Wizard PJB Posted April 16 Wizard Share Posted April 16 (edited) On Wednesday 2023/04/05, we removed Nyanotrasen from the official game server hub. Our reason for this was harassment and other inappropriate behavior of many official staff members of their server. While we still believe the core reasoning is valid, we absolutely messed up in sentencing, communication, and pretty much everything else related to the incident. This announcement is intended to clarify how we got here, provide updates, and announce changes we're making on our side to avoid this kind of mess in the future. Original announcement We removed Nyanotrasen from the server hub ("dehubbed") on Wednesday 2023/04/05. This was announced in #announcements on Discord, and with it two PDF files were attached with "receipts" (Discord messages etc) justifying our decision. I've attached these PDF files to this post. Rane (staff member at Nyanotrasen) was contacted privately by our staff and notified of the dehubbing via direct message on Discord. Rane had questions about the hub rules, protocol, etc... These were not answered. It should also be noted that a couple days before Nyanotrasen was removed, Daemon (their server host) stepped down from Nyanotrasen for unrelated reasons. The problems There are many issues with the way we handled this. For starters, there was no ahead-of-time communication on the matter towards Nyanotrasen, or any chance for them to fix things before we flicked the switch. Nyanotrasen has removed at least one of the individuals called out in the PDFs of their own volition, despite being removed from the hub. These are issues that could have been resolved more gracefully without a need to make a mess out of it. The hub removal came with no clear basis in the hub rules. The hub rules were updated less than a month before we pulled the plug on Nyanotrasen, and the new strike system was not followed at all. Questions about this matter were outright ignored. The two PDF files were only posted in the public #announcements channel on Discord. I do not believe we ever sent them directly to Rane. This is relevant, because Rane had already been banned from our Discord for a long while. There was no official way for Rane to even view the notice himself. (It's not like PDF files are hard to pass across Discord, but that shouldn't have been necessary in the first place.) To make matters worse, an internal communication error on our end means some worrying and confusing communication made its way to Nyanotrasen a couple weeks before we pulled the plug. This understandably put everybody on edge and made them start worrying about hub rules. All for it not to matter due to the reasons mentioned above. How did this happen? The core of the whole fiasco starts with Rane, a core founding staff member at Nyanotrasen. To put it quite bluntly: Rane has been a source of bad behavior in the community for a long time now. We have been keeping track and filing many incidents for at least as far back as 6 months ago (and possibly more than that). Rane was banned from the SS14 Discord in September of 2022, and that should have been the end of it. It should be noted he was not blocked from contributing on GitHub. But it was not the end of it. After his ban, more instances of harassment and other malicious behavior towards core staff members have kept being perpetuated by Nyanotrasen and related places. While Rane is not an exclusive perpetrator here, he is most certainly a large catalyst. This got to the point where core staff members were being pushed away from the project and stressed out due to the harassment sent their way. Now, for some background. We have a pretty bad track record with dealing with problems like this. A notable example is Swept, who took way too long to be removed from the project despite their actions negatively influencing many members. Rane too should have at least been banned from the Discord much earlier from some of their infractions. We are really bad at organizing ourselves and properly pushing through these administrative decisions. Very little people have any strong motivation to work on these kinds of issues because they are absolutely soul-draining to work on. We're poorly organized, having a clue what is going on can be quite hard, things tend to get pushed out a lot, and so on. Thing to take away: Discord channels are really bad for reviewing things retroactively. We wanted to avoid this decision taking too long to push through, and regrettably the pendulum swung too far to the other side and ended up rushing things. That's not to say it was made in a week though, we were still working on this for more than a month and a half. Discussions about what actions to take regarding Nyanotrasen have been ongoing since before the hub rule strike system was written, which was part of the reason the new strike system was not properly considered. Originally, we were planning on having the following verdict on the removal of Nyanotrasen: Rane must step down, or Nyanotrasen gets removed. While we were gathering evidence however we came across much more problematic behavior from other staff members at Nyanotrasen, and we changed our mind relatively late in the process towards removing Nyanotrasen unconditionally. While we believe we could have reasonably justified a removal of solely Rane under the hub rules given the right communication and early notice, the upgrade to unconditional dehub is a gross overreach that should not have been allowed to happen. It was a rash decision, clouded by a rush to get things done quickly, poor communication, and some strong emotions held towards some of the more colorful messages uncovered. What we intend to do going forward We understand that this mistake has rubbed a lot of server operators the wrong way, and broken a lot of trust in us as arbiters of the hub. For starters, we will be more transparent with all administrative hub decisions going forward. Discord is not the best place to do this kind of stuff, so we've created a new subforum for these. We'll also be enabling replies in this forum to answer questions, but it will be heavily moderated to avoid peanutposting and other off-topic behavior. We also intend to use the top announcements forum more: at this point in the project, we shouldn't be putting all communication on a Discord announcements channel. This also means no more PDFs, as the forum gives us far more space. It also means the ability to live-update posts with new development or to correct information. To be clear on what will be posted in this new subforum: all administrative deicisions that involve actual action against a server (strike or outright dehub). We will not be logging any communications that were easily resolved internally through communication with the relevant server staff, to protect the innocent. We're trying to re-organize ourselves internally to make it easier to track what's going on on the administrative side. Currently we use messily organized Discord threads to track everything, and discussions often get derailed with off-topic discussions. We're looking at alternatives, that might make things easier to manage. And finally, we have made the decision that alternative server hubs will be supported by the official launcher (when somebody gets around to coding it). If people are still wary about our ownership of the hub, we hope this should quell any concerns you have for the future of SS14. It would be possible for any third-party to set up their own server hub and for players to add it to their launcher with a link or IP. Updated verdict We are pulling back the scope of the our decision to what we originally decided on internally: Nyanotrasen will be allowed back on the server hub if Rane steps down from any staff involvement in the project. We will not press the issue on other individuals at Nyanotrasen further based on what we have for now. Further clarifications What's the hub? What does removal entail? The terminology used can be a little confusing and inconsistently applied. To make sure everybody is on the same page, I'm just going to clarify it here. "The hub" is kind of an old term that stems from BYOND, where it used to refer to the official BYOND website and server browser. Many SS13 servers aren't "on the hub", because they aren't on the public server browser. Instead, you connect via the direct IP address (in the form of a byond:// link). While they aren't on the server browser, you still need a BYOND account and so on. In SS14, we, the "Space Wizards Federation", run the central accounts and server browser infrastructure that BYOND did in SS13. For SS14 we've been kind of trying to be consistent and use "the hub" only for "the server browser", but I can't guarantee we've been 100% consistent in that. In general I've tried to always prefix it with something like "the game server hub" or something for clarity. Either way, for the purposes of everything here, "the hub" = the built-in game server browser in the launcher. When we speak of "dehubbing", we mean blocking a server's ability to show up on the launcher's server list. This only blocks said server(s) from showing up on the built-in "servers" tab in the launcher, we do not restrict anything else: It is still possible to connect to the server manually via the "direct connect" button in the launcher. It is still possible to add the server as a favorite and see it on your launcher's home screen. We do not restrict any other services we are responsible for, like accounts and session services. The only scenario in which we ever feel like we would need to go as far as messing with the points above would probably involve outright illegal activity, and I hope that never comes up. Who enforces the hub rules? This is a minor incident that didn't really make things much worse in the grand scheme of things, so I'm putting it down here: One point that added some extra confusion to the whole scenario is the fact that word of a maintainer was taken as clarification of the hub rules, a bit before the dehubbing took place. This maintainer contributed to the revised hub rules, so it's understandable their word might have been taken as authorative on the matter. To be completely clear: the hub rules are not enforced by codebase maintainers (purple name on Discord/Forum), only project managers/wizards (red and green name on Discord/Forum, respectively). If you have any questions, project managers or wizards are the people to ask. What this means for Rane and others We've already had one server host come forward asking us what this all were to mean if a community member like Rane were to contribute to another codebase after leaving Nyanotrasen. To this, we have the following answer: We see Rane/Daemon/Swept as large liabilities, and they have been given second chances already for their behavior. We recommend other servers to not make them actual staff members (e.g. maintainer, admin) due to the behavior outlined before, though accepting contributions from them and such is fine. If you do make them a staff member, know that we will scrutinize their behavior heavily. nyano_dehub_1.pdf nyano_dehub_2_fixed.pdf Edited April 18 by PJB Daemon shouldn't be put in the same category as Swept/Rane 4 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now