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Must Read Regarding the Recent Bans

Discussion in 'Valor Archive' started by Wolf Expert, Nov 9, 2018.

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  1. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

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    They weren't just venting to amongst themselves. They were harassing the admins, often with false allegations.

    It's not. We have feedback threads and surveys for a reason, giving constructive criticism is never a bad thing as. Unfortunately this wasn't what they were doing. What they were doing was intentionally trying to recruit people based on whether or not they liked the admins, not based on the merits of the site.

    Again, as has already been explained, they didn't keep it outside the community. They harassed the admins and attempted to recruit other LV members.

    Even if you don't count someone taking behind someone else's back about how they want to stab that person bullying, again, the admins were directly harassed. It did happen to them.

    They were advertising or discussing who to advertise to. There were conversations on their server about it and several people have mentioned since this came out that someone from the server tried to recruit them.

    It's not, which is why I created this follow up message if you missed it:

    Also keep in mind that these situations are slightly different. The latest the admins looked into the server was about 7 months back, but it was going on for clearly much longer than that. What they were doing was planned and premeditated. What people are doing now is a reaction to a sudden revelation about people who they thought they could trust. Of course people are going to be upset, but people have been fairly disrespectful, not saying much beyond "I can't believe they would do that".

    I should also add that the reason for that post about not condoning harassment was because one of the banned members alleged that a current member was harassing them because of this situation. Those accusations were false, but the possibility that it could happen was still there, hence the post.

    I agree with you about the positive things they had done. This was part of the reason Hrae was only given a temporary ban. He admitted that what he was doing was wrong and that things had gone too far. He handled the situation well. The others... Not so much. A few of us even took the time to say how much we appreciated his work before the ban. And the problem is, yes perhaps they were likely being sincerely nice at one point or another, but how can you tell which was genuine and which were lies? People are feeling betrayed and that's not an unreasonable response.

    Again, I'd like to say that no legitimate cases of harassment have happened to my knowledge, although one of the banned members had alleged it had. The post I made was a pre-emptive one and if I made it seem otherwise, that was entirely my fault.
     
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  2. Skullbash

    Skullbash I will become the Pirate King

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    Can I see proof that they were being bullied?
     
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    #42 Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  3. guest

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    [QUOTE="Wolf Expert, post: 537152, member: 50723"

    I agree with you about the positive things they had done. This was part of the reason Hrae was only given a temporary ban. He admitted that what he was doing was wrong and that things had gone too far. He handled the situation well. The others... Not so much. A few of us even took the time to say how much we appreciated his work before the ban. And the problem is, yes perhaps they were likely being sincerely nice at one point or another, but how can you tell which was genuine and which were lies? People are feeling betrayed and that's not an unreasonable response.

    Again, I'd like to say that no legitimate cases of harassment have happened to my knowledge, although one of the banned members had alleged it had. The post I made was a pre-emptive one and if I made it seem otherwise, that was entirely my fault.[/QUOTE]

    Out of curiosity, did the staff speak to the members in the server and ask them about their grievances and give them a chance to apologise? It's good that Hrae was given a second chance, hopefully the others were also given that much.
     
  4. Achromatic

    Achromatic #TeamMagikarp

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    The bullying is evidenced in the screenshots of the original post, which include staff members and non-staff members. These may not meet your definition of bullying, but they met ours and we all agreed we felt that way. It is our prerogative to keep this kind of behaviour away from our community, as we felt it was directly related to (and bled into) the site, we took action. Our decision is final.

    We didn't have much of a chance, as we were either kicked or banned from this server incredibly fast. Ryan was the only one allowed in, and he did speak to them, but we agreed that at this point it was beyond apologies due to what had been said and how long it had been going on. An apology wouldn't have meant much considering our trust in these users had been completely destroyed, and I hope you can understand that this kind of trust takes a long time to build up. That being said, time can be a good healer so they would certainly be open to apologise in the future and we can think on that, but for now the decision is final and they won't be unbanned.

    Hrae was also punished, but since the severity of what happened was significantly lesser on his side, and he was completely open and honest with us, we lessened the punishment.
     
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  5. Skullbash

    Skullbash I will become the Pirate King

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    So basically they’re being made out to be bullies to you guys when they were really just talking to each other in their server. So you ban them, but don’t ban the people who are actually trying to attack awney outside of lv when she hasn’t actually done anything to anyone.
     
    #45 Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2018
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  6. Achromatic

    Achromatic #TeamMagikarp

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    No, the screenshots in the original post show personal attacks made about specific LV users, by LV users in a server advertised and made by LV users - and this servers main focal point became about doing this. I have already stated this several times, and you are welcome to disagree but I won't be doing it again.

    We have spoken to any users who have taken matters into their own hands and even made a post in here telling them we do not agree with this and it is highly against the rules. If we see any evidence of attacks, we will take action. We have been approached, but did not feel it was an attack.
     
  7. Skullbash

    Skullbash I will become the Pirate King

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    Its in their server not affecting you so once again how is it bullying you? Also, you’re not justifying the fact that you have members targeting them without doing anything about it
     
  8. guest

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    I don't understand why there wasn't even an attempt to reconcile these issues though. Sure you got kicked from the server immediately, but why not make a group DM to speak with them all and try to figure it out? Given how long they've been here I would hope you value them enough to at least try and get past these differences.
    We all say things we don't truly mean, and when you're surrounded by the same opinion you can say something terrible without realising the implications of what you've said, and I'd say a comment like 'I want to stab X' is an example of that. It's a non-threat--if you don't know where someone lives, possibly don't know what they look like, have half a brain, you're not going to stab them. Treating it like a real threat is bizarre. I guess people process things differently.

    If the decision has already been finalised and any opposing discussion on the topic is being shut off like it is I don't see why there was a need to make this open to replies in the first place...
     
  9. Vigilance

    Vigilance once here, now gone

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    For the sake of clarity...

    First and foremost, I want to remind you that as long as they remained offsite, we planned to let it slide. These were personal, insulting and demeaning attacks to a lot of LV members including me, personally, and we planned to let it slide. Since @Skullbash has repeatedly made it one of their keypoints, I want to stress that they didn't just keep it off this site. To name a few, they advertised to members (especially ex-staff), they spread rumors that Ryan was stealing funds and most of all, they used the community surveys to bash certain LV members knowing they would be anonymous and so on. Seeing how they took their toxicity and sheer negativity and allowed it to pervade Lake Valor, we noticed a trend that was not stopping and to protect Lake Valor from further toxicity, we removed them from our community.

    To address the second point, not a single person in our community (as far as we've seen currently) has harassed them at all. Sure they've voiced their displeasure but the displeasure stems from feeling utterly betrayed and manipulated. No one can fault them for feeling this way and we've repeatedly stated we don't condone harassment at all. @Umeronno points out that "somebody will always dislike you" and that is 100% perfectly fine but harassment is targeting someone based on those feelings which happened in the case of certain members. Their characters were repeatedly trashed and that is not acceptable. Once we found out that they were treated in such way, regardless of it beginning off-site, we had an obligation to make sure our members didn't feel uncomfortable because of someone else's harassment and to fulfill that obligation, we had to ban the members responsible.

    The "attack on awney" that @Skullbash claims was brought to our attention and reviewed thoroughly and was clearly anything but an attack. To clarify the situation, Awney administrates a large art group where a current LV member is active. Said LV member was humiliated and ridiculed by Awney and he felt it was in his right to notify the head admin of that group about the behavior of his staff member (Awney). As expected, they were 100% shocked because (just like us) they have rules in place against this kind of toxic behavior. There is nothing wrong with that and I implore you @Skullbash to come forward and DM if you'd like to discuss this anymore (for sake of privacy).

    Finally, to address the last point made above by @Umeronno that argues that there should have been reconciliation based on the fact that "there have been here so long" and "have done so much for LV." I'd like to remind you that we're unbiased (to the extent which we can control) for the decisions we take. One important factor is to realize that no one's actions are excused because they're staff, or they've "done a lot for the site" or "they've been here so long." When taking action, we never consider seniority of a member, previous staff roles, friendships with other staff members or anything of that nature. Why? Because, before all of these things, we value the community atmosphere we have and if something so toxic like we've seen threatens that, "how long" someone has been on LV means very little. As stated, this was happening for well over 6 months now and unlike some people want to put it, it wasn't just "sporadic venting" like we all do. It was a hateful agenda that went on for the better part of a full year and that should echo how severe their behavior was.

    I'd also like to point out that there is a post implying that "terrible" actions can be excused because they may happen when in a setting with other people of the same opinion. That is never true and should never be the case. I hope that anyone who reads that never believes that. Just because other people are acting using "groupthink," doesn't mean there aren't consequences for their actions.

    The thread was opened and will remain opened for you to express your opinions. We understand everyone feels differently and that is fine but some of what has been said is unfounded and baseless and that's why we urge you to keep that in mind and why we will continue replying to you guys. Our userbase is the most important thing for us and we will always aim to be as open and honest as possible.
     
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    #49 Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  10. Momo Kiseki

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    @Vigilance
    I would have to agree there. I spend a lot of time in a group where most if not all tend to have similar opinions but that doesn't mean that none are responsible should they do something wrong because of Groupthink. Nor does it mean that the action can be easily excused. Everyone if responsible for their own actions even if group opinion had anything to do with it they still chose to agree and not speak out against it.

    Also I love that you are all so dedicated to being open with us. That really ensues confidence in my opinion. I've found all the admins and mods I've spoken to very kind and very friendly. I completely trust the decisions you all make.
    This is just another one of the many reasons I love LV.
    ^_^
     
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  11. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Nightmare Tala

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    When I saw a few members banned I was already confused. Than I saw this thread.
    Mostly I thought whoa. Omg. Cant believe this.
    I have been a member for guwss 4 years now. With i guess a year not being here.
    I love this forum. I like the members. I wont leave. I wont trash talk. I mean why? I do not know anyone in rl. How they are online or outside are different. Of course ya can fight pr disagree with someone but searching people with the same hate for someone ans talk bad behind there back is just.. no

    It makes me sad . Really sad.
     
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  12. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

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    @Umeronno @Skullbash and anyone else who might still have concerns about advertising/if they kept it off of LV, I dug up some more messages from their server from when Awney was recruited to show you how they go about doing it. I've highlighted the especially relevant text in yellow, but of course the whole conversation is there for you to read.

    Cadbberry06/17/2018

    We should add awney, they are rad af

    And just left staff






    Sia06/17/2018
    You talk to awney a lot?

    Also I have no clue as to whom [redacted] really is





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    Not a lot a lot, but a bit, I messaged them after the 'stepping down' message was announced. They quit because vig was a fucking asshole and treated her like shit





    Sia06/17/2018
    Hey, I know another one that got treated like shit





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    Who





    Sia06/17/2018
    You and me





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    I mentioned how I got the shaft, I didn't wanna tell your story since thats all you my dear





    Sia06/17/2018
    I think that I would be agreeable to Awney joining

    And that is fine, cad





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    We need all 4 peeps to agree, we aint inviting if they dont wanna so talk to us bbys

    when you awaken





    Sia06/17/2018
    Indeed

    We don’t do the majority vote, all or nothing





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    yesss

    Cause we are the best





    Sia06/17/2018
    We are~





    Sia06/17/2018
    I just realized we don’t have an art and graphics channel, would that be appreciated?





    Jazz06/17/2018
    flops in





    Sia06/17/2018
    Hellosies





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    sure thing

    Oh ohohohoho Saitoooo

    what do you think about having Awney here?





    Jazz06/17/2018
    Hmm

    I don't really talk to her alot outside the art channel but she seem like a good person

    Main question is, will she be able to not tell people about this server?





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    i trust her

    she was on the border of leaving LV

    but stayed for friends

    so I would say there isn't much to gain from speaking about it






    Sia06/17/2018
    I think she would be able to not tell in that case, personally





    Jazz06/17/2018
    Wait she was o nthe border of actually leaving LV?





    Sia06/17/2018
    I think Vig did a lot of damage





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    ye, still is

    vig was an ass to her

    treated her like shit and wasn't crediting her





    Sia06/17/2018
    Dude, that is against the rules, ain’t it?





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    I mean, Satix and ben never credited us

    Admin power, you can do whatever you want





    Sia06/17/2018
    rolls eyes hard





    Jazz06/17/2018
    I'm kinda surprised they haven't gotten rid of me yet





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    because they would be royally screwed without you





    Sia06/17/2018
    True that





    Jazz06/17/2018
    Oh?





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    You are the only one on staff I trust

    no one else does work seriously and thoughtfully, making sure members are taken care of and the task at hand





    Jazz06/17/2018
    I guess I just care too much





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    because you rock





    Jazz06/17/2018
    Please hand me a needle, this stuff goes straight to my small ego I can't allow it to become too big





    Sia06/17/2018
    hands over the embroidery needle





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    pffffft





    Jazz06/17/2018
    pokes ego





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    can I have some of that





    Jazz06/17/2018
    But is true tho, it goes straight to my ego which I try not to become too big XD





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    You are too cute to have a big ego friend





    Jazz06/17/2018
    Also got a feeling neither of you will let me have it too big lol





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    I dont know big ego, so blow it up boi





    Sia06/17/2018
    I will pop the big ego’s





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    pop me Morg





    Sia06/17/2018
    pops the ego





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    thank you

    If i had one, its gone now





    Sia06/17/2018
    Alrighty~





    Marc06/17/2018
    I hear there's an ego to crush





    Sia06/17/2018
    Hmhm





    Jazz06/17/2018
    You late





    Marc06/17/2018
    Yeah well that's what happens when you're borderline in a coma from work xD





    Jazz06/17/2018
    RIP





    Marc06/17/2018
    Anyway just read up, I'm.neutral to.Awney. Don't talk much to them

    So don't.mind.if they're added if they can be trusted






    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    Hi marcy!





    Marc06/17/2018
    O hai





    Sia06/17/2018
    I think that means that you may extend an invitation, cad





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    Alright!





    Marc06/17/2018
    Mhm





    Jazz06/17/2018
    My mod count for this month os over 200 just because of the dex lol





    Cadbberry06/17/2018
    I will when she is awake

    So I can always delete the evidence if she says no






    Sia06/17/2018
    Lol, and sounds good, Cad





    Marc06/17/2018
    sneaky cad



    You can see from their messages here that not only were all of them involved in recruiting people from LV, but they also knew it was wrong and reference hiding what they were doing multiple times throughout.

    To address some of the other things mentioned in this conversation, Cad's accusations that she was treated unfarily are completely false. There was an agreement before this issue came about that her messages from when she decided to leave staff would be kept private, and so that agreement will be upheld unless she herself would attempt to insinuate otherwise after the ban.

    As for the accusation that they were never given any credit, we do have a credits page. To clarify, the credits page is mostly used for people whose art is used on the forum. Awney and Morgaine are included, Cad is not. To our knowledge, none of Cad's work is being used on the forum, but if this is a mistake, we can either add her to the credits or remove her artwork, whichever she prefers. You can find the credits, which we're working on moving to a more obvious place, here:
    https://lakevalor.net/pages/credits/

    There's also a place for people to report any names that should be in the credits that have been missed.

    The decision is finalized and that was never open for discussion, nor was it the point of this thread. The point of this thread was to address any concerns that people maye have regarding the bans, which I feel we have done more than adequately up to this point.

    If anyone still has any concerns, you are still free to voice them here.
     
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  13. FireSpartan5

    FireSpartan5 Pokémon Professor

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    As much of a shame it is, based on the current evidence, I personally agree with the ban, mostly for the advertising portion. There is one problem I have however.
    C79575F2-5484-4B8B-9559-8927834F351E.png

    “Bullying” is not what is being done here, as they never intended those they were mocking to see it, nor be influenced by it in any way. Their actions are still very wrong in most of the examples given, but please don’t throw around words like ‘bullying’ and ‘toxicity’ without knowing what they mean. Thank you!
     
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  14. Skullbash

    Skullbash I will become the Pirate King

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    Why should I go into DM's for privacy sake? You guys clearly have no respect for privacy being as though you think its okay to go into someones private server and copy private chat logs that were clearly not intended for public to see. Therefore, I will keep discussing this topic in this thread where it belongs in the first place.
    You bring up an "anonymous survey" and blame people for what they put on their survey. Either you don't know for a fact it was them or the survey was not anonymous like you guys had told people. If you don't know for a fact it was them, then you really can't blame them for that. This also goes back to what I was saying before, you can't consider them to be harassing these members when they were simply talking to each other in a private server. If you guys weren't sticking your noses where it didn't belong, nobody would be hurt. Also, I find it funny that you guys are playing the victim in this because anybody who has ever been in staff chat or admin chat knows that shade does get thrown at members in there so you guys are not innocent in this. Also, you have achromatic always trying so hard to get his willy wet around the ladies harassing them and making a lot of them feel awkward yet things like that everyone just turns a blind eye to. Maybe if you all would get off the high horse and actually pay attention to the members that are running your community, things like this would be happening.
     
  15. East

    East Look to the Stars

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    @Skullbash I just wanted to reply to a few of your points myself:

    @Vigilance asked you to take your part of the discussion to DMs more for the sake of not derailing the thread and because it's probably better suited to being through private messages at this point. While your some of your points bring up valid concepts, you aren't exactly remaining respectful, especially citing your most recent reply here. If you want to have a civil discussion, I don't see any reason for you to continue posting publically, but otherwise private messages are best.

    As per your point about @Achromatic--where has there been any evidence about him making female members (of any rank) uncomfortable or otherwise upset about his behavior? Have they contacted him or another staff member about such to try and resolve the issue if it exists?

    Regarding the privacy of the community survey, I can confirm as a information security analyst that the form they sent has no indication of privacy breach unless there is a severe problem with the data logging that was taken advantage of. On that same point, none of the staff with access to the submissions have the IT knowledge to take advantage of such a breach, speaking from personal experience with them. There ARE however, mannerisms and diction patterns that are clear indicators of who may have answered a certain way, and that cannot be avoided under normal circumstances. This isn't an anonymity issue, either, as literally anyone has those deduction skills to at least narrow it down to a few people, wherein that can be further deduced to a single person who answered. While that does in theory make the form less anonymous, it does not lie as a fault to neither the form nor the person reading the responses, as it becomes an initiative not fully pursued by the filler of the form. I'm not blaming anyone that filled out the form, though; I'm simply stating facts here.

    As for the use of an outside server or any use of contact other than the site or its ancillaries, at least one senior staff member was given access to either the logs or the mode of contact itself--U.S. law (which is what LV operates under) dictates they may use that information to supply, substantiate, or determine their own course of action regarding parties that communicated in that form. Since the site rules at the time were constructed in a way that left it up to a staff member to determine what does or does not break their site's rules, they are not out of line. Additionally, every member agrees to the rules of the site upon registering--this is mentioned in the terms of service as well as in the Info Desk in accordance with posting and use rules. I implore you to express your thoughts of the rules, but do so on the manner you have previously is not likely to get the interpretations or language of the rules changed.

    The last part I'll talk about here is the sentiment you had about the staff (specifically the admins) essentially having a hissy fit about being harassed or "shade being thrown at." Again, there is a rule that everyone agrees to upon registering that you cannot do this in any form, on or off site, to any member--this includes any staff member. Are the admins especially upset over what happened? Yes. Is it understandable? Absolutely. Imagine that you were accused of stealing money from work--would you be upset? How about if someone said that you harass other people at and away from work? What about being slandered to the point of having a discussion about your character, and whether or not you can be trusted? If you have literally any answer other than "I would be upset/sad/mad/[negative feeling]" then I'd say you aren't being truthful.

    To put all of your previous responses into perspective: it's fine to have questions and opinions. However, you have to be respectful when expressing them and understand the position of the person/people that are on the receiving end. The staff here are not perfect, but they're doing everything they can to do the best for the community. I'm not defending all of their actions, but I certainly understand where they're coming from.
     
  16. CharlieWeasleyfan

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    @Skullbash like C2i is saying. We don't deny that you have a right to ask and discuss things. It's just better to try and resolve this matter peacefully. Privately messaging a staff member that you trust, is a way to start. If you have concerns about what's being brought up about the secret servers then talk to them. Also as @Achromatic has mentioned, Lake Valor is a site that strives to be transparent so then the users of it can feel like nothing is being hidden from them and also so then they can understand reasonings behind administrator decisions. Please understand that it hurts the staff too when they have to ban someone. It's not a first choice. It has to be a serious offence to not let them off with a final warning.
     
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  17. Achromatic

    Achromatic #TeamMagikarp

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    This has gone too far. I just want everyone to step back and remember we're on a Pokémon forum - a place we created to feel safe, and to have fun. When you start to create insane accusations without any actual proof and throw them around so casually, that's dangerous and is incredibly demeaning. I'm sincerely upset and incredibly disappointed.
     
  18. Ryan

    Ryan lasagna bad

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    Unfortunately, Skullbash has been banned due to refusing to provide any evidence for his claims. Sexual harassment allegations are incredibly serious and, while uncommon, false ones can ruin people's reputations and lives. They are not something to be taken lightly or to be thrown around for the sole purpose of hurting someone. That not only harms the one being faced with those allegations, but makes light of those who have gone through sexual harassment.

    Vigilance messaged Skullbash and requested to see the proof behind those claims, giving a 24 hour window. Skullbash did see the message, but did not reply until the time window was almost up. We also sent a message on Discord, which was ignored. In the spoiler tag below, I've attached screenshots of all the correspondences.

    Initial PM:
    [​IMG]

    Discord message:
    [​IMG]

    Skullbash's response:
    [​IMG]

    Vigilance's response:
    [​IMG]

    It's worth mentioning that he had at least 30 minutes more than the allotted time to get any evidence together, but failed to do so (likely because it doesn't exist).

    I also feel this is very worth mentioning:
    All of our interactions with anyone are in writing. Discord, forums, e-mail - it's in writing. That's a good thing for both parties. Everything is documented, and in the case of something like this situation, we can pull up the documentation when needed. We try to keep everything private unless circumstances regarding transparency demand otherwise.
     
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  19. CharlieWeasleyfan

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    Thanks Ryan for clearing more things up for us. Sorry you guys have to go through this though :(
     
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  20. Achromatic

    Achromatic #TeamMagikarp

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    This is incredibly hurtful. I want to be open with you guys, so I'm going to share a story, fair warning, it sucks and it is not nice.

    Back in 2014, I was sexually harassed by an LV user that I considered my friend. I won't name any names, because they are long gone and I would like to keep this behind me, but it happened. This user and I got on fantastically, and I thought they were great, until they started asking me to roleplay sexually with them. It got to the point where they told me that if I didn't, they would kill themselves. Imagine being put in this situation - someone you trust and consider a friend tries to force you to do a sexual roleplay with them, and if you won't they threaten to end their own life. Imagine having that pressure on you. It's horrible.

    They stalked me, they harassed me constantly and ban evaded to try and harass me even further. It was a nightmare. Needless to say, this isn't something you forget about easily. So, for someone to throw these accusations about so casually, with no actual proof... it's just insulting. It's sad. I don't feel like a victim, because there are plenty of people out there who have had it so worse than me, but all the same I feel for anyone who has gone through anything like this.

    I wish for people to consider the weight of their words. This isn't just some silly Pokémon forum drama - REAL people use this site. If I have ever made any member feel uncomfortable, then I am sincerely sorry. I would never aim to do this.
     
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