So there's a thread on the Off-Topic forum, I'm sure many of you have seen it, that does a little bait-and-switch with the fact that my username is the name of a villain in the Mass Effect series. Via this terribly clever bait-and-switch, certain users with a variety of grievances were able to vent their feelings about how irritating a confrontation with this villain is. The joke is that they mean a confrontation with me is irritating! Get it? I told you it was clever, right? But shhh, don't tell anyone. We're legitimately talking about that video-game villain.
Many people asked me, on threads and through PM's, why I never responded to that thread or acknowledged its existence in any way. The answer is simple: I didn't care. And the reason I didn't care is because the Geists, by and large, are a bunch of kids who formed a silly little internet clique with pretensions beyond their reality. That's all they are, and that's all they've ever been. Some of them know this, some of them have yet to realize it, and many users who aren't Geists don't realize it either when they're complaining about the Geists "turning the board into a warzone" or making other similarly hyperbolic claims. They're just not worth the attention. That thread was created because one of the Geists was upset about me locking threads that were utterly pointless and stupid beyond any description human words should have been crafted for. I was content to let someone have their poor reaction in whatever corner they chose to carve out. It didn't affect me in the least, even if they thought it was the giggliest thing since Gigli.
But what surprised me is how rapidly the rumor spread that I was "a sworn enemy" of the Geists, that I made biased decisions purely off that suffix alone, and that I possessed some sort of "hatred" of the Geists. I received a PM from one of the Geists where I was described as a "brute" and a "power hungry monster", and that I was "always hating on the Geists". A day or so ago, the "official Geist wiki" made a special entry on their Enemies page (I wish I was making this stuff up, I really do) where this flattering description was attached to me:
Threat Level: Extreme. Approach with caution.
Details: Saren may not be in league with the other enemies, but he is far more dangerous than all of them put together. He overpowers all the Geists and has the ability to stop all the Geists if he pleases. The only way to avoid his wrath is to play it safe and outsmart him. He is most likely the biggest obstacle in the way for the invasion.
If you're wondering what my reaction was, I can tell you it was very cool to feel like a GI Joe character for a few seconds. But then the moment passed, and I decided I should probably clear the air ---- bias and hate suggest some sort of active sentiment against the Geists, and that just hasn't been me. I've generally just dismissed their nonsense, and for the most part it is just nonsense, but sometimes it is more malevolent (alarmingly so in a few cases), and some users have criticized the mods for not being more concerned about those cases and what they could turn into in the future. They're right.
The mods don't just arbitrarily punish people. It's fun to think so, but we don't. We've locked many Geist-related-or-created threads for being either flat out pointless, or breeding grounds for hostility. We've warned some Geists for language and insults. I've given some of those warnings. Most notably, I once temp-banned a somewhat prominent Geist user for repeatedly insulting other users despite warnings from both me and GS to stop, and when that Geist came back and became embroiled in a situation where a user complained he was harassing her through PM's, pictures and alt accounts, I warned him that I would ban him and all his alts permanently the next time he broke the rules and just disregarded another user's right to a comfortable experience on the Vine. Beyond what's warranted, I haven't engaged in any kind of punitive action against the Geists, and I'm confident that no other mod has done so either. We don't care if some poll says a person or group is the most popular thing on ComicVine; they still have to follow the rules like everyone else. Expecting people to follow the rules does not constitute hating.
The mods who moderate the forums on a daily basis are tired of the constant Geist-related conflicts. These threads do not contribute anything to the Vine, and they have long since settled into the role of a recurring nuisance more than anything else. This does notjust go for the Geists ---- there are other users on the Off-Topic forum who have taken it upon themselves to be "the Anti-Geists" or whatever, and we frequently encounter flags from threads where these users have been the instigators of conflicts with the Geists. You're all on notice. This isn't going to stand much longer. Off-Topic is an ugly place at the best of times, what with the abortion/homosexuality/religion/race threads; we don't need more of the same. So there will be no more Geist-topic threads. No more "Who else doesn't like the Geists?", no more "Geist Invasion 3.0: The Geistening", no more "Are the Geists good or bad for Off-Topic?"; these threads are not allowed anymore. Nothing good has ever come from them, beyond headaches for us and discomfort and hostility for regular users and Geists alike. They don't lead to any kind of meaningful discussions, or fun ones, or anything else. They just don't, period.
Geists and Anti-Geists alike are still free to make any other kind of thread, provided it's not some pointless 2-second pun. If anyone thinks any part of this is punitive, our only response is that it's well-earned. You don't get to poke and prod someone until they're irritated enough and then complain when they react in a less-than-welcoming manner. If the general tone of this message has suggested we're rapidly losing patience with this situation, then bingo, you got it in one try.