Friday, August 28, 2009

Words fail me...

NCI Policy: Griefer Groups & NCI Officers

Effective Tuesday September 1st 2009, no one may hold a position of responsibility at NCI (Land Officer, Helper, Board Member, Manager) while being a member of a hate group or a griefer group. Anyone who is a member of any such group needs to leave that group or leave NCI. If someone holding a position of responsibility at NCI joins such a group, when that affiliation is discovered by NCI management, they will be given a warning and asked to leave either that group or NCI. If they choose to stay in the griefer or hate group, they will be removed from their position of responsibility at NCI.

For the purposes of this policy, the following groups are considered to be hate and/or griefer groups:

Woodbury University (and associated groups)
Patriotic Nigras (and associated groups)

Additional groups may be added to this list when appropriate. Groups may be removed from this list when there is clear and compelling evidence that the group has stopped encouraging or tolerating hate and griefing activities.

Evidence for affiliation with a griefer or hate group shall consist of one or more of the following: 1) the presence of such a group in the Groups list of a person's Profile window, 2) public admission of membership in such a group, or 3) public and well-documented participation in griefing or hate activities alongside members of such groups. The Evidence section of this policy shall not be applied retroactively events or actions prior to 09-01-2009.


Now for some explanation:

For the past two weeks I've been more stressed about this than anything I've dealt with in the four years I've been running NCI. People on the BoD have very different beliefs about what should be done (if anything). I understand and sympathize with both sides of this issue. As I told Gramma last night, there is no good solution. The policy I am implementing is a bad solution. It's just what I believe to be the best bad solution.

I had been leaning towards the "ignore it and hope it will go away" solution. To be brutally honest, that usually works. However, over the past few days several things have occurred to push me to this decision.

First, I've learned that the Lindens who run the Community Gateway program are very strict on the issue of griefer groups. The appearance of tacit support by NCI for such groups could endanger Caledon Oxbridge. And since NCI Caledon is seen as an extension of Caledon Oxbridge, a policy of "Griefer group members okay on this side of this line, but not okay on the other side of this line" would likely (and reasonably) be seen as disingenuous equivocation.

Secondly, I've read the comments on Prokofy Neva's recent blog entries on the subject of Woodbury and other griefer groups. Over the last two days, multiple commenters associated with Woodbury have suggested he commit suicide. I'm sorry; I'm not going to tolerate that kind of evil shit anywhere near NCI. I don't care what anyone thinks of Prokofy, that's just beyond the pale.

Three, I've been amazingly stressed and depressed in RL and SL. I've been tearing myself up (among other things) by avoiding making a difficult decision. Avoiding doing what I knew was right, but would piss off people I cared for and respected. That's a bad reason not to do something. And it is a failure of leadership on my part. If I can't make the tough decisions, what does NCI need me for?

I know the policy above is going to upset some people. It goes against the well-considered advice of some of NCI's most active and vital officers. If you strongly disagree, I ask that you please give me the benefit of the doubt and accept this new policy. If you find you can not in good conscience do so, I will understand. This is a contentious issue that people of good will can disagree on.

However, this is a final decision. I'm acting in Executive Director mode. This is not an opening position for debate.

I'm sorry. I wish I had something better.


All I've been getting are copied letters of resignation and IMs saying "It's not your fault". At the moment, I'm too far spent to be able to comment.


MaggieL said...

Regardless of how anybody feels about Woodbury and PN, getting worked up into a lather because an anonymous commenter suggests you commit suicide is "beyond the pale" too.

Anybody who is so emotionally fragile that they can't cope with that kind of kindergarten-level PsyOps probably should not be using an internet-connected computer at all. They certainly shouldn't be in Second Life, and they *definitely* should not be running a blog with comments enabled.

Neural said...

I don't think this decision is a bad decision, I just think the timing of it is really *really* stupid. This rules should have been implemented back in early 2006 when the basics of NCI were still being hammered out, but instead of solving the problem then, when it would have affected no-one, they chose to brush it into a corner and forget about it.
Now suddenly they get the bright idea of instating this rule, and it hurts a lot of people and causes divisions with NCI.
I'll miss seeing you around there Immy, and your comments in group chat. :(

P.S. As far as I know, there's no way to see what groups a person has marked as "hidden". My group list shows about 5 or 6 groups, but I'm almost at 20.

Dale Innis said...

Of course it's not your fault! It's Prokofy Neva's fault, and perhaps the fault of some mean people using WU as a cover for their meanness. I gotta feel for Carl, it must be a rotten position to be in, but it sucks at least as much for those tossed out, and those new citizens who won't benefit from their (your) help.

I don't know the WU group myself, but I do wonder if Carl had any evidence besides Prokofy's constant and loudly repeated accusations that it's a "griefer group". I also wonder who decides what groups are "associated" with WU. One of Prokofy's main bullying tactics is to repeat something so loudly and so persistently that people start to assume it must be at least somewhat true, even if they have no evidence beyond Prokofy's unreliable word.

It would be a pity if that's what's happened in this case.

I also wonder just what "the Lindens who run the Community Gateway program" said to Carl. If the Lindens are going to go around labeling certain groups as "griefer groups", there must be some transparency behind that process, not just whispered rumors, undocumented conversations, and rants in weblogs...

Imnotgoing Sideways said...

What really tears me apart is that he didn't even bother to mention W-hat. Consider this: WU members have intermingled, contributed to, and helped asminister NCI's operations for longer than I remember.

Though, my experiences with W-hat members have been those of abuse, harassment, spamming, weapons, obscenity, and frequent listings on Banlink. I remember being falsely ARed by a W-hat goon and suspended. I remember dealing with a W-hat raid on a Show&Tell event and having to list 4 bans in one hour.

Frankly, Carl is expressing nothing more than misdirected rage and he's damaging a genuinely good volunteer help group in the process.

Vaelissa Cortes said...

I find the whole situation to be blown way out of proportion; a person's groups shouldn't matter so long as they are genuinely helpful. NCI has been on a decline for a long time now, this only makes it slide further down the slope.

I wouldn't worry about what Prok says either, she/he comes off as an idiot who likes to over hype things.