Samsara
She/They
Experienced Forum User, Senior Judge, Site Admin, Skilled player (1901)
Joined: 11/13/2006
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EDIT (2023-04-22): The community says we either shouldn't or that we should only do it in extreme cases. The Limited User role has been removed from all users who had it, and going forward we will either remove the role entirely or only apply it rarely and less harshly.
Been a grip since we've had a classic Samsara Site Thread, huh? To quickly explain for those not in the know, we have a role called Limited User. Giving a user this role prevents them from being able to submit TASes while leaving their account otherwise untouched. Historically, this role has been handed out for a variety of reasons: Some of those reasons, like genuine spam submissions, make perfect sense, i.e we see actual abuse of the submission system and we aim to prevent it. Other reasons, however, include "submitting suboptimal movies a little too often", and I've spent a lot of time thinking about those in particular. Is it really necessary for us to keep doing that? Currently, we have 23 people with the Limited User role, and I believe only two of them are still active. Most of these limited users were limited purely based on the TASes they were submitting. There was no malice behind their submissions whatsoever. Given how the site has been progressing over the past couple years, and how we want it to keep progressing moving into the future, why should we be punishing users for literally doing what the site is designed for? Especially now that we're moving more towards collaboration and teamwork, telling people they're not "good enough" to submit is maybe the farthest we get from encouraging that sort of collaboration and teamwork. Allowing suboptimal submissions to make it to the workbench at all means more people get to see them, and that could inspire improvements. Every submission is a boon in that way. If we want people to get better, allowing them to submit gives them the best chance at inviting feedback, doesn't it? As a general rule, I only want to prevent people from submitting if they're being malicious with it. Actual spam like I linked above, troll posting, malicious links and/or repeated rule violations, toxic behavior... But in considering what we want to limit, it led me to consider the question in the thread title. Everything that I'd consider worthy of limiting users for, I'd also consider worthy of banning users for. If someone is abusing the submission system, why should we continue to allow them to have the opportunity to take their abusive behavior elsewhere on the site? Preventing submissions is one thing, but they still have forum access, PM access, even wiki access in some cases, so it makes sense to restrict those as well if there's a possibility that they'll be abused. I'd like to hear some community opinions on this, particularly because it affects y'all far more than it affects us. There may be a good reason to limit but not ban that I'm not thinking of, or maybe I'm alone in thinking we need to stop limiting altogether, so give your thoughts. Regardless of the decision we reach here, I'd like to re-evaluate all of the Limited Users very soon, maybe even within the next day or two if this thread reaches a consensus quickly.
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 | Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
rythin
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Joined: 11/4/2021
Posts: 36
If user submits unoptimized TASes and shows no signs of trying to improve, I could see it being beneficial to limit them for some period of time. Definitely not permanently (which I assume is how it is currently? I'm fairly new to the site so unsure) but a couple weeks, maybe a month could serve as a "cool down" period or maybe an alert that they really should try harder before submitting. I'm not really sure how to word it in a way that doesn't sound elitist so I'd just like to clarify that's not my intent here. I see it more as something like a timeout in a twitch chat or a kick from a discord server, something with temporary consequences that lets the user know they should change something in their behaviour.
Darkman425
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Joined: 9/19/2021
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The limited user role as it is seems to be something that sticks with someone for months and years. I think the idea around the limited user role was to be more temporary and have said TASers try to take their time refining and understanding how to optimize. In practice the way the limited user role seems to drive folks away. I don't think the limited user role isn't necessarily a bad thing to have but its use as it is didn't seem to have an intended purpose. I remember an old conversation about how some users sometimes spam a whole bunch of submissions in a short time span. I feel like in those cases giving the limited user role temporarily to someone who does that would make sense, even if it's for a week or something. It'd at least discourage holding onto a number of complete projects and sending them in all at once. Even then those situations are incredibly rare and can also just be handled by regular moderation methods. For now I'd say the limited user role would best be suited for extreme situations. The problem would be defining what those situations would be as the only one I can think of at the moment is the hoarding problem as I mentioned above.
Samsara
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Experienced Forum User, Senior Judge, Site Admin, Skilled player (1901)
Joined: 11/13/2006
Posts: 2710
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rythin wrote:
Definitely not permanently (which I assume is how it is currently? I'm fairly new to the site so unsure) but a couple weeks, maybe a month could serve as a "cool down" period or maybe an alert that they really should try harder before submitting.
The current system encourages users to work with us to raise their skill levels to an acceptable point before we remove the status, so in theory it isn't permanent, but in practice I don't think we've ever had anyone get their privileges back, let alone many people who have actually taken up the offer of sticking around and receiving help. Most people we limited just left the site and never returned, which is why I feel it's only ever been a deterrent and not the motivation it was meant to be. A time limit makes more sense if we're going to end up keeping the role, but I still question why we would even consider keeping the role at all if it's mostly driven people away. The process of limiting also kinda works against the goal of getting users to improve, as limiting someone removes their biggest avenue to having their work seen. More people pay attention to submissions than anywhere else on the site. Userfiles tend to be overlooked and even the Discord channels for WIPs and feedback don't get a lot of talk outside of a select few people, so the workbench is really the best place for people to get feedback. I feel the site's starting to move more and more into being openly collaborative, with submissions often being improved and co-authored by other users, and I find that kind of environment to encourage individual improvement a lot better than "Nah, heck off, you're not good enough for us so we're not gonna let you submit". We recently had 6 submissions over the course of about 3 hours from a single user, and I specifically requested that we not take any action against it aside from the message I posted in the sixth submission. So far, one of those submissions led to a co-authored publication, and several others received improvements from the community, both as Userfiles and as new submissions. This to me feels like a much better outcome than if I or someone else had come to the decision to limit the user in question. It tells me that anything we could do with limiting, we could do better with an alternative approach: Giving the encouragement of collaboration to the community instead of the author led to new, optimized TASes being created and even published. Limiting would have just told people not to bother at all.
Darkman425 wrote:
I remember an old conversation about how some users sometimes spam a whole bunch of submissions in a short time span. I feel like in those cases giving the limited user role temporarily to someone who does that would make sense, even if it's for a week or something. It'd at least discourage holding onto a number of complete projects and sending them in all at once. Even then those situations are incredibly rare and can also just be handled by regular moderation methods.
That sort of thing was the main spark behind my thoughts on limiting as a whole. A few years back, klmz unhoarded 10 TASes over 2 days. By all definitions of what "submission spam" is and how we've applied Limited User in the past, this unhoard should have gotten them limited. That clearly didn't happen, though. The thing is, we've limited people for "submission spam" over far less than this: Maybe 3 or 4 runs, either on separate days or even days apart if my memory serves correctly. Limiting for spam makes sense only if we're consistent with it, but we're not. The only consistency is that we limit users because they don't submit optimal runs, and that's not a trait I want people to see when they're trying to submit. Unhoarding may be the only thing that would get a user limited without being banned in the future, but even then I don't think it's necessary to limit that as long as we know there's going to be an end to it. Similar to what I wrote in response to rythin, I think we can always do better with an alternative approach. Something like a universal submission limit (maybe 3 per day at most?) would drastically cut back on unhoarding while also sounding like a reasonable thing to implement.
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 | Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
DrD2k9
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Joined: 8/21/2016
Posts: 962
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Just a thought to consider regarding “unhoarding”… Sometimes what may appear as submission spam is simply someone finalizing a number of runs of various games all around the same time. That author may have worked on some of those games for over a year. But because they were working on multiple games simultaneously, they coincidently finished multiple runs in short order. Then even if they uploaded/submitted nigh immediately once each of the runs were ready, it appears as spam on the workbench when it’s really just coincidentally close completion of the TASes in question.
Memory
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Joined: 3/20/2014
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Location: Dumpster
DrD2k9 wrote:
Just a thought to consider regarding “unhoarding”… Sometimes what may appear as submission spam is simply someone finalizing a number of runs of various games all around the same time. That author may have worked on some of those games for over a year. But because they were working on multiple games simultaneously, they coincidently finished multiple runs in short order. Then even if they uploaded/submitted nigh immediately once each of the runs were ready, it appears as spam on the workbench when it’s really just coincidentally close completion of the TASes in question.
For the record, multiple of klmz's tases were definitely done for a while, one of them was brought up by a different taser in response to EZGames69 submitting a tas of the same game.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
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To clarify, I don't remember "submitting many movies quickly" being used as a reason to limit people. It happened a couple times, and we just ask them not to do that. The things I have personally revoked submission privs over are: 1) repeatedly breaking some fundamental movie rules (at the time), even after having been informed about it, and warned about getting limited if the trend continues, and 2) repeatedly submitting visibly suboptimal movies (that were also proven to be suboptimal by actual tests), ignoring advises and feedback, and continuing the trend despite the warnings. There hasn't been a defined system on having your privs restored, but it has usually been promised if a better movie is created and sent to staff to check. I was once or twice sent a movie, but it was either still easily improvable or non-trivial to check how optimal it is (2-player mame-rr movies). Then I came up with a suggestion for limited users to try improving an existing publication, which then would make it obvious their skill has improved, and the privs would be restored. It's a fair criticism that this system doesn't really encourage people to improve, because I don't remember restoring anyone's submission privs. And it's also true that nobody really gives feedback to userfiles, especially for games they don't know, so submissions are the only way for those users to get any kind of feedback at all. Another fair point is that for malicious activity, it doesn't make sense to limit (and I don't remember if we ever did), because the user would just get banned. Site atmosphere has changed dramatically over the last few years, so maybe there are better things to do when people repeatedly submit questionable stuff. Maybe dropping the rank entirely from the site is too soon, because we may happen to need it later, but I won't complain if currently limited users get their privs back.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
Samsara
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Joined: 11/13/2006
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feos wrote:
There hasn't been a defined system on having your privs restored, but it has usually been promised if a better movie is created and sent to staff to check. I was once or twice sent a movie, but it was either still easily improvable or non-trivial to check how optimal it is (2-player mame-rr movies). Then I came up with a suggestion for limited users to try improving an existing publication, which then would make it obvious their skill has improved, and the privs would be restored. It's a fair criticism that this system doesn't really encourage people to improve, because I don't remember restoring anyone's submission privs.
The fact that no one's had privileges restored in recent memory tells me that either no one is trying to, no one has reached the bar we set, or it's some sort of mixture of the two. I'd be less critical of the system if we actually had a couple people work their way back out of being limited, but the act of being limited in the first place is a confidence killer from what I've seen. If anything, I think it's stressing too much improvement. No TASer isn't going to go from 4 rejections in a row to Aglar, but the whole process of limiting someone and telling them to prove their worth almost feels like we're forcing them to. Also, I'll be blunt: "Non-trivial to check how optimal it is" should not be a reason to put off restoring someone's submission privileges. Sure, MAME-rr is absolutely awful to work with, but this is almost literally saying "I know you're putting in the effort to improve, but I'm not going to put in the effort to verify that." If we're going to keep the system in place, we shouldn't be finding new and fun ways to continue holding people down. We should be finding new ways to encourage them to succeed.
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 | Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
Spikestuff
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Joined: 10/12/2011
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Admittedly I think I screwed what I selected in voting, but how I read it is probably different to how it was intended. I voted "Yes, and we should use it more" mainly for the fact the users that get told through multiple submissions to please use the User Files and to refine their work don't actually do that. And it's becoming bloody broken record when it's the same user who doesn't take it seriously. And it's like why should the Judge have to go over this user's work again if they're not going to take anything said to heart? This has been consistent with one user recently and I'm not going to pick them out. All they've done is submit more and more submissions, over time, but their work has no refinement, and nothing redone from scratch. Like, please. Just actually work on the game you're TASing, your first version is never going to be your best, and if you want to catalogue it, post it to the userfiles. They stated that they do optimize their works, but when something can be simply compared to a run on srcom, or if a run doesn't exist on srcom just quickly verify like the first level. It's like they're never going to take what the Judges are saying, or we the viewers are just going please take your time. And I'm only against removing it, because of the users that don't put the time in their work. What should be adjusted, is an auto-renewal. A user should be limited from 1, 3, 6 months, to a Year depending on like how consistent. I'm spitballing. Mainly because I also hate that those users who are Limited haven't been able to return, and I know for instance Mihoru/Pepper has actually improved substantially to their work in 2019. They've been limited for 4 bloody years and unfortunately their videos are gone, but I remember watching over time and going "oh, they're actually getting the hang of this" and their issues used to be visibly suboptimal and questionable. So. tl;dr: We should still use it, but have in a auto-renewal for those that continuously cause people can get it, because none of us are watching them, we're just watching the next person who's making us continuously go "please take your time" and when is that statement going to stop sounding like a broken record is my question, because if they continue to not refine then that'll bring us back here.
WebNations/Sabih wrote:
+fsvgm777 never censoring anything.
Disables Comments and Ratings for the YouTube account. These colours are pretty neato, and also these.
DrD2k9
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Auto renewal isn’ta bad idea. We could try that first and see if it helps better than the current untimed limitation. And if we see the same or similar problems to what we have now, we could then try eliminating the role outright. a timed limitation may be more incentivizing for a new TASer to improve than an indefinite limitation.
Memory
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ok we tell people all the time to use userfiles but does it actually help them improve? Nobody ever provides feedback on them. Workbench is a way better way to get feedback.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
Samsara
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Joined: 11/13/2006
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The thing is, any kind of limitation is going to discourage improvement, regardless of whether or not it's timed. Timed would definitely be better than what we currently have, but any kind of limit is still implying "You're not good enough, we don't want you here, and we're going to take away your best opportunities to improve". Keeping the system in place is more or less just sticking to the old culture of elitism that we've been trying to move past. It's always going to give off the impression that we are punishing people for not being "good enough" at TASing. I can't accept that, especially as someone who praises and promotes how accessible TASing is while constantly working to make it even more accessible. Giving the way the voting is at the moment (9 in support of lessening or removing the system, only 1 in support of how it is, and 2 don't cares), I'm going to go ahead and revisit the limited users right now and see whether or not it's actually warranted for them. EDIT: I have reinstated submission privileges for 16 users. Most of them are inactive and have been for years, so it probably doesn't matter too much, but I like the symbolism regardless. Seven users with limited status were flipped to bans for a variety of reasons. As of April 14th, 2023, there are no Limited Users on the site.
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 | Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
InputEvelution
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I feel that Samsara's point regarding collaboration is particularly interesting. In cases where the person's submitted a movie for a game that isn't even on the site yet...why should we care so much about the state of the optimisation? Even if it's sub-optimal, they've put in more work than anyone else has so far for getting it on TASVideos. And even if one can demonstrate that the movie is unpolished, sub-optimal, etc., why not go and make some improvements to the movie yourself for a collaborative submission? No point complaining about a lack of effort from the submitter if you're not willing to put in the effort either.
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InputEvelution wrote:
I feel that Samsara's point regarding collaboration is particularly interesting. In cases where the person's submitted a movie for a game that isn't even on the site yet...why should we care so much about the state of the optimisation? Even if it's sub-optimal, they've put in more work than anyone else has so far for getting it on TASVideos. And even if one can demonstrate that the movie is unpolished, sub-optimal, etc., why not go and make some improvements to the movie yourself for a collaborative submission? No point complaining about a lack of effort from the submitter if you're not willing to put in the effort either.
This is absolutely an interesting point, and over the years quite a few submitters expected it to be the case, intuitively (and it wasn't). Level of required optimization may be worth another thread. My natural feeling is accepting things that both look sloppy and are sloppy, would feel anticlimactic to a lot of people who watch TASes. But if a run looks clean and quick, and optimization has been attempted at all, we may try being more lax.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
Samsara
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Joined: 11/13/2006
Posts: 2710
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feos wrote:
My natural feeling is accepting things that both look sloppy and are sloppy, would feel anticlimactic to a lot of people who watch TASes. But if a run looks clean and quick, and optimization has been attempted at all, we may try being more lax.
I absolutely support being more lax in places, and it's something I've been promoting with the Judges as of late, but I'd also like to promote the community coming forward on submissions and saying "Hey, let's all make this the best it can be" instead of "Hey, go back to the drawing board and do it better." I'll put it this way: We've called the submission list the "Workbench" in the past, so we should be treating it like one. The way TASing works, every single TAS is essentially an eternal work in progress. Even when it's finished, anyone can come in and tweak it further to make it better. That's something we should be promoting. Instead of "If you don't like a run, improve it yourself", it really should be "If you don't like a run, help the author make it better".
I think the discussion about limiting has wound down enough to call it complete. The majority of comments and votes are in favor of making the system less harsh, so it will be going forward. We'll keep the role for now just in case a situation pops up where we feel it's necessary without banning a user outright, but it may end up being removed entirely in the future. If we do end up limiting anyone from this day on, I'm also going to make sure it's understood to be a temporary thing, most likely with a defined time limit instead of "until you prove yourself". As I stated in my last post, I re-evaluated every Limited User about a week ago and, like a Redditor starting a new gacha game, re-roled until I was satisfied. Currently, nobody is limited, and that makes me a happy Senior Judge. Thanks to everyone for the feedback and comments!
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 | Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.