Reporting is helpful to mods, so I do it whenever I see stuff that's out of place. Usually I report threads that are in the wrong place, haven't come across a person to report, though I mostly hang here and in the AT so there aren't many trolls/anger-mongers.
I do report still and I did fairly recently, actually.
The best part about it is when I get a PM thanking me for the report.
I never really think I'll get one so when I do it is a pleasant little surprise.
Nice to know they are fast to look into those kind of things.
I mostly report spam & misplaced threads, & I almost always get a replies from mods who handle issues I report.
Gaia mods are on top of things & take care of business within about 24 hours of reporting.
Their replies make me keep reporting. I like to know that my help is doing some type of good here.
I rarely reported people.
The only thing I reported people for was when we got attacked by huge threads of animal porn/violence and other crazy s**t.
And even that was unnecessary because that was obvious haha.
Reporting is indeed very helpful as the moderating system here relies on reports made by users.
Moderators wouldn't do such a good job without our dedicated reporters!
I consider regular reporters as being as helpful to the site than Moderators or Forum Assistants, and I'm grateful they're helping us removing bad content no one wants to see on Gaia. cat_3nodding
They're definitely contributing to keeping Gaia a nice and safe place, as the reports are what we base our moderating on.
Decisions we take when handling a reported account are not public so you don't know what's been done, but all reports are taken care of eventually. We don't always send "thank you" messages for every report as it would take way too much time we'd better use to handle more reports, but personally I send a good amount of them every week, mostly for serious violations that were reported.
Banned users have the right to make a new account and come back because here on Gaia we believe in second chances. :]
Of course there are exceptions to this for users we know only come back for malicious purposes.
Also, keep in mind getting your account banned means losing all your items and gold in the process, as well as personal messages and such... there's always something to lose.
But what really pisses me off is that some people get away with it. For instance, there are a few accounts which always make multiple, really vulgar and explicit posts and threads, which are all reported, but the mods don't do anything. neutral Even after months of reporting those posts and threads, that account still exists and keeps repeating those offenses.
If the offense is serious like you said, then in no way mods wouldn't do anything.
It might take a while for reports to be handled in certain areas of the site, but not so long if it's sexually explicit material or such. Make sure you report under the right category to make sure the report is noticed as priority (like, avoid reporting a thread as "misplaced" when it actually contains sexual content). Also, don't be like "oh, someone else will report this, so it's not necessary I do...", as it's the best way to leave something not reported at all.
However, please consider users are allowed a certain freedom of speech, here, and the site is for people who are 13 and more - it's not meant for children!
Some things that may bother you may not be against the rules, hence giving you this feeling that nothing is done. Reporting people for cussing/swearing, for instance, is useless as Gaia users are allowed to speak in a colloquial way. They're also allowed to talk about a great variety of subjects as long as they're not inappropriate.
This is also why we have the Ignore system. If there's a user you don't want to see around because they tend to be vulgar, too flirty or whatever else they're allowed to do within the ToS, you're free to add them to your Ignore list so you don't have to see their posts anymore. ^^
And even if multiple people have reported someone for a violation or for harassment, oftentimes that person does not get banned. What I have heard is that some people are friends with mods, and that they get away with doing whatever they want, because they have immunity... Of course, that is just hearsay.
Being reported doesn't mean getting a warning, and getting a warning doesn't mean getting banned.
Decisions are never taken lightly, and we always carefully investigate before getting to any conclusion.
The number of reports made against a same user doesn't matter. What we'll take into consideration are actual facts/actual violation, the gravity, etc.
Moderators must be neutral. If they're not and let their friends get away with anything, they'll most certainly end up getting permabanned themselves for not following moderating rules. This is taken very seriously, and this is also why mods aren't just picked at random, and have to go through training first. Rest assured, Admins make sure users who get in the mod team are not the kind you described.
If one of my friends commits a violation, I won't try and protect them. They're big boys/girls and they're responsible for their acts just like everyone else. There is no such thing as "immunity" for being friends with a mod! (sorry for the people who added me for this) xD
It's the same if a mod breaks the ToS. They'll get in trouble too - even more trouble than regular users as they're supposed to know better in the first place, so they have no excuse!
If you see a mod doing something unfair or violating rules, you have the right to report them just like everybody else.
Some mods fuss over trivial matters and don't worry about significant ones. Some go around checking very harmless signature images to see if they're over the size limit, instead of dealing with scam reports; others try to punish you, even if you have had a good record of reporting violations, for jokingly posting in an obviously reportable "10k giveaway if you click my dragon eggs" sort of thing...
First, only OmniMods deal with scamming and hacking reports, so it's pretty unfair to blame a Site Mod for handling a signature report instead. Also, sigs are being checked because they've been reported by users... Mods are not sitting there checking users' signatures. xD
Posting in a thread which is against the rules (be it off-site trading like the example you gave) might get you in trouble too, indeed. By doing so you're bumping the thread, hence keeping it visible in the forum, instead of just reporting and let it die until it's being taken care of.
Having a "good record of reporting violations" doesn't give you any kind of immunity either. If you break the rules, you'll be treated as any other user. ;-]
Scam reports often take a long time to be reviewed; if they are, sometimes all you get is "Due to the circumstance that there was not any critical loss, your case has been resolved," and you get nothing. Hack reports are often left unanswered.
And they do all of these things, when there are so many other people who have made their entire Gaian fortunes by offsite trading (I've come across some people who claim that they have done this and have never been caught) or by systematic hacking...
Moderators are just humans, and they're volunteering on their free time, when they're not working or studying. They all do their best to help as much as they can, but of course not all reports can be handled immediately as there are so many filed everyday and we're only a small team.
I'm sorry to hear you have misconceptions about moderators. cat_sweatdrop
Please don't believe everything people claim here or there! (like all these poor users who are always banned for no reason... trust me, there is always a good reason, but they're funnily eluding this part of the story when complaining to other users.)
I hope these few responses will help clearing things a little (I didn't want to write too much, so I just kept it simple).
You're always welcome to ask us questions about rules, or just chat in general. Mods are users, too (busy ones, but users who participate in events, have their favorite games/forums/activities too!).
Maybe if you get a bit more acquainted with us and our work you'll eventually understand how the report/moderating system works more, and realize many things you seem to believe now are untrue. cat_smile
t;dr: Thank you, reporters! Yes, you're important to us and helping a lot! <3
Do you still report even if the problem might come back?
I rarely found that kind of behaviour and my reporting are not subject of ban, though, think that if I did it, could turn somehow into a harrasment,couldn't it?
How often do you report or have you stop doing it?
Rarely and not subject of banning
Do you think Gaia should improve the report system or how they ban users?
Yes, if there is a weakness and there is a presence of continuous bad behaviour, many have suggested to create an IP ban, but this system as well have a weakness.
So I think, that what Gaia is doing for now, is just right, besides there isn't a so persistent person that could try to infinitum, is there?
Saying it's not effective to report because people will just come back is like saying a police force isn't effective because people will still commit crime.
The ones who make alt accounts are the ones who haven't grown out of the attention needs they want out of an internet forum.
But it's far from everyone that can get reported and are. Reporting someone correcting another person's spelling or grammar, or posting just quotes or smilies is still worth it to clear the forums of spam.
For every person who comes back to troll again, there's a kid who gets scared shitless when they're threatened with a ban because they didn't know the boundaries.