Friday, April 3, 2009

Why Did I Get Booted from the Chatroom?

Lately, I have received e-mails from people asking why they got booted from the chatroom during a Dave The Painting Guy Paintcast™. Since there are possibly hurt feelings, I wanted to address it here so that I can direct people to this explanation of the possibilities. Many people believe they are excluded from the chat unfairly, and I need to deal with some presumptions that may exist.

First of all, know that it was probably not me that "axed you." I am usually too busy painting or operating the video camera to busy myself with chatroom tasks. Besides, I have long patience for most things, most questions and most personalities. However, I have assigned several trusted "moderators" to keep watch on the room so that I can paint, and the chatroom stays civil (since I do not watch the chatroom much).

Most of my moderators have been viewers of my show for a very long time, and are, as best I can tell, aligned with me in a desire to keep the chatroom a warm, family-friendly community of artists of other interested parties. They are individuals who have demonstrated a sense of "ownership" in the success of my show and the environment it provides to the public. I am delighted that they feel that it is "their party" and they will protect it as they deem necessary.

With varying personalities comes varying levels of tolerance for irritations, and I know, from what I have read on the chat that, with regard to some anonymous personalities that wander through, some of my moderators "have their finger on the button, ready to nuke an unruly visitor." While I never want to intentionally hurt someone's feelings, I stand by and take responsibility for the choices of my moderators, because I know they have my best interest and that of the Dave the Painting Guy Paintcast™ Community at heart.

At my request, they are sensitive to several chatroom behaviors which — although perhaps acceptable in many chatrooms where anonymity and one-upsmanship seem to prevail over social skills — are behaviors or manners which I strongly wish to keep out of my chatroom, including but not limited to:
  • profanity
  • sexual innuendo
  • derisive comments
  • publishing links without permission in the chat
  • changing nicknames in unhelpful ways
  • excessive off-topic or attention-getting comments
  • or obvious "showboating" — typically the behavior of the less mature visitors
On occasion I have had people leave the broadcast only because of the behavior of others in the chatroom, and, frankly, I don't like that.

I walk a fine line with my show. My mind thinks of things that are funny to me, and I say them, albeit with — believe it or not — many filters running at the same time. Besides whatever benefit there is to watching a guy paint and talk about it, the humorous element is what, I believe, makes the show entertaining to the people who show up so often — many of which never log in or participate in the chatroom. I have reason to believe that my banter and playfulness on the show encourage others to "let their hair down" and join in, injecting their own humor into the environment. Some of these people, from time to time, may push it too far, presumably, in an effort to get a more satisfying response from others.

I don't know. Who am I to judge another's sense of humor?

I merely have standards for my chatroom, and am grateful for the volunteers that watch over it, in spite of the fact that from time to time mistakes are made.

That having been said, please consider that what may appear to be sudden exclusion from the chatroom may, in fact, be the result of me or my moderators issuing a chatroom command that initiates an automatic, more restrictive level of chatroom moderation to which even my own mother fell victim on the evening of April 1st.

In its simplest form: when moderation is turned ON, no one is allowed to participate in the chatroom unless they have logged in with an official username. This effectively blocks everyone from the chat that does not have and use a account, though they can still see the text of the chatroom. Moderation ON also excludes people who drop in and change their name from, say, ustreamer-37865 to jonny-artist, since they have not officially logged in.

If you suddenly find yourself blocked from chat, you have either failed to log in officially and I have turned on moderation, or you have been booted by one of my moderators, or me for one or more of the behaviors listed above.