Three Proposals to Make KGS a Better Place / draft

Table of contents


This page grew out of the discussion in KGS Worst Admin.

I think that NoSide?'s introduction on that page sums up many of the experiences that players have had quite well. However, the KGS Worst Admin page has mostly been about specific abusive behaviours on the part of particular admins, and rather than having a complaint page, I thought it would be a good idea to start something that talks about issues that are emerging as problems - both in the way admins behave, and also problems with KGS policy generally.

Individual admins may or may not act arbitrarily on any particular day, but there are a number of underlying themes that come out of KGS Worst Admin that are worth pointing out.

Some examples are:

- Admins not taking responsibility for the actions of other admins and "passing the buck" to

- Arbitrary banning (banning without warning)

- Admins disobeying their own policy: KGS Issue - Banning Policy, for example by conducting themselves in a manner which they have banned other people for

I also think that the purposes to which this policing is being put are not in the community's interests in the first place, and are against the spirit of Go.

The room policy is one example. The main room being used by players is the EGR. Right now there are 700 players in the EGR, and 40 in the "English Chat Room". If you complain about this issue, you will be told "Go talk in the English Chat Room". It is not only admins who enforce this, but some of the players as well.

Who decides what the main room should be used for? The admins say it is for "Go-related discussion". Well, the way I understand it, Go is supposed to be a social game. If I were in a big hall with other Go players, it would be absurd to insist that everybody talk about Go and nothing else. There shouldn't be a blanket policy against conversation - at least, not one which is so strict that players can get banned without warning for having a 5-10 line conversation.

Furthermore, there is pervasive discrimination against non-English speakers on KGS. I have observed games (not chat rooms, games) where American players tell players who are using other languages that they can only use English, and sometimes say this in really offensive ways. This is completely against the spirit of Go and the tradition which gave us great players such as Kaoru Iwamoto, Fujisawa Shuko, Cho Chikun, Cho U, Go Seigen, Cho Hunhyun etc.

There should be a zero tolerance policy for this sort of behaviour. But I have seen admins let it slide, whereas on the other hand discussion of various kinds of "politics" is banned. Speaking for myself, I got warned for mentioning the song "American Pie". It's just completely absurd.

It should be more than sufficient that particular rooms are designated for particular languages. People who want to talk primarily in that language will naturally gravitate to that room. There is no need to use any sort of banning to attack players who use languages which are not the room's primary language. The only point of doing something like that is to foster a sense of arbitrary division amongst the communities which make up KGS.

Some ideas

Some ideas that I had:

I suggest that players should document examples of offensive or arbitrary behaviour on KGS - either in the chat rooms, in games, or in private conversations with admins, and post it here.

Also, if you see admins targeting another player, I would suggest informing them about this page and encouraging them to document what happened.

I also think it would be good idea to start a room on KGS to chat about these things.

I hope other players will bring up issues and incidents which have happened to them. I've brought up a few issues, but I'm sure there are others.


The usual way to stop people in power from becoming dictators is voting and term limits. Uberdude

Proposals (by Tapir)

Chat ban

A "chat banned" (for say a standard period of 48 hours) person can't chat in other people games or rooms, but will still be able to play and talk face-to-face and in his own games. While this is still a harsh sanction, it will make the normal bans nearly obsolete and will reduce tension considerably.

Public log of bans

All sanctions (ban, chat ban) should be logged publically and a reason given. This would introduce some accountability and responsibility to banning activity on KGS.

Three Proposals to Make KGS a Better Place / draft last edited by on February 1, 2010 - 00:44
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