Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taking a Silly Day

I've decided to take a silly day. There will be no serious posting today. No deep discussions of the problems currently facing Paintball. No Chicken Little Apochalypso--unless we can come up with a catchy tune and turn it into a dance routine. But fear not, it won't be a totally lost posting opportunity. I will be posting the July episode of 'Ask the Coach' sometime today. It's episode #4, The Excuse.
Besides that I want to tell you a silly story today and encourage you to post up silly stories of your own. It's foolish, it's pointless, and with any luck it may even be childish and immature. So relax. Paintball isn't going anywhere (today) and it's time for a bit of fun.

Banned By PBN
(I originally posted this item on P8ntballer (years ago) and happened to run across it again today and found it--and the upshot--hilarious all over again. Though it probably won't endear VFTD to our pals at the Nation, that's okay. Humor impairment is never pretty so try not to stare.)

I thought some of you might find this story amusing and a left-handed blow for justice so--We have a team forum at PBN. It was thought to be a good way to have regular contact with fans, etc. As it has turned out only about three of us post(ed) with any regularity. One of our guys routinely posts "advice" and the swear filter does double duty on occasion. One might have thought that was the filter's purpose yet the poster was warned by a Mod to quit trying to get around the filter. Well, looking at the posts it's plain our guy wasn't trying to get around the filter so much as he was trying to be his own filter. Anyway--in the process--the Mod in question posts a list of all the words PBN filters but the Mod wrote them out in such a way the filter didn't filter them and they were all perfectly legible. At this point I quoted the Mod's list (using the quote function) and noted the irony of threatening our guy about abusing the filter while at the same time doing exactly what our guy was being warned about but wasn't doing intentionally. (It should be noted that at no time did my posts require the filter nor did I post anything attempting to bypass the filter--I only quoted the Mod's list as he wrote it. Oh, and I gave the Mod a bit of a hard time for, A) doing exactly what he warned our guy not to do, and B) for otherwise having such poor judgment as to post elsewhere in the forums the intimate details of a sexual encounter--which apparently isn't against the rules at PBN, and finally, C) for then currying favor with the player he was threatening to ban.) The thread should still be there [it's long gone to the Evidence Archives--which is pretty funny all on its own] to see unless it was deleted but at the moment I don't know, you see, I've been banned. The reason given: purposefully attempting to bypass the filter.
So for all of you who would have liked to get even with the Mods one time or another I thought you'd like to know I've gotten a dose of what you must deal with daily.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This is where it gets good. After a number of failed attempts to reason with the PBN mods the team took another tack. Instead of taking our punishment like good little boys and promising not to do it ever again our fearless leader refused to knuckle under. (You know how those pro guys are, they're complete jerks.)

He started a thread by laying out a hypothetical situation where it might be possible to unleash all manner of chaos and mayhem on the forums without using any bannable language whatsoever. He then, thinking out loud, offered up how that might work. If, for example, someone had influence over a significant number of members and encouraged them to prepare to violate as many forum rules as possible in obscure places throughout the forums but only upon receiving the "secret" command to do so. The sample command he used was Project Mayhem. He then proceeded to post up innocuous posts using either the word "project" or "mayhem" but never both at the same time. This resulted in a whole new wave of bannings and threats and thread removals. Which we greeted by rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically at the general hysteria on display from the PBN poohbahs.

There was also a semi-serious element to it as well. We felt it was unfair from the beginning and when called on it the mods simply made bigger jackasses of themselves (than they already appeared) and became more heavy-handed in their responses (when they weren't disavowing any responsibility whatsoever.) Which didn't sit particularly well.

And, of course, simply putting the idea of project mayhem out there served to inspire quite a few diligent fans to begin implementing it. That had the mods searching every nook and cranny of the forums looking for artifacts of Project Mayhem and handing out dozens of more bannings, mostly to new accounts set up to carry out Project Mayhem. For a while the mods were all doing double duty and so paranoid they were banning accounts and threads as fast as they could be generated out of fear of another round of Project Mayhem. The whole thing ran its course in just a few days and, of course, we "lost" but it was by far the most entertaining defeat we ever suffered.

All that remains--that I could find still available to public search--are the links below which give an outline to the events recounted above. (Just in case you want to delve a little deeper.)
Stop Closing Hollidays Threads
Words One Cannot Say on PBN

Well, that was fun, kids. First time in years I've thought about any of that. What a hoot.

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