Discussion on "Callout" Threads and Their Relation to the Rules

As time goes on it seems like we see more and more people posting on the devforum to call out a fellow developer, whether it be for their personal views or how they behave. At the moment, the policy seems to be that those threads are hidden and whoever posted them is encouraged privately to forward their complaints through email or DM. As it keeps happening, I figure we should have a proper discussion on the matter. So, in the interest of a discussion that isn’t directly related to a callout post, I thought I would make this thread.

Currently to the best of my knowledge these threads are removed for violating Rule 1:

1. This forum is designed to foster collaboration and communication in the Roblox developer community. All users are expected to be mature and civil. Trolling, flaming and personal attacks will not be tolerated.

  • 1.1 Personal attacks are when something negative is said about a person, rather than said about their behavior or their work. Even if the negative statement is true, personal attacks are not allowed here. Stick to posting constructive criticism about a person’s behavior or work. Posts containing criticism should also include suggestions for improvement. This rule applies to individuals, as well as to groups and teams.

This operates under the assumption that all threads of this nature are in fact personal attacks. While this is the case for a lot of them, it isn’t always. The rule explicitly defines personal attack, so callout threads that target someone’s behavior should be exempt from it. This has not proven to be the case.

There was an example recently (if you know what I mean, please keep it to yourself) where a thread was made about someone’s behavior. This thread was based on publicly available information, and was for the most part civil. Shortly after it was posted, it was locked and hidden on the grounds that it violated Rule 1.

This raises a very important question. It is, simply put, Whether or not we should be allowed to post threads containing negative information about developers? Assuming this negative info was based off of behavior (as it was in the now-hidden example thread) or work (as it has been in the past), should we be allowed to post this sort of thing?


Personally, I'm torn on the matter. I obviously don't think we should be allowed to make a thread to the effect of "Such-and-Such is literally the worst and here's 10 reasons why" because that does inevitably lead to personal attacks and isn't specific enough to be helpful. At the same time, if we aren't allowed to comment on someone's work or behavior, there's no way to hold someone accountable.

Roblox has elected to take a hand’s off-approach to a lot of inter-developer interactions, especially ones that happen off-site. This means that if someone is treating people they hire incredibly poorly, or being vulgar and rude offsite, there’s no real recourse for people hurt by that person. Sure, they can be reported to Developer Relations, but if it happens over Discord there’s not much that can be done by them. There’s also the issue of not being able to know someone’s reputation before you start working with them. If someone pays their workers but is demanding and rude to them, people who they hire should know that before they get hired. Especially given the uptick in contracted work (as in work where legally binding contracts are signed), it can cause problems since someone can’t just back out of a work agreement because who they’re working with isn’t a good boss.

On the other hand though, I don’t really want the devforum to become a bunch of people calling other people mean or scammers, and I do believe that drama should stay off the devforum. People don’t come here for Drama Alert: Roblox Edition, afterall. There’s also the issue of whether someone’s personal views should be aired out publicly or not (if I were [insert group here] and someone hated me for it and refused to hire me, is that something I should tell people about?).

What do you all think? Should we be allowed or encouraged to tell our fellow developers when something’s up, or should the devforum stay purely utilitarian? Again, I ask that people keep things as abstract as possible, and stay on the topic at hand so that we can have a discussion.

10 Likes

As a community, we should be able to keep our peers in check. Not having the ability to “call out” our peers for dodgy/questionable/downright evil actions is detremental to the core of the community itself.

I do agree that there is a very fine line between it being a legit “call out” thread versus someone just bashing on someone they don’t like.

As per the rule listed above, the most recent example Dekk mentions was not a violation of this rule. It was a relatively civil discussion based purely on publicly available information.

Same thing happened a few weeks ago regarding another certain developer not properly compensating his contractors and yet the same action was taken with the thread. It was removed and the OP was DMd and cited the same Rule 1. The thread in question was entirely based on VERY public information found on Twitter. The thread has 0 intent to shame said person but served as a warning to other developres as they might get ‘scammed’ to a degree if they should choose to work with said person.

Regardless,
We should not be afraid as a community to call out our peers for their undesirable actions. I think the rules need to be more refined and made very specific when it comes to this.

14 Likes

I completely agree with this. Taking away the ability to “call out” would be bad for the community, as long as it is used correctly, there shouldn’t be a problem.