The first of Many… Lord Grep’s Sunday Supplement.

Welcome to a weekly section, a Sunday supplement if you will.. We haven’t thought of a name as yet, but it is the weekly musings, and ramblings of that most divisive of people, Lord Grep.

Well… Hello… And welcome to my weekly roundup of what is going on in my world. This is very much an opinion piece, though I am going to do my best to shy away from too much political stuff, though I can assure you I will not shy away from controversy, and drama.

There has been so much that has been going on in the last week, some of it I can talk about, and some of it I can’t. There has been an election on, AVEN has brought in a new rule that seems as if it is aimed squarely at, I have been dealing with the continuing saga of being cyberstalked, and the antics of AVEN infiltrating AS-NS’s trusted user group in order to screen shot things, and then take them out of context, and huddle round like a bunch of old ladies pointing and saying “ooo this will never do”…

To start with, though, perhaps I should explain the name changes (on AVEN).. I originally changed my name on AVEN from Lord Grep, to “/dev/null” as a joke. It’s a joke that maybe three people actually got, but I found it funny, and that’s all that matters. Now I could discuss the reasons, but we here at Ace Times make at least some effort to keep up with the idea of “News” being something that happened some time in the last month.

After that kerfuffle, I thought I would change my name to something else, but as I don’t take AVEN seriously any more, I wanted my new name to reflect that. So I changed my name to “Moderator”. I then went round playing practical jokes on my friends, by giving them warnings and the like.. I posted a thread on AS-NS, asking “How long do you think AVEN will let me keep my name”. The answer was about 3 days. Funny really; it takes them 2 weeks usually to make any kind of decision, but not this one. The reason provided was that I might just fool some young vulnerable people, and they might inadvertently give me personal details. Translated into English, this means “Don’t that is just too much fun, and we forgot to make “impersonating a moderator a rule”. So I then changed my name to “Administrator”, to which I heard the synchronised face palming of AVEN moderators, and it took less than an hour to receive a new mail giving me a long list of things I could not become. So then I changed to “O_0”. But to be honest, it did not suite me. I liked being Lord Grep.. But it felt for some reason like I would have lost to return to it.

A few days later, I was trying to think of an account on AS-NS to be the voice of the council. We had decided that just having things said by one person makes that person look responsible for everything. As I have seen again and again, many people keep assuming that as I was the spokesperson for AS-NS, that I was wholly responsible for AS-NS, and this is just not true. At the end of the day, I settled with “GOD”. I thought that ticked all right the boxes. It sounded like the name of authority, it was amusing, and it was slightly controversial.. I loved it.. So I took it. I spent some time looking for the perfect avatar, I wanted to use the God picture that Monty Python used, but for the life of me I could not find it.

Anyway. I liked this so much… I though.. Mmmm… What about AVEN… I still have one name change left. I bet that it is not available though. Any way.. I tried.. Now GOD was a bad name (according to AVENs nanny state automation ), But G0D was just fine… So I became G0D…. Although I sort of shot myself in the foot, as once again, I have made my username on AVEN the same as the authoritative user on AS-NS. Foiled again.. Who cares though, eh? Nope, me neither.

If you want to see a very silly conversation, you can see the moment when GOD introduces himself to AS-NS. Even Santa gets involved. Read it HERE

There is an addition to this story, as I did find the GOD from Monty Python image after all, and it looks just fantastic on AVEN.. So there it will remain. Strangely enough no one as yet has given me any grief over my choice of name. Maybe AVEN has gone soft, maybe no one noticed, or maybe just maybe, they thought “Let’s let this silliness go, and let’s work with Grep, and the good people at AS-NS“..

God of Monty Python, and my AVEN Avatar.

A few days later I discovered the answer to that one. As some of you may be aware, a couple of weeks ago I wrote the following open letter to AVEN staff members who joined AS-NS under false pretences, and then screen captured things in order to show AS-NS in a shitty light to AVEN admons… There has been a longstanding campaign over the last few months to try and get AS-NS banned from AVEN.

An open letter to AVENs Management.

This is not a message to any particular person in AVEN, it is a message to your culture, and the way you operate.

Over the last week or so, many of us here have been reading up on the history of AVEN, and also the other asexual sites that have sprung up. What has interested me is the way that AVEN has behaved towards them. The way it secretly infiltrates them, and also spies on their administrators, and users.

We thought to start with that we had been singled out, but this is just not true. AVEN has actively gone after and planned ways to ruin sites that don’t follow its rules. If AVEN was a business then you would most likely be guilty of many anti trust laws.

Over the past 24 hours I have discovered that AVEN has actively attempted, and in some cases succeeded in infiltrating us. It is something that is encouraged.. While you yourself hide behind a barrage of secrecy, and will investigate leaks, you actively seek out ways to infiltrate sites you perceive to be your competition, and encourage people to report on them.

Do you not understand how unethical this is? It is one thing to police your own site, and to uphold your own rules but to attempt to inflict those rules on other people, and other sites is just wrong.

Why can’t you just let us be our own community? Why can’t you stop scheming and plotting. Why can’t you just leave us in peace to talk about what we want and deal with our own issues in our own way?

I thought until recently that it was just something to do with this site, and something to do with me. I also thought that it was mainly instigated by a couple of people, but the fact is that this sort of thing has been going on for years, and it is the way you behave.

A really interesting thing we have discovered is that your people have been trying there best to get us to do or say things that are against AVEN. They have in fact started the very threads that AVEN moderators have complained about. That is just the shittiest behaviour. Your creating the problems and then trying to use those issues in order to shut us down.

I have had enough. I want it to stop… I want AVEN to find a way of working like a responsible and ethical player in the asexual community.

I am giving you notice. The next time I find out that screenshots of our private spaces are being circulated between AVEN back room staff, I am going to make it my mission to expose you. I will start gathering as much evidence as I can. I will start a fund to offer cash to people to whistle blow. I will contact the media about your practices. I will make it my mission to make it known just what kind of institution you are.

To put this bluntly to you. LEAVE US ALONE.. We are NOT interested in infiltrating anyone. We just want to co-exist with you, and we have done our best to accommodate your bullying, and if you think this is some how “threatening” It is the same threats that you have made against us for months.

All you have to do is stop people publishing our back room stuff, get on with your site, and perhaps try and get on with your neighbours.

Feel free to screen shot THIS and circulate it, and fucking grow up!

There is more on this HERE

Well.. It seems as though we got our response. I was not expecting much but there seems little doubt about where this is aimed at:

Rule Regarding Links Is Added to ToS
AVEN reserves the right to de-list, delete or ban any links or advertisements to websites known to harass, bully or otherwise antagonize our members. The safety and well-being of the general membership is important and this rule is a pro-active step in creating guidelines for a respectful relationship between AVEN and external websites and communities. This is not meant to close discussion or even disagreement/criticisms of AVEN, but rather focus on the membership and community within.

You should read the whole thread HERE You will get the idea..

Perhaps I should now talk about the election on AVEN? Well… It seems to be a car crash, even more so than most. I have had most of my posts removed on the subject. I can only see one person now that really has what it takes to do the job, and that’s @toffington. I did mail “@And Peggy” to ask her why she withdrew from the election, but if she was indeed 13, then.. call me old fashioned, but do we really want children telling us what we can or cannot say? Maya, well. She has shown just how politically biased she is on many occasions, and while I have a soft spot for her, I just don’t see how she could realistically stop disputes, as she is usually the one hitting the “report button”. I get the feeling we will all be banned.

The only person for the job is @Toffington. He is by far the best person for the job. He has been one of the best people I have ever worked with online. He is not perfect, but when he makes a mistake, he will always listen, apologize, and just get on with things without drama, or ill feeling. He is just the best person I know of to deal with the bickering and political games that some on AVEN like to play. It will be a sad day for AS-NS when he wins, as he will not have as much time to invest in AS-NS.

Talking of AS-NS… This week while looking through the stats I realised that most of the people who would disagree with many of the sentiments discussed on AS-NS don’t say anything at all. All they seem to do is read the site, and screenshot the place in order to go off and complain. It struck me as to how silly this behaviour is, and I tried to think ‘Why’?

Here we have a place where people can say exactly what they want, where no one is going to get in trouble for any disagreement, and where a degree of personal sniping is permitted. So it seems like a place where those who wish to strongly disagree could voice their opinion. So why don’t they?

I think it is all about the fact that there are no moderators about. I think the reason they engage in passive aggressive behaviour is to try and get someone else to react, and then run off crying to a moderator to get them banned, something that won’t happen on AS-NS. So they try another tactic. Rather than put forward an argument that would fall down, they simply take a screenshot, and then try to complain on AVEN.

This is self evident in the election where someone was trying to drag @tofu through the mud by bringing up screen captures from AS-NS. I think this kind of behaviour shows exactly what these people are like. Rather than discussing a subject, and trying to have an adult conversation about something, they really are only interested in personal assaults.

It really is a shame, as AS-NS lends its self so well as a place where difficult and divisive subjects can be discussed without fear of repercussions. I mean you don’t even have to use the same name as you do on AVEN. Really, the place is far better than AVEN’s Hot Box in this regard, and I think that those who enjoy engaging in heated discussions are really missing a trick.

I know many people think that I hate AVEN. That is simply not the case. I strongly dislike some of its policies, and I know full well that many of the administrative team dislikes me, but I still think that in many regards AVEN does a good job.

When I started AS-NS it was with the idea of it being a sister site to AVEN, and to a degree that is still something I would like to see happen. I know that we have done our best to accommodate AVEN, even after the crap we have had to deal with. I still feel that we present an area were people can let their hair down, and more importantly discuss subjects, and present views that AVEN does not appreciate. So to all those that just take those silly screen shots, why not just say “You are wrong, and here is why”, and you never know, you might actually change someones mind, rather than just make them out to be lesser people.

I know I am open minded about almost everything, and the reason I discuss things and debate is not to make people out to be stupid, or to some how win, it is because I actually want to learn, and appreciate someone else’s point of view. So how about it? Why not engage with your detractors, or is telling the teacher on people the height of your intellectual being?

Let’s end this week with something good..

I have started work on an inter-site chat system. The idea is that it will be a centralized IRC-based system, and each of the different IRC sites and forums will be given admin rights over their own rooms, but the users are free to go where they like, even set up their own groups, etc.

I am looking for people who are interested in helping out testing the system, and administering the system once it is up and running.

If you are interested, then please feel free to contact me on AS-NS. (I am Lord Grep on AS-NS)…

That is that for this week… There is lots more I could say, but I get the feeling you will have finished your cup of tea by now, and you have more interesting things to do than read my bleating.

If you want to give me grief, or share your opinions, then feel free to check out the thread dedicated to this weeks supplement right HERE.

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