Tuesday Oct. 16 2018 | ORB Newsroom – PW Developments
Max has been a moderator for Politics & War for some time – up until recently. Original identities of his moderator profiles were Four, Frank Castle, and Honey Monster. Logs or words provided within this article are from first hand accounts within moderation channels and experience as PW Staff.
If you’re just a player that floats around not really paying attention to too much of what goes on within the structure of this game, you probably wouldn’t see it – but if you’re like me, you know what is going on and you know it needs to change.
Over the course of the PW history Alex, his administration and Forum Moderators have made numerous amounts of mistakes. Some of these mistakes were brought to surface as they happened, (like maybe changing major war mechanics during global wars…several times) but others just swept under the rug. More recently, we all found out that Alex gave a name of a player who submitted a bounty on another player. Granted, the player who submitted that bounty did so with a racist backdrop towards the one he placed the bounty on, but instead of taking the matter/report into his own hands and acting like the administrator he claims he is – he causes a wide divide between the community and violated the rules he set in place. During the time this bounty was being discussed the world was engaged in total war and unfortunately this war boiled over into intense OOC attacks. A thread that was titled “Shifty News Network-Playing Favorites” was making the rounds and PW Forum Moderators were constantly being called to this thread for reports submitted by the community. This particular thread was being discussed over and over which led to Alex’s name being brought up because some word got out that he might have been involved somehow.
Even though Alex plays this game and has played this game in other alliances in the past, he tried pretending he had no idea who TRF was – even though he spoke directly to Queen M and identified the bounty…and provided the name of the player who placed the bounty. In any case, Alex pretends he holds no bias over anyone or any alliance – yet continues to play admin politics in this game.
As we progressed through this thread in our discussion server for moderation, we kept receiving “shrugs” from Alex and “I don’t care,” “I can’t believe people think I’m bias.” As me and another moderator talked in private chat, I started capturing the conversation for security purposes. The feel of the room was that it didn’t matter what the community thought, he was right and he doesn’t care.
As this last clip made it into the conversation, I was already poised to hand in my resignation and post the logs of Alex & Queen M – as it was the correct thing to do for any game administrator and he was refusing. – however – shortly after Alex provided a link within our chat which is located here, that explains what he did. Why a person who creates a game for a community doesn’t care what happens within the community is baffling. Countless times Alex has said that he doesn’t want anything to do with the community in terms of moderation – yet provides a name directly to a player to further OOC attacks within the community.
Sure, I suppose you could shrug it off as a simple mistake, but if someone doesn’t care about the community and wants a total hands off approach, why would he now be discussing removing the downvote functionality on the Politics & War Forums?
You might think, what’s the big deal right? Removing a downvote really doesn’t matter too much people as it doesn’t really affect the gameplay at all – however – what it does do is cater to the crowd that continually report people because they are immediately offended by a word or a phrase. These are also the same people who the admin and select moderators cater to and favor. By removing the ability of expression – like downvoting some shit post – you continue down the path of censorship. Obviously, we have been heading this direction for some time, I’m sure some of you have been given warn points for something you posted that wasn’t even remotely offensive to you and others, yet some poor soul decided they were offended, reported it, and that moderator found some way to fit your post into a rule break. This happened to me earlier today, I quoted a post from an old youtube cartoon, I used the word “fat” – wasn’t directly talking to anyone – yet I didn’t receive a verbal warning, I received a full warn point, from Alex himself. The same day, when I took the warn to the PW Official discord and claimed it was trash moderation I was immediately muted in the discord server.
So, what comes next?
As the PW Admin continues down this path they will continue to push the community into a darker position. A team that claims to hold no bias will continue to divide the community from its administration and thus drive people from the community and the game itself. That is one reason why Orbis Weekly exists, besides delivering news to you while it happens and developing the back story, we wanted to create a space for all of you to enjoy without the restrictions and policing imposed through the PW admin and moderation police.
As a moderator, I have always worked to provide clarity to the community and always worked with people who had issues and tried to implement new rules that were clear in effort to provide a well-balanced justice system within the moderation team. A lot of the time it worked out – even to the point of having a horrible moderator (who now runs the discord moderation) quit his position. Unfortunately, the odds were always stacked against me and other moderators who shared the same views.
As it stands, the moderation team is severely inactive. You have a few who come in to collect on the perks and benefits the position holds and the other are yet to be seen as contributing members to a dying force within the community – even if they replace Honey Monster’s spot the day he resigned. This issue will not be solved without the community pushing back against their agenda. Simple rules are all that is needed to maintain a balanced system within an online community, but the current administration gets off on more and more restrictions for people who are just looking to enjoy themselves as they take a break from their real lives to play an online game.