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Nuance

bonegolem Mar 20th, 2016 (edited) 875 Never
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  1. Hello again. So, as promised, I'm giving you a heads-up before I continue—I've thought it over.
  2.  
  3. Sorry for starting from far, but I'd like to start by talking a little about DeepFreeze in general.
  4. Like the site or not--at very least, I consider it full of issues most related to the very little time spent on it--it is doing something unprecedented.
  5. I dislike blogs, by-day journalism, fluff pieces. I despise looking at the news and hearing that the government is saying their new law is good and the oppositions are saying that it is bad, and no one tells me what this law actually IS.
  6. I like information clean, organized, all in one piece, synthetic. Like those old-style scored reviews that the larger number of releases and the differentiation of media are slowly killing. I used to love Gamespot's old-style reviews, ~10 years ago--remember? the ones with the little symbols that told you the game was "short", had "punishing difficulty" or left a "horrible first impression", and three review scores (reviewer, readers, GameRankings average).
  7. DeepFreeze, fail at it or succeed, attempts to do something similar. Neat, short entries--which, at the same time, attempt to give the maximum amount of info. Clear, simple rules. Minimized administrator influence. Something else like DeepFreeze does not exist--thus, I often find myself dealing with issues that are very new.
  8.  
  9. Entries like yours have been a thorn on my side forever. These "minor" cases. I've had a load of them on the backburner forever.
  10. See, DF entries represent *possible* issues--being 100% sure about something is impossible, unless the journalist literally confesses. I can't know that a certain "Dishonesty" entry was an actual lie, or that a "Corruption" entry really represents an issue that influenced the journalist's judgement--I file stuff when there's a reasonable probability, that's why the site *encourages* you to take entries critically, it's its whole thing. But since the emblems are called "Dishonesty" and "Corruption" rather than, say, "Purple" and "Yellow", I am normally pretty damn persuaded when I hit the button.
  11.  
  12. DF, I've said it multiple times, was not conceived as a delicate and nuanced instrument. It's a fucking sledgehammer, designed to hit at a games journalism that, as I argued in the previous pastebin, I consider very corrupt. It works wonders and looks grand when dealing with people who have 5+ entries. People with one? Not so much.
  13. And, paradoxally, this is an especially pesky issue with CoIs. More "arbitrary" emblems, where I have more agency and thus should be less fair, I can deal with by just erring on the side of forgiveness.
  14. (This has, however, created quite a few instances of a different problem, that I call "exception emblems", where an entry has been filed for a certain issue on a certain journo before I decided to do further research / err on the side of forgiveness, and we're struck with an entry that is unfair because it's been filed on a guy when the same thing is no longer or not yet being filed with others. It's a different topic.)
  15. CoIs, though? Well, they're expected to be clean-cut. They *are* objective: when dealing with, say, a Sensationalism entry, your defense will be "no, this is wrong--I was not manufacturing a scandal or deliberatly exaggerating", but when you're in front of proof that a guy you've written about has a seemingly reasonably developed relationship with you hanged out with you a few times, you can't *deny the existence* of this thing, at best you can argue it's a "grey area" or "not a big deal".
  16. I can't take too much liberty. I *must* follow the same rules for everybody, otherwise it makes no sense to keep the archive going.
  17.  
  18. So, there's where I had trouble.
  19. Cases where the journalist has either made a good case for his/her issue being very minor or just apparent, like you did.
  20. Cases where the disclosure was added before I filed the entry, like Hancock from Destructoid did: https://www.reddit.com/r/deepfreeze/comments/41e3on/cronyism_destructoids_patrick_hancock_and/
  21. Cases where there's a mix of the two: https://twitter.com/ConradZimmerman/status/640865433868992513
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  23.  
  24. If you've followed me so far, you'll see that this is a no-win situation.
  25. Either I file people who I think do not deserve the sledgehammer, or I don't and compromise the site's guidelines, give myself more leeway, treat people unequally. You can, I think, understand why I kept on the fence so long.
  26. Until now. Because I decided how to deal with it. I've peer-reviewed this stuff, and most people said "yeah, don't file them, but if they do anything else hit them for both this one and the other one".
  27. As I said, DF is shit at dealing with nuance. It's not *completely* shit though, and it does have a tool to handle nuanced situations that I introduced a few months back: emblem modifiers. http://www.deepfreeze.it/advanced_guidelines.php#entry-modifiers
  28.  
  29. Aside from the "Not" modifier (which is basically an entry that gets unfiled), others ("amended" and "possible") are meant to turn an emblem in an "half" emblem. They're supposed to count as a full entry when paired with unmodified emblems, and to count for zero alone. They don't precisely count for zero, but they do alter the journo page, which changes depending on what is the "highest tier" entry on it. Like this:
  30. Amended: http://www.deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=darren_nakamura
  31. Possible: http://www.deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=andrew_hayward
  32. Not: http://www.deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=zack_stern
  33.  
  34. I would say the very through explaination is a very good case for a "possible" emblem. So I'll file it as that. In case even partial disclosure is added, I'll change to "amended"--most of this is old stuff, so I can understand if it can't be fixed everywhere.
  35. Is it fair? No, it's shit. If it was fair, I'd just have filed it right away and called it a day instead of spending all this time tormenting myself. But it's the best I can do right now: using the "not" modifier is too lenient and confusing, and situation *can be* a situation where boundaries were crossed in such a way that a reader might want to know before making an informed decision, which--even if I feel in this case there's a reasonable argument for innocence--I must deal with *in general* in a way that is coherent. As a matter of fact, I already filed another journalist for the very same conflict of interest: http://www.deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=nathan_grayson#797. You may argue that this issue is minor or not in his case (actually, you're encouraged to: again, that's how DF is intended to work) but I feel it's very clear how in this case, with this context, with no response, the issue is significantly more pressing.
  36.  
  37. If I figure out a better way to deal with a situation like this, I'll refile this stuff. Might take months (it did for modifiers), might never happen. For now, that's how I'll go.
  38.  
  39. Sorry about the wall of text. I'll be here if you need anything.
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