Fabricord’s fall from grace:
How to not hold a community and its administration accountable 101
tw// transphobia, homophobia, mentions of rape and paedophilia
These topics will continue to be referenced throughout the gist.
I must note, the names here are uncensored for the sake of context and proof. Accountability is not harassment. Don't harass people. Not in my name, not at all.
Beating a dead horse: Vatuu Komalia
I get it. If you are on the server you have heard about this at least once.
But for the sake of context, I will do a quick recap of the situation.
November 11th, 2019
The users Vatuu Komalia#4428, Snhupbups#5838, Yoghurt4C#0258 and NuclearFarts#1362 engage in a conversation about the acceptance of "sexualities", which eventually culminates in this exchange:
Vatuu remains with no punishment for 6 months, until May 3rd-ish 2020 (last messages I could find), when he is finally banned from Fabricord...
Only to be unbanned 4 months later, September 13th 2020, with no apology provided, and continuing to show queerphobic behaviour on the server.
This event will be referred to by the community as "Drama Day", and it will be our starting point for this gist.
A more in-depth report of this incident can be found in this Twitter thread.
The skeleton crew
The Vatuu situation should not be seen as a standalone event, but rather both the last straw, and a clear cut example of how the moderation team approached (and continues to approach) discrimination on the server.
This wasn't the first time this type of conversation happened (see: Yoghurt4C and homophobia, Jared and the Reddit), and certainly not the last as to January 2021 (see 2: allowing the mockery of pronouns, misgendering, people saying trans folk should consider "getting cured" and going without punishment, calling a trans woman in chat a man and receiving a mute, etc.).
So, what happens when a solid part of the moderation team seems to not only disregard queerphobia, but enable it?
The other part resigns.
September 13th, 2020. B0undarybreaker, in #moderator-messages (for example purposes)
Effective immediately, I am fully resigned as a moderator. I've had emergency moderation powers for a while, but I'm done investing my time and emotional labor into this community. Thank you for the support over the years. For transparency's sake, here are my parting words to the rest of the moderation team:
Fabricord, a server of -at the time- 9 thousand people, is left with 5 moderators and 2 ghost admins.
September 15th, 2020: Let them eat cake
Throughout the course of this week gdude#2002, the newest moderator in the server, puts the server through a revamp, under the promise of structural change
Thus, the rules are completely rewritten, community guidelines are put in place, and #discord-meta is created as a way for users to let moderators know what is bothering them about the server.
September 24th, 2020
This last change went south really really fast.
The community, now being allowed a space to suggest and complain, starts asking about moderation protocols and set punishments for specific offenses; Among those, how will the team approach discrimination under the new ruleset (within the context of Vatuu's unban, that had happened 10 days prior).
[...] according to my logs/data, difficult to paint in such a bad light as you are. The statements as written don't directly equate anyone, it is unclear whether they are obviously discriminatory [...]
I chose to believe his logs were wrong or missing stuff.
I DMd him, sent him all messages, screenshots and context as to why the whole situation was transphobic, and how the unban enabled that behaviour.
"Your interpretation is unfaithful" -Player#4590
I'd like you to take a moment here, and think with me for a second. Not like me, but with me.
Let's say "fuck Vatuu", and remove him from the picture as an individual.
What you're about to read is my very long conversation with Player about transphobia. Not about Vatuu, but simply "someone who has been openly bigoted".
i am just explaining that there's more than one interpretation, where yours looks very unfaithful
erm it is wrong to say pedophile = rapist, one doesn't impl the other
these all seem very much like cases where vatuu should just shut up and stop spewing bs (to the comment of "non-consensual sex should be included and supported")
there is no substance to your argument, it is unfaithful interpretation to a response to an equally unfaithful inquiry from nuclearfarts
we have no good way of being fully inclusive
This is Fabric's administrator. This is how he reacts to every act of discrimination in the server.
You're being unfaithful, your demands of "total punishment" are too much, I stay within context, you are the one spreading transphobia by "smearing it all over the place".
sigh I must admit, it's been almost 4 months, and I still can't quite believe he called me a transphobe. Not because I can't be one, but because... it felt like a "no u" situation. If I wasn't so angry, I'd maybe say I'm hurt. But I'm just... pissed? Sad? Disappointed?
Alas, Player's answer only cemented the fact that he was not someone to reach out for, that he did not care about the raging transphobia in the server (still there to this day), and that we couldn't really trust the old mod team, since they did in fact see the whole context, yet decided to allow the individual to come back.
But there's a bigger issue here. Not only with Player, but with everyone on the moderation team and partially the community as a whole.
Let's talk about indirect bigotry
[...] Indirect Bigotry manifests as "concern", or "debate" about a host of proxy issues.
It's often defensive in tone, rather than offensive. Frequently the claim is that a once needed liberation movement has now "gone too far"; that is now the activists who are the new oppressors, who are disturbing law and order with violent and chaotic protests, who are victimizing and silencing innocent people by calling them bigots, who are infiltrating the media and replacing good old-fashioned entertainment with politically correct propaganda.
And of course ordinary people are too intimidated to speak out against it because cancel culture is out of control and free speech is under attack.
[...] Indirect bigotry often replaces the actual people it targets with some big abstract concept. [...] Trans people become "transgenderism","gender ideology", "transactivists"...
[...] they (bigots) tell on themselves, when they react with instinctive hostility to anyone who agitates for change
[...] One way indirect bigotry works is by camouflaging political struggles as intellectual "debates"."
https://youtu.be/7gDKbT_l2us?t=1299 - from J.K.Rowling, by Contrapoints
Vatuu's situation was catalogued as "drama". The people who confronted Vatuu and asked for answers got labelled as aggressive, hypocrites, got told we were "flaming" or "cancelling" him, that we "deserve equal punishment" as him because we are "equally bad".
Does it sound familiar?
September 25th, 2020. I decided to reach out to modmuss50#1247, server owner and main maintainer of Fabric.
I really had no one else to go to, this was the last step on the ladder.
Modmuss, seeing the mess that his server became, decided to run off and hide on IRC. I had to get someone else to let him know I wanted to talk.
And we did.
I can’t give you any explanation or opinion here. I just… really don’t understand.
We were just asking for Player to stop having an admin role on the server, but
if I do that whats to stop him deleting the github, or nuking the servers
So we cannot get rid of Player because Modmuss is afraid he will delete all the project’s files and kill the servers, because he has done it in the past…
Do we understand how fucked up this is? The server administrator is holding the project hostage.
We have the people to replace Player's work, plenty of devs do what he does, we've talked with Modmuss about this several times.
And every single one of them, we end up in "but oh! the mutual trust!" "but what if! he takes down the project!". That's just being abusive? At what point did we allow this person to hold the project on a chokehold just so he's not able to be removed from his position in it?
How is this normal? Why do we continue to enable this?
And speaking of the devil...
The fault in our owners
Silence is complicity, it's enabling.
I'm not gonna sit here and be hurtful to Modmuss.
Do I think Player is a bad person? Yes, absolutely. There's a reason why Forge and FTB hate him.
Do I think the mod team are bad people? Perhaps, some of them have a lot to answer for.
Do I think Modmuss is a bad person? ...
No, not at all. But here's what I think: Modmuss doesn't care.
Yog, the Reddit, the Vatuu situation, Drama day, Player's behaviour, the mod team not being given the proper tools, the lack of accountability, every decision somehow always having to end up in Player and Modmuss’ hands.
The server system built by Asie and Modmuss back in 2018 stopped working when we passed the 300 users. We're at 12k.
And the truth is, Modmuss doesn’t want to moderate. He has said this himself several times.
But! He doesn't want to moderate, yet he refuses to leave the owner/moderator position fully. And when things eventually fall in his hands (because he is the server owner), he runs away. He just wants for people to “not bother” him. Remember, I had to ask someone to go to IRC so I could talk to him.
If being there is this stressful for you, why not let go of the owner role? Asie had it for 3 weeks, that was your chance. You could have let go there and then. But you didn't, nor did Player. And not only that, you told Asie to quit.
So, do you want to be a moderator or not? Do you want that power or not? Because you are responsible for this now. Your silence, your running away, enabled all of this.
It’s because you don’t care enough.
Modmuss is not a transphobe, of that I am certain.
But he doesn’t care about the server being full of them - because all he wants is for people to not bother him. Even if that means marginalizing queer people, and enabling toxic behaviour.
You lost 6+ moderators. You had to delete the general channels. People abandoned the project because of this.
Because you enabled transphobia. Because you sat there and didn’t do anything, nor let other people do it for you. Because we gave you choices, and you pulled out of all of them.
G, Darker, Reo, Xero, they joined the team to help you because you didn’t want to moderate - but that wasn’t enough. You allowed the community to hurt so much that they ended up quitting, because what they attempted wasn’t enough to heal it.
You hoarded the server’s power (limited decision making, removed audit logs, removed archive view, removed KICK PERMS from mods), then you say you don’t want to moderate and tell people you’re uninstalling Discord.
You enabled this, Modmuss.
I don’t know how to tell you this anymore. You allowed this to happen by both refusing to resign a position you seem to hate, but also by not doing anything at all with it.
Your silence made you not only complicit, but an enabler.
This is your responsibility. The one you wanted, the one you asked for. Stop running away.
So... What now?
Well, let's see
November 18th 2020
Vatuu is permabanned on Fabricord, over a year after the whole situation happened.
In Asie's words:
Vatuu was only banned because the backlash of not banning him was greater than the backlash of banning him.
if any of you really think it was due to the transphobia then I don't know what to tell you. get a grip, this place sucks.
- December 18th, 2020. On #discord-meta
The Fabric Project server
If you go to Fabricord right now, after all of this, you'll be stuck with a general sense of “oh, we’re fine!”.
And to that I say: You literally segregated people out of Fabricord.
You’re fine because all the people who called you out on your bigotry got so marginalized and shitted on, they left the server.
You’re fine because you are the problematic people, you just stopped getting called out for it.
A community full of transphobes, a moderation team that protects them. That’s what the Fabric Discord became.
What the hell is Fabricomm
The Fabric Community is... Is.
Asie and I came up with the idea a few months back and went with it; it's owned by gdude now. It exists, mainly, as a reaction to Fabricord's actions (or inactions).
Asie calls it a schism. I call it starting over.
I got told posting this would kill Fabric. That it would be tokenized as "the transphobic modloader".
I beg to differ.
Yes, this is the image Fabric has to live with now. A community on an unmoderated server with a lot of queerphobia in it.
But Fabric is more than just Fabricord. And there's a lot more to the community than just transphobes.
If you go to https://fabricmc.net/wiki/community_discords:other, you'll find plenty of other spaces to go to that are not Fabricord, yet still Fabric.
Hold Fabricord accountable. Hold its people accountable. But abandoning Fabric as a whole will actually turn it into the transphobes' modloader.
Reclaim Fabric and make it something better. Show the people on top that it can actually be inclusive, if they just try.
January 31st, 17:04
Hi. It's been about 2 hours since this has been up.
Here to let you know I was instantly banned from Fabricord once I made this public.
In addition, gdude, darkerbit and a few other "supporters"(?) have also been banned.
I'm not really surprised. If anything, I was expecting my ban. The other ones? Weird me out. It just feels like a "I want you and your friends out of here".
None of us received a ban message, or an explanation really. We just stopped seeing the server and couldn't rejoin.
Oh well then, farewell The Fabric Project server! I'm sure that continuing to sweep under the rug every problem you are confronted with will go down amazingly.