This is a blog post I think would be good for all users and some moderators of the forum to read. It took days researching this topic, and one which may be upsetting to some, but one which needs to be seen by all. Many things have happened on the forums over time, and this is a deep dive into some of those decisions and their effects on individuals and the community as a whole.
I really don't know where to even begin, so I'm just going to say that this post makes me very sad and leave it at that.
After reading the article let's just say that I am at a loss for words...
Nice job, I think you put into words the feelings of a great many of us over the last couple years with evidence to boot.
To those who are in agreement that things need to change, help us out by showing your support. Show that we're not a minority here. We can't write this off as a couple simple mistakes made under an insane amount of pressure.
As far as solutions go, I think there's one pretty obvious choice. I think I can speak for many when I say I'd rather not contribute to a forum where these actions are allowed to go unchecked and run rampant. Being a game admin myself, I get miscommunication. I get the amount of stress that comes with the job. I get community devotion. And I certainly get the strain exerted by your position. But how much is too much? Bottom line is, I think this post could be the beginning for a welcome change in the community.
Other than that I can't really say much yet. To watch and wait...
I'm just gonna come right out and say this. Dark needs to resign, effective immediately. To not do so willfully ignores that there's a problem at all. This whole thing makes our entire community look bad.
#6 (edited by TJT1234 2018-10-16 01:30:00)
This actually sums up everything or actually most of the things I also noticed over the years in a tight and compact package, together with sources and evidence alike which makes it good to read, thanks for that post.
Something I also want to note is that apparently, if you the moderator close enough and if you are in a relationship with the mod, you are surely to get a promotion to moderator, I also will refrain from using names do to data protection, but I think we all know who I am talking about.
After talking to someone for over an hour I felt it was necessary to make a slight adjustment to the most recent blog post about the forum moderation. The edited part is in the 5th point under the character assassination section's summary. The edited note is below, if those reading this can RT it that would be much appreciated. The goal of this post is to stay as honest as possible which is why I've chosen to make this edit and let everyone know. It doesn't change the post at all, just one bullet point which needed to be corrected to reflect the truth.
"Edited Note from October 15, 2018 at 7:20 PM Eastern
It has been Confirmed that one person did come forward with a report to dark. However this report was from issues the reporter had from the previous year(2015) which involved specific relationship problems. Not good but still common relationship issues which stopped once the relationship had ended. The reporter did not think sending the report would result in a justification for a ban. They have specifically said that if they knew it would be used as means to ban Walter from the forums they would not have sent it to dark in the first place."
#9 (edited by timberwolf1991 2018-10-16 02:18:37)
This is pretty incredible stuff here. As someone who has seen this happen to a good friend of his (not in this community), it's abhorrent, mindless and power hungry. Dark needs to step off his power trip, now. And if not, the community needs to force him off of it. It's high time we find ourselves another leader - one that is not so blinded (there, I said it) by power and lacking the mind set to do his or her job properly. When evidence clearly points to faking it yet you ruin somebody's life all because they're such a great, trusted friend (I'd have thrown her so far to the curb and back for that), it's time to get off the throne.
PS: I've been here for 12 years with a clean record so I truly hope someone takes note that I'm actually this furious and frustrated.
and now I'm personally in fear that if I try to put my own spin on this agreeing with the resignation posts that I will have my voice taken away. Yep, good job. Now this minority has to live in fear just like all the other fucking minorities. Thanks for the fuck you.
An anomaly in the matrix. An error in existence. A being who cannot get inside the goddamn box! A.K.A. Me.
@x0, yeah, we're a minority, but if dark decides to take away all of our voices because we have a problem with him being admin after he took part in ruining someones life, this minority here will quickly become a majority. Honestly, I wouldn't be that sad to get banned from a forum where mods roam that feel that it's perfectly OK to cast someone from the community as if they were an annoying piece of sawdust that needed to go. Surprisingly, there has been no arguing in this topic. This is post 11 or maybe 12 when I post this. Everyone has come basically to the same conclusions. Either no real comment, or get rid of dark. Not one person here has fought for dark remaining a forum admin, which of course is good, but it also says something. It's rare to see this many people united on a decision on this forum. And even though dark is the head honcho around here, even he can only do so much before more people start to question and say hey wtf. If dark bans us, or closes this topic etc, it's going to spread a message. It's going to confirm smoke's post. People will see the bans or the closures or the deletions or whatever and see it for what it is. So honestly, use your voice here. Dark and lori can't just go community casting all of us, everyone can see smoke's post, this topic, etc and realise what's going on. of course that's not a challenge, but you get the point. Use your voice. We haven't gotten anywhere with this forum because people were too scared. Now there are a bunch of people agreeing. so if you want to protest, do it now.
I am curious to wonder why Dark's thoughts were not sought when the post was written. Surely fair reporting of events would require both sides to express their opinions.
Surprisingly, there has been no arguing in this topic.
I am equally surprised, and also impressed! I've been watching this topic ever since it was brought to my attention, a little worried that it would get out of hand in a hurry. It seems that this is a place I should at least post Something, so that it doesn't feel like the mod team is avoiding it, but at the same time I don't know what to say so that I won't end up putting my foot in my mouth and making things worse. For the time being I'm happy to see that everyone has remained civil and nothing has turned this into a flame war.
There is a running joke that whenever I post, people stop talking. I hope this doesn't happen again here, because after reading the article and reading the posts I think it will do more harm than good if people feel like they can't post. I am encouraging people to continue on as if I never said anything.
Please try out my games and programs:
Wow... this is a wake-up call for me.
Before reading the post, I didn't think about the topics in that particular perspective. However, after reading this, I do ajree that some action should be taken, whatever that may ⠃⠑⠲
I just hope that this gets resolved and we can move on with our lives.
in post number 13
The reason wasn't made out of malice if that's what you are wondering. Having talked to people involved with the situations in the post who had kept quiet before, I focused on their info and perspectives. I also had a sneaking suspicion after all this that if Dark knew directly he would take some action to discredit the post via his position here on the forums. I'm still not sure that won't be the case. That was a decision I came to later however, as talking to dark was in my original plans, that was until Everything I found all led back to him. In short it wasn't to block him from voicing his side, but rather to ensure something wasn't done to prevent it from being seen as credible before it was released. Just as a precaution, not based on something I knew or acted on.
I should also state that though my opinions are heavy in the conclusion, what happens to dark is not personally something I am terribly interested in. If something does that is good, but if something doesn't I won't lose any sleep either. That's not to say I am happy with anything in that blog post, I still hold to the fact that all of it is unacceptable, but that is just my personal opinion just the same as any other individual's opinion. Me writing the post doesn't give it any more weight, I was just the one who connected the dots. I also am of the belief that the early examples given are just as bad if for different reason than the last. They are directly related to specific moderation habits which have been a problem on the forum for a long time. The last example was shocking, and has a bunch of different emotions tied to it for anyone who can put themselves in Walters' position, and because of that I think it has the ability to overshadow the rest of the post, even if the rest is Just as important to see the whole picture.
That was a very interesting read. I, myself, dn't know any of the moderators, not even remotely, other than the fact I post on a forum that they moderate over, and that's the jist of it. I come on here to share my experiences and findings/happenings with other forum users that share similar interests, mainly for me, music and tech stuff, but I do play some games and coming here does help with that.
My record isn't clean at all (at least, if you look at my ban history) but I now wonder if most of the bans I have received over the years were justified. I was banned in... 2011, I think? Until 2013. That's two hole years of a ban. (It may have been 2012 to 2014. I can't honestly remember but I definitely know it was two years.) And OK, let's face it: back then I was a bastard. Back then I was an immature spoiled brat. Byt obviously Dark guessed that. Anyone could've guessed that if you look at my earliest posts. They make it quite obvious that I was a preteen, if not downright a child, who was lacking in maturity. And so, because of the reporting of one person (yes, one person), I'm banned for two years. Two years! Granted, the forum was a very different place back then, and what I did to Dark definitely justified my ban thereafter, but before I had done nothing that I know of that deserved my ban. I mean, come on! I was only 11-12! And that was quite obvious in my writing style, the way I posted, the way I acted. And I've been banned quite a number of times since then. And I've matured a lot since then too. I've seen bans that were downright questionable on here. And this just makes me question not only the banning, but every other administrative and moderative decision that Dark has made. And I do agree with the blog post that there should only be one set of rules, not two. No other site I've browsed has had two sets of rules, one of them quite obscure and inaccessible until You've proven yourself as not being a bot. And all of the rules on this forum are downright ambiguous; hell, I'd even classify them as unenforceable. Take the one about Civility and "no personal attacks", for instance. That one is so hard to enforce its not even funny. The definition of "civil" is "courteous and polite," and the definition of "civility" is "formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech." What's the problem with these definitions though? I'll list the questions that these raise:
1. What does "courteous" and "polite" mean? Both of these terms mean very widely different things depending on what your doing, what community your in, who your talking to, etc. The definition of courteous clears this up: "polite, respectful, or considerate in manner." But again, the same question is asked -- what does that mean? Being courteous or polite varies by person and by community.
2. What is a "personal attack"? Wiktionary defines a personal attack as "Making of an abusive remark on or relating to somebody's person instead of providing evidence when examining another person's claims or comments." But a personal attack is different in each situation it occurs in.
So, the point of both points above is: none of the definitions I've provided above are conclusive and universal. They are not applicable in all situations.
Finally, before the forum went down we were talking about copyright violations in Site and Forum Feedback. I raised many valid points and yet nothing has been done about them. No rules have been altered, and its been quite a long time since we discussed that particular issue. The right thing to do would be to make any form of copyright violations illegal, and, if it is actually discovered (you cannot trust forum posts alone; you must gather actual evidence), you report that person to the DMCA, and ban them, or just let the DMCA handle them. In one of the topics the blog post mentioned, Dark also said multiple times that logs could not be trusted. The problem is that Sam was the Author of the game. Sam knows how the game works. Therefore, any form of "moderational" decision was not up to Dark -- he should've let Sam gather evidence and then taken Sam's advice, not attempted to perform forensic analysis without appropriate knowledge of how the game works. In that situation it is easy to determine that the log files were modified but not by whom. Lori could've done it, or it could've been modified in transit from the sending computer to the receiver. But the final decision rested with Sam, as he was, and is, the administrator of the game. Dark should not ban anyone who does something on a game, whether such events are brought to the attention of the forum community as a hole or not. The game is not within his jurisdiction, and, therefore, he has absolutely no right to interfere unless explicitly asked by one of the involved parties. That also means he has absoluely no right to ban someone from the forum for committing an action on a game since that game is not within his jurisdiction. The only time he has that right is when the offender actually does something on the forum. It does not matter if the offender is a "danger to the community". It does not matter if the offender broke a law on the game -- the game and the forum are entirely separate entities. Finally, I feel Dark most definitely over-exaggerated, since Walter was no danger to the community at all. Dark also brought up the possibility that the "danger" could be physical. Again, he has no right to ban Walter from the community just because he may consider Walter a "danger" to the community, since Dark neither knows the absolute mailing addresses or locations of the involved parties, nor does he need to know such information unless the offender has actually committed a crime on the forum (whereupon he should contact the offenders local authorities and report said offender once it has been verified that a law was actually violated in the offenders area of residence, either city, state, national or international). And, finally, I think that Dark needs to remember that he is not the Arbiter of all: he is not the jury, judge and executioner, whether he is the head moderator or not. He is apart of the jury, but the moderation team as a hole form the judge and the executioner. If Dark does not consolidate all (maximum emphasis on 'all') moderation decisions with the moderation team, it will cause issues like this one. And, last but not least, it should be impossible for a moderator with a personal involvement with the reporter/offender to be involved in a moteration decision because that moderator holds an invested interest, and therefore would create a conflict of interest. If a moderator has a personal relationship with the members of the forum in question, either within or without, that moderator should not be allowed to moderate for that decision.
#18 (edited by Ethin 2018-10-16 03:30:28)
Also, update: Before anyone attempts to rant about what I said, remember what Harlan Ellison once said: “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
Sorry, but I had to post that because that raises a very, very valid point.
This topic is in the wrong place and is being moved to Site and Forum Feedback where it belongs. Mwah ha ha ha ha!
@20, you... are one evil bastard.
Fair enough. That's actually not a bad spot for it. Although I have a feeling not a lot of people check that section.
#22 (edited by SirBadger 2018-10-16 03:38:20)
politics, backstabbing and power hunger. this shit sickens me.
what's the agender? over throw dark so others can take over?
most of the things people are complaining about can be summed up by, people went too far and a line has to be drawn somewhere.
I like ironcross as well but you can't just keep getting angry and making insulting comments at people as he's admitted himself.
so hey, let's destroy the rules that govern the forum, get rid of the mods and take over? is that what you people are after?
wonder who people would call for to replace dark? I can make a guess but I'm not going to get in to that.
I just think this is an insult to the people that try so hard to keep this forum running and to keep the comunity happy.
@23, did you read the post at all? Clearly, either you didn't read it or you didn't believe it, despite the several links that the poster listed (and analyzed in great depth) to back himself up. This is not a "let's take over the forum"; this is a rebellion against someone who has gone too far and gone unopposed and who has broken his own rules.
@SirBadger under normal circumstances we wouldn't even be having this topic. but now it has been exposed that dark was involved in casting someone out of the community. Ruining there reputation. There is no way that that is OK. This isn't politics, this is only the truth. Weather you think a mod that allows peoples online lives in a given community to be destroyed and even helps make it happen is acceptable is your choice, but as you can see most of the posters here don't agree with the actions that have been clearly proven. Remember, you can view the posts mentioned in the blog post to see that we are not making anything up.
yes I read it and it's subjective. so I've made my point and now I'm going to keep out of it.