1. Item verification is always, 100% a SCAM! Glitched, illegal, or otherwise unsafe items don't exist.
    If you're here for an admin's "trade assistance", read this immediately or you will lose your items!!!

A Serious Discussion Through My Eyes.

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by Wimp, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Wimp

    Wimp Banned on SteamRep

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    Hello young scaliwags I used to go by the steam name of "Wimp" for the majority of my time playing TF2. I joined steam about 5 years ago around the " Golden Age" of TF2 where a key was about 2.66 ref or so. I was about 12 years old at the time. Me being a young bull with not a lot of morality decided to take up scamming. I tried to scam a guy of about 4 keys by saying I would gift wrap a strange gunslinger and give it to him in exchange for 4 keys.( I mean come on really?) He ends the trade and leaves. I don't remember exactly what I did after but I believe I didn't think much of it. I think two days after the event unfolds I tried joining a trading server and it said I was banned. I thought it was peculiar because I had never joined the server before. This was the case for just about every server I joined except the "dead" servers. I continued to play the game on a minuscule level and soon after quit for about 1 1/2 years. I start getting into the game again and realized that I was still banned on just about every trading server. I started to do some research and It said I was banned by Steamrep. I create an appeal but I explicitly remember thinking I was almost 2 years late on the appeal. I waited patiently because I already saw the time allotted for other appeals. About a year later I started getting frustrated. I looked for ways to bypass but of course there was none. I then created an alt and for some time thrived but ultimately got banned after the account started to increase. I quit the game and from time to time checked Steamrep to see if I was to be questioned or to be "investigated" but of course it never happened.

    A couple of things to take note of:

    I was banned in 6th grade and Presently I am going to be a senior in highschool.
    There are a couple arguments one could make about the report made against me several years ago but I am not going to get into it.
    I didnt know of steamrep prior to attempting to scam.

    Now my favorite part the discussion.

    I noticed a couple of things as I checked steam rep today

    1. Reports arent being checked in chronological order. They are being checked in terms of effort. If a report is easy to handle they will look at that one first. Obviously there are many problems with that system with the main one being the first report being put out is more likely to be withheld but I am sure they know this already and the reply will be : We dont have a lot of staff members, We have real lives, We want to check and filter mistakes first. Just the usual bogus answers they give.

    2. Change of Heart subcategory is deprioritized. Could someone explain why this is? I would say that this should be probably one of the easiest things to investigate into. If there is some form of remorse in what the person wrote and there is some time served (Even though I believe this is pretty stupid because the amount served cant truly be distinguished from what isnt time served but oh well.) The appeal could be handle within 5-15 mins depending on the scale of the appeal.

    3. Staff Size. One thing the admins speak of is staff size. They say they do not have a lot of staff members( Crazy how the people who determine who comes in speak about staff size.) but there are several solutions.

    The first being work quicker.(Probably not constructive criticism but its the truth.)

    The second is stop having super strict trust to join the steamrep team. What is the worst that could happen if you allow someone to join the team and they turn out bad. Just kick them off the team and look over everything they have done. Especially if they end up doing something really shaddy or stupid they would just have their reputation tarnished and then banned especially if they have some wealth that is probably the worst thing that could happen to a tf2 player. Obviously it would be a lot of work but then again thats what all of the admins signed up for right?

    The Best Solution I feel would be for all current admins to have 3 "lesser" admins underneath the wing. The admins only job would be to look over everything done by there lesser admins( Of course they would be able to do appeals on their own but their main job would to revise/ look over.) The "lesser" admins would actually be investigating into the appeals. The admin could look over the final decision made by the lesser admin before it goes live so its pretty much fail proof unless the admin itself is corrupt, "but theres nothing to worry about there "-Steamrep (No shade)

    It would take maybe a month or so to implement properly with the least amount of problems but Steamreps efficiency would skyrocket.





    A couple of Important things :
    1. Don't comment please if you didn't read everything.
    2. This wasn't to bash steamrep but if you read everything you would know that already.
    3. This wasn't made to try and get my appeal looked at because I pretty much already know it wont get looked at.
    4. This is a discussion with pretty healthy constructive criticism I wouldn't understand why it would get closed if it did.
    5. Read Everything even though I already know most of peoples arguments were already broken down in the paragraphs above.

    Yours Truly, A Centaur?
  2. a Gentleman

    a Gentleman SteamRep Moderator Partner Community Donator - Tier V

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    Hello, just a reminder that there will be no discussion regarding your appeal in this part of the Forums. I'm sure you already know that though. I'd be happy to take a look at the other notes you've made.

    1. All new reports are reviewed within 48 hours. A lot of them are accepted and denied, while some remain in a "Needs more Information" status and can stay like that for a while. We have more than enough staff to handle report volumes (shoutout to SR Admin Horse, who has been kicking ass in the Reports section of the forums). Older reports are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with some especially complicated reports simply taking a very long time to investigate. If you look at our pending reports section, you'll see that, bar the reports from the past 48 hours, the last pending report was submitted in July of 2016. We are working on that backlog and have been making lots of progress! Some old reports are left open on purpose, though we are making an effort to close as many as we can.

    2. Change of Heart appeals aren't granted simply because the scammer has a change of heart. There are lots of factors to consider, such as time elapsed and re-offending risk. You'll have to wait for an Appeals Admin to give a more solid response.

    3. Working faster is an option, but all staff at SteamRep are volunteers that are not compensated for their time or effort. Regarding the trust issue of new hires... If you were accused of a scam, would you rather have someone who has no investigative or community experience to handle your report, or would you have someone who has significant investigative experience under their belt? There are a few issues for lowering our standards for staff applicants - a lot of it has to do with how staff members can abuse their position here for reputation elsewhere. Your suggestion for staff working under staff is already in place. Reports generally go through at least two staff members before they are accepted (unless the report is reviewed by a single experienced admin), and appeals receive a similar kind of scrutiny as well.

    Just a quick recap:
    - We don't have efficiency issues for a volunteer organization of our size.
    - We are not lacking in staff members that handle reports as all new reports are reviewed within 48 hours and oftentimes a lot faster.
    - Old pending reports may be kept up for a variety of reasons, ranging from complexity, to missing statements, to being kept open on purpose. We are actively resolving them.
    - Change of hearts appeals don't get accepted simply because a scammer feels bad - there are other factors.
    - Lowering standards for new applicants is not viable. We recommend applicants get experience at a partner community before applying here.

    I understand this wasn't made to get your appeal looked at. Your constructive criticism and suggestions are received, though you don't necessarily have all the information you need to make better-informed suggestions. We often bring up these issues during staff meetings and actively discuss them, so rest assured that we do want to improve! Don't worry, I'm not closing this thread, so long as it doesn't turn into a discussion regarding your appeal. ;)
    Roudydogg1 and Lava like this.
  3. Wimp

    Wimp Banned on SteamRep

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    Kinda expected this to happen but oh well. Its quite obvious this isnt a discussion about my appeal because it has already been stated that I don't care if my appeal gets reviewed or not anymore. Regardless lets get down to business.

    1. You actually have a backlog of 598 pages. You and I both know you will not get through all of those reports in this lifetime without changes. "We are working on that backlog and have been making lots of progress" You can probably assume what I am going to say regarding this.
    "Some old reports are left open on purpose, though we are making an effort to close as many as we can." Stated a portion of this previously maybe I didnt elaborate on it enough. This is a problem. If you prioritize newer reports and make small efforts to get old reports done it not only makes it harder to review because people forget stuff and information can get twisted etc etc, its what creates backlog in the first place.

    2. Understandably, but if you were to go to the back of the Change of Heart appeals it already takes out one of the factors that being time elapsed. Also how does one gauge re offending risk especially when majority of the time the appeal was made a considerable amount of time earlier than it was actually being looked at. Honestly you couldnt even gauge re offending risk completely without guessing assuming your not dealing with a young kid.

    3. I don't understand the first statement. You could work quicker for the same amount of time if you weren't working quickly. "If you were accused of a scam, would you rather have someone who has no investigative or community experience to handle your report, or would you have someone who has significant investigative experience under their belt" there are a lot more factors hidden in this question but it would take a while to go into it. The most obvious thing I see here is I would take the person with no investigative abilities assuming I was not innocent because the appeal time would be significantly decreased assuming that my idea was put into place.


    "Just a quick recap:"
    - We don't have efficiency issues for a volunteer organization of our size.
    - We are not lacking in staff members that handle reports as all new reports are reviewed within 48 hours and oftentimes a lot faster.
    - Old pending reports may be kept up for a variety of reasons, ranging from complexity, to missing statements, to being kept open on purpose. We are actively resolving them.
    - Change of hearts appeals don't get accepted simply because a scammer feels bad - there are other factors.
    - Lowering standards for new applicants is not viable. We recommend applicants get experience at a partner community before applying here.


    -Your right you dont have efficiency issues for a volunteer organization of your size. You have efficiency issues with the volume of work relative to your size
    -Anyone who took a quick glance at this site for 5 mins would know that is completely wrong
    -This is an obvious problem
    - Of course not, but then when 3 years pass and the same thing is being said it becomes a problem. I am also sure these other factors you speak about arent hard to discern.
    -Continuing this way is also not viable. Change needs to happen.

    I also noticed in the time after posting the original post that the 1 week to reply needs to be enforced better. People who dont reply within a week should be put into a inactive folder. If they do end up replying they may elaborate the situation within a week or the appeal gets denied. As random jumps just because someone was inactive may halt current investigations.
  4. ЩĄ | Horse

    ЩĄ | Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin Partner Community

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    I'm not going into the rest of whatever you are saying - I can speak on behalf of the reports section.

    That 598pages of backlog isn't a backlog....its 90% of garbage - PURE GARBAGE. What you have is a long standing history prior to 2015 of many users making reports just to make a report be it again someone spamming them, calling them names, someone LOOKS like they are a scammer and so on. Other reports were made against users for hijacking, phishing, spycrabs all of which we no longer accept or haven't accepted in a very long time due to changes in policy.
    https://forums.steamrep.com/threads/steamrep-investigative-policy.140101/

    So all in all there may be 5-10% of those that may be legit reports with valid evidence against users most likely NO LONGER active... or from what I've seen so far that is the case.
    We are concentrating at this time on reports coming in when we know the users are active, the victims/Ops are active to reply to provide additional evidence and when things are nice and fresh which makes them much easier to resolve.

    The reports I've picked up from say 2014 - you either have users no longer active - left steam on both sides so the report hangs for another week or so till we archive it for lack of response.
    And finally you have many reports against the same users whom are already tagged - some users have 10+ reports against them.

    SO ask yourself about that so called backlog again .. its really not as big and serious as everyone thinks.
    The reports team has made a HUGE dent in the reports since 2015 - we've caught up at that point so there really is NO backlog.
    I can speak for myself at this point - that if I don't get to a new report filed within 48hours someone else will. The report will get some sorta response in that time frame - then if there is more needed its up to the OP to keep up with their report and follow up - which don't get me started on that.
    I can tell you that the majority of reports are made by someone so quick to just make a half assed report and get it up against someone they don't gather hardly any evidence and when we ask for more they just completely abandon it and never follow up. That wastes our time - time we can spend on other reports, maybe even all those older reports you speak of.

    It isn't all staffs fault for reports hanging around and most users like yourself don't realize that or want to realize that.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  5. Inu

    Inu TF2Bazaar Owner SteamRep Moderator Partner Community Donator - Tier V

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    You are telling us our backlog is a huge issue and yet you are suggesting another backlog. I appreciate any ideas and feedback we get but from everything you have said across this thread so far, it has either been very vague such as "work faster" or you state how easy something is to implement when it is not easy at all.

    Taking the person with no investigative abilities as your choice shows that you don't fully understand the scope of SteamRep and to what scrutiny we must act.
    This is not a gameserver. This is a large scale non-profit organization that realizes their database is being used by a ton of major sites via the API and as such hinders someone from most trading business with a single tag. Our responsibility is to tag those who need to be tagged and make sure those who don't deserve one also don't get one. This can not be guaranteed by a person with no previous experience in either scam reports or scam appeals.

    Once again you lack the knowledge about SteamRep and its staff, thus your suggestion is based on pure assumptions.
    The worst thing that could happen is for a single black sheep to ruin our entire public image by not handling reports the way they are meant to be handled. Do you think anyone would still put any trust in us if a single moderator were to batch-invalidate every currently open report? Or perhaps he might wait to become an admin and then process reports against his friends in their favor? We simply can not risk this, hence we are very careful about who gets to join our ranks.

    You admit to it being a lot of work and essentially contradict all your previous statements about us needing to work more efficiently. You are, once again, creating another possible backlog when, what you are mostly telling us, backlogs are so bad according to you.



    I get what you are trying to do and I am not trying to bash it at all but I'd suggest you get a better understanding of SteamRep so your criticism can actually be as constructive as you hoped for.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  6. You Are The One

    You Are The One SteamRep Admin Partner Community

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    "Change of Heart" are deprioritized because nothing is in dispute by the appealer, they are correctly tagged and they acknowledge as much. Appeals team focus most of our investigative manpower on other cases where users could be potentially innocent/incorrectly tagged. Its not a hard concept to understand and it seems you have a pending case with us so am declining to comment further.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  7. Wimp

    Wimp Banned on SteamRep

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    Once again newly joined admins it really pays to read everything before you make a claim that was already debunked.

    Horse
    "So all in all there may be 5-10% of those that may be legit reports with valid evidence against users most likely NO LONGER active..." Statistically speaking if we were to take that 5% which is the lower end of your estimation you would still have about 30 pages of backlog. There also new reports coming in everyday mind you PLUS the efficiency of the current system I would say it would take you guys atleast a year to get through those 30 pages without looking at any new reports which is pretty terrible if you think about it.

    "The reports I've picked up from say 2014 - you either have users no longer active - left steam on both sides so the report hangs for another week or so till we archive it for lack of response."

    Most people stop playing the game after being marked. I bet you majority of them come back every now and then to see if there appeal has been looked at.

    "SO ask yourself about that so called backlog again .. its really not as big and serious as everyone thinks.
    The reports team has made a HUGE dent in the reports since 2015 - we've caught up at that point so there really is NO backlog."

    This is a lie that you guys keep telling yourselves there is still an enormous backlog. You cannot seriously tell me that there aren't at least 100 people who haven't had their appeal looked at and has waited for over a year. Even if it was only 5 people that were in a backlog but waited over a year to even get their appeal looked at you dont believe that is even a little bit wrong?

    "It isn't all staffs fault for reports hanging around and most users like yourself don't realize that or want to realize that."

    What are you saying? Its your fault for not trying to make your system more efficient. You cant expect to keep the same system for the next few years.

    Inu

    Well you decide according to your logic. Have the same backlog or change the backlog and have get through appeals quicker you cant actually be serious. You then claim everything is vague. How more specific can work faster be? Also I am trying to give you guys some groundwork so that you guys made build upon it. If you expect anyone to give you everything in black and white its not gonna happen. How hard would it be to implement a lesser admin to work for a higher ranked admin in a month? You also stated I said something was easy to implement in the first place so please point that out because I never said that. I said a month is approximately the time you need and according to another admin its supposedly already implemented.

    "Taking the person with no investigative abilities as your choice shows that you don't fully understand the scope of SteamRep and to what scrutiny we must act."

    I understand that but you what you guys fail to realize is that mistakes happen. A good analogy to think of is basically our prison system. I am sure you would already understand the roles being pointed out. The easiest way to put it is you guys put people in "jail" with no definite sentence it could last days or it could last years. Most people broke "laws" they didnt know about yet they are still thrown in jail understandably, but you would think there would be less of a repercussion. Some people get out quicker than others despite serving a less amount of time while all committing the same crime.

    Half way through typing this I just feel nothing will change regardless of what is being said but perhaps a little star will rise up. Anyway back to the regular scheduled programming.

    "The worst thing that could happen is for a single black sheep to ruin our entire public image by not handling reports the way they are meant to be handled. Do you think anyone would still put any trust in us if a single moderator were to batch-invalidate every currently open report? Or perhaps he might wait to become an admin and then process reports against his friends in their favor? We simply can not risk this, hence we are very careful about who gets to join our ranks."

    This is probably the worst argument in your paragraph so I assuming maybe you didnt read everything or you had a misconception. I had already stated in the hypothetical system that everything would I put through to the admin before the decision would be made. If an action is made before being put through to the admin it would just get revoked and only that 1 person would be allowed a re-appeal. Hypothetically if it were to happen, Yes I do believe everyone would still put trust in you for several reasons 1. Being your a monopoly there is no other choice currently. 2. Anyone could see that the one moderator who tried to pull a fast one was corrupt. You even said it yourself "a single moderator". If someone in the police force turns out to be corrupt does anyone completely dispatch of the police force as a whole ? Not at all so I dont know where your getting that assumption from.

    "You admit to it being a lot of work and essentially contradict all your previous statements about us needing to work more efficiently. You are, once again, creating another possible backlog when, what you are mostly telling us, backlogs are so bad according to you."

    I take it back this is probably your worst argument. How is saying a implementation might need a lot of work ,contradict a statement of your guys also needing to work more efficiently? That is truly mind boggling. Creating a reduced size backlog in exchange for increased efficiency? Backlogs are indeed bad when correlated with your system of priority. Its fine to have a backlog if you can work back to a neutral state pretty easily. This is obviously not the case.


    You Are The One

    "Change of Heart" are deprioritized because nothing is in dispute by the appealer, they are correctly tagged and they acknowledge as much. Appeals team focus most of our investigative manpower on other cases where users could be potentially innocent/incorrectly tagged. Its not a hard concept to understand and it seems you have a pending case with us so am declining to comment further.

    Pretty much what your saying is you shouldn't even have an appeal section for people who are rightfully marked. You will check those appeal when you feel like it, especially since your not going in chronological order some people pretty much have a life sentence because YOUR NOT GOING TO GET THROUGH EVERY APPEAL without change . Logically speaking it would be a lot easier to get through those appeals than anything else, You would know that was already stated if you read everything. It isn't a hard concept to understand but what you don't understand is it is flawed. Rightfully so because you haven't been on the other end of the stick. A rich man cant tell a poor man that life as a poor man is easy, hard, justified because he was never poor. You would think the people who enforce these things would have their own morality in check.

    "it seems you have a pending case with us so am declining to comment further."

    This gets me fired up because it makes me feel you didnt read anything at all. Your half-assed answer backs it up. If it makes you feel better I will delete my appeal right after this so you can properly understand.


    Notes:
    Regardless of what is being said it is still a discussion
    Don't get mad because your views are being challenged
  8. Wimp

    Wimp Banned on SteamRep

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    "The worst thing that could happen is for a single black sheep to ruin our entire public image by not handling reports the way they are meant to be handled. Do you think anyone would still put any trust in us if a single moderator were to batch-invalidate every currently open report? Or perhaps he might wait to become an admin and then process reports against his friends in their favor? We simply can not risk this, hence we are very careful about who gets to join our ranks."

    I failed to mention that one would not simple shamble his one reputation just to try and blind side steamrep especially assuming ones account has value because for obvious reasons they would just get banned and would not be able to trade away their items properly.
  9. ЩĄ | Horse

    ЩĄ | Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin Partner Community

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    30 pages of old reports of the other reports I mentioned - no longer valid due to policy changes, reports that weren't done correctly (IE: user scammed me and posts picture of sponge bob for evidence)...and all other possible outcomes.
    I could do 30 pages of reports in 1 day if I wanted to and had the time away from new reports coming in... granted many new reports are users reporting the SAME users over and over (already tagged users) so that takes time away from those that were never addressed. We really wish users would take the time to research those they are about to accept friend requests from to see if they are tagged or not - if tagged best to just avoid them. Most don't do that - they would rather lead them on, get screenshots make a report when there isn't a thing more we can do to them...its just how it is.
    If we could curb the nonsense reports coming in everyday that would be a plus in freeing up time to get to those FEW older reports that are maybe valid.
    If you can't understand that I'm not sure how to help you here.

    If they stopped playing then they maybe stopped scamming too - that's awesome.

    I didn't lie about anything in that statement... I never once spoke for the Appeals section - I clearly said I was only talking for the Reports. Pretty damn hard to lie about something I never even discussed.

    The reporting form and methods have been revised a great deal in the last year - I know cause I rewrote the policy guide, the report form, the screenshot guide and I'm currently finishing up revisions on report submissions guide. I can't help it if people can't read them or don't take the few minutes to read them. We can't help it if someone makes a report and we question them for something additional and they NEVER follow up or reply to it...that just wastes our time with a dead report that hangs around for a week or more before we again waste more time to tell them that they failed to follow up and the report is archived - all of which takes TIME to do.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  10. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

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    You're correct. Newer reports are handled first because those people are more likely to be actively scamming, then after new reports are handled we work backwards. If you read that dialog you're required to acknowledge before submitting a scam report, we make no guarantee we will address every single report. I know that seems unfair if you're still waiting for a report you submitted years ago while watching other newer reports get accepted quickly (now that backlog is less of an issue), but you need to remember this was never about your personal revenge or (hopelessly trying to) strong-arming stolen goods back from a scammer on your behalf; it's about warning the community of someone unsafe to trade with. It doesn't do the community any good if we mark a trade-banned account that hasn't signed in for over a year and put newer cases on hold to give you that closure, so we try to prioritize the ones which will make a difference.

    If you submit a change of heart appeal, it means you freely admit that you scammed, and your tag was deserved. Sometimes you could argue a change of heart deserves a "second chance" or a downgrade to caution (usually not), but you have to understand someone who might potentially have been innocent should have priority over those who were tagged correctly and probably deservedly.

    This is a legitimate issue we deserve criticism for, and one we're working on but a lot of people - yourself included - really don't understand why it's an issue. I'll address some of those points below:

    Plowing through older reports is a lot slower than new ones because typically when someone new is scammed, they submit the report, log out, and never sign in or check again, leaving the report handing for years after the moderator or admin asks for additional evidence, wasting time of everyone looking back through it.

    Appeals are a lot more difficult. The scammer may have multiple alts, some of which may not have been identified yet and require hours of research, and some the appellant may claim belong to friends/siblings, and figuring out which of those points are true or lies/excuses requires a very experienced community admin who is used to speaking with pathological and sometimes professional liars on a regular basis. Doctored evidence is also not out of the question, and the admin's decision here is final, so we have to make absolute certain we're making the right call.

    And finally, working quicker means greater chance of mistakes. Just telling us to "hurry up" might make you feel like you're taking the moral high ground against a perceived bureaucratic mess, but it really doesn't help.


    Worst that could happen? Let's see, he could...
    • Abuse access to suppress scam reports against himself, friends, or alts either for money or nepotism.
    • Use their position (especially after waiting for a green tag) as a position of trust and credibility, in order to run off with held middleman items that sometimes total in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
    • Wait until promoted to admin then use our database (and threat of destroying people's reputation) to extort items from innocent traders.
    • Give preferential treatment in return for bribes, such as by accepting payment to remove tags from scammers.
    • Gain intelligence and insight into our investigative methods, sources of information, investigative policy, and real-time feedback and visibility into what types of scams are successful, and how to get away with them. Possibly even sell it to other scammers for a consultation fee, which I've seen some do.
    That's a terrible idea. Are you seriously ok with presenting these risks to the community just so we can "hire more staff"? Tell me: How would you react to us if we lowered our standards, hired one of those many scammer alts who apply, and they used their tag/access to go on a scamming spree? The aftermath and cleanup from even one of those above incidents would be far, far, FAR more demanding than any relief the new applicants would provide, and I'm not even accounting for the months of time required to train those incoming recruits. I'll admit staff applications need improvement, and background investigations aren't necessarily the only reason. It's cold comfort because we've said it before, but we're working through those other issues. Lowering our vetting standards isn't the answer, and with you suggesting something like that, it's honestly a lot harder for me to take the rest of your feedback seriously. Like you didn't take a minute to think about your suggestions before posting.

    We're actually already doing something like that behind the scenes. We're all volunteers, and believe it or not, very few people actually want to work in appeals.
    So you criticize us for being too paranoid of conficting interests, then proceed to accuse us of corruption as it is? Double standards much?

    And we have almost 1300 pages[/quote] of completed reports. I'm not saying it's easy, or that we haven't been talking about reorganizing and revising our approaches, but to say we "will not get through all of those reports in this lifetime without changes" is a bit of a stretch.

    No, it prevents the backlog from growing bigger while we (slowly) chip away at what remains. Your suggestion of handling older reports first, with all the people who abandon their reports as soon as they submit, will create backlog.

    Exactly. Not only is it unfair to review cases of self-admitted scammers before those who might be innocent, but it's also a lot harder and a lot more time consuming. It's easier and faster to deny someone who we catch in a lie than it is to try and figure out of someone who at least told the truth (at first) might scam again given the opportunity, and at the same time a lot more important to minimize harm to innocent traders, than it is to try and let known scammers back into the community out of compassion or pity.

    In #3, your chief complaint was our chronically limited staff, and the experience/trust requirements to join, not how fast or "efficient" those existing staff operate. Gentleman answered the complaint by explaining what it would mean to have a bunch of inexperienced staff working through our backlogs.

    That's not efficiency, it's scaling. I think we have room for improvement, but we handle it pretty well all things considered. A handful of other sites have popped up over the years trying to accomplish what we're doing, and most have failed pretty hard.
    I think what Gentleman was trying to point out is that new reports are handled very quickly. Yes, we're short-handed, but we do have the report backlog under control. If you don't believe me, you should watch some new reports as they come in, and look at how quickly they get closed out or accepted - usually within a couple days at most.
    It's very logical to keep an active investigation open until resolved instead of closing it. Not sure why you think that's a problem, but it certainly isn't "obvious" to me. Just in case you're confused, that accounts for some reports, but nowhere near the majority.
    If we removed the tag from every scammer who copy/pasted a "I'm sorry, please untag me" story, then there would be no point in marking them to begin with. We have to make a judgement call, guided by policies and procedures developed over the course of half a decade of experience, about whether they're likely to scam again or pose a continued threat to the community. If that were simple enough to explain in this single thread, we wouldn't have the trouble we have finding qualified appeals admins.
    Already addressed above. You think we should quit worrying about hiring scammers and just accept that we're going to have corrupt admins (then accept all the consequences that come from hiring scammers), I disagree. I don't think we will see eye-to-eye on it, so let's agree to disagree, ok?

    Are you talking about appeals now? It was actually bumped up to 2 weeks, and we have been fairly lenient about even that, just in acknowledgement of our own shortcomings with appeal timeframes. It's a tough balancing act between moving onto the next appellant or giving the existing one a reasonable chance to follow up, but we don't want to blanket-deny someone for failure to respond within a random 1-2 week window after waiting 1-2 years. By policy, we still can, but we try to give as fair of a judgement as we can instead of just outright rejecting for failure to reply on our own timeline.

    And if we focused on reducing that backlog - which honestly take a lot longer because most of them won't ever be looked at by the submitter again - newer reports would build up. As it stands, we handle pretty much all the newer reports, effectively preventing the backlog from growing, while we slowly work backwards through what is already waiting. What is your point here?

    We're still talking about reports here, right? As in, the person who got scammed and made a report? That's pretty clearly what Horse was explicitly talking about, and usually those guys aren't marked. People often leave the game after a few years whether they're marked or not, especially if they're young and in a transitional point of their lives. Chasing after inactive people who haven't signed into Steam for over a year is mostly a waste of time compared to handling newer reports against people actively scamming by the hour. What is the issue here?

    No, it's not a lie, and again, Horse is talking about the report backlog, not appeals - he specifically SAID reports multiple times in that sentence you quoted. Quit putting words in his mouth. New reports are handled quickly, which means the backlog as you know it is gone. Yes, there's still a backlog of old reports, which is going to slowly shrink away over time. The point remains that you don't have to wait a long time for a report you submit to get handled.

    So now you say we aren't even trying? Just because we aren't (or haven't been) following your special instructions to the letter, you insist we haven't tried anything?

    I can tell you firsthand that nobody on SteamRep staff is happy about backlogs of any kind. Several concrete plans have been attempted or implemented over the years with varying degrees of success. "Get rid of the backlog" isn't a concrete plan, just a long-term goal.

    For a hypothetical example, a concrete plan to "hire staff faster" would be to designate a "new staff" committee and set a specific quorum and timeframe requirement for a new staff to get hired, then after X weeks either accept or deny with a form-letter reply based on the outcome of that vote. Obviously that's a bit vague, and doesn't account for all the nuances with our hiring process, but you can see there's a specific plan of action instead of "OMG you guys suck, hurry up already".

    A court is a bad analogy. We aren't law enforcement or a government agency, and tags are meant for a warning to others, not punishment for the wearer. Tags are permanent by nature, so assuming the tag was correctly applied, there isn't a "time served for your sentence" here. We have appeals because we don't want innocent people hurt by mistakes. Even a single mistake is terrible here, and to be honest I wish certain court systems cared about that.

    Look at my points above - even a moderator or "new" admin has room to cause harm. We have an audit log, and other than stolen items (because the victim trusted us to not hire a scammer) we'd be able to revert it, they'd still do substantial damage. And the resulting damage to our public image would last for years.

    For perspective on just how bad that damage would be, a senior community admin who we gave an "honorary" middleman tag to scammed someone - even though we immediately removed his SR MIDDLEMAN tag, marked him as a scammer, decreed there will never be a SR MIDDLEMAN tag again, and contacted Valve to have all his accounts trade banned before he had a chance to do anything with the stolen goods - people today continue to quote the case again, and again, and again, as "proof that all SteamRep admins are corrupt". That was for one scam, against another scammer, immediately and thoroughly handled, so imagine what someone using a position here to go on a mass scamming spree would do to our reputation.

    You Are The One

    Is that what you want? No change of heart appeals at all? We currently give you the option to appeal and maybe have it handled when we're able. You might not like how they're prioritized - especially because you're marked yourself - but you have to admit there's a difference between not having appeals at all, or having appeals that get handled eventually.

    We do get through every appeal, they just consistently take a while. We're handling appeals, and new appeals are also being submitted. I'm not defending that an appeal backlog exists - nobody here is happy about it - but as it stands very few people on our staff are interested in or able to work in appeals, and very few people qualified (either in trust or experience) apply. The progress is not as great as with our report backlog, and it'd be better if more volunteers would work in them, but you can still watch the oldest (non change-of-heart) appeals get handled over time.

    No, we don't discuss specific cases in general discussion by policy. He's an appeals admin, trying to still provide you with some kind of response without jeopardizing your case with insider information. Anything specific to your case will be discussed in your appeal (or appeal review), not here.

    Absolutely wrong. Several green-tagged community admins have thrown away their reputation for the profit of scamming over the years, and they didn't even have access to our database. Quite a few scammers apply to staff here, some repeatedly from new accounts each time we turn them down. The only reason we aren't overrun with scammers in our staff is because we vet them, which you're now insisting we should quit doing.