G4TW Forum update: (new) metas, increasing heat, adverts, Article 13/17, and new games??

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Wed 29 May 2019, 17:53

Alright, this is a general announcement topic about the "state of the G4TW", which will cover ground from a variety of topics. 



1) Adverts

Yes, some of you probably anticipated an update on that topic. After a number of complaints about these pop-up ads, we decided to roll back on that aspect, and remove it again. While it would have been possible to ask the network to remove the "18+ ads", there were other problematic aspects. Such as, that the frequency of the ads could not be reduced, and that "misleading ads" would still have been present. Such as those, that prompt users to install something because they have allegedly caught themselves a virus.

General information about the adverts can be found here.

Notwithstanding the rollback...the basic problem remains. After our original ad-provider "Google AdSense" was sabotaged, we had to look a while for something else. Not as easy as some of our users seem to believe, that it is. As I've stated time and time again: the episode with the AdSense has shown that "friendly" or "normal" ads do not work for a platform such as G4TW.

We are also seeking to resolve the issue with the Linkvertise, that literally every out-going link is run through the ad network. This is NOT our intention. Please bear with us a bit more, as we are working towards resolving that issue as well.

I've also spoken to Admin ~Ann~ about the "meta"-aspect of using adverts. I personally believe that a large part of the uproar also stems from the years of the old Admin, who apparently paid everything out of his own pocket. Not that there was that much to pay until shortly before he left, but that is a different story. People have come to appreciate and maybe even to take it for granted, the easy-to-use and not-so-annoying nature of navigating around this Forum. And yes, I do not doubt that these years under the old Admin have contributed to the reputation and popularity that the platform enjoys today.

But regardless of fond memories, these are different times now, with different challenges. For one, Forumotion (the company hosting this Forum) have put up a number of paywalls for features that were previously available for free, so that is one explanation. Secondly, relying on donations alone does not work, normal/friendly ads do not work either, so options are limited. Suggestions are always welcome, however.

Some people have also messaged me, arguing that "these new policies may hurt G4TW's reputation". Again, these are different times, and we cannot do without adverts. Will it burn some people along the way? Probably. But then the question needs to be asked if these are the people we would like to have among our (core) audience, in the first place. As much as we are happier, the more people enjoy our downloads, it's simply not possible to please everybody. Besides, "being famous/having a famous reputation" does not always imply positive consequences, so we will be aiming for a certain balance in that regard as well. Speaking of reputation, this does lead to the next talking point.




2) Facebook / Social Media

After a limbo phase, we have now been informed that our Facebook page has been deleted "due to violations of Facebook Community Standards". So...if there are still people around wondering what's going on in that regard, there you go. Apparently there is the possibility of appealing that decision, though I very much doubt this will bear any fruit.

We could of course also simply create a new page, but...no, I don't think we will. So once again: we do not have an official Facebook presence anymore.

I realize that is probably the wrong question to ask. We all know what the likely reason for that takedown is: it is the fact that our continuing work is attracting more and more heat from copyright holders and their lackeys, which in turn will be one of the biggest challenges to deal with from here onwards.

It has also come to our attention now that if you post comments under YouTube containing our "games4theworld.club" address, the posts will not be published, which adds a further complication in our original plan of trying to use the YouTube channel, for certain announcements. And even if we avoid these formal barriers, YouTube have thought ahead: we would not be able to monetize these announcement videos. Maybe the neutral gameplay clips (one day), but that's just brainstorming at this point I guess.

One more thing for now: apparently there are also people who believe we may have switched to Discord. My response is, that we do not have - nor are we planning to - have an official Discord-presence.

So yes, "being famous and present on many different platforms" is not necessarily applicable for, or even desirable to us, in the year 2019.




3) Download links

People have been asking for (even) more direct download links, as apparently many of them can't torrent without these now infamous "ISP warning letters". As for The Sims 4, we will be releasing a direct download link with some delay, after our torrent. This has lead to some frustration among users, but please bear with us, again. 

On a positive note, we have introduced a number of counter-measures, in consequence of which we have managed to reduce takedowns of our download links, to near zero!

Happy B-day!

Continuing with this new meta, we have now also removed all .torrent file links, from the official download list. We have taken down the source files as well, so in case someone manages to pull out the original download links from some kind of cache or archive, you will not be successful. From this new meta, we are expecting further stability in terms of "takedown-proof-ness". Plus it ties up another loose end, so-to-speak, in the sense that the accounts on which these items were hosted, are not active anymore either.

In the long run we will be seeking to use seedboxes, though we have not come beyond the stage of some initial brainstorming in that regard.



4) EU Article 13/17

A spectre is making the rounds: the spectre of the EU's Article 13/17 and its likely detrimental effects on the internet as a whole!! As for G4TW, I am still not overly concerned (see this other comment). 

Though it has not escaped my attention that certain people could try getting us into trouble by deliberately posting memes or other stuff that may be covered by Art. 13/17, screenshotting these posts, and then crying to their (capitalist) overlords "look here, stupid G4TW are directly hosting copyright-protected stuff - do I get a free lunch now for reporting G4TW???!!!1111".

I freely admit, this last sentence is or can be seen as being "below the belt" - even by my low standards of decency. But then, if you think about it. Who are these people that file such types of reports? Not likely professionals, since nowadays mostly bots are used for searching copyright-protected stuff and filing reports. Rather, it's mostly going to be edgy (young) adults, who presumably want to suck up to whoever overlord they have currently chosen, to suck up.

Now. You know what the weakness of these people is? It's their short attention span. The eager and edgy (young) adult, ready to frame us in an unfortunate way, will likely feel a rush of adrenaline in the beginning. But you do you guys and girls know what happens when the adrenaline wears off?

Right: it sucks. And I shall be making use of that principle, to wear down any such individuals. While I cannot predict the future, from my own experience it has a decent chance of working out in reality. Especially since we are in such a position that we are able to moderate these Forums thoroughly, we will be able to take down such stuff if it gets posted here, in no longer than 18-24 hours. Usually even less than that.

While some people are speculating that having any copyright-protected information at all makes one liable to damages (a.k.a. that upload filters may become mandatory for literally ALL websites)...we will have to be content with aggressive moderation. As it stands right now, I am still not overly concerned.



5) Old games / New games...???


I've also noticed there has been some re-surging interest again in the oldschool Sims-games like TS1 and TS2, which I'm very happy about! Very Happy  While my own knowledge about TS1 is very small, I do know a thing or two about TS2. So we shall be posting more information/guides/etc. again under the Oldskool Sims-section.

Due to being pre-occupied with the increasing heat that our platform is facing, new projects have come to a standstill, though with Enter the Gungeon having received its final content update, and more Indie Stuff to come later this year, I shall try re-activating again the Indie Corner!

I've also heard that a new DLC for Kingdom Come: Deliverance is already out; I will be trying to create a patch similar to what we do with our The Sims 4 releases. In the meantime, feel free to grab the G4TW repack (if you haven't done so yet), from the announcement. The direct download should work, and you can initiate a seed for yourselves as well. 

I think that shall do for the moment. Thanks for your attention, and we'll see you again! You can ask further questions below this announcement, though I expect from you that if you decide to do so, please actually make sure to stay on topic, and not to ask unrelated stuff.



Freezer Bunny Edit: slightly updated.

- Freezer Bunny


Last edited by The_gh0stm4n on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 21:05; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sim Architect on Wed 29 May 2019, 21:25

All Hail Carlos!

Hello! I am VERY happy to see you and Ann are keeping everything up and running through these hard times.

People will always complain, not even Jesus Christ made everyone happy.

When we can't afford keeping things up with our own pocket money we are forced to resource to ads to foot the bill, there's no way around it.

I had many videos demonetized because of having the word games4theworld in it. They also demonetized a plain tutorial a day or two ago just because it has the word Death in the video's title.

YouTube is paying me a VERY low CPM, this month I am getting less than $20 for my ENTIRE CHANNEL. Why God.

The views are still coming, thankfully, meaning that people are still being helped, and happy. I was forced to turn comments in some videos, but they can always interact with me on my website, here or Twitter.

If we have issues with that EU article we'll have to use the harsh moderation method, where all new posts and comments have to be approved by a moderator/gate keeper. Considering that the forum is not insanely populated as before, that would be possible and I offer to help if that comes to be the case.

Minecraft is also trending with the 10th year anniversary and I really want to see if I can update my server to 1.14 (lots of new nice things like walls and stairs in more block types etc), so we can all hang out there. It's still running 1.12 (with lots of plugins, I hope 1.14 does not break them). I might need some technical assistance to keep up with it, I don't know what happens with me but I simply forgot how to do many things, I am sure some of it will come back to my mind once I start playing again...


Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake.

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Post by Nina on Thu 30 May 2019, 10:10

I don't really get why people are causing drama, because of these ads. Sure, sometimes it's a bit aggressive. But why don't they just move on then? Razz

From my view, the Support on here is very good, and reason enough to stick around.

I'd also like to see more on the YouTube channel!
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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Thu 30 May 2019, 18:33

@Sim Architect wrote: All Hail Carlos!

Hello! I am VERY happy to see you and Ann are keeping everything up and running through these hard times.

People will always complain, not even Jesus Christ made everyone happy.

When we can't afford keeping things up with our own pocket money we are forced to resource to ads to foot the bill, there's no way around it.

I had many videos demonetized because of having the word games4theworld in it. They also demonetized a plain tutorial a day or two ago just because it has the word Death in the video's title.

YouTube is paying me a VERY low CPM, this month I am getting less than $20 for my ENTIRE CHANNEL. Why God.

The views are still coming, thankfully, meaning that people are still being helped, and happy. I was forced to turn comments in some videos, but they can always interact with me on my website, here or Twitter.

If we have issues with that EU article we'll have to use the harsh moderation method, where all new posts and comments have to be approved by a moderator/gate keeper. Considering that the forum is not insanely populated as before, that would be possible and I offer to help if that comes to be the case.

Minecraft is also trending with the 10th year anniversary and I really want to see if I can update my server to 1.14 (lots of new nice things like walls and stairs in more block types etc), so we can all hang out there. It's still running 1.12 (with lots of plugins, I hope 1.14 does not break them). I might need some technical assistance to keep up with it, I don't know what happens with me but I simply forgot how to do many things, I am sure some of it will come back to my mind once I start playing again...


Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake. Piece of cake.


Sorry to hear about your YouTube channel,

You could encourage your own followers to turn off adblockers while watching any of your videos or livestreams. If enough of them eventually do it, I think it could also make a difference. 

As said, given these barriers that are being constructed, the 'new' G4TW YouTube-channel will probably remain a side-project only. 

I am personally not a fan of "pro-active" moderation (in this case: having to approve every single comment before it's being published on the Forum). But indeed, depending on how things turn out, it may have to be done at some point.

Or to spin things further: someone could theoretically program a spambot posting memes or excerpts from a copyright-protected text. In which case my above "strategy" of de-moralizing (human) users, may not work out at all. While there are (already) countermeasures allowing us to get rid of spambots and all their spam-messages very quickly, it could still turn out to be ugly. So we'll have to think about "things".


@Nina wrote:I don't really get why people are causing drama, because of these ads. Sure, sometimes it's a bit aggressive. But why don't they just move on then? Razz

From my view, the Support on here is very good, and reason enough to stick around.

I'd also like to see more on the YouTube channel!
cat


It's OK. At least the people complaining about it, are keeping it civil (for the most part). 

As hinted, we'll have to be very careful with using that YouTube channel. And even so, it could one day bear the same fate as the old Facebook Page: namely that it gets banned/deleted. Though in the context of YouTube, they're mostly going to de-monetize stuff rather than outright ban or delete videos. We'll see.

Yess, aye lieeke!

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Post by Rudi50 on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 21:10

K, thx for the infos!

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 21:54

@Rudi50 wrote:K, thx for the infos!


No problem my man.  Carlos is tha man

Slightly (?) off-topic, but then not so much I guess. More news from the world of social media, e.g. here:
https://www.rt.com/news/461170-youtube-bans-videos-reactions/
https://www.rt.com/news/461265-twitter-rules-vague-crackdown/

Looks like some tech giants are on FIRE!!

Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!! Someone's on FIRE!!

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