The Writeoff Association 926 members · 662 stories
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Trick Question
Group Contributor

I have to post this message here to communicate with my fellow Writeoff pn0yz when I'm not currently in a competition with them (which happens less frequently these days as I am not super enthused by the nonpony story sessions). I can't get a word in edgewise on the Discord server because of a certain pony who won't stop constantly drawing attention to herself every five seconds, even when I repeatedly beg her to be quiet or go to the other channel for ten minutes so I can ask about something. :twilightangry2:

So, I have two questions. The first one is, what about that Writeoff server? Is it still nothing more than a constant attention-grabbing toy, or has that pony died? Does anypony who shares my difficulty have any idea how to solve this problem? It's depressing because the Discord chat used to be useful for actual questions about writing. :fluttershysad: I have no problems on any other Discord server, because she isn't on the others, and nopony else I've met on Discord is that self-centered and rude. (Actually, in my entire history on the internet I've never met somepony who acts like she does—it must take a neigh-exhausting amount of effort to constantly reply to every single statement with something intentionally vapid and off-topic. It's rather impressive, in a way.)

The second one is the question I actually came here to ask. :twilightsheepish: Does anypony remember a story I did about Twilight being banished by Celestia after Lesson Zero, and she refuses to take 'no' for an answer? It's a minific I'm ready to post soon, and I seem to remember getting feedback on it previously. But it wasn't submitted for a Writeoff, so I'm not sure, plus brain problems. :derpytongue2:

Thanks for any response! :pinkiehappy:

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

5901913 I've never used the writeoff discord chat--I think you must mean a writeoff-related discord server, not the writeoff server--but it sounds like it's a chatbot, not a human. Someone should kick off chatbots that aren't useful, but in the meantime you can block messages from a user on any competent chat interface.

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator
Group Contributor

5901993 they're um

Not a chat bot, which is actually kind of weird and unsettling

I'd advise 5901913 just block the user in question and wash their hands of them, honestly.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5901993
5902031
She's definitely real, she just won't stop interrupting. Constantly. Forever. She even sends PMs to all of the Writeoff people and accosts us in private for even more attention. It's almost unreal. I wish she had another outlet.

The problem with blocking her is that I still see other ponies' replies to her, which can be almost as numerous: ponies try to be nice to her and interact, even though the interaction is always bizarre—all she does is make extremely obtuse puns. Like, she might see you post a question, and respond with something like, "Hoarse you Badder today?", and then do the same thing to every Sundamn response you or anypony else makes.

The tragedy is that the Writeoff server is actually useful. It used to be a place where ponies would horsedick around, but if you had a serious question about something, they'd drop the comedy and offer some advice. And you could discuss the Writeoff there and gauge interest in various stories and approaches to the prompt, both before and after the competition was underway.

Against my better judgment, I'm considering doing the following:

1. Come crawling back to the Writeoff server

2. The next time I want non-shit feedback, politely ask the pony in question if she could go eat a sammich, or take a nap, or do something quietly by herself, or even go to the casual channel for just ten bucking minutes so I can get serious feedback

3. Watch as she refuses to stop posting—again (the last time I tried this she literally complained that she didn't want to go to the casual channel because nopony was paying attention to her there)

4. Wonder why I tried to come back to the server

5. Flounce

Waterpear
Group Contributor

5902144

Blocking might still be useful. From a cursory glance at #chat, it seems most people have learned that interacting with the user in question is a waste of time, so the bulk of her spam goes unanswered.

wYvern
Group Contributor

Thank you for making me realize there are other text channels and the discord isn't JUST banter. Makes me feel kinda stupid. I was a rare guest until now, but I guess I'll be checking in more regularly during writeoffs.

Edit: don't know about your story, sorry.

horizon
Group Admin

**moderator hat**

5901913
I sympathize with your frustration, but this thread might be against site rules, as it is making public accusations against a specific person by name. (I say "might" only because I'm not certain whether FIMFiction's rule applies to people in general, or just other FIMFiction users.)

I strongly suggest doing the following:

1) Block the user as 5902031 suggests;
2) Speak directly with moderators of the Discord server, to take any further action required (Discord has a private message system, or PM people here if they're in both places);
3) Delete this thread before it potentially becomes a site moderation issue.

Re #2, I do not know off the top of my head who the Discord moderators are. (I am not one.) If it is difficult for you to find out that information I can do so. I probably should, regardless, just to get that information posted to the group homepage.

I understand that you are feeling excluded by another person's behavior, and that needs to be addressed, because the Writeoffs should be a place where everyone feels welcome. Unfortunately, due to FIMFiction site rules — and the fact that the problematic interactions are taking place off-site, with different moderators — this is the wrong place for the grievance. If it is also happening here, PM me and/or site moderators immediately.

I am not trying to take sides in this dispute. I'm trying to prevent a drama explosion that needs to be handled on Discord or via PM.

Note to other users:

I am not deleting or locking this thread … yet. But if it escalates any further, it's getting nuked immediately, and I'm probably deleting it by the end of the day regardless. Please think carefully before you reply, and keep suggestions productive and non-personal.

Posh
Group Contributor

5902031

>> Bad Horse they're um

Not a chat bot, which is actually kind of weird and unsettling

Consider the implications of someone being disturbing enough to unnerve Majin "I Made Shoes For My Rabbit From The Skin Of My Other Rabbit" Syeekoh.

Anyway, yeah, just block 'em and soldier on forward.

5902196

Re #2, I do not know off the top of my head who the Discord moderators are. (I am not one.) If it is difficult for you to find out that information I can do so. I probably should, regardless, just to get that information posted to the group homepage.

The discord chat's only moderator is, oddly enough, Discord himself, who finds the chaos arousing and does very little moderating as a consequence.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5902196
I've removed the Discord pseudonym for the user in question, but I appreciate the call for discretion. I'll mull this over more.

I do feel very bad about all of this! :fluttershysad: I don't hate her or blame her—it doesn't seem like she has any control over her own behavior. I don't want to block her, because I want her to be able to talk to me if she has some valid reason to contact me, or has something to get off her saddle. I want to be nice to her. I just don't know how to do all those things without leaving the server. That's why I left the server.

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator
Group Contributor

5902215

Majin “I Made Shoes For My Rabbit From The Skin Of My Other Rabbit” Syeekoh

I will cherish this moniker forever and ever.

horizon
Group Admin

**moderator hat**

5902232
Thank you. This conversation still feels a little like an unexploded land mine to me, but if we're staying within site rules and this thread is offering you progress toward a solution, I'll step back and let the conversation continue.

5902215
I realize you're joking about the Discord channel moderator, but just so it's here for the record: the way Discord works is that the person who created the server also has full administrative privileges (including message moderation, user kicks/bans, etc). So there is at least one moderator in existence. If they go into the server configuration (which is easy, you can do it via the web client) and set up "Roles", they can delegate those moderation powers to other trusted members. That's generally a good idea, so that if there's a problem everyone's not waiting on the one admin (who might be asleep, on vacation, etc).

I know that at least *some* roles have been set up, because there are some people whose names show up in a different color. (I'm one of them, because I was granted talk powers on the voice channel when I helped with the podcast a month or two back.) I just don't know which, if any, of those roles has moderator powers.

horizon
Group Admin

And speaking personally:

5902232

I want her to be able to talk to me if she has some valid reason to contact me, or has something to get off her saddle. I want to be nice to her.

This is good, and I commend you for it!

I don't hate her or blame her—

Also good!

— it doesn't seem like she has any control over her own behavior.

This, on the other hand …

Sometimes, I think, being nice means giving people agency, even if it means admitting there's a problem you can't fix.

What's the alternative? If it's really true that This Person cannot control their behavior, then the problem is literally insoluble aside from "you leaving" or "them being banned", because right now you're miserable and further interactions will not change that.

If they are capable of change, then it's up to them to meet you halfway. Until they do, all you can control is your own reaction, and the only sane way to do that is to take care of your own sanity first. A message to them saying "The way you choose to interact with the channel really annoys me, and I need to block you so I can come here and still have fun, but please speak to <Person X> and have them pass on a message to me if there's something besides off-topic replies you'd like to talk to me about" leaves them a window, and an incentive to try something different.

Edited to add: Relevant.

bookplayer
Group Contributor

5901913
I have no skin in this game because I don't use Discord and haven't had time for a writeoff in forever, but since I don't do well with group chats in general, even ones full of nice, friendly people, I thought for your writing advice needs I'd offer the method I use (if it's even possible on Discord, that is.)

I personally have several smaller chats on skype, with two or three other people in them. This works well for writing talk, because there's usually someone around and if there's not the message probably won't be eaten by the back scroll, and because it's easier to wait for a break in the conversation to ask something and have room to really talk about the question and go in depth. And, of course, I don't have to deal with responding to off-topic nonsense or questionable advice when I'm asking a question.

I don't know if it would work for you, but its served me well.

The Letter J
Group Contributor

5902303
I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention lately, but unless something has changed recently, I'm pretty sure that Roger is the only mod on the server. The other roles just have permissions related to the voice channels.

AndrewRogue
Group Contributor

I shall join the litany of individuals saying "if you have a consistent issue with someone that you feel can't be solved, just block them."

Always the best solution.

Pascoite
Group Contributor

Is it telling that I've never logged into a write-off chat since long before it left Skype and I never discuss the write-off chat (aside from enduring Cassius's pestering to rejoin it), yet I still know exactly who you're talking about?

5902365

I'm pretty sure that Roger is the only mod on the server. The other roles just have permissions related to the voice channels.

Not_A_Hat can assign voice-related chat roles, but he has no kicking authority as far as I'm aware. Roger is the only person with any authority to kick and ban people, and I don't think that is likely to change. He tends to be fairly laissez-faire about people's interactions in the chat, unless there is a direct and blatant breaking of the chat rules.

5903506

I posted mainly just to respond to this. Do you really know, Pasco? Should PM me the name on Discord.

5903525

Good Mono. You get pets.

Sunny
Group Contributor

Without being entirely certain who it is (Though I have an idea) it would seem like there is some degree of, ah, a bunch of people all saying 'Yea, this individual is...not a positive force' and at that point it does kind of seem like that's cause for intervention of some kind.

That is at Roger's discretion, of course, but I'm seeing a lot of people diplomatically express the equivalent of 'I do not care for this person but don't want to exclude them' and nobody expressing the reverse and while I understand the reluctance to probate or ban anyone in most geeky communities, sometimes such things may well become necessary and it's better to cauterize the wound quickly than let it fester if that's the case.

SPark
Group Contributor

I don't do the Discord chat thing, so I can't speak to specifics and have no opinion about the person in question, but given some of these comments, it feels a bit like there's a case of Geek Social Fallacies going on here...

RogerDodger
Group Admin

I will talk to the user in question to try and resolve this. Most probable outcome is I ban her from the chat.

This has been a problem for a while, and my plan till now has been to hope she leaves of her own accord.

I think having half the server mute her is a particularly terrible solution. She won't know why she's being ignored, and it'll create fragmented conversations when people who don't have her muted respond to her. It also doesn't really solve the problem of her flooding the chat with noise.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5903640
I'd rather not have her banned from the server if there's any way around it. If there were a way to ban her from a single channel in the server (or post moderation, or provide someponies with authority to give her a 'time-out'), that would be more than sufficient.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5902354
Discord is many times more awesome than Skype, but if you want to have a multi-chat in private you need to create a server (which takes five seconds but is a little odd). It works well enough, though.

Currently "Dickmare Central" is the title of one I use to talk to two locals (Morning Sun and the guy in my house who I've lived with for like a dozen years) and also one of my more obsessive fans. :trollestia: :facehoof: One of the advantages of Discord is that the history is pretty much limitless on chats, and can include uploaded files and links. (But really it's the easy-to-use interface and not needing multiple windows open that makes it shine.)

But I fear that "invite ponies to a server to discuss writing until everypony but the pony in question and ponies I don't know personally are members" might be the result. The point of having a Writeoff server is that it is the Writeoff server, essentially.

EDIT: That said, I appreciate the advice! It is good and something I should do more often.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5902337
I agree for the most part about agency. I wouldn't ever tell that pony in person that they have no control over their actions, because I want them to. I'm just not certain if they are willing or able to change at this point in their life (eventually, sure, just not today).

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5903614
Wow. That really spoke to me. :pinkiegasp:

hazeyhooves
Group Contributor

5903738

Discord is many times more awesome than Skype, but if you want to have a multi-chat in private you need to create a server (which takes five seconds but is a little odd). It works well enough, though.

Here's how to do the private group chats: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/223657667

horizon
Group Admin

5903739
By the way, if you felt like I was trying to shut the conversation down at the start, I'm sorry for that. As 5903611 notes, this is sounding more and more like a "missing stair" class of problem (I'd seen the individual behave that way but I wasn't in the loop on whatever other complaints Roger is referring to), and I'm glad to see that it's being addressed.

My concern from the start was the way this conversation interacted with site rules, when it would have been better to bring it up with 5903640 directly. But in hindsight it might have been the fact that this thread exists that's driving the solution. So I'll think more carefully about my initial response to this sort of complaint in the future.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

5903950
I didn't feel that way. (I'm sensitive but not dumb.) :derpytongue2:

This is an issue I had already brought up with Roger in private previously on two occasions. I was under the impression that I was the only pony who felt the forum was useless due to her involvement, in which case it wasn't correct for me to ask Roger to take action.

Honestly the main reason I made this thread was to figure out if anypony had read that story or not, since I could have sworn I'd received feedback on it. The rest was just me bitching because I keep getting questions from Writeoff members about why I'm not on the chat (and I wanted to reduce the frequency of that thing there).

Sunny
Group Contributor

5903614 I may have been thinking of exactly those, but didn't want to cite them directly. Send I wasn't the only one with that thought :rainbowwild:

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