Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

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Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby ALostPerson » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:51 pm

Hello Town of Salem Staff:

When I logged in today, I received notice of a 1 day suspension due to cheating. While the timeline for the suspension isn't very long, I'm worried that if I get mis-reported again, it might result in an account ban. Thus, I would like to review with the staff as to what I was accused of doing as cheating, as I can't recall anything of particular note. I don't tend to find people any quicker than normal, and I am not even particularly adept at all the roles, so I am curious as to how I would be accused of cheating.

Thank you for your time,

ALostPerson
Last edited by ALostPerson on Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Appealing a Suspension for Cheating

Postby TrialBot » Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:10 am

Here are your reports:
Want your guilty reports without submitting an appeal? Send me a PM!
Want all your reports filed against you? Put "All" in the body of the message.

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Re: Appealing a Suspension for Cheating

Postby ALostPerson » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:11 am

Hello Town of Salem Support Staff:

So reviewing the trialbot cheating report, I was reported for cheating for using a foreign language. However the only foreign language I "used" was during day 4 in which I said "katon goukakyuuno jutsu". Now given the context of the situation, we had 2 players in that game, one named Naruto and one named sasuke. These are two main characters in an anime called Naruto, and Sasuke's signature move is one in which he screams katon goukakyuuno jutsu to spray fire, hence why I said the phrase during the conversation. It'd be similar to someone saying "giggity" if they saw someone named Quagmire or "Hey hey hey" if they saw someone named Fat Albert. I think this might have been a misunderstanding, because if you look through the logs of that game, it became very heated and it seems like one or two people were accusing another group of people of cheating, and I think I got caught in the crossfire by saying that phrase. Otherwise, you'll find my chat logs for the entire game to be rather tame.

I appreciate your time and understanding, and look forward to hearing from you.

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Re: Appealing a Suspension for Cheating

Postby Jerme » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:52 am

Greetings,

please keep in mind that the usage of any other language than your selected locale is forbidden, unless you used something that is common knowledge, which mostly includes the one or other greeting. I don't think that those detals of that animated series would count to that, I apologize.
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Re: Appealing a Suspension for Cheating

Postby ALostPerson » Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:22 pm

Hello Jerme,

I understand. I will say, I do believe Naruto is a fairly large cultural phenomenon, with even me, a person that has not even watched the show knowing the basics about it, and I do believe that the people who know about Naruto heavily overlap with the player base of Town of Salem based off of first hand experience. A few facts about the prominence of Naruto:

  • They sold 250+ million copies worldwide.
  • Half of those sales were in Japan and the other half around the world.
  • The translated version even appeared on NYT best sellers list multiple times.
  • It was the second best selling book in North America at one point.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naruto#Co ... erformance

Town of Salem Rules state:

No Cheating
[...] using a foreign language to communicate in a way that can’t be understood by the players in the current locale.

The fact that two people I have never met named themselves after prominent characters of the show, thus prompting me to say that in the first place would point to the prominence of the show. I think that is an important note that it was said with that context, and not me simply blurting it out to the chat with no relevance. Once again those were two strangers that had no connection to me whatsoever that named themselves after the characters, thus prompting to me say those 3 words. Thus the current locale and players did in fact have the context to understand what I was saying. Nonetheless, I will try to avoid non-english words in the future.

That being said, would what I did still classify as cheating? In the same vein and exploring the rule listed above further, if I had typed "heyt oaweot" with my hand slipping on my phone, would this classify as cheating too? Or if there were people named after Harry Potter characters (a piece of English literature), and I said a spell such as "Wingardium Leviosa" as a person was being hung? Would that also be cheating or would that be allowed? Or what if I used English words such as "borborygmi, "xertz", "agelast"? Or if in my will I called myself an "amatorculist" rather than an escort? They are English but are not words within the majority of English speakers' vocabulary and thus could be classified as not understandable for the locale. When I list these examples, I am not trying to be facetious by any means. Rather I'm trying to establish the necessity of context of the event as something to be considered. If you can look at all the scenarios I listed and without hesitation ban all of them simply from the information given, then I accept my fate. But if there is even a moment of questioning, I implore you to consider the context. I know having to search for the context takes time on part of the staff, and I respect and appreciate the time you all put in for checking for that. Because without the willingness to do so, things such as a typo could potentially be counted as cheating under the current rules when working with absolutes and no regard for context.

Cheating is a big thing to be accused of, and I'm not sure what I did would constitute having a cheating charge on my record. If anything, if I can't have this completely scrubbed from my record, I would prefer if the charge on the record of my account was for just non-english speech, rather than cheating, solely for the principle of the matter because I go to great lengths to not only play fairly, but do my part to make Town of Salem fun, such as playing roles to the best of my ability even if I don't like/prefer not to play them. Which considering the amount of games I've played where at least 1-2 mafia have left (if not other less desirable roles), is a small but I believe vital part for the community.

As a note, the reason why I am going through with appealing this, despite the fact that I have already fulfilled the punishment is because I don't want to be falsely flagged as a cheater. If something happens in the future, and I have to speak with the staff again, all that they'll see is I cheated at some point, and it'll be used an incorrectly negative character profile against me. You can call me many things, but I don't want to be called that which I am not.

I look forward to hearing you thoughts on the matter, and I appreciate you taking the time to look over the case thus far.

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Re: Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby Jerme » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:21 pm

Well, two players if the 14 others might know what its about, but the rest might not. The context might not help, when its not noticed or known. About your question, I am not sure on that parts, when its seen/noticed as a different language it will handled as such. Typos can be excluded, when the typo'd word can still be read, which would happen with the one or other word.

The people who you usually play with are unlikely to have access to your reports, so the flag would not matter much there either.
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Re: Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby ALostPerson » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:52 pm

Hello Jerme,

Thank you for the speedy response. In regards to what was said, I want to take it systematically.

Well, two players if the 14 others might know what its about, but the rest might not. The context might not help, when its not noticed or known.


I just want to state for the record it's at least a confirmed 3 players that know what's going on, and 12 that are ambiguous. And I think the context is important because it gives a reason as to why I said it. I was in an environment where I could reasonably assume that there were at least a portion of players that understood what I was saying. And not only that, it was relevant to the situation at hand. If we don't examine the situation I was in, I look no different to people who spam foreign language characters, which I think is an unfair comparison to make. After all I said it because one of the Naruto themed people had pushed and hung a person. Since as mentioned before it's the signature attack of one of the main characters, it fit very well with the situation at hand. I will also say that we can't be certain about the rest of the players understanding, but I did play a round of Town of Salem recently where I decided to poll people playing and every person that responded had at least some familiarity with the show. Obviously this is no statistical analysis, but I think the fact that I can comfortably go and receive this kind of feedback lends credence to the idea that Town of Salem players at least know what this show is, and that I was operating under this belief, not simply blurting nonsensically into the chat. This is an important thing to note because I was once again operating, with good reason and good faith, that the players could potentially understand me.

~~~

About your question, I am not sure on that parts, when its seen/noticed as a different language it will handled as such.


In this quote, correct me if I am wrong, but I am sensing a bit of uncertainty with the 4 scenarios I gave. Meaning, since we aren't 100% sure on how to approach each one immediately, it would require staff to potentially review the game to make a judgement call and look at the context. So to take an absolutist based stance is not the way that Blank Media Games reviews rule breaking. Which is good for both of us because it means we can explore what was happening in game rather than taking an approach of "if anything is not understandable whatsoever it is cheating" which would potentially mean nearly every player is/has broken the rules, which obviously isn't the case. In other words, Blank Media Games enforces the rules as they are intended for their purpose (context driven rule enforcement) rather than in an absolute fashion (rules as written with no room for interpretation). To add more evidence that Blank Media Games reviews rule breaking on a context level, the existence of this forum system dedicated to appealing with you and me speaking to each other proves Blank Media Games context driven rule enforcement. And I think this is a good thing that they approach things like this, and I certainly appreciate the fact that they do so!

~~~

Typos can be excluded, when the typo'd word can still be read, which would happen with the one or other word.


Going back to my example here, my typo I wrote was made while typing a word, and I was pushed by my friend. So I was attempting to write something, but do you know what "heyt oaweot" was meant to be with full certainty? If not, if we take the absolutist approach, interpreting the rules strictly as written rather than as they were intended to be, then that could potentially be a bannable offense. It's a handful of words just like what I was banned for after all. I think we would both agree that this wouldn't be the case. Otherwise nearly any player that made a typo that left players confused at some point could be within the jurisdiction of that rule. So once again, we have to take into consideration the context.

~~~

The people who you usually play with are unlikely to have access to your reports, so the flag would not matter much there either.


I appreciate the assurance. I do want to mention that my fear was more about how staff would view me in future situations on the forums rather than my interaction with the player base in the game, as stated in my previous post:

As a note, the reason why I am going through with appealing this, despite the fact that I have already fulfilled the punishment is because I don't want to be falsely flagged as a cheater. If something happens in the future, and I have to speak with the staff again, all that they'll see is I cheated at some point, and it'll be used an incorrectly negative character profile against me. You can call me many things, but I don't want to be called that which I am not.


~~~

One thing I wanted to add. Throughout this process, I have been reading the Appeals in this forum searching for people with a similar offense to myself. Often times their usage of foreign language is extremely excessive as well as extremely malicious. Often times along with the spamming, the messages disguise very hateful and hurtful things. If nothing else I wrote can persuade you about my intentions, I ask for a moment of your time to read the game log. It was a very short game and reading through all my messages shouldn't take more than a minute. I'll leave it to you to decide if I came off as a malicious person in that game.

As always I look forward to hearing form you, and appreciate the time you have taken to explore the situation with me thus far.

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Re: Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby Flavorable » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:09 pm

The rules on "don't speak a foreign language in your current locale apart from well-known phrases/words" is quite cut and dry:

Well-known phrases: Things like "Bonjour" or "Gutentag".

A random anime reference is not a part of "well-known phrases".
Content of the message in a foreign tongue has no bearing on whether it is considered cheating or not, and whether or not it was "spamming" or "hurtful" has no bearing on it either.

Last but not least: Speaking a language other than the current locale is simply filed as cheating. We don't change the category solely on whether or not you feel like that's a category you feel comfortable with.
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Re: Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby ALostPerson » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:35 pm

Hello Flavorable,

Thank you for the speedy response.

I would like to note:

The rules on "don't speak a foreign language in your current locale apart from well-known phrases/words" is quite cut and dry:

This doesn't necessarily correspond with what I read on https://www.blankmediagames.com/rules/ . Because I was operating under this assumption of this section: "[...]using a foreign language to communicate in a way that can’t be understood by the players in the current locale" which is where the ambiguity of my situation arises from. If the rules were simply "using any foreign language is a bannable offense" I would understand, but I hope you can understand the grey area presented in the current rule set on the website. Because I was operating under the rules listed at that website, the Naruto reference was relevant and understandable to the players at hand, which if I follow the rule listed on the Town of Salem Rules website, is potentially covered and safe. I'm curious as to where you are pulling your interpretation of the rules because I have not seen that on the main page rule website. This puts me in a difficult spot as I am being judged against a standard I was not aware of rather than the one at https://www.blankmediagames.com/rules/ .

I look forward to hearing from you, and appreciate you taking the time to explore this situation with me.

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Re: Appealing: ALostPerson - Suspension for Cheating

Postby LevinSnakesRise » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:23 pm

Hello there.

If you take away "well-known phrases" and just look at the rules, a lot of people do not watch Anime. I do, and I myself have watched Naruto through and through, however if I went quoting any sort of jutsu that wasn't in English, it'd still confuse others and would still be considered Cheating, as it isn't English. Just because 2 others have the name 'Naruto' and 'Sasuke' doesn't mean everyone else understands it. That's another 12 people who wouldn't understand, and could interpret that as cheating. If two people understood binary code, and you did too and said something in binary, it'd still be considered Cheating because it could be seen as an advantage against the other players because only you three know what was said.

Per the rules, whether you want to use specific guidelines or the rule quoted from 'Rules', this report is in violation of the rules, no matter how slightly that is. You have over 700 games played. You should know the rules well enough by that point. And there's even a Rules tab in-game to reference.

Appeal denied.
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