Why I'm Leaving (or What I Think is Wrong With NS Sports)

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Free Republics
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Founded: May 03, 2013

Why I'm Leaving (or What I Think is Wrong With NS Sports)

Postby Free Republics » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:36 pm

The other day, I made a post in the WCDT mentioning that I was leaving and alluding to some of the reasons why. Its well-known that I'm been ambivalent about whether to leave NS Sports or stick around for years. This is because I genuinely enjoy the unique style of roleplay that we have here but I don't enjoy certain aspects of the community that surrounds it (I'm heard similar things from others who have left over the toxicity). Over the years, I've seen many people driven away due to toxicity on an off-site chat room that used to be on IRC but which has since moved to Discord. The root of the problem lies with a handful of individuals, some of whom rarely or even never participate in any actual sports RP anymore, who have been systematically driving other users whom they dislike and/or disagree with politically off the site for years. I have decided to go with a separate thread for this post because the conversation around my previous WCDT post was deliberately derailed with a bunch of posts about Margaret and the NSWC Signups account was even mis-used in an effort to suppress the discussion as an "off-topic political argument" rather than an issue with toxicity in the community.

First off, I'm going to refute various false statements that were made about me on the WCDT some of which help to illustrate my point.

Kita-Hinode wrote:Let me put it to you in a simple way so that you can understand, although I imagine you'll just bollock through the post, thus making my effort pointless but what the hell, I'd like to make things crystal clear to anyone that might come past through this section of the site. Speaking as someone who's been backing away from things due to a sheer lack of interest that I'm making no secret of, you can take your little accusations and shove it. The reason you're departing this section again is that you have been removed from the place the community uses for communication again for what was essentially the same reason you got the boot in the past, being a literal prick to other members and not backing away when told to.

I argued in defense of completely mainstream political positions supported by the majority of people and would not back down in the face of misrepresentations and blatant name-calling from political extremists and supporters of organizations recognized by the United States government as domestic terrorist organizations.

In 2016, I openly and unapologetically supported Brexit which was voted for by the majority of British voters and which British voters endorsed again at last year's election. There are certainly reasonable arguments to be made on either side of that issue.

More recently, I supported a number of positions such as:

That rioting, looting and arson are not acceptable forms of political protest and that it is Orwellian to refer to people who do such things as "peaceful protesters".
That you are not a "peaceful protester" but rather an accomplice to crime if you allow yourself to be used as a human shield by rioters, looters and arsonists.
That arresting people who engage in rioting, looting and arson and prosecuting them under the law is not "fascism" but rather "justice" and that this is the case even if a higher level of government steps in unilaterally to enforce laws that the local government refuses to enforce.
That refusing to pay your rent or other bills when you have the ability to pay them is immoral and causes harm.
That the food supply is essential and that facilities involved in the production of food should be kept open to avoid mass starvation.
That racism is unacceptable regardless of the skin color of the racist and the skin color of the people that they espouse bigotry toward and that attempts to re-define racism so that it is impossible for certain groups to be racists or other groups to be victims of racism are Orwellian and racist.
That it is sad and a waste of one's life to spend enormous portions of one's time dwelling on events that happened long before you were born that you can't change and which basically don't affect your life now.

I don't see any reason to back down on any of these positions because they are obviously true and basically uncontroversial just about anywhere other than the "place the community uses for communication". I'm not going to back down in the face of people misrepresenting my views, calling me names or otherwise acting like statements of the obvious aren't. I intentionally went out of my way to make such banal arguments over the last week or so that I was part of that place to test 1) just how extreme and intolerant the people who run that place are and 2) whether or not they were truly repentant over their actions 4 years ago. I now realize that I made a mistake in assuming that their abuse of power over my support of Brexit was due to emotions in the moment, forgiving them for it and trying to get along with them for the past few years. I had suspected as much but I was blinded by my own desires to host the last few tournaments I hadn't hosted and win the remaining tournaments that I hadn't won.

Kita-Hinode wrote:You didn't conduct an experiment nor were you ever in charge of the situation - in fact, one could argue that you're way out of your own head and have been circling the drain for the entire damn year, ever since the pandemic really started. In fact, we had to suspend you from the COVID-related channel (with South Covello as well, must inform for the sake of transparency, so that you don't try to pretend like you're the victim) because you two had been essentially turning that channel into a piss-fit eternal duel that never got solved because of neither side backing away.

I hadn't paid much attention to your little tantrum over my debates with South Covello regarding the right response to covid. There was never any real tension between us over that. It was just your own refusal to allow 2 people who had different points of view to debate them. It is revealing though about your own attitudes that you think there is a problem when "neither side backs away" in a debate as if there is only 1 "right" point of view. You're also quite bad at trying to read other people's minds and should stop trying to do it.

When I found out about this little stunt of yours, I had already decided to take a break because I was burnt out and had no motivation to continue RPing at the time. This break rejuvenated me and eventually contributed to my victory in the World Cup. When I returned, I'd figured that the covid channel no longer existed.

Kita-Hinode wrote:Now, South Covello got better. You, on the other hand, just kept going on and on and on. In fact, you (as a cunt), got to the point of calling us terrorist supporters because your inept excuse of a governor can't put up his pants and behave like a sensible person. And apparently, neither can you, who decided to make a little show again because we got sick of your ranting, rambling and getting frisky with other users. As a mod of the server, I got complaints in a regular basis from plenty of other users who were just as tired. So we decided to suspend you from the channel about current affairs, thinking that this way, you'd cool off and maybe, just maybe, get yourself in proper level to talk like a normal person and not some wank puppet.

I suspect those "complaints" from "plenty of other users" were likely from individuals who were upset that calling me names and misrepresenting what I said didn't cause me to back down. I think its pretty clear that the problem lies with those complaining.

Kita-Hinode wrote:And you'll be back. Just like Nexxus (another user with a problem of trying to blame everyone else when leaving) did back in the day. Hope you're able to pretend this didn't matter then as well, because I'm pretty sure you won't ever learn.

I love how you bring up Nexxus without mentioning how you drove him away from this community by repeatedly bullying him and taunting him about how he was "just going to quit again". I saw it happen numerous times over the years and one of my biggest regrets is that I did not speak out against it. I'm sure you're proud of repeatedly chasing him away though. I also regret not speaking out in defense of people whose political views are to the right of mine when they were chased out of the community for expressing their points of view on the IRC/Discord.

At this point, there's not really anything I care about to bring me back. I've already won the World Cup, the World Baseball Classic, the World Bowl and even the IBC. I've hosted pretty much everything of any significance. I'm done here and the only way I'd even think about coming back would be if "the place the community uses for communication" either ceased to exist altogether or was replaced by a new place under completely different management. This is not to say that everybody in a position of power there is wholly unfit to hold a position of power like you are but everybody who is in a position of power there (or was in such a position on its predecessor, the toxic IRC channel) is tainted by association with that place and should be excluded from the management of its replacement to ensure that it doesn't just turn into the same place under another name.

Terre Septentrionale wrote:
Farfadillis wrote:We've been through this already, guys. FFR will eventually come back, we'll all pretend nothing happened, and the next big political event that makes him slide into fascism will once again make him realize we're not really down with that and are, therefore, *checks notes* engaging in terrorism apologia, or something similarly ridiculous. It's best if we ignore this and move on with as little mod intervention as possible.

I really don't like the guy behind the FFR, but the fascists are the antifas who actually censor everyone who don't agree with far left fascist views. I consider myself neutral or at the center between right and left. I never had any problems with far right people who respect my opinion except one who blocked me on twitter. On the other hand, the far left extremists have been calling me names a lot of times, they call me fascist cuz I'm least left than them. I said on Facebook that there's no need to demonstrate with the Black Lives Matter in Montréal cuz that's an american thing and we're not racist in Québec. Some idiot trolled me on my Facebook page calling me racist and he even contacted my employer to tell them I'm racist.

I won't mourn the fact that the FFR is leaving, but leaving because the far left on discord don't tolerate your views is really sad.

The reasons why you dislike me are rather unfortunate and I regret not doing more to clear up those misconceptions about my hosting of certain tournaments in the past (instead, I just joked about it on the discord). I don't know whether you'd believe me or not but I've always aimed for complete neutrality in my hosting and I've even had the courage to allow results that I knew would be unpopular to stand in the past. I've never reset an RP bonus or taken any action related to an RP permissions dispute without first giving those involved in the dispute a chance to settle it themselves (I mention this because you implied in an RP that I reset your World Bowl 38 RP bonus over naming a scorer). I do think, in retrospect, that the first group stage in that World Bowl was too short and that this led to some fluke outcomes.

I'm not leaving solely over my issues with "the far left on discord" (which have been there for years) but rather because there aren't as many other reasons for me to stick around any longer. I also think you likely under-estimate just how much power they hold over NS Sports because you haven't really been on "the place the community uses for communication" that much (or even at all) that I remember. They (and probably most everybody else who frequents that place), on the other hand, over-estimate their power.

I should also note how you can see a deliberate change in strategy on their part after Kita-Hinode was warned for flaming me numerous times in that post. At that point, it became "let's shut this conversation down as quickly as possible" rather than "let's attack the heretic on his way out". The playbook they use is so predictable.

There was also a post by Jeckland that was suspiciously deleted where he criticized me for leaving because I couldn't tolerate different points of view (or something along those lines). I did not manage to save the post before it was deleted but I suspect that Jeck was "asked" to delete his post. While I do indeed find the political views of people like Hinode and Farfadillis (I mention them by name because they've already outed themselves on the forums) repugnant, I don't ultimately have a problem with them expressing those views so long as they're not inciting "imminent lawless action" (I use the term in the same sense as the US Supreme Court), actively trying to prevent other people from expressing other points of view or actively trying to chase people away from the community who do not share their views. I'd be perfectly fine with them expressing their views in support of a group which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States government if it were possible to openly, vocally and unapologetically disagree with their views on "the place the community uses for communication".

The Royal Kingdom of Quebec wrote:
Free Republics wrote:I was not aware at the time I withdrew from this tournament that the groups had already been drawn. I thank the host for honoring my withdrawal anyway.

You were no less selfish with your acts of immaturity as of late, and it was not by my choice, but rather the preexisting policy made by the moderations team that I follow to. If it weren't for those policies I'd have rejected such withdrawal as no more than a tantrum.

I recommend that you never come back to the tournament if by any chance you ever return.

I guess there was a double misunderstanding in this case because I would not have withdrawn from the hockey tournament if I'd known that the groups had already been drawn and you happen to be mistaken about the withdrawal rules. My understanding is that you did not have to honor my withdrawal (unless I rank coasted to the knockout rounds). Regardless, it worked out well for everybody so I don't see anything to be upset about.

I have no issue with you whatsoever and am disappointed that you were/are so angry about this.

How can the problems in the community be addressed?

It would be helpful if those who have left NS Sports over nonsense involving "the place the community uses for communication" would come forward and say so publicly so that everybody can see that there is a real problem in this community that needs to be addressed. I don't think this is likely because most of them will probably never see this post. I have, however, heard that many people in other RP communities on NS speak about these issues in NS Sports as reasons why they do not participate here.

The main things that I can think of to bring about reform are:

1) People need to speak out in defense of those who are being chased out of the community by the toxic elements. I'm aware that I did a terrible job of this myself because speaking out in defense of the current target can certainly make it harder to achieve your other goals around here. Until people have the courage to stand up for those on the receiving side of this toxicity, even if it would be to their own disadvantage, this will only continue.

2) There is a need for more people, particularly those who are not part of "the far left on discord", to seek out positions of power, particularly forum-side. That means hosts, tournament presidencies and other positions of leadership. This is especially true of those who are openly opposed to them and those who do not participate on "the place the community uses for communication". Diversifying the leadership of the community would reduce the power of this clique and their ability to cause problems. Its also worth noting that there are many people already in positions of power who could reasonably be categorized as "neutral".

3) The importance of replacing "the place the community uses for communication" with a new place under completely different management cannot be under-stated. As long as the same management remains in charge of that place, you will continue to get the same results. I'd also advise that the new place permit free and open discussion both related directly to sports RP and otherwise. Attempting to ban political discussions will inevitably fail because the topic is going to come up regardless. The people who have created problems on "the place the community uses for communication" should remain free to express their views but should not have a sympathetic "manager" that they can speak to when they want to shut down discussion. On a related note, I believe it would be preferable to abolish "the place the community uses for communication" rather than replacing it as the existence of such places is a net negative for the community as a whole but this is not realistic unless NS moderation were to decide to permit a "chat thread" comparable to TET in this sub-forum. I do not expect this to happen so replacement with a new place is the more realistic option.

4) Related to the other 3, there is a need for a countervailing force of those who do not agree with "the far left on discord" and who consciously stand as a group against them. When there are 2 opposing forces, moderates will stand up to both of them when they go too far. When there is a single force on one extreme, the moderates will be gradually pulled towards that extreme.

5) I don't think there is a need to "replace" established tournaments given that most tournaments are controlled by elected committees and it is possible to reform them via majority vote. Most tournaments have very low activity requirements for getting on a committee and staying on said committee. Put in the minimal effort needed to meet them.

6) All of this is a long-term effort and cannot be fixed overnight. Those who still have a desire to participate in sports RP but don't like the way things are around here should stick around, organize, be willing to fight for change and be willing to lead. If you want to change things, you need to be on the tournament committees and keep as many like-minded people as possible on the committees. When it comes time to vote for tournament presidents, you should coordinate your nominations for strategic advantage. Generally, "they" are better at coordinating things unconsciously than we are so our side needs to coordinate consciously.

7) Don't back down, don't apologize for believing what you believe and don't self-censor even if it is in your short-term interest to do so. While it seems "easier" to do this, the other side's views are always evolving in unpredictable ways so its a matter of time before they detect that you aren't really one of them and go after you. They will inevitably decide that you're suddenly a "{insert derogatory name here}" if you continue to hold a view that wasn't controversial until 5 minutes ago. My single biggest regret in my 7 and a half years in this community is that I attempted to self-censor and "get along" for the majority of my time here. That road is a dead end.

8) Make an effort to follow the rules of the NS forums and NS site as much as possible. While I'm not going to argue with those who believe that NS moderation is politically biased or those who believe that it is politically neutral (I haven't paid close enough attention to have an opinion on that), NS moderation is definitely nowhere near as biased as "the place the community uses for communication". Besides, the goal is to be part of the NS Sports forum and to make this place more welcoming towards diversity of thought.

9) Remember that intolerance of political disagreements isn't the only reason why somebody can end up on the wrong side of the people who run "the place the community uses for communication". Many have been targeted and chased off this sub-forum for other reasons and there are some who don't go on "the place the community uses for communication" who are topics of derogatory conversations on that place.

Feel free to discuss whether these problems are real, whether they are indeed problems, the merits of my solutions and your own proposed solutions. I make no guarantee either way regarding whether I will respond or even whether I will see it. I brought up my political views vs those of those that run "the place the community uses for communication" so that the details would be known to all, including those who were not part of that place. The merits of our respective political views should not be treated as the topic of this thread. I encourage other people who have been on the wrong side of those that run "the place the community uses for communication" to come forward and discuss their experiences as doing so will make it harder for them to pretend that the problem does not exist. I hope that this post will inspire others to reform this place so that those who come along in the future may enjoy sports RP without having to deal with the toxicity that has plagued this community in recent years.
Why I left NS Sports
World Cup 85 Champions
1st: DBC 28, X Winter Olympics, Independents Cup 4, CoH 66, WBC 46, World Bowl XXXVIII, World Cup 85
2nd: World Cup 68, DBC 27, U15WC 8, UWCFA Gold Cup I, BoI 15, 2nd Imperial Chap Olympiad, NSCF 11
Host: World Cups 68 & 81, CoH 58, Games of XIII Olympiad, X Winter Olympics, World Bowls XXII, XXXI & XXXVIII, WBCs 42 & 46, RUWC 25
Current Senior Consul: Nova Hellstrom-Hancock (Golden Age)
Current Junior Consul: Samuel Izmailov (Nat-Gre)
Demonym: Republican
Trigram: FFR
Official Nation Name: Federation of Free Republics
Stop Biden: Vote Trump!

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Posts: 2344
Founded: Mar 19, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Kelssek » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:00 pm

There is so much I could go into but I'll boil it down to this.

1. I'm kind of gobsmacked that you think that the people needing to repent and change their ways since 2016 - when you attempted to hold all Olympics participants hostage over an offsite dispute on a completely unrelated, personal, RL politics disagreement is anyone other than yourself.

2. This is not General (which I honestly would rather be nuked in any case), neither is it a political discussion subforum. So why drag that stuff out here? If you have personal issues with a small number of people who you claim aren't even significant members of the sports roleplaying community, over completely unrelated matters, why are you unable to get over it and engage normally with everyone else?

2a. I've deliberately minimized discord chat in the last few months and only use it sort of like an email account due to necessity of coordinating things. It's not that difficult, and anyway if the people on Discord are only a small minority, what's the loss from not engaging with them?

3. This is a repeat of the same behaviour from before. Step back from the politics, which I understand really matter to you, but honestly is not all that important. Are you really sure you're acting as a proper human being in doing this?

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Posts: 3105
Founded: Apr 29, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Santheres » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:15 pm

I appreciate that you have opinions you want to express to the community, but this is really not the place as it is not what the forum is for. I'm erring on the side of assuming you're not just trying to stir up drama, but it is difficult to see an honest reason to post a long goodbye thread full of grievances. If you really could not walk away without airing the issues, you could have made a dispatch to share into the relevant Discord or other off-site venues; you could have TGed and/or tagged the people you thought should really have seen it.

This forum is just really not the place.


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