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ACKS & Autarch Added to Forbidden Topics List

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ShannonA

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Guidance:

I have at this point twice received emails from Alexander Macris, the designer of ACKS and the owner of Autarch, that I personally took as legal threats because of his status as a lawyer and the language he used, which included words like "defamation" and "reputational harm". The posts that Macris was responding to were made by RPGnet volunteers who were acting in their personal capacity as regular posters to this board; they offered their personal opinions on Macris' political allegiances primarily based on his association with Milo Yiannopoulos and used that to suggest that gamers shouldn't support Macris' roleplaying concerns.

This comes about from the fact that Macris choose to be the CEO of MILO, Inc., a company formed by Yiannopoulos. He was apparently approached by Milo back in 2016 (http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/21/the-man-behind-the-milo-a-chat-with-the-supervillain-ceo-of-milo-inc/) and stayed around until early 2018 when Politco reported that he was terminated because of Yiannopoulos' financial issues* (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/27/yiannopoulos-business-implodes-after-death-of-crypto-billionaire-557456). His overall employment running Yiannopoulos' business dated from May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.

Macris has told me he's a libertarian Republican, but the issue in the posts was always about his relationship with Yiannopoulos. So, to unwind that further you may need to know who Yiannopoulos is. Here's some articles:

The first three news articles date to events in 2016, prior to Macris' hiring; the facts were revealed to the public when the articles were published in late 2017, while Macris was working there. The last two are from the last few weeks, after his departure.

So, what type of words are you allowed to use to discuss someone who took a professional position where he actively enabled someone who engages in that sort of behavior? Can you say that he shares in those same attitudes or not? What is fact, what is reasonable opinion, and what might actually meet the very, very high standard required for "defamation"? Twice now I was asked to arbitrate that, and to make a decision about whether what I perceived as legal threats had any possibility of endangering a site that's used by hundreds of thousands of unique users every month. It was a horrible dilemma because I had the contradictory positions of being a steward of this site both for Skotos Tech and for its users and being violently opposed to the various positions advanced by Yiannopoulos and not wanting in anyway to condone them or feel like I was covering them up. Thankfully the decision was taken out of my hands in both situations, but not before it considerably raised the stress of many folks (including me) whose main goal is keep this site running, so that y'all can enjoy it.

I'm not willing to go through that rigamarole a third time. It's bad for me, it's bad for the moderation team, and it's not adding anything helpful to the site. So I'm asking the admins to add both ACKS and Autarch (and by extension Macris) to the forbidden topics list on this site alongside the Westborough Church and whatever else is on there right now.

Shannon Appelcline
Editor-in-Chief
RPGnet

* An Edit: Macris has told me that he choose not to renew his one-year employment agreement.


Footnote: ​Yes, the mods haven't updated the forbidden-topic list since the recent revision of the rules; it'll be coming along.

Footnote-2: Do not use this thread to attack Macris, ACKS, or Autarch.
 
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Spikey

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This is yet another example of how amazing the RPGNet staff are and how you have an extremely difficult job. Thanks again, staff.
 

ShannonA

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Is this the first time an RPG has been on the forbidden topics list?
I believe so, but the logic is the same: it's a topic whose discussion usually degenerates due to political reasons and that causes stress and tension to the staff in excess of the good that that discussion could do for the board.
 

Iustum

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There's at least one ACKS PbP game going on the site currently.

However you'd like to handle that from a moderation perspective, it may be worth letting the GM/Players know in case they don't read Trouble Tickets. I'd do it myself, but I don't want to backseat mod.
 
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Sphinx of Black Quartz

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There's at least one ACKS PbP game going on the site currently.

However you'd like to handle that from a moderation perspective, it may be worth letting the GM/Players know in case they don't read Trouble Tickets. I'd do it myself, but I don't want to backseat mod.
Currently under discussion. Stay tuned.
 

Muskrat

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Maybe you just haven't gotten to it yet, but I'd suggest putting a yellow banner at the top of the site with a link to this thread, for all those people who don't read Trouble Tickets regularly, but might be inclined to talk about ACKS, etc.
 

Cannibal Smiliest

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Maybe you just haven't gotten to it yet, but I'd suggest putting a yellow banner at the top of the site with a link to this thread, for all those people who don't read Trouble Tickets regularly, but might be inclined to talk about ACKS, etc.
Will do.
 
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