What is Clearlight?Project Clearlight is a simple page with a simple goal, yet one with far-reaching consequences. It aims to encourage greater moderator accountability on Neopets by persuading TNT to supply a screenshot or detailed transcript of the reported offense whenever an account is frozen or suspended. The name reflects the transparency and "enlightenment" that such a change would hopefully bring to Neopia.
Why Supply Evidence?There are several good reasons for providing hard evidence of the offence that led to an account being suspended or frozen. Here is a breakdown of the most obvious benefits.
As an ordinary user, I can't claim to know either how much mail the support team receive in total, or what percentage of that is from people wanting to know the reason for a freezing or suspension. However, I'm guessing that both numbers are pretty high. If there were no "why was I frozen?" queries jamming the support inbox, the staff would have a lighter workload and/or be able to attend to other questions more quickly.
Let's bring a bit of brightness to our hardworking support staff.
Unfortunately, there have been quite a few incidents recently of malicious users trying to "frame" others by impersonation or false reporting. For the most part, these attempts are unprofessional enough to be seen through by the moderators, but it's possible that some cases slip through the net and lead to incorrectly frozen accounts. In such a situation, the account owner may have a hard time getting the account back and proving hir innocence, since s/he has no idea what s/he is meant to have done. If it was made clear from the start what the supposed offence was, it would be easier to sort out mistakes like this.
Let's shed a bit of light on tangled cases.
TNT's moderators work hard and make difficult judgements, yet because the reasons for freezing accounts are currently kept hidden, to the public, every freezing is an "unfair freezing". This creates an image of the mods as impulsive, distractable, gullible or malevolent, the opposite of how a dedicated, hard-working staff team should be seen. It's surely a difficult enough job helping keep this huge site on the rails without being maligned by the very players you're trying to help.
Let's make it clear TNT have nothing to keep in the dark.
...yes, we all know there are some people who persistently break the rules for the thrill of it. This isn't about them. I'm talking about people who get confused about why they were frozen or suspended and proceed to do the same thing again, not knowing it will get them into even more trouble. A screenie or transcript of their exact offence might not be much consolation for the loss of their old account, but it'll stop them losing another one just when they think they're rising out of the ashes.
Let's light the way back into Neopian success for reformed users.
Won't Clearlight Mean Extra Work For TNT?Yes-- once. Someone will have to code the system for taking the screenshots or transcripts and attaching them to the frozen/sussed page. Once it's done, however, it's done, and as mentioned above, a huge amount of mail will vanish from TNT's workload EVERY DAY. So it's a short-term investment of time and effort, in return for a long-term benefit. I believe the trade-off is fair.
How Would The Screenie Images Get Displayed?The simplest way would be to have them on the "This account has been suspended/frozen for the following" page that a sussed or frozen user sees when s/he tries to log in. That way, only the owner of the account would be able to see the image, and TNT themselves would easily be able to access it in case of queries.
Couldn't People Misuse The Images?I'm sure they could, just as they could theoretically misuse any image. And like any misuse, it would be reportable under the T&C. You don't have to go very far on the Web to find an image that's inappropriate for Neo, and in theory, there's nothing to stop you posting it all over your userlookup. Except the fact that this behaviour will get you FROZEN. Same with an image that contains offensive language, whether or not it originated with TNT. This could be made clear in the rules.
But What About Server Space?As any Beauty Contest entrant will tell you, an image can be legible and fairly clear and still fit into an almost nonexistent amount of disk space. Text takes even less. I appreciate that the storage of the screenshot images would add a little extra load to TNT's servers, but compared to the dozens of items and images that are released in New Features every single week, it wouldn't really be that impressive an amount, especially since images for suspended accounts could be deleted once the suspension was over.
Since TNT have to keep some kind of record of why accounts were frozen for at least a year anyway, it wouldn't really be that much extra load on the servers.
Flick The Switches!Switch 1: Light The Spark
By flicking the first Clearlight switch below, you'll be able to send an idea comment to the relevant department at TNT. These comment forms generally receive an auto-response rather than a reply, but at least someone on the staff team will see the message.
Bear in mind that the support staff have a LOT of mail to read, so be polite, be brief, be realistic, and be informative. Explain exactly what you'd like to see on the frozen account page (stick to the original objective, please! At this stage we don't want to confuse TNT) and maybe give a reason or two why it would be useful. Be sure to thank the staffer for taking the time to read your message!
Please flick this switch only once.
Switch 2: Tell The World
By flicking the second switch, you'll be able to contact TNT's more public side-- the Neopian Times editorial. TNT do say that they choose the more frequent questions each week to publish in the Times, so every little helps! Space counts in the world of the NT editorial, so briefer messages are better. Be polite, but there's no need for any of the over-the-top "you rock, TNT" or "have a cookie"-- that sort of thing is more liable to annoy them. You never know, Project Clearlight could be the talk of Neopia next week!
Please flick this switch only once.
Switch 3: Pass It On!
So you're on board with Project Clearlight? Flick the third switch by making sure all your friends are on board too! Grab a button by copying the code (or make your own!), and put it on your userlookup by clicking the switch below. Of course, you can also put them in shops, petlookups, signatures, petpages... the sky really is the limit. Let's make Clearlight famous!
Thanks for buttons: lucie_super_star, weaponstar, saphireblue3