Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Non-RMT Ban Wave

I guess some people didn't learn that CCP is serious about some of the things it bans.  Last month, SOMERblink tried to institute an RMT trick that was banned in November of last year.  Yesterday, CCP Falcon posted this on the EVE Online forums and stickied the post to the top:
"Hello everyone,

"We would like to remind the EVE community of our stance regarding the usage of EVE Online and assets, characters and items from within the game environment as leverage for the purpose of real life harassment.

"As outlined in our previous announcement, this type of behavior lies in clear breach of our End User License Agreement, and as such we have a zero tolerance approach when dealing with these cases.

"Our stance regarding this type of behavior has not changed since the last announcement, and any individuals who are found to be engaging in such behavior will be met with disciplinary action against their game accounts in accordance with our Terms of Service."
Apparently, someone once again proved the validity of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (GIFT).

A picture says a thousand words
A Reddit user by the user name of Patwa put up the following opening post:

As seen on 10 September 2014
"Two of my accounts were banned as of today. The reason stated: Participation in a group engaged in out of game harassment of EVE players. I have confirmed that I am not the only participant to receive this ban. Due to policy, I won't publish or quote any part of the email I received from the GM. However, I can tell you that my participation in the bonus room was minimal at best - only x-ing up for contracts."

When asked if the ban was related to the Erotica1 scandal earlier this year or was a new event, Patwa replied, "It was the original issue. And no, I did not. I only actually x-d up in a small percentage of the total bonus rooms. I found that it wasn't really worth my time."

Really?  Another Reddit user, rykki, found another post back from the original Erotica1 incident:

As seen on 10 September 2014
"I'm friends with Erotica 1. I've made quite a bunch of ISK from the victims in the bonus room. We use TS not to avoid EULA stuff, but because it's funny.

"We also force people to pod themselves 20-50 times without updating their clone."

That was the situation as I knew it as of midnight, EVE time.  Shortly after midnight, another post appeared on Reddit:
"Earlier this morning, many players were banned permanently, pending investigation. The reason given was 'Participation with a group involved in real life harassment.'

"To my knowledge, many members within CODE have been banned, along with steadfast and trustworthy members within Calmil. People within GSF have also been banned.
People in every region of space are being banned--and everyone down to a dime that I've talked to have no idea what they got banned for.

"We don't know what we were banned for, and we've been stonewalled. I didn't even know most of these people before we got banned today.

"The only reason specified is 'Participation with a group involved in real life harassment.'

This has set a most startling precedent."

Confusion is also reigning over on the Failheap Challenge forums.  The post with the most information came from a poster named Lucence:
"It's still early, the bans were only handed hours ago. At first the wording of CCP Falcon ('harassment') was reminiscent of the sohkar episode so we thought bans were related to anyone involved in it, but we soon got reports from banned people saying they had never been involved in it in any way (wasn't on TS, didn't accept a contract, wasn't in the ingame chat channel), and others from people who were eyebrow deep in it and yet didn't get banned, so it must have been something else.

"So far we haven't been able to draw a complete picture, the only pattern seems to be people generally involved in griefing in some way. However I know of at least one banned person in a lowsec alliance who is apparently described as trustworthy and not into griefing; he claims to have no idea why he got banned. My understanding is CODE is surveying its ranks and all its PR is centralized with line members instructed to lay low (do not post GM logs, do not partake in flamewars etc.) while we figure out wtf exactly happened. BU is pinging logged off regulars through jabber/TS/IRC/Steam.

"We haven't heard anything back from CCP yet, besides CCP Falcon's cryptic message, and we don't expect anything for another few days if at all. This is why we concentrate our efforts on building a solid case we can submit to CSM members."

At 2:22am EVE Time, CCP Falcon put out a reply to the 2 1/2 pages of posts that were asking what happened (and that CCP was ruining EVE).  Responding to the question, "can we expect some clear-cut rules on what you would classify as 'real life harassment'?", CCP Falcon replied:
"It isn't our job to dictate to people how to maintain a base standard of human decency toward one another, and we're not going to do so.

"The bottom line is that it's down to members of the community to know where the line crosses from common decency to harassment. We will not draw a line in the sand so that people can skirt on the edge of it and bend the rules as much as possible.

"This isn't a debate about what constitutes "harassment". If you're not familiar with the word, find the definition in a dictionary and that will satisfy your question.

"What we will do, is continue to use best judgement on a case by case basis to ensure that real life harassment is kept out of the game, and ensure that those who choose to involve themselves in such activities are no longer permitted to be part of our community.

"Cut and dried, that's all we have to say on the matter."
To save time, I visited the Oxford online dictionary (UK version since that is where CCP Falcon is from) and found this definition:
Harassment: Aggressive pressure or intimidation.
Hopefully that will make things clearer.  No?

Well, I'll admit I'm a bit confused.  From what I gather, this is not a repeat of the bonus room situation.  I'm not going to try to guess what occurred, although CCP Falcon's recommendation to visit the dictionary does provide fodder for speculation.  Some names of characters are already floating around and I don't want to malign anyone with totally baseless speculation.  The story may continue, and with CODE. involved, many people will want to learn more.  I kind of do myself.

UPDATE: Erotica 1 has decided to jump in and defend those banned.  When evaluating sources to determine the truth, one should always consider past behavior.  So here is a post from the Failheap Challenge:
sharptoast: Having not really paid much attention to this whole thing I think people are going to regard you generally as an arsehole no matter what you say mate.

Erotica 1: Well, that is to be expected. Mynnna and Ripard did a great job with making up shit.

Lady Spank:  You haven't spoken a single truth in your Eve playing life so don't expect anyone to pay you any regard now either. There is no point to you trying to defend your honour or whatever else you might want to say because no one except the truly uninformed is going to take you seriously.
For the record, I consider Erotica 1 a predator and EVE is better off without him.


  1. Popcorn time! Nom Nom Nom.

  2. "...someone once again proved the validity of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory."

    No, I am with Gevlon with this one. And even before Gevlon's posts on this, I was formulating something about self awareness and behavior. Some people think everybody is watching with a critical eye, even when they are anonymous. Others will behave like ass hats even when their real name is in play. Just look at what people will put on Facebook.

    And, after all, the relevant authorities, CCP, know who they are dealing with. No real anonymity there.

    Good on CCP for taking out the trash. Trolling in-game for victims then taking the out of game to abuse them is just a weak attempt at evasion.

  3. While subscriptions were rising, CCP didn't give a shit about this stuff. While subscriptions are falling, you have to take a heavy hand to ensure people who might otherwise play continue to play.

    The trade-off is three griefers for every ten highsec bears. Ban three, keep ten, for awhile.

  4. I want to hold off a bit before putting whatever happened into the bonus room category. I want to see how bad it gets before passing judgement.

  5. Class action harassment lawsuit coming? Juries love autistic victims. They also had a disabled victim in the bonus room if I remember.

    Good job on bans but not enough and a bit late.

  6. Doesn't it strike you as odd that last time and this time there are no angry clients raging, just random people who read about it? Think about that.

  7. It's very nice to read all the tears in their "Castle" forum on minerbumping. +1 to CCP for this. I might just start playing my gankers again, now that these Erotica1-lookalike idiots are gone.

  8. fuck off cunt. no one wants you here.

  9. Does it strike me odd that none of your marks want to self-identify as dupes who had everything they owned scammed from them? Nope.

  10. So you, Ripard, and some others who never were in a bonus round want to pass judgement, but not a single client has an issue. Noted.

  11. Its all cuz no one is compressing ice for the goons lol

  12. Get lost, scum. Nobody cares about you.