SCP Staff’s Legal Paranoia

Lack of Lepers
48 min readFeb 9, 2022

NEWS/OPINIONIs eating the Wiki alive from the inside out.

“Finally, we admit that the “bad faith” argument holds no ground and should not have been brought up during initial townhall discussions. Upon reflection, we recognize and agree that basing policy decisions and interactions with the community at large with a hypothetical malicious entity is fruitless and contributes to unnecessary paranoia.” — Naepic, SCP Wiki Staff, 22 Sept 2021, Town Halls

The fact that this subject demanded what is now my longest blog post should speak volumes without a further word.

This is the sort of progression that needs to be written down. It’s not fit for the Magazine because, generally, people don’t read about how idiotic the SCP Staff is for sheer entertainment (I do, and you do)… the most I can get away with there is a legal history of SCP-173. While the supporting examples you’ll see below are fit subjects for the Confic Wiki, the holistic conclusion here isn’t, because it doesn’t really rise to the level of a definitive, cite-able act or event… this is death by a million pinpricks, surely as an axe blow to the head. I’d gladly cover it on the Podcast, but it would take up the whole hour, not to mention stifle any organic discussion. It often benefits me to simply point to my blog and say “go read this”. And it won’t fit on the new reaction video series, for maybe obvious reasons.

But boy does it need expressing, and hot damn does this show through clearly when witnessed. So thank goodness for this blog as a tool. (If you’d like to donate, Confic Magazine LLC supports and pays for this blog.)

Since 2018 or so, the Licensing Team has been on an unstoppable rampage. It has re-imagined itself as the stickler-enforcer of the site’s Creative Commons compliance for all images, text, and etc content of the site, as opposed to its more historical role of policing outer-community content, references, attribution, and merchandise issues. In the last year or two, has run straight off a mental cliff.

The task of demonstrating the ungrounded absurdity the SCP Wiki is now suspended in is formidable, but only insofar as it is made up of numerous, small, easy steps.

The only thing I won’t be able to demonstrate clearly is why.

First, it’s important to know that the site was founded on intellectual thievery, on multiple counts. Three times over to be exact, and that’s just right out of the gate. The total history of this can be viewed here. Familiarize thyself.

Moving on, we’ll now take a look into notable legal moments in the history of the SCP Wiki. We will note how Staff has historically over-reacted to perceived legal threats, and over-emphasized their likelihood of being legally targeted, whether out of ego, ignorance, greed-filled anxiety, or a substantial helping of each.

Despite the SCP Wiki’s questionable origins, the legal landscape was quite barren for a good while. The early years are defined by a total lack of understanding on the part of the participants over anything to do with legal issues or copyright matters. Things really get cooking around 2012, when the understanding of the CC license first came to be. Numerous events were swirling around in this primordial soup at the same time, but one certain event can serve as a definitive starting line…


Mentioned briefly in the above Magazine article, but not nearly investigated for what it is worth, is the Dragonsnails incident. Dragonsnails was the title given to SCP-111, posted in May of 2012. This SCP did the exact thing that SCP-173 had done 4 years earlier; it took a promising and intriguing picture from the internet and built an SCP article out of it. It also didn’t give any attribution, nor did it pay mind to its copyright status.

As it turned out, the image was copyrighted, and by an artist active on DeviantArt. It came to Staff’s attention that this artist discovered use of their work on a well-received and popular SCP article as a matter of happenstance; no one asked permission.

So this:


Turned into this:


And here is that artist’s statement on the issue:

Not happy. (source)

In the O5 Command thread over this scare, you can see a general legal awareness (and wariness) undergo an embryogenesis:


The moment was a turning point for the site, legally. Prior to this, it had actually been encouraged to remove watermarks from images on the internet, to cater to the sense of immersion the site took so seriously in those days (these being the woes of over-emphasizing immersion… my how the times have changed):


Brought to the attention of policy-guru TroyL and others, this started an initiative to correct images that didn’t have watermarks on them when they should. This led to a larger discussion about whether or not watermarked images should be used at all, and then if non-CC images should be used at all.

That was the initial flick of the dominoes. Soon, all non-CC images would be removed to prevent something similar from happening again.

Legal reality trumps immersion.

A discussion was created, and this ultimately led to the creation of an image policy (by TroyL) in late 2013. This codified the responsibility to select an appropriate image and give proper attribution and pegged it squarely to the author.

“People should be getting approval to use original, non-watermarked versions of the images with permission from the original artist, making sure that said artist understands what it means to be releasing that image under Creative Commons.” — Aelanna

Applying this new legal and ethical savvy to SCP-173 was inevitable. In the discussion thread about these issues, SCP-173 was referred to as “The Elephant in the Room”. This is the pinpoint moment that started the now gaping hole of SCP-173’s image deletion:

At that time, though, the legal paranoia was kept at bay…

“I don’t think we need to act when a third party says something and I don’t think we need to police every image, but if we ever hear a complaint from the original artist/copyright holder etc we should jump to and make it right.” — Sorts

“This is probably my primary feeling about licensing and creation: when in doubt, create first and apologize later. The actual odds of somebody seeing their work being used and immediately responding with “I shall now DESTROY THEM” is fairly low; I think the Dragon Snails incident was one of the most realistically bad scenarios we’ll face, and it ended on perfectly amiable terms.” — Eskobar

While the potential for legal trouble was recognized, even given forethought, it wasn’t paranoia. Past experience was used to justify this relative laze. For example, it was noted that the Dragonsnails artist — who was right pissed — was trying to get in contact with someone to take down the image for over a year (source). No lawsuit or DMCA notice there. The Staff discussed setting up a dedicated email address for speedy contact, in the event someone’s work is being used without permission, and they wanted it removed. They were watching the mushroom cloud rise into the sky, but didn’t yet feel the burn of a searing paranoia blasting past the threshold of reaction. There was, at this time, still a distinction between proactive and reactive.

The formal image policy went up soon after in November 2013:

* No using copyrighted images without creator approval.
* Proof of this approval should be recorded and posted to discussion pages.
* No image cropping/altering unless you are the creator or you have permission.
* Always attribute image to source.

Images found to be in violation of this policy will be removed.

And, again the posture was more… chill:

“With this being said, we also acknowledge that this is the internet. Images are exchanged freely on message boards, sharing sites, social media, etc. Therefore, you might not know if something falls into a group of free use images. In these cases, we ask that you make a reasonable attempt to find the origin of the image used. If no source can be found, the image may be used until we receive notification — from the creator **or** another, knowledgeable source — that it is in violation of a copyright.” — TroyL

The Licensing Guide (created at the onset of judicial awareness at SCP in 2012) was given an overhaul at this time as well. By December, more articles (such as SCP-1177) were noted, but per the initial policy, the course of action was determined to be just to notify the copyright holder in case they were pissed, as opposed to automatically taking it down. Until that is, unless the copyright stance of a particular artist was discovered to be… aggressive:

Lenny Furman vigorously protects copyright interests. In the event that an infringement is discovered you will be notified and invoiced at the minimum 10x the STANDARD FEE for unauthorized usage and/or prosecuted for Copyright Infringement in U S Federal Court where you will be subject to a fine of US $150,000 statutory damages as well as all court costs and attorneys’ fees. By entering this site you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this agreement. Entrance to site is expressly on these conditions which embodies all of the understandings and obligations between the parties hereto.

After, this artists’ image was taken down outright based on the artist’s expressed wishes! There were numerous other copyright infringements and issues found in a multitude of articles, most minor and not noteworthy.

This is where the story of an appropriate and educated amount of legal awareness and judicial aversion ends. Beyond this point, things get absurd, and the threshold for prosecutorial circumvention begins at conceivability, instead of at reason. It’s not just that a mushroom cloud would be cause for panic; any semblance of smoke — real or a figment of the peripheral vision — would be cause for pandemonium.

There would, from here on out, be a series of individual events that, like a crescendo, would build to the fore a sonic swell of insane-till-death legal anxiety in the SCP Wiki Staff.

The Mewts

A repetition of the same Dragonsnail issue, only in 2015, with text wholesale ripped too, and the case now under the command of the possibly sadistic ProcyonLotor. It would later be outright deleted in 2020 despite all permissions from the author remaining to remove any possibility of litigation.

In a statement that would presage a giant hole in the logic of the SCP-173 image deletion, a Staff member wrote in February 2020:

“As far as Mewts goes, I think we’d have to consult with the original creator again since they already came to a consent agreement with us over its status and deserves to be in the conversation again should that status change.”

And following this, in a statement that would presage a giant tumor in the illogic of the SCP-173 image deletion:

Asking again, especially all these years later when she likely hasn’t thought about it once in the mean time, will only lead to the same answer again. And if the only way to get a different answer is by giving her an exhaustive explanation of the problem to the point that we’re practically begging her to say delete it, then that just serves to show that we should do the right thing ourselves without bothering her yet again over a situation she didn’t deserve or ask for. — (source)

The SCP-RU licensing crisis of 2017,

A basic misunderstanding of the CC license caused ProcyonLotor and the Licensing Dream Team to dramatically assume that the English Wiki could be held liable and completely leveled as a result of the Russian branch’s failure to abide by the correct CC license variant. This is absurd, yet was the driving justification for completely severing -RU from the International Branches, which happened. The discussion between the Licensing “Experts” included such inexplicably incorrect statements as:

“If we don’t do this (again if I understand right), under American law, we lose the right to enforce the licence at all, ever. Even if you did have every right to change the license under Russian law it wouldn’t matter. We cannot risk losing our right to enforce the license under American or international law.”

“Allowing this licensing incompatibility to publicly be acknowledged without taking action would de-legitimize our efforts elsewhere to help people using our license. Existing evidence of our past licensing work could potentially be used as evidence of fraud, perjury or libel if we are linking to communities using an incompatible license while asking other sites like Redbubble to enforce the license on their users.”

“Allowing a branch of the wiki to continue asserting a different license weakens our ability to defend all of our work from non-affiliated creators that might try to take advantage of all of us unfairly. We can’t stand up for each other’s work and rights if we’re not all behind the same shield… It would be dishonest to argue for the application of an incorrect license, and could cause tangible legal troubles for us in the future if we were to attempt to do so. Further measures may be taken to defend our license and work if they are deemed necessary in the near future.”

None of these are correct. Not even close. It would have taken only a cursory glance at the Creative Common webpage’s provided FAQ to find the answer confirming the opposite, which is (and was then) in plain sight.

Andrei Duksin

A lot of legal woes come from Russia! This is the only entry in this list where the Wiki/Staff, for once, is not the primary etiology of their own legal misfortune (all others have to various extents been conjured from the realm of fantasy into fixated belief). However, that’s not to say the Staff didn’t hyperbolize the legal threat presented by Duksin— and to the reception of a great number of donated dollars too (~$160,000). In their statements given to their emergency YouTube broadcasting system, and in the info-fliers made for widespread social media distribution, the SCP Staff made inaccurate statements that dramatized the potential ramifications into a home-front catastrophe. Untold numbers of individuals donated to the SCP Wiki Legal Fund believing that the English branch of the SCP Wiki was at stake, when it never was. That is not a legal reality. No correction or clarification was offered. The misinformation stands strong to this day (though donations have been closed).

The result of the legal battle made Staff’s legal PTSD much, much worse. It threw tanks of gasoline on any and all flickers of light in (pur)view. The SCP Wiki representatives essentially lost the initial court battle with Duksin, and were handed an mealy bolus of legal scar tissue to swallow, which they struggled with, and still struggle to get out of their mouths to this day. They still suffer from this trauma, which they create anew again and again in the shadows dancing across their walls, and they often just acquiesce themselves to asphyxiation at the first signs of discomfort, rather than put up any effort to regurgitate what causes them to choke, and overcome the anguish. (See Staff Rolls Over Without Command Given).

Metaphysician’s Ban and Reinstatement

Staff would run from one side of the boat to the other in the span of a year and a half regarding Metaphysician’s ban for plagiarism, but it wouldn’t be the last time (nor the most violent). Plagiarism is a legal concern, at heart. His was taken to be egregious and “infuriating”, despite the rip being from the Public Domain & from Wikipedia (which is also CC BY-SA 3.0). There was no impending copyright or legal concern here from an external actor, yet the Staff supplied it for themselves anyway.

They overreacted and deleted three of his articles (1, 2, 3), which could not be recovered in their prior state. (This prompted Staff to also go ahead and delete the aforementioned Mewts article.) They later admitted that “we recognize that course of action undertaken by the disciplinary team was far in excess of Meta’s actions… This was deeply wrong, and we deeply apologize for the lost time and damage done by our faulty decision.”


This one is a bit of a call-back, and out of order, but is anachronistically colored as legal anxiety given that Staff would, in February 2021, decide that the 13-year moral tradition of allowing an author sovereignty over their works despite the CC license was moot thanks to the CC license. From this (surely SCP Staff would call it) advanced position of legal understanding, the remote legal threats of Fishmonger appear now as an episode of uneasy legal appeasement from Staff. An author’s sovereignty at the SCP Wiki does not extend to the removal of their articles; not if they’ve milked a lot out of you and you’ve been very social in your writing at least.


A past version of SCP-3085 was written by WikiDot user and SCP Wiki author SeptemberObserver, ironically once involved in a false-start over mass identifying non-CC images on SCP Wiki. The first SCP-3085 article featured a hyperlink to an off-site webpage. This link was to the “Jagex” game developer; the article mentioned Old School RuneScape, a legacy MMORPG by the Ltd. A budding (“molting”?) Licensing staff member, CityToast aka Reixis — who we will see again — proposed editing it out of the article as a matter of national security, because of an absolutely bonkers belief that it was violating copyright of the developer. The author self-deleted the article in protest to this absurdity.

The Age Raise Proposal

In the underage sex scandals of 2020, Staff panicked regarding their legal culpability on a site with literal smut and a minimum age of 15. Primarily, this was meant to wash the Staff’s hands of any legal wrongdoing in future harassment or abuse cases involving minors. (DrMagnus explicitly rejected the exception for minors whistleblowing illegal activities.) Only secondarily was this meant to address the fact that there was explicit, NSFW content on the site, and no indication of such, or warning for the mostly underage audience. Later that year, Staff would further fortify themselves from potential legal citations by placing adult content warnings on adult-themed pages. The legal crux and motive for Staff was discussed, several times. Seeking and paying outside legal counsel was advised.

On par and cue, this was stated (numerous times) as being for the benefit of the users, and not of Staff. Despite this, a Staff discussion in December 2021 (a year after) would show that no one was sure whose responsibility it was to actually add the splash pages. The following is a bolded statement in the voting thread: “Underage people should not be joining the site. Please don’t expose yourself and us to risk by doing so.”

It would be wise to ask why it took the eruption of an underage sex scandal to motivate Staff to act on what could have been obvious years earlier, were it primarily in the interest of the users.

The Age UN-Raising Proposal

In maybe the most dramatic topsy-turvy bureaucratic vertigo yet witnessed on the site, and not even a year later, it is consented to nearly unanimously (by the same people who fervently supported the age raise) that the age raise did nothing to solve the underlying issues of minor abuse, was solely influenced by a PR panic, was mainly intended to wash Staff’s hands of any legal guilt, and actually made conditions 10x worse for the inevitable — and inevitably abused — minor on the SCP Wiki. The new age un-raise proposal was largely agreed with, but when the question of legal consequences came up, the policy stalled. External legal counsel was again advised. Frozen in fear, the vote on the policy was punted down the road towards an undetermined, gestured-towards, future date.

Kufat on the SkipIRC

This is truly part of the above bullet point but deserves its own. Kufat, brand new owner of an IRC platform at the time, absurdly considered himself personally liable for any and all underage users and their actions on the IRC. He likely lost sleep over the proposed age un-raise, and worried that someone would sue him for the SCP Wiki being horror-themed, and for turning a kid gay or trans. I wrote an entire article on this particularly impressive display of insanity, but here are some quotes of Kufat’s on the matter:

Allowing minors onto this network puts a big target on my back. Me, personally. That would be true of any internet chat allowing minors, but there are two things that make SCP particularly vulnerable to frivolous suits.

One is the horror element. Most of the people here are too young to remember the whole Satanic Panic. I’d encourage you to read up on it, and to remember that it resulted in a number of court cases based on flimsy or totally fake evidence that nevertheless made it to trial. Winning in court is much better than losing in court, but not being sued is much better still.

The other is that we’re so LGBTQ friendly. This is something I agree with wholeheartedly, but it puts us in a bad spot with rich, litigious parents. “SATANIC HORROR SITE MADE MY BABY (teenager) TRANS” would get a lot of play in some parts of the country. And, let’s be honest, plenty of trial level judges would turn a blind eye to a lack of legal merit.

Kufat’s concerns were repeated (by the uneducated) in as invariant and blind of a rendition as would be seen in a ventriloquist act; both in this above chat, and on O5 Command three times (1, 2, 3). You can watch the juridic neurosis multiply like weeds, even when butting up against critical thinking skills:

[2021–09–25 16:46:00] <DrGolden> Would /not/ lowering the age limit save us from these suits?

[2021–09–25 16:46:05] <Limey> no

[2021–09–25 16:46:34] <DrGolden> Then why is this relevant

Droid Bigotry

Non-copyrightable, procedurally-generated AI art is banned for fear of legally upsetting someone (or something?). A quote can serve as a summary: “the general rule of thumb is that we usually follow the most restrictive measure, within reason”. Licensing savant CityToast (remember him?) notes: “Allowing AI-generated imagery could open a legal loophole that could cause trouble in the future.” Another writes, “Because legal risk can fall to licensing in cases where permission is impossible to obtain…”

This is despite the existence and positive reception of a partially AI-derived joke article on the Wiki, which will surely be swallowed whole by this legal paranoia in due time.

CCK Class “Copyright Infringement Secnario”

This one is a doozy.

CityToast, the Kufat of the Licensing Team and by now an insatiable bureaucrat-cancer to the Wiki that threatens it more than any imaginary legal scenario could, continues his tirade of absurdity regarding potentially copyrighted material in text form. The December 2021 Recaps captures a discussion (“Licensing Request for Article Removal”) about “whether the Licensing Team needs the power to have copyright-infringing articles summarily deleted”. This is in regards to a tale that featured mash-ups of various copyrighted characters, since modified to remove all of these characters, but that was captured in archive prior to that.

In the O5 Command discussion for this topic, CityToast hurriedly jumps to the most catastrophic conclusion, saying that the tale represents “potentially immediately harmful content, the continued inclusion of which is a liability for the Wiki as a whole”. The severe history of this paranoia being demonstrated to be false is either ignored by CityToast, or is beyond his expert comprehension. Similarly, CityToast also includes that copyrighted characters are against site rules; Rounderhouse calls him out on this, as it is false. (I guarantee CityToast’s name will decorate the January/February 2022 Recap topic about SCP-173’s image removal.)

In CityToast’s defense, fanfiction is a legally grey area. But a review of literature on the subject shows a common component to whether or not legal action is taken in such scenarios: money. Is the person writing fanfiction making money? If not, it isn’t worth anyone’s time (or money). Without money to gain, it isn’t on anyone’s radar. CityToast appeals to the money-hungry motives of such boogeymen actors, excuses non-profit corporations from this concern, and yet seems to forget that the SCP Wiki itself is zero-profit. Watch CityToast concede this point later on…

“Fan fiction is copyright infringement. it’s just the kind of copyright infringement that most IP lawyers don’t care about because it doesn’t have a bank account attached to it. Nevertheless, as it’s on our site, we may be implicitly responsible for it.”

… and quickly shrivels away from it after, forgetting he even said it.

Again, this is CityToast puffing up himself and the SCP Wiki into a larger legal target than they really are… this having more to do with and say about presumed importance than any legal reality.

What’s worse, this requested injunction by CityToast was frantically rushed to the point of acting over the head of the tale’s author, and of established policy. We can see in the resolution of this concern that this was actually the ticket all along; the author has modified their version upon a simple request and rendered the paranoia moot. Is this aggressiveness not reminiscent of the SCP–RU 2017 accusations and provocation? Why is the default stance on such issues perpetually so unnecessarily on-edge? The answer: Watchman’s Syndrome. CityToast is one of the worst cases of it.

Let’s get some gems from the Recaps, because they are worth it:

Siddartha Alonne and Pedagon agree, with the former thinking a warning should have been issued first and the latter finding the 05 post’s tone unnecessarily “harsh and accusatory” in a manner potentially provoking anxiety. Fabled considers this a serious failure of communication connected to a pattern of previous mistakes. gee0765 was expecting “a new policy thread” for future actions, not a specific target; Licensing Captain LilyFlower states (having already stated as much before) that “there is going to be one tonight.” gee thinks that should have come first, as “you’re posting a deletion request using a policy which doesn’t exist yet.”

Pedagon agrees that this timeline will appear problematic, “like we are changing things as a result of this one article.” … CityToast is unsympathetic: “The user posted copyright infringement in an an article, and explicitly claimed the content was their own… the article needs to be taken down, whether the user is informed or not.”

Pedagon tells CityToast that the infringement is not the issue, but the way the issue has been handled.

CityToast says this isn’t about Project Crossover, and that the offending piece is “worse because it literally ackowledges it is it copyright infringement, while utilizing characters owned by a litigious multimillion dollar company.” gee asks if changing the title would reduce the urgency. CityToast is extremely unimpressed with the question, and the overall discussion: “I cannot genuinely believe this is a matter of debate.” Lucio suggests CityToast take a break.

This is how far someone like CityToast is gone: he can’t imagine why this might be up for debate.

Fabled clarifies the issue further: “This is not due to “user violated rules”, this is a user upset they were never informed of the process. The same goes for the wider community. The wider community sees moderators and staff going back on a promise for improved communication between staff and community.” gee agrees: “suddenly their project crossover is getting fiat deleted but the other ones are cool” “and nobody was told before right now.” CityToast is unmoved… [emphasis mine, re: the promise to not leverage “hypothetical malicious entities”.]

After receiving push back, CityToast decides to actually get in touch with the author, something these critics are saying should have been done in the first place. Then he claims to have “found a great solution”! He also wants to erase the embarrassing misstep from O5, and asks if the thread can be deleted, but others won’t let it out of posterity and accountability. Good for them.

And then we get to the center of the tootsie-roll psychosis:

Siddartha asks if Project Crossover articles will be reviewed for copyright infringement, as well as “articles that mention real-life brands.” Dexanote feels the latter are likely safe, and that the issue is avoiding litigation. CityToast doesn’t think brand references are necessarily safe either, and notes that guidelines and review are the way forward for assessing each case. He adds that a single person can do a lot of damage with copyright, as the Andrey Duksin case has shown.

There it is. There’s the boogeyman in the closet, under the bed. The reason for the insanity. Why rely on a hypothetical malicious entity when you can perpetually puppet a real-life one?

The dissonance between CityToast’s self-importance, the camp of fools that buy into it, and the perceptive, more level-headed Staff is apparent throughout the Recap:

CityToast … cannot genuinely believe this is a matter of debate.”… TheDeadlyMoose is “honestly confused as to why this is a concern at all.”… CityToast explains his extensive qualifications for dealing with these issues…

Moose still feels the threat is overblown, and that fanfiction is in no danger; “I’m honestly kind of shocked that no one seems to be aware of this landscape?”

PlaguePJP feels that the site’s long period of not having been sued is indicative of safety; “It’s good to be proactive, but flat out removal of articles for referencing characters seems like a step too far.” Moose feels that “this seems like a very odd form of sudden censorship based on individual paranoia and trauma, with absolutely no evidence that it’s ever going to be a problem in any way.”

Moose muses: “It’s not that the conversation is invalid. It’s that it appears there isn’t really a conversation so much as a decision based on no evidence and we’re just talking about the specifics of execution.”

stormfallen is surprised that Licensing doesn’t already have deletion powers under problematic circumstances; Lily and CityToast agree. Moose opposes this “without some kind of waiting period. Because I strongly oppose deleting context based simply on understandable personal paranoia.”

CityToast does not think this is paranoia; “This approach is based on expertise, research, and understanding of how some companies act. I was involved in creative commons stuff (with Wikimedia) before my book came out, and had these stances then as well.”

Moose feels that frequently “accountability structures have fallen apart because someone declared an emergency.” CityToast notes that he has “been working on policy proposals for ages. They just haven’t really…gone anywhere.” Cyvstvi says that “You can’t brute force policy into existence.” CityToast responds: “Yes, but also no.”

Project Crossover is mentioned in this, and again several times after. This is a hub of “terrible crossover fanfiction”, that has been on the site — get this — since January 2012 (with some articles predating that). 10 years, and not a whiff of anything legal, not even given SCP’s wide audience and exposure as a cultural phenomenon!

There’s been an entire hub of this material, and CityToast apes over one because the title is more tongue-in-cheek. Believing that this one addition is unique in the course of 10 years is clinically diagnostic for CityToast’s psychology. Pay attention to the January/February 2022 Recaps. Also, I’m calling it here now: Project Crossover, my SCP-4998, and any other SCP article that features a brand, or logo that isn’t CC, will be deleted from the Wiki for fear of hypothetical malicious entities acting on them. Project Crossover is in the crosshairs and all but teabagged; its removal is going to be unpopular and will silently turn more people off to the SCP Wiki. Not unlike the slapback from the SCP-173 image removal that Staff in a blissful ignorance think they’ve dodged by getting their bobblehead peers to nod at. Just wait until people slowly realize over the course of years just how unnecessary and paranoid its removal really was.

And we aren’t done here yet, I’m just winding up. It gets even worse.

Lily, a complete Valley-girl ditz and somehow the Captain of Licensing despite it (and who will proudly tout the 1st-place-in-genocide flag of Communism while glee-banning unassuming folk for phantom Nazi dog-whistles they aren’t aware they are sounding), pilfers the idea from another idiot somewhere that any one article’s legal transgression can destroy the whole site. Next, in a flailing attempt to grunt the non-mythical hypothetical malicious entity (“a litigious multimillion dollar company”) out of his metaphorical ass, CityToast brings up a specific case:

Plague wants to know if there is “precedent for a corporation such as Disney or universal going after non-published, non-monetized works that reference their characters or media?” CityToast says there is; “Disney is an incredibly litigious group that has issues takedowns against mon-monetized works for a long time. This is the company that issued a cease and desist to a woman who had put spider-man on her deceased child’s gravestone.”

This is incredibly incorrect.

It’s clear that CityToast did not attempt to or care to corroborate his claim here. Not even the first click of Google research was done.


Disney did not issue a cease and desist letter to a woman who had put Spider-Man on her deceased child’s gravestone. You fucking idiot.

They denied the request of a man to put Spider-Man on his deceased child’s gravestone. It had nothing to do with copyright infringement either, Disney stated they didn’t want their character on a damn gravestone, which is reasonable. This was a policy that went back to Walt Disney himself. It had nothing to do with copyright infringement, or a litigious multi-million dollar company. In fact, in trying to demonstrate the villainy and monetary greed of Disney, CityToast pulled the one time that Disney was actually heartwarming and philanthropic; they offered a hand-inked, personalized, and commemorative cel of Spider-Man for the child, something that extreme examples of can fetch upwards of $8,000 on the auction market.

CityToast also believes that all of satire and parody are anomalies in legal error. If CityToast’s views were accurate, satire would be an incarcerable offense:

“Parody is not ‘protected’; parody is a defense against copyright claims, which is used for reasoning why the copyright infringement is acceptable. It doesn’t make the content ‘not infringement’. It just makes is ‘acceptable infringement”

He also misunderstands the interaction of various licenses, and in an argument that someone like Dexanote would salivate over, argues that parody is particularly dangerous on the SCP Wiki:

“The problem we face is that our site’s license specifically prohibits certain uses which would, with any other license, fall under something that could be claimed as parody. Creative Commons, while very permissive, has very strict usage guidelines that many other licenses do not have explicitly stated. To put it another way, we might actually lose the ability to claim certain defenses like Fair Use or Parody, if it is shown that we were not even adhering to our own license.” [emphasis mine]

The more down-to-Earth reasoning escapes CityToast; if Disney, 21st Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, etc wanted to punish people for non-commercial fanfic, we would know it. Google searches show no hits for any of these characters used + fanfic related copyright complaints.

But when we get investigative regarding the flawed thinking that is influencing CityToast to make mountains out of molehills and tear down the Wiki in the process, we will notice how reductionist his take on fanfiction is. It’s so over-simplified, that it is almost as if CityToast has no idea what he is talking about, and is just typing with his ass to look important.

In the Wikipedia entry on “Legal issues with fan fiction”, the section titled “Copyright holders’ attitude towards fan fiction” states:

Most major studios and production companies tolerate fan fiction, and some even encourage it to a certain extent. Paramount Pictures, for example, allowed the production of Star Trek… (source… the offending article used Star Trek references in its cross-over)

This situation very clearly demonstrates why Licensing should not ever have “emergency” ban powers; the impulse exclamation of an “emergency” included. What CityToast misses is that this is not a legal project, it is a writing site. Nobody active on the site cares about this. Anybody outside the site cares about this even less. Only CityToast and the Watchmen-Syndrome Staff who stand to have their egos massaged care.

Therefore, the issue must be inflated to cartoonish proportions in order to stay afloat and in view: that this might mean immediate but also potential legal trouble for the entire site. No. It won’t. We already covered this, it’s a fact. That doesn’t matter to the current Staff. This hysteria is beyond facts, forever safe and permanently seated in the endless supply of the theoretical.

The SCP Wiki Staff (members of it at least) don’t want to believe that the site isn’t culturally significant enough to be handwaved by most everyone who is not them. They are — in their minds and hopeful, dilapidated spirits — too big to be negligible. CityToast et al have to care; it’s a matter of upheld self-esteem. As if a cease & desist letter would instantaneously mean the vaporization of the SCP Wiki (what about that whole middle ground of just complying?), CityToast builds on this:

No, Disney has not sued us, or threatened to do so. But SCP has grown significantly, and continues to grow significantly. The approach to our content has to change, before we get a C&D.

Here is the crux of the psychology in people like CityToast, and the mission creep of the Licensing Team in general: SCP important. SCP big. My job big. Me important. It is, as a Staff member laments, “the bigger you get the more you get sued.” Except the SCP Wiki, for all its self-congratulations, isn’t that big, doesn’t have any money to sue over, and is like a teenager screaming for someone important to please notice them. These are the sorts of concerns that bringing official money into a group creates, and SCP has resisted that for a number of reasons, yet here we are.

There is one statement in all this, a small detail that surely will go over the head of most, and that did go over the head of the present Staff, also (seemingly) any site users who read the December 2021 Recaps. It perfectly caps this years-long escalation of legal totalitarianism on the SCP Wiki by the Staff:

“It’s our wiki’s content, that staff is curating and, ultimately, is responsible for.” — CityToast

No. Incorrect. The Staff have lost the plot. The users determine the Wiki’s content. Or at least, they should. They always have before. The Staff should not. And yet, here we are.

It is not likely that Staff was spooked by any one of these events during this grotesque transformation, but the gradual purview over images expanded, and greedily, with time.

By 2015, we can see full awareness of SCP-173’s status (here enforced in regards to Andrei Duksin’s ARTSCP book no less!). The portion in the image policy about the Wiki abiding images that the author may or may not have made a good-faith effort to find attribution for (until someone got mad) is removed on March 3 2017.

In February 2017, a cc-compliant Wiki tag was suggested; described as “a little ‘good job, you followed the rules!’ sticker” (this was not passed). The same day, DrCimmerian (then of the Licensing Team) noted that “The images team is making slow but methodical progress through our backlog of old articles”. The same thread would call attention to the fact that while a policy was up, it wasn’t being rigorously enforced on the authors of the site.

By November 2018, the image policy would list specifically what licenses were incompatible with the SCP Wiki:

You definitely may **not** use: CC 3.0 BY-SA-NC images, CC 4.0 images
You may definitely use: CC 3.0 BY-SA images

The Metaphysician plagiarism case prompted Staff to delete numerous articles for concerns of plagiarism, these long posted to the Wiki, to catch up with their new views. The Dragonsnails image was removed in 2019. A member of the Licensing Team at that time (Naepic) wrote that the removal was a Staff decision “to avoid any futures issues arising from SCP related content.”

A policy rewrite on August 5, 2020 by Elenee FishTruck added a tremendous amount of language. The list of un-usable types of images was expanded from 2 items (as above) to 7. The relatively long-dormant, relatively-minor Images sub-team was reinvigorated, whose purview it was to seek out and take down any non-compliant images.

If an image is found to disobey the Image Policy, the image may be taken down immediately or the author of the article may be messaged to produce replacement images within a week’s time, after which the image will also be removed.** Generally, if an author is inactive… images will be immediately removed, whereas active authors will be notified of the non-compliant image(s) prior to removal… Articles under may have their images replaced without consultation of the author. If the author wants to take down any staff-sanctioned replacements, they are entirely within their right to do so. Similarly, authors may revert staff image-replacements if they have evidence they produced the image/the image was cc-compliant.

Another overhaul a year later in September 2021 introduced a narrow band of acceptable sources for all SCP Wiki images, deemed a “whitelist”:

Throughout the internet, there are scores of websites that claim to host thousands of public domain images; however, an examination of these websites reveal that they obtain their content via scraping off other, more reputable websites. Additionally, these image sites may host further problems. MaxPixel, for example, has the dubious honor of users downloading malware when downloading images. Pikist reverses the images it finds and claims them as its own. These scraper websites take the template of sites like Pixabay and Pexels, all without attributing those who took the images.

The SCP Wiki is well aware that the nature of public domain means that attributing image creators is not necessary. However, the wiki requires all users to attribute all media they incorporate into their articles, regardless of origin. As such, the wiki has implemented a whitelist of approved sites to obtain images from. Please note, however, that some of these sites host both images compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0 as well as those that are not. Please make sure the image you are taking is under a usable license. If you’re not sure, please message a member of Licensing.

The progression of the SCP Wiki Staff’s stance on CC-compliant images is neatly demonstrated in the edit history for SCP-593:


Capping the ladder of escalation is Elenee FishTruck, who took it upon herself to conjure the deathgrip on the site by the Images sub-team (of the Licensing). Licensing and the rest of the Staff didn’t start the fire, but Elenee did. To make this look worse, the act was done to make up for a past wrong; this was over-eager compensation in order to get back into a social clique’s good graces.

Her name can be seen next to the poaching rifle ad infinitum.



We now come to the present day, where SCP-173’s image has been hogtied, fastened into the guillotine, and is set to be the latest victim of the unjustified legal delirium. In an absurdist theater’s rendition of past inaccuracies, the individual who posited the proposal for its removal is seen fear-mongering boogeymen and imaginary court cases in order to sell the move to the uninformed users, who parrot the misinformation.

The Captain of the Licensing Team, who should be the most educated in the matter, conflates the image’s copyright & usage terms with the Wiki’s, and ultimately can only justify it by an absurd and unnecessary compulsion to have the site 100% CC compliant. It’s such a shame that the SCP wiki users rely on the site’s leaders for accurate information and competent leadership. Neither are there. What’s worse, all this is perpetually sold to them in the name of their own good & safety.

We might stop to notice that, in an odd act of reason, Harmony’s articles weren’t removed exactly one year ago for fear of damage to the overall body of work, and argued for in the name of legality. Now, a paranoid Staff will remove SCP-173’s image, damaging the overall body of work in the name of legality. There’s that boat wobbling again.

Typical of Staff, when confronted about the facts of the case, and in a manner that the by now omni-herd mentality of the SCP Wiki itself cannot be relied upon to provide, members of SCP Staff believe that their position as Staff means they are innately more informed than non-Staff, despite the information and knowledge being available to anyone, and certainly people who are smarter than they are. The legitimate issues with the logic — that which would rescue the Wiki from crippling fear — is mocked via dogpile; it’s a technique that does all it can to avoid addressing reality. The logic is murdered by blunt trauma with a fake cease & desist letter that either is years old and made moot, or that never came at all.


Monsters Under Your Bed

What is the justification for this paranoia?

TroyL in his initial construction of the image policy noted that abiding by the necessary terms regarding images “This prevents a large, legal issue from barring the use of the image on the site.” (Emphasis mine.) A fine of $150,000 in statutory damages, a la Lenny Furman, are not referenced.

In his 2017 effort to crack down on non-compliant images, DrCimmerian rhetorically asks “Why is this important?” His response to himself, with no additional justification present: “Improper enforcement of our image policy is probably the biggest and most serious threat to the wiki… this is not a solution looking for a problem.”

In the Reddit thread that initially brought communication with Izumi Kato to the SCP Wiki Staff, various Redditors commented, questioning how legal concerns with SCP-173’s image could result in a site-wide take-down:


In response, Aelanna — who knew her shit 1000x more than anyone in the current Staff — conceded the paranoia as irrational:

“And yes, while it doesn’t actually invalidate the site license and you could divorce the site from that particular image, it’s been ingrained into so much of the SCP community that there will be a lot of cascading issues. SCP:CB, for instance. It’s still an interesting bind to be in, regardless.

Edit: Jesus Christ, staff, do you guys not have anything better to do than over-analyze my casual reddit posts?” — source

Aelanna was correcting her initial misinterpretation of this legal situation 8 years ago. SCP Wiki Staff are still peddling the misinformation today, and cannot make a similar about-face when presented with the logic that debunks it.

And then we get an atom bomb of logic and additional concession by thedeadlymoose, then in 2014, but who is still around and should be (I would hope) trying to at least correct the nonsense in Staff around this boogeyman catastrophizing aspect of the argument:

Second: As far as I am aware (and I am not a lawyer, though neither is Aelanna), disallowing commercial use for SCP-173’s image would not invalidate the license for the entire SCP wiki, because we have not released (and cannot release) that image under any sort of license at all. We don’t have the rights to do so. CC is utterly invalid if you don’t have the copyright; ‘explicit’ or ‘implicit’ is irrelevant. That’s why we added that (ugly) disclaimer. Only 173’s text is released under CC.

As far as I know, the worst case scenario for us is that we are forced to delete that photo and expunge 173’s likeness from the wiki, but SCP-173’s text can be kept without the image.

Aelanna should know this already, which makes her post a little weird.” — thedeadlymoose, 2014

Moose even bolded portions, so as to emphasize that there was no cause for alarm or panic.

Following this, and in a highly definitive fashion, is TroyL:

“And this:

> that would invalidate the license for the entire SCP Wiki

…is absurd.

If we have to take the picture off the site, we can. It’s not like it would break the site or invalidate any of the work. If this checks out, we take the picture down and [move] on. We’re far more than 173 now, guys.” — TroyL

And yet, the misinformed position — this misplaced legal paranoia — as we see, survived and was alive & well in 2017, and even still in February 2022.

So where does it come from? Why does the misinformation and paranoia have such a grip? What in this way of looking at things so reliably short-circuts the higher brain centers that should be able to parse through the data and quell the anxiety? Why do people still seem to believe that a copyright claim on an individual article will take down the whole site?

Debunking SCP Staff

There is only one moment this rationale is clearly expressed. It seems to be first stated in late 2013 by WikiDot user and Staff member eric_h:

We have to be careful about this stuff because of the DMCA. Someone who finds their image being misused here could report it to Wikidot instead of us, and they could be jerks about it and take the entire site down in response. This would be stupid and excessive, but I don’t trust them not to be.

The idea is that given a copyright infringement notice, Wikidot wouldn’t care to hear nuances. It comes from a distrust of WikiDot, who in an effort to take the simplest and most self-preserving path possible, would simply axe the entirety of the SCP Wiki if it received a copyright infringment claim.

There are a few reasons why this is outdated and/or foolish: (1) WikiDot is dead and (2) the SCP Wiki is, from the perspective of whatever remains of WikiDot’s administration, their only asset, the only life-line keeping them from total obscurity and a faster, cold internet death.

It can be demonstrated that the above sentiment is not necessarily cause for panic and paranoia, as the same individual elsewhere states: “Re: images in general: I don’t think we need to panic about every image on the site.”


We should notice how ironic it is that the legal worries on the SCP Wiki are prioritized more urgently than the need to exit what is clearly a dying platform. The legal paranoia of Staff is solely concerned with the SCP Wiki suddenly not existing due to a theoretical, hasty action from WikiDot, when a guaranteed threat of WikiDot failing as a platform is closer and more evident. Ironic also is the posture of this irrational SCP Wiki Staff, who in order to prevent being maimed, maim themselves first. This approach is a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose scenario. Also ironic is that Moto42’s artistic will is being taken at its word (no SCP-173 image replacement), but Izumi Kato’s is being decided on behalf of him by Staff against his stated terms.

Others now in favor of removing SCP-173’s image will point to a moral argument; one that has always been there. There is also a pragmatic argument too; the task of enforcing the deal with Izumi Kato is demanding and trying. The question of whether or not this will remove the SCP Licensing Team’s responsibility in enforcing the copyright is brought up, and it seems to be an intended goal of the image removal, at least secondarily:


The relief of this strain and stress may explain the apparent jubilation we see some staff members reacting to the news with.

But here is why the moral argument is bullshit:

This is the biggest slap in the face to Kato imaginable. Why? First, it denies him his own authorial sovereignty. If we were truly abiding by that, then we would keep the image up because he gave permission for it, and hasn’t changed his terms. If he isn’t interested enough to monitor if others are making money off of it, then that’s just another expression of his sovereignty.

Secondly, the greedy and morbidly obese SCP Wiki is now getting to have its cake and eat it too.

The SCP Wiki doubtless owes its success and popularity to the SCP-173 image, full stop. It got away with an illegal and hushed copyright theft for 5 years, parasitizing the image for popularity and inspiration. When it finally understood what it did, it made amends and came to an agreement with Izumi Kato, who recognized the greater good that the image had done and gave them legal permission to keep it up. The only stipulation of this is that the SCP Wiki would have to work to keep up their end of the bargain; the sort of washing the dishes in the kitchen because you ate a meal and couldn’t pay. This is the SCP Wiki excusing itself from that deal. It doesn’t want to wash dishes anymore, and so found a way to excuse itself from the premises. I suppose the SCP Wiki, having benefited from the illegal use of Untitled 2004 for 5 years, believes that faithfully upholding their end of the bargain for 8 outweighs the good they got from it, and that now, it just isn’t worth the Sisyphean effort.

Why is this a slap in the face to Izumi Kato? The SCP Wiki’s near-omni-optic view of the internet and ability to enforce illegal use of the SCP-173 image was the payback and just desserts for the fame they got to have in their misuse of it. Now, Izumi Kato is left to fend for himself in any copyright enforcement. He is much less capable of doing that. It is the least the SCP Wiki could do for him. As LilyFlower says, the SCP Wiki’s participation in enforcing the copyright will wane with time. There will come a point where they won’t do it anymore, perhaps as the explicit motive for this sudden change of heart.

From the perspective of Izumi Kato, the SCP Wiki will have been responsible for indelibly associating the image with SCP-173, destroying any potential independent life it would have had on its own otherwise, and then abdicated the responsibility of cleaning up the legal mess.

As you might expect, and as is par for the rote idiocy of the SCP Staff (particularly in aggregate), most are celebrating this move as heroic and morally pristine; unquestionably the right thing to do. The amount of sycophantic agreement in regards to this decision is troubling; there is unanimous assent with not one word raised to the contrary.

Some Staff go as far as to claim that this is doing right by Izumi Kato, who — let’s face it, they say — never wanted his sculpture to be SCP-173 in the first place. They are acting like this is Free Willie. (An idiot writes: “the prospect of seeing SCP-173 return to its original state is almost poetic.”) This is like convincing yourself that releasing a sick, emaciated whale that you maimed back into the wild will end well. Some of them are pretending like they are doing it for the whale’s sake, when they are just tired of dealing with the caretaking demands that their damage caused. These individuals can draft more feel-good emotions about what they are doing to deaden the deeper moral questions here, or they can just look into the dead eyes of what used to be SCP-173 and weep. Their voting thread on O5 Command for the beheading of SCP-173 reads “With apologies to Izumi Kato”.

Some people will claim that the Wiki hasn’t upheld its part of the deal, which is the same as saying that the Wiki can’t be omniscient or omnipotent in the enforcement of Izumi Kato’s copyright. This is true. But this has always been the case and it has never changed. The deal offered by Izumi Kato was broken from the moment it was offered. This didn’t stop the SCP Staff then… but somehow it does now. Removing the image will not mean any reduction in a legal headache for Izumi Kato. And these people know it.


The initial expansion of legal oversight on the SCP Wiki was done out of a reasonable aversion to legal heat, but also for courtesy’s sake. Becoming more conscious of and sensitive to copyright issues was a good thing.
But by 2020, the air electrified by the PTSD of Andrei Duksin, Staff’s purview of all content on the Wiki was firmly captured and regulated by an omnipresent concern for being sued, and strictly for worry’s sake. Duds of legal conflicts gave way to concern for proper sourcing, which gave way to proper attribution, which gave way to concern for watermark removal, which gave way to concern for copyrighted material, which gave way to concern for non-CC material, which gave way to a strict imperative for universal CC compliance, even despite artists’ stated wishes and agreements.


Somewhere along the way, this motive turned inward and dark, the rising gravitational potential energy of the SCP Wiki (and Staff’s ever-increasing bathing in social heights) acted as the greed of a hoarder; obsessed with protecting their money; not free of it once they finally had an abundance, but the opposite — more fully controlled by it in fear of its loss. The road bump of a potential cease & desist letter and compliance was pushed down into the water, and made a stepping stone used in the process of leapint to the conclusion that an impending lawsuit was inevitable and would somehow take down the whole SCP Wiki.

The course is one that controllingly pilfers any autonomous artist wishes in their interaction with the SCP Wiki, which could mean large exponents to their work and success. Artists who would find avenues of revenue from use of their proprietary material on the site are instead now penalized for now releasing the art as Creative Commons, and in some cases, are now denied wider exposure by the same site and community that abused their works (done by a Staff with a misplaced moral imperative and enough audacity to speak definitively for these artists, Izumi Kato included.) This treatment of artists is identical in motive and effect to how underage members were barred from direct representation on the SCP Wiki so they wouldn’t have to worry about their own asses. It is not for the benefit of the community, or for the artists, as the dim-witted Staff like to claim and feel good for stating in public view.

Thus the story of the Licensing Team’s slow take-over of the Wiki is the story of dramatically increased control via the mechanism of widespread, unjustified, paranoiac, and self-centered dread.

Why is the current staff so celebratory over the death of the most iconic image in containment fiction? Why were the past leaders of Staff — one of whom is still around and interacting with the current one — able to articulate and recognize the absurdity of the existential threat argument, and yet the current day staff cannot, and is swept away in complete misinformation, with no correcting voices or even second-guessing? Why is what essentially amounts to kicking out Untitled 2004 from its most historic and iconic position against the will of the artist considered to be a moral act?

Why are the runaway liability concerns of the Licensing Team not stopped or at least slowed by logic or reason? Why does the SCP Staff surrender to the most remote and obscure potentialities, forfeiting the game before it starts at the thought of maybe losing it? Why does the SCP Staff bloviate the Wiki into a large legal target when history has told us that no one is really that interested? Why does Staff continue to dangle the threat of a paper tiger in front of their uninformed public? Why do they perpetuate and operate in so much misinformation with no remorse or desire to be correct? Why is the primacy of authorial soverignty and will being treated as sacrosanct again, after it was shot down to prevent harm to the Wiki, and one year later is being used to enact that damage now?

There are only three possible answers, whether one, a combination, or all at the same time: ego, greed, and fear.

Ego and greed, in that the SCP Wiki Staff are not satiated with minimizing their purview to what is reasonable, and must turn every shade into a sun-blotting crisis, as if the shadows have become solid, in order to puff up their own self-importance. Ego and greed, in that the SCP Wiki as a composite non-entity has to its name somewhere south of $160,000 in “legal fees”, which certainly could be siphoned out by legal challengers. Ego and greed, in that their monolithic, lobotomized uni-voice speaks for the Wiki, the fans and voices of containment fiction, and purports to be for its betterment in the same breath. Ego and greed, in that they puppet disaster continuously in the gullible face of their audience, so as to herd them to positions of their liking.

Fear, in that this is the exact a-startled-herd-runs-in-unison behavior observed during the moral panic of 2020, when AdminBright, Eskobar, and GabrielJade’s actions finally blew the top off of the SCP Wiki’s underground (and in some cases, underage) sexual culture. At that time — as observed a year later — there was no solid reasoning or intellectual foundation for the age raise. It was purely a political gesture, informed exclusively by fear, and fear of a PR scandal at that. The same thing is happening now with the SCP-173 image. The mad rushing from one side of the boat to the other will again be seen in response to this ill-thought-out mistake, and one day, there is a tipping point; the frenzied rocking will capsize the Wiki.

Anti-SCP Manifesto, Part Deux

I do not advocate violence or vandalism or troll-like actions in response to acts of lasting and far-reaching idiocy such as this. I am not a proponent of The Nut War, hilarious as it is to watch happen. I believe that speaking out against such things with good reason is the answer.

It takes longer, but is more lasting. And while the signs are subtle and slow, people notice this stuff:


Who has noticed that Rounderhouse et al, in their manner of deconstructing the site’s hierarchy, are enacting the sentiments and concerns of that bastard anti-SCP manifesto? Undoing the structure outlined in its premise? Who noticed that djkaktus, after years of turning the SCP Wiki into a personal upvote farm, finally realized that his critics who spoke ill of his unhealthy obsession now find vindication in his own words in critique of his past self? What portion of the angry mob have kept track, and noticed that Staff haven’t come through in their in-the-moment promises from the Town Halls?

The motions are invisible, and the origins not recognizable by the time they are seen. But the words on blogs, statements, videos, social media posts, and any other form of speech that the SCP Wiki’s overlords can’t find a way to censor do a hell of a job. They are informational salvos to the SCP Staff’s peashooters. It’s no different for this image removal for SCP-173. The voice of reason is slower than that of panic and the Dionysian, irrational, inebriated exuberance of a frenzied hive mind. It will reach them too late, and I will be Jack Nicholson nodding whenever it — as inevitably it will — catches up to them.

These individuals running SCP are not ashamed of what they’re doing. They are weather vanes. They don’t have any foundational principles, they don’t have any solid unchanging worldview, their morals change often as their underwear. They just want more prestige. They just want more social credit, notoriety, and clout, and they use the SCP Wiki to get that quickly. They have turned the SCP Wiki away from a writing project and into their personal make up mirror. They will follow djkaktus’ lead in self-regret.

They don’t even want to operate on a level playing field. I can’t say what I want in the way they can. They want to take what I can say away. They don’t want the information out there, and so we see that they try to censor it. They silence anything that they don’t like. If they think it is unflattering or bad PR, they will without a sound — snap, poof — it’s gone.

The truth though is that the SCP Wiki Staff are not afraid of me. They are not afraid of my politics, or my critiques, or my blog posts, or my podcasts, or our company, or our magazine, or our Wiki, or my manifestos. They are afraid of you listening to them.

Observations like this are the keys to the informational plantation that the SCP Wiki wants its members to soak in, their emotional and intellectual development arrested in, in service to their ridiculous assumption of self-importance and social capital. Theirs is a mentality that feels entitled to automatic praise for simply being a public figure; need I say more? Individuals with this mentality, which is incompatible with leadership, consider the public position not as one of stewardship or responsibility. It is to them only one of assumed prestige.

The cheese is free for a reason, people. And they can never stop helping themselves.

The removal of SCP-173’s image is based on an unfounded paranoia that WikiDot — a dead platform — will axe the whole SCP Wiki — its top asset — if Izumi Kato decided to write them claiming copyright infringement. It’s presented as a moral act when it abandons the robbed artist to fight back a perpetual hoard of copyright infringements by his lone self. It is a cowardly surrender to imagined and perceived boogeymen, cooked up in the most neurotic and panicked of minds. And no one in a position to do so raised a voice, or even a finger, to stop it from happening.

SCP-173’s image removal is meant to buttress the primary sag of the SCP Wiki; the Staff. That’s it. It is the latest in a long line of such iconic images, including those of SCP-106 (Jan 2019), SCP-049 (April 2019), and SCP-914 (Sept 2019) — the last one’s new caption disgustingly reading “One of the least complex sections of SCP-914 in a non-active state” in a pathetic attempt to cake over the inferiority of the new image.

The contortion that has to be achieved in order to play it off as beneficial for the site, or with the best of the community in mind, rings as hollow as the promises of the 2021 Town Halls do. The amount of intellectual manipulation being dispersed from the bully pulpit of SCP Staff is staggering. It’s the tail wagging the dog. The reliance on an imaginary enemy is the signature of tyrants in a tailspin.

Panicked people will make mistakes. Permanently paranoid people will ruin things. It has always been the case that if you lose your focus on SCP-173, it will snap your neck. The SCP Wiki Staff just turned the head and history of the Wiki away from it.

“The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it, so that the power of their imagination keeps them suspended in mid-air; but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall.” — Raoul Vaneigem

No it is not.

Edit (2/13/22): SCF user Medjet pointed out that an article has somehow avoided the same treatment of SCP-173 (and other articles with images of non-CC origin): It’s the famous SCP-1471, or “Mal0”. The image was a non-attributed, non-consented picture of a cosplayer in a proprietary costume. The costume creators, Clockwork Creatures (original name “Breynz”), were not very happy about its use in SCP. An agreement was made to attribute the company on the SCP Wiki and call it a day.

The image itself was attributed to a DeviantArt user tarangryph, who was long gone from the internet by the time these concerns were raised. However, comments left on their page indicated they were pleased and excited to have been an SCP. So, the then-Licensing Captain ProcyonLotor declared that the image was CC BY-SA 3.0 ad-hoc:

This was in 2018.

A telling quote from this thread exposes just how unreasonable the current removal of SCP-173 is:

What I struggle with is the perceived risk of just having the image up, which is exceedingly low with all the evidence at hand. At the very worst scenario, tanagryph can recant her previous participation (whether being self-aware with her character being viewed as an SCP and enjoying the notoriety as such) she can send a stop-order, well within her rights. What is the likeliness of this happening though? I struggle with where the risk is. — LurkD

This is a virtually identical situation to SCP-173’s image and Izumi Kato, and others, such as The Mewts and Dragonsnails. Why is this image not taken down despite the involved’s consent?

The issue is tabled, to be followed up “this weekend.” That’s the last entry in the thread (2018). It seems there’s little rhyme or reason to it; Staff sort of just do what they want, when they want.

Thank you to user Medjet.



Lack of Lepers

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