The Secret Codex Of The Spoiler Boards
Part III - The Night Of Deleted Threads and Days Great of Bannings
In the early days of March, EZ had settled into a routine. The wild saloon that had been filled with boozing and brawling had become almost staid. Vanillaslave controlled the Spoilers forum by harassing her Amish, the Sucks people happily played their vile games on Burn Baby Burn and I, now hopelessly wrapped up in board culture, had found some greener pastures to explore. It was definitely the quiet before the storm.
I no longer squashed the Amish or blessed people’s hearts. I still lurked and even occasionally posted but like other posters before me, with the collapse of the original Spoilers board, new places had been born and I found myself drifting away from EZ.
One thing that remained unchanged was the nightly attack of the trolls. You could almost set your watch to the time when out of no where, posters never seen before would blast onto the board spewing a non-stop stream of off topic threads. It was a late night ritual. Every morning, the regular posters would wake to find locked threads containing every kind of nonsense imaginable. Usually, they also contained Vanillaslave’s “bless your heart” final blow.
In mid March, a poster named Nailbone asked the simple question, what are the rules of this board? It was a damned good question since unlike the old boards, rules had never been published. Since the Forces of Darkness had never said a word about rules, Vanillaslave took it on herself to answer all questions based on what she knew from the old board and the precedents she had established in her Amish hunts. The first EZ FAQ was born. It was both highly entertaining and informative. An example:
Quote: Q. oh man like where did my post go, dude I think Mark Burnett’s here, dude and my post just like got crushed.
A. Your thread sucked. If it sucked in a funny way I might have shipped it to the Sucks folder. If it sucked in the “omg Rodger fell off a horse while playing blind Marco Polo” I may have just deleted the crap. If it sucked but I think people might learn something from it sticking around a few days (like who the amish posters are)….then I locked it.
Bless your heart, nilla
She had a certain flair.
Things continued to cruise along but the troll attacks continued to worsen. Finally, one night, even the dread Vanillaslave was overwhelmed. She was locking posts as fast as she could and even she couldn’t keep up. Bradly450 and his cohorts were staging a massive frontal assault on the Spoilers forum. Vanillaslave begged the Forces of Darkness for Administrator power. As a lowly Moderator, she could lock and delete threads but only an Administrator had the power to ban posters. She thought that if she could just ban a few of the spammers, she could catch her breath. On March 17, Vanillaslave was promoted from Moderator to Administrator.
Now armed with the ability to ban as well as delete and lock, Vanillaslave once again had the spoiler boards under control. She also had some help. Another administrator, redandblack, briefly made a public appearance and was promptly scorched. He quickly retreated back into the shadows. A new kid showed up as well. He had been a fairly regular poster and like Vanillaslave, as if by magic, one day the word Moderator appeared below BeefJerky’s name.
Beefjerky was not nearly as abrasive as Vanillaslave but he was not completely hidden in the shadows like the other moderators. It was apparent from the beginning that he was a bit of a smart ass but was serious about trying to keep the Spoiler board clean. He stumbled around like a newborn puppy for several days. He even publicly called Vanillaslave to the carpet for her antics. Of course that was a bit over the line since it wouldn’t be wise for mods and admins to fight in public. He was making mistakes, but he was learning.
With all these new powers and now with her own Moderator to slough work on, Vanillaslave starting seeking new fun. She began visiting the Sucks forum. Here, she learned the marvels of Burn Baby Burn, she flirted outrageously with GBIAD and, just as in the Spoilers forum, she pissed off plenty of people.
Sucks was absolutely crazy in those days. Almost anything went. The trash that was posted was vile and tasteless beyond belief. There were some nuggets here and there, but there were a lot of wild ramblings too. There was also a healthy case of derision for people in the Spoilers folder. Sucks felt like the black sheep to the older perfect child, Spoiler. Everyone certainly did not welcome Vanillaslave and when she proceeded to lock threads in the mostly unmoderated Sucks forum, all hell threatened to break loose. Of course, the thread she locked was one that had pictures of Tina’s teenage daughter and it was probably prudent to lock it, but to the Sucks degenerates nothing short of an actual snuff film should have been locked.
Tina’s daughter should have been seen as a shot across the bow but everyone was partying too hard to notice. On March 19, Burn Baby Burn was locked.
Burn Baby Burn had become a monster thread. It was well beyond its original intent now and was rapidly becoming both vile and legendary. A vile legend. It was literally littered with porn and other assorted green apples. Some moderators began working on Burn Baby Burn with a scalpel, carefully excising the porn while keeping the body intact. On March 19, for reasons that are still unclear, someone locked Baby down. The screams of frustration from the citizens of Suck could be heard clear in the I Heart Survivor forum. Vanillaslave took it upon herself to unlock Burn Baby Burn and the porn kings and queens returned to their baby. Little did they know that the war had only just started.
What is it about March? It’s a weird month filled with strange occurrences. Once again, the fate of the Sucks and Spoilers was inexorably tangled. Deep in the night, after Burn Baby Burn had been locked, something truly dreadful happened in the Spoilers forum.
When the Spoilers posters wiped the crust from their eyes on the morning of March 20, they were stunned into silence by a change in the landscape. Pages, not threads but literally pages of threads had been deleted from the Spoilers forum. The facts of this episode remain murky to this day. Two facts are known. Approximately ten full pages of posts were deleted and it had to have been done by an administrator / moderator. Other than that, the mass deletion episode on the Spoiler board remains one of EZ’s great unsolved mysteries.
Many immediately blamed Vanillaslave. She certainly had made many enemies during the previous weeks and the hounds smelled an opportunity. They tasted blood from a wounded prey. I will relate to you what Vanillaslave told me occurred that night. She left the Spoilers forum for a few hours. When she returned, she discovered that the nightly troll attack had occurred but this time it was different. This time the trolls were many and they seemed intent on destroying the board. There were obviously moderators working in the forum because there were no less than five pages filled with nothing but locked threads. Five pages. Nothing but locked threads. EZ had seen pages filled with locked threads but nothing like this. Vanillaslave admits to deleting those locked threads but she does not admit to deleting the rest. She blames another faceless administrator.
The residents of the Spoilers forum knew better. It was immediately obvious that more than just troll threads were gone. Many posters began asking what had happened to their previous posts. Spoiling stopped in its tracks as the entire forum staggered in the feeling of tragedy. Sadness soon turned to anger. The pleas were loud and for the most part, reasonable. All they wanted to know was why. They were met with silence.
No one was responding. The Spoilers forum was like a great wounded animal begging for mercy and receiving none. Even Vanillaslave was strangely quiet.
I am not sure what was happening in the Sucks forum during this time because I was in the Spoilers forum with the other vocal critics demanding answers. From what I have heard, still smarting from the lock of Burn Baby Burn, the Sucks posters made good of the opportunity of the chaos happening in Spoilers. They began rioting. I wasn’t there so I don’t have a good description but I was told the vile ichor that began pouring into Sucks was truly a horrible, horrible thing.
Back in the Spoilers folder, the screaming for answers became more and more heated. Even genteel, reasonable posters like Erstwhile joined in the chorus demanding an explanation. Eventually, a few administrators, including ones that had never been seen before like TheTree, showed up and basically said that everyone should just be quiet and move on. It would have been better to just douse the board in gasoline and light a match. Both erstwhile and I wrote long and, though certainly brutal, polite posts demanding an answer from the unseen Forces of Darkness.
Then the bannings started.
At 3:42pm on March 20, Rodgerfan became the first to fall.
If you haven’t met Rodgerfan, then you have missed something. He is one of the nicest posters you will ever meet in the board world. He is no milk and cookies guy and he can get as rough and tumble as needed but the one word that always comes to mind in describing his personality is decent. It is unknown to this day why he was banned. He simply vanished. He was not the last.
The Forces of Darkness began to lay waste to the rebellion in both the Sucks forum and the Spoilers forum. For the next two days, anyone who questioned what was happening, what had happened or any actions of the administration were summarily executed. EZ was under martial law.
Soon, rumors began to reach EZ of a place of rebellion. An almost mythical place where posters were allowed to run free without fear of banning or deletion. The place was called Hobietopia. The banned posters from the Sucks forum gathered in this new place and rebuilt their society. Still, there were stragglers that had been left behind at EZ. The newly minted residents of Hobietopia set out on missions of resistance behind the iron curtain of EZ to post the link to their new land. Most were caught and banned again. A few got through and were able to notify their friends. New people joined the resistance movement and began posting the link to this land of freedom. The Forces of Darkness moved in quickly and began banning anyone that posted a link to another board. As the iron fist of tyranny closed tighter, more posters slipped between the fingers.
At spoilers, there was no hobietopia, but there were other boards. Some posters made loud angry exits. Others slipped quietly away in the night. The ones that remained attempted to keep the spoiling moving forward but the heart had been removed from the body. The place they had come to love had been ripped apart, hacked into pieces and now was being cast aside and they didn’t even know why.
Still, they refused to move on. They continued to post. They continued to ask why. The bannings continued. Then, in the early morning hours of March 22, it all stopped.
EZ was locked down.
In Memoriam of Those That Were Banned
Continue reading in Part IV