As you may have noticed, IAB has recently been under a series of spam attacks, leading us to deactivate comments on the boards more than once. The disruption is coming from a user who was permabanned on Thursday night by the Moderation Team.
The user in question has been banned from IAB twice before. In his most recent incarnation, he was known for affecting a haughty air with other users ("Stop whining and clogging the threads. Now run along!") and adjuring Americans to chant four words ("Death to the Presidency!"), which was somehow supposed to result in a political revolution. The details of this bizarre vision were always vague; nonetheless, he regularly berated Americans -- users of an entertainment website, no less -- for being "weak and lazy" and not following his plan.
IAB is a place for diverse viewpoints, certainly, and some of this user's commentary was interesting and welcome. But much of it was repetitive and seemed designed only to provoke. As far as the user's four-word mantra goes, IAB and the moderators want nothing whatsoever to do with it.
In terms of the Community Standards, the user was in violation on multiple accounts: Propagandizing, sloganizing, spamming, thread-hijacking, interfering with moderation, and "behaving in a way that detracts from the community as a whole." Out of 211 entries in the Moderation Actions Log, this individual had been the subject of 47 of them (22%), more than any other user. Approximately 25% of the other entries were for individuals who, it could be argued, were goaded and provoked by him. Basically, nearly half of the disturbances on IAB were related to this one account.
On Thursday night, a vote among the Moderation Team to ban the user passed unanimously, and the account was shut down. Almost immediately, the spam attacks began. Using multiple accounts, the user began to spam a long list of grievances on the IAB boards. We've been doing our best to stay on top of the situation and limit the disturbances as best we can.
Here's How You Can Help
Please refrain from replying to this user's comments. We'll be deleting the comments and shutting down his accounts when we see them, but our work will be greatly assisted if users do not engage with him in any way.
The Banned User's Manifesto
Lastly, we are reproducing below the screed this user has been spamming the website with. We're doing this primarily to placate the user. He states that he will be leaving IAB "for good" after posting this message. Well, banned user, we're letting you have your say here now in hopes you'll make good on your own promise.
--The Moderation Team
LIMITED TIME EXCLUSIVE COMMENT - RARE READ (issue #2)!
It's the first OFF of 2019 and a new year with new directions!
I-A-B used to be a good place to visit. Back when i first came here it was because i was bored. It had games, funny picture series, cool things from the deep reaches of the web, amazing information, entertaining videos etc. I checked it out, and wasn't bored anymore. So i kept checking it out when i was bored. Sure, it had some questionable things sometimes. But the content was mainly plentiful and it piqued interests. Besides, it never really got worse than what most people had already seen. And there was enough variety for everyone to see something interesting, or leave a comment.
Anyway since that time I-A-B has had some changes. It has grown, but not at all for the best. Since that golden time, the content has grown limited. For example, even just a few shorts months ago there was a time when two (2) OFF's were on the front page. Also variety has given way to primarily idealized posts. For example, a few times over the last few years there's only been politicized and propagandized posts on the front page. Users could view much content or leave a comment or reply to one freely and without scorn. Yet it became a place where freedom of speech is replaced with an idealized mindset of what people can and can't say, and like an echo chamber of like-minded narrow minded thinking. Intellectual debates gave way to juvenile bickering, chest beating, and name calling from narrow minded thinkers who hate challenging their world-view. Game posts, interesting posts, funny posts, informative posts, thoughtful posts, have all taken a back seat to the politicized and propagandized posts which began to swamp the site about 3-4 years ago. People complained about this, but it's like I-A-B didn't care and just wanted to push the politicized and propagandized posts.
Worse still, the narcissism within the mod team that was installed ensures that the site is only going to get worse. For example, a specific unnamed long-term user was just recently banned for using their freedom of speech to voice an opinion on one of the propagandized posts on this site. I have read every post this user ever posted, and could see that it wasn't anything out of the norm. If someone didn't like it they could have ignored it (something a lot of the i-A-B user base has difficulty doing, and many of whom ended up making a fool of themselves with their arguments, desperately trying and failing to get a dig in on the user). But a mod couldn't ignore it because they simply had a seething reaction to their reply to the post, or didn't like how the opinion went against the propaganda within the post. The ban wasn't implemented for any rational reason, only a strong dislike of a user or their opinions (there was even a conflict of interest in their decisions as mods, since they were unable to mount a successful counter-argument, or they need to pretend they have a successful one by gathering yes men to agree with their view). This all means that I-A-B has lost its freedom of speech status, and now become a site that says "you can only post what we like or what goes along with our ideals" (and as mentioned, it's quite narrow-minded).
To add insult to injury over I-A-B, the 'powers that be' have been aware of the poor status of the site, and instead of getting to the root issue (content), think that they need 'editors' to write up long texts about each post. I-A-B never needed this, but politicized and propagandized sites do to herd the reader into their idealized world-view. The posts in the golden days of I-A-B spoke for themselves, and the 2-3 lines were all that was needed (1 for the title, 1 for the subtitle, 1 for the quick description). Erroneously, the 'powers that be' think that having users donate hours and hours of their week to donate blocks and blocks of text, to add to a post is what people want. But people want to see the content (good content), not waste their time reading an editorial, which at the current trajectory of I-A-B is going to be increasingly propagandized/politicized/idealized for the increasing narrow-minded and shrinking user-base.
I was willing to give it a chance, but since the summer of 2018 the site continued to go down hill with this stupidity, which echos the stupidity of the governance of the nation it's based in (ironically). So over the last 6 months I've been going elsewhere for content. There were even a few weeks i never came to I-A-B. It turns out that there are a lot better sites to visit, places where there are real intellectuals (the pseudo-intelligent people make up a less of the site's population), with more variety to welcome people of many walks of life, freedom of speech where people aren't faced with zealous propagandized and power hunger censors. Content that keeps me entertained.
I-A-B became almost like a cesspool politicized, propagandized, idealized posts that attacks anyone with dissenting views, with a clear bias in the submissions from users. If they can't stand up to the dissenting view, or get embarrassed because the person is more intellectual then them (or able to play them like a fiddle), their little hate seed is planted and they let it grow so they can come up with any little reason to get rid of them.
Anyway, you can find all of I-A-B's posts in your average news site, or as some random post on other (better) sites, and now that I-A-B is not even a shadow of its former self, it's far better to go to those sites. Granted, everyone in the 'powers that be' will pretend everything is normal, the site is great, they are doing a great job, but it's only because they need their platform to have their ego stroked. But the writing is on the wall for the site, and unless it moves back to what made it right in its golden years it won't last. There will no doubt be a frenzied push to try up the content to even out the plasticized and propagandized posts, but as those who are politicized and propagandized, they will always give weight to that and in time that's what will ultimately return to.
So im leaving this site for good, and in the process, broke a ton of the 'rules' in place to ensure the site remains politicized/propagandized/idealized with a narrow-minded world-view. But quite frankly i don't care, since it's become an ego-stroking and circle-jerking site (notice all the glorification of a man who thinks he's a squirrel going on in here? - yep that's the new I-A-B). This is simply an exit-review of I-A-B, why a long term user is *really* leaving, and pointing out the solution to i-a-b's problems, and the loss of faith that the site can ever reclaim what it once was. No doubt this post must be deleted to maintain the politicized/propagandized/idealized nature of the site, and to hide the truth of the site, or save embarrassment. I may create throwaway accounts, with throwaway emails, from various IP's, just to post a comment or a link that might net some laughs while i eat a bag of popcorn as i watch the frenzied politicized/propagandized/idealized 'powers that be' try to stop them.
So enjoy the little echo-chamber I-A-B has become!
Over and out!