In the past, the PureZC staff have adopted a policy of not discussing private matters that led to the banning of members from the site. This was done with the intent of showing mutual respect and avoiding airing other members' dirty laundry to the world at large. However, this policy was not without its pitfalls. When high profile members were banned for issues that transpired mostly in private (such as occurred with Mero, who made death threats against LinkTheMaster and legal threats against the site), the community was left with nothing to go off but "Trust us, they deserved it," which lead to some confusion and angst. This issue has been raised with the staff quite frequently in recent months by several members, most notably Avataro, and after some thought we've come to agree. While our intent was good, this policy led to several bans appearing to come out of nowhere or be for petty reasons or spite. To that end, we are officially rescinding this policy, and, at our discretion, will share some of the more private details of bans (within reason) going forward from here.
This brings me to my next point. Ironically, the champion of this new policy, Avataro, is also the first to be affected by it. Avataro has received a three month ban for several incidents which occurred in private. Because of the private nature of this making the ban seem abrupt and out of the blue, and because he has told us that he intends to decry any action as a "staff conspiracy", we have decided to be forthcoming in the reasons for this ban.
Starting near the end of last year, Avataro became obsessed with Lunaria's ban. He frequently brought it up in multiple servers, despite basically everyone (not PureZC staff, members like Orin and Dimentio) telling him he was wrong. This behaviour continued to escalate, and at some point, he got it into his head that Aevin was running some anti-Lunaria conspiracy.
Around this time, he began repeatedly harassing Aevin in DMs. These began as passive aggressive comments, but gradually grew more aggressive in time. They often occurred several times per day. He also began DMing me around the same time, though he got bored and started focusing solely on Aevin around mid February. These exchanges to me included remarks like this.
[3:52 PM] Avataro: you guys honestly suck as staff xD spouting lies like this
We explained to him the situation, resulting in him seeming to understand... only to come back the very next day accusing us of lying. This was the trend with all his DMs. At first, we'd seek an understanding with him, and he'd pretend to reach one, only to come back swinging the next day.
Throughout this whole ordeal, he made passive aggressive comments in other servers (The ZScript Server as an example), calling out the staff, and particularly Aevin, as awful every time he got the opportunity.
He also would periodically send a request to Aevin to remove a positive review on one of Aevin's quests. The last exchange ended as such.
AvataroYesterday at 9:29 AM
remove my yuurei review as well, please: https://www.purezc.n...eviews&id=21259
AevinYesterday at 9:30 AM
AevinYesterday at 9:30 AM
Any database staff can do this. Please PM Eddy or Shoshon on the forum with any further requests.
AvataroYesterday at 9:52 AM
good point, i hate interacting with you too
Following this, he gave 1-star reviews to Hero's Memory and Hitodama, and a 3-star review to Yuurei. While discussing the situation with Anthus, he admitted that this was done as rating abuse to spite Aevin.
i'm not trolling or anything. i wanted my reviews for aevin's quests removed because i didn't feel good about praising him anymore (i really don't like aevin personally now).
Now I should be clear here. The staff are not in the business of banning people for low reviews on quests. However, as outlined in our rules, ratings can't be done in an attempt to harass users or compensate for other reviews to adjust the net rating of a quest.
Database entries should be rated with your own personal opinion, not to "correct" other peoples' ratings. Do not rate things higher or lower than you normally would with the intent of undermining other members' ratings or adjusting the overall score. Ratings that do this will be removed.
Just like with other areas of the forum, harassment will not be tolerated in the reviews and comments on a submission.
In this case, by Avataro's own admission these adjustments were done because he doesn't like Aevin, rather than any change in opinion he had on the quests themselves.
Lastly, to address the potential concern that Avataro might not have known he was breaking the rules, I'd like to post this message he sent to Anthus, in which he acknowledges that he's exhibiting ban-able behaviour and expresses surprise that he hasn't been banned yet.
In short, he willingly and knowingly broke the rules to conduct a month-long campaign of harassment against a member of the site (Rule One) and ratings manipulation to further that harassment (Rule Nine and the Ratings Agreement). As such, he will be banned for three months. He has also made his intent to go down as a martyr so that he can explain "It's a conspiracy!" quite clear to us, so we've decided to lay the facts out here to pre-empt any such ridiculous claims.
EDIT: The ban length was reduced to two months from three, as described here.
Edited by David, 13 March 2019 - 12:18 AM.