Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: საქართველო (Georgia)
Banning - separating fact from fiction
This thread is in response to all the people who have been asking for an explanation to why NeoRenegade and WolfieD were banned. After receiving countless e-mails asking for an explanation, and viewing numerous posts debating the subject, this thread should hopefully put it to rest. Because, to be perfectly honest, I'm tired of reading about it and being asked about it, and so are the majority of other members and mods.
WolfieD was banned because he gained access to one of the moderator’s accounts. He then used this account to gain access to other moderators and administrators accounts. He also bragged about obtaining them in a public IRC channel. Also, certain moderators were specifically named. Apparently there were moderators that he didn't see eye-to-eye with, and the fact that he could now access their accounts was brought up in converstaion.
While there is nothing to indicate that any malicious damage was caused, it nonetheless sparked off a major security issue here in the forums. If he was able to get access to your account, the first thing he should have done is let admin know. If nothing else, it would prove his integrity as part of the community. Instead, he chose to use an admin account for his own purposes - i.e. to access information about other mods and members accounts. That was the choice that he made as an individual, no one forced him to do it. once this was discovered, he was banned immediately until the accounts could be made secure again.
Afterwards, an offer was made to him that he was welcome to come back at any time, all he had to do was apologise. He chose not to return.
Neorenegade's name has been popping up in my inbox far too often lately for my liking. Neo was banned for posting pornography in the Winamp forums - a COPPA compliant website. For those of you that don't know what that means, the main goal of COPPA is to protect the privacy of children using the Internet. Publication of the rule means that, as of April 21, 2000, certain commercial Web sites must obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. This therefore means that the compliant site must be of a suitable nature for young children, whether there be one member under 13, or 1000, it makes no difference. The picture in question contained scenes of decapitation, mutilation, and sodomy, not exactly child-friendly material.
Many complaints had been received about Neo prior to this about the content and tone of some of his posts, and both official and unofficial warnings have been made by moderators here, spanning the last six months. Apologies and promises of change have been received but never followed through. Originally, just the username "NeoRenegade" was banned, he still possessed the ability to access the site, just not post under that name.
He then created another account and tried to hide the fact that he was Neo. When discovered, the account was left open for two days, with the expectation that he might apologise, or provide an explanation for his actions. Instead he used it as a platform to debate his banning, to a point where the only solution was to ban his IP in order to stop him creating new accounts.
Neo was not banned by one particular moderator (namely me), or by a select group of moderators with a grudge against him. This is not the way things get done backstage, despite what some may think. A thread was created backstage recommending that Neo be banned, citing examples and the reasoning behind the recommendation. Each moderator then had the opportunity to post his opinion on the matter, and his recommendation. The decision was unanimous in that out of all the moderators that posted in the thread, not one objected to him being banned. Only then was it acted upon.
Neo has not been prevented from apologising, or explaining his actions. True, his account has been banned, but he has been made an offer that if he has something he wants posted on the forums, he can write it, e-mail it to me, and I'll post it on his behalf. He has accepted this as being a reasonable solution for now.
I think that covers just about every base regarding the banning of both WolfieD and NeoRenegade. This thread has been closed, as I predict an onslaught of arguments, both for and against. These are the facts laid out before you, these rules are in place to protect the members of these forums. You all agreed to them when you bacame members here, and they apply to all members and moderators here.