Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lifetime Ban on ENWorld for Blogging? Say it ain't so, Joe!

I am in a mood most foul right now, and the bullshit I've just seen regarding ENWorld and it's defensive pettiness is just fuel to the fire.

+Joe D goes on a rant about ENWorld on his blog and he gets banned from ENWorld. He didn't post it on ENWorld. Heck, it was on his own blog.

So, lets talk about my history with ENWorld. I used to be a paid supporter, even though I never actually played 3e and certainly never played 4e. I thought the community was decent.

Things changed.

I got into a pissing match with Morrus over Twitter when ENWorld got hacked. It was over the relevance of G+ over Facebook in regards to RPG Communities. In the end, we agreed to ignore each other.

I was amazed when Kickstarter violated it's own rules and allowed ENWord to fund it's revamping. I guess the Kickstarter folks were fans, and we all know rules don't apply to those that write them.

I was surprised when I saw a corner of ENWorld being put aside for the OSR.

I was confused when Morrus referred to ENWorld as "his blog". It is not a blog. It is a ad funded site run for profit. I've already pointed out some of the ads in the rotation over there are selling anything but gaming. Not that I mind tits and ass, but not when I'm reading a gaming site.

Now, I'm just pissed.

I'm pissed because there is nothing that +Joe D said that wasn't true. ENWorld's relevancy in the OSR is about on par with the influence +James Raggi is going to have with the art direction in D&D Next.

I do know ENWorld has to toe the WotC company line. It's how they get press releases early and the like. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. It also means that you are less likely to let bad publicity hurt the hand that feeds you. So I suspect +Joe D 's ban was to prevent some anti-WotC / D&D Next post popping up on ENWorld before one of the moderators could shut it down.

Preemptive Strike if you will.

So, here's my deal. Anyone that gets a lifetime ban from ENWorld for "off site posting" can submit guest posts over here at The Tavern. I will vet the posts - I'm not going to allow personal attacks. That being said, I don't need to agree with the poster. As folks that read this blog regularly know, my moderation of the comments section is about as light as it can be.

I might not have the traffic of ENWorld, but your post won't be lost in ENWorld's endless forums either.

Nothing personal. I just don't like bullshit.


  1. thanks man! i'm no saint here, but its odd how they banned me for an offsite post. then again, maybe not so out of character.

  2. I never understood the appeal of ENWorld to begin with.....

  3. back in the day it was a decent place to go and discuss stuff.

  4. I've never found the ENworld board that interesting to hang out at...just another board over-moderated into oblivion, I guess. I did make a personal commitment not to go back to rpg.net ever again. I have successfully avoided that site for all of January, and my general optimism toward gaming is through the roof again. I made the same commitment a while back to avoid the sewer at therpgsite. As far as I'm concerned the only decent source for all things gaming now is in the blogosphere...

  5. Wait a minute. Joe got banned for Just How Big is the OSR Getting?

    What was offensive about that post?

  6. Never hung out on ENworld, but maybe I should join, you know, so I can get banned for life. LOL

  7. Sorry Erik, I disagree.

    "...when 4e hit I thought they became a bunch of kiss-ass pussy cheerleaders..."
    "...a 4e devotee playground of self-delusion and denial..."

    I don't think that there is a rule that says you have to say the things Joe said on his blog, on the actual site he was talking about, to get banned. Dude doesn't like Enworld. I don't like Enworld. If I called them "pussy ass cheerleaders" I certainly wouldn't begrudge them deciding that they did not want me on their site.

    About RPG.net, Joe called them:

    "...Big Purple Disease Ridden Cock."

    I wouldn't see a problem if they decided that they don't want him there, either.

    We open our mouths, we then have to take responsibility for any fallout.

    1. "We open our mouths, we then have to take responsibility for any fallout."

      Very true, but . . . we walk a treacherous path when we begin censuring opinion.

      If "they" choose to punish him for exercising his "free speech" -- on his own blog -- because "they" don't like what he said, then "they" can't complain when something worse happens to "them."

      And the Government is toying with the idea even now.

  8. ah ha! finally found where i was mentioned. :) http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?352128-Are-we-as-a-wider-community-nasty

  9. Looks like a bit of an overreaction to me, and I said so in the thread.

  10. The comments on Joe's blog were interesting!

  11. The thing is I'm late to this D&D on the internet thing - and I've played with Joe, GM'd Joe and played in games run by Joe. Joe's a fun player, a fun GM and a pretty mellow guy. He talks some smack, and says crude things, but really that post isn't especially nasty, and neither are Joe's sentiments - yeah 4e, worst edition ever ... blah blah. That's neither new nor exciting. Some crude statements, the post was a polemic - Joe's a polemicist - remember the coppers and rats?

    I don't know ENworld, but I know Joe, and the OSR blogsphere. Seems to me we have increasingly irrelevant forums getting hurt that people say things about them. Yawn yawn, stop talking bout it and write some one page dungeons - one three months or so left to get those together.

  12. This is just a sign of the DDR-style mentality found at many forums. I can agree that Joe was a bit frivolous in his choice of words, and maybe if he'd written it on the forums I could understand. Maybe. But he wrote it on his own blog, and as I understand it correctly there's the concept of free speech, at least where I come from. In my book, this action only serves to make ENworld look bad. And they've lost me too...

    1. I agree with the sentiment.

      But since there was no governmental censure or action, Joe's constitutional right to free speech was not infringed. This is not a free speech issue.

    2. Nor in a strict legal sense, no. I meant more the general gist of it all.

  13. The only forum which did not degrade into a pile of goo was The Forge, and that was because Ron put up hard rules and kept to them. I think his way is the only way to make it work. Every time I see news like this it reinforce that opinion.

  14. Joe is free to say what he wants, others are free to react to it how they choose. That ENworld choose to ban him is their choice, especially if they think his presence on their site is going to be detrimental. Their house, their decision. Not a place I'd visit anyhow. That Joe thinks 4e and D & D next are steaming piles of RPG crap is his choice. I do worry that "Free Speech" becomes some sort of sacred totem we run to when other disagree with our opinions or react negatively to our held opinions.

  15. Really was not even aware people still read EnWorld.

    But then again some people still like to buy Juggs from the Korean store.

  16. I agree there is no "freedom of speech" issue involved. Private forum, no freedoms.

    From my reading of the FAQ / TOS at ENWorld, there is nothing there that states offsite actions can lead to onsite banning.

    From what I've said about ENWorld and it's relevancy on this blog in the past, I should have been banned a long time ago - I just curse less than Joe. Well, and maybe my footprint is a bit too big to do so without making some minor internet waves.

    Maybe I should check to see if i've been banned...

    1. It's tricky because, as soon as they put up rules and charged for a service, those rules became a contract. Those going to the site became clients and content providers. That the management doesn't consistently apply those rules implies that they do not believe themselves bound by their end of the contract.

      So, while freedom of speech may not be involved (but it may, if the contract is being unilaterally broken on the basis of speech off-site, which EN World has no mandate to respond to), there are legal issues involved.

      The ethical issues, of course, are a bit more obvious.

      I am 100% for "Your house, your rules", but if you start charging people to stay at your house, it is no longer your house, but you bed & breakfast or your hotel, and the legal and ethical obligations change.

    2. I might agree if Enworld charged for access to their website. They don't. You can subscribe (I just went and checked, haven't been there for years) and get some 4e and Pathfinder stuff and some extra features, but there is no charge at all to use the site that I can see.

      Now, if Joe was a subscriber to Enworld, there might be an argument there that I could see.

    3. Let's say that Bob is a lifetime subscriber, and Bob likes Joe's posts. Bob has a reasonable expectation that access to Joe's posts, now and in the future, will be governed according to the Rules. Because, and I may just be spit-balling here, I imagine that most people don't subscribe to a Forum to post their own material, but to gain access to the posts of others.

      From the flip side, Joe (or anyone posting) is providing content that the site then sells to its subscribers. Having been active on EN World during numerous pledge drives and in the period when Morrus decided to make it his business, the "Look at what we provide for you" was always based primarily on the Forum posts, and that was always what people were encouraged to support with their money.

      A contract can exist where any goods or services are exchanged; actual money need not trade hands. Providing content is the same as paying, if the content has any value. A space within which content can exist, be added to, and be accessed, is worth paying for only so long as the rules that govern the site are not onerous (ex. a site which claims ownership in perpetuity of anything you post) and they are followed.

      IMHO, YMMV, & etc.

  17. i think that we are witnessing opening salvos of pathfinder vs wotc shootout. i think that badmouthing 4e or 3e is not something that wotc would actively disapprove but these days pathfinder is 3e and 13th age is 4e.

    btw, i would give my right nut to find out why goodman games decided not to compete in 2013 ennies.

  18. Private forums can do whatever they want to moderate their forums or ban players. But the more aggressive the moderators get, the less I want to be involved with that community.
    If the site admins are going to be taking personal offense to offsite activity, they're too involved.

    1. Agreed 100% with this sentiment. I never really participated in ENWorld, but a few years ago I noticed that rpg.net moderators were getting way to officious and aggressive. For a while I dialed back my participation there, then quit altogether when it became clear that's how they liked to run the site. That's cool, it just wasn't for me any more.

  19. Banning at some places should be a badge of honor.

    ENWorld can do whatever the like, but banning someone for something they posted on their own blog? That says more about ENWorld that it ever could about Joe.

    1. I would agree. it says more about ENWorld and however thin-skinned they may have become. I have been involved in utilizing social media for almost 20 years and you best have a thick skin and a good sense of self if you want to participate in the animated discussions that abound on the net.

  20. Enworld has always had a tendancy to ban / moderate based on who said something or who something was said about rather than what was actually said. Target A is fair game but target B is off limits.

    But, their house, their rules.

  21. Thanks for the support guys. Good to know I wasn't off when I saw that I was banned and said "Huh??" :)

  22. The biggest problem with ENWorld is that Morrus is really, really, full of himself. He used to be a decent bloke, but he's gotten more and more insufferable.

    I really doubt it had anything to do with D&D Next marketing (and I say this as someone banned from ENWorld for complaining about 4e people trolling Pathfinder - which I'm not even a fan of), just him being petty.

  23. Never even heard of ENWorld. Guess I'm old and out of touch.

    It does seem overprotective if someone from ENWorld read something posted elsewhere and banned the poster from ENWorld. How odd. Whoever did that has too much free time on his hands.


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