Miiverse is the friendly social network. It is heavily moderated by Nintendo and that’s a good thing. It really is. No one needs trolls or bullies in a social environment. But how do you stop them? You have rules, you enforce rules, and you moderate the hell out of posts and profiles. And Nintendo does.
It’s fair enough, it’s Nintendo’s service and if you want to be a part of it you play by the rules. I get all that. And I agreed with the heavy moderation even though I had heard from various people how unfair it was that their posts we being deleted for no reason. I’ve gotta say I didn’t believe users were having their posts deleted by administrators for no reason. Until it happened to me.
On Saturday I posted in the F-Zero Community. I never recall playing the original SNES version of the game, and found the sound of the engines to be annoying. Miiverse is supposed to be somewhere to let others know how you feel about a game. Here’s exactly what I wrote, freehand:
“The sound of the engines is sooooo annoying. Like a screech. Worth 30c but!”
Later that afternoon I checked back in with Miiverse. I had 2 messages. Both from Miiverse moderators. The first said:
“Your post was removed because it contained personal information. For more information please see Miiverse Code of Conduct. Continued violations may result in restrictions on your use of Miiverse.”
Hmmm. Personal information? How’s that Nintendo? Could the moderation software have picked up my freehand “soooooo” as a telephone number? I couldn’t think of any other reason. There was nothing at all in the post that could be construed as “personal information”. I sent the administrator a reply from one of the preset response choices, saying I did not violate the terms and conditions.
The second message from the administrator was more lengthy. It read:
“Your profile display has been restricted because it contains information related to an outside service such as username or ID) or links to external websites which could be used to contact you directly. The sharing of personal information is prohibited by the Miiverse Code of Conduct. Edit your profile and contact us by replying to this message to lift the restriction. For information on the proper use of Miiverse, please see the Miiverse Code of Conduct. Continued violations may result in restrictions on your use of Miiverse.”
Well, from day one, I had the name of this blog and also my twitter account name on my Miiverse profile. So ok, I violated the terms and conditions. Guilty. So, I had a look at my profile page. The information was still visible. I logged into my friends user ID on my Wii U and looked myself up on Miiverse. The information had been replaced with hyphens.
So, I removed the personal information from my profile page and messaged Nintendo to say I’d done so. I did however replace it with a smart ass dig at Nintendo. I’m allowed to keep that up, though. Have a look what I wrote by looking me up on Miiverse: zinger_AU.
I got a reply back from the administrator about my first post containing personal information. Their response was:
“We have checked the reported content and have determined it is in violation of the Miiverse Code of Conduct…”
So, I decided to have a read of the Miiverse Code of Conduct. I couldn’t find anywhere that said anything about anything I wrote in my post violating their code of conduct. I noticed in their response “the reported content”. I decided to post the same thing again in the F-Zero community. Hand written and typed. Just to see what would happen.
Nothing happened. The posts were allowed to stay on Miiverse, be commented on and given “Yeahs”. Perhaps the moderators haven’t seen them yet, or perhaps my freehand writing in the original post looked different to my second one. Maybe my post had been deleted because my profile had been flagged. I had posted other stuff that was allowed during that time, so that wasn’t the answer. So who knows?
What I do know is that Miiverse is a fantastic, positive social network and it’s kept that way through heavy moderation. But given the success of the service and it almost universally being praised by users, you would think the moderation would be done a little more sensibly. Sour grapes? Maybe, but I’d still like to see Nintendo relax the rules a little bit to ensure Miiverse survives into the future with a varied and satisfied user base.
What do you think about the heavy moderation in Miivese? Does it go too far? Leave a comment and let me know. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU. You can also buy that T-Shirt at zazzle.com.
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