Poll: A Drastic Measure to Save the Escapist - Mass Unbanning

Jan 19, 2011
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My fellow Escapees,

It is no secret that this site is in a decline. In the past, the forums were so active that you had to be careful when to make a thread, lest it would be pushed off page 1 by the sheer volume of new topics being created. Visiting Page 20 of Off-Topic used bring you back 16-18 days. Today, topics 7 months old still linger. Many others have discussed this decline, on a refuge location [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.875069-The-Escapist-is-dying-but-not-because-of-Gamergate-Statistics].

However, I propose a solution: mass unbanning

Hear me out:

Huge amounts of users have been banned over the years. Many of these users are still recognized today (such as: MaxtheReaper, Furburt, Wanderfreak, and many other countless, notable users). In some circumstances, these bans were necessary, and in other cases, the bans were considered controversal (e.g., Vault101). But the premise isn't to determine what was right or what was wrong, but simply to forgive. If the Escapist unbanned everyone who was once banned, then these users would come flocking back to the site, and old communities would be restored!

And it is not just the banned who will return - but those who have disappeared from the forums. Jack and Calumon. DaystarClarion. Neonbob. And so many other, great posters. With more activity on the site, and many of their friends resurected, these people would have an incentive to return, thereby bolstering our numbers even further!

As for spammers: just don't unban them in the first place, or if that is not possible, just reban them if they start posting again. The same goes to those banned; if they haven't cleaned up their behaviour, then they can always be banned again if they build up enough infractions.

The mods/gods may not enjoy the concept of going back on previous judgements, but the thing is: we don't really have a choice. This site is dying, and amnesty is a clear path to rejuvinating and resustaining it for years to come.

Lament for the Fallen: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.404382-Lament-For-The-Fallen-Banned

So, what do you think should be done? Is unbanning apropiate?
 

bluegate

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Apr 3, 2020
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Although I don't agree with banning away one's user base, I doubt that unbanning them now would do much of anything at this point. Most people who have been banned will have most likely moved on and won't come back even if they are unbanned.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

Alleged Feather-Rustler
Jun 5, 2013
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Not really no. The people banned were banned for a reason - personal insults like fag and kike, death threats, mass trolling, posting porn or links to illegal download sites, or they just requested a self ban.
Very very very rarely were people banned for overt political reasons like not enough free candy to Basement Cat or refusing to follow Jim into his bedroom.

People who were banned deserved to be banned and we shouldn't want any of them back.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
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No I don't think that's a particularly good idea. As SIlentpony said, the vast majority of them were banned for good reason. Besides most have probably moved on at this point and have no desire to return. On top of that, as we've discovered, the site seems to be breaking down at the coding level and no amount of unbanning is going to fix that.
 

JoJo

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I wouldn't actually oppose some sort of amnesty, on a case-by-case basis. Selectively applied, though, because most bans were handed out for good reason. But either way, that alone is not going to bring back the site from the brink. Only a small proportion of users end up being banned, most just drift away or were never that active to begin with.
 

IceForce

Is this memes?
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Apr 4, 2020
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Orrrr those banned people could simply make new accounts and start posting again. It's not like there's anyone left here who has the capability to detect banjumpers, especially if the banjumpers are smart about it. In fact, some of those people you mentioned are very likely still here, posting on alt accounts, and we'd never know.

Hell, even WITH a Tech Team, banjumping was rampant. (Which is why I'm surprised the One Banjumper to Rule Them All hasn't returned, given that there's no IP bans anymore or any other measures in place to stop him/her)
 

Gennadios

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Aug 19, 2009
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This suggestion is the equivalent of repopulating a devastated city by opening up the checkpoints to let zombies inside.

Does anyone keep in contact with former users? Do we know if any of them would actually come back? If someone has contact info, EternalNothingness could be coaxed back in a heartbeat, if they hadn't embraced an heroism already.
 

Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
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Unbanning won't make anyone come back. It won't save the site. Nothing will.
But day goes by
The people who have moved on will stay moved on no matter what, and there's nothing anyone can do to change that. They have found new routines, new comforts, and new people. The old days are dead and will never return. You're better off finding new pastures. Hoping things return to how they were is wishful thinking. It's not optimistic, it's unrealistic.
And love goes by
Not a drastic measure, but a fantasy scenario.
And sooner or later
I've dropped in on the forums from time to time and it's weird to see names like Furburt, Hubilub, Neonbob dropped with such hushed reverence, even by users who weren't even active at the time of these people. It appears tragic from the outside, like some kind of community that only looks backwards. There was a time and place where there were these people here, and those times ended, just like how you don't see all your old school friends anymore. That's life. Find a new patch and settle in there.
We both must lie
I'm not saying that those looking to the past in nostalgia are the reason the site is dying and people left. That's more to do with the shifting way the internet works now, the various controversies that made forums unpleasant to be around, but probably most of all, upper management starving the place and gutting it like they did GameTrailers.
And sooner or later
I just want you all to realise there is no solution in looking to the past. You need to look forward, and to somewhere outside of the site.
We all must die
For your own good.
And sooner or later
Time's moved on.
We all live a lie.
 

Battenberg

Browncoat
Aug 16, 2012
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Sounds like a great way to overload/ burn out all the mods (assuming these banned people even come back).
 

Fiona Callahan

Goddess of Planeptune
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I really don't think the escapist will recover either way. So why bother?
 

tippy2k2

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JoJo said:
I wouldn't actually oppose some sort of amnesty, on a case-by-case basis. Selectively applied, though, because most bans were handed out for good reason. But either way, that alone is not going to bring back the site from the brink. Only a small proportion of users end up being banned, most just drift away or were never that active to begin with.
^THIS

Also

Jack and Calumon said:
But what does Calumon think? :D
 

Rip Van Rabbit

~ UNLIMITED RULEBOOK ~
Apr 17, 2012
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Those that were banned either deserved it, left of their own volition or they won't be around to hear about their hypothetically renewed entrance. I just cannot picture anyone waiting outside the gates of the Escapist, hoping and wishing to get back in.

While a dwindling user base isn't a good thing, this site has bigger issues than that: Defy itself.

You're better off looking elsewhere.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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That's like taking back a cheating ex because nobody else will date you. Are we at that point?
 

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
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This needs payed people working the technical strings and maintenance. Volunteers being given even more needless hassle will not improve things. Patience can only be pushed so far, especially with others' own free time.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

Alleged Feather-Rustler
Jun 5, 2013
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Johnny Novgorod said:
That's like taking back a cheating ex because nobody else will date you. Are we at that point?
Nah. I'd sooner see the site close down before letting the trash posters back in.
 

Fijiman

I am THE PANTS!
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As others have already stated, most of the banned(even excluding all of the bots that have been banned over the years) were banned for good reason and probably moved on years ago. Hell, I imagine that even most of those who banjumped have jumped ship anyway along with most of the other users. The only way to save the Escapist at this point would be to do something big to bring in both new and old users and then still have something to keep them coming back. Problem is that Defy most likely doesn't care enough about this site at this point to even try and thinking of something to bring more traffic here.
 

Saelune

Trump put kids in cages!
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Jack and Calumon said:
Unbanning won't make anyone come back. It won't save the site. Nothing will.
But day goes by
The people who have moved on will stay moved on no matter what, and there's nothing anyone can do to change that. They have found new routines, new comforts, and new people. The old days are dead and will never return. You're better off finding new pastures. Hoping things return to how they were is wishful thinking. It's not optimistic, it's unrealistic.
And love goes by
Not a drastic measure, but a fantasy scenario.
And sooner or later
I've dropped in on the forums from time to time and it's weird to see names like Furburt, Hubilub, Neonbob dropped with such hushed reverence, even by users who weren't even active at the time of these people. It appears tragic from the outside, like some kind of community that only looks backwards. There was a time and place where there were these people here, and those times ended, just like how you don't see all your old school friends anymore. That's life. Find a new patch and settle in there.
We both must lie
I'm not saying that those looking to the past in nostalgia are the reason the site is dying and people left. That's more to do with the shifting way the internet works now, the various controversies that made forums unpleasant to be around, but probably most of all, upper management starving the place and gutting it like they did GameTrailers.
And sooner or later
I just want you all to realise there is no solution in looking to the past. You need to look forward, and to somewhere outside of the site.
We all must die
For your own good.
And sooner or later
Time's moved on.
We all live a lie.
So many people have been coming out of the woodwork to...pay respects I guess?

Its weird seeing so many ghosts of the past.

Edit: Also creepy hidden text o. o;;
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
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In all frankness, I'm having trouble thinking of a worse idea. Ignoring for a minute the banned alts and spambot accounts, most of the bans were put in place because the people acted in an unacceptable manner. Sometimes it was persistent minor code of conduct breaches, sometimes it was actually threatening other users or posting pornography. Those users were banned for good reason. Now you can certainly make the case that some bans were unwarranted, but mass unbannings to restore those users is like setting someone on fire because they complained about being cold. Yeah, it fixes the problem of being cold, but that's an incidental perk massively outweighed by the effect of burning them to death.

Even ignoring all of that, the idea is horribly ill conceived. The users you want back? Most of them haven't been on this site in years. Do you really think that they spent that time twiddling their thumbs and thinking "golly gee, I sure wish the mods at the Escapist would give me another shot"? They've had years to move on and find other communities to be a part of, so an unbanning like that is unlikely to bring back the old favorites.

And even ignoring that, the proposed unbanning does nothing to address the actual problem of lack of content to draw in and retain new members, or the problem of the forum coding eroding, or the simple fact that by all appearances Internet Forums are simply becoming less popular with the rise of services like Discord, TeamSpeak, and Twitch. There are a lot of reasons that the Escapist forums are declining, but none of them would be fixed through mass unbannings.
 

Meximagician

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May 30, 2020
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I think that would only work in addition to a much needed overhauling and updating of the site. I mean, just looking at the front page would make you think it should be renamed to Yahtzee and Friends' Desperate Search for Content.

Not that some extra content would hurt, but the front page only scratches the surface of the forums, which these days has most of The Escapist's regular content. Also, the front page is months out of date for the scrolling marquee and some of the featured articles.

Most people who come back to The Escapist now would look around, wonder when the site was last updated, look at the dates of the featured articles, then write the site off as dead already. When it's not... mostly not... [small]p-partially not...[/small]
[sub]right?[/sub]