Last week I found myself caught in a very interesting debate about social media (Facebook, Twitter etc), and what lengths guilds should go to implement this form of communication into the guild guidelines.
Almost anyone with a Twitter account has done, you’ve played you’re favourite MMO (in my case World of Warcraft), just couldn’t beat that over-powered DK, or stop someone from stealing your mobs or reported a bug (turned out to be a gnome, but required removal all the same), you’ve hopped onto Twitter and vented your annoyance.
Recently I found myself in a situation on Twitter where a discussion about guilds implementing guidelines about social media should or should not happen. Some had the opinion that for the sake of the guild, the message should be controlled, others thought that they censored at work, there’s no way they should be censored at home, whilst others took the middle ground that censoring is no-go except in certain circumstances.
When I first joined into this debate, I was like “no chance in hell”, but after having a while to think about it, I do think that I’ve drifted into the middle ground. And here’s why. My opinion is their venting your frustrations at certain situations or at certain individuals is perfectly fine, as long as the message is kept vague. Let me give an example
Ffs, that Guillin just came up and tagged the mob/stole the ore that he could clearly see I was going for.
Jesus H. Christ, what is it withtoday. They are making an army full of male blood elves look masucline. Amateurs!
Now in both of these occasions, it’s the age-old “Name and Shame”. Whilst your complaints might be valid, the words might be true, never the less, by naming the culprits you are opening yourself to retaliation. In the case of a person, it could be abuse/griefing, in terms of a guild it could be a gkick. Critisize a member of your own guild and you could cause a rift, the atmosphere of the guild could be compromised, and rightly or wrongly the guild master could take the opinion that to prevent this it could be best to remove you from the guild.
Take at look at the following two examples, both about the same as what was said before but with slight differences.
Ffs, I’ve just had my ore stolen again by the same person. I wish some people would show respect and not do that!
Why is it so hard for some people in this game to show up on time, to be prepared and ready to go?
Now in my opinion both of these are perfectly fine. The venting and the frustration is still going on BUT there is no comment about who it is aimed at. People might have their suspicions but as there is no concrete proof, then I don’t they have room to manoeuvre. Regular Tweeter Lufitoom mentioned a few things recently, none of it named and shamed but certain people found offence and complained to her guild officers. I wont go into detail on that particular topic as the wonderful Oestrus made a very good post on her blog on April 13th about this topic. Her post is called “Follow“.
That situation raised a few opinions from me. Basically someone was tweeting but not naming, yet some people still took it upon themselves to complain to the guild officer. To this I have to say .. If you feel that you have to complain about a Tweet in which you weren’t named, then WHAT ARE YOU HIDING? In my eyes the person who complained obviously did something otherwise they wouldn’t have felt the right to complain. Thankfully I haven’t come across this yet, but if I did, what would I do? Especially if my guild master asked me to censor myself?
In all reality, my response would be
I’m going to carry on doing what I do. I keep my Tweets vague, don’t aim them at anyone and if people feel the need to complain then it’s obvious they have a guilty conscience. Also in future if anyone complains to you in future, tell them it’s a personal issue and send them direct to me.
I wouldn’t want the leaders of whichever guild I’m in to become distracted by stupid things like this. As I’m the one tweeting, then the officers should wash their hands of it, and pass it back to me. If they went to me “We don’t want you Tweet anymore”, my reply would be “In which case, cya”. I don’t however think that any guild would have this stance. Everyone realises now that Twitter more than anything is here to stay and if you stop someone from Tweeting on one account, they’ll just go and make another one.
There’s also the option of “protecting” your account. This would prevent people who aren’t on your follow list from seeing what you are tweeting. Again I wouldn’t do this. For me, I like that Twitter lets you view timelines of other people, and people can see mine. If you want to keep something quiet, that’s what Direct Messages are for.
So far my whole blog has been saying “no to censorship”, however I do believe there’s two occasions where you should censor yourself, and two in which I do think that guilds have every right to put into their guidelines.
1) Say you’re raiding, it’s a rough night and the raid team is getting nowhere fast, so you comment on Twitter.
Had a terrible raid night tonight. The raid team were absolutely hopeless #fail
This to me is not good and common sense should prevail here. Why isn’t it good? Well it could have a demoralizing effect on the team. You never know, all of a sudden a few people might not sign up for the next raid whilst others might flat-out refuse to raid with someone who puts down the team. A guild guideline that states “If the guild has a rough night in a raid then members should not openly criticize the raid team in social media. Instead please sit down and discuss what went wrong and act as a team”.
2) You’re raiding and alt-tabbing between Twitter and WoW.
@randomtweeter I’m having a good evening thanks how are you?
<Raid Leader on Vent> “Right we’re pulling”
<You alt-tab into game>
<You do you thing for a bit then die .. Alt-tab into Twitter>
@randomtweeter Good, i’m just playing a bit of WoW
“Why didn’t you accept the battleres?”
<You on Vent> “Sorry I didn’t get it!”
Social media could cause you to lose attention during raiding, and I also think that a policy of no Twitter during raiding could also being acceptable.
Whilst the above two I think have a place in a guild policy, I don’t believe the officers of any guild should try to dictate anything else in terms of what people say. That responsibility should be down to the person who is communicating the message themselves, and therefore any consequences are theirs. It’s about common sense.