Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Social Contract Thing (again)

So. Yeah that DriveThruRPG/OneBookShelf / Tournament of Rapists thing happened.

I am not going to bore with the details, others have had more to say on it. But I do want to talk about the fallout.

Over the weekend and into this week I have seen some exceptionally bad and unprofessional behavior coming from all sides of this issue.  All sides.  And from people I expected better from, and sadly from people that played the part I totally expected them to play.

The result of this is now OneBookShelf will have a system of some sort for people to "report" on suspected witches communists offensive material.   So far it sounds like a button of some sort.  No idea if the person reporting the material actually has to read it first.

Personally I can't change any of that.  But here is what I will do.  Again this is a social contract thing, I expect to do X, Y and Z in return for certain expected behaviors A, B, and C.

1. Under no circumstances will I ever use this system of reporting material to DriveThruRPG. Never.  If I have a problem with your product I will email you.

2. I will not blast a product I have not read on social media or this blog.  If I talk about a product here it is usually because a. I like it or b. have read it or plan too.  If I hate something and I talk about it here then be assured I have read it and reread it to make sure my impressions of it are sound.  I then invite debate.  You are free to use your social media or my blog here to tell me why I am wrong.

3. I will not go to social media and rally support to blast/flag a product.  I have seen this from a number of industry professionals and frankly they should be ashamed.  Again, if I have an issue with your product enough to do something about it, expect an email.  

This is what I see as being the biggest issue with the new system.  It is far too easy for a publisher to leverage their social media weight to get fans to tag or report a product that either they personally don't like OR because it is competition.

These are my expectations.  Granted I am under no illusions that people will abide by them, but at least I am putting these up here for those that might.

1. If something of mine is offensive you will email me first.  simple right?  No anonymous slack-tivism, no clicking on a button.  If you don't like something I have done then please have the courage of your convictions to tell me.  Don't want to confront me for some reason?  Fine. Have a friend email me on your behalf.

Simple right?  I promise to do three things, you promise to do one.

There is no reason why we can not act like professionals and adults here.


Jens D. said...

That's the best way to handle stuff like that. Thanks for sharing it. I hope people listen ...

Dennis Laffey said...


Anonymous said...

I completely agree. This, right here, is the mature, professional way to respond to something you don't like (presuming that you can't simply ignore it and focus on something else).

Anonymous said...

Well said. I see lots of things I am not interested in on various sites, I just do not buy them. There, sorted.

Cross Planes said...

I fully support your position and points. While I never would purchase the product that became embroiled in this debacle, I'd also never have heard of it, if the whole thing hadn't occurred. That's something for everyone to keep in mind, do you want to raise awareness of a product you don't support?

Mphs.Steve said...

Good points but sadly maturity & professionalism seem to be lacking in all corners. I think the "report" button will quickly become useless as opposing groups report products in retaliation. However, I have this image in my head of all the Mormons in Utah logging on to OBS and reporting Dogs in the Vineyard as "offensive" that I find mildly amusing.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

The biggest issue I see will be people with an axe to grind because they don't like the company/developer/author.

I can only change my own behavior.

Steve Miller said...

<< It is far too easy for a publisher to leverage their social media weight to get fans to tag or report a product that either they personally don't like OR because it is competition. >>

This is certainly a valid concern. We've already seen more than one publisher behave in an assholish fashion like this.

I'm hoping the combination of this formal complaint system and a pattern in their behavior will put an end to it. I could be overly optimistic, but time will tell.

Hobo Ogre said...

We are Unanimous.