Recap Harder: Oct 2021 Recaps — Part 2

NEWS/OPINION/ANALYSIS — Recapping the Recaps

“It is generally agreed that the conversation has been a fast-paced impenetrable mass of confusion thus far. Athenodora asks for a break, and Dexanote orders a ten-minute pause. It doesn’t work out.”

— Recap Team, October 2021 Recaps

Other entries in this series:

  1. August 2021
  2. October 2021 — Part 1

(September 2021 recap did not get a dedicated post, in that its main points were covered spread across blog posts here, and on Confic Magazine — here and here)

A nightmare assignment.

Promotions Suspension and Communication

Last time, we introduced the context of the DrAkimoto Scandal and drew some conclusions just with what the recap team was already working with. The one statement they had on the matter (in the first topic collapsible on the Oct 2021 recap) was not really accurate per se. That’s OK. They have 10,000 more words on the matter to have a better grade! So let’s get into it, see what we see, and see what other answers or conclusions we get from it.

Recap team starts by copy-pasting an explanation by DrBleep of the situation, which closely matches the O5 post, as it is a prototype. Bleep does make some extra observations here that, rightfully, seem to communicate that this situation was marvelously mishandled at multiple points and levels, including:

… a complete lack of follow through.

Well said. (These are excluded on the O5 version.) We don’t have to go back into the details, but the amount of miscommunications and lack of novice due diligence it took for this absolute heap of failures is staggering, bordering on improbable.

DrBleep then goes on to expound on why she is so upset at the situation… and I guess herself too as smack in the middle of it…

Admins are unable to outright veto/pull a promotion candidate. Even as captain of MAST, I do not have the ability to outright reject a promotion candidate. Only a captain is able to do so, and only by withdrawing the nomination.

We observed in the Part 1 that this happens behind the scenes in StaffChat with Moderators, as in the case of DrMagnus and Modern_Erasmus shooting down other people’s nominations for JS and OS staff (here and here). We do not have access to Admin chat, but I believe it is unlikely these same individuals would suddenly stop that sort of behavior once made an Admin (which both were in 2020).

Now is a good time to poll Harmony on her Curiouscat, who saw promotions Admin side for over three years:

Also, we are told blatantly in this recap and in the O5 apology that Admins did veto/pull a promotion candidate, even if it was the unintended result of several, several miscommunications. The need for DrBleep to address and reiterate it means that it happened.

Next:

I wanted a conversation in private between Akimoto’s captains an Admin as well as Akimoto himself to discuss this issue, how he had improved, and whether our concerns were unfounded or not. None of this happened, leading to a perceived time crunch for promos to move forward.

The entire alibi rests on the word “perceived”. The way it is pitched is that the deadline was the absolute and incompressible, independent factor, when we all know that’s not so. At best, we have a slothful Admin who waits until the very last second, panicked, to do the work. At worst, we have a liar who is trying to inject a manufactured sense of urgency whereby to soften their apparent goof.

DrBleep most of all didn’t take her own advice and personifies the phrase “complete lack of follow through” single-handedly. I’m sure she is happy to have a captive choir singing the same thing behind her, but she is the soloist here. We’ve observed that there were numerous moments where someone, anyone, could have asked if Akimoto or Yossi was spoken with.

I was willing to delay promos as long as needed in order for proper conversation to occur, but no desire to hold off other than my own was expressed.

This is throwing everyone else under the bus, typical for politicians who have more to lose in public reputation than they do in moral reserves. But the promotion post was Bleep’s responsibility, so in attempted deflection, she is saying that she caved to peer pressure and other people’s dictation of her job. She does not address this as an error or problem that needs reflection.

I have stopped promos completely as I recognize how dirty Akimoto was done.

As made definitive in Part 1, Akimoto’s concerns had not been addressed and this was thrust into the face of DrBleep’s stare, and she didn’t recognize it then. She did not seek an answer to “whether our concerns were unfounded or not”. Instead she and the rest of the Admins in a synchronized hivemind all took it as confirmation of their preconceived suspicions.

For them to continue I wish for a direct conversation with Akimoto to happen, in which discussion about their previous work occurs…

Let’s overlook the word choice here, fit for someone who believes they have royal blood. Let’s instead stop to admire that DrBleep, or again anyone, could have initiated a direct conversation with DrAkimoto easily, and still could. There is almost an unspoken rule sustaining itself even here that high Admins have to get others to do things for them, like carry their messages, which was apparently the problem to begin with. When does a leader stop talking about it, get up off the couch, and do it themselves?

…and I personally will add them to promos.

That’d be great, Bleep, because technically you were the one who personally removed Akimoto from it too.

No admin was assigned responsibility to follow through with Akimoto and his captains.

This is where the lack of self-awareness gets a bit awkward & hilarious, and we see re-enacted before us why and how this system could result in a catastrophic failure of its design… why the Admins’ alibi is intelligent in that is is entirely believable with this team. The responsibility is clearly DrBleep’s. More than anyone, this was DrBleep’s failure. She is the one posting the promotions. She tells us that others didn’t want her to wait, apparently with the unspoken axiom that of course one must always acquiesce to what others want in the course of one’s responsibilities.

She betrays a hint of awareness, but this is semi-public, so quickly pushes that ethical acuity back down. Instead of taking any responsibility for it, like a leader, she writes:

In some ways, this responsibility might have fallen to me, but given my IRL activity, and the fact that this was the third time that Akimoto’s promotion was blocked, with no evaluation of whether or not those pieces in the past were representative of current Akimoto, I feel like this was a systemic and communication issue.

Let me paraphrase that, truncating the fluff: “This responsibility may have been mine, but I feel like it isn’t.”

You’ll start to notice and never unsee that the only other excuse used more commonly by SCP Staff than “miscommunication” when it comes to excusing their blunders is “IRL stuff”. DrBleep floats both here. She tries to pin this as a systemic failure because DrAkimoto was denied promotion a total of 3 times, when in reality and as we very clearly observed in Part 1, this was the precise intention of the system, it working pitch perfectly to get what it wants.

How are improvements in communication and accountability going to be made if the one person whose job it could be said to be deflects responsibility and blames a faceless, ill-defined, and mute “system”? It is a hopeless direction that this deflection sets the rest of the discussion to, as we will see.

Maybe the systemic problem is that everyone blames the system instead of owning up to a mistake. The fragility of DrBleep’s promises for fixing the problem can’t point farther than a few sentences without snapping under their own weight.

We are out of DrBleep’s quoted statement and back into recap’s narration:

Stormfallen questions why “Admin A”’s identity is redacted. Bleep clarifies that this was done to not attract any possible negative attention towards this admin for making the initial complaint.

So let’s get this straight, you redacted the identity of an Admin who did what you have just said was against the rules? And you are blaming the system instead of individuals? You are aghast by how wronged DrAkimoto was, but you want to protect whoever wronged him?

We are in a discussion about holding people accountable, trying to find ways to prevent Admins stepping out of line, and identifying ways that this could have been avoided. How about refusing to hold people accountable, absolving Admins when they step out of line, and ignoring ways that this could have been avoided when they present themselves? No?

In a microcosm of the larger web spun around themselves, Bleep and et al are more concerned with protecting this Admin’s reputation and obfuscating blame.

In fact, we can read further into this. That an Admin’s name is redacted is a clear signal that someone did something wrong. Bleep and the other Admins (and the rest of Staff, and the reader) know it. In fact, if you redacted it, I’m going to assume in the impossibility for any evidence to the contrary that it was you.

The fact that Admins redacted their own names to avoid due criticism is the bottom line. It’s a death rattle. No respectable administration, legitimacy, or operation can survive this. It is no different than what they are doing at large with this entire alibi of a miscommunication. Could you technically call a redaction a “miscommunication”? Think about it.

ROUNDERHOUSE questions whether administrators are cognizant of these communication issues.

Rounderhouse is onto something here, because the level of sheer incompetence and absent-mindedness required to enact this scale of communication error certainly does oblige us to question the intelligence of those involved. But again, don’t be fooled: this story makes those involved look more stupid than they really are, in order to dodge any responsibility for their decisive actions. It’s all too stupid to be stupid.

Dexanote clarifies that he was not involved in the Akimoto situation, and states that it would be best to let LadyKatie, Akimoto’s captain, speak to the latter before the chat moves on to the wider topic of miscommunication. This is disregarded, as Lucio asserts that conversations about both topics can be held simultaneously. Dexanote disagrees. LadyKatie agrees with Dexanote’s disagreement, as Akimoto being hurt takes precedence.

Dexanote has to clarify this because he is hanging by a myocyte as it is.

It’s interesting that Dexanote (I guess rolling a die?) says LadyKatie should talk to Akimoto. Wait wasn’t Yossi more his contact point? Didn’t Yossi tell Akimoto that the Admins had vetoed his nomination? Shouldn’t the person involved in the mix-up be the one to say Staff is sorry for it? Is there any reasoning given for why LadyKatie is chosen?

The cause of this fiasco is communication errors, but we see that oddly shelved by a new and totally performative concern for hurt feelings. If you resolve the communication problems then no one would have gotten their feeli— just nevermind. The hurt DrAkimoto felt was not cared about until it became public knowledge.

ROUNDERHOUSE… claims it paints a picture of administrators passing blame from one another without acknowledgement of systemic communication issues within the staff structure. He feels the statement does not properly accept blame.

I enjoy Rounderhouse in these Staff discussions. He is like a little wolf and goes right for the jugular. We see him — and he knows the Admins’ alibi is full of shit, just to be clear … you can’t kid a kidder — we see him start to address the paper scapegoat that has been constructed to take the blame for the individual Admins’ actions. Rounder almost gets it here, but not quite; it’s not that Admins passing blame around (or redacting it when it lands on someone) is a denial to address the systemic issues, it’s that the passing of it creates the impression of a systemic problem. Thankfully, there truly is no systemic problem; just Admins willing to create it as a blame drain; just Admins unwilling to admit how efficiently their system works.

But the angle is still towards the underbelly; if the Admins are going to try to blame it on something much larger than their individual errors, well then we have much larger problems on our hands. Like for example, that no one in the whole picture made the first effort to close any sort of communication loop, the several that were present and left dangling as loose ends. To be clear; it would be way better for the site and Staff for the one or two people responsible to own up to their error, as that would mean that the communication system between Admins (and thus, all of the communication system) wasn’t completely broken. The Admins choose self preservation. They as a line united in fear of political regicide have committed to their alibi and have to stick to it.

The next part details how perilously close Admins and LadyKatie come to prohibiting discussion on what DrBleep has said and the larger implications it has for the site and Staff structure, despite the refusal to own it putting all the attention there. It’s as if they don’t want a discussion, in the same way a murderer doesn’t want a missing person’s search. The expectation is to be supplied with what happened. If this were a press conference, Admins would get up and walk out without having to answer any questions.

Yossipossi appears and accepts partial blame for the situation, as they were not as resistant to what happened as they should have been. Lucio states that Yossi is not the only one at fault. aismallard agrees with Yossi, stating she should have also pushed back instead of going forward.

Yossi shows up (“appears”) at a convenient time. He was likely observing in the chat running parallel to this one, AdCap. The moral state of leadership on SCP is so backwards, that Yossi’s and Ais’s anomalous acceptance of partial blame makes me strongly consider that they didn’t do anything wrong at all. But the case for these two is six one way, half a dozen the other. This is the moment where the actor’s true feelings overlap with those of the character called for in the script. There is no question that Yossi and Ais were following orders that they should have pushed back against. In expressing remorse for this, they can sneak through their regret that they are lying on behalf of the Admins’ weakness; Yossi and Ais didn’t both simultaneously and independently misinterpret what would have necessarily been a question as an order. It was an order through and through.

But this points to a larger and truly systemic problem; not one of rickety communication lines, but of personal responsibility and leadership character — no one responsible is willing to accept any true blame, make any true apology, because their political stock — collectively & independently — is all they have. Their privilege and luxury as part of SCP Staff is all they have, and they are running on fumes as it is.

Dexanote asks that the people responsible for this situation have time to resolve it before discussion continues. ROUNDERHOUSE objects, stating that the mentality of pushing things aside with the assumption that others will take care of them is what got staff into this situation in the first place.

This is just brutal; to see Rounderhouse routinely K.O. Dexanote like this. To quote The Simpsons, “Stop, stop, he’s already dead!” We’ll see shortly exactly how much time the people responsible for this situation had to resolve it — it’s a large amount.

gee0765 states that is reflective of a larger issue, where discussion does not leave admin chat until the “last minute.”

Here we see the inevitability of failure on the part of the recap ideal. As the usual opening quote to this series points out, it is truly a sham. These are entertaining and nice to have, often enlightening, but again, it is only confirmation of the already-evident diagnosis. The impression of the gist is apparent. The secrecy that these recaps are supposed to address has simply been pushed backwards and tucked away into the AdCap. All the most impactful and meaningful discussion now goes through a sanitation filter prior to ever reaching Staffchat, with the explicit awareness that it might be published in these recaps factored in.

Dexanote states that AdCap has been discussing the problem for the past three days… Rounder asks Dexanote if the situation was unable to be discussed in adminchat over the past three days… Dexanote states that it was ongoing over the weekend, and the conclusion was to let team captains speak to Akimoto and then focus on action going forward.

As hoped for, we get some insight and data to help answer some lingering questions from Part 1. Namely, why did it take so long for DrAkimoto to rescind his retirement? Recall that he retired the same day that the promotion thread went up, which was October 8th, a Friday. Akimoto didn’t indicate in his retirement thread that he was staying until Oct 11th, which was Monday, three days later.

So we can see that Admins were discussing this for three days, and after that time, the decision was made to “let” the captains talk to Akimoto. That explains that time gap.

This begs the question; what exactly was there to discuss for three days? The details? Details are important to something like an apology post on O5, sure, but shouldn’t get in the way of rectifying a clear mistake right away. In fact, this is ironically what Dexanote and LadyKatie are arguing to the rest of Staff here; that the details can be ironed out later, but that the hurt feelings need to be addressed immediately.

Why did the deliberation on how to best solve the miscommunication — which ends up to be just talking to DrAkimoto — take three days? Why did this immediately obvious and inescapable conclusion cost three days of private Adminchat discussion? Why did captains need permission to reach out to Akimotoand tell him it was a mistake?

Again, I hate to sell my interpretation here so aggressively, but maybe it is already passively coming to you; this is more in-line with Admins trying to come up with a believable alibi. Those details are essential prior to someone contacting Akimoto, because they know Akimoto deserves an explanation.

Dexanote, suspicious by this point as maybe the Admin whose name was expunged from the record, has nowhere to go and no move left to make other than prolapse his brain:

Dexanote feels that continuing the conversation before LadyKatie is done would not be useful, as active discussion tends to leave things and people “behind.”

… in that this is what the Admins just did themselves for three days.

[Dexanote] clarifies that he will not be stopping the conversation. Lucio and Dexanote briefly argue about whether Dexanote had already attempted to do so. Dexanote states that at this time the conversation can only consist of discussion related to how people “dropped the ball,” as he feels policy discussion should not continue at this time.

The second sentence proves Lucio correct in the first one. The level of gaslighting and staffspeak has reached an absurdity. “I am not limiting the conversation… you can only talk about this part though.” I didn’t realize how dictatorial and tyrannical Admins were allowed to be in Staffchat. It’s no wonder that Staff themselves are so pro-censorship; they are being censored all the time as a matter of normalcy. That Dexanote is dictating what can and can’t be said, in the midst of him being reprimanded for sequential abuse of fiat power — with no less than three gigantic discussion threads on O5 revolving around his misuse of power (something we saw in the June 2021 Re:News has been historic for Dexanote, something he did at the first tastes of power as a chat OP) — is not missed by me, and I hope it isn’t by you either.

I hope a good point can be observed on the surface of things as the obvious truth that it is: this level of discussion and controversy doesn’t occur when there only existed some miscommunications. The reason this discussion is so voluminous and ridiculous is not an accident, as tangential and errant as SCP Staff can get. What you are watching happen here is an internal earthquake. The Admins have fucked up. They got called out and don’t want to admit it. Someone flipped on the lights suddenly and they froze for three days. They huddle before coming up with their story. They tell the rest of Staff they aren’t allowed to prioritize the things they just did. They contradict themselves numerous times in the span of a few statements.

The rest of the Staff smell this. There are no amount of words, excuses, explanations, redactions, limits on discussion, or fake concern for “handling things in the right way” that can deter these hounds from the scent. You are seeing the human brain mesh in a resplendent synergy with an animalistic instinct. Being beasts of prey, Admins are cornered. Fear is pouring out of them. And they are telling the incursion that they are their masters. The rest of the Staff is not having it. Good on them.

ROUNDERHOUSE expresses the concern that while discussion is stopped in staffchat, it is continuing in AdCap.

The Admins did not expect this level of push-back or insight, and retreat into their safe spaces to huddle more. Their private chat room now serves the purpose and privilege that Staffchat did up to the year 2021. Rules for thee and not for me at its finest.

aismallard admits that she did go to AdCap, but should not have, and ports a message originally posted there stating that she feels staff should be allowed to discuss the statement.

“Admits” is a funny word. You “admit” something when you are in the wrong, or intended to keep something hidden. Admins are hiding things. Why is talking in Adcap here given the moral hue of being wrong, something to hide? Because it is not a chat room by this point. It is a war bunker on the other side of the battlefield. It’s a place meant to shelter & fortify the Admins; to retreat there is to admit the guilt of a weakness that can’t stand up to the directness of those in the Staffchat. It’s where weapons — deliciously termed “statement-crafting” by gee — are conceived, put together, and loaded to be brought back into Staffchat; to attempt another wave of a defense on their heels.

Ais has spilled blueprints. The blueprints show that there is debate about whether or not to censor Staffchat’s interest in the smelly subject; whether or not to muzzle those who have sniffed out the obvious. This tells us that Dexanote, at the least, was making his case in AdCap in favor of authoritarian informational control. I thought this was an explanation of what went wrong? Why are people not allowed to discuss things about it? Are some concerned what will be found if the pressing questions continue? Why can’t these Staff just softball these Admins?

aismallard wishes that staff as a whole should contribute feedback to the [official DrBleep] statement [on the Akimoto situation]. Zyn agrees… Limeyy feels the statement, being a timeline of events without opinion…

Without opinion? Riiight. What about lies by omission? Lies by structure? Whose timeline of events?

aismallard asks ROUNDERHOUSE who should accept blame and apologize. He states that the situation was rushed, as Akimoto was never communicated with during the three weeks between when issues were first raised and October 11th.

Holy shit. Look at me, the little dumb outcast blog man. I had no idea. 3 weeks? There were 3 weeks between the nomination, the Admin’s “red flag” discussion, and the promotion thread deadline?? Here I was thinking it was a few days! Three weeks?!?!

There’s a detail DrBleep didn’t include in the O5 summary. Wonder why. Probably because it tips the top-heavy insanity of this alibi over and onto its face. No one got in touch with Yossi in three weeks?!? No one remembered LadyKatie in three weeks?!? IRL stuff prevented DrBleep from getting to the bottom of what is unavoidable her responsiblity for three weeks?!?

And Dexanote wants the discussion hedged so that those responsible can have the time to fix things and come up with great excuses? Your time is up!

gee asks why staffers retreat to AdCap, and not the sensitive staff discussion channel. aismallard answers that it is possibly because AdCap has been around longer, and staffers have a certain familiarity with it.

Let’s take a moment and ask if Aismallard is acting like an individual who was innocently caught up in the crossfire of massive miscommunications. I would be pretty irritated and feeling wronged; I’ve already apologized more than my superiors for it, who should have more blame. I would be just as irritated that the Admins don’t have the command or strength to face the Staffchat to help me explain the errors, leaving me in the frontlines to absorb blows.

Instead Ais is making excuses for other Admins; and a stinker of one here… that the reason Admins retreat into Adcap is because somehow, suddenly, for some reason, the chronology sequentiality of IRC chat rooms is the determining factor for deciding where to converse.

Let me type very clearly here: the SCP Admins operate on the assumption that their constituency is anoxically stupid. They want the SCP public particularly to be a cowed people; to be empty skulls accepting an overflow of propagandistic drivel. You would have to be drinking bleach to be so dumb as to buy that line from Ais. Again, no one is amused. Thankfully, the rest of Staff present is not as dumb as Ais and the Admins hope.

ROUNDERHOUSE agrees that AdCap users may not ask themselves whether a conversation belongs there, and he questions why reforms have not changed this behavior.

At least someone is holding the administration’s feet to the fire regarding their lack of progress on things they promised in the Town Halls. Otherwise, one would think the whole thing was just a placation attempt.

LilyFlower appears and states that she was the first to bring the situation to AdCap, and did so because she feels it is the fastest way to get the attention of captains and admins.

Lily “appears” to contribute relevance to the exact conversation at that moment; perhaps she too was in AdCap watching all this, what with her recent promotion to captain of Licensing, now that the racoon-hyena-crow hybrid finally got a clue and resigned.

This is the second time we are getting information that answers some lingering questions from Part 1. This bit fills in some gaps as to who LilyFlower brought her question to; it was the Admins/captains in Admin chat. So, Lily went into AdCap and asked something like “Why was Akimoto removed from the promotion thread?” We now know it must have been to both the Admins and Yossi at the same time. How do we figure that?

Recall that the Admins were all on the same page; they believed that Yossi had been spoken to about Akimoto, and that Akimoto had decided to resign rather than address their “red flags”. So, if Lily had asked just the Admins her question, the situation as a miscommunication wouldn’t have the opportunity to present itself. Same as if Lily asked the question to just Yossi, who would have responded according to his understanding. The only way Lily could have brought something new, something actionable to the table was if both Admins and Yossi were present.

We can imagine the Admins and Captains (e.g. Yossi) were finally able to speak their contradictory answers in plain sight (“He withdrew”, “He was vetoed”), kicking off recognition of the situation as a giant miscommunication. So it seems as though the fix was to have Yossi and the Admins present in the same room and talking to one another about the Akimoto issue. That’s all it took.

But this makes the circumstances even weirder. It highlights how odd it was that Yossi was not himself in AdCap during those three weeks despite being a captain. It reframes that curious, excess, and unexplained detail in Part 1 about how Yossi and Ais happened to be on a voice chat together at the time the incompressible deadline meant Admins needed someone to talk to Yossi.

Here’s the actual line from the O5 apology:

aismallard, in an unrelated voice call with Yossi, quickly mentions the concerns to Yossi.

We’re asked to believe that either Aismallard voice chatted Yossi for an unrelated reason in this pressure cooker of a moment and then casually mentions this issue almost as an aside… odd… or that Aismallard and Yossi happened to already be on the voice chat together when someone needed them to be. Odd either way, actually.

From our Part 1:

With the nominations going public in less than 24 hours, aismallard (an admin) talks to Yossi while apparently already on the phone with him “in an unrelated voice call” (why this detail is necessary is anyone’s guess)…

We now have a guess. The detail is included because the alibi only works if Yossi is not in the AdCap chat. Otherwise, there would be no plausible deniability for the Admins’ feigned ignorance over their miscommunication. Someone would have played the part of Lily much sooner and the situation would have been exposed earlier, prior to the posting of the nominations thread even.

We start to see how weird it is actually that all of the Admins’ interactions with Yossi in this case is done through an Admin intermediary, Aismallard. With more data, we can see how crucially weird it is that Yossi and the Admins weren’t in AdCap together in those three weeks or were but didn’t once talk about the concerning Akimoto situation.

But that’s apparently what happened, and so it took Lily asking the question in front of everyone, now that for some reason they were all together at that moment, after all the cards had been played and the bomb detonated. It’s odd that, as Lily states in defense of her and others defaulting to chatting there, AdCap is apparently the best way to get in touch with Admins and captains, yet the task of getting in touch with Yossi the night before the promotions went up was delegated via different means than that.

gee suggests that moving AdCap’s position in the server channel listing would help, as its position may encourage this behavior out of convenience.

I just want to point out how ridiculous this is; the difference between channel listings on Discord is literally less than the range of your opposable thumb.

aismallard reveals the server’s channel structure, which is as follows:

[Business channels]
[Casual channels]
[Adcap channels]
(business, then casual)
[Admin channels]
(business, then casual)

ROUNDERHOUSE feels the existence of an adcap-casual channel is unnecessary.

That point I made about casual shit-talking of users and the sort of double-standard offenses that got these recaps going in the first place can be made again here. Rounderhouse, of course being a key member of The Yurt, has the prerogative of continuously wedging himself and the rest of the community along with him into all places of secrecy, to turn them into a transparent place for political surveillance and data mining; which he skillfully advocates for here. Doing his job well.

CuteGirl agrees with Rounder’s point, but not his tone, as it would make people automatically defensive.

Tone policing is hindering the tough questions and hard points from being addressed in Staffchat. You have to be very polite when pointing out other people’s expensive lies.

ManyMeats states that channels can be difficult to keep up with, which may result in miscommunication.

Admin ManyMeats primes and revs that favored miscommunication engine, just in case any other bad HR/PR happens here.

The next paragraph goes into how the demand for DrBleep’s official account of the story was high. Some had attempted to stay the delivery of the official statement from Staffchat, but these defenses failed and everyone ended up agreeing that it should be posted to Staffchat and O5 sooner rather than later. We can appreciate then that DrBleep’s posting of the official account and apology was not finished, despite this happening after three days of deliberations in AdCap chat. Bleep posted the O5 apology on Oct 13, more than 24 hours after LadyKatie talks with Akimoto and he rejoins staff.

I just have to wonder what was taking so long, and what the hold up was.

ManyMeats shows a draft of new rules for AdCap.

Let’s take a moment to recognize that this bundle of miscommunications has somehow resulted in a complete staff restructuring. Again, miscommunications don’t do that, they don’t rise to that level. Clear abuse, the reckoning of which is denied and shirked by Admin fiat lying, does. Just as the uproar of the Town Halls dismantled Staff’s previously safe space for exemption from the rules, so now is this uproar doing so for AdCap. An equal and opposite reaction of “no fun” is coming, because Admins and Staff alike have cavorted in the privileged political immunity of their ruling class for far too long.

ROUNDERHOUSE feels this will not prevent the members of AdCap from conducting all their business there; gee also doesn’t think it helps, since it means only Adcap members can move topics from the AdCap channel. Meats feels it’s an improvement, and that when a conversation is being held in AdCap which should not be held there, the users involved should be “called out.”

I don’t have a dog in this fight, and the back-and-forth is interesting to watch. Rounderhouse, he of the Yurt, wants badly to systematically disassemble any Staff/Admin safe haven for ongoing political leverage. ManyMeats wants to safeguard and preserve the Admin power of information control. ManyMeats has the losing side of this, in that he advocates and essentially promises on faith that, again, Admins will police themselves… something we’ve just seen they won’t do, going so far as to redact one of their names to avoid just ire & bad publicity. So, the proper channel for such calling out is determined to be “#staff-discussion”. And then…

gee immediately invokes this suggestion by stating that the conversation presently occurring in AdCap should be occuring in #staff-questions.

Have you ever watched (American) football, and you see a receiver thrown the ball, and immediately upon catching it, they are leveled by a defensive player who saw the play coming from a mile away and timed it perfectly? It looks like this:

Image courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks, and is used here under Fair Use.

That’s ManyMeats on the left, thinking he was about to score a touchdown.

ROUNDERHOUSE wagers his final donut that someone in AdCap has been complaining about this very discussion within the past hour. Members of AdCap briefly dispute, investigate, then confirm this.

Again, with the ceremony and artificial delay of what everyone else already knows. They didn’t need to briefly dispute or investigate. They knew it as well as anybody. It is curious that Rounderhouse has such insight into the specific and real-time happenings in AdCap.

ROUNDERHOUSE feels the statement about miscommunication merely lays blame on aismallard and YossiPossi for other people’s communications problems.

Like I said, the jugular. He won’t be satisfied until there’s no more AdCap. I hate to agree with the ol’ Yurter, but it’s the best move and idea. Staff clings to their secrecy like a trust funder. Woe unto anyone on Staff who naively believed that the Town Hall placated the revolution for reform, and that the uncompromising push for total transparency and surveillance was somehow, someway going to stop at Staffchat.

gee reiterates that AdCap is holding a conversation which should be occurring in the “public” channels… TheDeadlyMoose notes that they are heading the proposal for the “intrastaff issues team” and did not expect to see it discussed until it was ready for discussion.

Our third instance of new data filling in cliffhangers from Part 1. Again, you could see the shape moving beneath the surface, but confirmatory details are always nice. The “intra-Staff” issues team was a result of a larger conversation regarding just how exceptionally poor this administration apparently is at communication and holding themselves accountable. So now we have a new “intra-Staff issues team” in an already overbloated bureaucracy, weighing now on a team of Admins that are also trying to feign being overworked to excuse themselves from their blunders.

ROUNDERHOUSE opines that spreading the workload across more people will reduce the possibility of one person’s problems causing problems for the entire site, particularly if things aren’t automatically sequestered into the least-public channels where most staff can’t help with them.

If anyone on or near SCP Staff is reading this and doesn’t already know; Rounderhouse is not trying to help you.

ROUNDERHOUSE feels like Moose’s team proposal “adds bloat.” Moose feels ROUNDER is speaking with authority on a topic he can’t know anything about yet

ROUNDERHOUSE (you have to shout his name) is right; you don’t need a crystal ball to know that a new list of candidates, a vote, a new captain, a new co-captain, etc etc are going to come from this newly proposed team. Guess who will need to oversee this new team? That’s right; an Admin. Policy printer go brrrrrrrtt!

In the next paragraphs, we see more bombastic clashing; the epitome of new age vs old school; Yurt vs Staff; they have their two kaijus here, Rounderhouse and thedeadlymoose exchanging swipes. It’s like watching a nerdy Godzilla movie. But it isn’t particularly interesting retold beyond what is already on the recaps. No lines capture the polarity of the worldviews and agendas more perfectly than these:

ROUNDERHOUSE posts an image of an “ideal staffchat” where #admins, #adcap, #sensitive-staff-discussion, and #staff-discussion all filter into one common #staff-casual. Limeyy calls this “based” and gee confirms that this “ideal staffchat” is the same as current staffchat but with fewer casual channels. Moose later asks if this was a joke.

Given the characterizations and motives attributed to Rounderhouse by Moose here — which I would say are accurate — I don’t see how anyone could consider the Yurt as a politically-ambitious project to be unbelievable by now.

ROUNDERHOUSE feels admins naturally tend to conduct self-policing behind closed doors “so as to not project an outward image of a divided house. this is effective, but is catastrophic for accountability.”

Why would Rounder believe this? Did the Admins redact one of their names to avoid taking responsibility or something?

I’d like to point out that Moose is single-handedly taking on the workload for what is a noticeably feeble and absent administration (moose is technically retired staff). (Correction: thedeadlymoose is “reserve” staff.)

The following paragraphs are thankfully uninteresting and not very important. We have the christening of the “IntraStaff Issues Team”, something we will doubtless see officialized soon, and whose justification and purpose will be inseparable from the handwaved abuse we’ve seen the Admins heedlessly attempt in this Akimoto episode. The recap meanders, but along the way we are not topically surprised to see such adjascent topics revisited as the asymmetrical privileges of elite ruling class groups like Admins, the failure of any censure on the part of Dexanote and DrEverettMann (DrMagnus has escaped out the backdoor and returned unscathed through the side one), as well as intra-staff Rule 0 violations. This last one is something everyone in attendance seems to agree has not been solved or handled very well, despite it being a primary aim of these very recaps.

It is suggested that Intra-Staff Rule 0 violations are something this new team should be responsible for. Again, this is like Zeno’s paradox; we are no closer to any solution, simply dividing the remaining distance in half again. More and more distance is paradoxically created out of seemingly smaller and smaller spaces. (The same misstep will happen, as it does again and again, by the very end of this section, with the sheer bulk of this recap justifying the proposal of a “Focus Group”, which will limit the number of Staff voices for recap going forward…)

A few salient moments remain:

Moose responds to this point with exasperation, arguing that StaffChat’s Rule 0 should be replaced by ‘be excellent to each other’ with a body other than Disc enforcing it.

Moose is correct in that Rule 0 violations should never have been applied to Staff. When you have Staff, you should have people who are mature enough to know how to treat one another in a respectful way and keep a large-scope mentality. We call that “having long eyes”. By the time you are Staff, you should also have the maturity to not say anything that you wouldn’t want anyone and everyone else seeing you say; a missed lesson that is now necessitating these recaps.

Again reminding ourselves that Admins took the opportunity to black-box who was initially “red flagging” Akimoto’s promotion; we can see just how far from Moose’s idea the current Staff, up to and including the Admins, truly are. It says a whole lot when your aim is to maintain and strengthen the information asymmetry you have awarded yourself as a privilege over others; and when you are content to see a compounding crisis play out on the false pretenses of your alibi.

Moose believes that accelerating the censure process [for Dexanote and DrMann] would solve no problems beyond sating calls for blood, and further that all arguments for this have been personal. ROUNDERHOUSE clarifies that… the censure is not just an acknowledgement of fucking up but is an acknowledgement of allowing an admin/Disc member to abuse their power for a personal grudge, and that a desire for accountability and accepting mistakes being equated with looking for blood is what has led to staff’s unwillingness to enact certain changes.

Damn. Moose got owned here. I’ll also chime in; Moose tries to argue that the demand for censure of Dexanote and Mann is outlandish and disproportionate to their involvement, saying that only DrMagnus’ actions constituted the true abuse. To Moose’s point, Magnus got away relatively unscathed, with all accountability still being at their own hand, defying the spirit of the discussion here that Admins shouldn’t have unilateral control over their own disciplinary sentences. But in mentioning how Magnus is the real villain here, Moose argues against themself, in that those at the head of Disc/AHT (Dexanote and Mann) should still be pursuing some form of applied discipline to Magnus. Instead, in the eyes of Dexanote, Mann, and moose, Magnus’ self-censure (let’s call it what it is; cowardly running away) somehow suffices. Dexanote and Mann should be censured for their allowance of Magnus’ escape from being held externally accountable, and his stealthy resumption of an Admin-like position in the Chat Staff.

Moose concedes any legitimacy to their side of the argument when they later write:

Moose regrets that DrMagnus left staff instead of “choosing to hear admins out on why it was wrong of him to do what he did,” but notes that since this nevertheless occurred, it would be out of line to press him on the issue… Moose notes that censuring a non-staff member, as Magnus is now, would be overreach.

But let’s not let this bad take stand alone, because at least Moose means well. Let’s upstage the foolishness here and throw in another’s interpretation of the situation:

CuteGirl states her belief that Magnus did not act maliciously at all and that it is frustrating to see Magnus painted as an SCP bogeyman for screwing up during a point of high stress… CuteGirl later states that it is possible that Magnus just retired anyway, and that the possibility of censure may have not been related… CuteGirl feels that Magnus has been aggressive in his defense because of the long-term nature of his experience, what she calls being “low-key harassed.” CuteGirl also feels that if Magnus was facing censure and resigned, that does not constitute avoiding responsibility… CuteGirl claims that Magnus is afraid of being downvote brigaded if he posts.

Are we sure CuteGirl isn’t a sockpuppet of DrMagnus?

Magnus has been harassed? What about someone like Cerastes? What in light of what Magnus did, did Cerastes do to deserve what could easily be called “low-key harassment”? Did Cerastes abuse his power?

Downvotes? Boo hoo. A real writer would write. Fuck the downvotes.

As you can see without my saying so, CuteGirl’s only competition for biggest ditz on the SCP Staff is MomBun. This is the whole skill set that someone in a high position of power should be there for; handling themselves and others well in points of high stress. CuteGirl thinks that the softest of people should bend the hardest of knives.

Actions have reactions. Misjudgement result in ridicule. Errors result in consequences. There is a cohort of minds at SCP who feel that everyone should be given honors for existing, regardless of outcome, when this is certainly not the judicious approach Staff takes when it comes to nominating and approving users into their fold.

In this vein, “harassment” is also fusing definitionally with “criticism”. I would know; it’s why I was banned from SCP.

ROUNDERHOUSE feels that Moose is reluctant to admit that these issues might be larger than they presently appear. He suggests that a poll of SCPD would set this right. Athenodora offers to do the same in #site19, and ROUNDERHOUSE says he doesn’t care if she does. Later, Athenodora notes, anecdotally, that she has seen no such sentiment of wanting Magnus censured during regular discussion in the IRC. She further states that, as far as she can tell, the recent IRC network ownership changeover has not significantly affected the composition of #site19’s membership and would not compromise the validity of a poll of #site19’s members.

That’s because those poor people of #site19 aren’t reading this blog.

Moose expresses frustration that they have not received evidence that censuring Dexanote is a high priority outside of the views of “a few JS and non-staff.” They say they haven’t seen evidence that censure would actually resolve the issues these users have with the Wiki’s staff.

In reply to that last statement, it wouldn’t; just as giving a starving person a crumb of bread would solve the hunger. Would you still not give it? We can see the behind-the-scenes cooking of the O5 thread that voted to expedite the censure of Dexanote, with the overwhelming majority of voting Staff showing Moose how incorrect they are here. One the one hand, Moose represents a more traditional and time-tested brand of reason that is the only remaining headwind against the Yurt. On the other, it seems to at times be incredibly out of touch and lumbering.

Moose then explains how, as someone who does not participate in Disc and whose role is to advise admins overall, they advised Dexanote to recuse himself, not self-censure, and allow for Disc to assess the situation for him. Disc then assessed that they could not censure due to general confusion, and because Dexanote was receiving personal abuse.

This is why you can’t have a culture that equates victimization with moral correctness, and have a functioning judicial system. We see it stated here that Dexanote wasn’t pursued by Disc because he was getting some sort of mean PMs? How does that have anything to do with the facts of the case? It doesn't, but if you’ve let oppression equity dictate who is correct, as SCP has, then you “Disc” team is susceptible to failures and counterbalances of this sort. This is a very gameable system by the way, especially for those of high political standing, as it weaponizes a just clap-back of earned ridicule as offsetting.

This is another insanity from which SCP can’t escape. Similarly, you can’t have a safe and increasingly safer place when the culture is so gravitated around personal gain and ego. All this is an indication, a clue trying to speak to you, that a wrong turn was taken somewhere down the line.

On that note, AHT, DISC, Admins; all are discussed here in great detail next, making it evident that despite things like the Site Charter and the culture of extreme, bureaucratic procession, details are lost on nearly everyone as to what these teams are, what they do, what they can’t do, and what their powers are. It might not be any surprise that there is room for abuse in all these lost details, but the real kicker is that the creation of all these teams and intricacies are what create the pockets of abuse, and empower people to slip into quiet abuses in the first place. Thus, Staff’s solution to this problem for years has been the oxymoron of increasing the probability of it happening more. They are still doing it now, in talking about how to reform these teams and even create new ones, instead of taking a breath, counting to ten, and face the hard and honest moment of asking what of the structure they can take away.

I can summarize all of the concerns here in this way: over the years, the success of the SCP Wiki has been like a thermal vent; warm and bubbly. A crowd of bottom feeders have made it their preferred basking site. A convoluted bureaucracy has sprouted up around the thermal vent, which has grown cold. Now hollow and with no dynamics to it, the vent acts as a step-stool to the reveled heights of the bureaucracy, who choose to ignore that the entire set up is no longer functioning as it used to. The growth of those around the top of the mound has covered the opening of the vent, not that it now matters anyway. It becomes top heavy, and starts to collapse, taking the rest of the colony and dilapidated vent along with it, finally exposing it as dead for anyone who was closing their eyes throughout this process.

Staff’s structure has caught the site in a fractal prison, where the only way out of the current holdings and problems is directly into identical problems just on a different scale, whether larger or smaller. The paradoxical catch-22 is that Admin power has become so self-awarded that any team aimed to moderate or mitigate their powers and purview would necessarily need to be moderated and purviewed by an Admin. This shows up, like a crystalline structure, again and again, even in the recap; reinforcing the solidity in which the site is hopelessly petrified and encased. This applies in a very meta fashion to this discussion itself; what we are reading of this topic itself has been sanitized and signed off on by AdCap.

The site has gorged itself for too long on the opulence of being a cultural phenomenon and forgotten its identity as a writing site. It has let that fall to the side, to be replaced by a really crappy version of their in-universe bureaucracy and social media platform signatures. I have assessed the situation thoroughly, with touch-and-go beliefs regarding this from time-to-time, but there is zero hope for SCP. It is a terminal patient who is out of treatment options. Anyone trying to recapture it, even if a totally contrary political regime, is misguided and not seeing the bigger picture.

At some point, somehow, the conversation finally gets back on to the original topic of the DrAkimoto scandal.

LadyKatie announces that DrAkimoto has rejoined staff. stormfallen asks if promotions will be resumed and an O5 post made. DrBleep says she will reopen promotions tomorrow.

Recall that this conversation was taking place after the three-days that Admins deliberated in their AdCap chat about Akimoto’s public statement of resignation somewhere around Oct 11th. This falls in line with Akimoto’s timing on his retirement thread that indicated he was back on staff. Again, we see on the promotion thread that Bleep reopened the voting on Oct 13th or so.

This is of note because the miscommunication was resolved the same day that Admins finally gave the order to one of Akimoto’s captains to talk to him. So, if they had done this the same day he resigned, that time gap would have been sutured. Again, why would a team of Admins who have realized on October 8th that Akimoto’s resignation was all just a miscommunication wait 3 days to give permission to clear it up with the aggrieved?

I want to take a moment to laugh, because that’s really why I’m doing this, and why anyone should be reading this blog. Usually, it is at Staff. Now, it will be along with them. I gotta say, this recap team has a great sense of humor and I really appreciate them for it. So here are some fine moments from them before we end:

By this point TheDeadlyMoose is responding to comments made in the upscroll. They will continue to do this for the rest of the night, on an increasingly-long delay.

EstrellaYoshte appears and personally requests that everyone involved in this discussion refrain from continuing for a period of time, as keeping up with the conversation at this point is becoming daunting, as multiple users are talking at the same time. Six hours of uninterrupted conversation would follow this message.

It is generally agreed that the conversation has been a fast-paced impenetrable mass of confusion thus far. Many of the recappers agree, in private… Athenodora asks for a break, and Dexanote orders a ten-minute pause. It doesn’t work out, particularly as Moose is still time-travelling… A moment later they rejoin everyone else in the present, and apologize for violating the stop order.

GremlinGroup reminds staff that the September recap is up for review; reminded of the Recap team, DrBleep expresses her sympathies and presciently notes “This is going to be hell.” The conversation briefly turns to how much it probably sucks to be on Recap.

The conversation has largely abated, leaving TheDeadlyMoose to respond to posts made over one hour ago.

Speaking to stormfallen one hour in the past, Moose feels that…

Moose responds to something HarryBlank said while he was engaged in recapping “events from seven hours ago,” and he nearly dies in fright.

The once-small and almost microscopic DrAkimoto scandal has mushroomed into a cloud of unimaginable scale and a diffused, lasting, far-reaching radiation. It has shaken the core of the site structure. No area of it has escaped the eye of potential reform. It kickstarted the push for Dexanote and Mann’s censure again that we are seeing sprout up on O5, and the numerous clarifications over Admin fiat... more appropriate in their etiology and timing than what was initially obvious. It promises to see the creation of two new Staff teams; one that will explicitly deal with Intra-Staff Rule 0 violations, and another that will artificially limit the amount of discussion recaps will see. We will also see Rule 0 itself be reworded.

All because of some you’ll-never-believe-it-wow miscommunications? I think not.

Part 3 will cover the remainder of the Oct 2021 recap. Stay tuned.

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Separation of confic and state. The SCP Foundation Wiki’s most dedicated and hated critic. Co-founder @ Confic Magazine LLC.

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Lack of Lepers

Lack of Lepers

Separation of confic and state. The SCP Foundation Wiki’s most dedicated and hated critic. Co-founder @ Confic Magazine LLC.

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