NS Forum Mods reveal Jakker's Misuse of Moderation Tools
New Information about disgraced former forum moderator leads to new reforms, Council of Hawks denies wrongdoing
Written by John Laurens
In a rare move by NationStates (NS) Moderators, Senior Issues Moderator Sedgistan posted in the NS Gameplay forum to disclose actions by former Forum Moderator Jakker in regards to Karputsk, who was exposed as a spy operating under the alias 'Ursidae' in The Black Hawks (TBH).
In April 2020, TBH discovered a spy within their ranks, named “Ursidae.” At the time, several players suspected that Jakker, then a senior member of TBH as well as a moderator on the NationStates Forums, had abused moderation powers to look up the IP Address of a nation called “Lmaoofl”, a known alias of Karputsk. With the confirmed IP Address of Karputsk, it would become trivially easy for Jakker to determine the identity of the spy by comparing that IP address to those of TBH members.
In an episode of the Ministry of Pod recorded hours before the moderator disclosure, the Director of Europeia’s Intelligence Agency (EIA) Kazaman recounted how “Lmaoofl” was a formerlly “clean” name used by Karputsk as part of the Founderless Regions Alliance’s attempts to infiltrate Europeia during the Champagne Jam / Falconias scandal of the 2009-2010 era (25:30 of the episode).
When the moderation team confronted Jakker, he claimed that he had looked up the IP of Lmaoofl out of personal curiosity. He then apologized for the action and further claimed that the information had never been used. Sedgistan, however, notes that the moderation team cannot say for certain if Jakker’s account is accurate or not. Sedgistan notes that in the wake of the event, “the Admin team [has]implemented a much improved logging system to ensure indefinite recording of forumside IP lookups by Moderators and accountability.”
NS gameplayers reacted with a mix of gratitude regarding the Moderation Team’s transparency, and disbelief that Moderators trusted Jakker’s flimsy excuse in the first place. Jakker, who was removed from NS and the Moderation Team for unrelated and unknown behavior, was a sophisticated gameplayer, and few, including Sedgistan, give him the benefit of the doubt.
Ever-Wandering Souls, a General and Council Advisor for TBH, provided some additional context, reporting that Ursidae had been under investigation by the Council of Hawks in the months prior to Jakker’s actions, but that “it's entirely likely … that Jakker illicitly confirmed [the Karp-Ursidae IP Address Match] for himself, and then used that to guide the other council member towards public proof, without their knowledge.”
Souls also confirmed that Ursidae was assigned as an ambassador to Europeia in the hopes that Europeia “might flag the account as a duplicate IP via their own security if dispatched their (sic) as an ambassador.”
Souls forcefully denounced the Moderation Team, saying “Staff reaction to [Jakker’s IP search] probably should have been stronger than it was; They also could have attempted to confirm with someone other than Jakker himself the claim that he was confirming something already known. As I said above, I think that [Jakker’s] claim should probably be called a lie.”
Several other prominent gameplayers reacted as well. Speaking on suspicions that Jakker had used the information discovered to nudge the Council of Hawks in the right direction, Rejected Realms Army High Commander Frattastan said “... there definitely was the feeling that someone had just put Karp's name on the table around the same time as the forum post, which allowed you to put together a decent case once you were on the right track.” Consul of the League Quebecshire was also concerned, stating “Ultimately, the how matters a lot here, regardless of inevitability or lack thereof, and it's really disappointing that this went down this way. To be clear, I don't think TBH Council knew or was involved, but to me it seems exceedingly clear that Jakker used his knowledge to nudge and hint Council in the right direction. The acceleration of the timeline along lends extreme credence to that.”
Sedgistan is confident that reform to the Moderator logging system will prevent systematic future abuse, but did note that “it could be a possibility that this wasn't an isolated incident” because of the nature of the historical IP logging system.
Editor's Note: This article has been edited to fix spelling errors.
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