Okay, so. I’ve got a problem. It’s a fairly common one in cyberspace, and I’m looking for info on how other people deal with it. (Note: my specific situation is MMORPG-related, but the problem isn’t specific just to that. Nonetheless, if the mods prefer to move it to the Games section, that’s fine.)
I play a MMORPG (Final Fantasy XI), and I’m one of the sackholders in our linkshell. This is roughly analogous to being assistant guildleader on another MMORPG, or a mod (though not admin) on a message board. I can admit people to the group or boot them, and I’m responsible also for letting people know when they’re out of line.
Our group is primarily a social one, we chat, arrange groups for game events, and generally hang out together. We try to keep the chat to a PG-13 level, but late at night it tends to move more toward a hard R, which is fine as long as everyone who is on is okay with that. We don’t have any stringent membership requirements, just being vouched for by someone who’s already in the group.
The problem is that we have some members who are just…not really working out. One is a long-term member who constantly, CONSTANTLY walks the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. He’ll start acting up, get warnings, then back down a bit for a few weeks/months, then starts acting up again. He deliberately pushes people’s buttons, then claims that he’s being picked on when they react, or when he’s spoken harshly to for instigating the situation.
You know that guy. How do you deal with him?
There are others that are problem children, but in a different way. They show up only to ask people for help or information - and if it’s information, it’s stuff that’s easy to find out with a quick online search, which they haven’t bothered to do. They don’t really contribute anything, but if people don’t help them or give them the really basic info that they haven’t bothered to look up, the get whiny about how unhelpful everyone is. They also don’t like to do things like capitalize, punctuate, or spell properly - which is tolerable from those who actually contribute to the conversation or help others, but from them it’s just another reason to grit your teeth and roll your eyes whenever you see their name on screen.
How do you deal with them?
Both types - the jackass and the whiner - make our group a less pleasant place to be. Neither specifically break any rules (usually), so there’s no official reason to kick them out except the fact that, deep down, nobody likes them.