My issue is inconsistency. Obviously, not all users are equal, nor should they be. By that I mean that if someone with 10k posts decides to balance whine when he rarely ever did in the past, it's not the same as if someone with 100 used 90 of them to balance whine.
These are just a few handpicked posts (obviously I can't link nor find everything) to show what I mean by "inconsistent". I skipped some that were unreported because I understand that the mods can't read every single post, and if they're not reported, they might not see it. I'm still gonna give a few examples of unreported posts that, in my opinion, are warnable, to show that I indeed did skip some of them and I'm not just conveniently handpicking. I also don't mean for this post to be a witch hunt against the users I used as examples (I mean, I could probably use a few of my posts as examples too). But I still felt the need to give examples, to show what I think is wrong.
My first issue is with starcraft personalities/pros getting special treatment:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 (not reported).
(The fourth one is a bit awkward because he insulted a mod/writer/editor, so it would look like personal revenge or something, if it were warned).
Compare to : #1, #2.
To me, this is the best example. Insulting another user is not okay, no matter the context. I've never seen a "standard" user not getting actioned while insulting someone directly. Incontrol gets away with it several times, and I would bet I missed some. I didn't look through every single one of his posts. Incontrol, in general, gets into a lot of fights with TL users for no reason, although that specifically isn't actionable; everyone "gets into fights", especially when balance or matchfixing is involved. My problem is with the (gratuitous) insults, not the fights.
A different matter now, balance whining. It's always a fine line to tread; sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don't. However, Nerchio and Scarlett get away with it quite often.
#1, #2, #3 (You're going to tell me: this is sarcasm, it's a quote from the article! True. But sarcastic people get warned/banned all the time. Still, I guess in the context of this thread it's alright), #4 (not reported), #5 (not reported), #6 (not reported), #7 (not reported. This one is debatable, because he's a pro, pros know more than we do, etc), #8 (not reported)
Bonus: take the time to write a controversial article that raises good points only to get trashed by a progamer, must feel nice I'm sure.
Special/Major balance whines too (not reported). There are more posts from him in that thread as well. To be fair, community feedback threads are always a balance whining-fest. In fact, I wonder if trying to keep the whining in those threads while being really strict outside of them wouldn't be a good thing.
(I'm sure there are more examples, I didn't go through all their posts).
You'll notice I mention Scarlett as a balance whiner at the beginning, but there is only one post linked from her. Well, I'll be honest: I definitely remember seeing her balance whine on several occasions (and never warned, as far as I remember), but couldn't find anything (at least looking only through the last page of her posts). However, searching for those posts, I found a lot of blank posts (should I report them for low content? ) that were edited; who knows what they used to say? Still, maybe I'm wrong about Scarlett, or maybe she used to balance whine a lot but got better recently, I don't know.
Blank posts examples: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
I'll conclude this part by saying this: I understand that pros/personalities get special treatments, especially why they get no permabans or even temporary bans (although a one day ban can't hurt that much). It's nice that they interact with us. But if they straight up insult users, or consistently balance whine (which isn't nearly as bad), or whatever other rule they break, they should get at least a warning.
Obviously, those are the "bad ones". Snute, Rapid, Harstem, Iaguz, etc... are all super nice guys.
This was by far my biggest issue, what follows isn't as important and can probably be explained with "every mod is different and as such, they don't apply the rules exactly the same way". Still, I'm going to point out what looks (to me) like inconsistencies.
Why should this be warned, you ask? Compare it to two weeks ban for a drunk santa image that doesn't hurt anyone. I know history comes into account (as it should), but I don't think I need to remind you that usopsama consistently bashes everything that isn't KeSPA, particularly foreigners.
In my opinion, they both fall under image macro/meme (debatable for example #1), and for example #1, even player bashing (which, once again, he does consistently). To me, they're both as "memey" as each other, and by that I mean not very memey at all. Image macro/meme is a tricky topic (what really counts as a meme?), and so is player bashing (more on that later).
(I'm linking whole pages because it's not just one user. You should also look at the next few pages, those finns sure are something )
Anyway, the point is that one of the links has unreported posts, the other has reports. One has no warnings/bans, the other is full of them.
In my opinion, they shouldn't be a ban (a warning at best), because it's just their way of celebrating when Serral wins (who knows what might happen if there were more Finnish players though ), although I definitely understand the reasoning that leads to warning/banning them. We don't want the forums spammed with pictures or gifs. It's image macro/meme, but it shows that "image macro/meme" isn't clearly defined, because to me there is little difference between that and the earlier examples of Gumiho/drunk santa. To be fair, as I said earlier, if they're not reported, I can't expect mods to warn the posts because they can't possibly read everything (I was asleep too when Serral won WCS Austin).
Those weren't the best examples. I was talking about player bashing, though. It seems like a weird reason to report in general:
A debatable post, but considering there is literally a "player bashing" option for reports, I feel like when someone who clearly didn't watch the games, as stated in his post, assumes a player was "bad", with no justification whatsoever, it falls under player bashing and warrants a warning.
A few other examples, however they weren't reported: #1, #2, #3.
And it's entirely possible they weren't reported because no one gets actioned for player bashing, meaning people don't think of it as breaking the rules, and so they won't report it. Yet it's a reason you can choose in the report list.
Now, if someone like Nerchio (#1, not reported) says you're bad, should it fall under player bashing? I mean, he knows more about the game than most of us do, and is far better at it. In general, I feel like player bashing rarely gets warned/banned (In fact, I don't think I ever witnessed it), no matter the context (if someone tries to explain why X player wasn't playing well (which is fine and shouldn't count as player bashing) vs straight up calling him bad). Frankly, considering how common player bashing (or what seems like it) is, and how little it's warned/banned, the most surprising thing is how it's still an option when you report someone.
Also, this is 100% going to look like a witch hunt, but this user I used as an example of player bashing was permabanned in 2012 for balance whining, then it was changed to a shorter ban: see here.
He hasn't changed his ways since then: (#1) (to be fair, this was warned. But my point is that he got perma banned for something, it got changed to a temp ban, yet he still does it).
From ABL: #2, #3, #4, #5
And these are just the most recent bans, I didn't bother to find if any of his posts got warned. I'm sure mods can look up the history much more easily than me. The point here is, how the hell is he still posting when a permaban was decided in the past, it got changed, and then he keeps going with what got him perm'd in the first place? If the warning/bans I linked were from 2013 or something, I could understand, maybe he'd have changed by now. But they're from the last 2 years: it's recent, and it's consistent. I guess Nerchio isn't the only one getting away with it after all
Last thing I want to bring up is how staff members are unreportable:
#1, #2 (Honestly I hesitated to link that one. "Protossed" is so common at this point it's just a TL/starcraft inside joke. It's like saying someone went full foreigner, or that Rogue is a patchzerg, these could be player bashing but most people aren't really serious when they say it), #3 (context: everyone was meme-ing about ravens after some people balance whined about it during the open bracket iirc).
Here's a fun quote too from earlier in the thread from example #3, you can even see me raising the issue there as well! I only used SGTK as an example, but Olli balance whines from time to time, as he implies himself. I couldn't find any post demonstrating it though (I didn't search very hard, I'll admit).
Now, should #3 get warned? I want to say yes, because when you compare it to this, which happened only two weeks after IEM (meaning the memes were still going strong, especially with ravens not getting changed), you can see this got warned and the post below it got banned. The difference between warning and banning most likely comes from their history - which is completely normal. But this is actually a funny example - at first, only Ej got banned and the post above wasn't warned, because it wasn't reported. I feel like when you're about to ban/warn someone, you ought to at least look at the context a little bit. Though to be fair, I have no idea how many reports mods go through in a day, so I can understand skimping through them a little bit.
These are just a few examples, it really doesn't happen often (I mean, they're staff for a reason). I still think that staff members should be reportable and actionable if they go overboard - without having to PM a mod.
So yeah, I think that's it. I'd at least like to hear the moderation team's thoughts on my remarks/examples. My biggest gripe is most definitely seeing "personalities" insulting TL users and getting away with it, while "normal" users (rightfully) get warned/banned. The rest isn't as important; the problem mostly comes from the fact that the rules don't have a clear definition (what counts as "player bashing"?) and so mods apply them differently. In general, I feel like TL moderation could be a bit stricter, but that's just my personal opinion (I know it can't be easy, for example, to make the difference between rightful criticism of a player or balance and just straight up bashing them).