Friday, September 12, 2014

Some Background On The Recent Bans For Harassment

"Yes Ripard, you are literally nearly the worst kind of human filth. You parade around as a social justice champion while you purposely try to destroy people for your agenda. Reminds me of a lot of extreme right wing conservatives we have here in the states. You make me sick. You are truly sick in the head."

Yes, the silly season is in full tilt in EVE Online.  The recent bans based on out-of-game harassment using in-game EVE assets have brought the old bonus room crowd back into the spotlight.  The ring leader of that circus, Erotica 1, even trotted out some of the arguments from the GamerGate crowd.  Of course, he just knows the words and doesn't understand the concepts, as "social justice" and "extreme right wing conservatives" never go together. 

For those new to the EVE Online community, Erotica 1 is the name of the main avatar of a person who preyed upon the greedy and weak-minded in EVE.  He would prowl the main trade hub of Jita looking for victims to lure to an out-of-game "bonus room", where he would, along with his sycophants, scam the victim of all his/her ISK and assets and then try to humiliate the victim for hours, all the while recording the sessions to maximize the humiliation by posting the edited session online.  Ripard Teg is the man (and member of the Council of Stellar Management) who brought the practice to the attention of the greater EVE community in his blog post, "The bonus round". 

Yesterday, I referenced the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.  I believe this theory does not apply to Erotica 1.  I have gotten negative feedback about the way I choose my sources, but I consider Erotica 1 as unreliable a source of information as exists on the Internet.  When he claimed that he was permanently banned from EVE, I totally discounted that statement.  I wanted additional proof.

Now, while people are talking about the recent bans for out-of-game harassment as just a follow-up for the Erotica 1 scandal, I don't believe that's true.  I believe that these are all new infractions and that some of the Erotica 1's flunkies failed to learn the lesson.  I agree with the following Reddit post from RonUSMC:
"I understand you think you have been wronged. You should move along.

"I understand it's a sandbox, and you think you have the right to play how you want. It's not your sandbox, so move along.

"I understand that you want clear lines... so it's easier to skirt them, well, go ahead and move along.

"The party is going to be even more fun without you sociopaths here to torment us, so guess what.... move along.

"You are a cancer and we have been operated on. So please, just leave.

"You will not be missed. There will be no protests. You will just fade away like the other miscreants. If anything, we will be able to retain more new people that never knew how dark and freakish you guys ever were.

"If you really start to admit that you need EVE more than it needs you, and you create an alt and come back.... I hope they ban that too."
I will slightly disagree on one point.  Contrary to what CCP Falcon has posted, I don't think the EVE EULA and player code of conduct is clear on this matter.  I would like to see a statement concerning "the usage of EVE Online and assets, characters and items from within the game environment as leverage for the purpose of real life harassment" put directly into the Terms of Service or some other policy document.  I do not want this position just placed somewhere on the forums.  CCP doing that is one of my pet peeves and I wish they would cease that practice.  But besides that, I don't have a problem kicking these people out of EVE.


  1. '"social justice" and "extreme right wing conservatives" never go together.'

    The mentality of those groups is much more similar than either would like to admit. If you want to play a fun game, switch their buzzwords around and see if anything changes except the targets and justifications for their extreme behavior.

    I agree with you that you don't have to like Erotica1 to be annoyed with CCP's refusal to update their TOS.

  2. Exactly. They may be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they both try to force their viewpoints on a wider, often unwilling, group of people using the same methods.

  3. Ok, let's all agree that trying to bring real world political positions into this is a failing attempt by Erotica1 to raise flames and leave it at that.

    Truth is that every single political group and movement has their own idea as to what constitutes "social justice" and each strives to achieve it. The relative moral values of "extreme right wing conservatives" or any other group is subject to a debate no one needs in eve online.

  4. Extremist of all angles attempt to force their agendas on everyone. And even then, one person's idea of what is extreme and what isn't is up to interpretation.

    CCP's EULA/TOS is bad. It's all "we'll know it when we see it" or when enough drama gets raised to make them fit a square peg into a rectangular hole. But whatever. They aren't going to change it, they aren't going to strive for uniform enforcement. It's their game and we all just visit. But yeah. Good riddance to these mutts. They are far worse for the health of the game than RMT. RMT wouldn't give EVE the rep that harassment of other players does.

  5. According to folks like Nosy Gamer, though, my selling $1200 worth of PLEX on eBay was a criminal offense, and I may have single-handedly destroyed the moral fabric of the game.

  6. Not criminal. It just violated the EULA. The penalty for that is a permanent ban on all accounts.

  7. That's fine. I knew my accounts would be banned. I've never complained about that ban. CCP Games are within their right to make up their own rules for their game.

    I was already out the door of their game, and didn't want to leave $1200 worth of assets sitting around gathering dust. I was well within my rights to sell them, even if it was against CCP Games' specific rules.

  8. well, not criminal, but you know its bannable. That being said, I do think this social shit it a bigger issue as far as player retention and the long-term existence of the game goes. I mean, RMT is worth banning when discovered. But I really am so done with shit people being shit as people.

  9. As someone said: you've crossed the line the moment you target the player and not the character.

  10. Ding dong, the sandbox is dead. Behaviour that used to be fine is now outlawed because some people get upset over a computer game and can;t figure out how to stop being on teamspeak when ASKED, not forced to do silly things (it's the "disconnect" button by the way). I wonder how long until it's outlawed to bump a miner for half an hour, since that puts the player under distress using their in game character and assets as leverage.

    On top of that, all of the supposed breaches took place on a third party server which cannot be verified. In the E1 case (and some of these cases) they got posted by the person receiving the ban, so can be assumed to be accurate, but what is to stop someone mocking up a teamspeak recording to pretend it's someone else abusing them any time they get an invite to teamspeak. And what's to stop actual harassers who don't go posting up recordings themselves.

    This is exactly the reason that EVE ToS states clearly that they don't deal with third party services, since they are not in control and in no legal position to demand server logs and the like. Victims of harassment already have protection legally. If you feel you are being harassed, report it to the police. If they laugh in your face because your complaint is "They asked me to sing on teamspeak after stealing my in game moneys!", maybe you need to take a look at the definition of harassment.

    And yes, a lot of people don't have a problem kicking these people out of EVE, but it's got zip to do with harassment. They don't like the villains in the game,they don't like gankers and scammers and bumpers, and so seeing them booted from the game brings them joy. I too don't like those particular types of players, but I respect the sandbox enough to know that playstyles other than my own are not only acceptable but necessary. I don't see the benefit of sitting on a high horse spitting at people who don't play my way.

  11. No, it was not "well within your rights".

    Your ingame assets do not belong to you.
    They belong to CCP.

  12. Lucas Kell and I disagree on quite a number of things. But I have complete respect for his independent thinking and ability to back up his points. If he ever runs for CSM, I'll suggest my friends all vote for him.

  13. The social justice and extreme right win conservatives mix is intentional, as the latter insist that they are also the former, and that their religious views should be imposed on everyone. Their form of social justice is not how most think of it.

  14. No, Jester's Trek was Eve's version of Fox News. Same type of crazy.

  15. Ironically I never did RMT because I valued my account too highly.

  16. I guess you wish you had now. :)

  17. According to CCP. All legal agreements are just the starting point in court. A judge can disagree. The reason they make that claim is to try to bypass the huge can of worms of virtual currencies. Poetic Stanziel is correct that he was well within his rights. CCP does not grant rights, governments do.

  18. I was just thinking about that earlier today. Had I not given so much away over time and let others take the contracts, I could have RMT'd my way into a new car. More, had I stayed under the radar and not allowed it to be a public spectacle.

  19. The EULA is a contract, and EVE is CCP intellectual property.

    CCP may not grant rights, but it is legally entitled to grant and deny access to its property.

  20. Ok, you either didn't read my comment or don't understand how the law works. A contract means nothing if the Judge doesn't believe it is fair or legal. Denying access is a new issue you bring in. We are simply talking about his rights to sell isk for real life money. He does have the right to do so, and yes we agree that CCP has rules against that.

  21. Good, so no lines were crossed. Glad you agree.

  22. ISK is also CCP property, and by extension of its right to deny access, CCP is also free to deny the possibility to make in-game transactions that involve out-of-game value or property.

    No, denying access is not a new issue.
    "Access" is the core concept of the EULA, which you should bother to read.

    Yes, a contract means nothing IF a judge doesn't believe it to be fair and legal.
    As far as we know, though, the EVE-Online EULA is both fair and legal: if you think otherwise, you are free to bring your case to a Reykjavik court.

    Once a judge will have decided that it is not valid, you will be free to RMT, until then, you are bound by the EULA.

  23. Mh, your sandbox in EvE might be dead. But there are plenty of other sandbox MMOs out there where you are allowed to continue your way of playing. If not - maybe for a reason?
    I keep wondering why so many people focus on the bonus room even after E1 himself pointed out that some players with heavy involvment are still active while players without any involment received a ban...
    Remember that vandalism incident happend to the monument?
    I'm pretty sure that has not been the only incident that happened during fanfest 2014.
    Players meeting in real life... and now bans for real life harassment... what if... what if...
    Nevermind. If you guys are focused on the bonus room you may have reasons to do so.

  24. You can't hide behind your avatar. You can't assume either that everyone role play their toon in Eve. Harassment is not a matter of TOS, EULA... it's a matter of law. And it's a significant offense in many countries. This kind of case should be brought to court, not player blogs.

  25. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying that isk being CCP's property is only based on CCP saying so, not anything else. I'm not saying that is wrong either.

  26. The reason we focus on the bonus room is because any time this discussion comes up, people sitting on their high horses looking down their noses at people - like yourself - bring them up as an example of the wrong way to play a game. The dumb thing is, most of those people would not give a shit if someone was killing themselves on the other side of the screen, they just want to act like they are high and mighty and thing enough of the population won't look in depth enough at what actually transpired. Remember, for the E1 bonus room situation, the "victim" himself was opposed to the banning. That speaks volumes in itself.

    And point of fact, there's very few sandbox MMOs at all because the vast majority of MMOs have so many rules to stop people feeling remotely sad. EVE broke the mould by not conforming to the usual rules and allowing people to "be the villain". If you were upset because someone stole all your stuff, destroyed all your stuff or even took years of hard work and flushed it down the toilet in a heartbeat then laughed in your face about it, CCPs own response was HTFU. Now, you ask someone to sing songs on a teamspeak server they can very well leave any time they want, and it's somehow too much. It's a bad path for a "hardcore" MMO to go down.

    The most ridiculous thing is though that if people were REALLY being harassed, they have legal protection. It's a serious offence to actually harass someone. The thing you have to ask yourself is why this isn't being dealt with legally like the ToS said it should be. The answer is simple - it's not harassment.

  27. So report it to the police. Let's see how far it gets. Oh wait, what's that? Even the "victim" agrees that E1 did not harass anyone? That's probably going to put a spanner in the works. So might the fact that in every one of the bonus rooms the "victim" doesn't attempt to just leave. Pretty difficult to prove that someone is harassing you when you choose to proceed.

  28. Please point out where I was sitting on a high horse?
    I can't remember judging the bonus room and I can't remember bringing the bonus room as an example. In fact I am pointing out that the reasons to those bans may be outside the bonus room. You may have missed that part.
    Yet you keep explaining why the bonus room can't be harassment.
    Seriously, I don't care about the bonus room.
    I remember watching a presentation Mittani did... it was about politics in nullsec and "funny stories". Pretty sure you know what presentation I am talking about. There has been a guy who enjoyed doing driveby doomsdays in his titan and a russion guy asked Mittani to find out where this player is located to cut off his power supply once he logs in.
    Now... wouldn't that be real life harassment? And please go on explaining how this player should have asked for legal protection or take any legal steps to safe himself from someone in another country.
    And I remember another incident where Mittani felt that he should apoligize to a player.
    Do you REALLY want to tell me, that these real life harassments are "a thing of the past" and it isn't happening in EvE anymore?
    (Just in case you don't understand what I'm talking about: I'm NOT talking about any teamspeak singing)

    Oh... and I know that legal investigations take some time, espacially if multiple countries are involved. Just because TODAY none of the banned players reported ongoing investigations by local legal department doesn't mean there aren't investigations happening. There might be a reason why CCP isn't going into details - it would be too easy to erase means of evidence.
    I'm pretty excited to watch and see what will happen. I feel like there might be a funny plot twist. But maybe my horse is stoned, who knows...

  29. I pretty much ignored the other part of your post, since it basically just went into fanfest, which judging by the way you spoke you weren't at. I very much doubt that anything that's being dealt with this late and through mass banning had anything to do with fanfest.

    "Now... wouldn't that be real life harassment?"

    Nope. Talking about doing things like that is not harassment. Had they turned up at his house and cut his power supply, then he could have pursued them legally. Had they remotely disabled his power, it would not be harassment for him to report but would be a legal matter for whichever power company was breached.

    Guaranteed, there's no legal action taking place. The thing is, we all know what this is about, even if you want to pretend it isn't.

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