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Events that lead us here

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#1
So, the community has been asking for it. Here you go. There are probably a million caveats to this, and this thread is open so that various people (mods and others) can post and be included in the discussion.

----------------------BEGIN STORY------------------------

Events leading to and consisting of Travis being banned, circa National Championship Game (NCG).

1. Fluff was perturbed by Hachiko's style and perceived nonsense spamming of various threads, and unilaterally banned Hachiko for saying "oh Fluff." This was done without discussion, which was uncommon.
2. Travis posted about this issue in the subscriber forum (Anything Thread) and Fluff did not respond, so nothing was done about the situation.
3. Travis started the Jihad thread and as his jihad he subsequently spammed Hachiko dynasty posts to be annoying (not intentionally malicious and Travis is not a hacker).
4. Travis’s Hachiko copy/paste posts somehow fucked up the board and crashed everything.
5. Because Fluff was the only person who had access to the admin tech stuff and wasn't available (watching the NC game) the site stayed down all night.
6. Fluff eventually found out that the server was getting DoS’d and that it was Travis’s anime copypasta “attack” at fault.
7. Fluff had to investigate some log files and eventually did live support chat for an hour or more to resolve the issue.
8. Fluff banned Travis and wrote an announcement about the event that included airing of some of Travis’s posts from the mod area.
9. Instead of venting in the wasteland Travis sent an open email to Fluff and all the mods and explained his side of the issue. Travis asked the mods to consider his side and decide what should be done about him, Fluff, and the whole issue. This e-mail reached almost 100 responses without Fluff ever contributing.

Resolution: Mods argued a bit but basically agreed to no punishment for anyone. Both did something stupid -- just drop it and move on. Fluff never responded other than to Travis’s personal apology email to say he'd be taking some time off.

[Approximately one month passes until our second cluster of incidents, detailed below.]

1. For the month after the initial blow up, the staff really avoided saying anything to Fluff at all during this time in hopes that he'd cool off and transfer part of the ownership so that we didn't have his "thumb on the button” anymore.
2. There was some arguing back and forth between Pavel/Travis in the public areas about the ownership issue.
3. A month went by after initial Travis ban, and Fluff started posting on Utopia but never addressed any of the concerns Travis had raised.
4. Travis bumped the thread in the mod area and asked if we could clarify ownership issue before money was spent on new software or Fluff put a lot more work in. Travis also asked if Fluff had cooled down enough to talk about it.
5. There was some more back and forth between mods about chippy attitudes in general lately, but this was largely separate from the ownership issue.
6. Fluff's response to Travis was that he didn’t want to discuss the issue, but that Travis was the cause of all the chippiness and declared that he owned 2/3rds of Utopia (the domain and the database) and he wasn’t willing to negotiate on that point.
7. There was some general agreement with Fluff by Pavel/TM that Travis had caused the chippiness with the BTT stuff and general asshole tone.
8. Travis disagreed about the schtick thing since everyone kind of has one, and then called Fluff a pussy for slinking around and trying to do more unilateral decisions without answering the questions about ownership.
9. Kella made fun of everyone for being sensitive and mocked the idea that Travis was some sort of forum villain and attempted to demonstrate the point that mods don't really matter by posting a screen shot of Utopia carrying on in merry fashion while we all bickered. (This was in response to a few assertions that mods and Travis in particular drove a majority of the discussions and lorded over forum discourse at large).
10. Southpaw weighed in with his thoughts about Pavel/Fluff's issues and asked lurking mods to weigh in as well.
11. OU told Travis that he was a shitty negotiator and Travis disagreed because there were no negotiations to be made as Fluff had all the power/cards. OU then called it more of a hostage negotiation and Travis agreed.
12. Fluff said he was tired of it all and that he was sending the money to Irishman (which he did), declaring he was "out."
13. Travis said that was a pretty asshole move to punish everyone because he was pissed at him.
14. All the mods asked Fluff to reconsider, offered to buy him out, sent multiple emails, etc and Fluff never responded.
15. Fluff posted the announcement that he was closing Utopia.
16. We posted the moving thread.
17. Mods started deleting threads with personal information in them (deaths in family, marriage talk, some reported post threads that served more as basic moderator discussions, etc). Irish decided to say fuck it and just deleted the whole reported post forum. This seems drastic but there was a general feeling that Fluff was becoming increasingly hostile and vindictive, if for no other reason than his occasional post was very combative and relations between him and many mods had gone south.
18. Fluff saw this and umodded everyone, noting that he had maintained backups of everything that was "deleted," and issued vague threats about sharing what the mods "really thought about users.”

Resolution: We moved to this place.

-----------------END STORY--------------------
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#4
Chat logs support several of the claims in the above, and additionally reveal Luther's original password, Travis's nervous tic, and the effectiveness of foam rollers.
 

TrojanMan

Pink Panther
Mod Alumni
#6
And most importantly, here will be better. There have already been lengthy come to Jesus talks, the likes of which I've not seen in 13 years, or however ridiculously long I've been here.

everything will be better. Software, infrastructure, improvements, transparency, etc. Hats off to the handful of guys who got this launched so quickly.
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#7
I had this written up in response to the objective* narrative above, so here you go.

*as much as it could be, given the circumstances and lack of communication

=========================================================================================================================================
To me, the general feeling was that there were a lot of negative incentives to having sole ownership of Utopia, namely, that it prompted Fluff (and previously CDJ) to act in an almost completely unilateral capacity. Things on the technical and administrative side were changed with no notice, no discussion, nothing like a quorum that supposedly was the role of the moderating staff (among other little things like banning spammers and Rutgers Goebbels for a day).

This contributed to a pattern of behavior that seemed despotic at times on Fluff’s part (again, Fluff was non-communicative so I to this day I/we have no idea how he really feels about that accusation other than he reacts badly to any sort of accusation from Travis, even if Travis is accurate, despite being mean)

For the sake of full disclosure I said some incredibly rude and mean things to Fluff in my knee-jerk reaction to his executive action, to the point where I actually edited my initial post in the mod forum so that the original text was spoilered. I was ashamed but also wanted to summarize my rambling points (styled after a Bmack response), but I wanted to leave it for the sake of transparency thus spoilering instead of deleting.

This lack of input from anyone but Fluff on technical and administrative changes also contributed to the mod staff essentially being reduced to the role of a “cool kids club”, and the moderator forum and reported posts served to really just poke fun at dumb posts and mock people, which I (Kella) think most of us really regret in hindsight. To be sure, everybody mocks everybody on Utopia, usually to their faces, and a lot of this communiqué wasn’t anything extra-secret. So not only was it Mean Girls-ish, it was somewhat pointless, and we’re doing away with it on Nutopia.

I also would like to say that there WAS a pretty cursory discussion (in a reported post) BEFORE Hachiko was initially banned and it was suggested that throttling him vBulletin/Oldtopia style would be perfect. Fluff made some statement to the fact that he didn’t know if there was a plugin for that for MyBB, which I subsequently found in 15 seconds on Google and was able to install and get working in my personal test instance of MyBB. This sort of thing left me (and I know others) with a really sour taste. If an administrator/owner is going to insist on sole ownership, there needs to be a little more attentiveness and magnanimity. The perfect solution for Hachiko was throttling and Fluff just banned him anyway.

All of this resulted in a (fairly) unanimous clamor that “ownership” be divvied up a bit. Fluff did not respond in any way to this request to share the “keys to Utopia” so to speak. Basically, we wanted to have a few more people with access to the server control panel, MyBB admin panel, and server hosting plan support so that situations like the NCG DoS would be less impactful going forward. Fluff refused to acknowledge any of this and/or ignored the requests. Fluff did do a lot of work getting MyBB customizations in place so Utopia would function well, he absolutely was a great help to us, don’t get me wrong. But he did this on a volunteer basis and pretty much rejected all offers for help, which is what contributed to this greedy autocrat or despot image he (unintentionally, I presume) cultivated.

Most of us reject the notion of “owning” Utopia anyway, as seen in @cmq 's org chart in the news forum.
================================================================================================================

That's my take. Again, unfortunately devoid of any input from Fluff. :sad:
 

TrojanMan

Pink Panther
Mod Alumni
#10
It has also been suggested that if, at some point in the future, Fluff desires to return to Utopia, he should be welcomed with open arms. It'd surprise you who initially suggested it, but I think we all agree.

Utopia is supposed to be fun. Let's not fuck that up by being dickheads.

With that in mind, I'd like to publicly request that Travis meet me on the beach tomorrow at sunset, so we can resolve our issues and renew our bromance vows. You bring the whiskey and purple cups, I'll bring the condoms.
 

GR8 2 B FL G8R

Well-Known Member
#11
bros don't wear condoms on their wedding night

Anyway, why are you posting this shit on Valentines Day? It makes it extra gay. I'm playing video game footbaw tonight, and that's why I'm here - for da strategies. But don't you faggots have wives or gfs that require DeBeers blood diamonds, Hallmark cards, fancy dinners, shitty Winter's Tale movies, chocolate fondue, etc?
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#12
Agreed with @TrojanMan, like the banner says, everyone is welcome, and welcome back if there were any previous bans or issues.
 

Hooblaa

Lazy Millennial
#13
And most importantly, here will be better. There have already been lengthy come to Jesus talks, the likes of which I've not seen in 13 years, or however ridiculously long I've been here.

everything will be better. Software, infrastructure, improvements, transparency, etc. Hats off to the handful of guys who got this launched so quickly.
What exactly is a "come to Jesus" talk?
 

GR8 2 B FL G8R

Well-Known Member
#22
Nah mang, Iraqi Topanga went from so promising to so shitty I just don't feel like running game right now.

I build up girls in my head so much, and then they just let me down with their vapid materialism.

I'm going to Marley Fest pretty early tomorrow, so I'm just marinating low key and mellow tonight.

No all night ragers

 

Travis7401

Douglass Tagg
Community Liaison
#24
Being in the middle of this was a pretty shitty feeling, and I apologize to the community for the trouble and to fluff for being irritating. I really do appreciate all fluff did for Utopia in our last move and I really only took umbrage with his unilateral decision making. My personal opinion is that any issues between him and I could have been worked out like any other normal disagreement on Utopia if it wasn't for the unique situation of there being only one set of keys, which was an oversight in the last move. That issue has been fixed thanks to hard work by CMQ, Kella, and the rest of the mod staff hammering out the details of a system that should eliminate any future utopia nuclear conflict.
 

sayo

Well-Known Member
#28
It's a real shame it had to get to the point where we had to migrate, but I'm glad we were able to survive. I hope things get resolved in the future with Fluff. He did a great job moving us to oldnewtopia and it would truly suck for it to completely end over some dumb shit like that. Either way, you all have done an amazing job with the place.
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#33
I just don't understand how asking to share some access so we could reboot the server or something absent Fluff (who was increasingly not around much) was so offensive.



It just comes up as very Gollum
 

OU11

Pleighboi
Utopia Moderator
#34
I just like telling travis he is bad at negotiating because it seemed to upset him when I said it haha.

Before we left I read back over some things and I don't think it would have mattered how travis came at him, he already checked out
 

Brick

Well-Known Member
#36
I have chat transcripts showing Travis "lost a night of sleep" over this.

Reply with the correct YouTube vidya for a trophy.

Glad I told jobob to fuck off years ago, or I probably would have been involved in the mod muddle.
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#39
Yeah, Fluff did a good job customizing MyBB when we started, but XF is clearly superior in a lot of ways.
 

Southpaw

Fuckface
Utopia Moderator
#41
Don't be a dictator and ban hachiko. When you ban hachiko, Travis spams the board. When Travis spams the board, the board crashes. When the board crashes, fluff spends an hour on chat support. When fluff spends an hour on chat support, he bans Travis. When fluff bans Travis, there is dissension among the mods. When there is dissension among the mods, the shit hits the fan. When the shit hits the fan, utopia starts over again. Don't be a dictator.
 

cmq

Neo
Operations
#42
I'm still confused how cdjones became lead turkey all those years ago
At the time, he was very active and also very involved with the NCAA community. He also had a direct line to EA, which at the time was still important for the focus of our site. Obviously given his 100% focus to EA and the game, versus the ever-broadening interests of most of the userbase, it turned out not to be the right fit, but I still think the decision was solid at the time.
 

DHawkeye

Eterna Optimis
#44
Leave it to the monkey to muck things up.

In all honesty, it is commendable that you guys were willing to not only disclose this information, but to completely overhaul how the "power structure" of Utopia works. It would have been easy to just jettison Flufftopia and carry on here with the status quo. And I'm betting that most people would have followed without complaint. The fact that so much care has been taken when considering how the members and the administration mesh says a lot about the kind of community that's been developed over the years. At the risk of sounding like a brown nowser, I think you guys (admins, mods, and many folks who never held such positions in the old days) have taken a difficult situation and made something even better out of it.

You'll are still a bunch of databases, doe.
 

Simo77

Well-Known Member
#48
Thanks for posting this. I think that explaining how we got here is important to moving on and the evolution of nUtopia. I completely understand that there's at least one other opinion of how things went down. But the 1 fact that really hammers home that this is for the best is the fact that only one person used to have keys to Utopia. And it seems that would not change at the old location. That alone seems problem enough to change things up.