Administrative Ban: LocustOfCharon

Malashaan

Forum Administrator
Cabinet
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Effective immediately, LocustOfCharon, also known as Askar, is subject to an administrative ban. He had previously requested a voluntary ban, but we have decided to alter this to an involuntary one. This likely will not come as a surprise to many after the events of the last week, but please take the time to read the following explanation for this decision. Much of what happened was not actionable at the Admin level, and we believe it is important to identify what our decision was based on (and what it was not) as clearly as possible.

Recently, a channel dedicated to learning about sex-themed roleplay was created in a non-Europeian server that is frequented by many of our members. Askar announced that he would be using the channel to teach people about such roleplay. Several people approached HEM and others to express concern that such a channel might be abused by predators. Concern was also expressed that hosting such a channel in a server with a large amount of overlap with the Players Against Misconduct (PAM) group could potentially create a conflict of interest or send mixed signals. HEM, as a member of PAM, and Sopo, as a prominent member of the server, spoke up raising these concerns.

The channel was ultimately removed due to the public controversy. The Admin team has no authority over what people decide to do with their private servers and took no position on this matter. However, as noted above, HEM and Sopo both expressed their personal opinions on the matter as members of the impacted communities. The existence of such a channel, and more generally conversation that is sexual in nature between consenting adults, is certainly not administratively actionable. We encourage everyone to be aware of the dangers of sharing private information and intimate details on the internet, but the choice to engage in such activities as an adult is yours. We want to stress that the creation and operation of the channel was not administratively actionable and our decision is not based on that in any way. That said, while we view this as a separate issue, to avoid any appearance of impropriety, HEM and Sopo recused themselves from this decision in view of their involvement in the events described above.

Having clarified what our decision is not based on, we now turn to the reasons why we have banned Askar. As we have explained previously, our primary guiding principle in deciding whether to ban someone is whether we believe they pose an unreasonable threat to the real-life wellbeing of members of our community. That can be physical, emotional, mental, or financial. Whether the threat posed is unreasonable is a function of both likelihood and severity of harm. In this case, we have several reasons to believe that the threat posed by Askar is unreasonably high.

Several things stood out to us in Askar’s behavior as concerning. Much of this behavior occurred before the recent controversy over the sex-themed roleplay channel. We received reports from several people that they were concerned he exhibited controlling behavior, and his own words that we saw first hand back up that conclusion. We confirmed one instance of Askar lying about his real-life identity, and he exhibits a pattern of making statements about his life, including his overall health, to gain sympathy and develop connections that is very concerning. More generally, we heard from several people who are unwilling to interact with Askar because they feel he does not respect boundaries regarding what is acceptable behavior. Perhaps most concerningly, he also exhibited a tendency to deflect from conversations about real-life concerns by trying to paint it as an in-game political matter. Collectively, this paints a picture suggestive of someone willing and able to use leverage to emotionally manipulate others.

The other major factor in our decision relates to Askar’s threats of real-life litigation. Askar has made several threats surrounding real-life litigation over the last few days. He made several threats to sue the Admin team as well as a currently unknown author of an article from the Panda’s Pen for defamation. He also threatened legal action for a copyright-related matter. None of these threats appear to have any basis in real-life law, but we want to take a further minute to address why they are concerning to us.

If he were just threatening to sue the Admin team, we would be annoyed and a little stressed, but the threat to us is not what concerns us. Rather, it is the threat it represents to the wider community. A threat of even a frivolous lawsuit is stressful. We had nothing to do with any of the events that apparently angered him, but he didn’t hesitate to threaten suit multiple times over several days. This was not one hot-headed comment in the heat of the moment, it was a persistent pattern that at a minimum was an attempt to intimidate us. Askar’s actions demonstrate a propensity to make damaging threats that could easily be repeated against others if he ever feels slighted by them. On top of that, if the suit was filed, it would still require time and money to defend, no matter how frivolous it is. Plenty of people have been financially stressed or bankrupted by such lawsuits. In short, someone who is willing to threaten, and possibly go through with frivolous lawsuits when he doesn’t get his way is a threat to all of us.

Possibly even more concerningly, one of the threads running through his threats of suit was that he wanted us to reveal to him information about who had written the article in the Panda’s Pen. He specifically threatened to use real-life legal process to force us to turn over that information (which, incidentally, we don’t have). We take any attempt to obtain information about our members that they have not chosen to make public seriously. It does not matter whether that is through hacking, manipulation, intimidation, or bogus legal claims, we take the privacy of our members seriously.

The sum of Askar’s actions clearly demonstrate his presence would represent an unreasonable risk to the real-life wellbeing of the community. Therefore, Askar is now involuntarily and indefinitely banned from the Europeian forums and the EuroChat Discord server. We are aware that this is not the extent of the universe in which Europeians converse. There are numerous social servers and other regions that share membership with Europeia. We would like to remind everyone that such places may not have the same level of protection and oversight that we provide. They can be great sources of entertainment and camaraderie, but please take a moment to be aware of who else has access and authority in a given environment as well as what systems are in place to protect its members.

Finally, as always, if you have information about potentially actionable behavior (by Askar or anyone else), please do reach out to one of the Admin team to discuss it. If in doubt, report it. We’d rather hear too much than miss important information.
 

Calvin Coolidge

Spellcaster
President
Deputy Minister
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Discord Moderator
Thank you for your work, admin team, it is always appreciated how much you do to keep us safe.
 

Drecq

Vice Chancellor
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Discord Moderator
I wish to make sure that anyone who reads this statement by me knows that I do not make it without having thought it through or without being clear about the entirety of the situation. I have and I am. And hopefully, with that knowledge, you will lend it the weight it deserves.

Fuck Askar with a red hot poker. A threat of legal action, whether it has a basis in fact or not, is one that can, if followed up upon, destroy this entire community and the real world lives of several of its members. I applaud the admin teams decision to ban this individual. And I wish him nothing but the worst in his future endeavors.
 

Tim

New member
As someone who initially reported the ERP channel, almost as soon as it was announced, I'm really relieved to see Europeia taking action on this topic.

Just from my personal interactions with Askar, after he approached me about remarks I made in Cat's Playhouse about what a fucking awful idea the channel was, he came off as controlling and always trying to force me to follow his direction. Reading his posts in Cat's Playhouse itself, they followed a consistent pattern of manipulative, controlling, and frankly creepy behavior. After I ended our "chat" and informed him I was one of the people who reported his disgusting scheme to interactively and personally teach people to ERP, he banned me from the server. Once I heard further about some of the other details of his time on NS, not all of which I can repeat here, it was clear that he was an incredibly manipulative person whose purpose on NS was entirely of a sexually predatory nature.

I'm very relieved to see this toxic piece of filth banned, and I hope regions all across NS to keep a very close eye on him. I also encourage anyone in the Cat's Playhouse server to frankly leave for as long as he is there. It's not safe being around him. I will not mince words here. He is a toxic, manipulative, deceptive, controlling, and sexually predatory piece of human garbage.
 
Thank you for dealing swiftly with such threats. To say that such manipulative behavior is concerning, is an understatement, especially if that same person creates sexual themed channels.
 

Ervald

“I love to be directed. They can trust me and go.”
Citizen
Thank you for responding in a swift manner to Askar. No such manipulative individual hell-bent on destroying this community with threats of a lawsuit should be allowed to remain.
 

Pichtonia

Deputy Minister
Citizen
Discord Moderator
Correct decision. These lawsuits can be damning, and it's good and right that those threats aren't tolerated.
 

Tim

New member
Hey @ Cat's Playhouse

Realize you have to ban both of my accounts before you want to trash on me in supposed private right? It seems a lot of the residents of that server do not understand OOC and IC and thus wonder why I'm being agreed with. I am declared PNG by the government of Europeia for IC, ultimately pretend, differences. I've also got an extensive history of both spearheading and working with efforts to root outand remove harassers, creeps, and predators from this game that we play. Our pretend differences aside, I have the utmost respect for the Europeia Admins, and have developed a solid working relationship with them.

On the other hand, Askar is banned by the Administrative Team of Europeia for being a sexual predator, a manipulator, and a general fucking creep. If you can't fathom the difference between the two, and realize that one is pretend and one is real, you need to try turning off your computer, going outside, and seeing what reality feels like for once.
 

Prim

WA Delegate
Associate Justice
Citizen
I don't recall meeting you before but you seem like an honorable person, Tim. Nice to meet you.
 

Tim

New member
Comrade Prim said:
I don't recall meeting you before but you seem like an honorable person, Tim. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you as well, Prim! Cool to meet a fellow Russian speaker. Are you originally Russian or did ya learn it through school/work?
 

GraVandius

Part Time Troll
Senator
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Yea definitely the right decision. The minitue someone threatens a RL lawsuit for something as petty as this they should be catapulted right out of the region permanently.
 

Prim

WA Delegate
Associate Justice
Citizen
Tim said:
Comrade Prim said:
I don't recall meeting you before but you seem like an honorable person, Tim. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you as well, Prim! Cool to meet a fellow Russian speaker. Are you originally Russian or did ya learn it through school/work?
Started learning in HS through self-teaching. Then I got a bachelor's degree in Russian (Lang/Lit/History) --

You?
 

Tim

New member
Comrade Prim said:
Tim said:
Comrade Prim said:
I don't recall meeting you before but you seem like an honorable person, Tim. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you as well, Prim! Cool to meet a fellow Russian speaker. Are you originally Russian or did ya learn it through school/work?
Started learning in HS through self-teaching. Then I got a bachelor's degree in Russian (Lang/Lit/History) --

You?
Born there, moved to the US at a little bit before 6, speak it with my parents thus retaining fluency.

I considered a minor in Russian, but sitting through Russian literature courses would kill me so I just stick to having the full native fluency on my resume.
 

Prim

WA Delegate
Associate Justice
Citizen
Tim said:
Comrade Prim said:
Tim said:
Comrade Prim said:
I don't recall meeting you before but you seem like an honorable person, Tim. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you as well, Prim! Cool to meet a fellow Russian speaker. Are you originally Russian or did ya learn it through school/work?
Started learning in HS through self-teaching. Then I got a bachelor's degree in Russian (Lang/Lit/History) --

You?
Born there, moved to the US at a little bit before 6, speak it with my parents thus retaining fluency.

I considered a minor in Russian, but sitting through Russian literature courses would kill me so I just stick to having the full native fluency on my resume.
Haha, yeah. There were some very dry readings I had to get through sometimes. But, I did love the Russian Futurists during the NEP period, Mayakovsky, Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov.
 
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