying that the staff can't be bothered to do the "extra work" to keep their community members safer. I am well aware that staff are very busy, and they are only volunteers, but if the community is something they TRULY are passionate about and actually DO CARE about then they shouldn't say "it's too much work." Even coming up with some other reasonings would be nice, but saying that it's "just too much work," is very flimsy reasoning and makes you sound lazy.
 

Cookie Kat

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#10
Additional note addressing getting people's usernames. I'm referring to the discord platform alone. I believe harassment in-game and on the forums is punishable. In my little scenario, a member gets banned for DM harassment on the discord, I don't see it much different from the whole DM advertising. What happens on the discord wouldn't transfer to the server, they'd still be able to play there, and go on the forums whatnot. However, they wouldn't be able to access the discord. If the behaviour continued across platforms, then the staff would take further action. I hope this clears up any confusion if you have any other questions, comments or concerns please let me know.
 

ChocBar

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#14
I would like to clear up some misinformation.

While it is true that your behavior and safety on other platforms is your responsibility, in some rare cases, staff will get involved. This occurs rarely as it is extremely difficult to prove … not because it takes too much time, or because staff do not care.

As frequent targets of harassment, staff do understand the emotional toll it can take. When I am harassed via DMs (rarely), I report the players to Discord, and block them. This is also the most effective strategy for players. While it is difficult to provide sufficient evidence to ManaCube staff (due to the ease of faking evidence), it is easy to report toxic players to Discord’s Trust and Safety Team.

As a side note, when a player provides fake evidence to staff they will be punished. The punishment may be anything from a temp mute to a permanent ban from our Discord.
 

LiLKayla

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#15
Howdy Stormy,

I am terribly sorry you are dealing with these issues, as other have suggested I highly agree with blocking accounts- and then quickly moving on. I deeply live by the saying, "it only bothers you, as much as you let it." I understand this might not be plausible for all situations- but it is something to keep in mind. However- there are some inaccuracies in this thread as well.

When we, the staff team, say we cannot punish for instances that happen in direct messages, this is only for 99.9% of cases. What I mean by this is- if the problems happening in direct messages are extreme and/or happening to multiple people across the server we can consider looking into it. Let me elaborate if someone uses Manacube as a "playground" to find people to harass, we are more likely to do something about it. Of course, advertisement is something we almost always punish automatically when it happens in direct messages without warning.

p.s I am really sorry some people take it upon themselves to hurt others- I really wish we could work towards a more positive environment, even in direct messages.

If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to ask me, I'd love to help all of you as much as possible.


[EDIT] p.s.s I was typing this while purpz replied haha, but yes- what she says sums up my thoughts very well.

best, kayla
 

Cookie Kat

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#16
I never ever really thought about reporting things to the Discord Trust and Safety Team, as I saw it more difficult to gather evidence for them compared to filing reports on Manacube. They ask for message links, and if you have that person blocked or if the messages have been deleted, it's much more difficult to gather the evidence needed. Plus, in most cases (at least the ones I've gotten responses from), the Discord Safety Team advises that you talk to an admin on the server.

I was aware that there were some cases where staff may intervene, but those rarely happen and are hardly discussed so I never really thought about it when creating this thread. However, I did discuss with another member about repeated malicious harassment that could have more dire consequences such as telling people to commit s**cide or D**S threats. (thought I should censor it just in case...)

The creation of this thread was more of a result of my frustration on part of the staff not really doing anything about different cases of "harassment" that most definitely broke the rules on Manacube. DMs were leaked in that situation, and while a mod did intervene, both parties were told to simply block each other. I do recall that one party continued to cause trouble afterwards, and they were muted but there was a lot of escalation in both situations.

I too am sorry for those who go out of their way to make people feel miserable. While it is frustrating that some may continue to use this "loophole" I do believe that the subject of "DM Harassment" has been covered. But please, for future reference... if you're going to say shit about me, please think about it again, and if you actually have a legitimate complaint, then at least report me to the staff PRIVATELY and don't come in my DMs just to try and harass me, it's super annoying and I really don't want to have to turn off my DMs.

I hope this thread will help everyone learn a bit more, and perhaps reconsider going around and "harassing" members in their DMs as it's very unpleasant and as I mentioned before can be detrimental towards one's mental health/self-esteem. Quite honestly, telling people to "get over it" or "grow a thicker skin" doesn't really help. It's important that we are all mindful of one another's feelings. We all handle situations differently, and it's important that any conflict at all is avoided. If we can do that, then maybe there will be fewer flame wars and arguments.

Edit: thank you to the staff who responded, it was super helpful and informative
 

Cookie Kat

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#17
After discussing with friends, I have decided to turn off my DMs. Apparently you have to do it for every server you're on...? Anyways- if you want to talk to me, you'll have to add me on Discord. You can add me @StormySkiesYT#6166.
 
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#19
Hello, today I will be addressing an issue that I'm quite familiar with- DM harassment, specifically over Discord.

Recently, I have seen an inexplicable increase of DMs on discord that are hateful, or disrespectful towards me or other people. This is not okay, I understand that this is the internet, and people are going to be rude; however, it is starting to get to the point where it feels like people are intentionally harassing people in DMs to evade punishment. I know that the staff are not responsible for anything that happens outside of the server, but some of the things that people are able to say in DMs can be very hurtful and detrimental to people's mental health and self-esteem. I see it like this- staff punish players in the discord for being rude or disrespectful. However, a player can just as easily go into someone's DMs and harass them there. Yes, I am well aware that it is easy to just block them, but when it happens over and over again, it gets very annoying very quickly.

I have a simple solution to this problem. I believe that DM harassment should be a warnable/bannable offence. In doing so, it will hopefully encourage players to stop abusing this loophole in the rules.
This is incredibly valid, although the answer to this is within your power as to disable harassment within discord. The second you start responding to that player I’d pretty much say the staff don’t want anything to do with it because you are fueling the fire at that point. I understand things can be hurtful, but staff have ONLY ever gotten involved if it threatens the safety to you or your fellow community members on the server. This becomes your own liability at this point. A dispute takes two, remember that.

If it sincerely bothers you to this much of an extent, I suggest you lean on your support circle and change your discord safety settings.
 

menaciingly

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#20
after talking to a mod and streaming her DMs with that person, the mod dismissed the situation and said that if she got punished for the false claims against her, to let them know so they could clear the situation up.
This is also easy to lie about though, you can easily delete any messages you sent to another person in DM and/or use discord modifications to clear your dms of the conversation to prove yourself innocent. It's not a very consistent way of punishment, truthfully.

But then why is advertising in DMs bannable?
As has been said (I believe by Kayla), if it's happening to multiple players and is happening without prompt or warning, the staff team look into it because they acknowledge that this is happening to more than just one player, is a fully fleshed out advertisement, and isn't necessarily targeting one specific player but a group of players to try and join, whereas harassment is usually targeting a player for something.