On Display for All: Stratics Message Boards Caught Deploying Selective Censorship Against Urizenus

by Alphaville Herald on 18/12/03 at 5:44 pm

As we reported earlier, there was an attempt (not by us) to open a “Free Urizenus” thread on the Stratics Sims Online Message Boards. A secondary thread, opened by a journalism student at The University of Texas at Austin attempted to address issues related to the report of r/l child abuse and r/l children working in cyber-brothels in Alphaville. In this secondary thread a number of contributors were allowed to opine on possible ways in which Urizenus may have violated the TOS, but when Urizenus attempted to respond with the facts (see extended entry), his posts were deleted on the grounds that they were technical violations of the Board Rules of Conduct (ROC). A Maxis supporter in the thread subsequently undertook a series of personal attacks in the thread that have been allowed to stand despite, by admission of the Moderator, being in violation of the board ROC.

In effect they are saying this.
1) We are removing your post because it is in technical violation of the ROC.
2) We are not removing the personal attack on you, even though we admit that it is in violation of the ROC, because we are not bound by the ROC.


Following are the relevant communications between Urizenus and Message Board Moderators KarmaLea and Brekkee. Note first the warning (issued late at night, with a 9:00 AM deadline) in which Urizenus is asked to remove highlighted portions of his post. Note also that Urizenus’ post was removed at 6:32 AM (well before Urizenus had an opportunity raise his weary head much less revise – even assuming and time zone confusion here). Reason given for the censorship: “This is a violation of the Rules of Conduct.” Following a campaign of personal attacks by a Maxis defender in the thread (falsely charging Urizenus with unspecified unethical behavior), Brekkee froze the thread, not allowing Urizenus a chance to respond. In the remarkable IM exchange between Urizenus and Brekke (appended) Brekke admits that the personal attacks constituted a violation of the board policy (ROC) but insists that the board policy need not be enforced in this case, in spite of the allegedly slanderous/libelous content of the same. In effect, the ROC is enforced to silence Urizenus’s comments on his alleged violation of the TOS, but is deliberately and admittedly not enforced when possibly slanderous personal attacks are aimed at him in the board. Remarkable. You have to read it to believe it.


Please edit your post

From: KarmaLea
Received: 12/15/03 08:18 PM

Please edit your post in the thread titled Cyber-prostitution/Child Abuse: Even I know about it. and remove the discussion of account actions. This is a violation of the Rules of Conduct for Sims Stratics.

I do not want to remove your post as I think your voice is important to this thread, however if the account action discussion is not removed by 9am EST on 12/16/03, the post will be removed for violations.

This is not an official warning, I know you are just starting with Sims Stratics and I would like to welcome you, however, you also must comply with the Rules of Conduct as posted to this site.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Sims Stratics Forum Administrator

Your post was removed

From: KarmaLea
Received: 12/16/03 06:32 AM

Your post was removed for discussion of account actions. Though you were requested to edit that post, you did not, therefore the post was removed.

Please feel free to edit your post to remove the account action discussion and repost the rest of your statement. Following is the text of your post:

Comments are closed.