Eveotorial: The Elephant in the Room

A wave of insanity splashed onto the shores of the Eve Community last week, sparked by my fellow blogger and CSM member RipardTeg in his Bonus Room post.

I've been quiet on this up until now, although it did spark my humorous Jita post from a few days ago, because I've been busy starting an Alliance - but mostly because this thing smelled like a rat from day one. It was easy to see what was going to happen, what did happen, and how it would all play out. There wasn't a need to address the shenanigans more than they were already being addressed.

People have been banned. A victim's name has been bandied about and his (and his wife's) humiliation has been made public. This is, I believe, the greatest crime of all. And I strongly feel it is the elephant in the room. No one is talking about it.

I have much respect for Ripard, I am a daily reader and have been since his blog started. We sometimes speak outside of blogging, I believe I've helped him many times and I know he has helped me many times. But on this issue I feel urged to call a spade a spade.

Mr. Teg is an elected member of the CSM and as such has access to CCP beyond that of us mere mortals. If he felt strongly that someone's actions in (or out) of game warranted a ban, then he could have easily have brought such actions to the attention of CCP and demanded special action be taken. I'm not a member of the CSM and yet, over the years, I have personally brought such actions to the attention of CCP - thru Petitions, Twitter, and email.

The victim was humiliated twice, once by the scammer, and once again by a blogger who should know better. I think he already knows this, the cancellation of his series and recent back-pedaling on his site would seem to indicate some wisdom in hindsight. I hope so. But the damage has been done. There was a way to get the results that needed to be gotten, without making the entire incident public. A human being is on the other end of that conversation, a human being who was verbally assaulted and then exposed to the wider Eve community.

I wouldn't have known about this had it not been for Repard's post. I could only bring myself to listen to small pieces of the Bonus Room audio. Perhaps I have to much empathy for the people on the other end of that conversation, for both sides. I feel for them all, because they are all victims in one manner or another. I have zero tolerance for such activity. Had I known about it beforehand I would have written CCP immediately and demanded action be taken. But I wouldn't have written a blog post about it. Just as I have never written one before about other incidents.

You have given the aggressor a platform and humiliated his victim.

For someone building to a point about bad behavior in Eve, I believe you exhibited some very poor judgement. At the very least.



28 comments:

  1. This is the last time I'll be reading your blog. You're essentially making the argument that if someone is a victim of a crime that is already public, no one should say anything, so as to avoid embarassment. Had the clip not been publicly posted you MIGHT have an argument. It wasn't though. Blame the messenger. That's always a winning move.

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    1. Many more people knew about this after he posted, after it became all the rage, than would have otherwise. Your argument is meaningless.

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    2. I disagree. This is one of the many examples where something was already public but had not received enough attention to elicit any action. There had already been a bit of a forum storm when it first came to light some way back. However, the attention garnered for the act at that point was not enough to have anyone at CCP stand up and take notice.

      What Rippard did was bring a circumstance (that was already in the public domain) to the attention of a much wider audience. In doing so he forced CCP to take notice and to take action. Rippard didn't make something public that wasn't and he didn't add any extra humiliation to the target(s). Yes, it may have opened up some old wounds. However, by bringing it to the community's attention and forcing action from CCP he has probably saved numerous other victims that humiliation. I don't think anyone believes that any action would have been taken without Rippards public intervention.

      Generally speaking, we call this journalism.

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    3. Call it whatever you want. If I'm not mistaken, isn't he on the CSM? If I remember correctly doesn't the CSM have access to CCP? Things like face to face meetings and special channels and whatnot?

      Thought so.

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    4. U call it journalism, if he petitioned b4 he started the shit storm ccp could call it a EULA violation, but then there would be public rage and that's all u got to start to get ccp to do something.

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    5. I read a few blogs and I pay attention to a lot of what goes on in relation to Eve and yet, I only found out about what happened after Rippard's post. You call this journalism, I call it sensationalism.

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  2. You're right, it is the elephant in the room. I've written one piece about this and I did my best to avoid referring directly to the SoundCloud recording, although if you follow the hyperlinks far enough you can find it.

    But not everyone ducked the issue. FunkyBacon on the special he did on the scandal on Eve Radio Friday night confirmed that the victim was upset with Ripard because it reopened the issue. The victim's CEO confirmed that he kicked the victim from his corp due to fears, now that the victim's story was well-publicized, that his presence in the corp would draw war-decs with people thinking the corp was an easy mark. Listening to the victim, both on Eve Radio and on another Twitch stream, it appears that the victim feels that Ripard did more harm than Erotica 1. And when the victim tried to contact Ripard, the victim claims that Ripard ignored him.

    I actually agree with Ripard about the need for CCP to police those that prey upon the player base beyond the shooting of ships or even scamming of valuable internet space pixels. But in this case, he really made supporting the effort hard.

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    1. I also agree, have always agreed, and would find it difficult to find anyone who doesn't agree. Eve is a sandbox, but we all realize it has boundaries just like any other sandbox.

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    2. Yeah I thought the boundaries were real world harm. The main problem I have with what rip did was it seemed to me from his comment that he did petition this and got an unfavorable response. After that he made it all public. I'd argue that this media shit storm to the victim who was still playing eve btw (all the white knights say this has to be done for player retention, this guy got kicked from his corp because of the white knights.) do I like scammers and people like ero 1? No, do I think they should have the right to play eve the way they want? Yes. It was the responsibility of the victim to not give his stuff away, a lesson that he seemed to learn to his credit. Now we have devs saying u can't cause emotional stress to a player......isnt that exact stress what makes eve different from other games? I just feel like this puts is on a track where any unpopular playstyle can be banned by community out rage, tbh im ashamed ccp didn't stand their ground.

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  3. I don't know about the laws of the country you live in, but in my country it does matter who publicized the name and for what reason. Since Erotica 1 was the one who publicized the name all responsibility of the harm that comes from this falls on Erotica 1. Ripard Teg did mention victim's name, but it was necessary in order to talk about that specific event, already public. Thus Erotica 1 did break the laws (yes, what he did is illegal in Finland according to the police) but Ripard Teg is clear.
    My recommendation to you and others crying about this issue is to stop shooting the messenger (Ripard Teg) and start acting like human beings.

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    1. I suspect many people, like myself, didn't even know about this incident until they read about it on Ripard's blog. Bringing an issue to public attention is a valiant and worthy deed, one that I will always support. But specifically bringing this instance to public attention served no purpose other than to glorify the aggressor and further humiliate the victim. In my opinion there can be no argument about that. So, if that means, in your opinion that I am the one not showing human qualities - then so be it.

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    2. No other purpose?

      How about achieving action from CCP on the matter? This would never have happened if it hadn't been made public. CCP had access to all of the information available from the previous, smaller, forum-storm on the issue and chose to take no action.

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    3. So, let me get this straight, what you are saying is that the ends justify the means? I think that excuse has been used a lot throughout history.

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  4. I don't necessarily agree with every detail of what you've said Rixx, but you at least make a very well reasoned and mature case. One of the few so far on this issue. Well done sir.

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  5. I think the main point you have missed in this regard is that the Bonus room was an example intended to highlight soms of the wider behavioural issues within Eve.

    I doubt Jester wrote his series of blog posts on Eve behaviour as a smoke screen to cover getting CCP to do something about the Bonus room. Eve players, much like society in general, want examples/proof to back up a position. Some of the subsequent events should be viewed as an unintended consequence. To date Jester may have been reporting people, as you have, but felt another approach might also help with new player retention.

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    1. Well if that was his intention he failed utterly since CCP didn't feel the need to do anything beyond reiterate a behaviour policy that, if you actually read it, hasn't changed at all and throw out a meaningless ban. The more I hear about this the more it looks like Ripard used his blog as a vehicle for his personal vendetta against a guy who did something he didn't like and damn the consequences.

      Note I am not supporting in any way what Erotica did, but in my opinion this whole thing stinks.

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  6. yes, if the crime is in any way humiliating for the victim it should not be talked about
    if we just dont talk about it, all will be way betterer
    hell, just cover it all up, it will be like it never happened at all and everyone is shiny happy

    it was way better when only the pervs who get off on this shit knew about the recording and sat there playing with themselfes while listening to it


    tbh if the victim gets persecuted because of this it says way more about our beloved "community" than ripards posts ever could

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    1. No one is advocating "covering" anything up. I don't know where you read that, but it wasn't on this blog. There are degrees of scamming, just as there are degrees of bringing something to the public's attention. And there are certainly ways to protect those involved.

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  7. You bring some good argument Sir. And I agree with you in most of it. Ripard could have been a bit less focused on naming the victim. I wonder how many people set bounty on the victim just for the lols.

    However, Ripard did the right thing in bringing the issue as a whole to the public. He made some minor mistakes on the way to the public, especially reaching out (or the lack there of) to the victim he was going to make public. so 10 point for ripard making this public but -1 for not protecting the victim as best as he could.

    If CCP would have taken action silently, one of these misbehaving players would be gone too but not many would have noticed. This discussion about human behavior is healthy for our community.

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    1. The series was excellent and I enjoyed it, right up until that last post. A valid and worthy subject is no excuse however. Any documentarian, editorialist or reporter worth their salt knows the difference.

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  8. Bravo. Rixx Javix, voice of reason.

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  9. Lame Joke of the day: What do you call banning E1? Ans: A good start... Let's face it, all other issues aside, he deserves to be banned and I hope he stays banned. And I hope there are more bans, for people like him, coming.


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  10. While I disagree on a few points, of all the posts and comments I have read on this whole topic I have only seen two posts which I would give any sort of consideration or value; your post here and Noizy's post on his blog. These have unfortunately been the only posts which have not resorted to personal attacks or fallacies.

    In defense of Ripard, I don't think it was his original intent to have people focus so much on the example but on the underlying issue which has started to evolve in Eve. Unfortunately he has canceled his future posts on the subject and in my mind it's probably because the other posts will not initiate the discussion of a topic he wants to make public. All comments on future posts will constantly bring up this whole issue and continue to keep it in the lime light despite it not being the prime subject. I feel his original post was written with good intentions but clouded by fury and anger at what the community has gradually seen as acceptable behavior.

    It's a real shame we'll never see those other posts which would address another Elephant in the room which nobody wants to address. From comments I have read in defense of this behavior (whether or not it breaks any rules) has caused me to lose a lot of respect for several players I know.

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    1. I totally agree that the post series was addressing a valid and worthwhile subject matter, worthy of exposure, and further thought. It was predictably sidetracked by using this example. I can still remember reading the post when it first went up last week and seeing exactly what was going to happen. I know, because the same sort of thing has happened to me many times when I bring something like that to light here - once the can is open it is extremely difficult to put everything back.

      Having said that, I still do not believe it excuses the use of this specific example. These type of individual actions, that involve real people, need to be addressed in an individual manner. Blog posts are for generalities, in-game content, and opinions. Just as we need scammers and others to abide by certain boundaries, we should also hold ourselves accountable to those self-same boundaries.

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    2. You're correct that we need to live by the boundaries which are set.

      Sometimes mistakes are made whether publicly or privately they all have varying degrees of consequences which may evolve over time. Some are expected others are not, some are fixed quietly (like adjusting your math homework) or others can be quite public, time-consuming, and impede options in the future (like declaring bankruptcy).

      We live, learn and constantly battle the consequences we have caused or received from others. Every once-in-awhile we open a can and hopefully learn and move forward with what we've learned.

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  11. And one other thing I found really hypocritical was everyone on rips blog bitching because ts3 is out of game and here's rip conducting a witch hunt from a blog

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