Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

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Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby andrewd » 20 Mar 2018, 03:14

Admins:

I want to report myself for an unintentional Site Rules violation in Game [redacted]. I'm playing [redacted] and I sent a link of a screen capture to [redacted]. I immediately thought to myself, "you know I wonder if this is against the rules" and then checked to confirm my fears...I immediately deactivated the link (deleted the screen cap) and sent messages to all the powers to ignore the link, and also informed [redacted] them that I would report myself for appropriate corrective action.

I'm a long-time player, but honestly, I never thought about the evils of screen captures until just now. I fully understand the logic behind the rule and realize I should study the Site Rules more carefully to avoid potential future infractions. It's been a long work day, which may have lead to such carelessness.

I do hope that no one else is penalized for my actions and that the game continues to proceed smoothly as there are some great communicators playing. It's been truly fun.

I also appreciate the assistance with this, I know there are other pressing matters demanding the attention of admins. Thank you and good evening.

- Andrew
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby Dolph Shtoss » 20 Mar 2018, 08:34

Hi Andrew,

I’m not an admin, but I think you’ve done the right thing, and shouldn’t be penalized for it.

Interestingly, I’ve done the same thing in an ongoing anonymous game (hence the anonymous post), but the screen capture was (1) partial and (2) doctored. If you maintain a list of past screen captures, it’s actually very easy to add or remove units from a screen capture.

As you, I had a doubt, and checked the site rules later. Since the image was partial (showing only a specific zone of the map) and doctored, it was technically OK, since it was not a “screen capture” per se, but that was clearly a gray area. Or a loophole. Hard to say. So I removed the link, but since the post was adverserial, I did not communicate about it.

Doctoring an image requires a lot of work. Faking a message written in the style of another player, too. I’m not sure I understand why one would be borderline and the other perfectly OK, though, hence this post to ask for clarification.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby super_dipsy » 20 Mar 2018, 08:58

Yes, Andrew did the right thing. Let me explain the issue though since the difference between passing messages and passing screenshots has been brought up.

Obviously, it is easy to forward a message to someone. Also, since when you forward a message you have the opportunity to edit it first, you can clearly doctor it. I would expect almost every user to realize they can do that. You can do the same with emails, after all. The natural assumption is when you have text in a window, it can be changed. On that basis, anyone with half a brain would realize that when someone forwards them a message they claim to have been sent from someone else, it may or may not be real. Same thing as emails and the internet in general; we all know that a forwarded email may not be authentic just as we know anything we read things on wikipedia etc may not be either. Therefore, the receiver will always have an element of doubt.

The anonymous poster points out that the same is true for screenshots. You can edit any image with the right tools and skills, and make it say whatever you want. But there is a key difference here, and that is in the eye of the receiver. While everyone knows you can doctor a message, I suspect most people only vaguely have an awareness that you can doctor an image. Some may even not know it is possible, but I think the vast majority know it can be done BUT would instinctively feel only a nerdy type or a hacker probably knows how. If you do not know how to do it yourself, it is easy to assume that the other players don;t know either. So if someone sends you a screenshot, my bet is it would not even enter the minds of most players on this site that it is not trustworthy.

I hope you can see that this would give someone who DOES know how to doctor screen images a great advantage if they were able to send screenshots. Think of the damage you could do in a FoW game for instance, where you could 'show' the other player exactly where other country units are...or where you WANT him to think they are. Look at the difference there from sending a message saying 'France has an army in Piedmont' or even forwarding a message 'from France' that says he is going to move his army in Piedmont into italy.

The key, therefore, is that in Diplomacy games, there must ALWAYS be an element of doubt. This is why metagaming is such insidious cheating. It strikes at a core facet of Diplomacy. If you can negotiate and operate in the 100% knowledge that you can trust what another country is saying, then it is no longer the game that it was designed to be. Even in the best alliances, there is always a little voice whispering to you that perhaps you are being snowed ;) . Take that away, and you break the game. Similarly, while you may know not to trust schreenshots, many others will tend to regard them as 100% true.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 20 Mar 2018, 10:49

There's also the "even ground" argument--everyone that has access to the site can doctor a message. Leaving aside whether they have the skill to use them or not, not everyone even has the tools available to them to doctor an image convincingly.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby Jack007 » 20 Mar 2018, 11:22

nanooktheeskimo wrote:There's also the "even ground" argument--everyone that has access to the site can doctor a message. Leaving aside whether they have the skill to use them or not, not everyone even has the tools available to them to doctor an image convincingly.


That's not a good argument, imho. Not everyone has the skill or the callousness to lie convincingly and to screw someone by words. So?

And let's be honest: who ever in 2018's world doesn't know that any picture can be faked easily. Especially among those who play Diplomacy online. This rule is simply absurd.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 20 Mar 2018, 11:55

Jack007 wrote:
nanooktheeskimo wrote:There's also the "even ground" argument--everyone that has access to the site can doctor a message. Leaving aside whether they have the skill to use them or not, not everyone even has the tools available to them to doctor an image convincingly.


That's not a good argument, imho. Not everyone has the skill or the callousness to lie convincingly and to screw someone by words. So?

And let's be honest: who ever in 2018's world doesn't know that any picture can be faked easily. Especially among those who play Diplomacy online. This rule is simply absurd.

Whether they have the skill to do so or not is irrelevant to my point, which is whether they have the access to do so. Everyone on this site has the ability/access to lie convincingly, or doctor a message. I'd wager that not everyone has the ability/access to tools to doctor an image, regardless of whether they have the skill to do so or not.

I think perhaps you mean to address this to Dipsy's point.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby Jack007 » 20 Mar 2018, 12:07

nanooktheeskimo wrote:
Jack007 wrote:
nanooktheeskimo wrote:There's also the "even ground" argument--everyone that has access to the site can doctor a message. Leaving aside whether they have the skill to use them or not, not everyone even has the tools available to them to doctor an image convincingly.


That's not a good argument, imho. Not everyone has the skill or the callousness to lie convincingly and to screw someone by words. So?

And let's be honest: who ever in 2018's world doesn't know that any picture can be faked easily. Especially among those who play Diplomacy online. This rule is simply absurd.

Whether they have the skill to do so or not is irrelevant to my point, which is whether they have the access to do so. Everyone on this site has the ability/access to lie convincingly, or doctor a message. I'd wager that not everyone has the ability/access to tools to doctor an image, regardless of whether they have the skill to do so or not.

I think perhaps you mean to address this to Dipsy's point.


A bitmap editor is part of most operating systems, and if not (Android) is available for free with a choice of dozens of apps. EVERYONE has access to the tools, and using them is REALLY simple.

And apart of that, it's not relevant whether I can edit an image or not, relevant is if I believe to a (faked) picture that is presented to me. As stated above, nobody doesn't know that any picture can be faked, nowadays, am I wrong?
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby gareth66 » 20 Mar 2018, 12:08

For the sake of closure on the specific incident for Andrew, I've taken a look at the game communications and can report that there is no harm done. The link was removed before anybody had a chance to see it and there has been no unfair affect on the game. I think we all admire Andrew for his honesty in both reporting this and taking the corrective action that he did as soon as he became aware of the rule violation. Accordingly, and I'm sure I speak for the rest of the mod team in saying this, I do not consider that any further action is necessary.
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby andrewd » 20 Mar 2018, 14:08

Thanks all for the comment and insight into the motivation behind the rule. For what it's worth, I do agree that the insecurity on "who" to trust is the whole point of Diplomacy, and anything that chips away at that (screencaps, metagaming) is working against the spirit of the game.

Thanks Gareth for the resolution and I'm glad we can continue a productive conquest of the 1900's map!
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Re: Self Reporting Unintentional Violation (Screencap)

Postby gareth66 » 20 Mar 2018, 17:43

One thing to add, though - this is an anonymous game and so posting in the forum identifying which country you are playing is itself a rule breach. For information, a PM to the mods in such situations is the right way to go about dealing with this. I've redacted all the information pertaining to the specific game from the OP.
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