I posted this in the General forum, but it got buried under the usual garbage there. So I'd figure I'd try again here and see if there's any interest:
I know many of you are sick of the IM thing, so I'll merely reprint a proposal I made on December 11th of last year. I think if it had been followed, this whole situation wouldn't have wound up so contentious, but I could be wrong about that; maybe the banning of a very popular player was bound to make waves even though I believe the evidence that was available to me made it certain he was a cheat and the Game Mods had even more. Nonetheless, the banning of someone without even informing them in advance does smack into most people's sense of fair play. So here's what I said last year:
1. Investigations of cheating would be undertaken only where there was: A) A very sharp rating rise of an established player;
B) A new player who comes in and wins a certain number of games without loss;
C) Some n number of complaints which are adjudged to be genuine and not for the purposes of harassment and/or "sorelosership".
2. The player who was being investigated would be informed of the investigation by PM and the reason for it. He would be given an opportunity to admit or deny cheating. If he denies cheating, he would be given a chance to produce evidence supporting his denial and would be entitled to study any evidence being used against him in the investigation.
3. The cheat police would make a finding in the case as to whether the player had cheated. Such a finding would be based on a "clear and convincing" evidence standard and would require the positive vote of a large majority of the cheat police, perhaps 3/4 agreeing that the person had cheated. The player would be informed of this finding and of the results of the vote (a number not how individuals voted)
4. The finding would be forwarded to the site admins. The player would have a chance to PM Russ disagreeing with the finding or producing mitigating circumstances. Russ would then make a final decision and publicly announce it.
I would tend to think that either a ban from the site or a ban from clan and tournaments games would be acceptable. I would support an amnesty only if the player who had cheated confessed to the site admins and was placed on some sort of probation to be monitored by the cheat police, although his name need not be made public.
Back to the present: I would modify the proposal to keep any evidence that the Game Mods feel would be too prejudical to future efforts to catch cheaters secret, but I'm not sure why a statement like "you matched up to the Fritz 95% in games A, B, C, etc. etc." would cause any harm to future efforts. And I'm not sure I would offer a "secret probation" anymore, but if a person would publicly admit guilt and want to remain, I think a probation would be OK (knee jerk liberalism I suppose and as Phlabby says it's hard to believe anyone would accept that but what the hey). Anyway, that was my idea and I wonder if given the experience of the last few days anyone, particulary of the present Game Mod team, would care to comment.