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Interaction with Outside Communities

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Hey everyone,


I just wanted to speak real quick about the recent bans that took place, our interaction with GFL, and in general our interaction with other communities. We have a thread about this to staff members, but I wanted to just get the entire community on the same page.


A long, long time ago, we used to have a mindset of 'if it didn't happen on SG, we can't ban for it'. This existed since I started playing on the servers in 2007, back when it was ZM. I'm not really sure where this line of thinking originated from, but it existed all the way until pretty recently - arguably within the last 5 years or so. This sort of caused a rift between communities, which caused raids, griefing, trolling, etc., even to the point where higher-ups were involved and it was considered fine because it didn't happen on SG. People would get banned from a community and then a raid would ensue. It was taken so seriously that even steam messages would be thrown out and not considered proof. When this mindset changed, it was a huge deal - and occasionally I will see people arguing 'well it didn't happen on SG' regarding a ban about something. While this topic can certainly transcend into a ton of different ban reasons, I am going to keep it strictly about outside communities.


To be completely honest, I've never cared much about outside communities in the sense of seeing what they do and how they handle business. This is a fault of my own for several reasons, but after GCC (which was basically a community platform filled with leaders of different communities), I thought it made sense to look a little more into having relationships with members of outside communities. With the ability to reach out to people becoming easier (mainly due to Discord), there are definitely times where community leaders get together, especially to discuss problem members. When I say 'member', I mean members of staff; typically, no one is going to reach out to anyone about some random person connecting, trolling, and getting banned. The issue becomes having people in a position of trust that go off and act like idiots to another community, for a plethora of reasons - but mainly because that's not us, that's not what we represent, and that potentially burns a bridge for us in the future if we ever wanted to collaborate with that community. It goes even further than that - such as if we want a developer, mapper, coder, etc., to make us something specific, but they have ties to a community that we acted like assholes to.


Now, this is not saying that I'm going to let another community dictate how we handle business, and we're not going to try and dictate how another community handles business; that's not what this is about. This is where our relationship with SNG went sour, as they came out and demanded that we demote Dominic. I refused to do that, and we were actually not allowed to be a part of GCC at first because of that. But I will always, 100% of the time sit down with other communities if they want to discuss members that are griefing or causing problems. This is also not saying that if you get permed somewhere else, it's a perm here (that actually got brought up at the GCC meetings - a perm at one community being a perm at all communities), or vice-versa. It is mainly used for more extreme situations like intentional griefing, poaching, advertising, etc., where the person doing the alleged actions is in a somewhat higher up role at a community...and mind you, what a 'higher-up' is considered at one community, may not be the same at another community.


I can tell you that most owners and community leaders do not support poaching members, myself included. There's obviously a line with that - I don't consider poaching reaching out to a friend or two and seeing if they'd like to try out another community. What I do consider poaching, is intentionally reaching out to people of SG, giving them perks for signing up for a competing server, intentionally inciting drama among us, and then advertising said community on our own servers. 


To be very straight-forward: GFL was the community in particular, in this situation. Unfortunately, it was involving two of our previous higher-ups (Dominic & Zayne), who both seemingly left SG on a good note. I know it's kinda been tossed around as 'hush-hush', but I don't really think it needs to be. I want to be up front that the board, IA's, myself, or SG as a whole have absolutely no ill-will towards GFL or any of their people. We do not condone, nor will we tolerate any dumb crap to try and grief their community. We have already reached out to GFL and explained the situation with the proof we have - what happens next is up to them, but we are actually using this situation as a reminder that we'd love to partner up with them on inter-community events in the future. 


One of the other accusations being thrown around by Dominic during this is that we were forcing members to resign from their roles here if they were over at GFL as admins, which isn't true. A long time ago, a few members were banned and they formed another community.  These members were friends with a higher up, and there were accusations thrown around about stealing server files, because the server they opened mimic'd one of SG's initially. This is where we came into the rule of being a higher-up at two communities being a no-go, simply because it's a conflict of interest. 'Higher-up' used to just mean AO, but obviously that fluctuates a little bit as we change ranks and responsibilities around a little bit. After a discussion, we found it to be a conflict of interest having a CA who is directly involved in a particular server's development being in close communication with someone creating the same server at another community - to the point where it was said "I was just going to help kickstart their server." Obviously, this is blatantly a conflict of interest. No one, however, is forcing anyone to do anything; users are free to make that choice on their own. In the past, we have had a few people who were higher ups resign and go start their own community or go to another established community, and there were no issues (such as b0red with b0red gaming - perfect example of how to do it)...this situation was not done professionally at all, however.


So, just to reiterate: community leaders are in contact with each other. Someone knows someone somewhere, and if they don't, it doesn't take much to find that info and reach out. I get that sometimes people go in and fuck around, but if you are holding a position of trust / responsibility, you are directly representing SG, tag or not. 


If there are any questions, please feel free to reach out to myself or another Board member.

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