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Addressing Misinformation Regarding a Recent Ban
Hi everyone.

No, this thread isn't about the ban Chaos recently replied to. His explanation needs no echo, it included everything the team had to say on the matter.

This honestly isn't even about Detema's ban, which I slapped down after a lengthy discussion with the rest of the GM team.

This thread is about misinformation being spread in response to this, and is intended to clear the air so that there's absolutely no misconceptions on what happened and why.
If you are not aware of what's been circulating, I'll give a basic synopsis further on.

I'll also be providing screencaps as I get into correcting them step by step, that I took after the link was given to me by someone asking about whether these claims were valid.

By the by, if ever you find yourself presented with information that's questionable, I and my fellow GMs are always happy to either investigate something or correct or clarify anything that's potentially been misunderstood/misrepresented.

To that end, my DMs on discord and PMs here on the forums are always open.

So there are some hefty accusations within a google document that have been tossed around that are meant to incriminate myself and Kit in regards to this ban.

I won't be showing the entirety of the text here, as the majority of it wildly isn't my business and I hope the best for the player in question in spite of these falsehoods, and don't wish them any more strife.

I also want to make it very clear that while spreading false information and making baseless accusations towards anyone is generally frowned upon and it's even more serious when the spread of it gets out of control, I'm going to chalk this situation up as a gross misunderstanding and hope that the clarifications I make here will rectify that and be a step towards fixing the damage done.

Also please note that this post is not intended to call them out in any way, nor is it an excuse to direct any amount of vitriol their way, as despite the mistakes we all can make, not everything is a black or white situation and I'm not entirely convinced that the letter was made to absolve themselves of guilt or throw Kit and I under a bus enough to condemn them over it.

I think they were genuinely confused, and because of how I handled their reporting at the time and the fact that players aren't privy to harassment issues between other players, I can see how they might misconstrue our brief interaction and assume the worst.

I've also already spoken to them in regards to this and explained the situation in entirety, and let them know that I'd be making this thread, and the reasons behind doing so.

I will say, however, I can't condone this behavior, and please in the future, if you think something like this might be the case, please bring it to GM attention. Or Dev's.

Even if you can't trust my word or whichever GM is currently being accused, at least approach one of the other members of the team about it so they can better clarify whether or not your suspicions are valid, and do additional investigating if necessary to ensure that the allegations are false.

This is how we check and balance each other, and it better ensures that we're all keeping in line.

Due to the nature of much of the evidence involved in the multiple cases that resulted in the ban, and that most of them were harassment incidents, there's only so much I can touch on without incriminating the people involved in each scenario.

First and foremost, please understand that a 1.5 month ban was not passed down due to a singular incident of harassment.

The length of that ban, as I've mentioned offhand in other recent threads of mine, was intended to put a stop to a pattern of behavior that consistently breaks the rules and goes against every warning we've given and hasn't improved during the course of multiple infractions, and generally detracts from the enjoyment of other players.

With all that stated, I'll take each claim and clarify the truths of the matter as best I can.

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This I think illustrates where the misunderstanding occurred, and in looking back at the conversations I had with the writer and Kit when they first brought this to me, I can understand how it could be.

The way it was presented to me, as happens quite frequently, is that a player experienced something negative and was venting about it to another player.
Said listening player has faith in the GMs enough to urge the first player to seek one out to assist in handling said negative thing.

Often, the listening player will seek us out for the sake of another to help ease their mind or talk to us in their stead as a general means to be helpful.
It's a nice thought and very kind, but ultimately the people directly involved should always come to us so that we get their side without playing a game of telephone while trying to weed out what's what in a situation.

So when Kit brought it to me and gave a vague summary of 'harassment', I asked that they urge the affected player in question to speak with me directly so that I could ask clarifying questions and better understand the situation as best they could explain it from their point of view, and potentially help the situation.

Kit wasn't in the wrong here, and as best I can determine from my digging into this, it seems to be a case of 'no good deed goes unpunished'.

Here I believe is where my part in the misunderstanding came about.

Kit told me that Seven was distressed and uneasy about the entire situation and wasn't certain about reporting it, so I tried to be as reassuring as possible and asked that he convey that to the best of my ability, I'd handle the situation discreetly and would like to hear them out on what happened.

It's not really Kit's fault that I then put on kiddie gloves to handle the distressed player, that's entirely on me and how I chose to handle the situation at the time.

What I mean by this, is that when anyone comes to me and seems particularly distressed or nervous, I sometimes default to a more passive listener state.
I'll ask clarifying questions, but I don't want to make too many assumptions or put words in their mouth, so I let them talk/vent and they can tell me what's what and we'll go from there.

It's true that during our conversation, only Illumi and Aegis were mentioned. It's also true that Seven asked me not to do anything about it this time.
I agreed, but said that if it persisted, I would be taking action, as it's against the rules and not something I can ignore. Especially if it crosses into the game.

This is why I didn't speak with Aegis and Illumi regarding this situation, nor hand them warnings.

Because Seven* was so distressed, I didn't want to potentially scare them away from reporting by demanding information or asking too much and potentially overwhelming them.

So I didn't ask about Detema's actions at the time and assumed they would mention that situation if I gave them the opportunity and the safe space to. They did not.

In hindsight, not asking was a mistake, and I should have asked every question I had of Seven at the time with the confidence that they could handle my questioning, but I erred on the side of caution and consideration, and here we are.

Unbeknownst to them, I'd already received reports from other players about Detema and others harassing Seven in another incident entirely, that I then went and confirmed with multiple witnesses.

The logs I saw of that incident, while not brought to me my Seven personally, were damning enough to be something that should not be on the game.

But this incident alone isn't why that ban was delivered.

After that talk with Seven, I took it upon myself to investigate the OOC corner for a time. Two days, roughly. I stood around in it and watched what was going on.

In part, this is because of complaints from other players about Detema's behavior there specifically, but largely it was more of a check of sorts to see if the OOC corner were as problematic as people had been complaining about.

At the time, the GM team was looking into what to do about the OOC corner and whether it should be abolished outright, or moved somewhere else, or some other compromise.

This was before that poll thread I made, as much deliberation was done on it amongst ourselves before we came to that solution to present.

During the first day, I saw a few questionable things but nothing of note that was too damning. I figured I'd watch it for a week and see what happened, to see if people's claims were valid.

As it turns out, I didn't have to wait that long at all.

The second day I looked at the logs of what had happened while I was tabbed out, and saw a host of infractions, specifically from Detema. I was honestly fairly surprised that there was so much bad behavior all at once in such a relatively small window of time, including but not limited to at least two very blatant attacks against other players that not a single person there reported.

This comes as no surprise, but is unfortunate all the same.
If I hadn't been watching, it wouldn't have been reported at all or known to us.

It only gets worse when nobody reports these things, because it makes people think it's acceptable to do and perpetuates the problem.

Thankfully the addition of server-side logging will enable us to run these checks more frequently, and catch more things that run afoul of the rules and lore.

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This is a fairly harsh accusation made against someone that seemed to just want to help and had faith in my ability to handle a situation.

As far as I'm aware and as best I could determine, they don't have any personal vendetta against Detema, and only spoke up because they witnessed and heard things from multiple parties that they felt were wrong and needed to be looked at, both in-game and off-game, with concerns that the off-game things would cross over into the game and become more of a problem if left unchecked.

As they often do.

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Another really harsh accusation, far worse and more damaging than the former.

If the former claims made were borne of a misunderstanding, here's where it was hammered in pretty hard, and starts to look less like an assumption made in ignorance and more of a direct attack to absolve oneself of guilt.

Which, to be fair, it's not your fault Detema was banned, and feeling guilty over it is nonsensical when you can't control other people's behavior.

But dragging two other people through the mud just to say that you're completely squeaky clean doesn't really help anything.

Whether this were truly a malicious attempt or not, I can't say with absolute certainty.

I can see where assumptions could theoretically be made and false conclusions drawn, but at no point in any of that document was there any indication of anything but absolute conviction that these claims were true enough to write up all this, bold the important and most eye-catching bits that damn myself and another player, and pass it around like confetti.

This is where I doubt the intentions behind it.

But without solid proof that it was malicious intent and not just a very misguided mindset that led to this being drafted, all I can do is clarify what happened and why, and hope for the best.

In addition, I've not interacted with Detema enough to know or care what they're like nor form much of an opinion on them from personal experience.

What I do know is things other GMs have had the pleasure of dealing with in the distant past and the not so distant past, and what players have brought to our attention regarding their behavior since I became a GM, and what I personally witnessed while investigating the OOC corner.

I'll finish this by saying that unbased claims like this don't just damage the reputation of others and lead to ostracization, harassment, or toxicity, but also damage what could and should be a more open discourse between the community as a whole, as it breeds an awful amount of mistrust.

We may always have some measure of division, but please don't poison things further if ever you can help it, intentionally or not.

If you aren't certain of something, or there's any shadow of a doubt, all you need do is ask for clarification and we'll provide as much information as we can.

Thank you for reading.

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[-] The following 2 users Like Dystopia's post:
  • Balor, Maksimum_Fire
This is all an unfortunate amount of drama about to bubble up, but I do ask one question before it does, or as it does-

Some people involved, Illumi and Aegis, were not contacted at all, so it seems. It also seems as though you haven't spoken to SevenHaven to settle it privately instead of posting it directly onto the forums. This is a fire about to happen, but I ask that people's names be blacked out if they have not given permission to be included in this.

As someone who has been actively witch hunted before over drama, I think it's very un-professional to go about it like this. As this is my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.
"To write is to live a dream."
[-] The following 4 users Like Sarah54321's post:
  • Balor, FatherCrixius, Senna, Shujin
(11-13-2020, 02:01 PM)Sarah54321 Wrote: This is all an unfortunate amount of drama about to bubble up, but I do ask one question before it does, or as it does-

Some people involved, Illumi and Aegis, were not contacted at all, so it seems. It also seems as though you haven't spoken to SevenHaven to settle it privately instead of posting it directly onto the forums. This is a fire about to happen, but I ask that people's names be blacked out if they have not given permission to be included in this.

As someone who has been actively witch hunted before over drama, I think it's very un-professional to go about it like this. As this is my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.

Please re-read, you'll find every answer to what you've listed within my post.

I apologize profusely for the formatting errors which I know don't help its' readability, I genuinely have no idea why it did that, and can't seem to fix it in my edit attempts.
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Did you ask Aegis or Illumi to be included; did you alert them that you would be posting this? I understand that SevenHaven cannot exactly be easily contacted, but the screenshots you have posted here directly reference, By name, Aegis and Illumi. You said that you wouldn't contact them because of, according to this, they would perhaps be too distressed or scared. It feels worse, though, being referenced without being talked to at all. It seems wrong.

I can say, for sure, Aegis at least would have preferred to be talked to before all of this got posted.

Everything else? I won't broach on, it's not my place- I merely worry.
"To write is to live a dream."
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sarah54321's post:
  • Balor
After reading the entirety of this thread, I'm more in disbelief at how much accusations and judgements are thrown about these days without a shred of settling things peacefully.

The first solution to a problem should never be a witch hunt, but it certainly seems like the easiest one to turn to these days. 

The fact that I'm noticing players who haven't been active for MONTHS suddenly posting and presenting their opinions without any first-person context of any of these situations save from private messages and 'logs' is even more troubling.

I believe that people have been spending far too much time looking for flaws to point and argue with in recent threads versus actually reading the entirety of someone's post. It feels like everyone is looking at disagreements to their opinions as the ultimate evil and the only people worth trusting are those that agreed with you.

I certainly hope that the opinions formed on who is 'wrong' is made entirely by people themselves rather than being fed through third parties of "These people are wrong, they are all liars" spiel or a "Us vs Them" ordeal as everyone should be capable of thinking for themselves without a devil in the ear telling you right and wrong.

We're a smaller community than most. It wouldn't hurt to talk to each other in a civil manner to sort out our differences without constant passive-aggression and behind the scenes witch-hunting that would put Salem to shame.
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[-] The following 8 users Like K Peculier's post:
  • Akame, Ardratz, Balor, Dystopia, Fern, JamOfBoy, Miller, Rexan
I would like to personally post, since it seems like names have already been thrown around, that within this time there seemed to be a case of ongoing drama within this very same group of people, which led to... for whatever reason, this aforementioned player, Seven, using an alternate discord account to pretend to be completely new in their approach of this group, trying to be a part of it.

Now, I'm not about to condone anyone's behaviour or treatment of anyone in the situation, but saying anyone called anyone something with names, and not giving the bigger picture, opens them up to harassment. Which we have just established... IS BAD. So the fact that people were named here is a dangerous precedent, so I came to provide more.

Truth be told, you're going to be frustrated. Your trust is going to be shaken, if you're lied to like this. I can understand the thoughts of those two entirely because they were obviously hurt. They were learning to trust this player and all, only to find out it was someone they weren't entirely comfortable with.
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[-] The following 3 users Like WaifuApple's post:
  • Balor, FatherCrixius, JamOfBoy
Time for some transparency.

I bid you all a friendly hello, and would like to open with a link to where you can find this document in it's entirety. This will help alleviate any misconceptions about it's purpose.

Dyst was very open with me about going to post this on the forums and addressing the document as a whole here. I did not reject that idea, nor did I protest it. The disclaimer you'll see at the top of the file is intended to be absolute, despite my best interests on who would see it. That aside, let me shed some light on everything being said here.

- The document was initially sent to anyone I feel I had wronged during my time as Teel. This later extended to anyone hurt by the entire scenario, or required clarification. Some people were excluded because of their wishes not to speak with me.

- This wasn't a bashing script written to smite anyone down. It was an earnest attempt to persuade those I'd wronged and beyond that I had changed as a person, all in an effort to regain much of what I had lost with new resolve.

- As a secondary measure to ensure none of this would be misconstrued, I placed a disclaimer at the top and intended to make it as transparent as possible. Evidently I've failed at that task, and should have provided far more evidence.

Now, there are a few things I would like to touch on as I feel that things like these should be public if excerpts from the document were made public. As always, if you need anything made clear, tell me. I would be glad to provide.

Now, the first question I can see being asked is: "What does this have to do with me?"

Nothing. And everything.

Since the document contains everything you need to know regarding my opinions and feelings toward the situation at hand, I will use this time to try and urge the GMs to show what's going on behind the curtain. Transparency is key.

I'd like to share two things from the conversation I had with Dystopia before all of this happened. 

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After you've seen this, I'd hope something here would catch you eye;

The contradiction stating it is in both a minor and major factor. 

This is where you come in. This has led me to believe that the GM system is inherently broken, and in my eyes, a failure. This is not meant to be an attack on any of the GMs, nor is it intended to incite a witch hunt. I speak only of the system and how it has failed me and numerous others as a player. There is no transparency at all between the GM actions, and it looks like the communication between GMs has put them on wildly different pages. This is problematic for not only me, but anyone else affected by the GM system.

As has been stated by numerous people in other threads and replies, the GM system in it's current state isn't working. 

Additionally, this document was, by nature, a highly opinionated piece of writing. I feel the exact same as when I wrote it, and stand by everything I said in it. Why? Because these are my personal feelings and opinions on everything that has happened. They are not fact, and could be disproven by an audit of GM activity during this piece of drama; something I would welcome. This is why I encourage an active, open and transparent GM process as much as I can. 

That said, the GMs are not at fault. There seems to be a lack of a concrete system for handling scenarios like this, and a rulebook or solid guidelines would make this so much easier. I long to be able to trust the GM system, but in it's current state? I cannot.
[-] The following 2 users Like SevenHaven's post:
  • Balor, FatherCrixius
So to be clear, a player came to you in confidence to tell you about a bit of drama. You promised them no ban would come, specifically telling that player you would give a warning at worst. Then you conducted your own investigation and decided they were so toxic they deserved a month and a half ban. You then did not tell the player the reason for the ban. You did not tell the player who initially gave you the report, and are surprised they feel you banned Detema on their testimony alone.

Detema received a single mute prior to the ban. After their recent ban they were given no explanation for why they were banned. It is clear Detema assumed the reason for the ban was the same as the reason for the mute, a singular use of vulgarity.

"Unbeknownst to them, I'd already received reports from other players about Detema and others harassing Seven in another incident entirely, that I then went and confirmed with multiple witnesses."

You received reports, you conducted an investigation, and at no point did you see fit to sit down with Detema, and address the issue. This was not done to keep order. This was not done with the interest of the community.
[-] The following 8 users Like jintheblue's post:
  • Balor, FatherCrixius, JamOfBoy, Jupiter_Storm, Noxid, Roland_Staghare, SevenHaven, Shujin
The response to this thread has only made it all the more clear that was I was already due to be working on for tomorrow is required, and I was already convinced enough of that fact.
You all can well expect a thread/post made tomorrow by me regarding the ongoing harassment issues in our community, GM transparency, making certain policies very clear, and giving an insight into how we operate.
[-] The following 8 users Like Balthie's post:
  • Balor, Dystopia, Jupiter_Storm, Kiss, Miller, Noxid, SevenHaven, Snake
(11-13-2020, 03:04 PM)jintheblue Wrote: Detema received a single mute prior to the ban. After their recent ban they were given no explanation for why they were banned. It is clear Detema assumed the reason for the ban was the same as the reason for the mute, a singular use of vulgarity.

For the sake of clarity, as the one whom issued the mute to Detema at the time, it wasn't for using a singular vulgar word. It was the repeated behavior around it, and a total lack of respect for other people in regards to the language they used. Detema had previously been requested not to use derogatory language when referring to other players multiple times-- not by GMs, mind, but people in the crowds they frequented. 

Detema completely ignored their requests, and it was then brought to me, whom brought it further to the rest of the team to discuss it. We agreed it wasn't the kind of behavior we wanted to endorse.

So, as a GM at the time, I issued a mute when I caught it in OOC, and requested they straighten up, and conduct themselves in a manner more appropriate.

That's all I wanted to clarify. I had no hand in whatever happened here, I'd already put in my resignation by the time this happened, but I felt it relevant to share, as the one whom handled that part.

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