• Welcome to the edge of the civilized internet! Registration has been disabled for now, although guest posting is allowed. If you wish to have an account here, join our Discord server or contact Arnox at [email protected] We have a chatbox but it's disabled until you sign in. All our official content can be found here. If you have any questions, try our FAQ here!

Greetings to everyone from The Escapist!

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
From https://forums.escapistmagazine.com/threads/has-houseman-been-banned.1711/post-91088

Chimpzy said:
Santuary? It's a forum run by Arnox, one of the fallbacks from when the v1 Escapist seemed done for. Lurked there for a bit myself, but bailed when it started turning into an alt-right cesspool. Iirc, Arnox at one point closed it, then reopened. Still around, but userbase seems tiny, like 'countable on one hand' tiny, and activity very low.
I seriously wonder what the fuck they mean when they say "alt-right cesspool". Do they think we just mount swastikas all over everything and talk about how evil minorities are? I really do want to know.
 
Last edited:

gaijinkaiju

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Messages
402

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
SilentPony seems to be straight-up lying about me

"He said he was a computer system analyst with years of experience"
Fact-check rating: Demonstrably false
What I said was "software engineer".


"and also he had no college degree."
Fact-check rating: Demonstrably false
I said I have a degree in game design and development

"He said he was a poll watcher"
Fact-check rating: false.
Without a doubt, I know that I never said that.

"and super into politics"
Fact-check rating: Demonstrably false.
I said exactly the opposite. I was never into politics until last November. This does not mean that I am "super into politics" now. I'm not.

"and also had never voted before"
True. I have never voted.

"He said he didn't think the election was stolen"
Fact-check rating: unsubstantiated
I don't remember saying that, and I can't find any evidence of me saying that, but that doesn't mean I didn't. It's possible that someone asked me a yes or no question at some time and I answered with "no", but that's hard to search and find.

For the record, I don't know whether or not the election was stolen or not, but I'm leaning toward "yes".


"but also believed there was no evidence it wasn't stolen"
Same as above.

For the record, I don't think that the states have done enough to assure the public that the election wasn't stolen.

"...while also claiming to not be Christian"
Fact-check rating: false
I am Christian. Without a doubt, I know that I never claimed otherwise.

"...and also he was simply here to troll."
Fact-check rating: false.
Without a doubt, I know that I never said that.

"He said all posts were his own, and then literally linked to the website he was getting his talking points and verbatim posts from"
Fact-check rating: subjective.

All my posts are my own, though I never claimed to be doing independent research. I'll follow other sites to get memes, news, and twitter posts from, but that's about it. If you think this counts as "getting his talking points and verbatim posts from", then okay, I'm not bothered by that, if this is your view.


"It wouldn't surprise me if he read on one of those trump forums that you should always claim to be black"
Behold, proof of my blackness.


You should be ashamed of your words and your deeds.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
There was all that arguing with Silvanus and people I think got too defensive with him in the end, even going so far as to accuse him of an "ideological infiltration", but the problem is, that thread seemed to set a precedent over at the Escapist I think that we have yet to recover from, even 2 1/2 years later.

Speaking of which, I found something hilariously ironic when I was looking for the above thread.

Cant express how amusing a topic where you all pat your selves on the back for how great you all are while bashing others who are not present, who have possibly even forgotten you exist.

You guys are soooooo great. It's obviously other people's fault they wouldnt want to join such a stellar community.
 

Drathnoxis

Hi all.

Wondering why I was banned?
Well so am I!
They didn't tell you? Jeez. At least on the old forums you got a message with the reason whenever you got moderation.

Something I'm wondering. Can you still log on at all, just with no posting privileges? I'm wondering because of how it bars public access to your profile page.

SilentPony seems to be straight-up lying about me

[snip]

You should be ashamed of your words and your deeds.
I'd probably attribute it more to a bad memory than malice. SilentPony often is a little foggy on details, I've found.
 

Ogoid

Adherent
Sanctuary legend
Messages
54

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
They didn't tell you? Jeez. At least on the old forums you got a message with the reason whenever you got moderation.

Something I'm wondering. Can you still log on at all, just with no posting privileges? I'm wondering because of how it bars public access to your profile page.
When I log in, this is what I see:



Every page returns this same "error". I can't view messages, notifications, or read any content unless I delete my cookies to log out. I can't see my own profile page.

The linked message is this: https://forums.escapistmagazine.com/posts/89201/
Wherein Agema and I are having a perfectly fine conversation about faith after someone else brought up the subject of God.

So I don't know why Nick, or any other mod, would see that as trolling. So far they have not replied to the contact form I filled out. So I don't know why I was banned other than this short message.

I thought I was supposed to have had warnings and the ability to appeal, as per the rules, but those are just more lies I suppose.

Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. Nick banned Yoshi for merely contacting him over Facebook. Where is that against the rules?
Then I was banned for a day for "supporting terrorism", after the Capitol storming, even though I never did.

All the rules are made up and the points don't matter. Nick just arbitrarily decides what rules are enforced and what rules aren't.
I have, like, one post with a warning on it. Other users have three or four marked posts after repeated insults against me and other users, yet they are still there.

Nick is not a man of his word.
 
Last edited:

Drathnoxis

When I log in, this is what I see:



Every page returns this same "error". I can't view messages, notifications, or read any content unless I delete my cookies to log out. I can't see my own profile page.
Interesting, that's kind of sucky. The old forum definitely had some advantages, I would have preferred to stay on it, well except for the fact that it was barely functioning.

The linked message is this: https://forums.escapistmagazine.com/posts/89201/
Wherein Agema and I are having a perfectly fine conversation about faith after someone else brought up the subject of God.

So I don't know why Nick, or any other mod, would see that as trolling. So far they have not replied to the contact form I filled out. So I don't know why I was banned other than this short message.

I thought I was supposed to have had warnings and the ability to appeal, as per the rules, but those are just more lies I suppose.

Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. Nick banned Yoshi for merely contacting him over Facebook. Where is that against the rules?
Then I was banned for a day for "supporting terrorism", after the Capitol storming, even though I never did.

All the rules are made up and the points don't matter. Nick just arbitrarily decides what rules are enforced and what rules aren't.
I have, like, one post with a warning on it. Other users have three or four marked posts after repeated insults against me and other users, yet they are still there.

Nick is not a man of his word.
Well that's their "rule zero," basically they can do whatever they want. Looks like the appeals system is still a work in progress:

"APPEAL SYSTEM AND COMMUNICATION
This is a WIP with the new forums system. Currently you'll receive a warning on your account if you break a rule, and a second rule violation will result in a temporary-ban. A third will result in a perma-ban."

I'm not expecting it to ever be completed. Nick has realized by now that we aren't making him any money and doesn't seem about to invest more time or money into forum improvements. I don't think there is a lot of traffic between the forums and the main site, I personally only ever go to the Escapist proper for ZP. Also there's, like, maybe 2 legacy users that signed up for Escapist+, hahaha.

I don't think you were banned for any specific post, but just kind of a general reputation thing. It was pretty much the same way with Yoshi and Saelune.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
Interesting, that's kind of sucky. The old forum definitely had some advantages, I would have preferred to stay on it, well except for the fact that it was barely functioning.
So I looked into this a little bit (since I'm running XF as well), and it turns out you CAN absolutely ban people while not having to shut them off completely from the forum or their account. In fact, this way is even preferable for most cases. I just don't use that system for Sanctuary though entirely due to the fact that I want even more transparency with bans. One of my add-ons provides a public ban list for everyone to see in one convenient area. If I did it this other way, the bans would not be on the list. Since the Escapist is running no such add-on though, there isn't really a lot of excuse for them to be doing this at all.

Well that's their "rule zero," basically they can do whatever they want.
:risitas:

Looks like the appeals system is still a work in progress:

"APPEAL SYSTEM AND COMMUNICATION
This is a WIP with the new forums system.
:risitas:

Fucking wat? Just open up a bunch of emails for the staff dedicated to appeals. Or, if they banned people the non-retarded way, they could allow banned users to still send PMs at least to staff. Or how about a Discord server holy shit, these people are asking for subs???

I'm running this forum SOLO with absolutely NO financial help and no prior existing userbase and I'm already doing a better job than... Whatever you call this. But oh wait... That's right. We're just an "alt-right cesspool", guys, so we don't matter.

I'm not expecting it to ever be completed. Nick has realized by now that we aren't making him any money and doesn't seem about to invest more time or money into forum improvements.
With quality support like this, small wonder why they're not exactly raking it in.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
I'm pretty sure they just had a short-term contract with a "tech team" for a few months to create their initial forums, and then their contract ended, which is why things are in WIP limbo. They don't have dedicated employees that do tech stuff. They can't fix or improve anything without another round of short-term contractors to come in and do stuff for them.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
I'm pretty sure they just had a short-term contract with a "tech team" for a few months to create their initial forums, and then their contract ended, which is why things are in WIP limbo. They don't have dedicated employees that do tech stuff. They can't fix or improve anything without another round of short-term contractors to come in and do stuff for them.
As I keep saying, XF is VERY well built. It doesn't require super technical skills or experience to use properly and effectively. It's very intuitive and powerful. You don't need a fucking tech team to change some admin options, and if you do, maybe you don't have any business running a gaming/tech site.
 

Drathnoxis

I'm pretty sure they just had a short-term contract with a "tech team" for a few months to create their initial forums, and then their contract ended, which is why things are in WIP limbo. They don't have dedicated employees that do tech stuff. They can't fix or improve anything without another round of short-term contractors to come in and do stuff for them.
I thought it was more like they had one tech team for all the sites on their network or something.
With quality support like this, small wonder why they're not exactly raking it in.
It's not really that bad, though. For the first 6 months or so Nick was really active on the forums listening to feedback and stuff and everything works fine for the most part. I still think moderation is better now than it's ever been on the Escapist, I remember back when people were getting banned left and right for posting only images or single sentence posts. Now you've really got to skirt the edge of acceptability for a long time before the mods catch up with you.

Also it's pretty hard to make money off of a forum. It's not like they're running ads on it (at least I didn't see any when I turned off adblock). I think he was hoping for more people from the forum to cross over and read articles and stuff on the main site, but it's become obvious that it just isn't happening:

(bolding by me)
Nick Calandra said:
I mean, The Escapist, even today, isn't just about "escapism". We do a lot of that though, you guys just stay here and don't get involved lol.

We do fun live streams just about every day now (I literally just played the entirety of Dark Souls III for our audience over the past few weeks), all of our columns are focused on commentating and critiquing on media, same as our video series, aside from maybe The Escapist Show where Jack and I get into heavier topics sometimes. The site is doing fine traffic wise, I just don't think we get as many comments because we're not constantly writing inflammatory clickbait for the sake of raking in the outrage comments.

And on the forums, we leave it pretty open because I think "most" people here can handle themselves and discuss varying viewpoints. From what I've seen, this forum isn't an echo chamber and I'm a fan of that because I have read plenty of interesting discussions here, even if sometimes it gets a little too heated (but, to be expected right now).

I don't think "escapism" has to mean just talking about games and movies without mentioning the real world. That said, if you want more "escapism" we offer plenty of that I think, you just gotta get involved with it.

 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
I thought it was more like they had one tech team for all the sites on their network or something.
It's not really that bad, though. For the first 6 months or so Nick was really active on the forums listening to feedback and stuff and everything works fine for the most part. I still think moderation is better now than it's ever been on the Escapist, I remember back when people were getting banned left and right for posting only images or single sentence posts. Now you've really got to skirt the edge of acceptability for a long time before the mods catch up with you.

Also it's pretty hard to make money off of a forum. It's not like they're running ads on it (at least I didn't see any when I turned off adblock). I think he was hoping for more people from the forum to cross over and read articles and stuff on the main site, but it's become obvious that it just isn't happening:

(bolding by me)
What do you think about this assessment?
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
522
I'm sure glad I didn't sign up for the "new" 'pist..
Those regressive leftwing reeetards are the biggest bunch of racist circle-jerking drama-queens I've seen outside of resetera.
Don't worry, they'll turn on each-other in the end too.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
Hah, Silentpony is calling my screenshot " a lie meant to get attention "

He thinks I doctored the screenshot?

Drathnoxis, or anyone else, please share this video with him to prove it's real.


Maybe it'll finally redpill him and shake his faith in the system? He recognizes that, according to the rules, it's a "warning offense", and he can't fathom that they would ban me for what should just be a "warning". If he were convinced that they did, maybe he'd finally wake up and realize that not everything is perfect.
 
Last edited:

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
Lol, Silentpony still doesn't believe, even after seeing the video.

The only thing I could do to prove it is to hand him my username and password and then he can log in and see it for himself. Or maybe Nick or one of the mods can say "yes, that really is the message we gave him". Maybe he'll say it's all a conspiracy and they're in on it with me?

Thanks anyway, Drathnoxis, but I guess some people are just too dug in.

---

People there think I'm insane, or am on the spectrum, or have some other mental or emotional problem... why? Because I have opinions that are contrary to theirs?

So weird.
 
Last edited:

Drathnoxis

What do you think about this assessment?
I only go to the site to watch Zero Punctuation like everybody else, but it's been a while, and I heard they finally fired Moviebob's ass (seriously, what was up with that guy), so I think it's time to check it out again. Keep in mind, this isn't really a formal review of the site. I'm just going to be browsing around and looking at it from a legacy perspective. Maybe offer some suggestions (that no one will listen to at all, I'm sure).

Forums

I couldn't resist looking at this first. So let's see what we have. And right off the bat, we're actually off to a good start. XenForo is in use here. Arnox approves. Unfortunately though, the badges have not made a return, which really sucks because it was one of the best things about the old site. Having said that though, I understand why they have not been implemented, or at least perhaps, not implemented yet. The Escapist badges were a custom-made feature for a custom-made forum that also had years of quizzes and general development behind it. Now, to reimplement that in XF is actually perfectly feasible, and maybe even easy, but it would still require some man-hours. Honestly, I'd just hire a freelance XF dev to build it and get it out of the way. Obviously, it's gonna cost some money, but I think it's worth it to bring back a dearly loved site feature.

Beyond that, not much else to say really. It's XenForo. It works damn well. But it is also a shame though that they didn't reintegrate the forum to serve the video comments. Instead, we just have this "Disqus" crap. Lame. It also trips one of my privacy add-ons as well. You got an enterprise class communication solution just sitting right there. Why don't you use it to spruce up the damn comments and make it do some more work?
There are 'trophies' for things like getting a certain number of likes or making a certain number of posts, but it's really half baked. TBH I didn't care about badges to begin with so I don't care.

Nick has been talking for a long time about integrating the forum with the main site, but obviously it hasn't happened yet.


Code of Conduct

Unfortunately, we have more disappointment ahead of us in this regard. Although I really can't say I'm surprised at all. The thing is, I'm not even looking at this from my usual freedom-of-speech/totse perch. I'm just comparing it to other CoC's and honestly, this one is kind of egregious. One of the biggest issues is that the staff cannot be criticized. At all. And I know what they'd say. "No, we're open to constructive criticism." But it's subjective. If a staff member gets uppity for ANY reason, they can ban any person. And not have to give a single reason about it. Or at least, that's what the rules would suggest. There is no guarantee or even an attempt at consistency of enforcement.

Beyond that though, we have our usual suspects. No "hate speech". No illegal activities. Blah de blah. Though I do find it funny that GamerGate is still a banned topic. It's been years, guys. I think you can let up a little there now. lol There's also some kinda redundant rules here. One rule says no hate speech, but yet another says no inflammatory remarks. I mean, if we're gonna be this broad with our wording, might as well be efficient too.
The CoC isn't great, but it's basically the same one that n0e wrote I don't know how long ago. You were still there for that. He's the one who added rule zero, Iceforce, myself, and some others complained a bunch about it, but I don't think there were any changes in response to feedback.

The GamerGate thing is funny since it was actually a new rule added under the new management. It was especially funny when the word was added to the word filter and the rule just read

*********
This topic is not allowed here.

It looks like it's since been removed from the filter altogether. The wordfilter is kind of odd because it only filters, like, 3 random swears.

The moderation transparency is way down on the new forum though. The only way to tell if someone was banned is to click on their profile and see if you can access it. I actually just found out today that 2 people were banned a while ago for reasons unknown and I had no idea. I'm inclined to retract my previous statement about moderation being better as a result of this revelation. I can't really argue with Saelune, Yoshi, or Houseman being banned, even if I wouldn't have personally done it, but I can't understand the reason that B-Cell might have been banned unless it was self-requested.

Content

Too much Yahtzee in the video section. He's carrying at least 75% of it. The focus is a little too much on games as well compared to the old site which had a variety of content. Articles are totally fine, but they need to branch out. It's actually kinda strange now because there's a lot of amazing but still small-time Youtubers who would jump at the opportunity for a fixed income and a solid platform. Why aren't they going for that? Now's the time, especially since YouTube is now such an unstable platform for content creators. There's tons of talent that they're just missing out on. Do they not have the money? Do they not care?

Another thing too is that the content is confusingly organized. For example, there's some games content in the movie section. It may seem like a minor thing, but convenience and logical simple placement matters a lot. It's also convenient for content creation as you don't have your creators wondering where the hell to place a new piece of content.
I only watch Yahtzee, so I can't comment on this.


Overall Roadmap/Staff Transparency

It's missing, or I can't find it. Checking the announcements section of the forums doesn't really say much in regards to what they have planned for the future. There's the "One Year In" letter but that was back in July, and it doesn't have any information regarding future plans.
Basically. Nick very occasionally posts some things they are planning for the future, but that's about it.


Final Thoughts

It doesn't really seem like this site has any solid direction or vision. There are some solid choices made here and there, but a fair few things are also just... Bewildering. Not well thought out. I don't know how many EICs this site has had now. 3 or 4? And it still, to this day, seems to struggle with itself. I don't understand. But maybe that's the whole issue. They don't understand either.

-

Normally, I'd post this on the Escapist but I'm pretty sure I'd get backhanded by the staff/mod team because, as we know, the staff cannot be criticized and we wouldn't want hate speech.
Eh, it's better now than when spambots took over Gaming Discussion and quote notifications turned off once a week.

I think most people in the forums are pretty satisfied with the way Nick has been running the place. I'm a little disturbed by recent revelations about moderation, but it's mostly software complaints. I still think he's the most professional Community Manager/EIC we've had. I haven't seen him getting into passive aggressive arguments with posters, which puts him above pretty much all the rest.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
I am (or was) mostly satisfied, but moderation is not transparent and Nick and the mods don't follow their own rules and procedures.

Where was my first warning? Where was my temporary suspension? Why don't I get to appeal like they promised?

Maybe with all this newfound time on my hands, I'll make a document or a video about how inconsistent the moderation is. I'll look up every warning that every user has ever gotten, including myself, and show how some users are getting away with more than others.
 
Last edited:

Chimpzy

Adherent
Messages
67
Ah, account works. Bit dusty, but still good.
I seriously wonder what the fuck they mean when they say "alt-right cesspool". Do they think we just mount swastikas all over everything and talk about how evil minorities are? I really do want to know.
First version of Into Sanctuary. Tho you're right, alt-right is not the correct assessment. More like obnoxiously shitposty. Lots of going on and on about the n-words, and the jews, and the queers. Or was it? Don't remember it looking like this. I lurked around a lot of places at the time, and my memory of that time is pretty blurry, might well be mixing this and another place up. In which case, mea culpa.
It was pretty much the same way with Yoshi and Saelune.
Yoshi specifically got banned for pestering Nick with questions on his personal social media. From what I've gathered, Nick doesn't take kindly to intrusions into his private sphere.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
Yoshi specifically got banned for pestering Nick with questions on his personal social media. From what I've gathered, Nick doesn't take kindly to intrusions into his private sphere.
But that's not against the rules, is it? So why is Nick banning people for made-up reasons?
 

Chimpzy

Adherent
Messages
67
But that's not against the rules, is it? So why is Nick banning people for made-up reasons?
Don't know. He'd already gotten a few warnings for insulting people, and the whole thing about responding to people's post he didn't like by liking them with the "lol" emoji, which only ended when that functionality got taken away, for everyone. He'd probably had his share of run-ins with Nick and Jojo already, so I'm guessing it was a last straw type situation. Harsh, but I also don't entirely disagree. I keep my personal and professional life strictly separate, and if a client were to butt into my private space, digital or otherwise, they can fuck right off. Maybe the reason was because Nick is like that too. Or maybe it was something else entirely.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
610
Don't know. He'd already gotten a few warnings for insulting people, and the whole thing about responding to people's post he didn't like by liking them with the "lol" emoji, which only ended when that functionality got taken away, for everyone. He'd probably had his share of run-ins with Nick and Jojo already, so I'm guessing it was a last straw type situation. Harsh, but I also don't entirely disagree. I keep my personal and professional life strictly separate, and if a client were to butt into my private space, digital or otherwise, they can fuck right off. Maybe the reason was because Nick is like that too. Or maybe it was something else entirely.
That's all very reasonable and understandable.

But it's still punishing someone for something that isn't against the rules, and Nick deserves criticism for that.

That sort of thing is unhealthy for a community. It communicates to everyone that the rules can be disregarded based on Nick's mood, and anyone can get banned for any reason.

Yeah, I think I'll make a video criticizing the Escapist's inconsistent moderation. I'm pumped up!
 

Drathnoxis

That's all very reasonable and understandable.

But it's still punishing someone for something that isn't against the rules, and Nick deserves criticism for that.

That sort of thing is unhealthy for a community. It communicates to everyone that the rules can be disregarded based on Nick's mood, and anyone can get banned for any reason.

Yeah, I think I'll make a video criticizing the Escapist's inconsistent moderation. I'm pumped up!
I don't know,Yoshi had been riding the edge of the ban for some time (and he himself didn't seem to be very happy posting on the Escapist either). Finding someone's personal Facebook to complain at them is a clear violation of privacy, and if it isn't explicitly stated in the rules it probably should be. I'd be like if, to continue this conversation, I found your cell phone number and left you a voice mail. It's basically stalking.

Also, re-reading some posts about his ban 1 2, I don't actually know if he got banned because he posted on Nick's Facebook or if he posted on Nick's Facebook because he was banned. Again a problem with the new forum in that it doesn't give us an explicit reason for ban and a link to the offending post. But I have to wonder why exactly Yoshi even went looking for Nick's personal Facebook to begin with. Nick says he 'blocked' 3 him out of existence, but he doesn't actually say he banned him from the Escapist. It's certainly plausible that he was already banned at the point he contacted Nick, perhaps he was trying to appeal.

I don't really see much point in making a video about inconsistent moderation. Isn't it basically self evident that moderation is inconsistent? Mods are volunteers, the rules are vague, and transparency is low. Forums aren't a court of law. I mean, sure, if it's gonna make you happy go for it, but don't expect to blow anyone's socks off.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
3,983
Also, re-reading some posts about his ban 1 2
Your links reminded me that we actually do have super and sub-script BBCode, but for some reason, I didn't add the buttons in the toolbar. My bad. I'll fix it in the next Sanctuary Update.
 
Top