Remember, your upvotes are what keeps The Fifth Column alive!
Recently, a fellow by the name of Twins of Hearts has come along and published (perhaps republished) a manifesto on why blacklisting is not good for NationStates. Before we continue, I heavily suggest that you read the original document.
Recognizing no in-game, IC or OOC authority but the Moderation Staff since 2004
A Place not for White Washing, but for the Bright White Light of Truth to shine down upon those judged unfairly by cliques, cabals, and armchair experts.
Step One: Identify the Victims of Blacklisting. Victim is the correct word, as Blacklisting is both an attempt to Shame and Bully by a group, towards an individual.
Step Two: Allow the Victims to Speak Their Truth. Judgement free, no wise-ass comments from self proclaimed experts. Just human on human discussion.
Step Three: Mediation. Instead of presenting "evidence" citing spin doctored "examples", both sides need to express their goals and work toward them.
Step Four: Healing. Bad names, bad vibes, propaganda, bullying, manipulation, lies, and shunning leaves wounds on both sides of a conflict. Self-selected space away from players that have inflicted harm on "Blacklisted" players should be honored and respected. Doors can remain shut, but unlocked, to offer the hope for civil discourse.
Step Five: Re-integration. Unfair manipulation of excluding individuals from Regions, Alliances, as well as more minor exclusion by refusing to respond must end. Shunning is something IRL Cults use to harm cult members. NS Gameplay should not follow a cult like model. Extra-NS platforms like discord and similar devices should be treated similarly.
You might be asking "Why? Nation so-and-so has had x many chances to be nice and it never worked out. What has changed?"
3 Things have changed.
1) The exclusion of players has led to less amusement for less people on site. This was the original goal, to shun people. However, shunning is even less acceptablethan many of the so-called offenses Blacklisted players have allegedly committed. Thus, those promoting the Blacklist, are in fact, more guilty of bullying, shaming, and manipulating than many Blacklisted Players.
2) The game has not changed, its population demographic has. As more "chatty" type groups embrace discord life, NS is being increasingly neglected. THIS MUST STOP.
The game is the point, not just personal politics and personality cults. The younger players are quick to be offended and even quicker to turn to harsh methods of retaliation. The irony is similar to The Stanford Prison Experiment, also The Milgram Shock Experiment; and its definitely undesirable.
3) Gameplay is suffering. Political correctness, labeling people then shaming them for their beliefs and bullying them is not what the game is about. Its supposed to be played.Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose in the game. But as my pal Kenny says "...That the secret to survivin' Is knowin' what to throw away And knowin' what to keep 'Cause every hand's a winner And every hand's a loser..."
The White List is designed as a player created remediation concept to end the popularization of bullying on site. Rule-breaking is handled by our more than capable Admins and Moderators. Some nations are witnessed trying to "White Knight" situations in order to ingratiate themselves to the powers that be, and 'build their political resume' to work towards a Mod position.This is fine, but NOT when it is done at the expense of others. Bullying works both ways, Manipulation too. Lets end it so we can use our time on site to GAME.
Please Upvote or Pin the dispatch so your region may find it easily!
Now, I hold a number of issues with the ideas behind the White List. Namely, it does not provide a definition of blacklisting in the context of NS, the very thing it's supposed to combat. Instead, we can get thing from Twins of Hearts's telegram campaign. He states,
"Currently, most “experienced” game play nations actively utilize an informal system called The Blacklist. You can easily get on the blacklist, however it is currently not possible to get off the blacklist. Some nations have been on it for years!"
"Whatever replaces the current system and the architects behind it that use the Blacklist as a way to oppress instead of to assist is the goal."
Now, as readers, we need to ask ourselves two things
a. Where's the evidence of an extensive multiregional blacklisting system?
b. If such a system exists, what should be done about it?
First off, we use google. If there's a gigantic informal blacklisting system stretching across years of time as ToH implies, we're sure to see discussion about it! Except we aren't. The only results are the fight he instigated in the forums about the matter, a small region that uses a local blacklist (Official European Union), and someone talking about getting a TG from ToH about it. That's not a lot to look at, so let's dive deeper into the rabbit hole.
The Church of Satan made a post in this forum thread pointing out that Twins of Hearts has some personal stakes involved in this topic. Because Twins of Hearts managed to lose his citizenship in the rejected realms. And what did he lose it for?
Blackmailing someone! Well, that escalated quickly.
"It doesn't work like that. He's entitled to an appeal. And Twins of Hearts the reason you were deemed a security risk is because you threatened to blackmail another citizen. Releasing another person's personal information told to you in strict confidence makes you a danger to the community. You violated the trust of someone who thought you were their friend because you lost an election. That is unacceptable." - The Church of Satan
Quoted from here
Well, that's fairly damning, now isn't it. What's even more damning is the response by ToH...
That is categorically incorrect. Blackmail implies I wanted something from the purported victim. At the time of the argument we were having folks.....yes this was an argument....I was NOT a member of TRR any longer. Personal information? I was going to release discord chats of the person scheming with me against dozens of other folks and regions!! This was to demonstrate not only am I not, NOT breaking any sort of taboo that the populist socialites have misconstrued into a "rule" , but in fact the other individual was a complicit participant.
The Fact is this is over 9 MONTHS AGO. The other individual just the other day told me they don't care about any of it, its history etc. YOU, the citizenship committee, etc are keeping it alive by waving this old argument around as a method to reject me from citizenship because I rage quit from an RO position 3 months before that. You know, you do not have the same right to be as picky with whom are citizens here, this is a place meant for those kicked out, displaced etc from other places. If you want to be as picky as a UCR maybe folks should go join one. This is THE SINK!
Comment away TOADS, your right to free speech is just as protected as my right to be a citizen here :)
Yes, clearly the best defense here is saying "it wasn't technically blackmail".
So what we have here is someone who did something bad saying that he wants himself and others who have done even worse things to be reinserted into communities that have decried their behavior. Because clearly, when someone gets banned from a community for engaging in horrible behaviors, they are victim, and they need help.
It isn't bullying to not allow bullies in your friend group.
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